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What did you do in the shop today?

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Beautiful roses KYCATS a drop of rose oil really makes them sell.

Political signs around here tend to be wood but real estate signs are wire maybe 1/2 the time. When I worked road maint. they were a real hazard in winter. Agents didn't want to walk off the road and often put them on the edge of the cleared driving lane. When the landing zone was safe I used to plow them off the road, sometimes they'd frisbe a good distance into the brush.  The belly blade worked alright but a nose plow launched them best.

Did it cost the real estate office a bunch? I sure hope so, the price of a crate of signs doesn't cover the price in labor to cut the sign wire out of a snow blower even if they don't do enough damage to require parts. 

One of my favorite Kodak moments was following a trail of "open :D house!!!" signs placed every hundred feet or so in my pattern. We had areas to cover and worked in patterns to maximize coverage for the time and equipment wear. So I'm running my pattern, clearing about 3" of fresh wet snow and here are a bunch of signs just arm's reach out of tire tracks! My job was to make the roads as safe as possible and there was no way I was going to pick them up, oh no I'm clearing the roads by blowing the snow and whatever as far back as safe. 

Well, evidently there was something exciting going on in one area because you rarely see fore sale signs closer than a block and these were spaced at about 100'  and I was plowing to the shoulder. Nose plows are nice and wide you know.;) This section of my area is a loop about 4-5 miles each way and as I come out the plan is to continue into the next section of the pattern, I'd catch the other side when that came up in the pattern. It's called a "Right Hand Patter" Turning right at every intersection is amazingly effective. Anyway, as I'm approaching the intersection, Low and BEHOLD there are a couple of cars with real estate signs on them on the other side setting signs going the other way! They're all waving at me and pointing at the signs I'm blasting into the woods. As I slow for the intersection, I wag an INDEX finger shake my head and motion for them to get OFF THE ROAD.

Oh BOY, these are the agents of selfish thoughtlessness I've been following for 2 hrs! Christmas on the job for Frosty! I broke the pattern by turning around in the intersection while the agents scrambled to pick up the couple signs they'd just set and pulled over the the side I'd just cleared. Sadly these guys hadn't set signs on that side but there were still plenty, a weekend was coming up so the harvest was rich. When I came back to the intersection to resume the loop the busy little beavers were pulling signs off the roads I hadn't gotten to. 

There are a lot of things I really loved about that job, best was being able to make things better every day. Snow season is best of all, when you get there it's chaos, people in ditches, too slick to move, too much snow, etc. and as I pass I leave a snow free lane and a dusting of salty sand behind me. Look in the mirrors to see a line of headlights and people pulling off shoulders and curbs to follow the sander. 

Working on the boiler was as good or better. A drain or culvert is blocked with ice, water is rising, people's basements are in danger, roads get washed out, intersections are blocked, badness all round. Here comes the thaw truck, we set a couple cones, maybe a barricade, pull out the hoses, attach the appropriate attachments and light up the boiler. If it's clean ice the rat moves quickly. A RAT is the attachment on the end of the smaller flexible steam hose, it sprays steam out the front but there 3x the outlets aimed at an angle backwards. The rear orifices spin the rat and push it forward, the front outlet is also at a slight angle and cuts a tunnel. 

Frozen culvert? Send in the RAT! I loved the rat. Anyway, things are really REALLY B A D when we're called and arrive, When we leave water is pouring down the drains, you can watch the level going down. All's good, we're off on the next rescue mission!

Anyway, Road Maintenance makes life better and safer and THAT made me feel good.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Belly bladed grader I assume? Old 143H's with a Snow Wing and a Wedge up front could really clear some muck. Good old girls. 

Then I get to fix what the operators mess up haha

No snow removal down here, but back on the Front Range you knew it was nasty if the graders came out to play. 

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I agree with the others,  very nice roses KYCATS. What was the thickness of the material you used to get that much texture on the peddles? The only thing I would add would be a couple thorns on the stems. To me it just adds a whole nother level that really makes them pop. 

I finally lit the forge for the first time since Christmas, and the second  time since about November. The old arm lost a little condition in the time off. The wife and I don’t usually do much for Valentine’s Day, but I lucked out to land a pretty amazing woman so I needed to make her something. I made a couple heart wall hooks and my first feather. They didn’t turn out as good as i’d hoped but not bad for being rusty. 



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Nice work Fowllife, I really like the lines and design elements..  Nice job necking down just below the heart, really bought the lines in super nice..   

My only critique is the hook ends.. You did a super great job on the finials or main elements but rookied out of the rats tails.  It's my own thing but getting some softer corners on those I feel would have topped off the project but it's just my opinion and it's cheap, free and really not worth much.  Just a little softening of the corners.. 

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Rookied out the ends she says, yup I resemble that. Do you happen to have any pictures of what the ends should look like? I still have't found my groove yet on scrolls and hook ends.

I had to trim the heart ends a couple times, and I still wasn't very happy with how they turned out. I should have spent some more time drawing the tips out to a point. 

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Just forge the sharp corners in some make it a really loose 8 sided taper.. just hit them with the hammer to soften or round off the corner some.. Not crazy just a little bit.. could even soften them with a file some.. 

When you do the taper, just hit the corners a little bit with the hammer when you finish the taper..   Making a fork and a heart are exactly the same forging operation just pushing the tines in for a heart.. check out the fork video if you haven't all ready. 

I think all of them including the hearts look great..  Was just a refining point.. 

Mild steel has a tendency to keep a sharp edge..  so if you forge it square that sharp edge will stay..  Unless the sharp edge is part of the design element just removing it some softens the look, the feel and the damage it can do if rubbed against it. 

As for picture.. You have one with the feather hook.. You rounded that one out very nicely..   Just don't go as round for the taper.. Again, just soften the corners. 

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Experimenting using leather spacers in this knife handle. Not something i typically do. I typically do full tang with single handle medium rather than mutli-piece construction. Turned out pretty decent. This will go to my neighbor as a gift for all the antler he gave me for free. 


Handle material is deer antler, leather spacer, and walnut.



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8 hours ago, CtG said:

Belly bladed grader I assume?

Nope though I ran grader too. A Belly blade sander is an 8 yrd. dump truck swapped out with a hopper shaped sander bed and a belly blade. hung behind the steering axles, some of the older ones make a handy step. The sander bed is a SS hopper with a belt running lengthwise down the bottom to carry sand to a spinner on the rear to spread sand. The belly blade is hung on a pivot rather than a circle like a grader, don pressure is limited by a spring system to prevent breaking things when you hit something high like a manhole or have it angled wrong crossing RR tracks. Most of the trucks had a plow frame to hang a nose plow but not that many guys liked having that much up front. What I liked most about the nose plow besides moving snow was how it was frightening enough to keep the citizens back. 

The pic isn't one of ours but it's the closest I could find in a web search without spending a bunch of time.  This is a dedicated sander body, the gate at the rear raises and lowers to determine sand flow. The belt passing under it runs full length of the hopper and it's speed can be adjusted. Ours have a larger spinner to distribute sand, this one appears to be designed for higher speeds and maybe just drops the sand relying on ground speed to spread the sand.  Lots of guys tend to have the spinner turned up too high thinking they need to cover the lane, unfortunately if they're moving more than 10-15 MPH the sand ends up on the shoulder / in the ditch or in the snow on the centerline. 

2015 PETERBILT 367 at TruckPaper.com

We didn't run wings on the trucks, they were about covering lane miles and sanding, the graders were about: cutting hard packed snow, ice, winging ditches, pulling and setting berms for the blower, etc. Basically the hard heavy work when nothing less than 72,000 lbs. of welded steel and sex appeal would do. About 1/3 of our graders had 6 way nose plows, wonderful trail breakers. :wub:

You feel pretty safe in a grader I got rear ended by a 8 yrd dump who tried passing on my right in an intersection and nearly took his cab off on my wing blade. I didn't feel or hear the noise over the chain drive noise in the walking beams and bouncing across the intersection ruts. Of course I had hearing protection on and the radio cranked but still you'd expect the grader to react . . . some  wouldn't you? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Same job as a manure spreader smells better though. ;) The tow plows are new on the scene here, long after I retired. Ours have Magnesium chloride tanks on them, we have plenty of sanders. 

I don't see any belly blades in the pics. Guess I'll have to find a pic. Here's a belly blade sander. Ours were on 8 yrd trucks on tandem axles. The spreader is visible on this one and it has a nose plow frame. Wish I'd found this pic first. Oh well.

Frosty The Lucky.


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Making multiples:  For a lot of small stuff I find I can do several at the same time almost as easily as doing 1 and doing say 4 with the same aspect being worked on each of them before moving on to the next stage,  is both easy and good practice in uniformity.

I draw the line at doing so many I get bored doing the same thing; so I may do multiple batches of 4 if I need 20.

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Your chandeliers are amazing and your shop is awesome. I've always been a fan of Russian ingenuity and resourcefulness. Making more from less seems to be a Russian trademark.  Im a huge fan of Avtomat Kalashnikova 7.62x39 and 5.45x39. Awesome work!!

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Alexander, as always beautiful work. Even if you add 10,000 square feet you still wont have enough shop, at least from my experience you will always find a way to fill. Kind of like a clean work bench dont stay that way long.

Practiced some nails today. Mine always turned out funky looking and off to one side. A big thanks to Glenn for getting me on the right track. Anyway they aint great but much much better than what i would usually end up with. 


Put a handle on the hammer i made a week or so ago. so it is finished, now to move some metal with it.


And made me a bottom flat hardy thingy.


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