MC Hammer

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About MC Hammer

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    From Stones & Bones to Iron

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  • Location
    South Central New York
  • Interests
    Flintknapping, Blacksmithing, Indian Artifact Collecting

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  1. JHCC, yes those are the exact shears that were given to me. Look to be the same size too. Heavy as heck. Nice to know I can cut up to 16 Ga sheet metal with them. I won't use them to hot cut anything. I feared exactly what Latticino said above and figured I'd ask around and see if anyone used them for hot cutting. Sometimes you can get away with things and usually others will know. I still like them and the price was right
  2. Anything is possible to do with the right tools and materials. Is it worth the time? Probably not. You will spend a lot of time and resources trying to recreate the wheel so to speak. If you are just looking for a challenge to see if you can do it, go for it, but if you intend on using it and diving into blacksmithing, Pnut it right, you can make a simple improvised anvil to get started.
  3. @Frosty I'll take a picture tonight, but these things are dang heavy and over 3 feet long. Pretty heavy duty. No doubt I could probably cut cold stock up to something like 1/16 of an inch. I guessed they were tin cutting shears based on what I found on the internet, but I think they could cut steel as well.
  4. I was given a pretty heavy and long pair of those tinsmith shears that have the ends that will fit in your anvil hardy hole. I know they are used for sheet metal, but would using them to hot cut thinner metals remove the temper of the shear blades and ruin them for their original purpose. Has anyone here used them for hot cutting? I can see them being useful for cutting thinner stock for ornamental work instead of using a chisel. Just thought I'd ask since most people mistake them for a blacksmith tool.
  5. Yeah the dealer thing does grind my grits. I was at a tax auction for the property next to mine. My wife and I saved every scrap we could to go to the auction and own that nice piece of woods. Sitting in the same row were two idiots discussing how they could buy the property, take the timber out and get the gravel out of it then let it go back up for taxes again. All they cared about was greed and making money off it. I'm all for capitalism, but when greed drives you it changes you. Funny end to the story was that I got outbid at auction by a late comer. I set my price and stopped bidding when it went over. I waited for the guy to exit the auction and introduced myself to him. Turns out we went to the same high school back in the day and I told him to park anytime in my driveway to have access to his land. 7 months later he came to me wanting to sell. He'd even built a cabin on the property. Sometimes there is a happy ending. The same thing can happen with anvils. Nope, not selling.........2 hour trip that turns out to be a bust........then one day one of those efforts pays off when the guy not selling decides to call you or the 2 hour trip guy says that he just found another anvil. Sometimes you just have to wait out your impatience.
  6. When I got my first anvil I was so happy and sent pictures of it to my friend who was a farrier. He said "Not bad, but you need to take that to a machine shop and get the surface milled flat and the edges squared up." Luckily, I'd been reading everything I could on anvils including everything here and I knew better. My first anvil is the German Trenton I own still and is my main anvil. Think of the history I would have ruined on the advice of someone I thought knew a great deal on the subject. I think today there's the mindset that when you start smithing you need perfect tools. This is how an anvil should look pervades the thoughts of the newbie smith. Like Jennifer touched on, we've forgotten how to make do with used things. Many things are ruined this way. Yes, I agree, you paid for a tool and it's yours but how short sighted. How many smiths fed their families off my German Trenton? They got that thing with all its blemishes and accepted them as part of it being a used tool then they got to work to feed their families. How arrogant would I be to turn my nose up at the slight sway and other minor issues? I'd say very arrogant if I'd decided to make it "perfect" when for 130 years that anvil serviced the needs of others yet somehow it reaches me and it's not good enough. I'm just the most recent caretaker of that anvil and it's my duty to pass it on to someone someday with all my history of use.
  7. I think waiting makes it all the sweeter. When it finally does come your way you appreciate it all the more. I know a guy that was interesting in smithing and he was casually looking for an anvil. Within a few weeks he picked up two at barn sales, but you know what he's not even using them and I think he just doesn't appreciate what he found so easily. Mine took over a year to find and then there's all the work of cleaning it up and getting it on a stump. I sure appreciate that anvil. I doubt I would have if someone had just given it to me randomly.
  8. leave the stand as big as it is. You'll find it's handle to rest tools on it. You can always move the anvil to one side of it and use the other side to hold hardy tools and things. Great buy on the anvil. Oh, and Chris............a guy I know just picked up 2 anvils at garage sales for $50 each. A nice Sweedish Kohlswa and a Hay Budden. Both in the 120 # range. He's not sure he wants to get into blacksmithing...............took me a year to find my first anvil.
  9. Good joke, had me going for a second or two! My thinking was "Man this guy is going to get a talking to........" Great job on the clean-up. That anvil should serve you well even though it's missing the bottom half. I hope it was half price!
  10. Prices for swage blocks are high right now because of the whole Forged In Fire craze. There really are two markets for blacksmithing tools: #1 is the collector market. These people look at blacksmithing equipment as something to be collected, stored, displayed, and curated as a historical item for occasional use only in demos and such. #2 is the blacksmith buyers. We buy tools to put them back to work. We look at tools in terms of usability. We appreciate the historical value, but we really just want to put the tools to work in our shop. We pay much less usually because we just don't participate in this $12 a pound pricing ridiculousness. You'll need to decide who you want to sell it to if that's what you decide to do. So, you can get big bucks for a great swage block. This is very much dictated by the demand though. I tried to explain this to a picker I know that had a very large anvil he found. I told him sometimes size works against you. Who wants to ship a 300# or 400# anvil or swage block? So that limits you to pick-up buyers only. We've been know to drive hours to pick such stuff up, but moving heavy stuff requires the right vehicle and equipment. You can't just swing by in your Dodge Omni and throw it in the hatch back. Don't base your asking price on ebay or craigslist but talk with blacksmiths near you and put a fair price on it if you desire to sell it. I've seen swage blocks like yours get $3 a pound easily and even more if things get crazy.
  11. The tong starter sets are a great way to save money forging your own tongs. I've bought them and they work great. I definitely suggest drilling the hole for the rivet after you've forged out your tongs. Watch some videos on tong making so you don't totally smoosh out the other end of the rivet when you put it in. Since you haven't indicated that budget is an issue, why not buy a forge? You won't be happy with a brake drum forge from what I hear. Propane forges can be had for less than $500 - hook them up and start forging. If you are married to using coal, those can be built better using the brake drum or even a rotor as the firepot of a much larger forge. You can definitely make a forge cheaper than buying one, but there's always that period of time when you are fudging with getting it to work right.
  12. West also made anvils with the inverted triangle logo as well. The Columbian anvils I've seen have a "C" in the inverted triangle so that's also a possibility. Both are American made cast steel anvils with hard faces. According to Postman in AIA (Anvils in America) Columbian was founded around 1890 and started making anvils somewhere in the 1903 - 1904 period. They may have been the first cast steel anvil makers in America. They used good quality tool steel for their anvils from what I know because they were cast from tool steel. Dating your anvil is tricky but a safe guess would be early 1900's like before the 1920's possibly.
  13. Why even put firm on every one of those? We get it dude, you want a ridiculous price for every anvil you have The problem I have isn't with the guys selling anvils at such high prices, it's with the newer guys willing to pay them. The market takes care of its self when people pay reasonable prices for things and don't for things overpriced. It feeds this kind of greed. I've said it a number of times....when FIF and other shows on forging run their course, there will be a glut of blacksmithing tools out there and the price will drop dramatically. Guys like this guy will loose their shirt when they have 18 anvils to move and the going rate is 1/3 of what he's asking now.
  14. Now that you have your beautiful new anvil, multiple deals on great old anvils will start popping up I like your thinking about being the first smith to use that anvil. You are the first caretaker of it. I often wish I knew the history behind my anvils. They could easily have 5 or 6 past smiths that owned them or just one.
  15. I toyed with a lot of ideas including just mounting a piece of old rusty sheet metal on the wall. I eliminated white boards because hot metal and plastic don't mix. When I was going to build a new shop I thought about chalk board paint on a piece of the wall. An easel is a good idea, but I don't like things I could bump into and knock over due to having a small shop space. I think the main motivator was just to do something functional and unique. I didn't make the hinge because I had just one of them hanging around so I thought I'd just use it up. Works for me really well and I think that's really the important factor. I love to see members on here personalizing their shops for what works great for them.