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I Forge Iron

Curse The Sky

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Everything posted by Curse The Sky

  1. Luckily if you avoid doing intricate work with wood, much of the shifting and swelling is non-consequential. I purposely avoid doing anything with dovetails or other tightly-fit joints in favor of cruder methods. I cut mortise and tenons oversized when possible, and pound them together so the last few shavings curl up under the joint. It's not infallible, of course, but it has worked for me so far. Of course, I'm not doing any large or high-dollar projects, so there's that. The type of wood you're working with also has a huge impact; softer woods generally tend to swell more, and many harder (or especially oily) woods are less affected. Part of what got me into the less-precise mindset is one of my other hobbies, firearms. I'm a huge 1911 fan, and, like many others, have observed the consequences of the modern trend of making tolerances tighter. Tighter tolerances do increase accuracy, generally ensure proper fit and function, and have a higher quality feel, but it has drawbacks too. 1911s, being a 100+ year old design, came from a time where machining was expensive and labor was relatively cheap - the complete opposite of today. Consequently, parts were fitted by hand, which left some looseness and slop. While this did reportedly decrease accuracy, it meant the pistol could get dragged through mud or tumble down a hill, and it could be put back in action with a quick scraping or a flush of water from a canteen. I read somewhere that one of the requirements when the 1911 was adopted was for 10 pistols to be disassembled, their parts thrown in a bucket, shaken around, and then randomly reassembled into 10 fully functional pistols, which they did. Using 10 commercially made 1911s today, you'd have better chances playing the lottery.
  2. I noticed that this forum puts your location right up against the "Location" label. I'll pick on Frosty here just to show an example: Note that mine has a space. What kind of sorcery is this?! I'm sure others have tried putting a space at the beginning of the location field, only to have it stripped out automatically. That's pretty standard with web programming. So how can we achieve this vastly superior, padded look? Well, for the one-time fee of $29.95, plus S+H, or the equivalent in wrought iron, I can guide... ...ok, ok. You need to use a non-breaking space. This is essentially a special character that denotes a space MUST be represented, not stripped out like standard spaces. To do this, you simply use a special code in front of your location:   Copy and insert those six characters at the beginning of your location in your profile, and you too can fight forest fires look slightly more stylish. If you go back in and edit your location later, you won't see the code anymore, as it has been automatically converted to an actual non-breaking space character.
  3. Part of the reason I got into blacksmithing was the (relative) lack of measuring. I'm a computer programmer, and even though there's a lot of interpretation and flexibility that can go into a program to achieve a desired result, most of the individual, day-to-day tasks are exceedingly exact: it either works, or it doesn't. Good or bad. Pass or fail. One or zero. I got into woodworking first, but quickly found that I'm just not the type that likes to measure twice, cut once. I much prefer to eyeball the cut, and chisel / shave / sand to fit. I'm sure my methods would give most woodworkers an aneurism, but it's what I enjoy, and my end results still speak for themselves. I'm sure I waste a lot more material than most other woodworkers, but eh, that's a fair trade for me. I also much prefer starting from rough stock, picking a particularly nice wedge out of the firewood pile and turning it into something awesome. We have a lot of white oak and hard maple in the firewood this year, which has been a delight, plus a bunch of 3-4' white oak rounds that I'll get to some day... I guess I'd make a terrible machinist.
  4. Updated pictures after partial cleaning. So far I've taken a drill with wire cup, angle grinder with sanding discs (lightly), sandblaster with coal slag media, angle grinder with heavy twisted wire cup, turpentine, acetone, mineral spirits, and full on paint stripper to it. I'm starting to wonder if the black "paint" isn't paint at all, but some kind of rust converter like POR-15. Then again, it could just be the 100+ years of baking in a shop, getting covered with grease and grime and who-knows-what-else. Either way, it's a royal pain in the nether regions to remove. The pitting and chunks missing below the horn and heel still make me a bit uneasy. The sides, feet, and edges of the face all look how I'd expect them to after many years of service. I just can't imagine what would have given such a beating to the horn and heel, especially only underneath. I suppose it could be numerous casting flaws, or perhaps the previous shop had it mounted in some strange way, or moved it with chains under the horn and heel a dozen times. But hey, it's mine now - as long as it holds together, I won't complain. Thanks again for all the time and help everyone. I'll post up more pictures after I get it to the point where I'm happy with it. Still a long road to go yet. Oh, and excuse my mess in the background of some of these - I'm still working on organizing and building racks for tongs and hammers.
  5. Thank you, I appreciate your time - and everyone else likewise. How thick is the top plate realistically? I've read everything from 1/4" to 7/16" to 1/2" to 3/4". I'm guessing 7/16 to 1/2" is probably the most likely case, as the 3/4" estimates are likely fooled by the casting "shelf" on some models. Do the top plates vary in thickness by anvil size? For example, would the 100-200 lb anvils have a thinner plate, and the 300+ lb anvils thicker? What about by era? Finally, are there any notes as to what type of tool steel would have been used for the top plate? I'm guessing something in the medium carbon range, probably .5 to .6% carbon. Thank you. Whoops, just saw the warning about the @ tags. My bad. Reading the rules now.
  6. arkie I don't have a needle scaler at the moment, but I'll definitely keep that one in mind. My current plan is to try paint stripper, then more blast media (primarily for the pits with rust), and finally some angle grinder work to smooth any sharp edges as seen under the horn. I've started dressing the edges a bit as well, with the goal being to prevent future chipping. Does anyone know if the handling hole in the waist is supposed to go all the way through from under the horn to under the heel? Right now it's packed with years of debris, but if it is a continuous tunnel, I could put a piece of square stock through it to help with handling, if I ever get brave enough to try that again.
  7. Frosty thanks, glad to be here. Curse The Sky is a song by my all-time favorite band, Iced Earth, and a tribute to a friend of mine from many years ago. Call me Curse or Brian. Whichever you'd prefer . I spent about 45 minutes attacking the anvil with a sandblaster and coal slag media. Good xxxx that black paint is tough stuff. The gray paint or primer that shows in spots was fairly easy to take off, but the black stuff might as well be a suit of armor. I'm going to pick up some kind of paint stripper later to see if it'll help make headway.
  8. Definitely just me, or perhaps one helper with a single-handed hammer on rare occasions. My concern was more for the fact that I haven't seen this kind of damage on any anvil before (underneath wasn't somewhere I would have thought to check), so I wasn't sure if this was a major warning sign that bad things were on their way. For the $2200 I spent, I'm hoping this will last more than just my lifetime. Thanks for the assurance!
  9. Hello all, I recently purchased a 500lb Fisher anvil made in 1914. According to the seller, until recently, it was in use in a shop in Rhode Island. This is the first massive anvil in decent shape that I've found, so I jumped on the opportunity. While the face, edges, hardy hole, and other important parts are in decent enough shape, I only just now realized that there's some missing chunks under the horn and the heel. Under the heel also has some significant pitting. Rebound is in the 80-85% range and fairly consistent over the whole face. After taking the pictures, I've started working on removing the old paint, smoothing damaged areas underneath, and dressing the edges to prevent future chipping. I'm not worried about this being a show piece, as I intend to put it to good use. Would this damage concern you at all, or should I use it with confidence? My main worry is the horn breaking off or large chunks of cast iron deciding they don't want to be part of the team anymore. The attached pictures show it compared to a 140ish lb Peter Wright, and various angles of the face and damage under the horn and heel. Thanks!
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