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Tool steel drops at reduced prices? My local steel yard carries a wide variety of tool steel, but they sell it cut to size down to pretty small pieces. Their rack has what I would call drops on it, all at full price. (I haven’t seen any simple mid to high carbon stuff though. Plenty of alloy: 4140, 4340, A2, D2, O1, H13, etc.)

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Fleamarket report: 1 ballpeen, 1 crosspeen hammer US$1 apiece, 4 soldering coppers $5, small rockbreaker digging rod $3

Yesterday I helped a fellow smith pick up a band saw from an old junk filled garage, and this is what followed me home, some letter and number punches, and some old tractor drags or something, not sur

I have a smallish spalling hammer I "converted" into a straight pein and the balance isn't good. the Face side is too heavy making it darned tiring to use. I have given thought to cutting the face sid

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the kind offer from a friend a slab 47 cm X 20 cm X 40 mm used as a counterweight in a exercise machine, one "cube" and a nice heavy rim to make an adjustable saw horse.


A guy I work with kindly offered me this block of what looks like mild steel 92.5 cm X 23 cm X 4 inch thick. Estimated weight 175 kg, ruler 1 metre long

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I found these in my mom's attic during thanksgiving. They were used on my great grandfathers farm in Dayton, Ohio. 

The draw knife looks home forged and says S. Warner on it. Warner is my mother's maiden name. It is potentially from the early 1800s.

The Timber slick says, T Benjamin. Cast Steel. Dayton, Ohio. 

I'll be keeping the draw knife for sentimental reasons, but I'm not sure what to do with the Timber slick. Anybody happen to know anything about cast Steel timber slicks from Ohio?




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"Cast Steel" is the material it was forged from.  You took blister steel and melted it in small amounts to get a slag free uniform carbon content ingot that you could then forge into other things.  It's an indication of quality as it was considerably more expensive than blister or shear steel.   Items were not cast into final form as they need the forging to reduce the large grain size casting produced. Huntsman "invented" the process in the West around 1740---he had a lot of trouble with refractories!

(I keep my eye out for old damaged cast steel items to use for upscale late 18th and 19th century replicas.) 

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9 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

It's an indication of quality as it was considerably more expensive than blister or shear steel.

Thanks for the insight Thomas. I have to say it feels like a quality piece of work. It's old and rusted but the edge is SHARP and the whole thing feels extremely professional and well finished out. I think I may go ahead and rehandle this one, I don't have a timber slick, but honestly they're just kinda neat.

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Went with a buddy to help tow a car home he'd bought. Met a pretty cool gentleman that owned the shop the car was stored in.

He had a roll of 6# ceramic wool... pretty fair amount. Asked him what he was doing with it, if he'd part with it and how much he'd want.

His answer was-"throw it in your truck... you'll use it before i will." Free bonus!!!:o



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My Old Kentucky Haul

Whenever my wife and I go south to visit family, we always travel back with many metal goods packed tight. I got a few thick chunks of flat stock, a bar of 3/4" copper rod, two pieces of white oak bed frame that should make some nice handles, along with a few other miscellaneous treasures.

My favorite gift of them all, however, is this big 'o slab of steel. 15"x15"x1 1/2", 95lbs. I demoted my 100lbs rookie anvil by removing it from my largest stump so the plate could take its place. I think it will be great for upsetting, chiseling and punching and the corners, being sharper than those on my regular anvil, will also be handy. It has many scattered nicks and divots on each face, but nothing to be bothered by. I think I will eventually rout a 1 1/2" wide slot in the stump that will allow me to stand it on end if I need. And this thing RINGS so I think some proper mounting is in order. 

I also received about 10' of 1/2" coil spring from a friend who repairs/replaces garage doors for a living, and a bunch of oak and willow logs from a landscaper friend. I have always kept in mind that it is not just who you are, but who you know... and man, lately I can't help but feel so blessed to have such great friends and family supporting me and my craft. 




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Picked up a nice angle grinder through a FB Marketplace connection. The previous owner had taken off the guard, but most considerately had kept it in the case along with a nice selection of adapters. Decent deal for $20. 


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On 11/15/2020 at 6:37 AM, Owen Hinsman said:

How can I take it apart without damaging me or my tools?

As mentioned before, the best option is to have a professional with the right tools do it.  However, if you must deal with it yourself, you can heat it in a large bonfire to soften the spring and remove the tension. It needs to be about hot enough to start glowing to achieve this.  You can also do this with an AO torch, but again you need to be very careful to make sure there is no tension left on the parts before trying any disassembly or cutting.

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Those springs are under a lot of pressure and if you have to ask how, you do not want to be messing with it.  Have a professional with the right tools do it.

If after these warnings you still choose to do it yourself, make sure your hospitalization insurance is paid up and that it covers injuries from this type activity.  Also be sure and update your will and life insurance.  Consult your wife, children, and friends about maybe stepping out of their lives either permanently or until you can recover, and 100% recovery is NOT promised.

Oh yes, throwing it into a bonfire does not take into consideration the shock absorber is a closed metal container filled with hydraulic fluid that when it reaches critical temperature will explode spraying hot flammable fluid everywhere.  If the boom does not alert the neighbors, the fireball will.  Oh yes, have someone watch from a safe distance with 911 on speed dial.

And all this is to save looking for a loose spring, or how much money for a brand new one without microfractures ?


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On 11/30/2020 at 3:40 AM, Welshj said:

I was thinking outer layer against the shell, then 8# inner layer might work?

Yes, that'll work just fine, especially with a hard refractory flame face to prevent infiltration of the flame into and through the blanket. 

Buzz: Aren't struts filled with oil or compressed gas and present a risk of an explosion if over heated? The worst explosions you see in car fires are behind the wheels, fuel tanks tend to just whoosh in a fire ball but the loud bangs and flying debris mostly comes from behind the wheels.

I don't know for sure but I am concerned.

Ah, I see Glenn and I are typing at the same time again.

Frosty The Lucky.

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