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About Chelonian

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  1. Could be lots of different compounds (likely an oxide of some sort, since it appeared when you heated it), but it looks a lot like lead(II) oxide to me, also known as Litharge. Rather nasty stuff if that's what it is. Is there any chance it was coated in lead paint? Or directly lead plated? The yellow could also be a cadmium oxide, if it had a zinc-cadmium alloy plating. Some zinc oxides also can be yellow, though I don't think they usually act quite that way. In any case, it's definitely not worth taking the risk of using it in my opinion. If you can see the yellow on any of the coal in the forge once it's cool, I would remove it and not risk burning it.
  2. Yours has significantly more clean edges than mine does (mine's also broken off at the heel weld), and I've never had issues with not having enough good edge space. I can't really think of any task that would require more than 1" or so of edge space. You'll also likely find specialized uses for the different shapes in the chipped edges as you use it.
  3. Be sure to wear a respirator; it's most likely lead based paint.
  4. I have a Champion 400 in what sounds like a very similar predicament. It's in excellent condition, except that the phosphor bronze gear's teeth are worn quite thin. I have tried removing the gear, but with no success. A gear-maker that I contacted about making a replacement gear said that it would cost about $600, which is ten times what I paid for the entire machine, so that's not really an option for me. If you do find a solution, please let me know! And good luck.
  5. I'm not a knifemaker, so I may be wrong about this, but do you really need the horn or heel of an anvil when forging knives? If not, I would say your best option might just be to go to some scrapyards and find a big chunk of steel with at least one relatively flat face for cheap. I'm of the opinion that hardened anvil faces are a bit overrated for hobby use.
  6. Exactly what will you be doing that requires a perfectly flat working surface? My anvil does not have a particularly smooth or flat face. It has some sway (which is actually beneficial in nearly all cases), some chisel marks, some chipped edges, and three large semicircular dents (presumably from an inexperienced striker). Not to mention, it's missing its heel. None of those surface irregularities transfer onto my work pieces. Also, just in the six months I've had it, the pitting from rust on the surface has polished away significantly from use. Additionally, if after using that anvil for a while, you do feel need a perfectly flat working surface for a few rare cases, just go to a scrapyard or something and get a nice flat block of steel for cheap. Please don't damage that fine anvil.
  7. Someone recently gave me this thing, but I'm not exactly sure what it is: The shape sure seems reminiscent of a cold chisel, but the end is pretty strange. Perhaps it was just modified at some point? If anyone knows what it is/was, please let me know. It does spark as fairly high carbon, so I was thinking I maybe it would make a decent hot chisel.
  8. I'd have a hard time selling something that old and cool, being a blacksmith or otherwise! I'm not saying that you shouldn't, but I would recommend thinking it over for a while before you do.
  9. Daswulf, good idea. I'll try sanding off the polished surface. I have read all several threads on here about hammer technique, which is where I got the suspicion that I shouldn't be having to grip the handle as hard as I was. Ted Ewert, the handle is already pretty thin, I think if I made it much smaller it would be too thin to hold properly. I was actually thinking that maybe it was too thin, but after seeing your post, I think the problem was just the wax that I put on it. Thanks for the responses!
  10. What's a good way to make a wooden hammer handle more grippy? I'm noticing that my hand gets tired from swinging my hammer (It's only a 2lb head, so I don't think weight is the problem), and I think the problem is that I'm having to grip it too hard. A few months ago I did coat it in paste wax, perhaps that was a mistake?
  11. They're definitely springy, but very stiff. You can't really see it in the photo, but they are sort of rectangular in cross-section. It may work if I thinned down the spring area significantly. Thanks for the idea, I'll try it on one at some point, and see how it goes.
  12. A friend gave me a bag of scrap metal, mostly railroad-related stuff (yes, I know, but I wasn't about to say no). There were quite a few railroad spikes, a chair screw, a large split-washer, half of a Pandrol clip, and six of these things, which I believe are called lock spikes: Anyone have any ideas what I could make out of these? They seem to spark medium-ish carbon, so perhaps small chisels or punches once I straighten them out? I think I'll be able to make two punches/chisels out of the Pandrol clip, and possibly a small punch/chisel from the split washer. The chair screw sparked very high carbon, but I don't really know what to make from such an odd shape.
  13. If you'd like, you can just try putting a little BLO or wax on a small spot on the body of the anvil now and see if you like the way it looks before you remove the rest of the rust. The oils really darken the rust and make it look nicer than if there was no rust in my opinion. Having rust under the oil will not make it rust any faster in the future.
  14. Looks like it's in very good condition to me. Have you read about not grinding or milling the face (the top) of anvils?
  15. What's the weight of one of them? Clearly the best use for them is to make 2 1/2 pairs of the toughest steel toed boots ever.