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I Forge Iron


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About j.w.s.

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    Junior Curmudgeon

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    Middletown, Pa
  • Interests
    Hunting, fishing, outdoors, cooking and fine whiskeys in no particular order.


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    Lancaster, Pa.

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  1. Stock up on things like aluminum and red metal rounds to start. I have a 9x19 and keep on thinking I’d have more fun with a taig. Start slow, be ready for excitement, dismiss disappointment and just push it safely to its limits! Then show off, obviously. Lol -J
  2. Looks good Gav, I like the use of brass for the ways, almost went that way but I have such a difficult time using brass in the shop for anything other than knife fittings. On the build I just did (bow spring hammer post), I just shimmed it on two sides using the ultra high density plastic stuff and a piece of annealed 15n20 - I figure my tup is made of A2, it’s going to be pretty darn wear resistant anyway. So far the steel on steel is working well and the plastic doesn’t appear to be wearing but it’s all lithium greased daily before I fire it up every day. Nice build, keep the picture coming
  3. Did a big change in design last night - just thought the spring set up was sloppy. Here's the new concept, and wow, what a change! The idea here was a set of springs made of 1095, just a slight bow to them and essentially the same heat treat as the main springs made of 1075. The speed is great, very little loss. -J
  4. Very possible according to some of the old timers. I was warned years ago that putting copper in the forge (or a penny) will stop your ability to ever forge weld in it again. Guess what brass is made from? Copper and Zinc - the zinc might also be a problem. Of course it could all be poppy-cock as well! Rich Hale made a post about it once. It's probably more possible that something is off-gassing, a little residual material probably invisible to the eyes. Whatever is off gassing, and it could be lots of different elements with the cordite, brass, copper, zinc, etc, could just be dirtying
  5. While doing my hammer tinkering project I had to drop in on the old machinist down the block to get him to turn a drive shaft for me from 4142. Whenever I drop in on Jake it's an experience. Stories, information, tool talk, etc. He was a machinist for Hershey for 30 years and has had his own shop now for just about as long, the old guy sure is busy - I know my phone doesn't ring that often! Inevitably while he's punching numbers into the old black and white VGA CRT attached to one of his lathes or mills, he'll start talking and asking questions. He asked me about quenching and I explained my p
  6. I'd braze it with nickel silver, that melts at 1670F-ish I believe. Home Depot carries 2 in black iron and they will cut and thread for you as well, it's around $45 for 10 feet, never hurts to have the extra sitting around the shop for various other projects in the future.. I was just looking for some to make some holders for my pin stock rods that are too long for my pigeon hole shelf, could have sworn I had 4 or 5 feet, haven't tripped over it yet but this is how I'll end up with 8 feet of it lying around this summer! -J
  7. "We definitely have toilet paper rolls, but I don't actually recall seeing concrete tube formers, though I'm probably just not looking." I definitely didn't mean that in a negative way, I actually meant that your toilet paper rolls might be a little less wasteful than ours here in the states, like those fancy ones without the hard tube of cardboard in the middle.. God knows we Americans love anything we can throw in a landfill! lol And I didn't understand what the purpose was so I'll apologize for that as well. As far as improving the insulation of your refractory, or making it more porou
  8. Doesn't look too shabby, most definitely serviceable. There's probably a very caked over set screw or hole for one somewhere on that clinker breaker. I'd probably give it a quick sandblast to see if it could be revealed, but you might have some luck with scrubbing it down with some oil and a wire brush.The way it moves, I'd probably be set on eventually replacing that rod, customizing it for the table etc, then while you have it taken apart, you can clean up the other parts. Who knows what it might reveal? As far as an air gate, go to a home improvement store, you might get lucky and find an a
  9. Had about 30 minutes to run down to the shop today and shoot a quick video. It's not perfect, but my 5 year old did her best to help with the creative processing in post. I'm actually shocked at how well she follows a final cut pro timeline! Now that I've gotten it all battened down, I've got a buddy coming over on Thursday to help stress test the hammer, obviously we'll christen it with some Irish whiskey before we begin for good luck. -J
  10. I have a Johnson 900ss which is a larger volume than what you're looking at, I can do a 16lb crucible no problem. It runs at 240,000 Btu's - You've got a 20lb propane bottle, you'll need at least 2" of refractory, preferably 2.5"-3" for efficiency. Even at 2", that's going to leave you just 8" x about 6" (been a while since I measured a tank) for an inside chamber, it needs air flow around the crucible plus enough wiggle room to grab the crucible with tongs.. Yeah, a camp stove isn't going to cook this job, you'd be lucky to bake a potato in it, maybe melt lead. I'd want a minimum 40,000 Btu's
  11. Ted, I've seen your hammer in operation before (yeah, I'm at least one of your 51 views) - I know you've got your own reasons for converting so I won't ask the why question but I will say that your original cam design seemed to work pretty well. I've never been a fan of the Rusty style hammers just because of their foot print in the shop, but you did a nice job on it. Could have doubled the weight of the build and braced it up a bit more to stop some of the play though from what I remember on one of your earlier videos. Did you take one or two down, I thought there were a few more earlier vers
  12. Around here there's quite a few electric motor shops, with all the farms it makes sense but even they are dwindling as places like tractor supply sell farm duty motors relatively cheap vs having to drop it off and wait for the repair. Personally I'd do the "shake test" - shake it and listen for something loose, the "spin test" - turn the shaft by hand and feel for it to grab at a certain point, and lastly the "oh, what the heck test" - unplug it, disconnect the capacitor(s), grab a beer, a sheet of paper for making notes, pop out the 4 long screws that probably hold it all together and careful
  13. I know you're in high school but you're going to have to come to a few real world choices and understandings. As Steve said, mystery steel is always a mystery. To elaborate: I have a company that makes X widget and we've been using steel E for a typical production run, although when we first started, we did some in A, B, C and D (and they all made it out to customers) until we settled on E for our application. Then one day we found a one time super deal from a supplier on steel F, definitely not the same as E but we can make it perform the same way in widget X's application because our widget
  14. I personally wouldn't put plastic anywhere near it just because of heat issues and the fact that the air and fuel mix pre-plenum. All of the ribbon burners I've made have used square tubing for the plenums, but bending a box could probably be the easier way to go about it if you have the tools for it. Everyone I've made has been a blower on a reostat to black iron pipe, then a 45 degree elbow with the propane injection nozzle aimed down towards the plenum in the direction of air flow. From there I have done them with and without baffles inside the plenum. I seem to recall many years ago a talk
  15. Yes Matt, that would be my video. I've actually got a follow-up in the works. It's been rather popular on youtube in the 5 years since I made it. Whenever I get that illusive "free" time and when in-person local shopping isn't a major hassle I'll revisit it with an updated version! -J
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