Glenn

Blacksmithing gems and pearls

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If you don't set your self on fire at least once a year, your not working hard enough...  ;-)

 

You only have to protect anything you want to keep!  Such as your eyes, your hearing, your lungs, your hands and your toes...

 

There are NO Short cuts in life, but a good guide can make the trip shorter and much more pleasant...

 

Wisdom is the ability to learn from someone else's mistakes, without having to make them yourself...

 

Fatigue is a terrible teacher, you will learn bad hammer technique, and poor judgment.

 

An iron will, and a body of flesh and bones, will often leave you with a nice repetitive stress injury...  Along with... I can work much harder than my body can...

 

If you aren't just a little bit scared, you aren't pushing your self hard enough. Challenge yourself, stretch your skills.

 

Most people learn more with their ears open and their mouth closed.  That is why God gave you two ears, and only one mouth.  Most people should listen twice as much as they talk.

 

Better to be thought a fool, than open your mouth and remove all doubt.  I know just enough to sound really ignorant to someone who really knows what is going on...  Please don't try and bluff your way through, it just makes you look bad...

 

There is a BIG difference between 20 years of experience, and one years experiences repeated 20 times...

 

If you diligently look for ways to improve, you will find them.  If you don't, you will find you don't improve.

 

If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

 

Its nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.

 

Most people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care...

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Do 1 you can do it.

Do 10 you might be willing to show one to someone else.

Do 100 you might get ten to match nicely.

Do 1000 you can get a hundred to match perfectly...

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 Work like you don't need the money and you will reap the rewards. unknown

 

"work steady, work hot, and look at the pile of work done at the end of the day" And add to that, be able to do the same, day after day. Gerald Boggs

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Can not fix stupid.

Not even duct tape can fix stupid, but it will muffle the sounds :)

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'Some ideas are so stupid only the most educated men will believe them'  Winston Churchill?

 

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result...

 

If you don't learn from your mistakes, all you will have to show for them is the mess you have made...

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If you aren't successful in the end, you probably gave up too soon.  Little failures only delay you, IF you persevere.  Edison tried over 1200 different material combinations before his team found something that would work in an incandescent light bulb.  What we are doing normally isn't rocket science, but it does take practice, and forethought.  If someone else has done it, then it is not impossible.

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If red hot steel heads for the ground; it's rude to get in it's way.  (same with anvils). 

 

Over reacting in a smithy can be more dangerous than under reacting. 

 

Be sure you have a driver on tap when you do a job that's "too short to wear safety glasses".

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V.A.R.P. is useful concept that Clifton Ralph has taught at conferences in his Power Hammer classes. It stands for Volume Area Resistance and Power.

 

VOLUME:  If you increase the Volume of steel you are forging it will increase the amount of Power you will need to forge it.  2" square has 48x the Volume of 1/4" square, 1" square has 16x the Volume of 1/4" square , 1/2" square has 4x the Volume of 1/4" square.

 

AREA:  If you reduce the Area you are hitting it will reduce the amount of Power you need.  Fullering, sidesetting, and butchering require less power because you are affecting a relatively small Area of the Volume of steel so it is easier to overcome the Resistance with the Power you have available. The same can be said for half-faced blows, and drawing with a pein or drawing dies you are focusing your Power in a smaller area to achieve a larger amount of useful work.  Clifton talks about "feeding the baby" where you feed the steel into the power hammer slowly so that each Bite of the hammer does a useful amount of work. If you rush the hammer you will not be able to draw as quickly.

 

RESISTANCE:  Two things to consider here in figuring your Resistance, what you are forging, and how hot is it.  Pure Iron, and high grade wrought forge real easy at the right temp, mild steel forges pretty easy, spring steels are a little harder to forge, and high carbon and very high alloy steel tend to be harder to forge even at the correct working temperature.  The other factor in Resistance is pure temperature, do you have the piece hot enough for the operation you want to do.  This is a situation where sometimes many shorter heats to maintain your working temp can save you work over trying to "get the most out of each heat"

 

POWER: This is how much energy your hammer can deliver to the piece.  This applies whether it is a Nazel 3b, 100#Little Giant, or a 2# crosspein.  Mass x Velocity squared so a big slow hammer might do less work than a slightly smaller, but faster hammer.  A note about sledge hammer work, if you feel slow swinging the heavy hammer, you might be more efficient switching to a lighter hammer you can swing faster. I have seen a lot of people think 'I need to use the bigger hammer', when they would have been better off swinging a lighter hammer faster, and more accurately.  Heavier hammer blows do penetrate thicker stock better so you are not just affecting the surface.

 

All this is designed to help you think about your forging better. If you are needing to work larger stock by hand you need to keep it hot, use top tools to focus the available energy to do the most work.  Don't be too ambitious, Focus...

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Just Because, You have Never Done it or even tried it or Have Failed, Does NOT mean it can not be done with Sucess by another !

 

Spelling Corrected

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SJS - that was a very thoughtful post.

 

I particularly appreciate that you noted that the light and fast versus heavy and slow debate doesn't happen in a vacuum.  Thick stock versus thin stock will play a greater role than a kinetic energy equation.

 

I'm reminded of similar debates in ballistics that often ignore the intended target.  It's really tempting to assume that there's got to be a single best choice.  Often it's about responding to the challenge presented with the most reasonable tool at hand.

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Knowledge is something you can give away and not lose it.
Frosty The Lucky.

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Here's one thing im printing out someday and hanging up in my smithy

    "I never make mistakes, just unplanned modifications"

                                                                               -me, but I probably heard it somewhere else

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 Edison tried over 1200 different material combinations before his team found something that would work in an incandescent light bulb.  

 On that note, Edison said "I did not fail 1200 times. I simply found 1200 different ways NOT to make a lightbulb"

-Crazy Ivan

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the real problem I have with Mr Edison is that of the 1200 ways to make a light bulb, very few of them were his ideas,  sadly many of his patients were proven to be taken from others, mainly he was good at salvaging and marketing.

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On the Belgium display where my daughter teaches 2nd grade.attachicon.gifimage.jpg

 

I love it, give your daughter a big warm Frosty hug next time you see her please.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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One of my favorites:  "You don't drown because you fall into the water.... you drown because you stay there."      Enough wallowing, move on.....

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Hot steel has the right away !!  Thomas Powers

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I am a blacksmith... I don't fix   CATS,  CARS ,  OR BROKEN HEARTS..   The rest is optional..

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Everybody can teach me something IF I'm willing to learn.

 

Me

 

Well said, a truer gem never was.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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A minor adjustment if I may,

 

Anyone can teach me something, if I AM willing to learn.

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Claim it all as yours. I just tweeked it a bit. (grin)

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