MC Hammer

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About MC Hammer

  • Rank
    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. MC Hammer

    Steel and concrete anvil stand

    How will you be certain your concrete will not just crack apart when you start forging on it? The rebar is structural support, but a jack hammer can easily take apart concrete with rebar in it. You essentially will be lightly jack hammering the concrete when you forge. I hope it works for you and I hope you keep us appraised as to the success or failure of it so that others can either jump on the bandwagon or learn from your mistakes with it.
  2. Wow, you are one letter off from my avatar name I guess there's room for 2 hammers here. It seems you have $400 burning a hole in your pocket NC Why are you in such a rush? It takes a lot of time to find a decent used anvil, but it is time well invested especially since it's just a hobby. Think about how much time you'd take looking over new cell phone options or a new car. It took me over a year to find my first anvil and I only paid $300 for it. It weighs 179 lbs and will likely be my main shop anvil for life. I had an ASO to forge on while I looked for a good anvil. You could follow Thomas' suggestion and find a scrap piece to use until you find a good used anvil. It's not instant gratification in the sense that online you click a few buttons, give them your credit card number and it's on it's way, but you pay for that convenience in the sense that you might not get a quality anvil or it weighs too little. If finding anvils was easy, everyone would have one and they would be trying to pay you to come get them out of their way. One thing that concerns me NC is that you seem rushed to get into forging. Blacksmithing skills take time to learn, so even if you can press the fast forward button acquiring your anvil you will have to slow down and still learn the skills required to make things like blades if blades are your goal. I'm not trying to burst your bubble, but you will need to make a lot of other lesser cool things before you can competently make a blade or axe (or at least a proper one). Take your time in all aspects of this craft. Some of the best blacksmiths I've seen work are the ones with 30 years of smithing that seem to never be in a hurry and glide efficiently from forge to anvil and make things so effortlessly (or so it seems).
  3. MC Hammer

    Old Axe Pictures

    Das - It was a fun project because he wanted the handle to look like it had been really used. That took some thinking about where scratches and dents would be. I had to really work it over and compare it to my old antique handles on tools to make sure I got the "crud" right that should be around the head if it were that old. The customer was thrilled with it and he put it over him mantle. It was found while metal detecting on an old Indian village site on private land. It's funny, I look at that axe a whole lot differently now that I'm forging than when I'd done the project years ago as someone with no forging experience.
  4. Many years before getting into blacksmithing I did a handle reproduction for this authentic axe head dug out of the ground. My customer wanted the handle and axe head to look like it had been found in a dry cave or and old barn. The color of the photos is really off on the handle because of the lighting used, but the star here isn't my handle. Take a look at this axe head. You can really see that the axe body was made from wrought iron and the bit was made of high carbon steel. The maker's mark is really not distinguishable other than to say it's there. I'm guessing this is a French trade style axe, but there may be others with more knowledge about this. I thought the pictures were really cool to just look at from a forging standpoint. Here's what I did to furnish it with a reproduction handle
  5. MC Hammer

    Hello, I'm new - be gentle

    Welcome to the wonderful world of blacksmithing! Start by reading everything you can on the subject of blacksmithing. Here are some books I found helpful when I started: The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W. Bealer A Blacksmithing Primer by Randy McDaniel The Backyard Balcksmith by Lorelei Sims Blacksmithing, Basics for the Homestead by Joe DeLaRonde The Blacksmith by Aldren A. Watson Also read the many threads on this forum. There's so much valuable information here. Next thing will be finding tools, anvil, and forge. Take your time and save a lot of money so that you can get a good start. Lastly, smile and get forging.
  6. I think you are putting the cart before the horse so to speak. You have to invest some time in learning the basic skills of blacksmithing before you can think about making a business out of it. There are several here that make a living selling their forged items, but it's hard work and not an 8-5, 5 day a week job. My suggestion would be to spend some time assembling the proper tools, have fun learning forging skills, and sell a few things along the way to fund it as a hobby until your skill level reaches a point where you have a good customer base and outlets to sell your products. Keep working your day job and do this on the side until you reach a point where the scales tip in the favor of you starting a business.
  7. MC Hammer

    First hook.

    Anvil makes a good point about keeping track of how you make things. I have a bench book that I write down this stuff in. You write the stock size, length you cut, and the method you used to make it. If you do this, you don't have to struggle to remember when you have to make it again. I'll also watch videos on YouTube from excellent blacksmiths and write down the methods and stock sizes they use & sketch the final product. This is great because you can stop the video, take notes, then start it again. This takes some guess work out of things.
  8. MC Hammer

    First hook.

    Jim's right. I'm making 4 hooks for a coat rack and have a long 4 foot piece of stock that I've marked out and will be hanging onto the stock and drawing it out. It's way easier, you just can't hold the last little piece because it will be too hot usually. Say you have to square a piece of round stock and draw out both ends, it's easier with a long piece of stock.
  9. MC Hammer

    To wedge or not to wedge

    Very true Anvil! Good info JLP
  10. MC Hammer

    To wedge or not to wedge

    Me personally, I don't want that wedge having any lubrication. When I pound mine in I use my wooden mallet and pound it in until it won't go any further. I cut long wedges so that I can then take it to the belt grinder and grind it off smooth. Then the Swell-Lock is applied until it won't absorb anymore. I want that friction between the wedge and the wood - nice tight fit.
  11. I had a similar experience with the 70 lb anvil I started with. I had it on a bigger stump and that helped but it still is a small anvil. I was at a festival last weekend and a blacksmith there had a little Peter Wright anvil that I'm guessing was 80 lbs soaking wet. He was only doing small decorative work on it. I would think your 40 lb Badger would need to doing work like that as well. If you are trying to take 1 inch stock and work it down on a 40 lb anvil it will be a challenge I imagine. My opinion is that even you think you have a small anvil perfectly secured, I think it moves around a lot and you just can't perceive it unless you are watching someone else forge on it.
  12. MC Hammer

    First hook.

    Nice job on the first hook! Taking on a twist was bold for a first go at it. You may want to heat the hook end up again, straighten it out, and draw it out a bit more so the hook is bigger and scrolls upward. If you have a fine needle tip you can scroll the very end of the hook to form a little scroll to add a decorative touch. Google hooks to see examples. Be proud of the fact that there aren't many people walking down the streets that can do what you did. Pound that baby into something and start using it. I find it satisfying to make useful things around the shop and house.
  13. MC Hammer

    Hay Rake Tine Striker Problems

    I'll try the water quench and see what happens Anvil.
  14. MC Hammer

    To wedge or not to wedge

    I've not used glue with my wooden wedges, but it seems like a great idea. I've also heard the round pipe-like wedges work really well because they push the wood out evenly in all directions. Trust me, the Swell-Lock works really well. I'm thinking I'll have to add a few drops a year because of the effects of heat from forging, but that's easy maintenance. I've even added the Swell-Lock to handles someone else put metal wedges & square nails in and it had tightened them up without trouble.
  15. MC Hammer

    It this anvil worth the money?

    I'd keep shopping unless I could pick it up for less than $100. Imagine a used car lot selling you a car missing the rear-end from the tire on back and wanting nearly new prices Let's say the face is good and hard. If it started out at 114# a decent price is $3 per # so that would have been a $342 anvil. You only have 2/3 there so I'd want to reduce that by at least 1/3 and start my negotiation at $228. That's even too much, but the seller can't really argue with the fact that there's only 2/3 of an anvil there. If it were me, I'd respectfully point out the missing 1/3 and offer $100. The seller will probably counter at $200, so that's when you offer $125. You might just take it home for $150 or you can just walk away. I would not pay $350 for it.