Lou L

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About Lou L

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    Metal Mangler Ph.D

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    West Hartford, CT
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    Too numerous to count.

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  1. Lou L


    It was a nice iPad typo! I intended to type “should”...the stupid iPad assumed I meant otherwise and added it without my noticing.
  2. Lou L

    Just a box of dirt, or a simple side blast forge

    No galvanized pipe. If you can use vinegar or stronger acid to remove the zinc first then you can use it.
  3. This question (well, a similar one) has come up recently. I’ll link to that thread because my response to the options available to you is too long to redo and I like to work smarter, not harder! https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/59937-belt-grinder/ A grinder is certainly useful for a number of tasks but it isn’t necessary by any stretch. Files, a rasp, a disk grinder and clean forging are all replacements. Clean forging is a bit idealistic People will come here to ask you, “What type of work do you intend to do and what is your budget?” These are the two biggest factors in your decision making. If you can afford a 2x72 no problem then don’t bother typing a lengthy response, just read up on the types and options, pick one, and buy it. They are great tools to own. Otherwise, look at the other options I suggest in the linked thread. Concerning belts, I wouldn’t buy a huge amount of one type of belt. There are plenty of websites on which you can shop for belts of all types. You will want various grits and backings for different jobs. Some low grit belts with a heavy backing are great for roughing out shapes. Higher grit belts with various degrees of flexibility are great for finishing work. Buying a load of one type of belt will be inconvenient. Even if the deal you linked has a mix of belts (I admit I didn’t check) it is unlikely to have what you need. If it is a variety pack and you have the cash then it may work out as a good way to try out a variety of belts so you can educate yourself on their uses. Hmmm...I just realized that my entire response could be summed up as “it depends”. I feel stupid now
  4. Lou L


    You shouldn’t tell your art teacher that all art is derivative!
  5. I can’t tell the make based on those pictures. The smoothly rounded feet aren’t familiar to me but I’m certain someone here has more insight on it. My first thought is that it is a modern Russian, Chinese or otherwise less traditional country of origin. The maker’s mark would be on the other side. Either way, those dimensions tell me it’s a 300 pound anvil or close. But, once again, there are people on here who would be much more accurate in that estimation as well. In the end, you need to see it and test the rebound by dropping a large ball bearing on it. It should rebound 7.5 inches or more being dropped from ten inches. More is much better. It should also have a clear ring with no buzzing. Good luck!
  6. Lou L


    I’m curious about what the assignment was. As a teacher I am curious to understand you teacher’s input.
  7. Joe's collection wouldn’t be on the website. It is packed into storage containers for the most part. I haven’t seen it yet but I have the invitation.
  8. Lou L

    New Shop at Gidgegannup

    Look great!
  9. So, recently I’ve made a connection with a local guild of tool collectors. One of their members is a curator/officer of the Simsbury Historical Society near me. He has an enormous tool collection that started when he was 10 years old (and is willing to part with some of his blacksmithing collection!). His personal collection has fully outfitted a blacksmithing display at the society but they are intent upon creating a working blacksmithing shop out of an old barn they may be acquiring. He is offering me and anyone I know the opportunity to help design and plan the shop and displays as well as to use the shop and sell goods out of it (sharing profits with the society). They are looking at spending 60K on this building project....this town has serious money. Aside from this cool connection I’ve made I wanted to share something from Joe’s collection I saw today. It is apparently a blacksmith apprentices work station for making nails. The hardy stump originally had a nail header on it. He got it with a small stake anvil instead. I think it’s a pretty cool piece of blacksmithing history. Just thought some might appreciate this, Lou
  10. I can’t help but imagine the events that lead up to that sword sitting at the bottom of the lake. Great story and I, too, can’t wait to hear more. Sadly, this sort of study is usually painfully slow.
  11. Lou L

    Knife to cut a wedding cake

    Beautiful fit on the bolster/handle transition. Gorgeous knife all around. What a nice sentiment too.
  12. Lou L

    Newbie Needs Help

    I appreciate your attention to detail. It belies your age. In my opinion, that is a really nice first try for a free hand grind on a wheel. It’s a skill many don’t even bother trying to learn. You can touch that line up with a hand file to get it straight OR just try a few light passes on the wheel again. Keep your hands in a comfortable but sturdy position on the knife, keep your elbows locked in by your side to limit arm movement, and keep your feet shoulder width apart and square to the grinder. Apply the knife gently to the belt so you can feel the bevel “fit” into place and then use your legs to slowly shift your body ever so slightly to make the blade move across the belt. I found that, when I used my arms, it always went crooked on me. So let your whole body be “locked” onto the knife and shift slowly side ways. Also, make sure you aren’t using too aggressive of a grit. It is nearly impossible to get a straight line with 36 grit. 80 is tough. If you already heat treated then watch the temperature of the blade. Dunk it in water each pass. If not, then be sure not to grind the knife edge too thin before heat treat. The only way to get those lines straight is to do it a bunch of times. Each knife you make will get better and better so just enjoy the process. Lou
  13. Lou L

    It followed me home

    Seriously good point, Das. Mike, grab all you can and make quench tanks out of them. Sell them at your next conference at the tailgate area and make some money for more gear!
  14. Lou L

    It followed me home

    Bought this on the suggestion of John at Blackbear Forge. I was intrigued and I’m glad I got it. Very detailed information, great projects requiring diverse skills, and loads of clarifying pictures. I’m quite certain that an individual who could not read could still use this reference.
  15. Lou L

    Flex pipe connection

    For what it’s worth, the Mythbusters used clay to put dimples on the exterior or a car and found it increased gas mileage. In a pickup truck it was found that the turbulence created by the open bed with the tailgate door closed actually increases gas mileage as well. A friend of mine is an engineer and, as a student at UCONN he was a co-writer with his preofessor on a study in which they studied the vector dynamics of air flowing over small gaps (valleys of different dimensions and shapes) in a steel plate. They found similar results. Depending on air speed and the shape of the impression it is common enough for the air to create a cushion that creates a zone of even pressure at the mouth of the gap. Just go ahead and use the flex duct as is