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I Forge Iron

eric sprado

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Everything posted by eric sprado

  1. I'm back after long hiatus. I see we have lost Frank Turley.Fine man. He and I learned shoeing about same time.. I had wonderful experience of serving my apprenticeship with the last U.S.Cavalry shoeing instructor. Sargent R L Richmond at Fort Riley Kansas. I'd like to add just an important thought.. Sarge always said "we are shoeing the horse for the horse and not for the owner". Important concept.. You cannot make steadfast rule for fitting anything to a living creature.. concerning many folks deciding to trim to go barefoot- it shouldn't be an argument.. Again- what does the HORSE need. Sarge and I would go up to the Sandhills in Nebraska and trim many many horses to go barefoot. No need for shoes why use them...
  2. THANKS !!!! I had visions of the lower anvil getting cracked to smitherines.. Funny how all the old mechanical hammers have different rhythm to them.. I ran my first Little Giant in 1967 so I have a feel for them. Took me an hour to get the feel of this Star..It really moves a lot of metal but in a kind of gentler way.. Is that too "woo woo"? It has this nice smooth way.. Yours seems to have a different clutch. Mine is more like an LG. Mine has a built in guard in front.. Actually-I have not seen any two 50# Stars that were exactly the same..Wonder if that led to the demise of this fine hammer outfit.
  3. Just made a nice top die for my 1908 Star from a piece of trolley track... Previous owner had welded old die surface with some sort of hard surfacing and it starting to fly like shrapnel... Only trouble I have with both old and new dies is that they have to be adjusted right down to touching the lower die in order to work..all my other mechanical hammer have at least an inch gap when at rest....Trying leaf spring adjustment next to see if that helps.. any ideas? I just am uncomfortable about lower die getting smacked by top one.
  4. I started shoeing in 1966. We pretty much made our swages.. My first one we simply filed in shapes we wanted on a piece of trolley track.. Made a swage die going the long way for a bottom Little Giant die.. worked great.. Had a half round groove filed in the rail track for half round shoes.. I regularly mad shoes half swaged and half half round...Pretty easy to make.. Try it..
  5. Not a problem at all once I figured out that you don't treat a Star like a Little giant. Have it going fine now with clean clutch and some nice synthetic blocks.. It is a metal smacker...
  6. I don't have a picture. The blocks are perfectly fitted but, like you, I wonder about wisdom of metal on metal. I started using a Little Giant in 1967 (yup I'm an old fart) so when I first started the Star up I did what you do with Little Giants and squirted the heck out of it with oil .Oops-wrong thing with this hammer. Wouldn't work worth a tinker's dam.. So I cleaned off pulleys and belt with carb cleaner and it runs like a champ... Wouldn't have known about metal blocks if I hadn't squirted oil on them....Anyway- I am going to take them out and either have metal shaved down to where I can put some asbestos on them or make some nice oak blocks... I'll put it on here when I'm done. Thanks for your reply.... Eric
  7. Chris: Thanks. I was looking for info for a Star I'm rebuilding and and responded before seeing the date. However- I sure saved some bucks when I learned to make my own dies instead of paying to have them machined. I'm still stumped as to why my Star has metal blocks and all pictures I see have wooden ones...
  8. I believe it started out as a Phoenix brand hot pattern shoe with the bar jump welded.. Phoenix had fuller VERY close to the outside edge but they were well slanted for good nailing. They shut down in early sixties after a LONG run. Some employees started MultiProducts shoes in Japan and broke Phoenix. Real shoers loved the Phoenix because of the huge assortment of weight and styles of shoes. I bought all the old stock I could for special jobs..
  9. Charles: I used to shoe bulls in front to save on hooves in the Kansas Flinthills in the '60s (yes I'm an old fart who learned shoeing at Fort Riley Kansas).. Luckily I was the shoer for KState Vet school and they would bring bulls there so we could use wonderful tilt chute.. If you have an interest in animal traction drop me an email. I think I still have my old Cavalry animal restraint manual and it shouldn't be hard to unstaple and make a copy for you..Eric
  10. If you look up article on Welded Hammer Dies they are amazingly simple to make... That's coming from a blacksmith not a machinest.....Can anybody help me with My 50# Star? I can't seem to get it timed right without "loping".. I've rebuilt lots of Little giants but this has a different feel.. I read one article that said the clutch blocks were wood,but mine are metal...
  11. I have punched a zillion holes and never use a bolster. If I'm punching a 1/2 inch hole I use the appropriate size punch, hit it until I feel anvil resistance.flip it over, look for the telltale spot that indicates the location of the soon-to be slug and hit that. slug drops out on face of the anvil. Punching holes is not hard-just relax and do it. Also- as Thomas said, using rebar is its own punishment. I have been in a pinch and made horseshoes out of the stuff. Sometimes it is great and sometimes it is not worth the price of scrap.
  12. Uhhhhh-What is your definition of a minion? I thought there was an important religious context for the word?
  13. Peter: You need to come down to my shop-just a few miles away in Deadwood Or.. John is old friend of mine-tell him Hi.. One thing you need to realize about his pedal hammers is that he makes them in an afternoon out of whatever junk he has around! No two are alike. Amazingly resourceful man and a great blacksmith. Give me a call- 541 964 3224. Eric Sprado
  14. A while back somebody posted some pictures of forged hair "pins". Can't find post. Any ideas? Eric

  15. I picked up a 140 lb. English anvil that looks like it has NEVER been struck by a hammer!! Can't find it in Postman. Pictures attached. Any help?
  16. Those are good plows. I still use one!!! you can get to the end of a row,turn around,raise one side and lower the other and go back plowing the same direction...Clear as mud???
  17. An old newspaper vending machine is going to be my new hood if and when my left hand becomes functional again.
  18. I live over an hour from town and don't have a tempil stick on hand to tell me an anvil is preheated enough. A fellow is coming over tomorrow to build up a little anvil I sold him. Somebody on here had a trick a while back of SOMETHING they put on an anvil and it burned off at around 350 degrees? Anybody remember that? Would sure be helpful! Thanks, Eric Sprado
  19. Boraxo and Twenty Mule Team Borax are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS,are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!!!! We use Twenty Mule Team for flux!!!!!!!
  20. Anything you do that allows you to "get lost in it" and which does no harm to your fellow man,can be spiritual. I'm blessed to have my smithing,my fiddle, and writing. All of which allow me to "get lost in them".
  21. I make most of my hot tools out of old tire irons. Twenty five cents at garage sales and THEY ARE ALREADY STRAIGHT!! Ever try to break one while standing on it to get a lug nut loose?? Pretty tough stuff.
  22. Wow!!!! You got a LOT done!!! I'm envious!!! All wonderful projects!!!
  23. The old Cavalry shoeing instructor I learned my trade from used to put a little water on his anvil face if kids were getting too close. He'd say "You kids get back, you never know what might blow up around here". He'd then whack a hot shoe on that spot and the kids would go flying when they heard that pop!!! Fond memory.
  24. Thanks to all of you for prayers, good thoughts(ala Frank Turley,our moms sound similar!),emails,and even a few cards!!! I have had contact with a few folks here but have waited until it seemed pretty safe to say I'm on the mend to make an "official" announcement. I had a heart attack out here an hour and a quarter from hospital. Wound up with triple bypass surgery and NO damage to my heart!! Following doctors orders because I DON'T want to go back for seconds. One side effect is that they damaged the nerves controlling my left hand so fiddle playing(most important thing) writing, or swinging a hammer are out for a while. They say maybe up to a year,but I still feel blessed!!!!!!!! It has always been my wont to be a good son, husband,father and to do no unkindness to my fellow human beings or to the Earth. I have not,being human, always been successful. I feel blessed to be given a second chance to dedicate myself more to this Worlds needs! Thanks again to all of you!!!!! Eric Sprado, Deadwood,Oregon
  25. Hi Everyone, This is Kathy Sprado with an update on Eric. Had a scare last night and they took Eric back to the ICU. They will probably be putting him back in a regular room today or tomorrow. He was back in ICU for arrhythmia and heart cessation (3 minutes). But he is doing really well now. Improvements include much more lucidity, normal temperature, drop in blood sugar, better lung function, less need for pain killers. Thanks for all your messages. He still really needs a lot of rest. He got some really good sleep in the ICU because there are less interruptions in terms of nurses and staff coming in. I'll probably write again tomorrow. Love Kath
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