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What did you do in the shop today?

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I used a cut off wheel on my angle grinder to cut the ones i have made. Then finished the last 1/8" or so with a hacksaw.

Tools like cars for some reason people see "old" and immediately think it is worth a pile of money. I scored a set of tongs from a guy at the flea market a while back ago for i think  $5. While talking with him he said the last auction he was at 2 hardy cut offs went for $100 each. I have seen bottom tools in antique stores going for $50 and up.  

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I've already started plotting a way to work it out. Hopefully it's not too expensive to ship it.

There's an "antique" store near me that has the most outrageous prices for things I've ever seen. A draw knife with chips in the cutting edge $40. Ball pien hammer with loose cracked handle $20. Monkey wrench that needs the rust stripped and then it might turn $15- $25. Bit and brace $50. It has flea market quality goods at antique prices. The owner wouldn't negotiate. Even after I told him I was going to actually use the tools not decorate my living room with them. 


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It's not a very efficient marketplace for old tools.  Many people are not aware that many such things are still being sold new. Also many people fall for the "older must be better" line when you can see in the 100+ year old Sears Roebuck catalogs that they sold ASOs as well as HB's. (Preservation bias can work both ways: a great tool may be lovingly taken care of to last to this day; but I have also seen a few tools that were never worn out as they were too bad to use and were thrown under the workbench and forgotten for decades.)

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I'd bet most of the junk in that store is still there. I haven't been back even though it's only about a hundred yards away from where I work. It's a shame he wouldn't budge. I tried to tell him a new ball pien hammer was the same price and I wouldn't have to put a new handle on it but it didn't make a difference. His hammers were "antiques". Some people take it personally if you try to tell them what they're selling isn't worth what they're asking, even if you do it politely. I think this guy is a hoarder and doesn't want to sell his stuff anyway. He owns the building so I guess his only bill is electricity and he gets to hang out with his treasures all day.


Edited by pnut
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Estate sales,  and creditors,  take care of hoarders like that gentleman. (and their tools).

Estate sales can be very useful for us who are looking for more obscure tools. Tools that few people know the purpose, of.

Case in point,  several years back  I lucked out on a full set of rivet sets. I paid scrap value for them. They were still on the table at the very end of the sale date, when I bought them.

Moral of that story,  keep looking.  Patience pays off.

Regards everyone,


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Abandoned storage units I remember used to have auctions. That must have gotten too expensive, now they contract to have them cleaned out. One of my coworkers and his son do that. He is on the alert for Blacksmithing equipment. He gets better than scrap and I make out. 


I ended up buying the PW anvil from him when he told me $350 for 147#er.

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Speaking of antique shop black smithing tools here is a photo of a booth in an antique mall in Albuquerque, NM that I ran across this spring.  The anvils were in the less than 100 pound range and IIRC were a couple hundred dollars.  I don't recall the actual post vice prices but I believe they were fairly rich.  The only thing that I was interested in was a pair of titanium tongs but at $110 I decided that my steel ones were just fine.  This was the first time I'd actually seen a selection of black smithing tools at an antique store/mall.  Normally, there is the odd pair of tongs or a hammer.  The prices were rich but at least the items were there and for sale.

If this inspires anyone to make a trip to Albuquerque and you want to check it out message me and I'll give you more detailed location info.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

Iphone pics Bridget stuff & door 032.JPG

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Interesting the number of german style post vises and at least three anvils from that area.  Looks rather like an estate collection to me.

I have two sets of Ti tongs; one I forged when I was having a blacksmith's elbow flare up; CP 1 & 2 forges like butter so I could use a quite small hammer and my elbow never noticed I was smithing. The other cam from a pile of grungy used tongs at Q-S one year; it had US$10 choice which was about double my buy point for grungy used tongs and I was walking on past when I stopped and said "I'll buy those tongs for $10!  The colour of Ti was noticeable peeking out of a rusty pile...

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TP, you just gave me a wonderous idea. When I was 4, my mom was late 30s and suffering from scoliosis. She opted for a surgery to implant two 18" SS rods as well as pins and other bits to straighten and support her spine. She would never again take me for a bike ride, or bend down to pick me up, and the many other things a mother does. Bending and twisting to clean a floor or vacuum a car was out of the question and became my duty. Anyhow, she has expressed for many years her desire for cremation, and I always said that'd be fine, but I want the rods. As a child, I felt that the rods stole my mother away. As an adult, I realized that the rods gave my mother many more years of joy with less pain to spend time doing other things like baking, fishing, and much else. I always joked I would make a putter from them, but I never picked up golf. But a nice pair of TONGS would come out perfect from two 1/2"x18" surgical SS rods!

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20 hours ago, GolFisHunt said:

Check on both points. A lower tooth count would have helped the speed, but I was looking for smoother versus faster. I'll use an 18 tpi next time.

Make yourself a slitting chisel and got cut it. You can split a cross faster that way than you even can using an angle grinder. I've proven that to myself a few times. 

Edited by Cannon Cocker
Corrected spelling to keep the curmudgeons happy
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27 minutes ago, Glenn II said:

. She opted for a surgery to implant two 18" SS rods as well as pins and other bits to straighten and support her spine

My oldest sister had the same surgery as a teenager. This was about 1974 or so. It wasn't an easy recovery. Body cast in the summer and no ac. She was glad she did it though. I've never thought about what will happen to them when she's gone.




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Grumpy Biker, what did you use to clean the swage block? You have done a great job. 

I have one that I dug up in an old quarry, haven't got round to cleaning it yet so any tips would be great. 

19 hours ago, pnut said:

Even after I told him I was going to actually use the tools not decorate my living room with them. 

I think this is the problem, certainly in the UK, people with more money than sense watch decorating programs and will pay silly money for what they see as decorations. 

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5 hours ago, Glenn said:

Your swage block cleaned up nicely. What did you use?

A number of items.

I started with the scale / paint removal device used for getting paint off metal.

I found it works great for removing the loose dirt & flaking rust.

If going for a more polished surface I then go to the angle grinder to get the heavy rust off & remove the tops of the heavily pitted surface. Then move from the grinding disk to the Flap pad sanding disks starting with a 60gr and down to 120gr .

If I don’t want a shiny surface I skip the angle grinder completely and go to the fiber wire attachments for the drill.

Harbor freight has these, orange is course , blue is fine grit.

After that I go to the wire brush attachments in the drill.

I use die grinder bits in the drill to reshape the concave parts on the sides.

I have 6 hours into it so far. I expect 4-5 more as I prefer to go slow & light.

Mistakes are smaller & easier to fix when I don’t try to do it all in a couple hours.





This portion is almost don’t.


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Got this knife i been working on hardened, tempered, ground, sharpened, and etched. I have made a couple blades from old spring but this is my first pattern weld blade and i am taking a lot of time with it. This is mine, the others i have made i have given away to friends and family. 

The pattern turned out kind of light, but in the right light i think it looks pretty good. I used vinegar and salt to etch. So far i am happy with it. Going to the Hard Wood Store to find some nice wood for the handle today. 

I am thinking something like a red heart wood with buckskin filler. Wish i would have went bigger on the tang so i could do mosaic pins but there is always next time. 





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If you want to bring out the pattern a bit more, instant coffee really does a pretty good job of turning up the contrast between different alloys of steel. 

I like the overall profile, but I'd probably want to do a little more tweaking at the transition from the tang to the blade.  It's a matter of preference, but I prefer a defined plunge line and ricasso area with a sharpening choil included.  Regardless, she has some nice curves.

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