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What did you do in the shop today?

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We had Muscovy's, as well as a random variety of ducks, geese, and chickens growing up (as well as 6 horses). I still remember watching a mountain lion stalk one of our particularly ugly muscovy... saw ~11 year old me staring in shock through the back window and booked it. Our record was a triple yolker, never saw a quad. 

I don't have any fowl now though. 


Nothing to note shop-wise today, just working on landfill compactors and excavators. 


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Made a friend who likes to camp what he called the perfect camping tool. I called it a fire poker. Could not get him to understand that not all fire pokers were turkey foot. He kept going on and on about how he could also use it to fight off a cougar. And i mean on and on about the cougar. So i tried to make the handle end look like a sword handle. The ring to hang it i went just a little further and curved it back around so that it could be used as a lid lifter. I was having problems with the rounded parts when a little voice said "hey stupid, try that swage block you got that you never use." Started as a 1/4" x 1" 15" or so flat bar. Hard to keep a taper that long, aint perfect but i like it. 


Jennifer, tried your thing with the treble hook with 3 bars wired together. Worked quite well. I am having some computer machine problems right now and cant watch videos, sorry. I would have though becuase im one of your subscribers. 

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Billy, I don't know about cougars in Ohio, but I sure as heck do about Northern Colorado. I have a number of stories I could regale you with about near encounters with a puma/catamount/cougar/mountain lion. When you grow up in the Rockies, you grow up in their home-range. 

A fire-poker is NOT my preferred lion-countering device. However, if push came to oh-dear-Lord-thats-a-big-cat, I think yours would be quite functional! 

Nice work! 

CGL, me neither. I work too much to have a chance on weekdays in consideration for my neighbors.... I miss having property in the country... ahhh, ce la vie. 


Duck eggs are rather rich, geese cut the difference between duck and chicken. At least from my experience.

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I’m running 140 Rhoad Island reds now. Just about a year old. Also got some black sex links and bared rocks and blonde sex links from the year before.  About 170 chickens total.  We get about 10-12 dozen eggs a day. All non gmo organic feed.   They sell fast thankfully 


just about got my order done as I ran out of propane. Tomorrow is another day 

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21 hours ago, BillyBones said:

Word of warning to any one looking them up...Turn on your safe search. I got a bunch of pics that have nothing to do with chickens, poultry, or birds at all. Definitely not family nor work safe. 

Geez, I didn't catch this earlier. Sorry if anyone saw anything bad. Maybe Transylvanian naked neck ' chickens' in the search terms would help. I was just telling Tommie about that and he said he found that out also when he researched them 

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That's strange, CGL.  I'd never heard of that kind of critter before and looked it up using the "Transylvanian naked neck chickens" and got just what I was looking for...................weird lookin' chickens!

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Made a cross peen today. Iv been needing one with a thicker peen so that was my project. I'm not sure what kind of steel this but it seems like a high carbon pin, maybe from a dozer or something? But it was a pretty smooth day in the shop so I'm doing good. : )



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Hammerheart you did a great job.. Well done..  LOoks to me like a hydraulic cylinder rod..   anytime you use one of these rods you do a hardness test to see just how hard they get..  

One would think they would be a standardized material spec, but I'lve seen them from really nice and hard after testing to barely better than mild steel. 

As for sharpening files..  the reason why a file dulls if the top of the tooth is knocked off..    If you do sharpen the file clean the file with a file card or fine wire brush and then degrease it.. 

If you look at a file and can see a shiny surface the file is dull..  Ideally there should be no shine when looked at.  My worse fear when ever filing is an inclusion and it ruins a new file. 

the sharpening process dissolves the whole tooth evenly and this is supposed to bring that top of the tooth back to bare..  

A file can only be sharpened so many times (1 to 3 times depending on use) before it's not worth sharpening. 

There are commercial file sharpeners out there that do a great job and it's only a few dollars a peice..  Any file that they look at that is beyond sharpening is returned.. 

It's a great service. 

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9 hours ago, Glenn said:

Do your soaking outside as the vinegar (acid) fumes can accelerate rust on metal in the shop.

Sounds prudent. It may be problematic today as it is -1°F this morning. Maybe I'll just use the sharp ones until it warms up a bit.

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Most are, depending on make it can be a few microns to several thou thickness. 

Can be stripped, though many seem to burn it off. Not sure what kind of chromium compounds would be created, nor the toxicity there of. Wouldn't want to be breathing it. I've had fume fever (galv). Not fun. 

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Thank you guys for the replies I truly appreciate it. I can't believe I didn't think to do a harden test piece, that really blows my mind that I didn't think of it. I also talked to a fellow about it being chrome plated (after I already forged it) but we had no way of figuring out forsure, I didn't get any fumes or weird color flames. Then again I'm not that educated with that stuff either, Iv heard about galvanized and zinc coated material but chrome never crossed my mind. I'm going to avoid the piece from now on though. Better safe than sorry : ) 

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Hammerheart, Most of the rods are chrome plated for wear resistance from the guides and seals.. 

I've found in forging that most of the chrome flakes off as scale..  Some worry about breathing in the chrome vapor in the forge.. I've got a bunch of them.. I forge them all the time when I need a chunk. 

I've done a bunch of the rods and never have worried about it..   (Ah, so thats whats wrong with me..).

Zinc on the other hand I have worried about and have had Zinc fever in my early 20's..  the antidote beleive it or not is good ol fashioned Milk..    Yup I know it right..   I was doing a bunch of gas brazing and was in a closed room and was right over the fumes..  It was terribly thick with smoke..  I was fine the next day, but boy was I sick about 1hr after.. 

And before everyone gets their panties in a wad..  NO I do not recommend or endorse working on Galvinized or zinc anything with a torch or in the forge.. Though I have a time or 2.. 

One of the best things most can do for their health besides a work out regimen is to have a good stack to suck all the smoke, soot and such and put it all over the yard..   this moves it from your shop outside.. :)  


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