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About Kozzy

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    Southern Palouse WA state USA
  1. Around my rural area, there are a couple of guys with deep pockets who pay steep prices at every auction for anvils that come up. They don't really use them...just park them in storage presumably thinking they have money in the bank or something like that. It's like they are having some sort of (left blank) contest at the auctions. That skews the normal local markets a LOT. Additionally, anvils don't have an expiration date. Unlike most equipment that degrades as it sits...from catastrophic rust, internal dust, bugs, mice eating the wiring, etc., anvils can sit basically forever. Even if they get darned rusty that's usually no real detriment. That means sellers can put up very high "fishing" prices and just wait a long time to see if someone eventually nibbles. Because buyers are quite often childishly impatient or willfully ignorant--that week's paycheck burns a hole in their pocket so they pay up at this out-of-whack pricing. Patience is your best friend when hunting anvils. Lack of patience is the downfall that not only spurs people to buy overpriced junky anvils, but screws the market up for others anvil shopping. Just don't. As others have said, the TPAAAT system does work if you put the effort into it.
  2. Different Vulcan?

    I recently did a proper and thorough (all over the face) ball bearing test on the Museum's Vulcan and came up barely over 50% on average...with a couple of tries seeming to hit 60%. Did the Kohlswa at the same time--85+%. Side by side you can sure notice the difference. Makes a great interactive demo for museum guests too---and they seem to start understanding the notion of an anvil beyond simply something heavy with a banging surface: Part of the "toolbox" rather than just a fixture in the shop.
  3. This is from other similar selling but I prefer a sort of _|_ shape where the middle sticks out in front as far as the "fair" people will let you get away with. On the end of that middle is your vacuum display--a showpiece that -sucks- in passers by being so visually interesting that people divert for a look. What the shape basically does is force "casual" passers to be in the position of looking at 2 tables at a time--almost doubling your view effectiveness. You only have about 10 seconds to grab em and you need as much working to help that grab as possible. You can also do similar with a /\ and only 2 tables (point toward the crowd). People go into zombie mode at these kinds of things so you need to break up the view---and since most other people displaying do the usual flat across the front display or U into the booth or U around the booth perimeter, you must break the trance. Different is important. Hiding behind your tables is nice for you, especially when the day is getting long...but you really need to be in front on your feet showing off your wares and meeting new friends (yes, that sounds like fluffy hippy talk but it actually works) Obviously there are so many exceptions that there is no single answer...and you also have to be aware of thieves so the best display for attention might not always be best in terms of security of items. 2 people working a booth is FAR FAR FAR better than doing it all yourself, especially on multiple day events. Being the only one working a booth sucks the life out of you and you need "breaks" to actually sell your best.
  4. Is this worth the money

    It will do the job...like a YUGO did the job as a car. Some people got their money's worth and it gave them cheap (disposable) transportation when they couldn't afford better. As long as you didn't expect more than you were paying for, a YUGO wasn't a terrible deal. But...if your budget can handle it you can do better for the long run. Don't forget to look at resale value: Sometimes a few more bucks at the input end gets you something which holds much more value if you should ever decide to sell. In the USA, you can often find pretty good drill presses cheap at pawn shops (but you might have to visit several to find one). Industrial auctions are where you can find something really nice (at a cost)...and once you use a nice industrial drill press, it makes it hard to go backwards to a cheap one. Not sure if those sources work the same in the UK. Note that if you have the space and power, a good press at an industrial auction (usually about $ 500 USD here) will hold virtually every penny of that value when sold--it's money deposited in the " National Bank of Iron", not an expense.
  5. Restoring a belt driven blower

    Depends on what's missing. In some cases, you can find something similar and scab in the alternative piece. As TP said, finding the original parts is tough without buying a donor..in which case you might as well buy a working donor for a couple of more bucks and skip the missing part troubles. It all depends on what's actually missing from yours. If you can find a brand, do a search of online images for forges from that brand and you can probably get a better handle on what parts are needed. Then you can think out of the box as to what you might be able to adapt (for instance the belt pulley from a junked treadle sewing machine can replace the main pulley on some styles)
  6. Metal Benders

    The floor mount is more versatile in terms of bend radius--and one can even get/make scroll attachments that fit these. However, they are also not the most accurate in the world in terms of repeating bends or making good (sharper) 90 degree bends. They are pretty light in the material that can realistically be formed. (and yes, I have one) Try and put a fairly sharp 90 degree bend into a piece of 5/16" stainless round bar with one of these and you quickly discover what they are NOT good at. The bench mount would be great for repeatable sharp bends in bars. I'd much rather work with this one for fabricating than the other for plain old bending. It's a better tool all around, just more of a one trick pony. Knowing what I know now, I'd hold out for a used hossfeld bender (a deal which never seems to come around except for someone else) or go with the bench version. The reason I'd go with the bench one is that I have found that most of my work tends to be straight bends rather than the fancier stuff. Your mileage might vary.
  7. long handrail join

    Handrails get complicated engineering-wise but in the USA, that double bolt system would not generally be strong enough unless nearby posts were taking most of the load rather than the joint. Rails here need to take a 200 pound point load in any direction without failing (or more than superficial distortion) and are typically proof-tested to 500 pounds to quantify that they "pass". Unless those 2 bolts are quite large, they would be prone to failure due the huge leverage in a scarf joint as the rail flexes (again, unless the posts provide the strength to that section). You really do need to weld this--or create some sort of strong sleeve joint that is near/at a post so the load is transferred there instead of into your joint. Beware "hanging" end loops because they can also be a creator of HUGE leverage at the nearest mounting point--take as an example an open end loop that sticks out 12 inches beyond the last post---and 2 bolts holding the rail to the last post spaced about 1" apart. A fat guy like me slips and puts a couple of hundred pound load on that end loop...and that translates to about a 2000 lb load between the post bolts. The math is way over simplified in this example...because it's just for an example...but do beware areas that create excess leverage prying the mounting points. It's those hanging ends that fail most often due to under-engineering.
  8. Improved Rivet Forge

    Rehashing an old comment but on my build I did a clamp-on edge made from angle iron. Tough in the case of the round forge above but for a straight edge, I've found that it worked out darned well. Totally flexible in terms of placing an "opening" where you want one and completely removable in 10 seconds if you need. Or you can go taller/shorter on a whim assuming your scrap pile has the material. Although the chosen "paper" clamps seem cheesy, they've also worked out remarkably well for this. The skirts haven't moved at all on me, even when bumped pretty good.
  9. I had originally thought that tool to the front and right of the hammer was a bar shear---because we have the large one from this shop in the museum and it looks quite similar. However, looking more closely, the thing is a bit weird--rack and pinion to move the lower jaw up and doesn't look like it's designed to shear at all. More of a forming tool of some sort. Could use guesses on that one. As to the tool in the back, the main wheel looks more like a "ships wheel"--and searching on large tire rollers I find that most of the really big ones also had that configuration to the wheel. Wish the resolution of the original photo was high enough to read the writing on the casting base. Found several photos yesterday that showed the style but can't find them today at all. FYI, wagon wheel tires around here tended to be at least 1/2" thick with most even thicker. Hauling wheat down the 2500 foot grades to the Snake River meant your tires heated up a LOT and you needed the extra mass to act as a thermal sink. Without that, the tires would expand and pop off. In many cases, they actually double-tired wagon wheels to add even more mass and prevent popping off the rims.
  10. General farm service shop so yes, lots of sharpening plowshares and constructing farm equipment in general. The owner even patented several small engine designs and started a company to make those although it never got beyond the financing stage. The engines were a nightmare (IMO) with cylinders that needed both internal and external rings so they could use both sides as combustion chambers. As to that wooden building you see: Eventually, they built a block building envelope around the wooden one-while still operating daily- and then tore down the wooden one once the block building was finished. It still stands.
  11. I scanned this photo at high res to see if any detail would show up. hopefully, clicking on it will bring up the higher res version. In my test, you had to click twice to get to a version that'd zoom completely. It's the old Krause Machine shop from my little podunk town. Since we are "sort of" trying to pay homage to this shop in our Ag museum, I was hoping someone might be able to ID the power hammer in the photo. If you can't pin down a maker--guess at the weight rating? Looks pretty light to me. Also, if you can figure out what that machine behind and to the left of the hammer is it would help. My guess is a tire roller but it'd be awfully heavy and fancy compared to the tire rollers I have seen. Anything else you might spot and can ID would help. For example, those saw-like hooked things hanging high on the wall behind the hammer. Thanks---consider it the "where's waldo" of the smithing world
  12. It's a feature, not a bug. Now you have a nice little straightening bridge area to work with. A portable hole is so easy and actually has it's own benefits---I wouldn't touch that beautiful anvil as even the best repair simply wouldn't be a benefit large enough to make the process desirable or of value. Risk vs reward--and the risk is high here for a very low reward.
  13. Good find?

    Blowers can be a tough search...the good ones tend to be expensive and the bad ones...well, are pretty bad. There are some surplus sources on the web that often have remarkably cheap blowers if you want to spend time digging. I hesitate to add any direct references but there is a "surplus center" that comes up easily when searched for and has hundreds of blowers...mostly wrong but a few potential candidates. I have the 112 cfm model from blacksmithdepot and it's a darned nice blower. Not cheap any more--but the value is still there if you have enough in your change jar. The reason I even mention it is that 112 cfm from that one is waaaaay more air than I generally need ( using tractor supply nut coal). I have to keep it choked down to maybe 10% for general forging and if I want the blazes of the underworld, maybe 30% open. Just thought it might help put a number on the CFM for your searching--and of course your mileage may vary a LOT.
  14. Stump anvil or huge hardie?

    My vote would be for flatware handles. It's a devil to try and find photos of the *backs* of older flatware but here is one which is a more modern copy of an older design and made in the 40's. I have seen the same design in many minor variations from the"handmade" days---basically that cheshire cat smile on the underside. Obviously...it's still a guess.
  15. More weird tools to help ID

    Jim Coke: You might be on track about the table saw idea. Could be that the "arrowhead" was forced between basically 2 pins/similar to spread them and raise the blade...or something similar on a different machine. I have to think about the burlap sack thing. Most of the wheat sacks around here were burlap but they were sewn (usually by hand right on the early combines) rather than tied off. Sewer was basically second low man on the totem pole and the job went to the kid about 14 years old..who also had to move the 120 pound sacks onto the discharge slide after sewing. Bag filler wasn't fun either because your face was in the dust and went to the lowest man on the totem pole. You can see the sewing at about 37 seconds in and then from a distance later.