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I Forge Iron


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About Kozzy

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    Butcher of metal

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    Southern Palouse WA state USA

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  1. A quick dip into research implies that it's going to likely be high-volatile bituminous from that area. Tends to burn a bit faster than the usual bituminous for smithing so will make more flame as it out-gasses it's volatiles. Says that coal also tends to be pretty high in the goodies that make clinker. Lots of sulfur. More water content than many coals. However...commercial coal talk is a bit hard to sort through and the fields in that area are a bit variable..so what I said only as an impression, not verified fact. Should theoretically coke up to some extent. One reference says that no anthracite is currently mined in BC and that deposits of that are pretty much only in remote regions.
  2. That's a big one. My version is "live light in your youth", meaning don't get burdened with stuff...or people that weigh you down...or debts. Cheap car, cheap living, no debt, casual relationships unless you are REALLY sure (and that should take a LOT to happen). That gives you actual FREEDOM. Theoretically once you learn that in your youth, at least some of it stays throughout life. I made the mistake in a previous marriage of getting hooked with someone who had to spend on things, needed "stuff" to feel fulfilled no matter what the debt costs were, and demanded constant attention. Finally getting rid of that and having zero debt (except the mortgage) is something I'd never give up. Even the mortgage is 1/2 what the bank would have loaned. The other advice I wish I could still learn is that in business, no one gives a *bleep* about you but you. My father taught me to be a "company man" and assume that hard work and loyalty would be rewarded or at least appreciated. It's manure 99.9% of the time. Problem is, I can't seem to unlearn it and move on from some business relationships that expect more loyalty etc. than they give. When you hit 60, it's a lot harder to give those old business ties the boot without a replacement.
  3. I do love a power hacksaw running a little on the slow side. It's one of those old school tools that sort of reminds you to slow down your life a little and stop stressing. Horizontal bandsaw or a power hack saw cranked up to jiggling warp-speed just doesn't do that. I guess it's sort of like using a woodworking hand plane that's tuned to perfection: Makes you wish you could step back in time a few decades and focus on the quality of the process, not just the speed. They never seem to come up at a decent price around here--unless they are the rinky-dink lightweights or the behemoths. I'll probably eventually find the right one when I'm about 90 and have to lube it with my old-geezer drool.
  4. One thing I should add about these larger "rough" balls--and another style that is similar which was used as a large bearing in old grain combines. People find them in various places and then try and sell as "cannon balls" at ridiculously high prices as though they are something special. Since the smithing world often digs through scrap offerings, it's just something to be aware of if you run into someone who is ill informed. It's rarely someone trying to intentionally deceive--at least in my experience. I have a dozen of the combine version (they are close to a 2 lb actual cannon ball in size) rolling around in the back of my truck right now looking for an "art" project to be used in.
  5. Good point. They also but the balls on some vibratory screens to keep the product sifting through. Without the balls "de-clumping" it can cake on top of the screen.
  6. Yup, ball mill balls. They're typically extremely hard material and usually contain a lot of manganese similar to abrasion resistant plate/welding wire and such. Pulverize whatever material you toss in the tumbler, generally down to a talcum fine power. Some small hard rock gold mining operations use a "miniature" ball mill to turn ore into powder so that the gold can be chemically extracted. One weird application is dust mites. Dust mites are everywhere in your environment, eating the dead skin you sluff off. With that exposure, may people become allergic to dust mite protein. The "cure" is a series of allergy shots to expose one to increasing doses of the protein and desensitize the patient. The protein is derived from mites (at least initially) and those critters are tough as nails. They are crushed in a ball mill. However, they are so tough that they survive a regular ball mill so a pressurized ball mill is used--they take the air pressure inside up to about 5000 PSI which pre-stresses the little critters enough that the balls can break them up. They normally survive both the balls and the pressure but with both, turn into a nice slurry to make testing meds from. FYI There is also a "bar mill" where instead of balls, they use round bars in the tumbler. Imagine a bunch of heavy shafts laid crosswise in a tumbler. In some cases, bar mills can be more efficient because the overall contact surface area with the product being crushed is higher and the bars have more weight than balls.
  7. I'm curious as to why someone would want to. For that price, one can generally find a quality older blower (head) usually including shipping. For about that or less, one can get a darned good electric blower from some sources assuming electricity is available in the smithy--and since constant airflow is extremely important to the "tractor supply" anthracite coal many are using it tends to be a good option. Good question to ask though: On other Chinese made blowers, I have heard nothing but negatives and frustrations so significant feedback on these before plonking your money down is is a wise path. And dang, I could sure use a week or two in a yurt down at Fort Stevens. Unfair that you have me drooling for some vacation and de-stress time
  8. I'm actually amazed that the main body casting was done as well as that originally. Most of the cast machine bodies I've dealt with--especially American castings of the 80's I've done restoration work on...are terrible and have a ton of "bondo" on them to make them look better. The cheaper Chinese castings often have big blow holes that are hidden as well as a surface that looks like the mold sand was 1/2" gravel. This appears to be darned good like they actually cared. It's nice to see under the cosmetics here--a rare opportunity. I think Anyang gets another gold star in the ratings chart I store in the back of my mind. Just as an example, my 1997 vintage US made CNC mill has more than 1/2" of "bondo" in places to hide poor mold alignment as well as fix some rough surfaces.
  9. Heh...I usually see it called "Rot Iron". It goes with the wenches that people are always selling online
  10. Others have covered it pretty well--usually full tang, slab and drill for cross pins, mount, grind on water cooled diamond wheels, work up abut 6 grits to a polish stage. LOTS of work and not a great first lapidary project due to the high "cost" of simple mistakes. There are people who do this. I know of one specifically who uses higher end stone on old knives to make some remarkable stuff that sells for big bucks. He searches for the older knives that have broken handles and sell for a couple of bucks...and turns them into art which sells for several hundred bucks. Lapidary tends to not be a cheap entry-level hobby. As an example, I just bought a new 6" sintered diamond wheel for my machine and that single 120 grit wheel was $200 USD. A local club as many have mentioned is the best way to get access and help for little money. Most clubs absolutely love to help teach if you treat them with respect in your contacts.
  11. That's an interesting subject which I never thought about. On the "Oregon trail", what you wanted was oxen, not horses. Most movies show horses because those are easier to wrangle for Hollywood but horses are less food-efficient on the trail and if one gets loose, you are searching for days whereas oxen tend to stay pretty close to their starting place. You wanted 4 or possibly 5 to start and if you were lucky, you came out the other side with 2 or 3 in the worst years. I have a friend who goes on recreation wagon runs on the trail (or similar wagon runs) every couple of years--but with horses. They have a blast but of course the whole thing has a ton of support vehicles and plenty of cold beer. They had to be re-shoeing on the trail..unless they left them barefoot which doesn't seem likely.
  12. It's a bit of a side trip but you might take a tip from the various restorers of old stuff--cars, gas pumps, etc that they want to stay looking old while still proving new protection. Auto clear-coat tends to go bad after a year or so on such things and is virtually impossible to renew without destroying the piece and ruining the original patina. What they use is actually old school "Future Floor Polish". It lasts 1 to 2 years, doesn't affect the actual piece, and can be renewed easily. You just spray it on lightly in a couple of coats. It doesn't leave an obvious goopy finish like some other coatings. I have a friend with a dozen collector vehicles with original patina (he grabs the weird stuff--old moving vans and delivery vehicles) and this is what he uses...also on his gas pumps tin signs etc. There is some online referencing to this which might be worth a little digging. Not sure what the actual coating goal is but if it's just getting through a shorter period of outdoor exposure, this might be an option.
  13. Kozzy

    Cool Pliers

    Leading poorly behaving grandkids around by the nose, of course
  14. Kozzy

    Cool Pliers

    Just tell people they are toe straighteners--convincingly, of course. Used on the old days of "hand-me-down" shoes to make your next youngest rug rat's feet fit that old pair by moving their toes around. Now that I am an old geezer (give or take) Iv'e decided that every oddball tool needs a much better story than its original intent. How else will I earn my "crazy old man" moniker?
  15. The coating you end up with on steel or cast iron pans is polymerized oil. It's a bit of a complicated reaction but oxygen in conjunction with a bit of surface iron which acts a bit like a catalyst basically turns the oil into a tough high temperature form of plastic. Too hot and it carbonizes and breaks down, too cold and it just stays sticky. The worse the oil is for your health, the better it generally polymerizes. Healthy oil bends really suck when curing a pan--lard works a charm. Soybean is interesting: In processing plants which use soybean blends in their fryers, the vapor deposits on everything and the inside of the plant starts to look like it's been shellacked. That coating is really hard to get off the walls, conduit, electrical boxes, controls, and everything else. With healthy oil blends becoming the rage, many food processors are battling with sticking problems now. The healthy stuff just doesn't cure as nicely as the old school oils. It's also harder to get a good coating on stainless steel (especially passivated) because there is not the abundance of free surface iron available to get the reactions rolling well. Carbon steel is nothing but a marketing term. Even "High carbon steel" is darned fluffy. I've seen anything higher than "mild steel" called "High Carbon", even if it was only the equivalent of 1020. In my (food processing equipment) industry, we usually call anything 1035 or above high carbon as the generic term when the actual spec isn't stated.
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