littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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46 minutes ago, MC Hammer said:

Das, you must have the same sweet blood I do - I always get nailed by mosquitoes.

Oh yeah, they love me. I probably wouldnt care sooo much if the bites didnt itch so bad after. 

Nice mandrel CC. No need to polish it up too much. I've found that when using them the higher polish makes the work piece slide around more and ya get a little less control.

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1 hour ago, sfeile said:

I made a basic tool rest..

Shawn:

That rest looks to be quite functional.  I could not imagine trying to grind those straights without one.  Looking good

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Being a beginner, I started a class this weekend with a local blacksmith.  Made a couple leaves and I brought a piece of coil spring along to straighten out to made a chisel or punch.  

Today I tried practicing leaves again,  but I isolated more material on the first one, as well as I did it on too- sharp a corner and ended up cracking it off.   Tried again,  this time it was too small,  but still made it through.  Didn't finish grinding the chisel til after, so didn't get to mark the veins.   

Also made an attempt at making a sharp corner by upsetting the bend.   Managed to finally get the thicknesses  reasonably matched,  but ended up with some cold shuts on the inside of the elbow.  

Lastly,  am working on some large tongs for a non-smithing application,  and figured I would try drawing out the reins.  My goodness did that turn out horribly. 

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Almost finished the anvil stand today.  All that's left is bending the bar stock for floor mount.  

Leveled stump with the router method suggested. Also removed the bark as recommended,  turns out this cold steel sharpened throwing shovel finally came in handy.  It works excellent for stripping bark. 

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I then added 3 feet, and a sheet of plywood to get the height I wanted, after initially screwing up.

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Stock layed out for bending.  3/8" lag screws for the stump, and 3/8" tapcon screws for the concrete.

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Hey Biggundoctor I only just saw your post sorry.

It is really light I will put it on the scales tonight, my sister has ridiculously thick hair I get the feeling when she tries it I will need to bend it a bit to fit it all in.

 

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13 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Nice mandrel CC. No need to polish it up too much. I've found that when using them the higher polish makes the work piece slide around more and ya get a little less control.

I figured polishing it was a waste of time, but it was fun. Thanks for warning me about the part jumping around to much. Next time I make one I'll leave the finish a little less smooth. 

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Moto; when I worked with a professional swordmaker he was doing 30+ inch long grinds perfectly straight just holding the pieces in his hands.  Experience!

He was selling swords in the several thousand US dollar range back in the 1980's.

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15 hours ago, sfeile said:

before the mosquitoes carried me off. They were bad today for some reason.

FWIW, growing up we raised Mallard ducks a few years.  When there were a lot of them patrolling the grounds the annoying insect population dropped to almost nothing.   However, you did not want to go barefoot since the ducks left a lot of recycled insects on the lawn.

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To quote a gardener friend of mine, "You don't have a too-many-slugs problem; you have a not-enough-ducks problem."

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I've had nests of the European hornets around every few years it seems. The ones that are about as big as your thumb. When they are around, there are pretty much no mosquitoes or any other insects at all. Bad part of them, is while they aren't aggressive, they like to build nests IN the house. I really don't want to have to try out the Mrs.' eppi pen to make sure it works for her, so I have to evict them. If they would build somewhere else, I really like having them around.

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My shop vac and I have been having a negotiation with the wasps over use of the front porch...perhaps I should use the coal forge for a while...

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I never had issues with paper wasps, yellowjackets, or anything else while they were around. Even the swallows stayed away from my eaves. As intimidating as they look, they really aren't aggressive surprisingly. I climbed up on a ladder and they just hung around and watched while I dusted their entry.

I took out an entire nest of yellowjackets one time with hot water and dishsoap, but these things would just get a little wet and annoyed by it. Hornet spray in a can? They laugh at it. I ended up getting tempo 1% dust and just a little bit at the entry and they are pretty much all done in a day. The tricky part is getting it at the entry when it's something that's a little more testy than they are. I got a bottle for about $15 that I think is a pound maybe? I'll have enough of that stuff to last me the next 50 years I think. It really doesn't take much. A squirt or two from one of those baby nose sucker bulbs is about all it takes.

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17 hours ago, Daswulf said:

Oh yeah, they love me. I probably wouldnt care sooo much if the bites didnt itch so bad after. 

 

Benadryl spray does a good job taking the itch and swelling out of mosquito bites. I get bit some in the spring but by mid June they lose interest in me and I may bet one or two till next spring. Benadryl works on white sock, no see ums, horse fly, bee, and wasp stings too. Most everything, it's good stuff.

We have what the locals call yellow jackets but are more like wild ground bees. They're not the typical wasp shape I associated with yellow jackets in S. California growing up. They're more like a long thin bee and will nest almost anywhere, occasionally even paper nests in a tree if there's nowhere better. They make mud dauber type nests too. There may be a number of different types "descended?" from the same bee, or they're very adaptable,  they all look the same. The sting feels and swells about the same. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I never bothered with using anything to help but that last time was rough. They got me good. Thanks for the tip, I'll be getting some. 

Haven't run into any for a while but those "ground bees" are the most agressive I have ever dealt with. Best just to run like the wind flailing and rubbing all over. Screaming seems to help. Not sure why. Then get your revenge on the nest at night. 

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Yeah, ground bees can be very aggressive, sometimes their nests spread out 30' so you might be stomping it down and not know till they come out for a talk. When we were clearing land for the house I was running the chain saw and found myself in an angry swarm:o. Happily they took out their ire on the chainsaw, loud, orange, hot and vibrating so I just let them have at it while I stopped moving and stood there occasionally revving the saw. I spotted where they were emerging from the ground, I'd dropped a tree on them. When they finally stopped killing the chain saw I took the cap off the fuel tank and splashed some gas on the hive entrance. That was it, faster than any bug spray I've used and it evaporates away clean. 

I wouldn't have tried it but there were still a lot of angry bees patrolling and I was afraid to walk away. From then on I kept a fuel bottle handy. I usually wore a small pack with a spare chain, file, wrench, gas and oil in it. I kept the oil in a squeeze water bottle and a 1/2 gal gas can. After that I kept a squeeze bottle of gas in the water bottle pocket of the pack for fast access. Flip the cap and squirt, bees gone, hive dead, done deal.

I carry Benadryl spray in a pocket anytime I'm in the woods now, I'm becoming more sensitive to stings as I get older and the faster you can get it on the sting the more effective it is. Once I sprayed a bee before it stung me, now THAT was effective. Killed the bee too. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Pretty much done. I'll bolt things down when the anvil shows up. Brackets aren't pretty, but I do like them more than angle iron. Although I forgot to account for the feet, one of the two lag bolt holes wont be functional now. 

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Mudman, the brackets should hold the stump in place quite well, but you might want to consider using the anvil/stump for a while before you bolt it down to the concrete, just in case you find that there might be a more convenient location for it. If the leveling shims make it pretty stable, it shouldn't move around very much, and leaving it unbolted (is that a word?) could give you a chance to experiment with placement. Maybe you were already considering this approach, but I thought I'd suggest it anyway. FWIW, I haven't bolted my anvil in place, and that works fine for me, but a "secured" location obviously works well for others, so I'm not suggesting you do otherwise.

5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

My shop vac and I have been having a negotiation with the wasps over use of the front porch...perhaps I should use the coal forge for a while...

Thomas, the wasps at our old house in Alna, ME don't seem to be willing to negotiate. Every time I open the shipping container that I use for 'temporary' (going on ten years) storage, I get down on bent knee and gaze upward into the padlock cover to make sure that there is no new wasp nest before I stick my hand under the cover to remove the lock. My neighbor probably thinks I'm either crazy or praying to Maersk, the god of shipping containers. It doesn't matter how many times I've cleaned out a wasp nest there, they just keep building new ones in the same place. I've been successful in deterring repeated groundhog incursions by applying coyote urine, but I don't know if there's a wasp equivalent.

Al (Steamboat)

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5 minutes ago, Steamboat said:

Mudman, the brackets should hold the stump in place quite well, but you might want to consider using the anvil/stump for a while before you bolt it down to the concrete, just in case you find that there might be a more convenient location for it.

I don't have a lot of working space, so it's going to replace the area where my current anvil is. Which I know works for me, but it may get shimmied around a little before final lock down. 

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Looks good.. I personally would not bolt it down until you figure out what it is you want to be making all the time.  

I used to swap out the anvil with different stumps based on sledge work,  normal work, scroll work. Or light work.. 

I had 3 anvils mounted on 3 different height stumps..   The sledge was only about 26" off the deck..  31" for normal and about 34" for fine work.. 

As for Wasps or hornets.. I don't bother them and they don't bother me..  I'll reach over and pull a nest out/off and I have found this works the best when they just are getting started.. 

If the nests have had some time with a few hundred members.. I will spray it with water or a water hose every few days and within a week they move on..  They want a dry area.. 

I've found this method of watering to be about the best and most productive without killing to many..  I won't use poisons or sprays what will kill them.. 



 

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I don't poison the wasps either. I'll just clear a nest out of an enclosed area that I live or work in and hope they go elsewhere, and sometimes they do. Wasps might not be as efficient as bees for pollination, but they still do their bit.

Al (Steamboat)

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Finished off a few things today. The longhorn billy lifter was the demo piece. The leaf handle fire poker is a light one in 8mm square. I find campers and caravanners like the lighter steel. The bottle opener is 12mm square with a stairway twist. The snake is forged from a rat tail file.

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I had 1 hornet that despite removing the nest 3 days in a row continued to want to stay there..  By day 4 the hornet got the hint and moved on..  Usually it just takes a few days and they have had enough.. 

Ausfire nice work..  Love seeing such great progress.. Just wonderful.. 

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Thanks Jennifer. Everyday is progress. You never stop learning at this game.

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Got'r in today, and set on the stump. Wasnt until then, that I realized the stump was too small. But this will have to do for now, still surprisingly stable without bolting to the floor. I can stand completely on either end of the horns without it tipping. Although it does move if I bounce. 

The ringing prior to screwing into the stump, was mind bogglingly high pitch and loud. After the mounts, and a few small magnets, I again was also surprised how much quieter it became. 

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