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Found 6 results

  1. Hi I’m new to the forum and to smithing, I am excited and hungry for knowledge, since I was a kid I always loved knights armor knives axes swords etc, but was more fascinated by the men who made these tools of utility, warfare, and beauty and I’ve wanted to be one of them my whole life. So I’ve built a small foundry before out of an old steel bucket and some homemade refractory cement(plaster of Paris and play sand) that was coal powered and worked like a champ for melting aluminum and softer metals to be cast, even managed to burn through a steel crucible once. Now I’ve recently built my first forge out of an old propane tank and a similar refractory mix and it took forever to dry not sure what I did wrong there, But she did work and worked well even made 2 file knives and began drawing out an attempt at a Khukri ( ive always wanted one) but couldn’t get up to welding temperature when I attempted to make a small amount of Damascus, currently I use only a greenwood torch fro. Harbor freight on a homemade stand as a burner, but to test its durability I purposefully ran her long hours probably 30 hours in 3 days if not more before the refractory began to fail. Currently she is hollowed out and waiting for me to reinsulate and set back up. My questions to experienced smiths are, is that a good lifespan for a refractory mix 50/50 plaster to sand? Is there a better ratio or anything I could add to the mix to insulate better maintain more heat? I’ve read articles about wood ash, sodium silica (water glass) , adding borax you the mix and even just plain old clay. would a custom built burner be more fuel efficient? thank you ahead of time guys any information , tips tricks or encouragement is much appreciated and welcomed. I suppose it will be awhile before I earn the title of smith but it is a road I look forward to walking,
  2. I just spent the last two weeks watching Clifton Ralph and Dave Manzer’s RIP DVD’s on power hammer tooling and techniques. Both these videos are well worth the money and time. The Clifton video is a low quality production and not professionally shot but the quality and quantity of information is so valuable you can forget about it not being pretty. I’m sure I could watch Mr. Ralphs work for the next couple years and still pick up information, besides he’s very entertaining and a kick to watch. Kind of like watching a grizzly peel the top off your car, to get at your fried chicken and give you that convertible you always wanted.
  3. I think this says CAST STEEL and WAR. However, I cannot make out the maker. Any ideas on the maker and the history? Images attached.
  4. I just got an 1898 Champion Angle blower. Its in good working condition including the original lever and all belts. I've bee to a lot of sales and never seen one like this. Anybody know much about them?
  5. I have a Shaw & justice dead stroke power hammer In need of rebuilding. However I can not find much information on it. I want to know if these were good machines and worth fixing or if it would be a waist of time and money? Any information would be helpful. Thanks.
  6. I am writing a research paper on why the trade of blacksmithing almost died out in america in the middle of the 1960's and why it is haveing a strong reamergence now. I would appriciate any help with information on blacksmithingin the 1960's and if you are a blacksmith, if you could leave me information on when you started the trade,if it is a job or just a hobby, and short reason on what got you started or interested in blacksmithing. also if any one knows any blacksmiths makeing a liveing in the 1960' if you could ask them to chech this out i would appriciate it. Background on why i am doing this is for a college class and in about 2004 while in the navy i started getting into blacksmithing and later from my grandfather i found out that his father was a blacksmith barely makeing it in the 60's and because of this takeing any job he could to provide died from galvanised steel poisoning in 66 after battling from it several times. I heard that there were only a few blacksmiths doing it as a trade at this time and it interest me how such an awesome trade and art form can almost die. i think it would have been a huge lose.
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