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Paul Kin

A new axe forge build!

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The title pretty well covers it :P but what it doesnt state is that Im now considering a NARB build for this forge. So lets start with specs! The body is 14.5” wide by 9” long. Itll have 3” of wool and 1/2” give or take of Kastolite 30. BUT I want a 9” floor. So the walls will be about 2” of wool. Dont worry I have a plan! The interior is pretty much an exact half circle + the wide floor so by my crude calculations its right around 250 cu/in. This would be a great candidate for a 3/4” NARB I think. Im only about 16 pages into Frostys NARB thread though so have a bit more reading to do. But I think Frostys first 7” Narb would be pretty nice in here.A5FB1C03-EF4A-4C6A-A08D-46416EE8B7B5.thumb.jpeg.152bf8b2bfef03602874f4a6afb488fb.jpeg
 

As you can see I was originally planning just a regular 3/4 burner in a slightly angled vertical position. But the more I read about the NARB’s the more I like them...

Oh and this shape/design is something very specific to my axe making. I have built several forges this year to get to this point. So the oddly short and wide floor was not a mistake in case you were wondering :P. But if you guys have any design change ideas, I am open to hearing them!

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Will you be forge welding these axes or just punch&drifting them?  Also bits?

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99% are punch and drift. 4140, 5160 are my main steels (easiest to acquire locally). I do have a pile of Udenholm bandsaw blades and 1.25” 1074 bandsaw blades so forge welding would be nice to be able to achieve. But I do have a bigger 2 burner for that if need be.

Oh right! I have been tossing around wool/KOL 30 doors or just sliding brick doors... I am unsure yet....

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Sorry ran out of time to go over door plans. 

1. Simple sliding brick doors. Easy peasy right?

2. Soak a pre cut wool door in a slurry of Kastolite. And have that in a sliding channel. May handle thermal cycling better?

3. Fabricate a set of doors to be lined similar to a forge interior. Wool with Kastolite.

Either way itll have doors. Dont really need a rear door for my purposes but my understanding from Forges 101 is I sort of need one for exhaust? I seriously get more lost every time I read anything in there... all good info! I just dont take in info like that at all. 
 

Anyway, thats the plan so far! I will keep the photos coming as the build comes along!

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A WOODEN door? Kastolite 30 may be a bubble refractory but it's not going to keep the wood from burning first time they reach about 650f. Might not burst into flames but they'll be charcoal first session. 

A track or nice hard refractory porch so you can position fire bricks as "baffles" works a treat. I use K-26 insulating firebrick with a coat of KOL. They super heat like the forge liner and radiate IR back into the forge. Leaving a gap between the baffles and forge allows a free flow of exhaust gasses. It's the most effective way to close the openings of a forge I know of.

Thank Mikey for bringing us that improvement to the home forge.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Wool Frosty! As in a chunk of 1” Durablanket. Haha sorry for the confusion!! My thought is so make an ultra lite brick of sorts. I have so much of it I dont know what to do with it all! Long story short, everyone that “definitely” would buy some, definitely did not... Even though I can match the closest forge supply stores prices, theres no shipping, and a free lesson on how to use it! Anyway, I know better for next time AND I now have a huge personal supply of Durablanket and Kastolite :)! So Im ok with it. But thats what I have available to work with. And the 1.25” hard bricks that I already use for doors. As you can imagine, Id rather not buy more stuff like bricks and such

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That Frosty; always confusing wool and wood; you should hear about the time that happened when he was going to put a hat on his head!

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Im not sure if I should feel insulted that youd think I would use wood Frosty! :P ha just kidding!

I dont feel Im at the point I can tease Frosty so thanks Thomas :) 

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No problem;  I face my  impending doom of being mass attacked by killer dachshunds with equanimity...I don't know about Frosty; but some days I have to increase the font size to read stuff on my computer as what I see can be oddly different that what was written...

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Ahhh I see! But Im still somewhat young so I still can :P though my back tells me I must be at least 85... 

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Uh HUH. Not at the point you can tease me but no problem pulling the wood over my eyes. I'd give you the benefit of the doubt, assuming an amusing typo if the keys weren't on opposite sides of the keyboard.

I found making a single piece of 1" Kaowool was too difficult to make square enough to stand on edge. Two layers worked better but I had to make a mold. Lining it with Saran Wrap or similar makes a good release agent. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Predictive text strikes again. I hate predictive text. I use my phone exclusively. It's my only internet connection and I've had some pretty amusing typos due to predictive text. I'll see the word I want as I'm typing it out but the last letter I typed changes the word in the predictive text box from when I first seen it and typed the last letter.  I hate it. 

Pnut

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My keys, as Pnut’s, are on a 3” keyboard. With callus stiffened thumbs its not hard to accidentally touch a key on the opposite side of the keyboard! So if it comes to it, you very well may have to assume an amusing typo one day.

Good point on the 1” wool not wanting to stand up though. I like the idea of 2 1” layers put together. Time for some experimentation I believe.

I know what you mean Pnut. I only have a phone as well and it really is a pain sometimes!

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Okay, too innovative for anybody's good ITs trying to predict what you want rather than just letting you say it yourself. I hate auto correct almost as much as predictive text. Fortunately I use my laptop and have a slightly reduced keyboard and don't text. 

Feel relieved, I just deleted several paragraph rant about how screwed up all the new and "improved" innovations are making things. 

I have nerve damage to my left eye so my vision isn't so good on that side. It makes it hard to read my cell phone screen and pictures aren't worth opening. Callused and less coordinated than they were thumbs is it for me and text. Maybe in an emergency. <sigh>

Back on topic/sidetrack. From now on I'll assume amusing typos while I'm twitting you. :P Heck I LOVE a good straight line and seeing it's not a lack of sense or education I can get creative. For beginners asking crazy silly beginner questions I try to be gentle. However a fumble thumb typo? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Haha I try to avoid innovation wherever I can. Experimentation on the other hand is something I have no issue with. When you see me being “innovative” its likely me trying my (likely wrong) interpretation of something thats tried and true!

So yes I am relieved! I am not trying to be innovative at all with this forge. I am just putting together everything Ive learned about gas forges and tailoring it to my specific needs. Also just trying to use what I have on hand :P 

Nerve damage? Does it have anything to do with blacksmithing?? If you dont mind my asking that is! I do everything I can to protect my eyes. I have safety glasses all over the place. Shop, house, truck, several at work.... I try not to tempt myself to do “that one thing quickly” without glasses. We all know how it is!

Haha thank you! Try to assume a miss wording if I ask to odd a question... I always try to spell/grammar check my righting, but I have 2 toddlers soooo... you get the point. I can take a joke though so have your fun!

Now about the forge, I am considering sticking with the standard T burner now... I just feel I need a lot more time to experiment and learn about NARBs before I start making them. Im only about 16 pages into your NARB thread and every page has a bit of info thats worth having, that I dont want to skip ahead. I need this forge done in the next week or 2. I dont want to just slap something together, though it probably seems to you that thats exactly what Im doing! Thing is, I have a good understanding of your T burner, especially after you guys explained in simple terms how to tune them. Its greatly improved my current forges performance.

Anyways, the little ones are becoming inpatient :P 

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Give your little ones a warm Frosty hug for me please, maybe even a little tickling. 

Sept. 28, 2009 I was cutting firewood. I'd taken down and bucked up 4 nice birch already and decided to take a leaner that was getting close to uprooting in a wind. I'd kept it when I cleared the land. It was a beautiful white birch that forked about 40' up the trunk and was a good 70' tall. Unusually large for a birch here. The real reason I kept it was the lean, a good 40* almost due west and with the mature white birch forest behind it the whole looked like a sculpture. Well, with all the trees I'd taken to clear for the house, barn, shop and drives it didn't have a wind break and after a decade the root mat started bounding when the wind blew. Time to take it down. <sigh>

I brushed the area around it so I'd have clear running room if need arose and had a good spot to take cover in a close by stand of birch. I threw a line over it gave it a good pull and snubbed it off to the pickup truck. Then I notched it so it'd roll to the north and not hang in stand of birch I didn't want to fell too. I HATE dealing with hangers, hence the rope and rolling notch. I'm not sure if I actually remember the prep for the fall, I think so but I had the basic plan made up when I left it standing in the first place and brushing clear running room was standard for tricky trees.

I THINK I remember starting the cuts but that's iffy, probably not. I became aware and started building memories again about 2 weeks later in the brand new head trauma ward on Providence Hospital in Anchorage. Changed hospital units twice, finally a special recovery facility where I went through a lot of therapy, learned to talk, swallow, walk, etc. The day they let me go to the bathroom by myself was a landmark and the day they let me take a shower was cause for celebration. I came home Dec 23rd. I've been recovering ever since.

Everything that lined up in my favor from the time it happened to I left was nothing but one lucky thing after another. Hence my sign off here. The Iforge gang kept Deb sane through the ordeal, members from our local club hardly let her be alone. Deb suffers PTSD from the crap I put her through. 

June after coming home I wasn't too unstable on my feet and with the ice gone I started looking around. First place I went was to the barn, Libby our rescued Great Pyrenees guardian dog was instrumental in my survival, when the tree hit me she went ballistic. If you know dogs you know the: happy, MOM/DAD is HOME, somebody's here, somethings going on and last but not least the, THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END COME QUICK!! bark. Two other dogs were in the isolation pen getting out of Deb's hair and they were in full blown emergency alert too. 

Anyway, the last time Libby saw me was being tied to a stretcher by strangers who took me away, then Deb left. When I was mobile enough I walked out to to the barn, sat on a spool in the doe pen then hugged and thanked her for my life for a while. I still tear up. There were kids on the ground, too young to go out in the pasture yet so Libby was in full supper mother Pyr mode and didn't know it was me when I opened the door and walked in. I can't describe how much her expression changed, it went from adore the babies to interest in the door to shock and overwhelming joy. Lord I loved that dog and she didn't have to save my life.

The tree leaning almost due west had hit the ground pointing almost due east. No it didn't spin on the stump, it was leaning WAY too far I figure it stretched the rope like a rubber band and when it hit the ground the rope snapped it around. In the process it batted me into a stand of trees. Fortunately Deb was drawn out by the dogs quickly and when she came into sight, I'd crawled out of the woods but was trapped by the down tree across the driveway. Station 62 is about 3 minutes lights and sirens from us and they stabilized me enough to life flight me to Anchorage. 

I was seriously busted up, broke all the toes on my right foot, broken right ankle, broken ribs on my right side, broke most if not all the ribs on my left side and punctured left lung, compression fractures of my #1 cervical vertebra and occipital condyle a fractured left orbit. 

I survived a severe Traumatic Brain Injury and a lot of extra nerve damage to the left side on my head, ear, eye even my left sinus is kind of wonky. 

Corrective lenses help but nothing will make my vision clear on the left, the majority of my retina isn't connected to anything, just a ring around the outside. It's funny, my peripheral is better on my left, sort of clear even.

Anyway, that's what happened and why we laugh and make birch jokes. Also the origin of my sign off. Yes I'm lucky to be alive.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Holy moly Frosty... that is insane. You truly are lucky. I really should come rub your head one day. Would only be a few hours ish drive and worth every minute for the luck that would be gained! That really makes a guy think though. Our primary heat is wood so I know my way around a saw, but it sounds like you do too. And it doesnt always take a mistake to have something happen! You were well prepared by the sounds of it, and still were seriously injured. Boy am I thankful you made it through though! I am more then willing to bet there have been many people saved from injury in the blacksmithing community from your advise. 

If you are ever in the Bulkley Valley in BC let me know! Theres no extra living space in our house, we spend most all our time outdoors, but we have property for camping and warm meals! And a smithy of course :P

Its funny actually, your story is oddly similar to my best friends. He bent a mini van in half 2 years ago on his harley. He was found entirely not at fault. The van pulled a U turn right in front of him. It was August 19 and he came home about a week before Christmas. He was completely shattered. Woke up nearly a vegetable but conscious of what was going on around him. His time in the hospital was almost exactly as you described! I talked to him just about every night. He is now driving around, has an awsome girlfriend that we all really like and is mostly fully functional, though cannot stand up for very long. He has his vision 100% but does have permanent brain damage. He is still a great guy and my best friend but its hard to talk to him sometimes. Things were just so different before. Not that I love him any less, its just different ya know? Anyway! I just found the timeframe and similarity of the injuries and recovery odd. Its almost like you just wrote out his story, except a different accident. And I feel for your wife, my friend and I were an inseparable duo before grown up life started. And even then, he is still a big part of my families life. He is my boys uncle, my brother in all but blood. Hmmm maybe I should be rubbing HIS head!

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TBI is the most common injury going: steps, curbs and ladders being the prime causes. I've known too many folks take on another vehicle on a motorcycle, too many didn't make it. If I could go back and offer a warning it'd be, wear your PPE!!  :angry: Maybe if I'd had one of my old full coverage helmets on I'd have more brain left. On the other hand you have to wear the right PPE and it's stupid running chain saws with inhibited vision. 

I was surprised how many other folks started speaking up about surviving TBIs, there are a LOT of us on IFI. 

Your friend will be recovering and adapting to the changes for the rest of his life. If you can hold an intelligent conversation only 2 years after the accident and  he's reasonably mobile, he'll be back strong. No, he won't be quite the same guy but he's in there. Honest, I know. Does he have a dog? A lovable low energy pooch is a serious stabilizing force. There'll be times he just needs to sit and be, sitting with a dog makes being better.

Deb picked out a dog to help me recover but an Icelandic Sheep Dog is WAY too high energy and loud. Loved that knucklehead though, enough to re-home him with folks who have: fenced acreage, sheep, another companion dog a dog door to an air conditioned patch of tile floor. Without the AC, Arizona might be a bit much. It's a much better place for him, I couldn't work with him like he needed and boredom was making him crazy, lovable but crazy. 

Rescue dogs NEVER forget you saved them. Mutts rule.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Interesting... I did not know that. But it makes sense I suppose. It doesnt take a hard hit to get knocked out, let alone killed. Yep, bikes are dangerous even when you are safe about it. I dropped bikes altogether once the family like started. The risk is not worth the reward in my opinion. But to each their own! If he had been wearing a proper helmet, hed have been a LOT better off. He was wearing an ebay beany... it shattered. Though it did likely save his life! Chainsaw are a whole new ball game. I wont even go there! But I always advise common sense before anything else there.

Huh.. I also did not know that. Well Im glad you all survived! There is a lack of blacksmiths in this world and it would be awful to loose any.

He will be yes. The doctors estimate is that he will be about 98% of who he was at best. He really truly got lucky. But theres still always going to be that little bit missing. But thats ok. We still have him. He has a great, calm, dog yep! Had him before the accident actually. Its fortunate the dog is so calm, my friend can only walk very short distances and very slowly.

Glad you found a good home for your pup! It can be a hard thing to do. But certainly can be for the best.

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Another one here: I'm an insulin dependent diabetic, (Adult Onset Juvenile Diabetes, AKA LADA, AKA type 1.5)  I ended up doing a bounce test of my head on concrete TWICE when my Endocrinologist was trying to get my A1c Lower.   Two concussions only a month apart.  My major effects were in Memory, especially short term; I'm in my 60's and it exacerbated the natural degradation due to aging.  On the plus side  my Endo decided it was safer for me to run a bit high on my A1c vs the 4 blackouts I had while he was trying to get my numbers down...I have a new Endo now; the fun of trying to survive the learning phase!   Another plus I had the Full 5 days with minimal sleep in hospital epilepsy test and got a clean bill for that so I could drive again. 

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My endo has been easing my insulin down too. I've been seeing scary high BG readings in the morning due to lows triggering a release from my liver around 3-4am. Thinking is changing about maintaining a low A1c as we age, low 8s is okay at my age. 

He says at my age and my history, no neuropathy, vision good, etc., long term effects of high BG isn't much. Low BG gets people killed, black out while driving, walking down stairs, on a hard floor, is a much greater risk. The loss of judgement of low BG is also dangerous, sometimes really dangerous. For me personally I might say things I shouldn't to the wrong person. Heck, I THOUGHT it was funny, why did he punch me in the nose?

I have to be careful, high BG makes me sleepy so I have to watch it if I'm driving. At home I can just nap, I record shows if I really want to watch them. Before we understood that, Deb convinced me to go to a sleep clinic for testing. BOY, talk about a doctor needing to pay bills! I've never had trouble sleeping unless I'm emotionally worked up or my BG is low or I have to pee. 

I'd developed a habit of drinking water all the time and peeing really often in the hospital. Being hooked up to a constant supply of electrolytes and other fluids and being catheterized means you can pee constantly and are always thirsty. It takes your body to readjust when you get out but being a TBI survivor I just kept up the habit. So, I'd get up every 45 - 60 mins to pee and have a nice drink of water. 

Anyway, this doc scheduled me for the test for narcolepsy ad I got to stay awake for 24 hours. I called it off after about 16 and signed myself out. The followup had him waving his hand over a monitor screen he wouldn't allow either of us to actually look at and telling us how every malady in life is a result of sleep apnea and he scheduled me 5 more sessions before he could finalize which multi thousand dollar device would work best. Of course we were supposed to buy each device to test. NO!! Not drinking water all night wasn't the problem, we don't make urine while sleeping!! You have sleep apnea, then on to all the horrible things that would happen. (if I didn't let him milk our insurance for all it was worth.) When we left the office I asked the secretary to print out my prescribed upcoming test schedule and the results of past tests. Thanked her and told her not to schedule ANY further appointments, ever PERIOD.

I turned the prescribed schedule, test results(?) opinions is what they were and my comments to our insurance company. Got a phone call from them a couple weeks later saying it's not the first time the doc. had been investigated for ethics, etc.

Oh, did it cure my up regularly at night to pee when I stopped drinking water all night? I don't wake up unless I'm having a low BG episode. Now I pee, eat a glucose tab and rinse my mouth with maybe a tbsp of water. If you're really thirsty and sucking down a bottle of water still leaves you thirsty, try just holding a little in your mouth till it's gone. Most of our "thirst" stems from a dry mouth, body thirst feels different. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Man Oh man you guys! I thought I was in bad shape with my lower back! Its 24/7 pain but a guy gets used to it. Im sure when Im 40 or 50 it will start catching up with me but a little, often debilitating, pain sounds like nothing in comparison to a TBI and diabetes... I mean that in all seriousness, I realize it sounds like sarcasm! Its not. The worst I have to worry about is bending wrong or lifting ever so slightly imperfectly. And sitting. 5 mins on a soft couch means 5 mins to stand up. But chances of me passing out, at all, are 0 to none. I have many a sleepless night as well of course. But who doesnt?

Its funny you mention the water habit. Ive never been stuck in a hospital but I have the same need for water. Its not for a dry mouth for me. If I dont have water at least every hour I get nauseous. So I also pee a lot!

I dont mean to be rude when I say this, but I hope I will never be able to tell the tales you guys are sharing here!

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On 8/3/2020 at 9:39 PM, Paul Kin said:

I hope I will never be able to tell the tales you guys are sharing here!

So do we! Be careful of your head! TBI is common though not necessarily as severe as mine, I wasn't expected to survive, they asked Deb to suit up and attend in emergency surgery. They wanted to let her be there when I died but I fooled them all.

Don't minimize back pain, I've thrown mine out and it took months before I could do much of anything so I had to work in the office filing and keeping out of sight. I was unloading 25lb.+/- sample boxes out of the back of the work truck, turning and putting them down so the other guys could load them on a cart. We were at the airport on Kodiak Island. Anyway, I was lifting, turning and setting them down on the truck bed, easy peasy, then I lifted an empty box while turning. 

I whited out from the pain, It didn't even hurt it hurt so bad, I couldn't feel, see, hear, anything, I just stood there holding a sample box. It took maybe 5 minutes before I could hurt and I was a near cripple for months. Muscle relaxers, pain killers, doc visits, no chiropractor, got read in on a back brace and did therapy and exercises, lots of stretching before during and after. Months later achy, super painful back me was with some friends on Frozen Lake Lucile while guys were practicing ice racing on their 3 wheelers. One excellent diversion and good practice for power sliding a wheeler is towing riders around on an inner tube. So I'm talking with friends when a couple shout and dive out of the scene, one grabs me and jerks me but I get my legs taken out from under me by the guy on the inner tube. Not his fault, the guy towing him underestimated how far the rider would drag his wheeler. 

Anyway, witnesses said I did a flying cartwheel, clipped the pickup truck fender then hit the ground. The guys let me lay there until I got regrouped and tried moving. Gee, no problem I sat up, I was definitely roughed up pretty good, I could feel fresh bruises ripening but no major hurts so I asked for a hand and stood up. My back was fixed, not an ache, much better than after visiting a chiropractor. I kept stretching and doing the exercises until I'd built my strength back but it's been great since.

I hurt every day from other stuff I've done to myself but I'm happy to have lived till the parts have started wearing out. 

Growing old is a privilege not all get to enjoy. I do fine on: ibuprofin, generic tylenol or an occasional aspirin. I do take Gabpentin for the nerve pain from the shingles, that part of my head skin still hurts with or without the meds just a LOT less with.. 

Like you say you get used to pain, after a while it's just another day. 

Just try not to collect very many, eh?

Frosty The Lucky.

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That must have been absolutely terrifying for your wife!! You should really learn the limits with your pranks Frosty :P  But boy that would have been awful...

Oh I dont minimize it... I just realize its not anything to “brag” about in comparison to yours and Thomas‘ tales. But I am no stranger to it. I turned 31 this spring and first severely injured my back at 21 or 22, cant quite remember. I just remember shovelling snow in much the same movement you described. Lift, turn, throw hard in one fluid movement. I got to mid throw and POP! Then “hmm that felt funny... HOLY ****!!!” 1 month later and I could sort of function again. Chiropractors all treated it as a hip problem. Most physios as well. I tried em all. Then, a 1.5 years ago I found a new physio. 1st appointment she identified the disk, asked me to get xrays, and she was exactly right. “Shrunken disk“ as the xray says. 2nd appointment she knew what to do and I felt 80% better. Fast forward to covid season and she had to close doors. 2 weeks in my back had an episode. Normally Id call her and she would fit me in and have me on my feet! Well no go this time. She instructed me free of charge over the phone for weeks but its not the same. For reference, I just submitted my July hours for work. 62 hours all month. Yep. My mini blacksmithing business really helped tho. Sold a couple forges, tongs, hooks... Put food on the table at least!

But this past fridays physio session went really well. I hope to be able to work up to 5 hrs a day now so August should be ok. If the lifting was 50 lbs and less, Id be fine. But I run a sawmill... its rare something is less then 50 lbs! I do truly love my job, but Im starting to doubt I can keep it up. Makes me sad to think about, but what can I do.

Wowsers! Sorry for the life story! Should almost rename this thread to Blacksmiths Therapy or something!

Im glad getting taken out by a stray tuber healed you up! Thats a story thatll depress many a chiropractor Im sure :P Ive often though I need something like that, but disks dont grow back unfortunately...

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