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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Kozzy

  1. Rigidity is the issue. Most smaller bandsaws are not nearly rigid enough, even for wood cutting. They can be a nightmare. If you happen to find something old school and rigid, yes it can work for you to cut metal--but it is far better on sheet goods than thick stock. Thick is quite slow and the high pressures you need to keep on the material make cutting it on a vertical a bit of a work-out. I have a 14" vertical from Boeing surplus and it does work to profile some things but it's not a job I look forward to. Sheet is not bad to work but 1/4" thick plate and a bit above is not fun.
  2. Might be possible. Found a single reference from a USGS publication that mentioned whetstones being made in Woonsocket RI. "Other Rocks Only minor use for dimension stone has been made of such rocks as marble and Pennsylvanian sandstone. Very minor use has been made of soapstone in lenses of the Blackstone Series. The sandstone at Woonsocket was used for making "ten thousand dozen" whetstones in 1840 (Jackson, 1840, p. 71)." From "Bedrock Geology of Rhode Island" https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1295/report.pdf
  3. Here's a clue for you: Anything that says plaster of paris and sand mix is appropriate for forge or foundry use hasn't a clue what they are doing and should not only be dismissed...but you should run away so fast your shoes smoke. Same with concrete/cement admixes Same with "cinder blocks", standard bricks, and many hard brick solutions (even hard refractory brick unless used in certain specific ways). Same with "weed burner" type burners in a forge as your heat source Same with small propane blow (plumber's) torches--unless everything you forge is the size of a finish na
  4. I'm seeing galvanized parts--maybe it's just the lighting. That is dangerous. Look up "fume fever". If galvanized was used in any areas that will see high temperatures, correct that before this thing is used by your son. I'm not kidding---it can kill. Even with outdoor use, you never know when a light breeze will send a snootful of toxic fumes at you. I'm not wanting to throw water on your son's enthusiasm but please suggest that for the next try (and I'm betting there will be a second try) absolutely DO NOT get design advice off of youtube. Many of the designs there, including this
  5. It's new to me but with a bazillion posts on this site, may have been mentioned before: In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There he had a[n iron] bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith's hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fitted the bed exactly. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was capture
  6. Wow--that grinder has a lot of potential expletives one could attached to it. Its chief benefit would be in the health category--because you should get plenty of exercise in your quest to run away. There is no great solution that is also "cheap". There are some passable solutions--for instance many get good results using a flat disk in an angle grinder if they work carefully. There are also chinese 1 x 30 machines that are in the $ 120 USD range which, though underpowered and a bit frustrating, can get the job done if you don't push them too hard. (put your money into only high-quality
  7. Box blade on a tractor...Didn't our Italian friend say he had access to a tractor in the past? On a 3 point hitch, you can crank one side to make it skewed out of level with the tractor to take down slopes. Not fast but compared to hand methods, far far better. With the "teeth" in, they work pretty well in even rocky soils. But the image implies a small dozer with a 6 way blade would be more than worth the rental expense.
  8. Exactly. They have the ability to make remarkably good stuff but if you don't have someone over there constantly monitoring the supply chain for you, crap seems to slip through. I've even seen things that were obviously broken/flawed tossed in a crate because they know the return process is onerous so most on this side of the Pacific just skip it and eat the loss or fix it here. One other thing--no matter who you call, they will say "Yes, we make that". There doesn't seem to be a distinction between actually manufacturing something and being willing to go find someone who can make it f
  9. What the esteemed Mr. Powers said above...only louder. The typical simple overhead hood seems like a good idea but in practice, most find them to be rather a failure in terms of handling the smoke and fumes (some, a total failure). Super sucker on the other hand appears to be pretty remarkable when done to spec. I've seen images where you would swear that thing would be useless, but basically sucking every bit of smoke away and even sucking up the forge fire a bit. The only one I've personally seen kept an insulated pole building garage totally smoke free, even with the doors and windo
  10. Drill bits are one of those areas where quality is worth every penny. Skip the cheap chinese offerings. I had one set given to me that were so soft they unwound in use rather than breaking. If at all possible skip the home center bits as they are generally not much better, even if they have a good brand name. Buy some quality bits from a machinists supply source--or online from similar. USA made tend to be quite good--but there are some from offshore that are also great (Poland usually makes some good ones for example) Once you use a top quality bit, it's darned clear why they are worth th
  11. My first thought when seeing the paint was that this might have been a gravestone anvil. That black looks like field applied "japanning" which is usually a linseed oil based goop with carbon black and some other things to thicken and cure the oil. There was a time when anvils were almost worthless so the Smith's own anvil would be used---or an old used anvil acquired. If that sat in one place in the rain for decades, one would expect the underside to collect moisture between the coating and anvil and result in heavy corrosion. Graves rarely get dry weather because the sprinklers keep t
  12. Long soak in citric is the most common these days due to easy disposal requirements and fewer employees at the doctor. But the pickling paste style from the welding store--really nasty stuff--tends to do a quick job of things. Assuming you got the scale off there is electro-polishing also but that's a bit overkill. I prefer mechanical cleaning then removing any surface iron (which will eventually rust) with citric acid. Check out this home brew weld passivation using a 12V batter charger. Cleans up the welds pretty slick. Explanation starts at 1:30 Might work if your proje
  13. My Brother did have a house fire which destroyed virtually all the contents. He now swears by full replacement value insurance...as well as keeping as much of your old crap as possible (that's a joke on his part). In his case, things like an old quilt he used for the dogs was considered a custom craft project at high replacement value--similar for an old piano he was given for free. In reality most items really DO need to be replaced with new equivalents so you aren't actually coming out ahead: But dang, he did come out like a bandit on some of his old "junky" stuff. "New replacement
  14. I would add to Rockstar's post the notion of selling anything out of the home smithy. Magically it becomes a business rather than personal equipment and claims can be denied should they choose to. There are LOTS of games insurance companies play when they want to get out of paying. In the past, they sometimes also played the self-insured game for those who under-insured. Say your stuff is worth $ 100K. You insure it for $ 50K because you underestimated it's replacement value. If it's all lost, insurance companies (*some* used to) only pay out $ 25K: They claimed that you were 50%
  15. I have a master machinist friend who absolutely cannot stand woodworking: It just drives him crazy. He's so fixated on the fact that he can machine things down to .0001" that the fact that wood does what it wants and you need to work with the material's foibles just files in the face of his daily grind. He just can't wrap his head around it. It's kind of weird to see because he's brilliant and very highly skilled--making anything less than perfection a frustrating course in his head.
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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 c
  24. Heh...I usually see it called "Rot Iron". It goes with the wenches that people are always selling online
  25. 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
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