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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by CtG

  1. Steve, that is one of the reasons (many reasons) I could never get into the medical field. Human suffering is very difficult for me. The PTSD I have is directly related- let's just say burns above 2nd degree...... trouble me. Enough said. So, more on topic. I am a "Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Maintenance Technician, Field, T5" aka, a heavy equipment mechanic that works out of a truck. I have, officially, a high school education. I am self-taught. No vocational school. So, what don't people know about what I do? Well, a ton, but let me try to stay surface-level. It isn't just "turning wrenches". You have to understand electronic systems, emissions regulations, system interactions, design ideas, customer relations, basic economics, have good people skills, be teachable, be adaptable.... I have tickled a six-figure income multiple years. So, you can make a decent living doing what I do (if you actually care about doing it right) Most of the truly good techs I've known aren't the stereotypical "grunt" type. They are generally very well-educated, just not with an expensive piece of paper with an institution's name on it. And, we keep things moving. Without us, backup generators might not be reliable. Construction companies would experience much greater delays. Roads would take longer to build. Deliveries couldn't happen (heavy diesels power the rails, power ships, and on the much smaller scale, trucks.... even though we don't just do diesel!)
  2. Nice foot flatter! Isolation sucks behind... only free time I've gotten, it's been windy and/or rainy. Would be nice to be able to hang with another local smith haha
  3. Brazos is... messy. 151/13 It's been low 60's since Monday. Was 90's last week. Shall see. Mornings low 40's. Been wildly alternating between "only 8's" and "EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE!! 16 HOUR DAYS!!" Crazy times continue.
  4. Oh, come now TP, I need to know the exact shift, crew, and foreman name! I jest... Thank you very much, I'll pass the info along- I know they'll be absolutely thrilled to know a make with near-certainty and a year range as well. Again, thanks!
  5. Can anyone narrow it down a tad more? Thanks all!
  6. Hey all, I was at a customer site today, and they have a big ole London pattern. No makers mark, no weight mark, but there is a serial number on the RH under the horn, and the bottom has a pill shaped cavity. Also, visible steam hammer marks under the heel. They've been on the site since roughly the 1870's I was told. I got to see the old blacksmith shop- it's storage now and there is a Hotsy under the old forge chimney, but you can see the old anvil stand. He said the anvil is mostly used to reshape pickeroons nowadays. They make rail ties these days.
  7. I'll have to shoot my doctor an email and ask about this. If it can be helpful.....
  8. Similarly, I developed a funky cough, minor fever, and gnarly headache back in February after a coworker came back from South Korea. Lasted a week and a half, but at that point I figured it was likely a minor cold. Didn't hinder work and was nothing dayquil couldn't handle. Worked it's way around the shop. May have been it, or may have been a different coronavirus, influenza, etc... hard to say. Was still early enough the doc wasn't that concerned that I had a coworker who came back from 2 weeks in S. K. Didn't test for anything. Who knows now?
  9. I'm sure less wiggle will be needed with refractory weight added. Indexing hinges, nice! What a pleasant song- we are being graced by the calls of grackles of late
  10. "No entering the shop, all field techs must wait in the parking lot for parts and tooling" Yup. But hey, here's dinner to distract from the virus! Pardon the mess.
  11. Yeah, my folks had a big boy at one point with spurs maybe 2.5" long.. I did not enjoy that bird. The big mean ole' geese we had didn't bother me much, but that nasty beasty... A quick google search makes me want to say he was a Copper Maran? We had quite the mixed bag of chickens, only a handful of roosters ever though. The big ole Brahma we had when I was a kid was a sweet guy. The geese were vicious, but had big ole eggs, often double yolkers. Real rich too. Well, 9th anniversary, no going out for us... I still have a job but work is drying up. Several of the field guys have gone without a full days worth of jobs for several days. We shall see how long it holds out.
  12. Keith, it's a beauty! Looks like it should treat you well for years to come!
  13. Fair enough! Loctite LB8017 has been one of my favorite dry moly lubes for higher temp stuff if anyone cares haha... Rated to 2400°F as an anti-seize, 750°F continuous as a dry film lube. 400/1315°C. Anyway...
  14. I think they can be had for something like $5 a hinge. I believe some may just be steel on steel with a bronze thrust washer. A dry molybdenum disulphide spray should be good to 1800*F. Usually you buy them either as naked barrel and pin to weld to, or with a small flag to weld.
  15. JHCC, I don't know for sure on a forge, but I really like pin and barrel hinges for ease of disassembly. I imagine with proper bushing and lube it'd work well.
  16. Last time we went up to see my folks, mom had added a 10 needle and a 6 needle embroidery machines to her stable. Though, they run a small business that way. But still. Talk about pricey machines. And dad felt bad buying a sandblaster haha
  17. It is strange, isn't it?? Most of our customers have no business operating under layman's understanding of the laws. Well, at least what I would consider laymans. There are an awful lot of people ignoring it around here. I mean, I get that we support critical infrastructure, and I'm fine with that and with being available to support it (I still have an income!) But not all of us are strictly "necessary". Keeping the local pipeline going... ahh, nevermind. Not worth the political angst some may mistake it for. My wife is stir-crazy as all get out, and not in any way that is rewarding to me... 3 weeks into being stuck at home already for her and the kids. Still hoping the best for all.
  18. Bear in mind also that H1N1 is thought to have started in the USA. We only call it Spanish Flu because the Spanish were nearly the only major power talking about it. Everyone else was avoiding the issue for fears of how it would affect The War. Hard to say how many of the later war deaths were actually the result of Swine Flu/Spanish Flu. Also, remember, there were 3 major waves of it with distinct variations in mortality rates. The second wave was, at that time, basically a death sentence. They figure the only reason the 3rd wave was less fatal was that the 2nd-wave mutation was SOO effective, that it killed itself off. I had H1N1 back a decade or so. It wasn't fun, but I didn't have to deal with a cytokine storm, pneumonia, etc.
  19. We were deemed essential today. Have a "certificate" to carry with me in my truck. Dunno if that will change or not.
  20. Meh, I've had H1N1, and the prairie dogs in my home town had the plague. I'm not worried about the Corona for my own physical health sake. Brazos County just issued a 2 week shelter in place, effective tomorrow night. We shall see tomorrow if work says we are "essential" or not.
  21. Brazos County doesn't have a clear answer for total life-interrupting lockdown just yet. Just the standard CDC stuff, no more than 10 people, wash your hands, etc. I wonder if Heavy Equipment Technicians are essential to industry?? I know this too shall pass, the challenge is staying positive. My anxiety, ADHD, and MDD are definitely fighting that. Lots of prayer. And deep breathes... Goodness what strange times these are.
  22. Thomas, you will be in our prayers, heck everyone will be. I hope so too. Texas isn't shutting down.... yet. The governor said he can't justify it with less than a fifth of the counties having cases. Time will tell. Soooooo so many people are being ruined by this. Vastly more damage than the sickness itself, at least as far as my eyes can see.
  23. The "PATENT" mark with the "Solid Wrought" circle (can just barely seem to make out part of it) I believe places it 1860-1890. Newer have "ENGLAND", older no "PATENT" At least per my digging after I got my PW's.
  24. That's the scary part too CGL. I was working 60+/hr weeks, this morning we were told 40 cap. No telling. Try to hang in there
  25. Restaurants around here are take-out only. Gyms and the like are shut down. Lots of empty shelves. People bowling each other over when doors open to try and be able to get packages of toilet paper. It's definitely surreal. Then the threat of having work shut down for 3-8 weeks, no pay is... unappealing. This was a week ago. It's a shade better now, but still rough.
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