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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. Kozzy

    Building a table for my forge

    There are some technical reasons* that the typical light dimmer or similar set-up is not the best choice to do speed control on a motor, especially an old motor. Lean toward using a choke plate or gate instead. You'll likely be surprised how little the opening needs to be to get proper air. On my similarly sized unit, the proper air is with about a 1/8" gap. Anything more tends to be too much air flow. * Most use a triac (or a pair of SCRs) which triggers in such a way that you don't get a nice sinusoidal waveform on the voltage output--you get a partial waveform with the SCR clipping the voltage harshly and abruptly. That's part of what causes the buzzing one often hears when they are used as dimmers. That can potentially cause eventual breakdown of the insulation on the motor windings and likely some over-heating of the motor at lower speeds. Some people have no problems for years or ever, some fry the motor quickly. Since that unit looks to have a motor that you can't easily replace off the shelf, it might be best not to risk it.
  2. Kozzy

    antique knives

    Wiki has a pretty good write up on crucible steel and historical references to region and periods. You can certainly see why good steel was so darned costly and generally used only for cutting edges. Also a couple of pictures of crucible Damascus sword blades...darned pretty stuff, having a mostly random pattern.
  3. Steveo above has an interesting point on the era. Although that anvil is likely superior, it does look to have been "whizzed" to make the surfaces look better---something that might be a bit of a red flag and should be looked at with good glasses. At $ 1500 and ignoring the distance (did you need a vacation?) you pretty much can't lose money on it. At $ 2000 it becomes a bit more iffy but you are unlikely to lose much if circumstances required you to sell. Remember, a good anvil is an investment that retains pretty good value so it's only money deposited in the "national bank of iron" and not all expense/cost. No, you likely don't need a heavy anvil like that but dang, a big one can be a joy to use...they don't usually dance, even when you go neanderthal on 'em with a larger sledge.
  4. (in case the O.P doesn't know) Most chucks mount on an adapter...jacobs taper that fits in a tapered recess in the chuck and morse taper to fit on the spindle end. You can pay about 15 bucks for a soft chinese made adapter that's primarily machined finish or about $ 40 for a fully ground and hardened USA made version (very rought numbers..it's been a while since I purchased). That makes almost as much of a difference as a quality chuck. The actual spindle bores tend to be pretty close, even on Chinese machines---it's the error added from the lower-quality adapter and chuck that usually give you bad runout. Definitely agree with your recommendation for a MT spindle. Dylan's comment about the light is an excellent one also. I battle poor light constantly, always thinking that I'll do something about it "some day". There are aftermarket magnetic lights that are not expensive for an easy "fix". Light is well worth it as a feature to add or look for in a press. Oh...and it's been said before but is worth saying again: Top quality drill bits are an order of magnitude better to use than some of the home center (or worse) crap. It'd be better to spend an extra hundred bucks on top quality bits than that same extra hundred on a fancier press in most cases--more bang for the buck.
  5. What's the nature of your use? Yea, I know...smithing and fabrication...but is it a home shop situation or are you looking for more of a production quality machine? For occasional use, you are probably about stuck with a lower cost chinese machine (on the new market) As long as you get away from the bottom of the barrel, most can be tuned up to work adequately. Part of that tune up is usually replacing the chuck with a much better quality one which will set you back another $ 50 to $ 125 in general. After tune-up, they are perfectly adequate machines. If it's got to be a better machine than that, I would be patient and look for a used machine. You can get a great quality press, likely even USA made, on the used market at the upper ends of your budget plus a little more. These tend to be 220v and are sometimes 3 phase. They are definitely worth it. My Do-All brand geared-head drill press (so darned easy to change speeds with a geared head!) was $ 500 at auction and worth every penny. There are similar units with variable pulleys so you can change speeds by cranking a dial---much better than changing pulleys. A couple of the better industrial brands are Powermatic and Clausing...but there are others. Checking internet links, it seems that the industrial presses have gone up a little in price on the used market so you might have to be patient and wait for a deal to come along. Like anvil shopping, patience is your best friend.
  6. Kozzy

    Champion blower parts

    Ouch! That one hurts to see. That appears to be one of the straight-cut gears rather than the bronze worm driver so there is a very slight possibility that you can get a replacement. Gear specification can get really complicated---you have to determine "diametral pitch" and tooth count from the existing gear. Also pressure angle but that's not as hard a deal. There are sites online that will help you understand diametral pitch and how to figure that so I won't go into a long diatribe on the method. Once you pin that down, you can search something like the catalogs of Boston Gear to see if such a thing even still exists. Note also that in the past some odd gear pitches were sometimes used-- the world standardized on fewer options in more modern times. That might make it a much more difficult project to find a matching gear from modern stocks. Obviously the best bet is to have a donor blower with one of the other gears bad to steal this one from. Buying a new gear (if one can be had) is likely more costly than the blower is worth in the first place. This one might be best as a donor for someone else's project at this point.
  7. Kozzy

    Is this a Blower?

    Save that thing NOW. It's not only a blower, but an excellent one to have and use. The negative is that sitting might have made the needed re-hab a lot more difficult. Here's a video from Joey van der Steeg on that specific blower and what you need to know. He has several others on rebuilding the blower as well as some other excellent smithing videos that are always well worth watching.
  8. Kozzy

    Hello from Seattle / Bellingham, WA

    Back in the dark ages, Fairhaven U as the "hippy" part of WWU had some blacksmithing...mostly art but also some real work. If you happen to be attending WWU for another year, maybe you can weasel in there for some forge time? Not sure if things are the same as 35 (dang!) years ago there though....
  9. Kozzy

    melting silverware

    You've opened a bit of a can of worms there. Nothing is particularly hard or expensive but to do it right, there are a lot of odds and ends to collect. Lost wax is definitely the preferred method. That means you need to scab together a vacuum degasser to get the best results as well as a burnout furnace. Neither of those have to be fancy--a simple refrigeration pump from China is enough for the degasser...using a silicone sheet for the seal of whatever you can scab together for a "dome" to go over the mold canister. Burnout can be done over charcoal if you can protect the canister from direct flame and control temperatures. However, a real burnout oven is a LOT better choice. Get the canister too hot and the casting plaster degrades. Keep it too cool and you won't drive out all the wax from every little detail. Centrifugal caster is probably the easiest for "do it yourself" but you can also do a vacuum caster pretty easily if your degassing pump can be set up right for that also. NOT grocery store plaster for the casting mold---real casting "plaster" is cheap and easily available. You may need a special spray (cheap) on the wax to help the plaster get into all the details. As to the wax models: Although it is possible to make your own, literally (tens of) thousands of pre-made ring/jewelry wax castings can be had easily if you find the right sources. Heck of a lot better to have a failure with one of those than some custom version you spent hours making "just right". At worst, I'd slightly modify one of those that was already close to what you want so you can call it "custom"...that's what most makers actually do rather than starting from scratch. There are also very basic forms to build on so "custom" can get as custom as you want without having to do the most basic parts. Amount of silver used for a ring or most other jewelry is so small that the usual procedure is to torch-melt it in a small ceramic cup crucible rather than melt a larger volume...basically one casting worth at a time. Most centrifugal casters have a special crucible for this that fits them specifically and goes right into the machine for the actual casting process. LOTS of good books on the subject. I'd lean toward those for info rather than some nutter like me on the internet. You never know what critical detail we kooks forget to mention in a post. And...the used equipment does have a fairly strong market. If you choose to buy a bunch of the proper stuff (I would), you could probably use it and then be able to re-sell it quickly to recoup all or most of your investment--making it almost "free". Haven't done rings for years so I am a bit rusty. Do you have specific questions?
  10. Kozzy

    Hydraulic punch press cylinder

    Be sure and back-calculate the volume to get a good estimate on stroke speed so you can properly match the pump/motor. One common theme that seems to come up with people planning hydraulic presses on this site is undersizing pumps and motors so the stroke speeds are quite low. That will definitely drive you crazy when using the thing. The price of undersized pumps is sure tempting but in the long run not worth the savings.
  11. My local scrap yard will use their XRF gun for a one-off test without much whining if you are nice to them. That kind of thing is probably the easiest way to get a definitive answer. I work with a local shop that makes those big and heavy bars for the forestry industry in the USA--mostly via water jet cutting of a very tough material (can't think of the grade number off the top of my head) that would not really be suitable for much forging. Lots of manganese in it which would make forging a real workout--stuff you have to always work extremely hot to avoid cracks. Can't say if yours are even close to the same though as the makers of such things all claim theirs are "special" relative to the others.
  12. Kozzy

    Hello from Oregon

    There is a good video on youtube from Technicus Joe about rebuilding/rehabbing that blower (or close to it) which is worth watching. I believe the one he was working on is a Champion 400 if that helps narrow it down. He also has a ton of wonderful videos that will teach you more than you knew you needed to know--great for a rainy Oregon day. It looks like you might be a little shy on tongs. When just starting out, I highly recommend picking up a couple of commercial tongs from one of the suppliers (I used "Quick & dirty tools") because that gets you rolling right away with some useful ones--and they aren't that expensive. Tong blanks are also sold to roll your own with less hassle than going from complete scratch. Save scratch tong making until you have a bit of practice under your belt and can decide what you like and dislike about tongs in general. You didn't mention much on coal. The cheapest is the Tractor supply coal (not great but cheap in the NW if your nearest store carries it or will bring some in)--however, it prefers a constant airflow so you probably need an electric blower rather than a cranker. Proper smithing coal is EXPENSIVE in the NW and takes some effort to get hold of. Charcoal....well, I can't speak to that one except if that's your choice, you'll go through a lot of volume and that makes making your own (not a hard process) worth looking into. And welcome to the wonderful world of soot, slag, and smoke: It'll become an addiction for sure.
  13. Kozzy

    ID vise and is it bent?

    I've been searching on that name with no real luck Possibly COL F & I for Columbus Forge and Iron? Columbus Forge & Iron branded most of their vises as "Indian Chief" vises. If you do a google image search on that you might be able to compare details to see if it matches---not a perfect method as makers copied a lot of details from others but at least a path to research.
  14. Yea, I looked into that Henrob torch after it was mentioned. Not cheap for a set but it sure would be nice in the long run. It's on my list of goodies that I'm trying to convince myself are worth buying for my business. I've got to buy a really expensive fancy cold-wire-feed TIG set-up for a CNC welder that I am building and maybe I can slip the Henrob in on that and pretend it's a "necessary accessory"
  15. Kozzy

    Kimbark postdrill

    Their catalog was a huge book. Apparently their main business was wagon makers supplies. There is a text scan of their catalog online here https://archive.org/stream/SDKimbarkCoCatalogue1903/SD Kimbark Co Catalogue 1903_djvu.txt but it does not include the photos. It does include a bit of company history but I didn't read far. Will get the shovel and dig a little deeper... Here's a large newspaper ad showing they were also heavy into raw steel material sales in addition to the many other items related to wagons/buggies/carriages https://newspaperarchive.com/chicago-commercial-advertiser-nov-22-1877-p-14/ And there is a link about Kimbark anvils on this site https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/34342-sd-kimbark-anvil/ If you do a google image search for S. D. Kimbark there are a couple of photos of the building including one interior shot of wood parts...and if you search on Seneca D. Kimbark there is a bit of history on the owner. Can't seem to find anything specific on the post drills though. Many people are selling catalog copies but there doesn't seem to be much online in terms of catalog page images.