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About gmbobnick

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Kinnear, WY
  • Interests
    Hunting, Fishing, Shooting, Outdoor Cooking, Metal and Wood Working, Camping

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  1. Although I suspect my smithing skills pale in comparison to many of those who have responded, there is a philosophy regarding your question that I can speak to. I see often where passion for doing something is satisfied by accumulating the hard, physical objects associated with the pursuit. Big box sporting goods stores have made fortunes from people who spend a couple precious days each year hunting and fishing. Build it and they will come is a phrase that sort of fits here. My suggested philosophy is to focus energy on the heart of what you want to do and not the peripheral things. The great joy of blacksmithing is you can do that while building a tool collection. The great dilemma though is finding the time to do it. While we have dreams to build cool stuff for others to use and admire, doing a quality job takes lots of time to master all the techniques. We can master them by making tools, seeing what works, how it works and how to apply that knowledge to the next conundrum. If we can be satisfied most of the time with little successes by making quality tools, the time spent making the really rewarding projects will become increasingly more productive and better spent. My scrap pile is full of things I didnt have the skills yet to build. Otherwise I dont have much to add to the wisdom shared above. I like your brazier by the way. Never heard of that before. I appreciate your effort to get all the curved pieces to match, particularly the rolled ends at the top.
  2. Completed my first piece of furniture since I started this blacksmith hobby over a year ago. I immediately gave it to a friend who gave me the anvil which really got me going. The anvil came with a farm he bought. He is going to put the coat rack in his new real estate office.
  3. Wow Jim...this is eye candy for someone expanding their tooling by re-purposing stuff. I just got a whole bunch of ideas. Thanks for sharing!
  4. You might check out "Six Sigma" as a way to get on top of such recurring problems and the inefficiencies they cause. Essentially, one tackles the process problem(s) by defining it, measuring it, analyzing, improving and finally controlling it. It relies heavily on statistics. Not hard to find info about it on the web, and there is even a book called "Six Sigma for Dummies" out there.
  5. Is this hammer grammar...Grammar Hammer? (or maybe just spelling, but I couldn't resist)
  6. Congratulations Daswulf! I think you will need that to keep the boys away in a few years
  7. Now that is a vivid image and imagination! Beautiful knife Mr. Fry...anyone would be proud to own
  8. Blacksmithing is an archaic industry dwarfed by technology. However it survives as an art instead of an industry. A blacksmithing business model - based on costs and production rate - just doesn't work. While industry profits by decreasing the inputs and increasing the output, art is just the opposite...its path to profit is where input is increased and output is decreased, so long as there is demand. back to work getting better at the art.
  9. Well I got 2.5 tons of coal for $100. That would be a steal at $1 per 50# bag…for those that buy coal at Tractor Supply (notwithstanding BTU differences). I like the challenge of frugality…leaves more to be generous with where it counts.
  10. I concur with Frosty. I may be a greenhorn blacksmith but spent 34 years as a geotechnical (soil and foundation) engineer. I have a 10x16 shop. I leveled the soil, scuffed the surface with a rake, moistened it to a damp condition, then evenly spread 2 - 94 lb. bags of cement powder over the entire surface. I used the rake to work the cement into the upper 2 inches or so, then tamped it by dropping the squared off end of a log on it (too cheap to rent a compactor...but admittedly that would have been better). Then I let it setup for a few days. I scored about 10 pails of crushed chips for road surfacing and spread that over it...but that is not necessary. Looks neat but don't drop a rivet and expect to find it. The floor is nice and stable. I think it is a little better than just packed soil. Cost me $22. Did I mention that I am cheap?
  11. I use an old steel toolbox for oil. I like the ability to close lid to keep stuff out of the oil when not in use. I have a metal 5 gallon pail for water.
  12. After trying to follow some of these posts, I am beginning to see why bottle openers are such a popular project for those that haunt this web site. Evidently they were out quickly? Perhaps those who take a shine to tipping a brown bottle with one hand and typing out blacksmithing rhetoric with the other should consider using something like 1080 for their openers so they last longer. Tempered to light straw. Meanwhile I am going to wash the mud out of my fur and try welding again later.
  13. There is something missing at the end of that feller's statement. ...and let me bask in the glory of being his teacher with minimal effort on my part. With an attitude like that, one might conclude this teacher would never make a good teacher. However, I would give him a chance if he'd see his prejudice. A fitting analogy is the smith who discards a funky, bent up piece of scrap steel with the epithet "it'll never make art". We all know those who can see past the ugliness and bring the beauty out.
  14. I saw the Damascus hammer you made in Member Projects. It deserves something special for a handle. I suggest taking a look at sycamore. It has a beautiful stippled grain pattern, is tough and hard to split. Should work fine in your application (small hammer) and compliment the Damascus steel interestingly. I have a piece I have been saving for a knife handle, and thought about it when reading your post.