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I Forge Iron

ABANA October 14, 2021 Meet Johnstown PA


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I have a French pattern crosspeen that is totally untempered, dead soft.  I always bring it to classes and when I see folks with hammer control issues I "suggest" they use it.  As I tell them "it will keep me from screaming at you!"  I just can't let them use it on the hardy. (Made from 1050 Jackhammer bit)

It's funny how "Frenchy" has almost a cult like following with some of my long term students...

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

I have a French pattern crosspeen that is totally untempered, dead soft.  It's funny how "Frenchy" has almost a cult like following with some of my long term students...

Thomas, this was a guy who can forge..  He apologized using alcohol as the reason.. He had a beautiful swing from way up in the air about 9ft right down into the anvil..   Guess it's a testament to the anvil and hammer.. 

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I agree with Thomas...I never let anyone use one of my "good" hammers at any time, demo, meeting, at my shop, wherever.  I have a couple of cheap big box store or flea market hammers that I loan out and if they are damaged, then a couple of bucks replaces them.

As a matter of fact, I don't loan out ANY tools, smithing or otherwise.  About 30 years ago, I learned a hard lesson when I loaned out some very expensive tools and the borrower said they "couldn't be found", or so he said.  That did it...don't care WHO it is, I don't loan out tools. (And...I have made it practice to not borrow tools either.)  I didn't consider animal traps to be a tool, so just recently a lady who traps feral cats and has them fixed (a commendable task) needed to borrow one of my coon traps.  I buckled in and let her use one.....yep, you guessed it.  When I asked for it back, she couldn't find it, but offered two beat up traps in lieu of the "missing one".  Arkie SLAPS FOREHEAD....WHY DID YA DO IT DUMMY??????

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Well I have loaned tools to certain people before, one was a heavy duty RW bench mount sheet metal punch,  He broke the punch insert in it punching a lot of holes in Ti sheet.  Returned it with a new punch in it and a new backup in case the replacement had broken as well...  The other borrowed my Bader's 1/2" contact wheel and wore it out on his MFA final project.  Had the replacement drop shipped to me.

In general I have a bucket of 25 cent hammers that I am willing to lend/sell; ones not good enough to make it in my save for scrap use project pile.

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In truth I have a few friends I'll lend things to, I've never had to ask for something back and they've always been in at least as good condition as when I lent them.

On the other hand I've met anger and resentment for asking for something back. One instance was one of the working foremen, he wanted to "read" one of my blacksmithing books. I finally had to knock on his door at dinner time and chat with his wife while I waited.

I don't know what came across me but I lent my car trailer for one day to a guy to move his race car. He ghosted me, didn't live where I thought he did, different phone #, etc. His racing buddies weren't much help so I kept an eye on the race schedule, drove out, located my trailer, hitched up and took it home. Left his race car 75 miles from home. 

No idea how he got his car home but a week later asked if he could borrow my trailer again. I referred him to a rental outfit and haven't heard much since.

The trailer really kicked me in the teeth and not that the guy treated a borrowed trailer like it was now his but because I lent it to him in the first place. He'd pulled similar on me a couple times before, mostly not paying for welding I'd done for him. Let me see how it works. . . seeya.

I hope I've learned to be smarter but sometimes I don't know.

Frosty the Lucky.

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It's an interesting quandary for me..   Right, wrong.. I don't know.. 

I can only go by what I would do.  I try not to borrow anything from anybody..  I don't have great luck with borrowed items so would prefer to just go buy them. 

I learned\ early on I'm jinxed this way.. 

I believe I was more disappointed in my own self because I was hopeful/hoping the experience would be different. 

The Hammer wasn't dented to badly and the spalling was just on the surface..   I could also just make another 1 if it were damaged more.. 

 

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When I lived down in Florida, I had a neighbor who was always borrowing stuff. Usually I had to run him down to get it back sometimes damaged. I started making him leave a cash deposit to cover the cost of a new item. He quit borrowing stuff when I kept his deposit after not returning an expensive hedge trimmer.

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If someone asks to borrow a tool, first I assess their ability, then will ask what they need it for/what use. Then I decide if they are capable or what the proper tool would be. 

I was once asked if the person could borrow my pocket knife. I said no at first. Then was curious what he needed it for. He wanted to pry off a car mirror cap and surely would have broken my knife. I told him so and explained thatis why Im hesitant to lend tools. Bad enough when I do something dumb with my own tools.  I asked him where his knife was and he showed me his broken dull knife... said his wouldn't work. Ugh! I offered proper tools for the job, a pocket screwdriver and plastic pry tool. 

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If at first you don't succeed break someone elses? I'll cut something for folks but only let Deb and maybe Sean use my knife. <shudder>

I think holding a person's credit card until a tool is returned WHEN PROMISED is a good policy. Charging what, $10/hr for overdue is reasonable. Yes?

And if your lent tool doesn't come back, maybe contact a scammer about getting uncle Ferdly out of prison?

Frosty the Lucky.

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I try to balance not being a jerk and refusing all requests for help, including loaning things and giving money to panhandlers, and being a patsy and being taken advantage of.  Sometimes I have been conned or not been treated well but I figure that happens on occasion.  I also figure that sooner or later karma will get anyone who treats me worse than I would want.  There are only a few folk that I would loan my best tools to.  Most of them would be like Thomas' friends and replace it if they broke or damaged it.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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The old rule in the bodyshop ( mostly for young guys) is, if you borrow it twice or 3 times, you buy it. 

The guy about the knife has been in the business longer than me. I eventually sharpened his stump of a knife for him. He also borrowed a glass (eurathane) cutting tool with out me knowing and tried cutting out a bolt and beutyl glass and chipped it bad. It took some investigative work to find out he did it. I fixed it but deffinately lock up my tools better now. My bad that I trusted my coworkers at the time. I even bought tools that the shop provides one of because I was sick of tracking it down when I needed it.  I do Not lend them out and blatantly tell them so when they ask unless I really trust the person as a good friend and I'm in a good mood. 

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A friend brought one of his buddies over to the shop; he had had his tools stolen recently and I had bought 100 pounds of sockets and wrenches at the scrapyard recently.  Gave a set of metric and SAE to him as I'd rather give it to someone than lend it and have to worry about them returning it.  (From the stuff it was with; it looked like a government agency out here had done a deep clean of their garage and scrapped all the old stuff...)

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I decided to give the 1/2" sq x 10.25" challenge a shot today. Starting from cold I was able draw it out to 22.75" in 10 minutes... 26" is seriously impressive. Looking back I probably would do it a little differently if I tried it again, but I'm not going to claim I would have hit that number.

Hat's off to you Jennifer.

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Frazer.. Nicely done.. That is a good solid number..  You would have had a great time at the meet. 

There were some serious metal movers there.. Professionals..   I've forge a handful of times this past year.. 

It was interesting because they were all within inches of each other..  Everyone said the same thing.. That they would do it differently next time..   :)   Whole slew of different types of forgers too.. Some BB followers, some outright big swingers. Some who swung a hammer so fast I got tired just watching. 

My bar got passed around to some of the people who were getting ready for the challenge though I wanted it to stay a dark horse.  Having a goal to shoot for can inspire.. I was in the second group of forgers.. 

I used my special sauce techniques which are all in the videos..  LOL..  Well except 1.. 

I got to meet some people from IFI too.. That was fun. 

I asked the judge does it have to be pretty and when answered "No".. it opened the possibility. 

Petrila 2.jpg

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Here is the thumblatch..  I was able to locate a photo from when they took the auction..  I know there are some higher res out there which I'd love to have.. 

I'm usually great about photos but somehow they just fell thru the cracks. 

Pretty much as forged.  I would have loved to smooth out the handle more.. it's got a bleb in it. 

Petrila 1.jpg

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