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About DHarris

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Purcell, Oklahoma
  • Interests
    Tuning perfectly good scrap into amorphous blobs of burnt steel at the moment.

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  1. DHarris

    Is this wrought iron?

    Isn’t the only commercial source of WI just salvaged old stuff? Why would someone want to use something special to make tongs today when just normal steel scrap will do?
  2. DHarris

    Is this wrought iron?

    I picked up most of my tongs from someone who wanted to see his father-in-law’s tools and equipment go to someone who would use them and was not just wanting to get stuff cheap and then sell it for a profit. The surface of the tongs has always seemed different than what you normally see on rusty tools, so I took the end of the reins on one of the sets that needs the rivet replaced to see how it sparked. It sparked a lot like my post vise, horn of my anvil, and old wagon tyres that I know to be wrought iron, so I cut the tip half way through and bent it. It split and didn’t break. I assume it is wrought iron? If so, almost all the tongs I bought are wrought iron. When would tongs have no longer been made from wrought iron?
  3. DHarris

    Large Ford Tie Rod End

    I make chisels, punches, drifts, and fullers from tie rod ends, but this one is much larger than any others I have used. It is marked “ford p622d”. i don’t need a drift as thick as this. My Hardy hole is small. 7/8” I think. To use such a thick drift I would need to fabricate a portable Hardy hole. I suppose I could make a few handled punches? I don’t know the proper name for it, so will just say the ball that goes in the socket. That I think I will forge into a handled center punch. What about the socket? It sparks pretty well. I am thinking I might cut it and unroll it to use as the bit in a hatchet. I have wrought iron wagon tyres to use as the head. I thought I might forge weld the bit into the head. The axe, should I use mild steel at first rather than experiment with my limited supply of wrought iron?
  4. My first attempt at turning one of these things into something was pretty much a miss. I was going for a veining tool. The tip hardened well in oil and I tempered it to a light straw color. The reason I say it was a miss is it is very difficult to “walk” it down to form a straight line to form the veins in a leaf (mild steel). It bounces. With a veining tool I had forged from sucker rod it doesn’t. You can’t see it from the flat on view in the attached photo, but the tip is not inline with the striking end. I believe that is why it bounces. I also don’t like the striking end being so small and easily rounded over. I believe I should have just chopped the threaded end off instead of leaving it on to make the tool longer. Had I heat treated it and tempered to a blue color, it might have been better. Instead I did not heat treat the striking end at all. Tempering to blue should have made it less deformable, yet still softer than my hammer face. The tool I made from sucker rod has a tip that is just as asymmetrical when viewed flat on as this harrow tine tool, but it is rounded more and is much better aligned with the striking end I will try again.
  5. DHarris

    Budget Prebuilt Press

    Let’s see how far I can get without cheating. Frosty: Alaska I believe. Expert on Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burners TP: New Mexico, but he seems to have lived pretty much everywhere at one time or another. Has a method for finding anvils named after him. JLP: Massachusetts? Definitely some place in the NE. Produces excellent videos. Sometimes I wish she would explain what she is thinking more, but the written narrative does a good job of explaining what she is doing. Evidently she also gives ninja lessons. IDF&C: Arkansas. I believe your wife is involved in what you do? If true, you are truly blessed. Charles Stevens: Bradley, Oklahoma. At first I thought he was older than I am, but he is actually younger. Very knowledgeable about forge design and the history of same. Expert and perhaps the original designer of the JABOD forges. He tried over a series of PMs to help me fix a problem with my forge. LazyAssForge: Sterling, Oklahoma Sells a very good project “sketchbook”. I am not sure if the drawings are done by him or if the artist is actually his wife. I believe it is his wife. He raises mules. I am not sure if he races them, hunts with them, or just likes to look at them Steve Sells: likely wrong here, but I am going with Ohio. Definitely north of me. Has a son. Makes custom knives, but also does traditional blacksmithing. Not a real fan of stock removal. Believes forged blades are the best blades. I gotta say I agree with him. He did write the book after all. Glenn: I’m going with Michigan or Ohio. Definitely a northern state I think. I should know because I have certainly PM’d him with enough questions. Drawing a blank after that.
  6. Texas is stupid thick with blacksmiths and bladesmiths. I forget who said it, but you can’t swing a stick without hitting a bladesmith in Texas. There is a section down near the bottom of the Forum which should help you find a blacksmithing group within driving distance of you. I am not sure how many generations it would be, but my dad’s side settled in Pooleville, Oklahoma when the Civil War ended. It was called Elk at the time and was in the old Indian Territory. There isn’t much there but grass now. It could have been worse though, one of the brothers settled in Bonham, TX after the war. I really lucked out there. i grew up beside a red dirt road about 5 miles south of Rush Springs, OK. Definitely not a city boy, but unlike pretty much everyone else in my family, I did not work in the oilfield after leaving home. Instead I became a Clinical Laboratory Scientist and have spent my whole life since then working inside hospital labs where the temperature is a steady 22 degrees Celsius year round. (We were once Medical Technologists. Why and when it became CLS instead of MT is a boring story. Clinical Laboratory Scientist sounds pretentious and silly.) Pretty much the same here. But that is what I like about it. It is cool learning something new almost every time I am at the forge or anvil. I may not be able to produce anything beyond a misshapened lump, but it is a mishapened lump that “I” made myself using tools that made myself. (Not the hammers. Those were all rusty old heads I bought at yard sales, cleaned them up and profiled them with an angle grinder, and then installed new handles from wood I took from an Osage Orange tree.) Another thing I like about blacksmithing is it is very easy to learn but almost impossible to master.
  7. How could you have spent any time at all in Texas and not known what sucker rod is? The stuff is everywhere. :-) It is pretty much the steel equivalent of duct tape. Farmers and ranchers use it for everything from making hay feeders to fences. It is also good for making punches, chisels, and other tools. You should be able to find it for $7-$10 per 25 foot section. It probably comes in other thicknesses, but most seems to be 3/4”, 7/8”, or 1 1/4”.
  8. I see what you did there as well! Until I was an adult I thought it was pronounced ‘harrah’ because that is the way both my dad and granddad pronounced it.
  9. DHarris

    Hand forged tongs from rebar

    Newspaper and kindling. Although I do cheat a bit on that in a way. I have an old electric crock pot that I use to melt paraffin from old candles I buy cheap at garage sales. I split scrap lumber into thin 5” long strips. I soak the strips in the melted paraffin until they no longer float. Dryer lint works as well, but I like the wood better. I take a page from the newspaper and place a small bit of crushed bituminous coal and two or three pieces of the thinner wood strips inside the newspaper. I wad the newspaper and other stuff into a loose ball. Over that I place about 5 or 6 of the paraffin-wood strips in a camp fire arrangement. Around the edge of that I place coal. I light the ball with a match or grill lighter and turn on my blower at a low setting. In just a few minutes my forge is burning well. No compressed O2, diesel, or gasoline needed.
  10. I heat treated one in motor oil. It hardened, but not as much as other mystery metals I have. I’m going to try water. I don’t have a welder, so scrap art isn’t an option. If they don’t make decent punches, I will make a letter opener or something. (I may be using the wrong term. Perhaps fuller is a better term? I don’t plan to punch holes with them, just move metal like I would with my fingers in clay.
  11. DHarris

    First coal forge issues

    God bless the SCABA and Byron Donner who stores our pile at his place in Norman. Exspecially at the rate I burn thru the coal. It is pretty good stuff too. Years ago, before my time, they got it from Texas. Brown coal. Not so good I have been told.
  12. DHarris

    First coal forge issues

    Well yeah. Driving an hour costs money, but fill two drums full while at the clubs pile and then hang out, eat, talk to the smiths who have been doing this a long time. Learn a thing or two. Well worth the gas.
  13. DHarris

    First coal forge issues

    Are there no blacksmithing associations near Dry Ridge, Ky? I believe SCABA coal is $.07/lb. I know nothing of the other ABANA affiliates, but assume most would have similar setups for member coal.
  14. The tips aren’t diamond shaped. About halfway down one side is rounded. When I was a kid they were “dragon teeth” and the bent ones were “dinasour claws”. My Poppy’s resource center was good for hours and hours of adventure.
  15. So the deer bone has a purpose? I thought perhaps it had just fallen in the bloomery.