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I Forge Iron

Alan Evans

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About Alan Evans

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    Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK

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  1. I do most of my drawing (and writing) with a Rotring Fine nib Art Pen...lovely tool. Rotring made the Rapidograph fixed width technical drawing pens I used to use on Permatrace film and paper on the drawing board. Coincidently, I have just this day taken delivery of a new Art Pen from Amazon. My old favourite has logged up over 30 odd years of daily use and is still going strong...I remember having it in 1988 when Buck Rogers set off...I remember that year because I called Snap! to David Petersen's identical Art Pen when he and I attended one of our preliminary meetings with the Welsh Arts Council preparing for the 1989 FIFI conference! Sadly it has developed a split in the cap which means it is not so safe to chuck into my carry bag any more...it is not a dipping system like yours but can use either cartridges, or as I do, a little plunger refillable reservoir. I thoroughly recommend them if you like drawing with ink. Alan
  2. It is almost surrounded by the formerly heavily industrialised Black Country boroughs to the west of Birmingham but is reckoned to be part of Birmingham. UK
  3. Someone emailed me and said the link was broken and they were unable to download the handbook from here. Here it is again in case it is of use to anybody else. Alan Alldays Manual and specification.pdf
  4. Is there any particular reason why you are not following the recipe I posted at the start of the thread? Twice in the OP I wrote that you melt the wax then pour it into the White Spirit. You describe trying to add the thinners to the molten wax...For reasons of safety using a similar logic to always adding acid to water...I aways add the hot wax to the volatile White Spirit in order to ensure that a small amount of of the White Spirit is not heated immediately to the temperature of the wax....a small amount of hot wax is added to the cooler body of White Spirit thus the volatile thinner is warmed very gradually and kept well below its flash point. I have always poured and mixed on my own but with an assistant you could easily use a paint stirrer in an electric drill to blend smoothly. Once the initial blending is done it is perfectly possible to thin the wax further with more White Spirit at room temperature with no further heating required. I have often found the wax is too thick when it is cooled so have diluted it down with more White Spirit. A paint stirrer would help that as well. Alan Just research for wax manufacturers or suppliers. Contact the company I mentioned in the original post Poth Hille. They are in London but may well either ship to your country or have agents or colleagues there. Alternatively do a search for Museum/conservation supply businesses... Alan
  5. As someone who has worked with his hands all his life I am certainly not denigrating my fellow craftsmen. I am sorry my post has evidently come over that way. This is a thread about relative hourly rates and job costing. I was trying to make a comparison between the investment in equipment and premises of a sole trader blacksmith and that of a sole trader who worked on site...ie had no premises overhead. Electricians and plumbers were mentioned because of Kozzy's post earlier...the same comparison applies between any tradesman that can work from a tool bag and one that requires a premises and heavy equipment. The qualifications, training and experience I took as being equivalent across the range of occupations. I think Steve misread my post. I realise that some industries are more regulated and qualified to higher levels than others, There is a lot of work going on over here to bring blacksmithing, especially restoration work, into a more coded and regulated occupation. Welding is the most advanced along that route. Farriery over here is not far behind. But the Art and Craft college courses, the traditional apprenticeships and the journeyman route for the Artist Blacksmith are not without some redeeming features. They have got us this far. My post was intended as a series of questions which I hoped others could answer because of my ignorance, which Rockstar did admirably. So I repeat it was meant to prompt an informative response not an affronted one...sorry it misfired. Alan
  6. And get back to coffee first! Glad to hear it, well done! Alan
  7. It would be interesting to hear from any (jobbing/domestic) plumbers or electricians on here with a foot in both camps so to speak. I have always marvelled at how much per hour they can charge for their time. Given the minimal investment in premises and equipment those trades have...and the narrow area of knowledge required relative to that of a jobbing metalworker / blacksmith, who as often as not are equipped and capable of basic plumbing and electrical work. Maybe it is just their skill and experience which means although there is not much scope for creativity, the efficiency of their problem solving and labour means they can get a lot more done in that hour than a general handyman? So they are charging much the same as the handyman for the total job cost, but they just get it done quicker? Maybe they just charge a lot because they can. Playing to our strengths, having invested in machinery and premises, we either have to be economic through batch production or along the Art route where the singularity of the work has a premium. 25 years ago Tom Joyce and I agreed that 1500 was the minimum cost for a project we could take on economically. Dollars for him and pounds for me. Alan ps thinking about it a bit more I suppose the specialism of the trade is an equivalent to the efficiency of batch production economics...A jobbing welder with a truck and a single machine, even if charging only the same rate as me who has 5 welding machines and a building to house them, will certainly be more profitable.
  8. Could you use those in a shaper? The ones on the old machine I knew, I remember as being much heavier top to bottom (or in shaper terms front to back). I hated the machine...but Angus my fellow student loved it. I was always waiting for it to go bang...to be fair it never did. Alan
  9. I think only the long one is a boring bar. The others are just standard left, facing, parting/grooving, thread cutting(?) and right. With the paint I presume that they are tipped with either HSS or carbide depending on their generation. Alan
  10. You misunderstand me...I was referring to the years indivisible by two. Alan
  11. I thought it sounded like something to do with a distopian film by one of the old Monty Python team. Alan
  12. One of the advantages of that tuning fork idea is that you could build in a clamp for an end stop...I usually put a mark on the floor to align the bolt cutter and have an Immoveable object the appropriate distance away to feed the bar to.....or just chalk mark the lengths onto the bar. However I have to say that I have used the bolt croppers fairly infrequently over the last 40 odd years so maybe I will just carry on using them on an ad hoc basis! Alan
  13. What a clever man you are! That is a very interesting concept I will log away for the future. I make up phosphoric acid pickling tanks with sheets of polythene laid onto 4x2 timbers....or whatever suits the project... I make clear polythene sheet envelopes sealed up with duct tape to contain the media so I can recycle it when shot blasting objects too big for the cabinet. I use a glass jar to contain brass, citric acid and detergent to isolate the dirty / cleaning solution from the transmission solution in the Ultrasonic Cleaner tank...maybe I will try that in a polythene bag, it will probably transfer the sound waves better as well. Thank you Ian. Alan
  14. That looks an interesting idea. The two reasons I use it at floor level however are; that resting it on the ground means most of your body weight is above it, which means less effort required; that the floor acts as a continuous trestle and supports however long the standing bar or cut off piece may be. These two points are especially handy when working solo. Both ends of the bar always jump when you go through, and invariably the longest end falls off the bench. It also means you did not have to lift it onto the bench or trestle in the first place! I have made it into a proto guillotine by clamping one handle in the vice in the past. It works well if you have an assistant holding the bar. I have only referred in jest to myself or my assistants when supporting one end of a bar as "an intelligent trestle"...I am very PC really. Alan
  15. My pair of those I usually use with the jaw and one handle resting on the ground, especially if I am feeding a long bar though it for multiple cuts. Alan
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