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Everything posted by JHCC

  1. Went back into the shop and made a complete hash not only of the tongs I started this morning, but another project that’s been on the back burner for over a year. Oh, well.
  2. One of those “If you break your leg, don’t come running to me” situations? I think I have some cable that would work; I’ll have to take a look. Might be worthwhile for the big springs on the back that bring the hammer back up to vertical.
  3. Well, natural selection found the weakest link in my treadle hammer: the wire yokes holding the shock-absorbing spring were too soft, wore through, and let go with a bang. So, I made some new ones from garage door spring, which should be more durable. With the treadle hammer back on line, I started work on some split-rein box jaw tongs (in progress, so no photo). Also made another knitting bowl for a customer:
  4. Update: made a little tweak to the shape of the bows, to allow the reins to close more. Definitely more comfortable in the hand, if rather unusual looking (but then, looks were never the point, were they?).
  5. What’s a consultant? Someone who charges you a lot of money to borrow your watch and tell you what time it is.
  6. That’s a fair question, and it led me to wonder if there was any significant iron smelting going on in the area that would have produced significant quantities of slag. It’s worth noting that the Romans did a lot with molten metal fastenings. Many of their masonry constructions were held together not just with mortar (which is great under compression) but also with iron ties held in place with pours of molten lead (better under tension).
  7. It seems that the Romans may have melted iron-rich slag and poured it into cracks to repair the streets of Pompeii. https://www.livescience.com/65479-ancient-romans-used-molten-iron-street-repair.html
  8. Oh, and a few interesting drops from my steel guys.
  9. It would have fit in the old minivan (of blessed memory).
  10. The college’s Theater Department came through again! The TD sent me an email with the subject line “Free Metal”, which turned out to be a prison door (from a recent production of “Dialogues of the Carmelites”) made from schedule 40 pipe and flat bar: Which I cut up and lashed to my car during my lunch break: So, not quite all the way home, but in transit.
  11. No idea, but that's a very nice looking hammer. Good to be able to start with good tools!
  12. Normally I would agree, Glenn, but jwmelvin is using a brand-new Holland anvil with super-sharp edges. Even a minimal softening is called for right now.
  13. An anvil is a tool, not a treasure. If it doesn't do its job, it's worthless.
  14. Well, you're moving in the right direction, but the edges of your anvil are MUCH TOO SHARP!!! Go put a 1/16" radius (or even slightly less) on the edge of your anvil, and try again. Otherwise, you're just putting the beginnings of cracks into your workpieces, and they're going to break apart sooner or later. Drilling out the hole wouldn't be a problem, and you might want to go ahead and do that for the sake of practicing setting a rivet.
  15. For that, I defer to Frosty & Mikey.
  16. Ceramic wool on its own is a real problem. Not only does it get torn and tattered, but you get bits of ceramic fiber getting into the air, which can get into your lungs and act like asbestos. Not good. The best thing is to rigidize it and give it a layer of hard refractory. Also, as noted, hot flux eats ceramic wool for lunch. Again, a flux-resistant floor (either a hard refractory shell or a piece of kiln shelf -- or both) is the way to go. I haven't seen the forges where you've been working (and I'm certainly no expert), but from the sounds of it, you shouldn't use them as examples of what ceramic wool-lined forges can and should be.
  17. It is a handled punch, but it may or may not have been originally used for blacksmithing. Sometimes punches like that were used to knock bolts and alignment pins out of metal assemblies like machinery, bolted girders, railroad track splices, etc. It certainly can be used for smithing, however, but do grind off the cracked parts. You do not want a sliver of metal coming off and flying across the shop. My cousin Tommy almost lost an eye that way.
  18. Welcome to IFI, Bearforge! If you haven't yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!
  19. To be clear: there was no disagreement about the price; Lisa just needed to know so that she could pass that info on to the buyer. It was a little higher than what the buyer had anticipated, but she decided that it was worth it to her and didn’t attempt to haggle.
  20. Didn’t do much in the shop yesterday, apart from a five-minute demo of firing up the gas forge, tapering the end of a bar, and starting the flat scroll for a knitting bowl for one of Lisa’s knitting buddies. There is a funny story with that: Lisa had taken one of the spiral bowls to a knitting event yesterday, and the friend who gave her a ride fell in love with it and wanted one for herself. Lisa texted me about the price, and by the time her friend drove her back, we had a verbal agreement. I walked out to the car to greet them with a length of flat bar in my hand, held it out to the friend, and said “Here you go: it’s the IKEA version.”
  21. If only glowing steel weren’t non-magnetic, you would have invented a brand new type of hold-down!
  22. Welcome to IFI! If you haven't yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!
  23. Definitely look into the Hookway retort, as in the page IDFC linked above. If I were going the charcoal route (which I may yet, someday), that would be my own clear preference.