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What did you do in the shop today?

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The steel was a coil spring. It was given to me so I don't know anything more about it. I quenched in used synthetic blend motor oil. My stepson fixes cars so I got a bunch of used motor oil. I probably did over heat it. I started using my rebuilt hair dryer but it was barely keeping the coal alight. I switched to the vacuum cleaner blower and even though the bleeder hole was open and it was barely blowing into the pipe it still got so hot I just sat the steel on top of the coal instead of down in it. Had to cover the forge because of the heat with an old grill lid. I was trying not to burn it but I sorta fade out during heats sometimes and the steel can get too hot. 

No deep marks this time. I got near to the shape I wanted and switched to my lighter hammer. No pics yet except for a before Pic. 


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On 10/17/2021 at 5:23 PM, Frosty said:

Looks like you bumped the fitting holding the mig tip. Try judging which way it's tilted by comparing the angle of the flame and how the mig tip appears through BOTH air intake ports. Then carefully try bending it with a small lever, I use a  small bladed screw driver. Tweak it a LITTLE and check the flame.

You don't want to PRY, I twist the screwdriver to EASE the mig tip a little bit and check. 

Oh, and the jet being out of alignment will make it run colder than it should so solving that might solve the heat issue.

Frosty The Lucky.

I found the issue

somehow the threads on the mig tip was bent so i put a straight ne in and there was no real change so i completely took the burner off and there was 1/8 -1/4 inch of refractory on the side opposite the flames heading trimmed some of and that improved it with the old tip still used now to get the rest


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There was a story in the news a few days ago about people leaving for the airport to go on vacation and they discovered their little dog Chihuahua mix maybe, I don't recall Or maybe a pug cross. They discovered it burrowed into their clothes warm and comfy. The asphyxiated frozen pet wouldn't have been a happy find at the hotel, lodge, etc.

Deb and I have to keep a close eye on luggage or the cats nest right in. 

 Beautiful as always Alex.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Cat and dog approved Alexandr. Nice work. 

Hondo, looks like you could have forged a little thicker to be able to get out the hammer marks. Also look into draw filing. I don't have a belt grinder myself but use some careful grinding with the 4 1/2" grinder then draw file to get a nice profile. After draw filing to shape then sandpaper in increasing grits on a block will polish it up. 

Looks like a start and you'll get your air figured out for the forge with more experience. 

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This weekend was spent at the SCABA conference. Turnout was a little low. 25 fewer men and about 36 fewer females. 

I was hoping to buy some tailgate sale items, but it was skimpy. I bought two tongs from someone from a group in Missouri who had come down to sell  few tongs they had made. Good tongs. They need a couple of tweeks, but work well. 

Brent Bailey is a great guy. At the auction I bought the hammer he had made during his demo.  I paid at least three times over what I could have bought a similar hammer from him online. But there was no bloody way I was leaving without that hammer. I paid $170. He gave me his address so I could mail it to him to finish and dress it up like those from his shop are. I asked if he could hang it with a bois d’arc handle. He said he has some and would do that for me. It’s name will be “Dreaming”.  The first photo is of him making the hammer. 

I knew it was going to be a sweet weekend because of the brindle dog. During the demo, those in attendance were shooing they dog or kicking rocks at it to make it go away. Brent just smiled at the dog and called him over to be petted. After that, the dog decided Brent belonged to him. He is spending a pretty large sum to have the dog crated and shipped to him in California. 

The axe I made in the workshop is below. It’s name is Rush Creek. It is modeled after Brent’s axe, “Middle of Nowhere”. 

The workshop would have been cheap at even 5 times the price. Three days of personal instruction from my favorite blacksmith. I had a blast. 






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Looks like you had a blast! I wasn’t able to make it over there this time, 

the axe looks awesome! 

on the topic of the dog, I get stray dogs and cats at my shop all the time and I’ve had to get on to some of my customers for kicking at them, that really ticks me off, 

if an animal is walking up an wants scratches it’s not a big dang deal,

if you don’t want to pet it then ignore it and it will go on its way, there’s no reason to kick a dog for walking up an wagging it’s tail, or a cat hopping up on your lap, 

it’s interesting that more women showed up then men to the conference 

 I’m glad to hear that! Hopefully more people from different backgrounds will feel comfortable coming to blacksmithing conferences in the future and help grow interest! 


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Totally agree George. If the animal is just being friendly give it some love or just ignore it if you don't like em. Heck with anybody being mean or rude to them. And good bye, have a blessed life. 

DHarris, you should see if he will sign/engrave the hammer while he fixes it up for 3x the going rate. A simple thing that will make it extra special. 

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Sounds like you had a weekend long Kodak moment D! Nice axe, where are the pics of the hammer or have I forgotten already?

I've shown people the door to my shop for less than abusing an animal. Then again I'm a sucker for petting dogs, cats, whatever holds still. The neighbor of Pat's where we hold meetings has an old German Shepherd who is friendly but shy. I always give him a pet and shoulder rub and he follows me around. 

Maybe I'll get to meet Brent someday and pet his dog. Bet it isn't his only one.

Frosty the Lucky.

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Brent had trouble adjusting to the power hammer supplied. It kept stopping. 

The hammer he made is pretty rough. He will have to straighten the eye, but he told me not to worry, when it comes back to me I will be pleased with it. 

He said he doesn’t understand why makers will trash hammers or other tools with mistakes. He said correcting mistakes is easy. This crooked eye for example he will fix with a die grinder. 



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I screwed up and ordered 150 grit for my belt sander. It does not really remove much steel at that grit. I spent almost 2 hours grinding on it. Next time I get to order some belts I will get 80 so I don't have to spend so long grinding. I have my hammers pretty well dressed. At this point it's more using an arm deadened and disobedient to strike the steel. My strokes took away most of my fine motor control. I still do it anyway because I've had to let my disabilities destroy enough of my life. If I stop doing challenging things I will have lost.  

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It might be worthwhile dressing your hammer way back. Not quite the point where it becomes a rounding hammer, but, say, half way there. The center will still be flat, but the edges are relieved significantly. That way if you don't hit squarely you'll end up with a little dish rather than a small, deep, impression. You may find you can move material with less effort too.

Here's a picture from JLPservicesinc that shows the face of one of her recent hammers. Note the rather large radius on the edges that blend into the center (and ignore the dings, they aren't from her).


You could even dress them back a little further if you need to. It's your hammer, make it work for you.

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Here is my ugly bottle opener i forged today. The camera doesn't do it justice, its much uglier in person. I think the reason the bend didn't come out symmetrical is because one side is thicker than the other. I tried twice to do that bend but it turned out the same both times.  I will try to forge down the other side to match later and see if it helps. Also, the slot I punched was off center, I'm sure that didn't help matters any. I also have a problem with the rough texture. 



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