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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Greebe

  1. Got the swage block today. I looks nice. I did a little clean up this evening. Will post some pics tomorrow.
  2. Yes, I do not claim to be an expert or even know much about the Fisher anvils. Just mentioning that my Fisher has the date and weight on it. Not sure if they were cast in or put on with a stick welder. Mine as well as others I have seen with the date look pretty crude. Maybe the date was scratched backwards in the sand mold after the pattern was removed?
  3. Mine has the date on the anvil. It shows 1905 along with the weight of 120lbs.
  4. My anvil arrives tomorrow. I will update then. Excited to get a new anvil.
  5. No, I didn't say I wanted a reject, I was just updating the situation. He had some problems and was fixing them, and sent one of the new ones out to me, which I appreciate. Other people (cough, cough, China)would have just have sent out the rejects. Looks like I should get it Monday which I am excited about. Thanks Holland!
  6. Frosty, I will try! Btw, i heard back from Holland and they said they had a few issues with their last batch and recast more and it would go out tomorrow. Still waiting to hear what the deal is with my anvil from Morgan Jade. I have a lot of money out and want to see results though.
  7. That is a neat idea. How has it worked out so far?
  8. Well, it has been 7 days since I ordered this swage block and I have not heard anything yet. I sent a message on their site as well but have not heard back, so hoping they plan to get it out soon. Would like to get it put into service. Has anyone had experience with Holland?
  9. Pricing is an interesting thing. Prices for similar items or work are always all over the board. For the most part it depends on reputation, brand appeal, and quality. Years ago I moved into a town of about 10,000. I had worked most my life in contracting, and looked for work and jobs. No luck, it was a tight knit small town secluded from the outside world and people didn't want an outsider doing work. Up to that point while I lived in Alaska, I had gained a reputation for custom trim work and anything that took a detailed oriented person to do. Custom built in cabinets, trim, tile, panic rooms, whatever. Basically I got a lot of custom work that general contractors did not do as well as I did. After moving out of Alaska, for a short period of time, I got work as a carpenter for a ridiculously low hourly rate for my skill set, but I put in the time to start getting my name out. Then I took a side job for one of the doctors in town who had bad luck with the local contractors. I bid the job nearly 3 times higher then what locals were charging with the idea that in the past my higher prices made people feel like they are getting "better" craftsmanship. He gave me the work and was very happy with what I did for him. With their high profile friends, I began to get tons of work from lawyers, doctors, engineers, CEO's bank owners, etc, all paying 3-4 times the local rate. They knew I wasn't cheap, but that I was timely, did top notch work, and was polite and respectful. I became the "prestigious" craftsman to use that people would brag about when showing off my work in their houses. This lead to a really good situation where I could pick and choose jobs, and make more money working half as many hours as the local guys were. So all that to go back to pricing for products. Many times the same product priced higher will sell better, because there is a perception that the higher priced item is better. Sometimes it can be hard to remember this though because we think if we price it lower it will make people will buy it. However the psychology of most people tells them that less expensive is "cheap quality" and more expensive is higher quality. There is also a feeling that if you paid more for a product that there is "brand" appeal, or prestige to owning it. So they are more willing to buy it because they will be proud to own it. That last point is a big selling point. I am getting my blacksmith shop setup again. I am running my machine shop, but have wanted to start blacksmithing again. I used to make a decent side income blacksmithing many years ago. I undersold myself at that point, and do not plan on doing that this time around. I would rather sell one high priced item per week then a ton of the same lower priced items a week. Beside in this day and age with the internet you only have to cater to a faction of a percent of the population that has the money they are willing to spend. If someone does not want to pay the high price for handmade goods, then they can buy from someone else. If you start by selling low, you risk always being seen as the "cheap" brand, vs just starting out selling higher and build the brand appeal, and be seen as a high quality producer. Think Kia, it took them a long time to shed the cheap Korean tiny wheel car reputation and be taken seriously. Anyways that was a really long rant.
  10. Thanks Frosty, Glenn, & Thomas. I am not new to owning my own business, but have always just looked at equipment purchases as something needed to run my business and since I always buy in cash, I have just absorbed them into my business expenses(or as most entrepreneur do, I spend my personal money). Probably not the best way to run a business, but I cannot charge more for a product just because I bought a new piece of equipment. If I did that I would not get the business. This is in relation to my machine shop. I do add in charges for consumables, and overhead though. It is hard these days being a producer of goods because of cheap Chinese imports and every business trying to undercut the market just to get business. There are guys that have millions of dollar in CNC machines and sell parts cheaper then I can buy materials. They do this just to pay the bills and are not making profit, but it makes it hard to compete. It seems similar in blacksmithing these days. So many hobby smiths selling far under reasonable prices. Like you guys mention, they do not consider the cost to make the product. Not only materials, but consumables such as coal or propane, electricity, property or rent bills, taxes, heating cost(propane), phone bill, internet bill, website bill, selling fees for credit cards, and on and on. Anyways I appreciate the advice. I could definitely improve on how I do things. I am open to more advice by the way. Thanks.
  11. Glenn, Thanks, that is a good idea. I will have to decide the time frame I want to pay myself back and then figure out the hourly cost to bill into work. That is not something I did when I had my machine shop. I just bought everything and put it to work. I know that they were paid off many times over, but I did not track when they were first paid off. That will help for sure in pricing my items. Seems like pricing can be tricky these days with all the cheap sellers on the market. Sometime I wonder how people are even making money on places like Etsy.
  12. Or just post them here, I do not mind.
  13. Thanks. That is a good perspective, especially when I have "invested" almost $9000 upgrading equipment in the past week.
  14. Thanks for replying to the thread. I am looking forward to getting it. I was just joking about saying it was a challenge to see if I could break it. BTW, when do you think it will be headed my way? Thanks!
  15. I like the design of this anvil and wanted to try one out. I can see the concern of a slightly more narrow waist than the face. However David says that there is enough mass under the edge of the face that it does not negatively effect anything. The few posts I have found about this anvil, the reports are quite good. So I went ahead and ordered one. Hopefully it gets here next week and I can shoot a few pictures and give my impressions.
  16. Very true. Had I bought some of this stuff 10 years ago, it would have cost me half as much. I got the press unloaded and played with it a little. Probably just start a thread on it.
  17. Nice I like. That would be fairly straight forward to build. Not sure when it will arrive, but I should get on finding the wood I will need. Today I am waiting on my hydraulic press. Then a new 240lb anvil, and this swage block sometime in the next week. I am totally retooling to take my blacksmithing more seriously. Feel a little stressed at all the money I have spent in the last week, but money will come and go and tools will be with me a long time. EDIT: Just got a call from the trucking company and my press is an hour out. Whoo hoo!
  18. Maybe make it from 12/4 oak if I can find any with they way things are right now. I have some Ash that came down a little while back in the woods. Maybe I could rig up a chainsaw mill and make my own lumber for it. I drew this the other night. Basically the swage could be laid flat in a rabbet cut into the horizontal beams, and it could also be turned the other way and dropped into the space in between the horizontal beams to use the edges of the swage. Some iron hardware like Frosty recommended would make it more stable as well as ascetically pleasing.
  19. Thanks. I like the idea of a timber frame type of construction.
  20. In old speakers eh? Who would have thunk? LOL!
  21. Where does one find old speaker magnets these days?
  22. Now I will just need to figure out how I want to make a stand for it and what height to set it. I am inclined to make a heavy rough sawn oak frame for it.
  23. LOL, that would be the true test wouldn't it?
  24. I went ahead and ordered it, so I will let you know what I think when it arrives. I talked with one of the guys from Holland, and he said I would not have to worry about breaking it. I asked if I could break it would they stand behind it, he said yes but he still said he didn't think I could break it. I think I have been offered a challenge. LOL I bought a 2 ton engine hoist about 12 years ago and it has been a great use around the shop as well. I have move my metal lathe and mill with it several times. However I almost crushed it this past year trying to pick up a new 9x49 Bridgeport Mill off my trailer. Not a smart move. It bent the top arm plates and leaned sideways almost dropping the thing on me. I was fortunate to be able to shore it up and have a friend with a large track loader pick it up and move it for me. Other than that near fiasco, it has been great. I also have a 5000lb pallet jack which has been really useful.
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