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About Kozzy

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    Butcher of metal

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  • Location
    Southern Palouse WA state USA
  1. Glad you said that as that's the real trap. It's not about losing the "profit", it's about gross sales needed to make up losses if that job goes sour. Mistaking that kills many small businesses that simply can never make enough sales in a reasonable time to cover one loss. Speaking of weasels, Tomorrow's project is to hammer on a customer that referenced his own files wrong and ordered about $ 30K of the wrong CUSTOM stuff---now he refuses to pay for his mistake and says he wants to return it. Fortunately we have all the paperwork to back things up---that doesn't mean you get paid, just that you have a fighting chance. When people ask me about steps in starting a business I ALWAYS start out with recommending the boring back-up paperwork and procedures. You need a system to make sure you do credit checks, get written P. O.s and signed construction drawings, and have a collection process in place BEFORE you make your sale.
  2. looking for advice on price

    The wild card is the power hammer. Impossible to say whether it's a diamond or a dud without photos. The rest is interesting as a "labor of love" but not special enough to pay the big bucks for. Most of the drive stuff on that post drill is throw away as it was a bad scab-together job. It could be put back to a hand-powered drill quite easily while still leaving the main drive pulley for inertia. It's not really something you want to use every day compared to a modern drill press. I''d probably plonk down $ 75 bucks if the mood hit me but walk away without hesitation at $ 100 (in my area and assuming it's perfectly mechanically sound.) The grinder is interesting...That might be worth having just because the design isn't that common (at least around here). All the value is in the main stone so it depends on how out of round it is or whether it's cracked---maybe $ 50 to $ 75 assuming it's average.....a hair more if you can find some compelling reason like a great brand name cast into the frame or if that stone is actually 20"-24" and bigger than it looks in a photo. Blower...well, condition condition condition. Doesn't look that great. Around here a decently working average unit is worth $ 150 and a great one goes for a LOT more...but in most areas $ 50-$ 75 is pushing the limits for a working blower. Deals do come around so I wouldn't jump on it without it being special in some way.
  3. Anvil...maybe....but if its anything like this area, they go for ridiculous prices at auction (98% of the time) so you need a secondary reason to go if your area is similar. So...any chance that there are other smithing tools at the same auction? Something else that makes losing a day of work worth the time? Some side trip that would make up for being skunked? Back up plans for auctions are always worth the time to ponder---sometimes auctions go great, sometimes within the first few minutes you can see people are paying waaaaaay too much that day for crap and it's already time to move on.
  4. Help with "Iron City" vise age and other history...

    Here's a history of iron city tool works from a collector site http://trowelcollector.blogspot.com/2015/11/history-of-iron-city-tool-works.html Can't help with the age right off but IIRC the logo went through a couple of changes that help pin down items within a couple of decades. I'll come back after some research if I can find that info.
  5. A list of 100 valuable hacks

    Every time I've tried it, I simply grabbed what I had hand for string. I did have one that had problems and tended to break but others I tried all worked fine. I have no clue what the actual materials were...other than it even worked with a cotton string. I have some kevlar stunt kite string (spectra) that I should toss in the back of the tool box as an actual "tool" for this. That stuff is known to friction cut remarkably well. Long strokes so the string itself cools off a bit while out of the cut....basically nearly full arm and not just little wiggles.
  6. Tooling up for twists

    In your wanderings of juntique stores, pawn shops and people's junk piles, keep an eye out for the large tap holders from tap and die sets. Those can make good adjustable handles for twisting square stock...I have one that is almost 3 feet across which cost me 5 bucks at a garage sale and will hold anything from 1" square down to about 3/8" square. Anyway..old tap holders don't sell that well in the big sizes so they can often be found cheap if you do some searching and have some patience. Otherwise, there are plenty of ways to "roll your own" from scratch for nickels and dimes. KISS principal generally applies.
  7. A list of 100 valuable hacks

    Cutting PVC with a string is darned easy when you have the right string and don't need a perfectly straight end. Works like a charm and is a lot faster on sewer pipe than a hand saw in the field. I compared to an actual saw specifically designed for large PVC pipe and a string---string was generally more than twice as fast. The only thing to watch out for is hesitating: Since you are melting the cut on the PVC, if you stop for a second it will solidify and grab the string. It's a necessity in some cases to be able to use a string---I recently had a problem with some PVC conduit that had the wire already through it but needed to be cut. A saw would have possibly damaged the wire and it would have been impossible to push the wire end back down the conduit to clear the saw. Additionally, there was a conduit clamp holding the piece to a metal post just 2 inches below the cut area so no back clearance. I ran a string around the backside, did the yanking, and cut the offending expansion joint off without any wire damage or having to remove the clamp. Zip zip, back in business with a new expansion joint and weather-proof box welded on the end.
  8. Looking for ideas

    Belt grinding sucks up quite a bit of HP to operate right. One of the problems with these little versions or even the 1 x 42 versions that can be bought fairly cheaply is that they are very easy to bog down. They can be used but are questionably passable---and most people outgrow them pretty quickly. It is a judgement call though as it's always easy for me to spend YOUR money for you. If on a really tight budget, I'd personally save for the Grizzly 2 x 72 (G1015 is the part number). It's pretty steep (relatively) at $ 575 but not as steep as the fancier offerings. Lots of people seem to like it and at a fairly true 1 HP, is strong enough to not be totally frustrating. The Grizzly version of the one above (they all copycat...or just stick their own brand on the same thing) is $ 139 and rated 1/2 HP which is likely stretching the truth on HP a little. I'd personally go with the 1 x 42 before I went with this one because the claimed (and fudged) HP is more appropriate to a 1" wide belt than a 2" wide. Having used the 1 x 42, I know that it is serviceable and can do some real work...although it is just another low end compromise as mentioned. At the very least, the 1 x 42 can eventually become a useful wood sander when you upgrade to something better. Another point on the 1 x 42---you CAN get top quality belts in that size just about everywhere: The quality of the belts you buy is as important as the sander itself. Never go with crappy belts to save a few pennies as it's NEVER worth it. Or... there are lots of ways to roll your own and get a great machine. You need to start with a good base and enough HP though to make it worth the trouble. The above examples are about throwing as little money and time at the issue as possible to get the most bang for the buck. Many people also get by for a long while with a simple angle grinder and the sanding type discs. For the same money as a fairly bad belt grinder you can get a pretty good angle grinder that'll last most of a lifetime if not abused. The trade off is control. A benefit is ability to bring it to the part instead of bringing the part to the machine---something important if you get beyond the basics (so you will eventually need an angle grinder anyway). They can also be fitted with cut-off wheels although that operation can be a little dangerous and should be done carefully. Obviously there is a LOT of opinion involved here....YMMV
  9. Good Beginner Anvil?

    Appears to be the standard cheapo cast iron chinese hunk 'o junk which one can get from many suppliers. There is clearly draft in the part for mold release as well as whizzed parting lines. These are not worth the money and not really suitable for actual forging. When cheap enough, they are fine as a place for rough banging which everyone needs sometimes. I have seen several offerings that I would swear were intentionally disguised to try and hide the fact that they were Harbor freight "sale" cast iron anvils--basically intentionally distressed and re-painted (blackened) versions being passed off as vintage proper anvils. One could make good money buying those 55 pounders when on sale and with a discount coupon to fool the uninitiated if one were a bit morally bankrupt.
  10. stainless steel

    Pickling paste is the simplest for the DIY type operation. Although the old nasty stuff works great (mostly phosphoric acid IIRC), the newer citric acid versions, left on for a longer period, can also work. You can also build a DIY electrolytic weld cleaner using a battery charger--here's one youtube video showing how simple it can be There are other videos that show fancier ways to do the same thing...some with better results. On a side note for welds that you can get access to, we find that those rubber "erasers" with fine grit in the rubber (not coarse) do a great job mechanically and cosmetically where they are appropriate. Quick and with cosmetically appealing results. Here's one example...with a video showing you some result examples regarding rust. http://www.woodworkingshop.com/product/sa99997/ They also do a great job of touching up cast iron machine tables like on a table saw or drill press.
  11. Heh. A few years back my wife decided she was going to get me an acorn table for Christmas after hearing me drool for one but her not actually knowing details about what an acorn table actually entailed. After a several phone calls, she quickly found out that they wouldn't fit in her car or cost a couple of hundred bucks. I gave her credit for good intentions The answer about best add-on is "more". One more clamp, one more peg, one more whatever. Like hammers and tongs, you can get by with a half dozen but more is always better.
  12. Ready to Learn! Any tips?

    I'll throw a tip that is not AK specific--- As boring as it sounds and as much as you want to make the giant sword the first week, spend a ton of time on the basics basics basics. Yea, we all wanna start out making cool stuff but it's mastering the basics which makes the difference between just playing and actually acquiring skills. Simple drawing and tapering for example. Simple S hooks and similar curves with some fancy work on the ends. Flattening well so that the result is actually flat in all dimensions and surfaces. Upsetting to form square corners in a simple bar--where you want that to happen. (and on and on) Learn to make metal move the way you want with skill...and then when you decide to start pushing those skills, it won't be simple stuff that gets in the way of mastery. Skipping mastering the basics is where most beginners in smithing go wrong. As I said, it's understandable because there are so many great things we all want to make. However, it'll pay off many times over in the long run to get good at less "interesting" stuff first. Oh...and don't turn to 1-1/2" dia chrome moly bar right out of the smithing gate (or whatever huge hunk of steel you have sitting around). Spring for some smaller bar material like 1/2" square---it's actually pretty cheap. Smaller projects starting with smaller/easier materials will not take hours to move under the hammer like the big stuff. Your sanity, fuel bill, and arm can thank me for that tip later
  13. Press build

    I'm not really clear on your lower die support--what are you relying on to hold it in place? All I can say is I'd rather see things set up to be in compression in that area and it appears that you will have some members/welds on that lower die table in a position of shear forces instead. Not a terrible issue but if there is a choice, compressive forces are the way to lean. Also...it will pay to not have your hydraulic piping as an afterthought. Plan well for that now. For example, I didn't consider much about where the hoses in mine would run except in a general sense--and because they "jerk" at the far ends of the stroke (due to the sudden pressure jumps), they were actually abrading against part of the steel structure and I had to make modifications down the road to hold them better. Since there is hot stuff in the vicinity, it would probably be wise to also plan on guarding well any hoses from the oddball accident possibility. Stuff happens. You don't want it happening at 3500 PSI.
  14. Buffalo Coal Forge

    There are no specific rebuild kits because there were so many variations across brands and even within brands that it's almost as bad as car parts. Your best bet is to buy single bronze sleeve bearings at some place like McMaster (Amazon carries some but I have been screwed over several times when trying to get bronze bearings from them). Because there are more modern standards now, you might have to adapt something that is close rather than searching to find an exact perfect match. Also remember that most of these blowers were built to be cheap and appeal to the smaller user back in the day---that means quality of the gears and some other parts was never all that high. Some can be quite good and some...well, you could probably cut better gears with a chain saw. Point is, don't expect miracles in balance or gear engagement (quietness). Just go for the best you can get from what you have. Buffalo should be pretty good because they had a reputation to maintain.
  15. Looking for part?

    Heh...glad you answered: I was about to ask about the heat problem with that wheel to see if I was just not understanding things well. Would you be kind enough to post a few photos a little closer to the thing? It's an interesting hodgepodge and I'd like to see it in a little more detail. Have you found an old ad showing the hardy and drill chuck? Those were likely not labeled so the only way someone might know they have one of those orphans in their treasure box is if they can see what they might have looked like. Or someone might have something "close enough" since your unit did not have high production numbers. Thanks