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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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I will say Sharkbites and pex are a god send if you have a plumbing project.  When we moved in the house had been empty and winterized.  When we had the water turned on, the hot water line to the second story ruptured.  Fortunately there was a cutoff, but by the time we got it closed, it destroyed a bunch of ceiling drywall in the kitchen.  Water pouring out of a ceiling light fixture is a little alarming.  Anyway, Some PEX and a hand full of sharbites and we were able to replace the bulk of the water lines, cold and hot, for about $150, as opposed to the quoted  1000 + from the plumbers.  I'm debating doing up the whole house with a pex manifold, but everything else is still holding so I'm in no rush.

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Out here the soil is rather corrosive and we had a copper water pipe break *under the slab*.  Second time we said go with pex through the attic. I worry a lot since our house is full of bookcases and interior "ceiling rain" is not a good thing!

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My only water leak was from stupidity. I had to change the toilet valve so i went to the basement to shut off the water. Told the wife while i was doing that to turn the faucets on and flush the toilets to get the water out of the system. I finished, shut off all the faucets and went to the basement and turned the water back on. Then went to my parents house for a while. When i came back home, the wife had failed to inform me that she had also opened up the faucets in the upstairs bathroom. Fortunately she stayed home while i was away and caught it. Just lost a couple ceiling tiles in the bed room.  

But all my plumbing is a mix of copper and PVC, so it is not to old. And the pipes from the water main were replaced about 10 years ago. That is a huge thing here. I noted this in another post but we have an ordnance here that we are not allowed to plant maple trees in the town. Back in the 40's and 50's almost all the new housing had swamp maples planted in them. The roots are devastating to water and sewer pipes. It is quite a common site to see peoples front yards tore up having the water mains and sewer lines replaced. Not to mention all those danged seed pods clogging up the gutters. 

We had a guy call a local radio station saying that he went up to clean his gutters and in the standing water was minnows and was wondering how they could get in his gutter. Spoiler, it was not minnows it was mosquito larvae. 

When i was in LA our washer and sink drained into the creek next to the house. The plumbing from the house to the creek sprung a leak under the drive way and made a sink hole.  

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When I was little, our water came from a spring across the road and back in the woods a ways. One year on Thanksgiving, the supply pipe broke under the road out front, and they had to dig the whole thing up. Very exciting for the young lad.

25 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Out here the soil is rather corrosive and we had a copper water pipe break *under the slab*. 

The Frank Lloyd Wright house around the corner from me was designed with in-slab heating, but the original contractor back in 1948 decided to save a few bucks by installing iron pipe instead of copper. Six decades later, that was an expensive restoration indeed.

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They probably would have been okay if they'd followed the original spec: it was the iron pipes corroding that caused all the problems.

Now, his not including gutters because they spoiled the line of the eaves is a different story....

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Our last house was designed with the water main supply running under about 40 feet of driveway and garage floor until it made a hard right in the back yard and into a back corner of the house.  I blame guys in the 70's smoking too many joints during the design and building of that house.  we had 2 severe breaks at the water meter on our side and then another under the driveway.  We ended up doing one of those trenchless deals where we took the water line into the house at the closest point to the meter, into the basement, then back to where the water heater an everything else was.  It significantly improved our water bill and quality.

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Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, while very cool in design, are often referred to as "leakies."  He did not feel limited by the available technologies and pushed the envelope to the point where a fair number of his buildings have had to be demolished because the maintenance/restoration issues were too severe.  Also, some of his most famous works were in high wear/decay environments where things do not last as well as in normal circumstances.  His "Falling Water" house in PA is a god example.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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Funny story: when they were doing the restoration on this particular house, one challenge was figuring out what to do about the missing bathroom sink, which had been replaced by something uglier in the '70s. I forget the exact details -- whether it was spotted in the classifieds by one of the museum staff or mentioned by one of the laborers -- but they actually found the original at a local farm. One of the people who'd helped remove it had taken it home to use as a watering trough for the livestock. 

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I was prowling around an illegal dumpsite looking for metal and found a perfect match for the molding around my Kitchen windows that had been removed by the previous owner.  I was trying to restore my house to original---hence my discussions with the code compliance folks.

(I had a 1940's picture of the front porch that I was working towards.  Replaced the metal Struts holding the porch roof up with recycled wooden columns, the picture showed 4-5" diameter wood rounds going from column to column as a railing.

Code inspector came by and said I had to enclose under them to meet code as the drop from the porch to the yard was too far. As I needed to regrade the yard after 100+ years of hard use; I asked what the allowable distance was as I'd regrade the yard to be compliant.  Code inspector couldn't tell me what the allowable distance was; just that I was violating it.  I said that if he couldn't quote distance or the code for me to look it up;  I was willing to go before a judge and explain that to them. It really would have improved the look of the place to have the yard regraded; but I wasn't going to do it twice.

Happened twice with different inspectors; and then we moved to NM.  The next owner replaced everything he could with vinyl!)

 

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Spent a few hours playing with forge welding. Decided to make up a billet of HC/LC just because.  It went well. Now to practice drawing, folding, and welding.  I know there will be no discernable pattern as both are 10xx steels, but I figure good practice  anyway.  So far I have a 6 layer billet. I guess I'll stop at 24 to 48 layers, and draw out a blade for a kitchen knife.

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Today I got to do a long block of smithing for the first time in forever. Had a dang good time and even got to do some on a live stream. I made an arrowhead, a small heart for a Valentine’s Day necklace, and twisted a small section of square bar that will turn into a small pendant. I also attempted a rr spike bottle opener and a hair pin, but the hair pin was too small and didn’t bend the way I wanted it to (I know why and how to fix it next time), and I need to make myself a plate with a hole to punch on so I don’t end up with a mangled mess like I did with the bottle opener. Side note: does anyone have any tips for how to hold something like a railroad spike while punching it on my sledgehammer head anvil? 

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Where does one find these minions at and how much are they by the dozen?

I would not think holding on a sledge head anvil would be different than any other anvil. Good tongs, grip with your 3rd hand, and strike. Some times a tong clip helps. 

If you mean a bolster on one, i would just make one that would go into a vice. 

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Untrained minions can often be found hammering at the smithy door wanting to *learn*; but it takes some seasoning before they are good for much.   I usually find them teaching an intro class;  every once in a while there is a student or two that teaching them smithing is like throwing gasoline on a fire!  Helping them get set up and learn can often work out to be a "forging Buddy"  with minion attributes.   (Helps that most of the folks I teach are college students and so low on equipment and places to store it; inviting them over to forge is a twofer!)

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Nice arrowhead Nathan! For work holding, I'm a big fan of a weighted chain across the face of the anvil. might be a little slippy-slidey across the small, rounded face of a sledge hammer head anvil though.  Bicycle chain works (and might be better sized to your anvil) until you can find motorcycle chain.  Mine is fastened to the near side of the stump with the weight on the far side.  Maybe an open ended hook on the far side to keep the chain lined up with the anvil face?

Chain will hold your work still, not necessarily securely, but enough to get that first punch dimple where you want it.

Remember the chain over the work is HOT DAMHIKT (Don't Ask Me How I Know This)

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Looks like they'll work better than mine. ;)

Thomas, I can't explain it.

Steve, Thanx, It may have a chance to have a pattern of some sort after all.   1095 and 1035.

  I wanted to work on it today, but wind would not cooperate. I can handle cold, and I can handle wind, but add the two together and no.

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WOOT!  The local Electrical CoOp guy stopped by and we are back in the process of getting power to my shop!  He also said that in the 6 months since we last worked on it; things changed and we now can run 90' of secondary to the shop from a 25KVA transformer located near the street.---lowering the cost!   Hmm I must look into sourcing some BOULDERS to protect the transformer...  Unfortunately it will take several weeks to get the estimate for signoff and I'll have to see if the electrician can put me on his schedule again; but the CoOp guy said it would take only a couple of days after the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars...

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