Jon Kerr

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About Jon Kerr

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    - Benfleet, Essex, UK
  • Interests
    Learning more about Blacksmithing!

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  1. !!!!!!! It looks pretty good to me! I'd kill for a nice anvil like that. A few chips here and there but plenty of workable surface and plenty of intact lengths of edge for setting down etc. Have you forged much on this anvil yet Ted? I don't know what your experience level is so hard to say what you need from an anvil. Where is your desire to "repair" this Anvil coming from?: - "Tool Performance"? Looking at the pictures I'd be very surprised if that Anvil wont do anything that a beginner or intermediate blacksmith needed. If you were a full time professional blacksmith/bladesmith then maybe you'd want to upgrade.... but in that case just invest in a new or better condition anvil! - "Preserving Heritage" I understand the desire to want to preserve old tools and keep them in service for many years but.... in many ways you will actually ruin the heritage of this anvil by repairing it, especially if the repair goes wrong or has some undesireable side effects! -"Perfectionism" Do you just want to see a nice clean anvil with sharp edges, a mirrored face, no flaws?..... thats just not what most anvils look like and not necessarily what a blacksmith would even want. Often, the flaws can actually be used by an experience smith as tools. Sag in a small section of anvil can be used to flatten objects or fix bends. Chipped edges (tidied up to be safe) can provide a range of radiuses along the edge of an anvil. A rougher surface anvil is sometimes desireable (as with rougher hammers) as it stops the material skating around. The surface will polish up under hot metal anyway. I wouldnt touch that anvil with a welder or grinder and would happily get decades of forging out of it. I hope I'm lucky enough to be able to afford one similar at some point!
  2. Really sorry to hear about your issues Pnut. Hope you manage to find a solution. I encountered a similar problem where I'd set up an outdoor weights gym in a secluded area near my work. Our (engineering) company owns a large site, most of which is abandoned, and much of which is large empty fields and greenery. My gym was in one of these abandoned zones in a small grassy area out of sight behind a building. I kept everything neat and tidy in as small an area as possible when out of use (probably a couple of metres square) against an old wall. Unfortunately, the gardener decided that, rather than leave this tiny area of grass un-mowed, he would destroy my equipment. Not just move it- destroy it, to the point at which it was past economic repair. He smashed the items and threw them into a nearby ditch. While I appreciate it was his job to mow the grass under the gear- nobody would have ever noticed, and a conversation following a notice on the noticeboard asking for the owner of the equipment would have been far more reasonable than destruction of property.... even if the property was in a public area. I'll never understand why someones first course of action would be to trash it. .. fortunately my colleagues calmed me down and convinced me not to insert the broken equipment into a bodily cavity which would have required removal by a team of medical specialists. Make sure you are calmer than I was when you speak to the pastor! Best of luck and hope you get resolved.
  3. Hi Ted, welcome to the forum. If you havent yet, please check out the READ THIS FIRST! thread. Most importantly, add your location to your profile. This helps people provide advice tailored to your location, and you might even get lucky and find an expert close to where you live. As for your anvil...... I can almost guarantee you'll be advised not to attempt to "repair" it unless you have a lot of experience doing so, or can find someone who is an expert in anvil repair. Generally, attempting to repair the anvils results in more harm than good. Welding can damage the hardness of the original face, and grinding is guaranteed to reduce the life of the anvil as you are removing the hardened layer rapidly. More often than not, even a battered old anvil is perfectly useable as-is as for most forging you are only using a very small area at a time (the area underneath your hammer!). The advice is often to use the anvil in-earnest for at least a year before considering making any alterations (2000hrs of forging!). If you have some pictures, that will help others give more specific advice to your case. All I can say is.... don't do anything drastic and put the grinder down till you weighed up all the options!
  4. Thoughts go out to anyone affected.
  5. My blower has a foot pedal, but I'm finding with coke I need it on all the time so I've basically rested a hammer head on the pedal so it's always on. I control the air flow with the valve on the Iron Dwarf forge. (my blower is noisy as hell though unfortunately!) I'm learning about burning stuff the hard way. I was excited to have my friend in the shop, and I got caught out once we'd drawn the steel down to a smaller size and the heating times went down accordingly. The handle is too big anyway. For now, its structurally sound and I can use it as-is (its better than the rubber handled garden trowel that I was using before!). There's enough material to cut off at the burn and draw out much longer.
  6. Looks awesome JHCC. The only thing I dont like is the fixed hot cut because I can imagine myself losing a finger. GREAT idea with the notches in the stand so it can be laid side-on. Have you considered drilling out a square (ish) hardy hole in the thin web in that orientation? That side on view gives me so many other ideas for tooling too. With access that way you could grind in bending forks and all sorts. I'd echo Pnut's comments- theyre very lucky to have you helping out!
  7. A friend of mine wanted to see my forge in action, as he hasnt visited since the forge was "a box of soil in the garden" (his words!). .... well I wasnt just going to let him watch so he got handed the sledgehammer. He did a fantastic, tireless job and we succeeded in making a new coke spoon for managing my fire. Unfortunately, I burned the steel on the handle while we were chatting, and then tried to twist it with a tapered handle. Both these errors resulted in a crack in the twist which ruined the handle. The handle is also shorter than I'd have liked, anyway. Im planning to cut it off at the damaged section, then do some more work to untwist, reforge square and draw out much long and thinner, then recreate the twist and hook.
  8. Absolutely- thats what I was trying to say/clarify in my second post! .... its still a fair achievement in design and fire management (skill) in my opinion. So my congratulations to the original poster still stands.
  9. I know that the Vikings+Franks pattern welded swords using charcoal so the issue was certainly with my design/set up rather than the fuel! Congrats on your design since its working so well.
  10. This looks great Paul, and excellent for people who have a ready supply of scrap wood like yourself. I'm amazed you managed to make damascus in it- you must have your fire management down to a fine art! When I had a charcoal forge I struggled to heat large objects and certainly wouldnt have been able to reliably heat and pattern weld. Shame the pictures are sideways- its hard to see whats going on. Do you have any sketches of your final design? Might be handy for anyone trying to replicate in future. I assume its fed with blower air from underneath and the large pipe out the back and up is the flue? Many people have a ready supply of scrap like pallets etc. In a well ventilated place this would be great for forging with cheap (free!) fuel.
  11. Thanks Neal! Neal and I had a good forging session on Sunday- he gave me some tips on forging leaves and hooks while having a go with the coke forge (Neal uses gas). Here he is modelling my new "bike-chain-foot-powered-hold-down", which he loved
  12. TP- im about to buy a welder so a tool holder like you described might be possible soon.... thanks. Also yes I was careful that the dice opposites added to 7. My gamer mates would never forgive me for a mistake like that.... id never hear the end of it. That said.... one of my gamer friends is very lucky, and the another very unlucky. I might make their bottle openers to be all 5s and 6s, or all 1s and 2s, for a bit of a joke. Today was a HUGE success. I wanted to have a go at a set of viking style tongs, similar to those found at Mastermyr. I also wanted to try shorter handles than my other tongs to see how that feels. Im incredibly happy with these. Easily the best thing Ive forged so far. Took me around 4hrs although that inluded making my first rivet and making a nail/rivet header. (Note- they look enourmous in the photo- they were still to hot to put in my hand for scale. They're not that big because the reins are fairly short, but theyre nice and chunky. Reins are approx 8-10mm square for scale).
  13. Interesting! So whats the precaution against this? Thus far I've been turning off the blower to my (coke) forge, doing a quick tidy up while I make sure nothing is on fire, and then leaving the shop within a couple of minutes. Should I be doing something better to shut down the forge which is safer?
  14. Wow Piteog! Thats a great looking anvil from a serious bit of rail! I'm actually very jealous. If I were you- I'd look at putting some radii on the edges, they look quite sharp. Theres lots of info regarding this on the forum but generally its nice to have a few different radii on the edges to give yourself forging options. Additionally- have you seen the "swiss army anvil" by Charles in this thread? I'd look to turn the web into a fuller, and one side of the rail base section into a mini horn. That would pretty much give you everything you need! (Note.. I personally DONT recommended carving a permanent hot cut into the rail as its too risky) Here's mine as an example of what I mean by the mini horn. (note this isnt my main anvil so ignore the grinding on the rest of it, its not finished and for a different purpose). Re/ ringing... I stopped my anvil ringing using a magnet, which I also use for checking for critical (non magnetic) temperature when quenching. The magnet is a (30mm diameter, 8mm thick) neodmium ring magnet which is designed to take a countersunk screw down the middle. It's screwed into a lump of wood as a handle. This relatively small magnet+handle stops all my ring dead. You can get them on eBay etc dirt cheap.