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What did you do in the shop today?

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So I took my lathe apart (Atlas 618) in order to clean it, one I get it all cleaned up and stripped of paint I'm gonna paint it purple(as seen below).

I also ran into a big black snake in a drawer looking for something. It's about 4 foot long, maybe a little shorter but it was big. 




Opened a drawer to see this about gave me a heart attack.


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1 hour ago, Pr3ssure said:

also ran into a big black snake in a drawer looking for something. 

They can be disagreeable If you get them cornered. They get about six feet long around here. If you leave them alone to go about their business they'll do the same for you.


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You may want to do a bit of research to be sure which snake you have. Black Ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta), are often confused with Northern Black Racers (Coluber c. constrictor), Black Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis g. nigra),

The Black Ratsnake is one of the most common snakes found in West Virginia.  It is considered to be the state’s largest serpent.  Individuals normally reach an adult size of 4 to 6 feet; however, specimens have been known to exceed 8 feet in length.  In cross section, the bodies of ratsnakes are not round, but instead resemble a loaf of bread.  The dorsal scales are weakly keeled, while the lateral scales are smooth.  Anal plate is divided. 

Black ratsnakes are powerful constrictors.  They are semi-arboreal in nature and are often seen climbing trees to take shelter in hollowed cavities and to search for food.  They feed almost exclusively on warm-blooded prey such as mice, rats, shrews, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, and birds.  They have been known to raid bird nests and devour the eggs.  Juveniles have been seen eating small amphibians and lizards as well.   Black Ratsnakes are chiefly diurnal, but also remain active at night during hot summer months.

If it is a black ratsnake, keep it around as they are non=poisonous and good mousers


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I'm pretty lucky in that my part of KY venomous snakes are uncommon. An occasional water moccasin AKA cottonmouth is the only viper you're apt to run into and those only rarely. A lot of folks around here mistake black rat snakes for them though because they look vaguely similar and like water. I had a pet rat snake as a kid.

If they're scared they make a terrible smell.


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I would have real problems if I found a snake in my workshop. 

Not posted on here for a while, I lost my login details and not be in my forge so far this year (too busy at work) but I had a couple of hours today. For the first time ever my fire failed to light, I think I cut the kindling too thin so it burned off before the coke caught but second time lucky. 

Anyway I made a bolt for the rabbit hutch, tied a knot in some 3 mm stainless bar to make a necklace, made a rough snail key ring for a mates Mrs and whilst trying to make a leaf I broke the stem off so I used it and a home made rivet to fix a set of broken bbq tongs (bought the tongs for £1 from a car boot sale last year) 

All in all a decent first days hammering. 


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7 hours ago, Daswulf said:

I have when I was younger. Cooked of course.  :)

no snake is poisonous.

Pedant.  Venomous then. Okay? :P

Depending on what they've been eating snake can TASTE pretty poisonous. Eyuck, bitter and stinky.

8 hours ago, pnut said:

If they're scared they make a terrible smell.

If I'm scared enough I might too. :o

Frosty The Lucky.

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I have been working on this knife for a couple of weekends and I found out after all the finish grinding was done that only  about .25” up the bevel was hardened. So I said whatever screw it,  normalized it twice and then quenched it waited the appropriate amount of time to get past the quench curve nose, clamped it between two boards. And it worked!!! Just a bit of decarb and the smallest of a wiggle in one spot that easily ground out. I’m putting this success down to luck :lol:9D89A7EF-16E2-4F23-9FFE-24D0573F2F36.thumb.jpeg.66f7bded3161dd896f2a3b8e6305be89.jpeg

And I banged out the other one this morning also.


And my dad, his friend and I moved his 2200 lb cast iron sailboat keel got the other barn.


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If you’re planning to use that as an anvil, remember to stand it on end for the best rebound!

I didn’t do any forging today, but I did drain the hydraulic system and get the cylinder muscled out of the new WIP forging press. 


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18 hours ago, Dax Hewitt said:

 ... tied a knot in some 3 mm stainless bar to make a necklace.

Tying knots in stainless is not easy. Hard stuff! Well done. Now challenge yourself and make a knot pendant from copper rod! The opposite to SS - soft and melty.

And Frosty … not pedantic about the snake, just accurate. If you bite a snake and you die, it's poisonous. If a snake bites you and you die, it's venomous!

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That explains a lot, I have tied a knot in 6mm bar mild steel before and it was easy once I sused out how but the stainless was a right sod. 

I shall take up the challenge and try some copper,  away on holiday at the weekend though so it will have to wait but watch this space. 

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Mr. A-Fire,

Has quipped, thusly  and I quote,  

"If you bite a snake and you die, it's poisonous. If a snake bites you and you die, it's venomous! ".

Sage observation, Antipodean Mate.

Mr. Glenn,  Please put a copy of said aphorism into the  "blacksmith, gems,  sayings, and other brilliantsies",   file.

Thank you,

Herr  SLAG.

(in St. Louis)

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8 hours ago, ausfire said:

And Frosty … not pedantic about the snake,

Stand by please while I look for a link to a dictionary definition of "Joke." :rolleyes:

A pedant often makes an annoying point of technical accuracy rather than communicating effectively. I was just joshing Das, the discussions of poisonous vs. venomous happen here regularly. 

On the other hand if we're entering accuracy of statements for discussion please tell me how you KNOW all snakes are NOT poisonous. Do you have empirical evidence?

I've only eaten a couple types of rattlesnake and can honestly attest the flavor changes depending on what they're eating. Yuck, doesn't come close to poisonous, just foul in one case. I can't possibly attest to all snakes. 

Can you? Or are you assuming no snake is poisonous? 


I'm funnin gang, just funnin.

Frosty The Lucky.

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It's all good Frosty. :) I was just joshing Glenns mention "poisonous" snakes. Come on, we like to get info as close to correct as we can, right?

Actually found some interesting reads just searching "poisonous vs. Venomous". Seems there is an octopus "blue ringed" that is both venomous with a bite from its beak and poisonous if eaten. 

I have not heard of a poisonous snake, tho I'm sure they would not be healthy to eat raw, or if they have eaten mice that have been poisoned. 

Hmm.. a certain Indiana Jones movie dinner scene comes to mind.

I will stand by Ausfires statement on poisonous vs. venomous, and add touching on the poison side. 

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