Chris Comtois

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About Chris Comtois

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  1. Chris Comtois

    Brass Shell Casing

    Wow that's cool! I guess when you have time on your hands, that's the kind of stuff you can do! Missed the first part about annealing it when I made my last comment, so it looks like my propane torch would work OK, thanks! Regarding the firing cap, I need to do some research on the anatomy of these shells. My pal did send a pic of the bottom. I thought I would research taking the cross-type thing out and cleaning it to make sure there was no residue.
  2. Chris Comtois

    Brass Shell Casing

    Wood block is a great idea, I hadn't thought about that, thanks! Do you think I could anneal it with just my propane torch? I don't know much about working with brass, but I think it has a sharp melting point, right? As in, it gets red, than it goes right to liquid, not much room for error? Google shows people annealing rifle casings with a propane torch, I assume the larger shell casing would be similar.
  3. Chris Comtois

    Brass Shell Casing

    A buddy has a 5-inch brass shell casing from WWII he wants turned into a trophy for his Veteran's golf league. 5 inch diameter, approximately 24 inches high and I'd guess a couple millimeters thick at most. The open end is a bit dinged up from when it was ejected and hit the deck. He'd like me to see what I can do about fixing the dinged up parts. I've not really worked with brass much. Is it like copper, where it work hardens and I need to heat and quench it to work it? Should I anneal it first before I start banging on it? My current plan is to use a rawhide or Teflon hammer and start on the anvil horn, or get a chunk of pipe slightly smaller than the ID of the casing. Anybody see and flaws with this? Also, I know this isn't a gun group, but what do you all think about the potential for unburned powder? I don't have the casing in hand yet, but my buddy says it's pretty crusty inside. I'm thinking of wetting down the inside and putting a nylon toilet brush on my drill and going to town. Thoughts? Lastly, his group of Veterans being what they are, he fully expects the guys to go all "Stanley Cup" and drink out of the thing. Thoughts or suggestions for a liner or coating on the inside? Thanks all!
  4. Let me revise - Not all prescription glasses are safety glasses! I have prescription safety glasses as well, and when I wear them they work great! When I wear my regular prescriptions, I'm rapidly reminded why I shouldn't and put on the safety specs.
  5. A 150 pound anvil weighs more when you're 48 years old than it did when you were 28. Prescription glasses are NOT safety glasses, they just cost a heck of a lot more and aren't as resistant to grinder slag on the lens. If hearing loss hurt, everybody would wear ear pro. Opening the garage door does not count as ventilation.
  6. Chris Comtois

    What did you do in the shop today?

    No blacksmithing, but it was some metal work and it got me out in the shop.
  7. Chris Comtois

    Hoof picks

    I figure there's a few folks on here who know a bit (or more!) about farrier work. I have a bunch of used horseshoes given to me by a friend. I'd like to make her a few things in appreciation for all the free stock! She has horses (obviously) and I thought a hoof pick from a horseshoe might be kind of neat. I've seen several demos online, and looked at a bunch of pics for design ideas. Something that seems to vary is the point on the pick. Some appear to be very dull and rounded, some look like they could puncture a car tire, some are wide and flat while some are round like knitting needles. To the folks that have/work with horses, what is your preferred style of point on a hoof pic? I would think the needle sharp ones might hurt the horse, but the only thing I know about horses is how to fall off them (seriously, I've managed to fall off EVERY SINGLE TIME I've ridden on one). Thanks.
  8. Chris Comtois

    It followed me home

    I make mini-horseshoes out of the wire. You can flatten and bend them cold if you have to. A couple of punches for nail holes and the crease and you have a genuine North-American House Pony shoe.
  9. Chris Comtois

    T Burner Illustrated Directions

    Well I got the sputtering problem licked - turns out one of my jets was not quite lined up as well as it could have been. Drilled and tapped a new T and all seems well now. It doesn't seem to be getting as hot as I think t should be - I can forge with it, but it doesn't seem to be getting welding hot, and there is a lot of dragon breath. Can I close off the back a bit with some brick, would that help?
  10. Chris Comtois

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Yikes! So glad you weren't injured any worse! I was trying to finish up that pumpkin after a long day and ran my thumb across the wire wheel - fortunately pulled back in time to avoid stripping the ENTIRE layer of skin. Hope things turn around for you soon.
  11. Chris Comtois

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Yep, I've had to pull LOTS of old, bent nails. I've also discovered that the "material" in the creases does not burn out in the forge, rather it bakes in like fired clay. I try not too hard to think about it as I respiratored up and took the wire wheel to them....
  12. Chris Comtois

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Got another load of used horseshoes from my source. Spent some time messing around with a few.
  13. Chris Comtois

    Ideas for Christmas 2017

    Our club did candy canes for ornaments one year - two strands of copper wire and one strand of steel wire, chucked one end in a drill and spun it all together. Soldered the ends. I'll try to get some pics if I can dig out the Christmas stuff.
  14. Chris Comtois

    Beginner seeking advice on a small propane forge

    I just turn mine inside out every week. Like a fresh pair! Seriously EA93, welcome to the group. Good luck with building your forge! I would very much suggest, before you throw a lot of money and effort into a hobby you've never even participated in (and this hobby will take as much or as little as you throw at it), try to find someone local who does it and ask if you can come by and try it out. Learn the basics first so you don't get frustrated trying things that are way beyond you. I had good results by googeling my state + blacksmith. There may be a club within driving distance.