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About MacLeod

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    Outer Hebrides Scotland (Isle of Lewis)

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  1. I’m a grown adult, away from home in a hotel room on my own with internet access. This ‘show me your anvil’ thread is my go to to cheer myself up. I love them all! Am I weird? bluerooster, I reckon that anvil will save you some hammer swings. Great project.
  2. Selfishly, I hope you’re feeling better Thomas, I wouldn’t know what wrought iron looked like if it wasn’t for you, far less be able to wax lyrical on pre Bessemer process. Hope you get the right help to get yourself back fighting fit again soon. You have a good knack for pointing people in the right direction and I have learned a lot from your posts on this forum.
  3. Stay safe, all the best. Praying the big fella upstairs sees fit to send more rain, even for some respite for the brave firefighters and to help protect against further fires. Hope he guides your officials to give the right help and support to all affected by this tragedy.
  4. Thank you Billy! That’s a great sentiment. For the 3rd and 4th days of the year my hand was mostly holding my head. I’m getting too old for Hebridean Hogmanays and all the whisky that goes along with them. However I did manage to make a pair of scrolling tongs out of a bit of rusty donated steel bar. I was fed up of snapping long nose pliers when curling my horns. They are not pretty but work a treat. Conrad, I also am dealing with an addiction to forging horse heads. Although mostly mine turn out looking like fish, yours are great. I usually ruin mine by trying to add ears, after seeing yours and @littleblacksmiths I don’t think they need ears. That means crazygoatlady is off the hook for giving me a way of happy horses with ears pointing forward. Happy hammering!
  5. Bliadhna mhath ur to everyone, in the brief period of sobriety between Hogmanay and either today or tomorrow I oh never mind! Happy 2020 all!!!
  6. jhcc I like the spatula/bottle opener, would be handy in the summer for not having to leave the bbq! Consider your design stolen! I’m gonna show off too. I escaped the left over turkey and the bedlam today and spent most of it in the shed. Since taking frostys advice and copying bits of Ausfires pokers, the ones I send up to the shop are flying out the door. I am condemned to makings rams head pokers for ever, wish I hadn’t bored everybody to tears with them in the first place. I’m a bit quicker with them now though and can get on with other things while having one or two on the go. I finally made some punches and chisels out of coil spring (including an eye shaped punch!) and my first hardy tool for Anvilina. To the untrained eye, this hardy tool may appear to be some coil spring hammered into a Y shape, but honestly some thought went into it and now it’s an effective bending tool. Oh, also pictured, as two of my nieces are visiting the island for New Year they will get disappointed with ‘Viking style’ pendants as Christmas presents. The others got amazon vouchers. I’m home for two weeks, this doesn’t happen often, so after all scheduled jobs have been completed, apart from dirt biking with the wee fella, chasing sheep and shovelling horse stuff I’m getting to spend a lot of time with Anvilina. I’m still not allowed to take her into the house though. Anyway, the real reason for posting was to wish everybody here a great holiday and all the very best for 2020. Thank you for all the advice, instruction and encouragement in 2019, your kindness in giving help so freely is very much appreciated, however, please be ready to field further daft questions in the coming year. Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr dhuibh uile!
  7. Having a good old chuckle at where this thread has gone! That’s a beauty, is the top plate away? I reckon on your side of the pond you’ll have plenty places to get that fixed, if you need to. I don’t think there’s many companies over in the UK who would take the job on. I put a few bits of chain on mine and it really helps dampening it, yours has chains that BA Baracus would be proud of! All the best with your projects!
  8. It’s so nice to be around people who get excited about new anvils, I was accused of not being normal last week! Imagine! Happy hammering all!!!
  9. Definitely! Couldn’t balance anything on the train track Thomas! Angusina’s hardie hole is slanted and exits out the side, that’s going to make making tools interesting. Maybe the first one will be a cake stand
  10. Thanks, glad I didn’t buy a donkey. Only had time tonight to straighten and taper half a dozen sections of coil spring, didn’t drop any on the floor and dead straight in one heat. 5 inch flat width is like a dining table compared to what I’m used to! Onwards!
  11. I’m not telling her that Thomas, I’d be in more trouble then Wire brush got rid of that awful antique patina! gives us HULOT HARMEL AUX FORGES DE VULCAIN PARIS 51922 75 K 5
  12. Mr and Mrs MacLeod are both pleased(the former) and completely disinterested (the latter) to announce the arrival of a beautiful baby Anvil. ‘Angusina the Anvil MacLeod’ is a two horned french ‘hulot harmel’ and although a bit rough round the edges, well one edge in particular, she is loved already by her proud Dad. Her mother appears happy and normal enough to others, but to me appears to be suffering from post natanvil depression, only that can explain the utter lack of excitement at the new arrival. Of course it was me that bore most of the pain of this delivery, which wasn’t without it’s complications. Purchased at auction in Cheshire, I was the one who went through the difficult labour of organising collection and pallet haulage to the Outer Hebrides. I experienced severe contractions of the wallet in doing so. It was me who would check the tracking website each half hour on the hour from 5:30 am till well after bedtime daily, willing the pallet onwards. These checks became more frequent as the time got closer but I controlled my breathing OK. Nobody held my shaking hands to reassure me or gently dabbed the sweat from my brow between scans. Nobody explained what ‘scanned to trunk’ meant either. Unlike the other familial deliveries, I wasn’t actually present at the arrival, I was on the mainland working, but that was no need to leave poor wee Angusina outside beside the van for three days! I regularly requested various angle photos, and updates, (and a rebound test) until eventually those admittedly frequent but altogether reasonable requests were ignored entirely. Got home today. Oh man, the stars aligned for me for once, I wasn’t outbid by garden ornament hunters, interior designers, resellers or a rich blacksmith(if there is such a thing) and now this beautiful anvil is mine. I found it hidden in an ‘antiques and fine art’ auction, so it didn’t get much interest and went to me for a reasonable price. It was described in the auction catalogue thus: Rare French Hulot Harmel Antique Anvil. 2 Horned French Anvil (Paris), wonderful age and patina, stands at 9 inches and 27 inches long. I intend to devalue it as an antique by hitting hot bits of steel on it and am probably going to take a wire wheel to it to get rid of a lot of that ‘patina’ too. I’m not fussed about the chipped edge there’s plenty corners on it and I’ll attempt a hardie tool if I need more. I’m not sure of how old it is and I have only the information from here on IFI on its pedigree. That’s plenty. On arriving home after Jetta had jumped up on me and covered my smart clothes in mud, I demonstrated the ballbearing rebound test to a -suddenly busy, other stuff to do-Mrs MacLeod. The ball bearing gave a wee bounce on the train track first as a comparison. I was leaning over too much and too close to Angusina and altogether too forceful, and when the ball bearing hit me smartly on the forehead, there was no alarm, no thoughts of concussion; “idiot” she said “you deserved that.” It rings, I didn’t mind the dull thud of my train track, but this rings! I reckon on a calm night they will hear it ring over on the Isle of Skye. I’m looking forward to working with bigger stock on a flat surface and the health and safety improvements that will instantly give me. I’ve started a few unintentional fires by chucking hot steel about while squaring or punching heavier (for me) bits on the train track. Anyway I’m droning on, what I’m trying to say is ‘Hallo everyone, hope you’re all well, what do you think of my new anvil?’ I’m off to learn some french or alternatively tap some Scottish Gaelic into Angusina…. PS I broke Mrs MacLeods horse feed trolley when I was using it as Angusina’s Stroller to get her to the shed. If I don’t post again by Christmas send the police in...
  13. Probably the inspiration for me to heat up a bit of steel and hit it. Thank goodness Calum Angus filmed it. Facebook links removed Calum and his father used to have a forge beside my grandfathers workshop in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, before my time, it’s now the police station, they both moved workshops but my grandfather used to take me to visit the new forge, man, I was young but I remember it. It was certainly the most interesting place for a young boy to visit when my grandfather was doing the rounds. The fish smoker and the shoemakers just weren’t the same. told to go and meet him and show him the stuff I was doing when I moved home, but I didn’t. Frankly I thought it wasn’t good enough, this guy was an artist. I think it will always be a regret. The big C doesn’t wait for you to hone your skills. He is missed by all the old school in the Outer Hebrides, last of the blacksmiths in that part of the world for sure. There’s no subtitles so I hope my friends on here will understand the stories, there’s a few Gaelic words in there too, if you need a translation of any let me know. Calum ‘Stealag’ MacLeod 1935-2019 By hammer and hand... Obituary:
  14. I guess the quality of the leather is important too. I bought a ‘cowhide’ off eBay. Turned out it was a very small cow with very thin skin. Any idea what ‘grade’ of leather is best?