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. I too would ask one of your husbands blacksmithing buddies to go with you to look at the anvil. Stuff like ring sound and rebound need to be tested. You sound like the very best of wives to do this for your husband, so let the surprise from him be real by getting a great anvil that someone with knowledge has inspected with you. Pictures would be helpful as we could at least tell you if it looked good.
  2. 150 pounds is a good shop size, so a lot depends on what you want to do with it like others said. I have 179 pound anvil on a huge stump and it was a pain to move in and out of my garage so the 118 pound anvil would be a lot easier to move around. If it were me though, I'd want to invest in something closer to the 150 pound mark.
  3. Look up a flintknapping friend of mine, Roy Miller. He owns a quarry right on Flint Ridge. The fossil type stuff is cast aside in the pits by Roy and other flintknappers because they can't use it. I have some beautiful crystal formations from there. The Nether's farm is another place that lets you quarry flint or whatever you pick up. I've made punches out of coil spring and they work great. I cut them in pieces, then I normalized them a couple of times before I put a hammer to them. Once I got them octagon in shape (prevents them rolling all over the place) and the tip in the shape I wanted, I normalized them again I think 3 times then went in for my final heat up to non-magnetic, then a soak at that temp. When I quenched mine, I did them in water. I quenched the tip end first, then the struck end and left the heat in the middle to run up to both ends until I got the color I wanted. It helps to have a grinding stone there to polish it right after the quench so you can see the colors really well. Some might think the normalizing is overkill, but those springs have taken a lot of abuse and stress so I'd rather relieve that as much as I can. I also prefer to cut what I need out of the coil springs instead of trying to unwind them into a straight piece. I think that's a lot of stress on a rapidly cooling piece of metal. I think it can be done, but cutting a piece out is just as easy in my book. Good luck and show us the punches and things you get out of it.
  4. Visited my favorite junk shop yesterday and found a little cross peen hammer head that looks to me to be hand forged and definitely a blacksmith shop used hammer. I also picked up 10 old files with some of them being Nicholson's and other's Heller's and two labeled as Fisher's. I've never seen the Fisher's before and they had an eagle on them. Maybe I just never paid that much attention in the past. I also found a nice 4 x 4 inch block of steel with different square diameter lines machined into it. It will make a great hardy tool some day when welded to a base. All for $15. I don't mind paying $1 each for old files. The worn out ones can always be made into knives. I got lucky and found that all of them are in great usable shape.
  5. You and I are both scratching our heads. I'm not sure why either but I've read it in a number of books. When I began blacksmithing, I thought these guys must know something I don't and now I'm used to having my anvil pointing that way. My other Fisher anvil is behind me at about 10 o'clock so the horn is pointing to about 1 o'clock. I tend to use that horn more because I can stand in front of it better and work around it better. I'd say this is a great reason to own more than one anvil
  6. I started out pointing my anvil at the forge and that's the way I have it oriented. I'm right handed and it doesn't seem to impede my forging on the horn at all. Try it both ways and see what you like the most. I'd set out to make 3 different things with it one way, and make the same 3 things again the other way. Note which seems to flow better and go with it. The old timers claim your anvil should always be pointed toward the forge. I took that advice, but I don't think it really matters.
  7. It looks to me to be one of the old English types of anvils based on the feet and legs, but that horn shouldn't be flat on the top nor should there be a cut-out on the front feet. I'd go with old English anvil as a guess. There were tons of makers back then, but Mouse Hole Forge is one of the biggest producers of anvils at that particular period in time. I'd say clean the whole anvil up with a wire wheel on an angle grinder. Just take the rust off and see if there are any further markings. You'd be surprised what rust covers up or obscures.
  8. You won't be sorry for using the caulk. I used 100% silicone caulking and it worked great. My Trenton went from ringing loudly to a deadened ring at best. I don't plan on ever seperating the anvil from the stump, but if I have to I'm not at all worried about removing the silicone. It's not going to be like a head gasket job, I'd just scrape off and remove what I can and put more on to stick it there again. Let us know how it turns out.
  9. The center of this stand is 11 1/4 x 11 1/4 inches. Since the swage block is 11 x 11 I wanted some room in there to spare so I didn't have a tight fit. Here's the measurements for all the swage block features:
  10. I've been forging for a few years now and just ordered my first touchmarks. I ordered a small one and a large one to cover all the work I'll be doing. It's cheaper if you order them at the same time. My touchmarks are made form O1 tool steel and heat treated correctly by the seller. It is important to mark your work, but sadly many of my early things I made for around the house are not marked. Though they'll never fall into the wrong hands, some day they will be out there when I'm long dead and gone. I think it's important to wait to get a touchmark made until you really know what sort of things you enjoy making. It also gives you time to figure out a great name for your forge or a symbol that is meaningful to you. While researching the historic blacksmiths in my area and where their shops were, I found out my town used to be named Yorkshire back in the 1700's and early 1800's, hence Yorkshire Forge was selected to be be my forge name. I put this on my touchmark along with my first initial and last name. In the middle is an actual shape of my anvil I forge with. I feel having an anvil on your touchmark shows it's modern work and it communicates everything you need to say in one symbol even if your name or forge name is not as clear. They cost a lot of money to have made, so be sure you know what you want. I did a lot of research before coming up with my touchmark. I really feel strongly that you should have your name included in it because if you have say a cross as your symbol it really doesn't tell future generations much about who made it. Even initials are a guess. A name can be researched. I picked up a pig sticker antique knife from a junk shop that had the blacksmith's name stamped in it. I was able to track him down through research and find out where he lived and worked. I kept that info with the knife so now there's some history behind it. Without the name on it, I wouldn't have known anything about who made it but now there's this connection with the maker.
  11. Wow it took you that long for you to go hunt that down? Glad you found it and she's a beauty. Please post pictures of it after you clean it up. I just got a lead on a swage block that my dad remembers being outside my grandpa's old barn that was torn down years ago. The current owners said I can look back there and take anything I want.
  12. That was funny! You know, it does look like water bed boards I've never really liked the burned look for artificial aging. I do it on tomahawk handles around where the hole is because all the old ones I've handled had that discoloration due to being in contact with the iron all those hundreds of years. I've just always thought it looked like it was burnt on wood things like that. What I was going for was something that didn't look like it was fresh lumber and out of place next to my old stuff. I got what I wanted and it looks like it fits in my shop now.
  13. My experience with shellac is that it loses its flammability once dry and will burn only as much as anything else such as just a plain old wood stand without shellac.. Are you saying to torch off the shellac finish? I actually did take and angle grinder and knock the sharp edges off the swage block and then I did some rasping to profile them a bit so that there's a radius on them and they don't leave marks on the things I'm working.
  14. Quite a handy idea. I hadn't thought about the double bit axe either. I bet you could also do a pipe tomahawk with the same method and a longer area that is upset. Thanks for sharing!
  15. Hmmm, I never considered upsetting the leaf spring like that to give me a spot to punch and drift a hole. As most of us know, 5160 doesn't like to forge weld on its self so this is a great idea. I just stopped by my favorite spring steel shop on Friday and he gave me some new 5160 drops that I'd planned on cutting and using to forge weld into mild steel bits. Now you gave me another idea. The drops are from huge truck leaf springs so there's plenty of material there to upset and work.