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Now that I'm back in my shop I'm waiting for a strong south wind---say 30 to 40 MPH and then I will open all the 10'x10' roll up doors and rent a backpack blower and clean the shop from all the cobwebs and dust that built up when I was working down south.  Probably be next spring. (Well, yes, that would be considered a moderate wind for the spring out here.)

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I don't use a blower because all the dust and fines ends up on top off all the rafters and every inch above head height. 

Then everytime I go looking for that special piece of sword or hidden treasure stuffed up in the rafters I end up looking like a chimney sweep.  

Back when I was a pro I would intentionally water the floor before sweeping to keep the dust down.  

Then I discovered the vacuum..  This is one of the best inventions ever.   I shop vac everything..  

If I had a pole barn or an open sided setup with no insulation and no hidyholes up above I'd use the blower too.. 

But even in the trailer it's amazing how much dust finds its way up ontop of the beams. 

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That's what the strong wind is for---to push it all out.  Here in New Mexico we say that you can tell when it's spring; because your neighbors' concrete blocks start blowing into your yard! First year we were here we had 80 mph straight line winds come through.  

Easier to blow it off than the vacuum all the clutter in the storage part---even if I had electricity to the shop...

 

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  • 7 months later...

I'm brand new to smithing a couple of years in and ive gotta weigh in. I heard somewhere that if you build every tool you ever need when your done with that you should have the skills to do what you need to. So I did, I built my forge and burners based on what people here were willing to share. sounds like theirs a couple of more experienced smiths here and theyve definitely got their opinions some more accepting of clutter and some less.

but as far as anvilstands go, i started with a beat up old peter wright 256#. i had a nice block of hemlock which it wobbled about upon while i learned how little i knew about my new hobby. After a few days it became chained down with lag bolts, this was mainly done in an attempt to quiet the pain full ring. A few days after that the block was routered down to level on two sides and again chained down. Much more stable but still loud as heck. A couple of months later the anvil was siliconed onto the stump. This was the single most important development in my entire anvil stand evolution. Solid as heck 5 times more silent and that anvil is really on their, my drunk buddy's have tested this in their attempts to help clean up at the end of the night. Much to the shop floors dismay.

I recently acquired a 400# in great condition and in my haste to use it I bolted it onto another less level stump then the first. It was going to only be for the one night. That was months ago and the darn thing has stayed chained to the wobbly stump without me feeling any need to change it. Is it because it's larger and thus more stable or is it because I'm lazy and excited to see how much more metal i can move with cleaner edges. I don't know but what I can tell you is that the thing has done more work in the last couple of months then the one i spent 3 years owning (and at day at least of time perfecting its mounting.) Had I not spent this time messing about with my anvil I would have been further along in my forging experience. I think time managment is really a personal decision and should really be out side out another smiths judgment. I have less time then some and I would currently like to spend my time learning and forging right now. 

I started reading this thread because I was thinking about which type of stand I wanted to build to have the best set up for the new anvil and after reading some of the perspectives shared I'm gonna let that beauty sit on the wobbly stump because right now I've seen theirs so many different types of stands and all of them seem functional enough to their makers that they are happy with what they have for now. I guess it's all about what your expectations are and most of us here have changed their set up when they found need to. I could spend today making a three leg metal stand and test it out, but I think I'll silicone her down and keep forging on.  Everyone seems happy with what they've got and I guess I'm happy enough with what is that for now I'll let her buck. 

Honestly though try the silicone I swear by it.

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"I heard somewhere that if you build every tool you ever need when your done with that you should have the skills to do what you need to."

As there are an infinite number of tools; I assume you will never get to producing anything but tools...good market for well made tools out there...

I am of the "build the tools as you need them" school and will note that some tools will be done over as your skills improve to need the better version.  (I don't advise folks just starting to work with high alloy steels when making tools---like H13---but when you get some skills developed it's a great alloy for several types of tooling!)

As for anvil stands; my basic take on them is expediency.  I have a number of differing stands ranging from stumps, mine timbers, vertically arrayed oak 2x12's, even a steel 3 legged stand.  I don't allow anvils to wobble on top of a stand and with a clay/sand/gravel floor stands get "bedded" and don't wobble either.  I freely admit that my smithy doesn't look like a "museum" set up---unless the museum accurate portrays a working general smithy!

I remember a knifemaking friend who used to twit me on the condition of my shop compared to his---until I pointed out he spent more time cleaning his shop in a typical week than I got to spend in my shop!  Yes, I admired how neat and clean his place was; but was not willing to forgo *forging* to make mine similar. (I've also noticed that no matter how much I sweep my dirt floor it's still dusty!)

Anyway welcome to the con-fratern/soror-ity!  What kinds of things do you want to make?

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Welcome aboard Erik, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might discover how many members live within visiting distance. Being able to network with folks in your area has more benefits than is reasonable to go into in a howdy message. 

If your anvil stand works for you then go with it. Stopping the wobble is as easy as slipping a couple wedges under the block. Wood stands are about as good a way to let an anvil ring as there is and there are  a number of ways to deaden the ring. I've never tried silicone calk but there are a LOT of positive reports. I'm a steel tripod guy but it doesn't take all day for me to make one, an hour or so maybe. Then again I went to school to be a welder fabricator and built stuff out of steel for decades so it's not a good comparison. 

You'll only get curmudgeonly responses if you're giving dangerous advice or ask questions and argue with replies you don't like. If you don't want an opinion don't ask, holds as true here as anywhere.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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3 hours ago, Erik Mendel said:

a couple of years in

Welcome to finally posting, I had around 30 years (on & off) in the forge, when I discovered IFI and I learn something new with about every visit here. I'm sure you have seen that we love pictures and my posts about reading the Read This First thread. That thread helped me in getting the best out of the forum with lots of tips.

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SHAME on you Erik! Plan on MAKING knifes rather than trying to. What a TRYING attitude! :rolleyes:

Like puns Erik? Learn blacksmithing and bladesmithing are just a touchy specialty.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I can see the narrative frosty that you've got where you are by lots of research and development. Quite a bit of your information has guided my own development. So let me refraise that I'm going to continue to make knives with the intent to someday make some of quality that my friends will keep as heirlooms. Every day I get closer to things knife shaped. I'm still trying to recover from an unfortunate incident in which my brand new kbac-27d blew up on first run.... does anyone have a contact for a place which might fix the drive for me?

Thanks Erik 

1594953037703860957348.jpg

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On 7/13/2020 at 10:59 PM, Erik Mendel said:

I heard somewhere that if you build every tool you ever need when your done with that you should have the skills to do what you need to.

I have another say of my own ... Only ever make a tool if it is not available for sale and no one wants to make it for you ... or you never get to do what you need or want  to do.

Or words to that effect :)

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6 hours ago, Erik Mendel said:

Yeah it seems the better I get at making tongs the more I want to do a better job at it so I find it's a round about circle when I toss the earlier ones and replace then with 2.0

Ayup, been there. Once you get a thing that works you want to improve what you perceive as flaws and believe me the maker can always find the flaws. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Marc1,

Cogently,   has  said,

"I  have another say of my own ... "Only ever make a tool if it is not available for sale and no one wants to make it for you ... or you will never get to do what you need or want  to do."

The SLAG heartily agrees.

 

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