MC Hammer

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About MC Hammer

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    Senior Member

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

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  1. Water barrel always gets rank

    Bought me one of those Jack Daniels half barrels from the big box store last month. Yeah, any bucket with water works, but you have to admit the half barrels look really cool! It will be functional too and give just a small nod to the blacksmiths of old. That thing smelled so bad of Jack Daniels that I was worried about what would happen if I got pulled over.
  2. Hello Again to all

    Welcome back. I used to think I was born to the wrong time-period then came to realize it's the ideals of the old ways that I identify with more than the way things were back in the day. Back then people took time to make things that lasted and the people bought them appreciating the craftsmanship knowing that they could not do it themselves or were too busy sowing the north 400 acres to mess with it. People weren't in a hurry back then and families / friends meant something. We've lost a lot of that today and start complaining while waiting at a traffic light for oh say 2 minutes (guilty too of this) in our air conditioned car listening to music on the car stereo system. So me and my wife are more and more identifying with the old ideals. The last time the power went out we lit the kerosene lanterns and she read a book by the last evening light and I sat next to her sewing up a bear fur. It was actually kind of nice. I barter and sell things to raise money for other things and we pay cash on the barrel for most things. I think there is a way to live back then, you just have to bring those good qualities back into your life today. It's the best we can do.
  3. What did I miss?

    How true swedefiddle. I was at a family thing today and my cousin said "Anvils, I have like 12 of them on my property in the garage and in all my outbuildings, I'll give you one. I just gave a 300# anvil away to my friend last year." Um, yeah, I'm going to be calling him right away for sure. They could be total garbage, or they could be very nice, you just never know Biggun - yeah I feel blessed to have my Trenton and a year isn't bad but felt like an eternity.
  4. What did I miss?

    Good point Biggun! I got a good deal on my anvil. Maybe Josh can find a good deal too, all depends on how much time he wants to spend looking. It took me a year to find mine.
  5. Anvil size

    Perhaps a staged photo like man of the old ones were, but this is the size child I was thinking of in this thread. He looks like he's using adult tongs, but they might be hard for him to use with one hand so they may just need the handles to be heated and brought closer together. The anvil in front of him would be too high for him to use, but he could step up on something and use it. I'm guessing a lot of old blacksmith shops had boys his age helping out like this and making nails, etc.
  6. What did I miss?

    Josh you've covered things pretty well. I like that you are thinking things through before jumping in. My two cents.......spend your money on a good anvil. Certainly buying a new solid tool steel anvil is nice, but you can also buy a used one it just takes time to find one. Many people has said in past threads that what you spend on an old anvil could get you a new anvil made of tool steel and they are right, but, I think you can buy a larger old anvil. I spent $300 on my first anvil but it is 179#'s. It's not perfect, but I think I got more anvil for my dollar than what I could have afforded with a new $300 anvil. Network to find tongs, but I must also agree that you should buy a good pair of wolf jaw tongs or V-bit tongs. V's can hold round and square stock / wolf jaws can hold several different types and sizes of steel stock. You could easily buy a pair of wolf jaws to get started then look around at flea markets and junk shops. I picked these tongs up for $7 each and they are Champion brand. Price the equivalent pairs bought new. The solid steel piece in the middle was thrown in free. I plan on cutting it off and making a hardy tool out of the T section. Picked up a third pair from the same junk shop for $10 on another stop there. So that's $24 spent which is probably not even the price of one set of new tongs. But....it takes time to find these places and work on relationships with the owners. I second the eye and hear protection as well as having your fire to the side of your tarp. Keep your anvil in the shade under the tarp as that is where you'll be standing 80 % of the time. I bought my first gas forge new. You can make them for cheap, way cheaper but I just unboxed it, hooked it up to gas and started forging. Some things you need to take your time doing and other things are more efficient to just buy them to get started. If I were you, I'd come up with the total budget you can afford to spend and then maximize that money by listing what you want to buy. You may find that buying this or that used allows you more money for a new anvil or that you have a few hundred more dollars to spend on tooling. Good luck and keep your head on a swivel over there. There are those of us who keep you and your brothers in our thoughts daily. We haven't forgotten about the good work being done and the good work that still needs to be done over there. Oh, and the hammers hanging from my anvil stump - the ones on the left are two Harbor Freight specials and all the other ones were bought at antique shops or on ebay for cheap. I had to put handles or re-wedge all of them. I bought the HF hammers first to just get started - nothing at all wrong with how they move metal once profiled correctly and handles slimmed down to the correct diameter for good forging. But........it's taken me 2 years to build up the tools I have and it wasn't an instant thing.
  7. Anvil size

    I think efficiency comes into play as well. A small anvil, even if it is well secured to a base, will move around with every strike of the hammer. For a child you are not going to have a premium anvil stand set-up so it's likely a small anvil will be secured to a smallish stump set to the lower level which I believe will move around as the youngster strikes it. This loses some of the efficiency of moving the metal. My first anvil was a 75 # little thing and it moved around a lot. When I got my 179 # Trenton I noticed a huge difference. Sure, the 75 pound anvil was likely not quality hardened steel and may have even been an ASO, but not having the anvil move helped as well. I think If I had a youngster in the forge I'd just cut a large diameter stump or make a solid board platform that raised him or her up to the proper level to use a bigger anvil. One day the youngster will not need the thing to stand on and will be ready to continue on using big tools. There's a saying in the military : Train like you fight. I think this applies to this situation as well. Think about the old smithies back in the 18th and 19th century and much older. Boys helped in the smithy and got accustomed to using the grown-up tools. It's doubtful those old blacksmiths had little anvils for their little helpers. I'm guessing they found ways to raise the helper to the right level of the anvil or had the young apprentice step up to the lower striking anvil set up for heavy sledge work. Either way, I think they purposely wanted the boy to grow into the man tools instead of giving the boy boy tools and expecting him to outgrow the smaller tools. That's my 2 cent guess.
  8. Unidentified swage blocks

    Smmmmoking good deal!!!! Biggun has a good point. I'd love to have one because I want to forge my own hardy tools. They are so handy when you need to pound something in a slot or hole with a sledge. You risk cracking your anvil if you try it in your hardy hole. I'd love to own either of those swage blocks. Good job scooping them up.
  9. Many of us here are all about doing things on the cheap. So I admire you for trying to use scrounged materials. Here's the but.......it seems like an awful lot of work and trouble to build something in the end that may not really be much better a piece of large scrap steel. I think you'd be time ahead and possibly money ahead buying and anvil that is on the lower end of quality. Find one with a broken horn but a good face for a couple hundred bucks and you'd be all set. The design you currently have won't have a horn, so look for an anvil with a good face. Believe me, I understand wanting to make it on the cheap as I make hammer handles rather than pay the $8 for a new one at the hardware store so I get it, but I'd never consider making an anvil because it is the centerpiece of your tools. The anvil and the forge are the two key tools to blacksmithing and I think worth investing some money in.
  10. Glenn,

    When I try to upload pictures I get an error message 200 with the picture failing to upload.  Any idea what is going wrong?  I've uploaded pictures of similar size before without any problems but it seems this happens every so often.  Thanks.

    Mike

     

  11. What Would Your Anvil Say?

    Dave51B - Now that was a really good one!!!
  12. What Would Your Anvil Say?

    I saw my 1st anvil the other day at my dad's shop and she wouldn't even look at me after I replaced her. I suspect she was an ASO anyways and once I saw that beautiful German Trenton, well she went back where I borrowed her. I thought about bringing her back home, but oh the jealousy and fighting that might ensue from the workshop.
  13. What Would Your Anvil Say?

    Daswulf - Now that's funny Viking - Yeah, mind would be saying that too at times.
  14. Time to have some fun here. If your anvil(s) could talk to you, what would it(they) say to you today? Mine: "Hey, I'm feeling a little unloved right now when are you going to spend some quality with me?"
  15. Thomas - I'm relieved. If your anvils had carried on a conversation with you I think we'd all be concerned Singing, yes, but talking no. Hmmm, gives me an idea for a new thread.