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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by LawnJockey

  1. Thomas, I am very familiar with your area, I have a little off the grid cabin outside of Magdalena. It is my quail hunting place. I had the same problem on my F250 Super Duty. The temp gauge was definitely bad the problem was that it was part of the entire insturment cluster which was extremely expensive to rebuild. What we did was purchase a stand alone gauge for a little over $20.00 and mounted it below the dash, easy to read and out of the way.
  2. It was 117 when I went to refuel the propane for the forge. It is 110 now. But it is a dry heat... I was working all day outside but under cover on the fly press. The roofers worked until 2:00 and went through all three cases of Gatorade I purchased and a bunch of their own beverages too. I stayed perfectly hydrated thanks to a cooler full of Becks. It really wasn't that bad I got my almost daily 31 mile bike ride done by 9:00 and it was 90 then.
  3. They started using a skilsaw with a diamond blade and an 8" angle grinder with the same but it was really slow. They are used to working with 26 gauge not 20 gauge. Either way it is way loud. I just got a call they are starting at 5:00 am but I got them to promise no power equipment until 6:30. That plasma cutter sounds slick however they are rough cutting at the valleys and then doing the final cut by sliding a 2x4 under the panel to elevate it and then sawing it. I am not sure I would want to use a plasma cutter making a cut like that with all the tar paper and other flamable material right there. Charles, you used to live in the area so I bet you know right where we are. We are up on the side of Camelback just below the castle.
  4. Great minds think alike. The upper portion of the T slot is a little over 3/4" the lower portion (The top to the T) is 1 1/2". I am going to weld two pieces of 3/4 square bar together in a cross. One piece will be 1 1/2" long and the other maybe 3". Then I will drill and tap them where they cross. Simple almost instant T nuts. My main concern it that I may knock the tooling plate out of alignment when loading heavier pieces and thus there could be some troublesome variation, like with railing parts. If the T nuts alone don't make it stout enough I can always clamp on additional 3/4 material to the bottom of the plate, remove the plate and weld them on on the ends.
  5. Yep, they start showing up about 6:30 and don't waste any time getting going. It is 20 gauge steel and I cringe when they cut it that early with the hand held two stoke concrete saw they are cutting it with. They knock off about 3:30. I would not fault them at all if they knock off at noon in this heat. This is a side job for them as they do it all week for a company and they make a little extra to make ends meet working on the weekends on side jobs. Great guys. They have about 8 on the roof at any time. On Memorial Day we BBQed burgers for the crew and the head guy promised to bring his wife's tomales tomorrow. The roof is about 2/3 done and the remaining panels are stacked up in the driveway. When you walk by them you can feel the heat radiating off them. I don't envy them at all.
  6. Steve, no need for personal attacks, be nice. Please note there is an Arizona Ice Tea in there. The guys don't get any cerveza until they are off the roof and then it is well earned. Last weekend I purchased 3 cases of gatorade and a couple cases of bottled water for them and they brought a couple cases of sodas. With the exception of a few sodas it was all consumed. I don't care what anyone says there is nothing like an ice cold one on a hot day.
  7. 106 yesterday, 114 today and 118 tomorrow. I have roofers working Saturday and Sunday. I would like to tell them to stay home but the guys need the cash so I will let them decide what to do. As always, we will do our best to keep them hydrated.
  8. We have two layers of xxxx that we have to go through. The city is the easy part, they would be happy with garage or art studio. The tricky part is complying with the CCRs. Back in the '50s when the area was divided up the developer put the restrictions in place that limit out buildings to garages only. They also established a committee to grant waivers and approvals but that committee has been defunct for decades. Unfortunately the CCRs also granted standing to enforce the CCRs to every other owner subject to the CCRs. Thus there is no way to get a prior approval in regards to the CCRs and if you violate them any other owner can haul you to court. The structure will be in complete compliance, my use of it may raise some issues. That said the place looks like a corporation yard right now and there is, with in reasonable hours, constant cutting, grinding, hammering and coal smoke and so far no one has complained. Fortunately it is a bit of a live and let live area. The guy across the street is a porn kingpin and he blasts 1970s elevator music out of his pool area speakers 24/7. No one complains, as long as it isn't technopolka I won't either. Down the street is another porn kingpin who just buit a 25,000 sqft house complete with its own golf course. Everyday the street is blocked by lanscaping trucks and when he has parties (often) caterers block the road for a few days. Then the guests who all look like Gay NFL players park everywhere. We are really glad he has a high wall so we don't have to see what is going on. At least when he parties he has good live music and we don't mind having it go late into the night. It is nice living in a tolerant area because the last thing we want to do is start a neighborhood war. In regards to the scope of the work I do both metal and wood work as well as work on my own equipment. The general plan is for the long open area to be kept clear as an assembly area that things can be moved into as projects demand. Both the side walls will have full length benches. The short side wall will have grinders, sanders, lathe, etc. The compressor will be located along the short side wall. The forge and anvil will be in the covered outside work area. The power hammer will be just inside, I am trying to keep the noise down. I am going to modify my equipment bases so they can be moved around with a pallet jack where that is possible. Electric welding and plasma cutting equipment will be on one cart that can be moved around as needed. The dust collection system will have to be installed after the project is completed since the structure is technically a garage. As it is, the wiring alone will probably attract some unwanted attention. This is quite a bit smaller than my last shop and I felt cramped there when working on bigger projects. My goal is to keep it as flexible as possible so it can be transformed for the work at hand without just pushing a jumble of stuff from side to side.
  9. At 850 pounds I don't want to lift it any more than I have to. How are you guys fastening the tool plate? I have been thinking about two different approaches. The first is to get some large flathead machine screws, counter sink them and sleeve them so as to fit the t slot snugly. Then for the nuts make something up like a unistrut nut. The other thought is to use large allen screws. I would drill the plate with two holes large enough to clear the screw heads. Then I would plug weld a steel strip the width ot the t slot across the plate underside. Then drill clearance holes for the allen screws. Again, make some nuts up like unistrut nuts. There are several variations of the two approaches.
  10. Yes, a 3" center hole is in the plan.
  11. The table top is currently 29 1/2" but will be 30" when the pads under the legs are installed. The base of the press is 4" thick. So that will be 34". The tooling plate will be 1/2" thick.
  12. I have been talking about the new shop for a while and the design has finally gotten to the point that we are getting ready to submit it for city approval. The area here has restrictions on out buildings limiting them to garages. We also wanted to build a guest house but it wasn't allowed. However, a garage can contain servants' quarters. So what we are building is a three car garage with servants quarters. The area marked work area will be covered and a four foot wall around it. The shop area will also have a laundry tub and the living quarters will have a stacked laundry set up. There is a 20' set back to the south which will also end up as incovered waork area. So lets see if my scans upload. shop plan 2.pdf shop plan 1.pdf
  13. I got it in the temporary shop using the tractor. As expected I had to remove the roll bar to get the tractor to fit. Excuse the mess, we were just stuffing things from one side to the other trying to get it in. I will work on bolting it down tomorrow and then setting up a plate for tooling over the weekend.
  14. I purchased a Pheer 2 x 72 grinder a while back and we have been quite happy with it. My son has been using it constantly making knives and it is holding up just fine. The price was quite reasonable, after pricing the wheels, motor and speed control it really didn't make sense for me to make my own even though we are fully equiped to do so. I think he still sells them on ebay, that is how I got mine.
  15. I have table envy. I got a 3'x4' piece of 1/2 plate for my top. The legs are 6"x6"x3/8" square tube. Additional bracing is 2"x2"x1/4" angle. I assembled it upside down so tomorrow I will flip it over with the loader and weld the few spots that are better accessed from above. Then it is time to drill some holes. Then it is fun time getting it in my temporary shop and even funner (I will always be grateful to W for increasing my vocabulary) will be getting the press on top of the table. I haven't measured it yet but I believe if I take the roll bar off the tractor I can get everything in place using the forklift tines on the loader bucket. If that doesn't work I will have to get creative.
  16. I better keep my mouth shut. Marital aids, hobbles, live stock and polygamy, this isn't going to end well. Before you know it we will be trashing Utah or Islam.
  17. I switched careers which involved going back to school. As I saw it I had too, I was in the trades and my back and knees were killing me all the time. I would injure them and reinjure them constantly. My friends thought I was crazy, they said you will be 40 by the time you are done. I thought either way I will be 40. Anyway, I went to school and eventually law school and then practiced law. Practicing law was no fun but I never regreted the education. Getting through school was tough financially, I had to live on a small sailboat that I could not stand up straight in for years so I know about the hardships this involves. On the plus side you are young and it sounds like you don't have any dependents. Don't worry about your age if this is truly your calling. You only have one life. I am usually one of the first guys here to say go for it when the grouches are scurrying around trying to dream up reasons not to. I have always found that there are two types of people, the successful who see where they want to be and ask how to get there and then takes the needed steps. Then there are the losers I call "yes buts". This second group will always find a reason not to do something and you can spot them by their use of the phrase "yes but". The only reason I am not jumping up and down saying go for it is it sounds like you haven't been blacksmithing long enough to make such a decision so I would recommend that you take a year while you continue your current job and every non working moment immerse yourself in blacksmithing. Find the local smiths and volunteer to work for free on weekends and holidays, go to blacksmithing events, read. If after a year you still have the fire dive in 100%. If you do the above I am sure your parents will come around too.
  18. Yes, I was thinking it was some sort of marital aid too.
  19. Light weights. You guys are slow learners, you must always stay properly hydrated.
  20. I will expand a little on my comments above. If you can find out exactly what the issues are then you can mitigate them such as switching from coal to gas or only running equipment during certain hours. I never run any equipment before 8:00am on week days, 9:00am on Saturdays and 10:00am on Sundays as a courtesy to my neighbors and I never have had any complaints. Make sure you know what others are doing at the facility so you can point out how you are no worse that other allowed uses. Stress the artistic and traditional crafts aspects of your activity plus any community service activities such as demonstrations and classes you do. Let them know how you bent over backwards trying to comply with all regulations and from your discussions with the landlord your understanding was that everything you do was allowed and you were in complete compliance. Then explain how you have invested all your resources into this location and that you are under contract to complete some commissions and if you are forced to cease operations that will result in your financial ruin as you do not have the capital to relocate in the middle of the projects. Use the term irreparable harm as that is one of two factors courts look at when it comes to an injunction under general common law. Tell them what steps you can take such as switching to gas and make sure they understand it is a big financial burden for you to do so but you are willing to do what you have to to make the location work. Remember to tell thenm it will take a few weeks to make the changes, always bargan for time at every step If you are still not getting anywhere ask about the appeal process and after that has been explained ask about staying the stop work order pending your appeal since the order under appeal causes irrepairable harm. If you have brown nosed enough they will have some compassion for the tight spot you are in. Milk the system for time and even if you lose the appeal request time to relocate again citing the irrepairable harm that will result from a shutdown.
  21. I can't say anything specific to the UK but I have had a fair amount of experience dealing with the little minds that infest regulatory agencies. First off, stay calm. It doesn't matter how they got on to you so don't worry about that. Is your operation commercial or is it noncommercial? Both have strong points for developing your arguments. Always kiss their behinds, they get real puffed up about their own self importance and flattery is a tool for you to use. If you go into to their office be as sweet as can be to the clerks. Going to their office is always better than having them at your site where they might see other things to complain about. You need to educate yourself about your rights to appeal but be careful how you do it. You can ask but do it in a nonthreatening way. In regards to the shut down order the first thing I would do is try to convince them that it is over broad and try to limit it to the use of the chimney. Remember, you are smarter than they are but don't let them know you know it. You have to think creatively and try to make any proposals look like they won. We are talking about very little minds indeed.
  22. I used pure boiled linseed oil on a brazed steel bicycle frame about 6 months ago and it seems to be holding up well and it is stored in a car port. It took weeks for it to set up so that is something to think about. I understand that some linseed oil products inclued an accelerator to speed up the "drying" process. If you use something that takes forever to dry you have to worry about dust settling on the surface. A few years back I used a three step system sold by Sherrwin Willams and I am sure by others. First we cleaned the new galvanized sheet metal with acetone. Then we used their etcher followed by their primer and then the top coat. It still looks like new after constant exposure to the elements including snow and temps up to 118F. Back in the late '80s I did an osmotic blister job on a fiberglass (FRP for you guys in the UK) sailboat with a cast iron keel. After all the sanding we wiped everything down with acetone. Then we treated the exposed cast iron with Ospho. Then we painted the entire underwater surface with Zspar 646 epoxy primer followed by anti fouling paint. A few years later I saw that boat out of the water and there was a section on the cast iron that had the antifouling sanded off, the 646 beneath was in perfect condition. That boat had been in salt water the entire time in marinas with lots of electrolysis issues too. I am not sure 646 is still marketed under that name as there has been a lot of consolidation in the marine coatings industry. If you use one of these epoxy products make sure you follow the safety instructions completely as the fumes cause brain damage quickly. Also make sure other unmasked people are not around. I have gotten a nasty headache from being over 100 yards away from a job where 646 was being used. If you go the epoxy coating route here is a tip not many know, tool and hand clean up can often be done using white wine vinegar rather than acetone. It is a lot cheaper and more healthy for you too.
  23. I use a lot of HF grinding disks, etc. I have never had one fly apart but I have had the center strip out several times. If I am in HF I just walk down the wall with the grinding stuff and load up my basket. The last time I was there purchasing 4.5" cut off discs I noticed there were two model numbers. I asked about it and I was told by the McDonalds reject that they were the same. I am not sure about that as this last batch wears out super quick. HF sandpaper is next to worthless. Their dremel bits don't last either.
  24. In the 1996 tax reform there was a provision that allowed a single person to take up to 250K in gains on their primary residence tax free and for a married couple it is 500K. That created one of the best wealth building opportunities for a guy with reasonable skills willing to work hard. Since that time we have bought 8 homes and sold 6. We made money on all but 1. Twice we netted enough we almost had to pay taxes on the excess gains. If you buy right, that is not buying into a frenzy, there is money to be made. I like unique properties with larger lots. Geographical limitations are always a plus, it is hard to make money in sprawl. Sell into the frenzies. It has worked for us. Rents are rising dramatically across the country so if you rent you will always be subject to increases beyond your control. If you buy, assuming you can responsibly do so, you can fix your monthly payments for the most part, taxes and insurance can still go up. I am a big believer in education, I have a JD and my wife has a PhD and a MBA. For me the thing about education is not the goal of getting a piece of paper to wave in front of an employer. It is about accumulating knowledge and more important, learning how to think and find answers. A lot of kids getting out of high school really don't get it and their college experience is a wasted effort They take the slacker route and come out with nothing more than a cocky attitude and a piece of paper of very questionable value. Education isn't just about enhancing future earnings. It is about valuing ideas and looking at things from different perspectives. If you do it right it continues life long after you graduate and upon your own motivation.
  25. Thomas, with my kids the goal has been to get them through college without any debt and so far we have done it. My older daughter went on to get a PhD in mechanical engineering and she got a full scholarship with a 40K per year stipend. She had a job waiting for her when she was done. She takes after my wife as she certainly didn't get any of that from me. In regards to borrowing prudent leverage makes sense if you are purchasing an appreciating asset. For example when we purchased our new place we could have paid cash but we decided to finance 60% of it due to near record low interest rates. By my rough calculations if inflation goes over 2% we are winning after taxes. Historically that is a good bet but who knows, things are far from normal. People say a lot of stuff about economics but it really boils down to human nature on a group level. Harry Truman loved "Plutarch's Lives" because he understood how slowly human nature evolves. If human nature truly evolves slowly and economics is just human nature on a group level then discussion about "new normals" is misguided and such new normals are just swings one way or the other from well established historical trends. Bumps in the road like the tulip mania or the dot com boom and bust. No one knows how this will all turn out, all you can do is try to tune out the noise and think out your own path and then follow it. When new material facts appear be willing to change course as needed. You will win some and lose some. If you win more than you lose you will do alright.
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