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About Firestarter

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    NW USA

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  1. Mine's a little higher. I am very tall, and it's comfortable for me. I aimed for not having to stoop to pick things up off the table. That's between knuckle and wrist height for me. My shop bench is 42" high, and my vise jaws are 45"... just for reference and range. No ergonomics-minded 5'10" man would set up his shop like mine, unless he had little arms like a T-rex that didn't reach down very far.
  2. Can you find a picture of what a swirl flame looks like in the old threads? I know I'm not going to go look for one. It's probably there somewhere, but sorting through 10 threads with missing pictures isn't worth the trouble to me, and I wouldn't expect anyone else to do that either.
  3. Guys here tell seem to tell all the newbies "read the old threads... I don't have time for you." It's a valid response sometimes, but a downright xxxxxxx waste of bandwidth other times. There is a lot to read and learn here, but the bummer about this place is the old threads are all missing the pictures. Most of those threads are 3/4 worthless without them. Just try reading the Knifemaking 101 class without pictures... I quit after 2 or 3, because they are incomplete, thus marginally useful to me. I can't help you, OP, but I'm glad some people did.
  4. Do modern golf balls not explode in a mess of rubber bands like the old ones did? Why do I feel like I'm being pranked with that suggestion...
  5. I too have an under-powered welder... Here's what I do: Cut, fit, and tack everything up with my little 110 machine, then take the project to the shop to run hotter welds with borrowed time on an adequate machine. The same method would work well to cut down on rental time. It's nice to just crank it up and go fast when everything is already set up. Our little welders aren't useless on big projects, they're just not capable of doing everything.
  6. I'm quite a ways East. Next time we go see family on that side I'll see about timing it with a meetup.
  7. Enough to get started!? Heck, I've been told that's all anyone needs! A guy could build anything he needs if he can make a hole in the ground and find a couple rocks, right? (just funnin')
  8. Thanks for the tip, Rashelle. I'd like to try some good coal if the NWBA guy keeps some way out on the East side. Any contact info would be appreciated.

  9. FWIW, the Antique Crowd in the West are trading vises in the $200 range. I got one for 80 a few weeks ago by being lucky enough to be the first message on a new ad. The seller was genuinely happy that it would be put to good use. He'd gotten another half dozen messages by the time we met up that afternoon.
  10. I'm East of the mountains, quite a ways. I appreciate the offer, Peter, but shipping or driving to your side is prohibitive cost-wise. This TSC anthracite seems to burn plenty hot, and is super cheap; but maybe I just don't know what I'm missing when it comes to smithing-grade bituminous coal. There is a supplier of heating grade soft coal here, but research tells me grades matter, and the stuff I've got works, so I haven't checked it out.
  11. Sorry??... Pretty sure I'm still under 10 posts. No advice giving going on here, Frosty, not 'til my previous post. And, of course you're right about the quality of tools relative to the quality of craftsman. The same is true in any craft. Perhaps that sentence you quoted could have been phrased better. I am a novice to coal fires and making good use of old anvils. I'm not a novice to heating metal, making stuff, or buying and selling old things. This post was mostly about buying and selling old things. Pretty sure my advice was right. I also find that sometimes it's OK to repeat good advice, even if it's something you've learned from someone else, instead of from decades of experience. Nobody else mentioned alternatives to a 300 dollar anvil in this thread. I did. If that rubs you the wrong way... ?
  12. How many actual anvils (not RR track or harbor freight specials) are within a 5 hour drive on your Craigslist right now? That would be a deciding factor for me. I've seen zero here for about a month. That one would be worth a couple hours of driving to check out if I didn't have an anvil. People seem to put Hay Budden in their top 3-5 of old anvil makers. But if you've got options... well then it's up to your budget, and how much you want to own a classic anvil. Someone had an unknown 400 lb-er 4 hours away from me for 1600 bucks, shown in a line-up with a dozen smaller anvils. By the time I messaged about the others and got a reply, they only had two little anvils left. How's your market? Mine sucks for buyers. A blocky piece of scrap will work well for beginner skills. You can probably buy one for 25-30 cents a pound... maybe less. Resale would likely be the same to another smith, or a couple cents a pound back to the scrapper. It would probably be tough to lose much money on the HB you posted, provided it checks out OK.
  13. I understand the sentiment... buy it good and buy it once... etc. But this mentality is a barrier to entry for the young and poor. I could obtain a belt grinder 3 ways: A: build a 2x72 for a hundred and a half, and sacrifice a couple weekends time. B: drop 500 bucks on the problem. C: buy a different disposable $20 sander off Craigslist every few weeks and use them until they burn up. What's really wrong with option C? It's not ideal, but it's better than no grinder for the hobbyist.