MC Hammer

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About MC Hammer

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    Senior Member

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

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  1. Finally, Extended Shop is ready

    How do you vent the Carbon Monoxide from the new shop? I didn't see any windows or large doors where you could get the CO out and fresh air in. The shop looks very nice otherwise. I did see the little holes on the bottom which I assume are for fresh air?
  2. Help to ID this anvil

    Let's see more pictures please! Never heard of a Fagersta Bruk from Sweden & would like to see it.
  3. It strikes (pun intended) me as something that maybe was used on the battlefield or as a traveling anvil. I think it would serve well as something used in that manner. I must admit I've never seen one like that. Thanks for sharing.
  4. It'd be hilarious to make a foam replica of your anvil and film the thief getting ready to heft that thing and flinging it clear across the room thinking he was lifting something heavy. Only real men use anvils like the big one in the picture.
  5. I guess I'll weigh in on this. Having worked in the security sector for decades in an earlier career, I can say that there are two things central criminal actions.....desire and opportunity. You can't do much of anything to change a criminal's desire but you can do a lot to curb his or her opportunity. As has been said by others, if someone wants to steal your anvil it's going to happen. They'll come prepared to defeat your security systems and ready to transport the anvil quickly to a waiting truck and be out of there in a few minutes. I favor the high tech and low tech approach together. It doesn't hurt to have a REAL camera mounted high and very visible outside your forge. This will deter most amateurs from trying. Don't waste your time on the fake cameras with the little red lights because nobody is truly fooled by them. REAL cameras don't have red lights and everyone knows that. Noise making devices inside such as the cow bells are the low tech side. Some laugh, but one of the oldest narcotics house tricks is to fill a tall jar with marbles and place it next to the front or side door. Tip that over and you have a lot of racket. No boobie traps as has been said, but things that make noise and motion detector lights work. Thieves don't want to be seen or heard. I always said to make the thief work at it at least. Get decent locks that are hard to pick that also have a deadbolt. That's two locks to defeat. In a forge, have small octagonal windows that a person can't fit through for light. For your swing-out barn doors to the forge, have an old fashion medieval wood board slide down across both doors - good luck kicking that in. Make your anvil hard to steal by locking it down to its base. The more time it takes a thief to break in and steal stuff the more uncomfortable he becomes. Make him work for it. We are all metal forgers, so get creative about a way to lock your tong and hammer racks down to make that harder as well.
  6. Anvil ID and value please

    I'd say the telephone pole would not be big enough for a 200 lb plus anvil. Don't skimp on the anvil stand. I burned my finger really bad starting out with an undersized anvil stump. I had a little 75 pounder and the stump was too small. As I hammered away the whole anvil tipped and the hot steel just touched my finger but almost burnt it to the bone. Now I'm somewhat of a freak when it comes to making sure your anvil is secure. You don't want that anvil to tip on you and they do "walk" when you used them even if they are heavy. You can even build a good stand out of wood from the hardware store. There are several threads on the different anvil stands people have made. Nice score on the anvil. It's in usable condition and you didn't make the newbie mistake of overpaying for it. I'm not that far from the newbie stage and I remember wanting an anvil really badly but waiting for a good one to come my way. Looks like you got yours for about 1/3 of what it is worth given that weight. Looks like it could be a Peter Wright - the writing looks like I can make that out. I could be very wrong.
  7. Portable hole / drifting block

    Nice find, can think of a lot of good uses for it.
  8. I think the railroad spike can make a lot of things, but good knives would not be one of them. There's so much spring steel out there why risk getting arrested for a few railroad spikes. It's like breaking into the bank to steal rolls of pennies instead of dollar bills. Look around for a spring shop and humbly go in there and tell them what you do and then ask really nicely if you can look through their scrap bin offering to pay them scrap prices. That's what I did, and he said I could take what I wanted. So I resisted the urge to be greedy and took a nice leaf spring set and thanked him. He said to come back and show him what I was doing. I did go back, but the owner wasn't there so I plan on going back to show him what I'm up to and give him something. Now I just stop in and the guy tells me if there's anything good in there. If there isn't and I have time / they aren't busy I'll chat with them a bit. Doing this I learned that all the newer u bolts they are getting are case hardened and not worth picking - good knowledge to have. The last time I was there I resisted the urge pick some new leaf spring drops because the guy was busy and I don't want to tie him up so that every time I stop buy he says to his hired help "Oh great, here comes that blacksmith guy and I don't have time to mess with him today." I try to cultivate those good free sources rather than risk a good reputation by lurking on the railroad tracks. Make your scavenging time count. You get a good scrap yard or a good spring shop and you can spend 15 minutes there and come away with good stuff vs. walking miles of track lugging around what you find in a bucket or backpack. Just MHO.
  9. 1836 English anvil

    A nice anvil.
  10. Anvil rebound video

    Ok, so I liked the videos a lot because the whole rebound premise that it bounces the hammer back and reduces fatigue never made sense to me really. The only time I've had the hammer bounce back is when I miss the hot metal or I'm pounding on something small and and narrow with the hammer head making partial contact with the anvil face on either side. I think when we experience less fatigue with the harder faced anvil because it allows us to move metal better as some have already said. It also makes perfect sense that blacksmiths wanted hard steel so that the anvil lasts longer. I think when you were hammering to feed your family, you wanted to be sure your investment in an anvil and tools was a good one. They'd spend all day everyday at that anvil so it had to be worth what they paid for it. I noticed a huge difference when I started forging on my Trenton vs. the ASO I was using before. I could definitely forge longer and moved way more metal. Of course the anvil was 100 lbs more in weight and mounted on a big heavy stump, but I used that same stump with the ASO so the harder anvil had to have something to do with it. Maybe we just overthink things sometimes missing the simple reason that they wanted a durable surface that wouldn't sway and mushroom. This makes me wonder also if it was the reason they switched to a solid plate of tool steel welded to the face vs. the plates welded in sections that we see with the older anvils? They knew the multiple plate welds tend to get sway in them more so than the solid plate would. So........they were looking for durability and if the solid plate gave them more hammer time (I couldn't resist saying that) with far less risk of sway, then they were all for it. It seems the smith was always looking for a more durable anvil and not seeking rebound as a matter of saving them energy or saving them from fatigue. It's why many of us steer newbies toward the hardest steel objects to start forging if they can't afford an anvil. To my knowledge we suggest sledge hammer heads, railroad tracks stood up on end, etc. because those are the hardest and most durable things someone without money can find to have a starter anvil.
  11. building a vise stand, wood or steel?

    When I build my shop, I'm going to keep both of my vises mobile until I get everything set up and working the way I want it. Then, MAYBE I'll think about mounting at least one permanently to the floor. So far, if you mount the vise like I did so that you are standing on a piece of wood or plate of steel for a bottom, your own weight keeps it stable enough for most smithing activities. I suppose if I had a huge vise for heavy work I'd want that on a permanent and unmovable stand.
  12. I'd say if it's too small to be held by tongs then it needs to get turned in at the junk yard for cash to buy something that can be forged. With that said, geez, I'll take some of the stuff you are throwing out guys
  13. Show me your anvil

    Clean her up with a while wheel on an angle grinder. Wash it with soap & water, then coat it with boiled linseed oil or new motor oil. I think it makes the anvil look better yet it preserves the decades of patina that has built up. Any time you can stop rust from happening really just is a bonus for your tools and anvil. The rust won't hurt it a bit, but why not make the anvil look her best?
  14. So Stoked

    The face is the money spot really, and your anvils face looks fine for forging. The horn is in great shape too. Put that old gal to work and make some things with her. You can always save up money for a different anvil is all the things you pointed out bother you. It's still a nice gift.
  15. Anvil age

    You can easily check out the book Anvils in America by Postman from your local library if nobody chimes in on the age. If you are part of a county sharing system you'll be able to find a copy. I did this and learned a lot.