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About JHCC

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    Grammar Hammer, Master of None
  • Birthday 04/30/1968

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    Northeast Ohio

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  1. Good advice -- thanks.
  2. Ground the peen on the new hammer.
  3. Hey, Boedie; welcome aboard! All of the advice above is very good, and there's not much for me to add to it other than this: take every advantage to learn and practice your craft. Repetition is the mother of skill, and no one becomes a master overnight. That said, make sure to post pictures of your gear and your projects. We love watching people progress and get better!
  4. You better believe it!
  5. Half a dozen axles (five with CV joints, one without) and some linkage rods, courtesy of my mechanic, and a lot of structural steel (three pieces of 1/2" plate, a big welded-up chunk of...something, pieces of angle iron, square tube, pipe, etc), courtesy of the guys building the new college hotel (and more to come).
  6. David Kailey, when you're quoting comments with photos in them, please delete the photos from the quotes unless absolutely necessary to illustrate a point. They eat up bandwidth and make it harder for our members using dial-up to load pages.
  7. Nice picture. Lousy idea. There are several threads on IFI about railroad track and other non-standard anvils. Please read those over; there are some great suggestions there for getting started without investing hundreds and thousands in an anvil.
  8. She'll be back to kicking butt in no time!
  9. Details, details....
  10. If you're looking to save money and you're okay with solid fuel rather than gas, it's hard to get more affordable than a JABOD forge.
  11. Scale loss is a function of the heat of the metal and its exposure to oxygen. A heavily oxidizing fire will cause scale to form more rapidly, as will multiple heats and heating the piece to high temperatures. However, if you are making multiples of a particular piece and you've gotten a handle on how much you typically lose to scale, you can estimate the loss rate and include that in your stock calculations. For example, if you routinely make hammers from 3 lb chunks of steel and those hammers typically come out at 2.7 lbs, you know that you're losing 10% to scale loss.
  12. The Backyard Blacksmith focuses on basic skills and general smithing; $50 Knife Shop is specifically about making blades. Which is "better" depends on the kind of work you want to do. Frankly, if you're planning on forging blades, a good background in general smithing (that is, knowing how to move metal with a hammer) can be extremely useful.
  13. Quick tip: if you halve one dimension, you can double another and still keep the volume the same. Thus, if you took your piece of 12" x 3" x 1/4" and hammered it to twice as wide and half as thick, that gives you 12" x 6" x 1/8", which is smaller than your target dimension. Add is scale loss, and you're looking at a finished piece that's even smaller. A piece that size is going to weigh about two and a half pounds. Whatever you're paying for the steel itself, you're adding another eight bucks a pound for shipping. Is it worth it? You're going to be putting a lot of time into drawing out the metal -- is that time well spent, or could you spend it on something else that isn't just brute hammering? You're going to have to pay for the fuel to heat the metal enough to draw it out -- is it worth the fuel cost? Have you contacted local steel suppliers? Or fabrications shops? My local steel supplier has a drop bin with all manner of plate, channel, bar, round, tube, etc for 75¢ a pound; you might well be able to pick up a piece of plate in the right size for less than the cost of a happy meal (especially if 4140 isn't critical).
  14. Volume of a rectangular solid = l x w x h, where l = length, w = width, and h = height. Volume of a cylinder: πr² x l, where l = length and r = the radius of the round end.
  15. Bedding the anvil down on a layer of silicone caulk will probably take care of what ring is left. Quieted my Mousehole down nicely.