SReynolds

what if you were left handed?

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Having a fixed rule about anvil orientation appears nuts to me. Just align it to suit the process of the moment. Bick on the left for a right hand hammer is good for spreading the bar sideways along the axis. Bick on the right allows better access for when using the beak to bend something around it.

Anvil relation to fire and smith handedness is the vital bit. 

Facing the fire with your anvil to the right makes sense for a right hand hammer user, especially if fire welding. If the anvil is one step from the fire as it should be, you can be holding the tongs in your left hand with the workpiece still in the fire whilst you stretch over to the anvil and pick up your hammer...then the only time you lose is the swing of the workpiece from fire to anvil...strike while the iron is hot...

What you do not want to be doing is wasting time changing workpiece from right to left hand on the way to the anvil and then be picking up your hammer. Great way to invite a fumble.

I am left handed writing and drawing with a dominant left eye, but I hammer and use a sledge right handed. Cricket bat left hand, tennis racket and table tennis bat right hand, shot gun mainly left shoulder, rifles right...what a crazy mixed up kid!

I even drive on the left! :)

Alan

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Last time(?) we had this discussion I went through "Practical Blacksmithing" and every time someone had sent in a drawing of how their smithy was set up I recorded which way they had the anvil pointed---the first one as I recall had the horn pointing directly at the forge---they did a lot of rings and so that was the best way for *them*; the others were a mix of "to the right and to the left"'s

As a general rule if you think there *HAS* to be *one* *right* *way* to do something---then perhaps blacksmithing is not the vocation or avocation for you!

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I am afraid that I am too feeble to move a 250 pound anvil to a new place for everything I do. The stump is not that light either. And the squirrels take all my nuts.

One of the advantages with a sizeable anvil is hat I do not need to stretch for the hammer There is space for the hammer and the stock and in the case I want to grab the hammer first I put it on the bench that is adjacent to the forge on the right side.

 

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I bet that if you had an order for 10000 lefthanded turnip twaddlers you would find it worth your while to adjust things to crank them out as fast and as easily as possible and be willing to change things back afterwards.

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I raised this issue as` basic question` in Fed 2015 and was told then that it had been deal with at length before .:rolleyes: But anyway I am left handed and think that using an anvil does not pose as much as a challenge as for instance a lathe or other machines for the left handers who most seem to adapt pretty quickly. 

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Righty  

Horn to right and hardy just by the horn.

Hand crack with left but usually rock of my feet or otherwise make it a mostly fully body crank not an arm thing.  

This leaves my right hand which has a higher dexterity to use tongs when needed.

Thus I guess I swap tongs to the left when I use them.  :o  I must since I hammer with my right.  Never really noticed.  

Forge is directly behind anvil so I just pivot and there I am.

I mostly only swap hammer hands when I am working out the hole on a bottle opener on the horn.   Often nearly kneeling facing it.  Often getting hot scale on me between thumb and index finger!   I gotta work on that technigue.  :(

Otherwise all this right left rules and such I don't pay much attention to.  I think anything can work....  mostly

Slack tub to the left BTW...   IF it matters?  :blink:

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Thomas,

I would not make 10000 turnip twaddlers since I am an amateur blacksmith making things for fun, family use and a few presents. Besides, I have never felt any need to change my  present setup. I started out placing forge, bench and anvil on the ground and moved them around until it was the best position for me. Then I built the shop around it and it works well  - for me that is. YMMV. I have not timed it but if there is need for speed, I guess I can bring the time down to about one second to move the stock from the fire to the anvil and I can grip the hammer at the same time.

Boorntoolate,

I think I do as you. If I use tongs, I grip with my right hand and change to my left before moving the stock from the fire. However, I estimate that in 95% of the things I made I managed too keep the stock so long until the last moment that I did not use any tongs. For short pieces I would prefer, if possible, to do it the Japanese way and weld on a handle.     

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Even as an amateur I have found it helpful to move the anvil around depending on size and length of the work piece.  For small delicate stuff I might have the anvil touching the forge then for 8' long 1" sq stock I may want it some distance away

My point is what's best for me or you may not be for someone else.

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We have so many rules and regulations with which we must conform that we certainly do not need to impose any arbitrary conditions on ourselves.

"Because I have always done it that way"

"Because ....(insert name of favourite guru...) demonstrated making a turnip twaddler (nice universal object Thomas!) with it set that way, I must keep the faith and never deviate".

It is your anvil and hammer and hearth and your project... do whatever you feel is right, and find most comfortable on the day.

It is not against any arcane law to take a few steps around to the other side of the anvil for occasional access to an opposite handed feature...but if the most of my time was spent there I would save the occasional bruised thigh, and turn the anvil around.

It is true that with my 600lb anvil (RH bick) mounted on a stump which had worked its way into the gravel/packed earth floor of my first shop I tended to walk around it rather than struggle to turn it. And the 300lb Peter Wright was mounted the opposite way (LH) with the bick away from the window so I could get on the end of it and pass longer bars along the axis through the window into the lane. As it also doubled as my foot hammer anvil it was pretty much left alone.

In the new forge with a concrete floor, the only thing that it fixed is the 3cwt (336lb) hammer with its half buried anvil on its 12 cubic metre inertia block. The 100 tonne horizontal press at 4 tonnes weight has been moved around regularly to suit the project, once notably by me and my then 80 year old mum, with help from a lever and a few rollers. The hearth and furnaces are moved around to suit, as are the 50kg (1112lb) hammers, the 4.5 tonne lathe, 1 tonne bench top, welders and the smaller presses.

The anvil barely stops spinning.

Alan

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5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

My point is what's best for me or you may not be for someone else.

Yesssir!!

This is why I am not sorry to eave the nuts to the squirrels.

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2 hours ago, gote said:

Yesssir!!

This is why I am not sorry to eave the nuts to the squirrels.

Do you 'eave the nuts at the squirrels with a catapult, blunderbuss or by overarm throw? And if thrown, with which hand?

 

Alan

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I like most am right handed, in my old shop I cranked the blower with my left, it fit the shop better in that location, I could tend the fire and get tools ready with my right.  The anvil starts most days horn to the left but many times my back starts to stress or hurt leaning that way so I'll spin it to the right to relieve my back.  Some days it must look like a pin wheel as I keep moving it till it works best.  If I don't listen to the back I'm in deep do do for  a few days.  Have said I thought I  would put casters on my anvil stump.

My  new shop it looks like I may have an electric blower on the forge so will have to find a new job for left hand.  Scratch my head most of the time.   Anything or anyway that works for you is the Right Way. 

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I leave them to the squirrels alan so there be no nuts. Nor to move the anvil nor to let it stay.

Notownkid. Excuse me for asking but why do you put your anvil in a way that hurts your back? I originally put the round horn to the left to avoid bending over. That the hardy sits to the left is just a bonus.

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What do you mean NO rules! :o When I was in high school during the almost universal, "non-conformist" fad we'd sit around making up non-conformist rules. Two of the guys ones taking "print shop" the other leaning towards journalism wrote and printed, "The Nonconformist Handbook".

I don't know if it was THE handbook that became popular nationwide, it's a pretty obvious way to mock the Group Think folk but it was sure a hit at school and spread to other schools in the area.

So, don't tell me there aren't rules to be a "real" blacksmith! <_<

Frosty The Lucky.

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Go on then, I'll bite...let's see your manifesto... :)

Rule 1) There are no rules*

Alan

*All directives to be read in conjunction with current Health and Safety, Employee, Workplace  and Environmental legislation pertaining to the area of domicile. No animals and/or other young humans to be harmed in any process thus employed.

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Just now, Alan Evans said:

Go on then, I'll bite...let's see your manifesto... :)

Rule 1) There are no rules*

Alan

*All directives to be read in conjunction with current Health and Safety, Employee, Workplace  and Environmental legislation pertaining to the area of domicile. No animals and/or other young humans to be harmed in any process thus employed.

My first woodworking teacher had four rules:

1. You have to follow all the rules all the time.

2. You have to break all the rules at least once, unless doing so will cause injury to yourself or someone else.

3. If something makes sense and it works, it's a rule.

4. If a rule stops making sense or stops working, it's no longer a rule.

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59 minutes ago, JHCC said:

My first woodworking teacher had four rules:

1. You have to follow all the rules all the time.

2. You have to break all the rules at least once, unless doing so will cause injury to yourself or someone else.

3. If something makes sense and it works, it's a rule.

4. If a rule stops making sense or stops working, it's no longer a rule.

rules one and two will cause all the robots to explode or become immobilized.   Pitty.  

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Rule # 32, All immobile robots will be be heated and hammered into something useful or attractive.

        #32a, Attractive does NOT imply nor mean magnetized.

Rule # 31, All robots shall be immobilized immediately on completion.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Asimov the opinion your robot has a brain the size of a planet...I shall join the first man, and claim Rule 42 as being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...

Alan

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On ‎4‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 10:53 AM, gote said:

Notownkid. Excuse me for asking but why do you put your anvil in a way that hurts your back

Simply a matter of a couple back problems which sometimes bothers one way and sometimes the opposite side.  Some days no feeling in a leg next day OK.  After an operation I  asked the MD about it and his reply was learn to live with them as the alternative prior to an emergency operation was a wheel chair.  I have moved the anvil in so many directions, raised it and lowered, even tried tilting it.  Some days I can go all day and no problem, other days within an hr. I'm moving it to reduce the strain and or pain.  I can let it beat me, not hardly, I can make adjustments for what life has dealt me or set down and feel sorry for myself.  I have a 100 lb anvil mounted on a steel table that is almost 44" high on casters I use some days for small stuff.  I've been offered lots of Meds for the pain but I don't take them I'm Dopey enough without taking more.

It is true that what you do as a youth comes back to  haunt you in later life. I was known as the kid who ride any horse esp. if their next stop was the dog food plant.  I got a lot of flying lessons out of that nonsense, flying wasn't bad the landings were hard at times. 

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2 hours ago, Alan Evans said:

Asimov the opinion your robot has a brain the size of a planet...I shall join the first man, and claim Rule 42 as being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...

Alan

Don't get mousey on us Alan.

Frosty The Lucky.

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My pseudonym is slartiblacksmith I will have you know. 

I find it is vital to have the anvil oriented towards Norway when forging crinkly bits.

Alan

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Thanks for all the fish and crinkly chips. Crisp crinkles on your side of the pond I suppose.

Frosty The Lucky.

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