Michael Spaulding

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About Michael Spaulding

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Burnsville, MN
  • Interests
    All things Medieval

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  1. I don't know why they'd be any louder, just relaying what I'd heard. Maybe something to do with the construction of the easy hammer? I'm sure of its properly mounted on a good base, it should deaden the sound quite a bit
  2. Will, thanks for the insight! That should help moving forward. Also, I had a sneaking suspicion I wasn't spelling it correctly after the second or third time I typed it out. Ah well. Kubiak, I picked it up with that intent, but the more research I did, the more I realized I was out of my depth. I've never done anything like this, and I simply couldn't do this thing justice. Plus, literally every example I've seen online has been in worse condition than mine, and I almost don't want to touch it at all. There have been some really nice restorations, but the starting pics are all pretty rough off, and mine isn't. I don't want to change anything, you know? I want to preserve it. Also, I've heard that Helve hammers are pretty loud, and that won't do in my neighborhood.
  3. Hey folks! So last year I picked up my first power hammer, an early Mayer Bros "Easy" Helve hammer, in really clean, complete (no motor) condition ready to get running again, but as I do more research about them, the more I'm thinking I should let it go to a collector, since they seem to be one of the rarest power hammers around, and are more valuable for their history than any disservice I'm bound to bring it. So I've started looking at what I should get once I find a buyer for the Easy hammer. I started looking at "smaller" power hammers because I'm working out of my garage, so the ceiling clearance needs to account for the garage door. That leaves me with about 6 feet, plus a base. At first I was looking for a nice 25lb LG, since it is the right size, and parts are plentiful, but somebody turned me on to the 30lb Karrihard. They're beautiful little machines, but it sounds like finding one for sale might be my life's mission, and finding one for sale that is complete, and working may be out of the question. Either way I can't find much information about them. Can you tell me about the company? Anyone with experience with a karrihard that can speak to how they measure up to other power hammers? If I find one, that is complete, undamaged, and ready to get to work, how much should I expect to pay for it? They're uncommon, but it sounds like they're not super desirable because finding parts are near impossible. What do you guys think? Is there another power hammer about as tall or shorter than a 25lb LG that you would suggest?
  4. 1" is what I use, with good results. Just grab a ruler, and drop the BB from 10 inches, and see what % it returns. There isn't exactly a cutoff test, but my peter wrights rebound about 60-80% depending on where you bounce.
  5. I built a brick forge, and didn't consider slits in the sides. I think, after talking it over, my problem might be that I didn't have enough coal piled on. I'll work with it over the next few days and see if I can't get it to move up a bit. Also, there's an annual "Pioneer Power Swap Meet" next weekend a couple towns over. I'm really excited and hoping to pick up some nice tongs and hammers. We'll see how it goes.
  6. My tong blanks are are 18 inches, and I think I can work the ends without too much trouble, but doing any work on the middle of the piece and I'll need tongs to handle them. I'll check out Brian's videos. I don't know how to weld, never done it before. I'd be interested in learning, but maybe one thing at a time. I'm using anthracite. I'm used to charcoal at other forges, and this is definitely different.
  7. I've got square hammer blanks and hardy blanks, and hex tong blanks. I can't hold either, or any of the scrap I've got. I'm stuck trying to hold it with flat tongs, but it slips almost every time I hit what ever I'm working on. And I can't make any of the hardy tools I've got blanks for, to make hot cuts, to cut the scrap I got down to size. I guess I'll just have to buy a set of tongs to make tongs with, and figure the rest out from there.
  8. And now I feel lost. I have some scrap, and I bought a bunch of 1018 and 4140 for projects, but I can't use it yet. I only have flat jaw tongs, and I can't pick up the pieces of 4140 I got to make hardy tools. I bought a couple farrier nips to hammer down the jaws and make some 1 inch stock tongs, but when I heated up the jaws of the nips to hammer it out, the end of the handles were a bit hot to the touch. UPDATE: We got one bent out really well, but the other end we tried working too cold and it cracked. To the scrap pile! My buddy and I spent probably 6 hours out there today and have almost nothing but burns to show for it. We definitely need to build a hood/chimney. Yeah, this is a real challenge without good tongs. All of the tongs we have don't line up great, and are flat jaws, so working with anything that isn't a flat bar is near impossible. I guess the first major project is tongs. I'm finding it's difficult to heat longer pieces where I need it. I've got a pretty deep firepot and I'm having trouble controlling the height of the hotspot. How do I raise the hotspot, so I can heat the middle of longer pieces? Thanks guys. I feel like every time I go another person's shop, I know what I'm working on, and I have all the tools to do it, but I feel a bit like I'm drowning in my own shop. I have 300 projects to work on, and the tools to do none of them well.
  9. Frosty, I mean that if I'm cranking it, and let go and let it spin freely, it continues for 3/4 of a full turn before settling at a stop. Thanks for the advice on oil. I'll keep some handy in the shop to make sure to keep her running smoothly.
  10. Oh, and is there any viscosity you suggest when adding oil to the gear house? Considering its bone dry, how much should I add?
  11. As this is my first blower, I thought I would reach out before I call this beauty complete. I purchased it for $200. I talked the guy (a picker) down from $250 as you could hear some slight grinding, and when we opened the fan casing, there was a good 1/8 inch carbon buildup inside. The gear housing, however, was gorgeous. Bone dry, but otherwise just shiny as new. The gears look like they were machined yesterday. So, the handle, when given what I would call about as much pressure as I feel comfortable turning it at, would rotate half way around again when released. I got all the grease and carbon out of the fan housing, and the grind is gone and it freely rotates just shy of 3/4 around at max pressure, and about half way around at a light (50%) pressure. The grind is gone, but there's still a bit of whine. I don't want to do a full overhaul of this thing, because I want to get smithing and it's my only blower, but with the "whine" and amount of free rotation, would you suggest replacing the bearings? How involved is that process on the champion 400? How much easier/how much more free rotation would I see from a replacement? Is there any reason I shouldn't use this as it is? Thanks for the info! I just finished building the forge, cleaned the blower, gotta work on the anvil stump and buy some coal from the local guild and I'm ready! Michael
  12. I was planning on getting one if I couldn't track something down locally. Doesn't seem like a bad deal
  13. Thank goodness he was! It'd be a different ballgame trying to license it now. I've been a fan of A Song of Ice and Fire for years, and started playing the card game the year before the hbo show. My first daughter's name is Arya.
  14. Thomas, my wife and I each have a set of his Game of Thrones coins, and we brought them to use at the 'A Game of Thrones' Card Game world championship last November. Neither of us placed, but the coins were a hit. I think I rummaged up a good amount of business for Shirepost that weekend!