rockstar.esq

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  1. If the intent is to haul all that out and set up a workshop, I'd suggest you include something to cut dead-fall for an anvil stump. You'll also likely need a shovel that's big enough to dig what you need, but small enough to tend your fire. You'll probably need a bucket for water to serve as a quench tank and as your fire extinguisher. You don't wanna start any forest fires. That's a fair bit of kit to haul into timber. You might want to consider some kind of backpack. I knew a guy who took old WW2 stretchers and put two bicycle wheels on an axle in the middle. It made a dandy game hauling cart.
  2. For what it's worth, there's a program on Public Broadcasting Service called "This Old House" where I can typically catch quite a few OSHA violations per episode. The most common ones are trenching related. They never have correct shoring, cut backs, or cave-in protection for workers in trenches. Episodes featuring landscaping can be a safety violation bonanza, especially if there's any sort of tree trimming. I often wonder if there's ever on-site tension with Norm Abrams. His solo show "New Yankee Workshop" always features a part where he recites a safety message about wearing proper protection and using the tools safely. It's clearly important to him because he actually works that message into his script in every episode.
  3. Thank you to everyone who posted photos. That's some big steel! I ran across an interesting approach to punching an eye for a struck tool the other day. The smith fullered opposing flats in the stock parallel to the eye. Each flat was approximately half the narrow dimension of the drift. Then they punched and drifted the narrowed section. Once fully drifted, the eye cheeks were in plane with the original stock. As far as I can tell, there are three advantages to this approach. #1. The parent stock stays at forging temp longer for the fullering which gets things done faster. #2. The drifting is easier because there's half as much stock resisting on either side of the drift. #3. Any sort of rectangular shaped drift hole will likely be kept much more in line with the stock this way because the fullers reduce the resistance in plane with the parent stock.
  4. I don't know much about railroads so I had to google "railroad anchor". What I found doesn't look like it'd be good parent stock for what you have made. Unless you welded a few of them together, it doesn't seem like they'd have enough steel in the right places to work. Most of them are clip/bracket pieces that have bolt holes in them.
  5. The bottom mating side of an individual timber gets the groove cut. When said timber is placed, the groove is over the previously set timber. Prior generations had their share of stupid people, Just as we do in ours. We know that adzes planes, chisels and axes all existed before this thing. Every one of which would be a more expedient and effective tool for your suggested purpose. If it was for cutting chinking grooves, the inherent limitations likely lead most craftspeople to conclude that it was a bad design for that purpose which is why the idea didn't take off. So if we're going to show respect to the intelligence of craftspeople, it seems only reasonable to conclude that it's the wrong tool for the job. Your responses suggest that you think we were dismissing your idea. Moreover, you were "chuckling" at our feeble attempts to explain that which was obvious to you. I responded because I wanted to show you that I respected your input. Please bear that in mind.
  6. So far you've repeatedly offered one possible use for this tool without providing much proof beyond your self confidence. It's entirely possible that you're correct. It's also possible that you're not. It'll make a groove. Neat, it'll also make a corner, a point, a cleft, a matched pair of cuts, and a stress riser. However, to show respect to your suggestion, lets actually consider the application that you're presenting. Chinking is the material jammed in between logs or timbers to seal them from the environment. In the case of timbers, the builders had to square the logs . The most common way of doing this was to snap lines, then chop relief cuts such that hewing blows would cleave a relatively flat surface to minimize the amount of broad ax work to bring everything true. Often, the cleaved chunks were hewn into pegs which were used to peg the joinery. In stacked timber framing, you have to cut a groove in the bottom mating side for chinking. This presumably, is where you believe this ax comes in. To use this tool, you'd be swinging like a baseball bat standing to one side of the timber. Every cut would have to be short otherwise the swing will cut an arc, and the groove depth won't self register. So far so good, it's still technically feasible. However that cut looks to be maybe 1/2" deep. That's a pretty shallow cut for chinking a timber. Most of the ones I've seen run 2" deep. Also, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense that people would go to all the work of squaring and hewing a log anywhere but at ground level where they can stand on it. Using an awkward sideways swing to slowly cut a precise square cornered half inch groove just doesn't make much sense. When the timbers are stacked, the chinking groove is hidden. All inconsistencies in the fit up between timbers are filled with the chinking. Making a shallow groove with a fiddly tool that deprives you of momentum seems like it would be a hard sell. Then again, there are all sorts of dubious tools on offer today that are obviously marketed to dullards. After all, it slices and dices! When rustic log homes were made, the chinking groove was often just hacked in with a standard ax. If there's no need for the precision of an adze, a plane, or a chisel, you can get the building put up faster. Roy Underhill had a presentation about how the English settlers in America struggled to get established partly because of their tradition for timber framing. When Scandinavians arrived, they used log framing techniques to get their homes built in a fraction of the time. Even today, most people can't afford to wait for a home to be built slowly. While I'll happily concede that you may still be right, I'd like you to consider just two things. The oldest cutting tools in human history are the ax and the adze. Manual lumber processing has always been hard work that doesn't pay unless you can get the work done quickly.
  7. Matt, From the wikipedia page on plant grafting, they say that larger trees and shrubs may require hatchets, cleavers, etc. to cut. They also say that a precision fit is vital to the success of the graft.
  8. I have a completely different idea. What if it's for grafting rootstock to scions? That joint has to be a clean cut where one part is pointed, the other is part is Vee'd. Seems like it'd make pretty quick work of a fairly precise operation in an agricultural situation where you'd probably have to do this for every plant in the field.
  9. I'm going to suggest a different point of view here. Accuracy is hitting the intended bullseye. That's completely different from precision, the measure of consistency. Sending one arrow into another robin hood style is precision. Landing a lucky bullseye is accuracy. Precision in one domain does not cause accuracy in another. In other words, there's no point in aiming at stuff you can't hit. At this point you might be asking how does any of that answer your question? You are asking how to tell if your work is good enough to sell. That is asking for a consistency (precision) standard based on your past work, to achieve accuracy based on business performance (sales). I feel it's incredibly important to point out that selling a knife has very little to do with the process, or the skill of the maker. Again, precision in one domain does not cause accuracy in another. There are innumerable amazing masters of the craft who can't make a living, just as there are knife making machines banging out unsaleable junk. Both examples have high precision in production, and low accuracy in sales. Crafts-oriented people in business tend to focus on precision because it's process driven, and there are lots of reassuring ways to measure it. Finding a viable market-share capable of profitably supporting the enterprise is how businesses succeed. Some stumble into it via dumb luck, others do market research and target specific opportunities. Most assume that merely existing as a craftsperson will pull in paying customers via the gravitational pull of their individual awesomeness. Not surprisingly, most businesses fail, often ruining the lives of everyone involved. "Build it and they will come" only works in Kevin Costner movies. In strictly business terms, I would suggest that you focus your business energies on defining your paying clients so you can find more of them. Find out what they want, and find a way to supply them profitably. It's very probable that you'll encounter demand for skills you'll need to develop. It's even more probable that those skills will be different from what elders of the craft would recommend. Many of mankind's greatest achievements came when an individual solved a problem from outside of the established discipline. Ask a knifemaker how to be successful and they'll tell you to make better knives. As a businessman how to be successful, and they'll tell you to find more and better paying customers. Ask a successful knife maker how to be successful and they'll probably encourage you to go work for a successful knifemaker to see for yourself.
  10. Latticino is right about the tongs. Wrapped eye axes don't have much to hang onto unless you have tongs that will securely grab the side of the eye. Once welded, grabbing from the tapered bit end to hammer the poll is a bit of a struggle too. Pickup tongs might get it out of the fire, but they won't hold securely enough to let you hammer the work.
  11. I doubt it would be too good for carving a channel because the bottom of the "Vee" is in plane with the face of the hammer. It wouldn't allow a self-registering cut below flush the way an adze would. Based on the bevels, I'm thinking they are arranged to better cut a V than a point. A triangular notch might be useful in making loomed sheet goods tear at the apex. I wonder if it was used for something like sail making?
  12. I've written quite a bit about estimating both here on IFI, and on my blog. Reading through what's been posted, I'm reminded of why I spend a lot of time discussing perspective. I would suggest that you ask your client to name their budget . Their answer may save you a lot of time.
  13. George, you gave a much more elegant example of market analysis than I did, thank you. Thomas, I've personally encountered the picture-theft, as well as "stolen" content and social media links. Sometimes they will steal to capture traffic to a site that has nothing at all in common with their own. The social media companies actively punished us when we filed a complaint about our content being stolen on their platform. It's my opinion that social media is detrimental to marketers, entrepreneurs, and society as a whole.
  14. I forgot to mention something about "free" services like online marketplaces, or social media. If you're getting something valuable for free, you're not the actual customer, so the company providing the value isn't motivated by its goodwill towards you. Some people/users profit despite this arrangement, especially when the original company is "building its brand" but most don't. As this was becoming common knowledge, I noticed that there was a big push among companies to create/promote niche celebrities who are uncommonly successful for their level of value to the buyer. The niche celebrity attributes this success to their brilliant marketing efforts, but few of them can replicate that performance in a different market. More to the point, there are scores of entrepreneurs following that marketing lead to no fruitful end. "XYZ forge is doing quite well selling hammers on Etsy" is more or less the entirety of their market viability research. That one visible success encourages lots of people to join these marketplaces. Now consider something. Cheap cars come from expensive factories. It takes a huge investment to build an economy of scale. Before rich people make those kinds of investments, they want proof that the venture will be profitable. Paying sites for that kind of market information is an obvious solution. That probably goes double for shorter term investors in the business of sweatshop knockoffs. Ever notice how there's always a sweatshop knockoff version of anything that's selling profitably? Maybe it's not the best idea for a craftsman to put their wares on a site that has a built-in incentive to steer sales towards that kind of competition.
  15. I've seen some artist work in that line as well. My immediate concern about sharing it here, is how dangerous this process really is.