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chimaera i second what Nathan Kraft says.

if no one tries we would get no where 

"I have not failed ten thousand time --- I've successfully found ten thousand ways that will not work."

Thomas Alva Edison

if Edison had not had this attitude we might still be using coal lamps today instead of the light bulb there are over a thousand things that we would not have or could be now in the beginning stages if he had not been willing to make mistakes.

Mistakes are a good thing IF you learn from them!!

for now,

M.J.Lampert

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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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I wish I had the funds to get a nice post vise to follow me home but I don’t so a 4 inch steel Yost bench vise is on its way to me. Having no vice has made a lot of simple things really difficult so I’m super excited. I’m not sure how I should mount it thought. My anvil is on a large stump on the ground but there’s not enough room for it to go there also so I was thinking a smaller stump a couple feet away with a width around the same as the base of the vise or maybe a piece of 6x6 or something...any suggestions? Also is there an optimal height to have it? Something like the “anvil at knuckle height” theory that applies to a vise?

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Pat, 

When I was working outside the Red Shed in my yard, I built a stand for a 35lb bench vise that I have. I dug a hole in the ground, buried 4 chunks of 4"x4" cut to the length of the depth of the hole and surrounded it with cement. I made sure not to completely cover the 4x4's with the cement as I would need to access the top of the wood after it dried. 

As it dried, I welded an 8"x6"(?) steel plate to the top of an old car axel, bracing the plate with supports that were also welded to the axel at an angle. The axel still had its wheel connection (sorry, don't know the proper name) attached to the other end. I then used the lug nut holes in the wheel connector to mark spots on the buried wood, drilled holes and attached the axel to the top of the buried wood with 6"x 3/4" lag bolts. It stood just a bit taller than my bellybutton and I was comfortable with that. 

The steel plate on top also had holes drilled in it which I used to secure the bench vise. It was nice and sturdy, but I took the advice given to me at the time and I did not beat on it whatsoever as it is still just a bench vise. Still handy for twists and general holds, though. I understand not everyone has a spare axel available, but maybe something else sturdy will work for you. I think you will have trouble with it tipping over if you mount it to an unsecured smaller stump or 6x6 you mention. Hope this helps. 

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Remember, since you're not going to be hammering on this (RIGHT?!?!), your main concern is resistance to twisting and bending. If you can fasten it to something solid, that's great; you only need substantial mass if what you attach it to is too light or too moveable to stay put when you're working in a scrolling jig, twisting a workpiece, or the like.

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Well I did purposely get an all steel vise so it would hold up a little better than the average cast iron ones but I’m fully aware I can’t be really hammering on it. It’s going to be used more for some lite straightening taps maybe and then definitely the main use will be twisting, bending, filing etc. but I definitely want it to be very solid. Maybe one piece of 6x6 cut to the correct height, dropped in the ground a good bit with concrete around it and the vise mounted to the other end of the 6x6 would work? I don’t have or really know anyone with a welder so I’m limited there otherwise this would be a lot easier and I go with something very close to Red Shed’s set up. 

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Got a scrap tag at work and brought home a heavy table:

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It’s made of heavy wall square tube, 20mm steel top, and has heavy duty casters with screw down rubberized leveling pads. (Now just to get the shop finished, so I have a place to put it.)

Also, got my first of the COVID19 double tap today.

David

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Dennis; here a pic of my heavy wall stainless raised firepit:  Traded a bucket of ball peen hammers for it.

firepit.jpg.8f7e8f2ce6af3cadcb8558e327db1cd5.jpg

I can stick different length pieces of pipe in the sockets to put it at the proper height for what I want to use the fire for!

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Do you use it for smithing purposes? This one is mainly gonna be for burning bonfires and perhaps some cooking over wood fires, I am thinking of making a spit so I can grill chickens and the like over a fire.

I put it in place and I cut an old log into benches, tomorrow it's traditional easter bonfire time here where I am. Usually we make really large bonfires that the public goto, but coronatimes mean a private bonfire.

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DennisCA, look up hearth bird roasters. Birds were hung on a rack vertically next to the fire to cook. The rack was big enough to hold 3 or 4 birds  at the same time with a drip pan underneath to catch all the juicy goodness. 

These racks were made by blacksmiths and can be quite simple to very fancy. Could be something fun to try in the shop. 

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It's probably time to do some research on this, and a motor driven solution definitely.

  

5 hours ago, Paul TIKI said:

DennisCA that looks really nice, especially those benches.  It looks big enough to drop a 55 gal drum on for a charcoal retort if you wanted to.

I could definitely fit one in there, but I wonder if such a big fire would create too much smoke, I do have neighbors. I've had ideas about a charcoal retort since I got some branches and stuff from dropping some trees, but I was considering using a 55 gallon drum as the burn vessel and use smaller vessels inside. With a fan you can get a roaring fire in a 55 gallon drum without any smoke. Like a forge.

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Take a look at the Hookway retort design (discussed here on IFI and elsewhere on the internet). It's designed to reburn the gasses coming off the pyrolizing wood, minimizing smoke and maximizing carburization.

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The hookway retort looks very interesting. I wonder do you get any tar out of this process? Where I lived used to be the center of the swedish empires tar making and a few years ago they had this tar-making event that was the culmination of several years work, a huge underground "valley" that burned for days. End result was lots of high quality pine tar and charcoal. Be nice to get some tar out of this as well I was thinking, I use it for protecting all kinds of exterior wooden structures and furniture.

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Pine tar is a useful substance for many things but I would be afraid that I would never get up if I sat in a chair finished with pine tar unless it had dried for a couple years.  I have always really liked the smell of pine tar.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I went to pick up this late 1800s wood lathe, bought for £50, and the guy asked if I was interested in his old vise/vice.  “Let’s have a look” I said.... It’s a Peter Wright style bench vice, 6” jaws, I think original leather washers. In need of restoration but quite a beast. £40.  Yes please I said. 

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No Peter Wright markings on it, which is a pity, but hey I bought it to use.  Out looking for a suitable tree stump/log to mount it on to.  I have a couple of post vices, but a tough old bench vice like this will find a use in my new forge, with the build starting next week... 

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Grabbed the cutting blades off the Cat loader at work.   They're at end of life so they're worn almost perfectly round on one side.   Since my anvil has a bad swayback to it I'm going to set one of them up as a striker/straightener for the longer blades I want to get into the other I may section and make an upsetting block and other things I don't know to make yet. 

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On 4/3/2021 at 2:16 AM, George N. M. said:

Pine tar is a useful substance for many things but I would be afraid that I would never get up if I sat in a chair finished with pine tar unless it had dried for a couple years.  I have always really liked the smell of pine tar.

It dries in a few days in the hot summer sun when mixed according the century old recipe of 1/3rd pine tar, 1/3rd linseed oil, 1/3rd turpentine. Our deck is finished with a concoction like that, and my garden swing I built many years ago:

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Right now it's almost black looking, think it needs a cleaning.

 

Just pine tar is also used on the underside of wooden skis, often applied using a flame, but not so the wood burns.

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How long does the finish last on your deck before you have to renew it?  I have a project coming up this spring to replace the decking on our deck and this may be an alternative to commercial sealers.

My main experience with pine tar is on wooden cross country skis.  That dates me since most modern x-c skis in the US now have some sort of plastic bottoms. And, yes, I have momentarily set my skis on fire.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I used to pine tar my XC skis. A few of us would get together and have a pine tar party, first one to light his/er skis on fire bought the beer.

Then I took up downhill. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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21 hours ago, George N. M. said:

How long does the finish last on your deck before you have to renew it? 

We applied the first coat in 2016 I think, then another in 2019, maybe next year we'll do another. But it's mostly only a few areas that get worn though, but we do it all. And we do it when it's warmest in the year so it dries as fast as possible.

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On 4/3/2021 at 8:18 AM, RogerrogerD said:

No Peter Wright markings on it, 

I’m told that Peter Wright parallel bench vices weren’t marked before 1900, so that’s maybe a plus. I’d always followed the idea that post vices were for blacksmiths and bench vices for the rest, but this is clearly not cast iron, and clearly designed for smithing. 

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