Glenn

It followed me home

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Most libraries in the USA have access to an Inter Library Loan system; the one here in rural New Mexico has "borrowing rights" from over 90 other libraries including several University ones!   I was able to easily borrow a book that I had on amazon book search for 6 years without a hit...If you live in out of the way places and research odd things ILL is your major resource!   Now you will need to talk with a Librarian about it and maybe the head vs the counter staff; but it's worth your while.  Also many libraries take suggestions for books/videos to buy if a bunch of smiths filter through all asking for the same stuff....

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I'm particularly lucky in that not only is there a good ILL program in the library of the college where I work, but there's a special expedited ILL program through a linked network of all the higher ed in the state that works faster and more efficiently. With regular ILL, you put in a request, the library sends it out into the world, and if some librarian somewhere says, "Hey, we've got that!", you're in luck. If not, no dice. (Thus, the first time I requested Mark Aspery's "Skills of a Blacksmith", it ended up coming from the research library at Colonial Williamsburg; the last time, nada.) With the state network, on the other hand, I can browse the catalog, find a specific volume, and have it sent to our library for my pick-up.

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One word of warning (that I should have issued to myself): keep library books out of reach of the dogs. Michael the Insecure Pit Bull ripped the cover off the University of Kansas - Lawrence's copy of "A Blacksmith's Craft -- The Legacy of Francis Whitaker" when no-one was looking.

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I'm surprised it took him this long. That dog's got issues.

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Yeah, but I might get to keep the damaged copy, so it's not all bad.

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About  3 weeks ago I gave this 2 3/4"x5" that was a foot long for him to mill out a square hardy hole for a striking anvil. I hadn't asked him specifically if he could do it, but rather asked him if he knew of a good place to give it too, and have them drill a 3/4" hole that I would then drift into a 1 inch square hardy hole. He offered to do it,  but said he could do better, and could mill it out square so I wouldn't have to drift it (and for free, which was even better:). I was happy and a bit sad that I wouldn't have the opportunity to give a try at heating that large of steel and drifting it. It seemed like a lot of fun, and is one my things to do in the future sometime when I get the reason to. Anyways, I got it back from him this last Wednesday, and wasn't over joyed, and absolutely pleased. He did this in his garage one a small mill that he owns, but has been doing this for years, and is his full time job. I got it when it was dark (stupid time change) and it looked fine, as i was just pleased to have it back after several weeks. He said it was an 1" by 1 1/8" hole, which didn't register at the time, would make it basically impossible to rotate hardy tools 90 degrees, which is very important when making hammers, and is just nice to have the ability to do. Also, the corners were Very rounded and the sides bulged in while the corners were in some. I probably said thank you 5 times, and as "payment" asked me to make him a pair of flat jaw tongs for him, guess it wasn't completely free. Of course I said yes. i had been planning on making him a pair of tongs, as he is just starting out blacksmithing. This evening I spent about and hour trying to correct it with files, and am pleased with how it turned out. It's really only the top part of the hardy hole that is neat, and square, but that's all that matters, as the hardies will only be making contact up at the top, because the shafts of them will be forged at a bit of a taper. The underside of the hardy hole is about what the top looked like before I filed it. I'm going to leave it that way, as I see no reason to correct that side. It should work fine I hope. The hardy hole is about a little more than an 1 1/8" square. Can't weight to get some legs on it, and pour a cement slab for it to be bolted to. Been wanting to make a striking anvil for more than a year now, mainly to make rounding hammers, which I've been working on making some of the tools to make the hammers. Will maybe share some pictures later, and share my journey of making the tools, and ultimately the hammers with ya'll.

sorry, I didn't mean to write a novel....

Here's some pictures. If you made it this far, you deserve to see some!

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                                                                                                                                Littleblacksmith

Here's a picture of some struck tools I made him a while back in return for him giving me a lot of steel.

A about 1/4" round punch made from a crow bar.

A hot cutting chisel also made from crow bar.

And last but definitely not least (was his favorite, and mine too) is a square center punch with a pineapple twist made from 3/4" coil spring forged square.

                                                                                                                        Littleblacksmith

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Hmm, drifting what he provided out square and oversize and then dropping in a piece of sq tubing and welding it top and bottom would have been my method to get a hardy of specific size and shape.

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That is a great idea! I would have never thought of that, but I don't think I have much reason to go through that trouble now, as the hardy hole is now functional.

Going to the scrap yard today, we'll see what we find this time! although we probably cant stay long today......

                                                                                                                            Littleblacksmith

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went to the scrap yard today, didn't find any tools like I usually do, but found plenty of steel to make some!

Found part of a sway bar (actually there was a ton of them, but decide only to get this on), Got some chain to make into chain Damascus, a coil spring, a crow  bar that I probably wont re-forge, but use it as a crow bar. Also picked up a large-ish Allen wrench,  part of some machinery or vehicle that's 2 inches thick-planning on making a couple hammers out of it, a 1 1/5 thick axle,  some hallow piece that I'm not sure what I'll use it for-maybe a monkey tool or something, and some 2 inch square tubing with 1/4 inch walls for the legs on my striking anvil. The nice thing about that was that I found it in the scrap part of the yard, and so I only had to pay scrap prices instead of having to buy 20ft of it at new steel price. Also found a few smaller things.

I had enough time to make a pair of flat jaw tongs for the guy who milled out my hardy hole. I made out of 2 railroad spikes, and they hold 1/4 inch square/round, and 3/16"-1/4" flat bar. I have tongs for holding that same size stock, and they aren't even this nice!

                                                                                                                             Littleblacksmith

 

 

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Oh yeah, the tongs,-

 

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If it won't close the jaws tightly then there is an issue.  Check the screw and screwbox to make sure that it isn't jammed in the back.  The vice could be a "marriage" and be using parts from another one.  If they look good but just a trifle long you have to decide if you want to trim---a bit risky, open up the back to allow the excess screw to protrude---a bit "off" looking or add a thicker washer in the front to make the vice close  before it bottoms out.

If the screwbox is the problem well it's going to take a bit to sort it.

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All closes up nicely but theres a wobble when open. Theres a lug or some kind of bar missing from the front to hold it all steady i think

 

Had this dropped off to me today for a new forge hood ( I hope) 22" (560mm) at small end and 34 1/2" (800mm) at the large end.. Its galvanised though :( so not sure how to tackle this do i cut holes so i can work through like a tunnel thing or do i cut out  !/2 of it for a side blast type hood or just mount it above the forge?

 

 

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Finally hit up a Re-store today at lunch.  Think I found a new hunting grounds for usable bits. Plus all the other goodies they have. 

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I need to find a good spot for stuff like that.  During the summer I have swap meets/flea markets to haunt, but now I have nothing.  The awesome used tool store we had nearby closed down.  The one guy I know of who has lots of stuff sees his tools as antiques and collectibles $$$.

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Lou,

Are there church rummage sales in your neck of the woods? Oct & Nov. are good times for those sales. They start up again in the new year from Feb. through April. I find trashed tools, (such as hammer heads handle wrecked hammers, punches etc.) in boxes. Those boxes are often on the floor at the back, unwanted and unloved. Many people do not know the tools use nor its value. They go for a song. Some wrecked "tools' are high carbon steel and I readily repurpose them in the forge. A lot of fun at negligible cost.

Have a happy Thanksgiving Holiday to all the American members of I. F. I. and their families.

SLAG.

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Finally got my neighbor to let me rummage in his scrap pile. He modifies and drives demo derby cars and also goes to auctions and scraps in his spare time. I have picked a little before but lately he went to some old farm auctions and got some good stuff. the pile might have been larger if I hadnt run out of light. (and he was done for the night as well.) I will be getting more another day.

I also bought a small manure spreader and an old busted up plow off him, which he hasnt unloaded off of his trailer yet.  I was in scrap heaven. :) 

 

 

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I see a GREAT wind chime in the first and last pics, there's a cast iron skillet in a large bell (if I had it) and there are a number of round striker hanger in the pile. They only LOOK like aluminum pullies right now. I can see plenty of potential clappers in the pile too.

That cast iron bell would be more subdued than a proper oxy cylinder wind chime but a little tuning and it'd sound nice in a breeze.

You know I've never known a demo derby guy who couldn't use a hand in the garage and I'll bet he collects a lot of stuff he can't use on spec. I'll bet he walks away from blacksmithing tools as not useful on a demo derby car, not that making bumpers out of anvils hasn't occurred to him. . . :ph34r:

Nice stock pile in someone ELSE'S yard! Das.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty those are some aluminum pulleys. the cast iron pan is cracked pretty bad on the bottom, tho I have a stack of good ones in the house. :)  There are some great parts in that pile. I have been wanting to make some more wind chimes for a while now.  I will explore the bell idea. There are some good clappers in there including about 3 old window weights.

I have helped him with whatever I could whenever he has asked. He's a great guy, but dosnt see what I see in the scrap (yet). I've been working on him haha. I paid him over what he asked for the pile since it was worth it to me, and I want him to be happy. I think I got some ideas in his head on what to save for me and hopefully he will start some buckets of good parts for me.  He has been talking about taking some scrap in so I had to move on it.

They are always printing new money but they arnt making any more antique parts.

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Oh Das, those only LOOK like pullies right now, I see lots of different things. How about wind flowers? PUt them on a shaft and make wind vane petals, let them spin in the breezes? Putting different length springy strikers on the back side, think curb feelers and tuned bells and it'd literally play a jingle.

Search "Jurustic Park" and check out Clyde Wynia's inspirational menagerie. I haven't visited in a while but he's probably still got a few of his oxy cylinder LOUD art up. ONe of my absolute favorites is his cement truck dragon, you have to see his place in person to really appreciate the scope of his imagination.

Frosty The Lucky.

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This all came from my grandfathers barn.

I brought back a jug, metal pot, small cross cut saw, a garage spring, pick head, and a forester western fire equipment co. double bit axe sheath. Oh, and the crate.

I did some metal detecting there, and found some stuff that I can use.

I found a short piece of pipe, a chisel, a piece of 1/4" round wrought iron, and a large hand forged wrought iron something (don't really know what it is) where all the forge welds visible. For being wrought iron, they look like pretty sorry welds, but who knows what the smith was using to weld and forge them, so may be pretty good depending on his set up I guess. also though, that they haven't popped apart yet is a good sign

Also found a lock plate to a black powder muzzle loader, but what I found to be interesting though was that it is for a lefty.

Not much, but enough to get me happy!

On a separate trip to the Brazos river, I picked up a couple pieces of wrought iron, and a piece of what appeared to be high carbon steel after a spark test. I later forge welded them into a solid piece, and was working on making a trade axe out of it, but it didn't work out.

I know, its a lot of pictures....

                                                                                                                                        Littleblacksmith

 

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the welds

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the pieces of wrought iron from the Brazos river

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what it looked like after being forge welded together.

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oh yeah, the piece of high carbon steel I found and the spark test-

 

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here is a video of the spark test-

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I love this forum! It makes me feel so at home to see people post pics of stuff like that. I would be interested in seeing how that cross cut saw shapes up after cleaning if it's worth it. Can you tell if that mattock head is hand forged? That sheath is really cool. Like the wrought iron. I even like the loopy thing. Even if it's a poor weld I just like to see old hand forged stuff. That muzzleloader thing is neat to. I think anything that's left handed is cool.;)

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I have an old Alaskan "tavasr" (fish knife) that was in my grandfather's effect. I suspect it is one of the ones my great-grandfather describes in his memoirs being made from a broken crosscut saw blade repurposed by the villagers in Anvik.  I still use it occasionally. 

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