The Best of Theforge

Volume 2 of 3

Compiled and edited by: Ron Reil

Jump To Volume 1       Jump To Volume 3

Note: Multiple articles within a topic are separated by " ******** " between each article. Also, the links to other related resources only link to the page, not to the numbered resource. You will need to scroll down to the listed resource entry. In some cases additional unlinked information may be included in the various "Misc. Information" topics.

Index of Topics


68. MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS and SOURCES (Also Vol. 1,  #14, 55 & Vol. 3,  #114, 127)



71. CLEANING WELDS AND SURFACES (Also Vol. 1, #33, 35 & Vol. 3, #119)

72. CHEAP BANDSAWS (Also Vol. 1, #57)

73. GAS FORGES (Also Vol. 3, #130)

74. STEEL INFORMATION (Also Vol. 1, #25 & Vol. 3, #117)

75. TREADLE HAMMERS (Also Vol. 1, #61 & Vol. 3, #123)

76. HYDRAULIC PRESSES (Also Vol. 1, #32)



79. ANVILS AND ANVIL REPAIR (Also Vol. 1, #36 & Vol. 3, #136)

80. HOODS AND CHIMNEYS (Also Vol. 1, #63)




84. AIR HAMMERS AND OTHER POWER HAMMERS (Also Vol. 1, #18 & Vol. 3, #129)

85. REPOUSSE' (Also Vol. 1, #29)





90. FORGING LEAVES (Also Vol. 1, #49 & Vol. 3, #138)

91. BOOKS (Also Vol. 1, #46 & Vol. 3, #125)

92. STRIKERS (Also Vol. 1, #45)

93. FLUX (Also Vol. 1, #6, 42 & Vol. 3, #124)

94. COAL AND COKE (Also Vol. 1, #12)



97. RAILROAD SPIKES (Also Vol. 1, #26 & Vol. 3, #132)

98. ARC WELDING AND WELDING ROD (Also Vol. 1, #3, 4, 5 & Vol. 3, #122)

99. IRON FINISHES (Also Vol. 1, #33, 35 & Vol. 3, #128)


101. LOW HEAT FORGE WELDING (Also Vol. 1, #54)



104. HAMMERS AND HAMMER HANDLES (Also Vol. 1, #65)

105. SWAGE BLOCKS (Also Vol. 3, #131)


107. LINING FORGE PANS (Also Vol. 1, #13 & Vol. 3, #115)

108. MORE ON SUPERQUENCH (Also Vol. 1, #26 & Vol. 3, #121)

109. SURFACE TEXTURES FOR STEEL (Also Vol. 1, #35 & Vol. 3, #128)


111. BENDING TUBING (Also Vol. 3, #134)

112. WROUGHT IRON (Also Vol. 1, #10, 40, 50)

Continued in Volume #3

*** See also Volumes 1&3 for more resource information. ***



I have cheated with hinges for two reasons, customer wanted them

yesterday, or didn't want to spring for a fully hand-crafted pair.

Most hardware stores sell hinges designed to be welded in place, they are

made with no screw holes. If you can find the size you are after, they

cut the fabrication time well over half. Texture the hinge leaves to

match your embellishment, re-shape or cut down to match the angle, and

gas or electric weld the embellishment to the leaf, drill new screw

holes to your customer's specs. Forming the barrell is, at least for

me, the most time consuming, and therefore expensive, part of a hinge

project. Peen the head of the factory pin a little, and burn off all

the plating. Finish with linseed oil, or something that will cover both

metals equally. The hinge material is usually different than your mild

steel embellishment, and will take some finishes differently, resulting

in a definate demarkation line between the two metals. Also, remember to

blend the weld line completely. To those who make hinges routinely, this

will sound like a lot more work than just making the barrell yourself

anyway, but I haven't acquired the skill yet, and it seems easier for

me. At any rate, it's an alternative, particularly if you have a big

order for hinges that require a lot of careful cutting and filing of the

barrells. We did two jobs of 30 pairs for a contractor. Totally hand

forged ones sent the guy into a fit, so we stopped and refigured. He

couldn't tell the difference between our finished (fabricated) and our

finished hand-forged. It took half the time, and we charged him 3/4,

everybody was happy.



> Do you have experience with hand forged hinges? If so, I need help, advice

>or better yet, come on over and do these blasted things for me. er, just


> Do I hot rivet or cold rivet the hinge? Whenever I cold rivet, the pin

> distorts. Hot riveting makes it too tight.

> How in the world do you make the tail and strap, hinge parallel? I have

>made close to 5 complete hinges and am not satisfied with the trueness. Or

>am I expecting too much out of hand forged? I am desiring the same close

>fit that store bought ones have. This should be obtainable I would think.

>Or maybe, I am just trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. This

>being the analogy to my talents, not the capability.


> Anyway, if you have the magic, please send some my way.


>scratchinghead smith, magnuson

> Do I hot rivet or cold rivet the hinge? Whenever I cold rivet, the pin

> distorts. Hot riveting makes it too tight.

I am not sure what you mean by this, are you talking about the hinge pin

that goes thru the rolled "barrel". Also what size stock are you making

these out of?

Here is what I can tell you. lets say you are makinmg a pair of hinges out

of 1/4 inch by 2 inch. First forge your decorative end to it's finished

state, next is really the hinge part, bevel the flat side if your hinge end

the same distance as the material thickness, in this case 1/4 inch, you do

this so after it is reolled you are not trying to cram a perpindicular end

into a circular rolled edge. Start rolling or curving your barrel over the

off side of your anvil so the bevel side of your stock will end up on the

outside of the barrel. Do this at a nice yellow hrat with many light

blows. When your barrel is about 2/4 of the way formed and starting with a

new yellow heat drive a drift the size of your finished hinge pin into your

partially formed barrel. finish forging with the drift in place. If you

have a swage block you can clean your barrel, (with the drift in), in the

appropriate swage in your block. the hinge would be upside down at this

time and you would be striking the back side of the barrel wherer it meets

the strap. If you don't have a swage block you maay have a top swage of

appropriate size and you can do the same process only your hinge would be

lying on your anvil with the finished side showing and you would be placing

your swage on the front of the barrel. Do not quench your hinge, after

normalizing drive your drift thru again cold and then try your finished

pin. If it is still to tight you can drill your barrel out the same size

as you pin stock. When drilling place your hinge so the turning of the

drill does not pull the barrel tighter and bind on your drill bit, when

you place your hinge for drilling look at it then tuen it over and look

again, you'll see what I mean.

> How in the world do you make the tail and strap, hinge parallel?

I am also not sure of your terminology here. Do you mean both ends of you

hinge ending up on the same plain? I guess it is mostly a matter of

keeping things true throughout the entire process. It sounds like you

might not be using enough heat anf forcing distortions along the length.

>am I expecting too much out of hand forged? I am desiring the same close

>fit that store bought ones have. This should be obtainable I would think.

>Or maybe, I am just trying to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. This

>being the analogy to my talents, not the capability.

No, you are not expecting to much out of hand forged, Do you remember the

first time you tried to parallel park? I bet it was a lot easier after 25

times and after 500 it was a natural process. Hinges are easier than

parallel parking, but the first few are still a challenge.

>I need help, advice or better yet, come on over and do these blasted

>things for me. er, just


You can take my advise for what it's worth, hopefully someone else will

also jump in here with more opinions, I am sure there are other ways and

tricks. But if you are still frustrated come on over and I'll show you

what I know, every Wednesday night is open forge.

Roger Olsen,

Return To Index


As a follow up on my earlier post regarding plastic magnifing lens that can

be added to any glasses. They arrived and work as billed. Went out an

bought a new pair of safety glasses, washed the glasses and the new plastic

lens in warm soapy water. Postioned the lens on the safety glasses and blot

dry. Voila! There is a bit of distortion, but it isn't objectionable and

probably due to the curve in the glasses. The lens can be repositioned and

removed easily.

They have a web site where you can get more information and

order the product. This would be handy for use with welding goggles,

sunglasses, scuba masks as well as safety glasses.

Thought you old timers might find it useful.

Don Fogg

**************** writes:

>I missed their number or address in the previous posts. Can any of you

>kindly folk supply it?



Harbor Freight Tools

3491 Mission Oaks Blvd.

Camarillo CA 93011-6010

1-800-423-2567 orders, 24 hrs a day

1-800-444-3353 tech info. 7am-4:30 pm Pacific time



At 06:44 PM 2/19/97 EST, you wrote:

>I have an old ball peen hammer that is really beat. <clip>

> Robert H. Neidlinger "The Tomb Guard"

I don't believe that there is enough metal to make a good hawk.

I buy virtually every (low priced) hammer that I find at garage sales. I

grind the pein end to make handled gravers. You can make them sharp similar

to walking chisels or dull similar to top fullers. I heat the metal and

then, using the pein-graver, mark borders, edges, or single or multiple

scored lines on the metal. Usually this is done on metal bars before

twisting. For example, by putting a single line down the middle of the bar

on all four sides, and then twisting, the bar looks like four smaller bars

were put together and then twisted.

By shaping the head, you can make one side much longer than the other. The

long side would guide down the edge of the metal and the shorter edge

actually makes the groove an even and consistant distance from the edge.

I have a variety of edges for varying effects.



The anvil tool I mentioned is a helper for "drop the tongs" welds,

where a small piece is being welded to a longer one, like if you had made

the jaws to a pair of tongs, and were welding them to the reins instead

of drawing. Made of rebar, it is forged to fit your pritchell hole for

an inch, then bent to a right angle. Insert it into your pritchell,

measure to the far edge of your anvil, bend down 45 degrees, then another 45

the other way, so the top of the bar is now flush with your anvil face.

About three inches more and bend so the tail of the bar comes almost

parallel with your anvil side, and raises a little as it extends toward

your horn. Be sure to have the roughest part of the rebar up, keep the

inevetable seam on the sides. The support allows you to clamp the

smaller part in tongs with a ring. In use, the smaller element in the

weld is placed on the support, scarf up, and the rein part is pressed on

it, scarf down. You'll save the second or two most

important in welding, and you don't have to take a chance on

mis-positioning the two parts at a time when speed is of greatest


My ASCII art is worse than the explanation :-( If you need

a sketch, an s.a.s.e. to Bob, 3205 West North Front St.

Grand Island, Ne. 68803, will get you a pretty good cad drawing of it


where can I get metal stampings

>Bob Hendricks

All of the co's listed below were represented at the NOMMA MetalFab last

week. All have very nice catalogs that EVERYONE should get. If not to order

then for reference and idea germination. The Pietrocola, Barry, and

Triebenbacher catalogs are IMHO the best.

Not in any particular order

New Metals, Inc

5823 Northgate, Suite 2032

Laredo, TX 78041-2697


Crescent City Iron Supply

9835 Derby Lane

Westchester, IL 60154


Triebenbacher Bavarian Iron Works

619 Pennbrook Ave

Lansdale, PA 19446


Barry Pattern & Foundry Co

3333 35th Ave N.

Birmingham, AL 35207


Pietrocola & Sons Iron Suppliers, Inc

1672 East 233rd ST

Bronx, NY 10466



Julius Blum & Co

PO Box 816

Carlstadt, NJ 07072-0816


Texas Metal Industries

PO Box 154

Crandall, TX 75114



1309 E 7th St

Austin, TX 78702


Tennessee Fabricating Co

2025 York Ave

Memphis, TN 38104


Email :

New Metals, Inc

5823 Northgate, Suite 2032

Laredo, TX 78041-2697


Michael Linn


Hi gang, just found this note and thought it might be of interest.

Subject: Re: Low cost pyrometer

>Does anyone know a source for a low cost pyrometer? I have

>a small furnace for melting aluminum and brass.

I made one out of that little thingamajig thet sits in the pilot flame and

has two wires connecting it to the valve. I hooked it up to an analog

voltmeter (0-3V) and made a new scale using a friend's real pyrometer.

Works real nice for brass and Al

temperatures, but I don't know it it can stand CI tepms.

Also, try and search for pyrometer. You won't beleve how

often this topic comes up on this NG.



Gene wrote

> Hi gang, just found this note and thought it might be of interest.---

> >Does anyone know a source for a low cost pyrometer? I have

> >a small furnace for melting aluminum and brass.

> I made one out of that little thingamajig thet sits in the pilot flame


For a really snazzy homemade Optical Pyrometer,

check out ---->

for complete plans, wiring diagrams, how to calibrate, etc.

I may have to build one of these to check out how hot my shop really gets

this summer :-)

Lee Catlow


On Apr 25, 10:28am, wrote:

> Subject: Re: Hosseld Hand Bender

> From: Matt Balent

> What size stock are you going to be bending? This can make

> a BIG dollar difference when deciding which bender to buy.

> - Matt


As for the Hossfeld Bender, there are only two sizes. The price difference, the

last time I checked was not very large between them, so get the #2 bender. In

addition, the is another company that make a Hossfeld bender look-alike for

less money. The addresses etc are:

American Bending Inc.

1175 E. Broadway

P.O. Box 64

Winona, MN 55987


507-452-7318 fax

Maker of a bender similar to the Hossfeld #2. Cost is substancially less than

Hossfeld. All parts and dies except the angle iron dies are available.

Contact Wally.

Hossfeld Mfg. Co.

P.O.Box 557

Winona, MN 55987


507-454-1194 fax

Manufactures the Hossfeld Universal Bender. This will bend most

sizes and shapes of metal. Good for single bends and/or production.

Hundreds of dies available.

Another source for benders is:

Shop Outfitters

605 South Adams Street

Laramie, WY 82070


307-742-5999 fax

Compact metal working tools including a bender with several (optional)

attachments like scrollers and a bar twister, ring roller, and heavy stock brake.

Finding used machinery in good condition could have you paying as much as new

or you could have a good deal. Check machinery auctions, used machinery

dealers, or ...

A coupla used machinery dealers who could give advice/help are:

Altman Machinery Co., Inc.

4343 S. Oakley Ave.

Chicago, Illinois 60609


312-247-2666 fax email

Used machinery and other old equipment dealers.

Lee's Machinery

2428 Antioch Road

Perry, OH 44081


Good source for used machinery of all kinds. The service is good and

the advise helpful. Ask for Mike Zinn.

Meridian Machinery

P.O. Box 1

Babylon, NY 11702



21 Hicks Street

Lindenhurst, NY 11757

516-956-1442 email

Used machine tools of all kinds. Friendly, knowledgable staff. Efficient


Morton Machinery Co.

2910 South Santa Fe Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90058-1400


213-583-8693 fax

Large inventory of used machinery.

PKE, Inc.

P.O. Box 6595

Libertyville, IL 60048-6595


847-362-5657 fax

Good source of used machinery. They specialize in tin knocker

stuff and always have Pexto everything, beverly shears, circle shears,

Hossfeld, and Diacro benders. The prices are good, the service is

friendly and the advise helpful. Ask for Norman Alhalel.

This is all I have. Let me know what you find.

Mark W.


Page 17 of Whitaker's 'Cookbook' says:

'Tenon Monkey tools can be made from hollow core drill rods. Anneal first, then drill out to size. No hardening is needed as they are very tough steel'.

Steve Howell


At 02:39 PM 4/29/97 -0700, you wrote:

>I have a couple of 3" balls out of an old ball mill that should be

>sturdy enough to handle the shock.


`Another idea for the steel balls, is to get in touch with a local

scale company.( one that services large truck and RR track scales). In the

process of converting some of the older mechanical scales to electronic

loadcells they usually throw-away the "balls and ballplates" and the knife

bearings. The balls(really just big ball bearings) and the knife bearings

are 52100 steel. The knife bearings are rectangular in shape with one long

side that comes to an edge.

The bearings can range from a few inches long (round for balls) to

several feet long and 4-5" thick (from a 1million lb RR trackscale). I

understand that the knifemakers love 52100. I used a piece for a cold

hardie, just welded on a stub and used it as is. These balls along with

their matching plates just might work for what you want.



A few days ago we discussed bending jigs. One small homemade one that I've

seen photos of was in the book called "Shop Savvy". That book, when I

searched at showed to be out of print, though it's in my city

library. So I did a few drawings of this simple jig, put it on a web site

with description at,

This is not a mini Hossfield. It's for small, hand bending of lighter

metal. Cost may be $5 depending on salvage finds. You can bend scrolls, "S"

hooks, etc., with it.


Forge Plans;


From: Matt Balent

Here is some more info on the Hall Punch-Cutter-Bender.

Punches 5/16 hole in 1/4 inch. Side or end punch to 5/8 center.

Center punch to 1 5/16 centers. Center punch handles up to

2 5/8 bar width.

Bends up to 1/4 x 2 cold or 3/8 x 3 hot.

Shears up to 5/16 x 2 bar or 1/2 round.

Comes with 5/16 punch standard, 3/8 and 1/4 optional.

John Hall Company

1137 Hwy 57

Brussels, WI 54204

(414) 825-1295


IF You are looking for ACME nuts, rod, ckeck out


BOX 206


PH. 414-730-0023

all kinds of nuts, acme rod, also steel balls


> Subject: New Firepot

> I am looking for a source of firepots other than centaur forge. Thanks in

> advance.

> Steve Bean


Though none of these is in Vermont, one may fit the bill for you.

Lorance Forge and Castings

(Roger Lorance)

16412 E. Illinois 9 Highway

Canton, IL 61520


Makes heavy-duty firepots, swage blocks and cone mandrels. Descriptive

brochure available.

Lunenburg Industrial Foundry & Engineering

53 Falkland

P.O.Box 1240

Lunenburg, NS B0J 2C0



902-634-8886 fax

Makers of several firepots for the forge. Ask for one with the square

hole as it has a pattern for a clinker breaker.

Wrought Iron & Metal Products

(Gerald L. Hawkins)

132 Weinland Drive

New Carlisle, Ohio 45344


Makes complete firepots (fire pot, clinker breaker and ash dump).

Laurel Machine & Foundry Co.

P.O.Box 1049

810 Front Street

Laurel, MS 39440


601-425-5617 fax

Makes anvils, swage blocks, large & small cones, fire pots,

and clinker breakers.

Try one or try them all. Hope one suits you.



On Jun 26, 6:11pm, Dave B. wrote:

> Subject: Hosfeld benders

> All right folks, who took it? I know I saved the info on the address and

> stuff on Hosfeld, plus information on a similar bender. Now I can't find

> it, and I'm sure I didn't lose it. So, some one must have invaded my hard

> drive and deleted it.


> So, would someone be kind enough to e-mail or repost the information. I'm

> particularly interested in getting the video on using one, plus the

> instruction manual.

> Thanks <grin>

> Dave Brown


I'm just going to write out what I've got in the supplier's list for you on benders.

Akron Welding & Spring Co.

925 S Main St.

P.O. Box 190

Akron, OH 44311


Supplier of Hossfeld benders and bending dies as well as other

industrial supplies.

American Bending Inc.

1175 E. Broadway

P.O. Box 64

Winona, MN 55987


507-452-7318 fax

Maker of a bender similar to the Hossfeld #2. Cost is substancially less than

Hossfeld. All parts and dies except the angle iron dies are available.

Contact Wally.

Paramount Machinery Corporation

P.O. Box 7272

Libertyville, IL 60048-7272

Warehouse and Office:

197 Peterson Rd.

Libertyville, IL 60048


847-362-6232 fax email web site

Good source of used machinery. They specialize in tin knocker

stuff and always have Pexto everything, beverly shears, circle shears,

Hossfeld, and Diacro benders. The prices are good, the service is

friendly and the advise helpful. Ask for Norman Alhalel.

Hossfeld Mfg. Co.

P.O.Box 557

Winona, MN 55987


507-454-1194 fax

Manufactures the Hossfeld Universal Bender. This will bend most

sizes and shapes of metal. Good for single bends and/or production.

Hundreds of dies available

Hope one of these sources is the one for you.



> Subject: Re: 2 foot folding rule

> I would like too add to this question. Does anyone know where a two foot

> BRASS rule could be obtained. I have read that the old smiths had brass

> rules to eliminate the rust problem, and I have searched the flea markets

> for them without success. Do any of you have one, and are they made today?

> Thanks.....

> Ron

> > From: John Elliott

>> Does anybody have an idea where to buy a reasonably price 2 foot metal

> > rule. ( folds in the middle) I'v found old blacksmith rules but of

> > course the tool collectors want $25 to $30 each.

>-- End of excerpt from Ron Reil

I think Centaur Forge has both steel and brass two foot folding rulers. The

brass ones come from England, I think. I posted Porter-Walker's address for the

steel rules. Call them. They may have a source of brass rules.




MSC is one of the largest industrial supply houses in the country. They expect

you to have a business name before they send you a catalog, however you can

give them almost any name. When you get your catalog, you have an account set

up. No paperwork at all. The catalog is HUGE. This year's was about 3200 pages

hardbound. They sell a wide range of products. In most cases they offer a range

of quality/price. For example, drill bits range from low price imports to high

price, top of the line American-made bits - High speed steel, cobalt, TiN

coated and others.

Give them a call. Their shipping map says that Idaho should have two day

shipping. They try for fast turnaround times 24 hours usually.

MSC Industrial Supply Company

151 Sunnyside Blvd.

Plainview, NY 11803-1592


800-255-5067 fax

516-349-0265 FAX

Suppliers of everything from nuts & bolts to machinery. Their

catalog runs to 3000 pages. They prefer a business name, but will

sell to anyone.

Hope you enjoyed the flea market and got enough bargains to make the trip




Francis Whitaker's book "The Blacksmith's Cookbook Recipes in Iron" has

plans for a shear. Capacity: " 1/4 x 4", 5/8 square or round, and 3/8 x

1-1/2". It looks fairly straight forward to build with a drill press and a

welder. Francis states he has been using his for 50 years.

Hope this helps



el doesn't seem to be in the

new catalogs) but it works like a dream. A friend asked for advice on

buying a hammer drill. I said, "Don't bother, you want one rated as a

rotary hammer for use in granite. Here try mine." so he went out to his

pickup and came back with a piece of granite he had been trying to drill,

put it into the post vice, set the drill pulled the trigger and then said,

"Jeez, the bit must be slipping back into the chuck." And then stepped

back speechless, he had drilled a 2 1/2" hole and didn't even realise he

had been drilling.

Before I bought the Rotary hammer, I went to drill 3/8 by 3" holes in 120

granite blocks for use as bases for an edition of awards. I drilled for 15

minutes on one with my old Milwaukee and still wasn't done. I figured if I

was going to get done before doomsday I had better find a better way.

I went to Fastenrite in St.Paul and asked my friend Tom for advice.

He asked me how many holes I had to drill, and then offered to loan me the

drill to use. 20 seconds per hole.

I bought it.


Return To Index


I just bought 10 sq feet of a refractory felt called "Cerachrome" aerospace

insulation manufactured by Johns-Mansfield for $3.00 per sq.foot. Its rated

to 2600°F continuous duty, and higher for transient service. The spec sheet

says its unaffected by chemicals except hydrofloric and phosphoric acid and

strong alkalies. I dont remember the distributor (he was at the Blade

Symposium) but the address of the mfr is:

Johns-Mansfield Aerospace Dept.

Ken-Caryl Ranch

Denver, CO 80217


You might can call them and get the name of a local distributor.



Hi all:

I played hooky from work today, due to an equipment failure and found a

company that carries one hell of a selection of refractories and


It's the, "E.J. Bartells Co." They have offices in: Anchorage, Billings,

Mt, Denver, Co, Eugene, Or, Kennewick, Wa, Medford, Or, Portland, Or,

Renton, Wa, Salt Lake City, Ut and Spokane, Wa.

I picked up some 1" 8lb Kaowool for $0.60/sq,ft and a ramable refractory

with a working temp of 3,100f that's chemically resistant, especially to

caustics for $20.25/50lbs (1/3 cu ft). Hot borax? HAH! <grin>

The ramable is supposed to fire to a rigid but non-chipping/cracking

finish, it's supposed to be almost as tough as concrete at heat and very

abrasion resistant.

This stuff isn't even close to their high end refractories either, they

were out of the 3,300f castable I would rather have used but they had a

good supply of 4,300f firebrick, all the Kaowool products and lot's


Just thought you'd like to know. <grin>



Doug, I cast the roof of my forge (2" thick by 12" x 20")

with a refractory cement called LITECAST 50/25

which I obtained from UNITED WESTERN SUPPLY (UNI-WEST)

4401 E 46th Ave, DENVER CO 80216. Fax 303-388-0922

Tel 303-388-1224

It worked very well for me.



Subject: Re: Fire Brick Use in Forging

Kallen Jenne or Naiara Junqueira wrote:

> I'm was wondering whether you can use fire brick in forge construction

> instead of refractory brick. I had two thoughts on this: 1) what kind of

> heat can fire brick take naturally and 2) can you coat it with some type of

> refractory coating to increase it's value in the forge?

> Anyone have any thoughts or experience in this matter?

> Kallen

There is a product the I use for lining the forge called Super-G.

It is a refractory clay available in 100 # box from A.P.Green for

around $ 35.00. It has been replaced by a new but similar product

but I do not have the number/name of the new one.

To use the clay, break off a chunk, place it on your forge and with

a hammer pound it down until it is layered about 3/4" to 1-1/2"

thick. I recommend not lining the firepot but so the rest of the


After the forge is covered build a fire on the new clay using

charcol briquetts. Spread the fire over all the new clay and let

the charcol burn until exhausted. It is now ready to use.

One word of caution. Keep the forge out of the rain. Rain or

constant soaking will cause the refractory to disolve and break

down. Mine has been used for about 5 years now.

Hope it helps.


Return To Index


To all of you out there who have tried to use theforge

archives, I have compiled a few notes that may help you

get there from wherever you are. The instructions from the

forge itself are not exactly clear and then are written

for those who are UNIX versed, so I thought maybe a little

"Archives for Beginners" would help us all out a bit.

Theforge archives can be accessed by any subscriber to the

forge. Since theforge is a public archive, you don't need

to use a password for simple searches. This simplifies the

command line that you need to send.

There are really only five commands you can send to the

archive as a user:

index --> gets a list of all the files in theforge archive.

The list is not very creative, but is easy to understand:

There is one file for each month's worth of e-mails

and the names of the files are in this form:

log9612 --> e-mails from December, 1996

log9703 --> e-mails from March, 1997

log9511 --> e-mails from November, 1995

(see the pattern?)

These files are often quite large (between 1 and 2 megabytes)

and contain all the e-mails for that month that went

through the forge.

get -->actually gets a selected file from the archive and

delivers it to you in pieces of about 70kb via e-mail.

the 1.8 megabyte file comes in about 25 separate e-mails!

search --> searches the selected archive file or all files for

lines in the file that contain the selected search

pattern. It then echoes back to you, via e-mail, a list

of the lines it found and the file that it found them in.

Unfortunately, it only sends back the single line, which

often does not give much insight into the content of the

entry itself.

fax --> like 'get', it gets a particular file and sends it

to you on a fax rather than on e-mail. (I have never personally

tried this!)

view --> like 'get' but in interactive mode, just catenates the

file on the screen. ( I haven't tried this myself either!)

The commands are USED in the following manner:

You send an e-mail to '' NOTICE that this

is NOT the same place that you send mail to the forge!!! That is

''. If you send these archive commands to

theforge, you will get a pleasant nastygram informing you of your


Also, the text of the command is put in the BODY of the e-mail,

NOT in the subject entry. You can put anything you want into

the subject slot, maybe just a reminder of what you are trying

to accomplish.


to get an index listing, which is not very glamorous

afterall, simply enter this line only

index theforge

in the BODY of your e-mail.

You will soon get back a list from the forge of all the

files that you can download or search in the form

described above (like I said it is not very glamorous!)


If you want to search for a particular topic, you can

enter the following command in the body of the e-mail:

search theforge "pattern"

Substitute the string you want to search for for pattern.

Now here is the tricky part, if you do not know UNIX very

well or not at all:

there are several "operators" that can help

define the pattern you are searching for:

'&' - "logical and" - this allows you to search

for more than 1 pattern at the same time:

search theforge "books & clay"

searches for any LINE that contains both the word

'books' AND the word 'clay', but not necessarily

beside each other in the line.

'|' - logical or - this allows you to search

for lines that contain one or the other or both

of the entries:

search theforge "books | clay"

searches for any line that contains either books

OR clay or BOTH.

'~' - negation - allows you to exclude any line

containing that pattern: Unfortunately, I have never

been able to get the negation operator to work

properly. Perhaps if there is someone out there

that has, I can add it in here with an example.

Every time I have tried this operator, I get an

illegal message message.

('SURE', you say, 'Clear as mud' . . . Well, just

experiment a bit, what the heck!)

Anyway, you will get an e-mail back from the forge with a list

of all the 'found' lines and the file in which they are found.

Unfortunately, it only works for individual lines, which may

not give you much information. Ultimately, you will have to

download the file or 'view' it to find the answers. It DOES

help to locate significant threads that may have surfaced

in the past months.


To get the file containing all the entries from the month

of May, 1997, simply enter the following line

alone in the body of your e-mail to listproc:

get theforge log9705

You will get back a series of e-mails containing the broken

up file. You may want to piece it back together.

Unfortunately, the files do not get delivered in any

particular order, so if you want to recombine them in

order, you need to search each one for the proper order

before recombining.

The nice thing about the way the files are stored on the forge

is that individuals files represent a time-block group (1 month)

rather than a topic. Once you have downloaded a particular

month, it will not be changed in the future. Eventually, you

can get the entire archive on your own disk as a reference!

This 'archives for dummies' is not an exhaustive treatment of

the archives access by users, but a tutorial in the basics and

how to get started. More detailed info can be found by sending


OR help archive

in the body of an e-mail to listproc (remember this is not the

same place you send the forge listings).

You will get back an e-mail with lots of good stuff about the

archive, but written for UNIX savvy users and somewhat

lacking in clarity for the uninitiated!

If I have misrepresented anything, please forgive me, given

the number of repeat questions and the references to the

archives, it seemed a prudent thing to offer a concise

tutorial to the process. If you have tried something else

that works, I will gladly add it to this file and republish!

Frederick W. Faller

Return To Index


> I don't know if this is what your after, but I use a product called

> "Compound-302" to clean my s/s projects after I am done with the TIG

> weld.... seems to clean up the color and aids in the finish too. >snip<

> Steve

Thanks to everybody for the info. I've been searching the net for hours,

which I rarely do, and I've learned a lot. For anyone interested, read on,

all others, move on (you've been warned)...

Now, I'm no expert, but here's what I've gathered:

Stainless steel, when ground, heated, etc, can leave iron molecules exposed

on the surface, which can begin the process of corrosion. This corrosion can

accelerate, causing serious problems in the long run.

A way to treat this problem is through stainless steel "passivation." This is

typically done in heated baths using a mixture of approximately 30% Nitric

acid and water. The problem I encountered was a lack of nitric baths in this

area large enough to dip the pieces I am producing. Nitric acid takes a while

to achieve the desired effect, so spraying the solution on was not a viable

option, as it would evaporate before fully passivating the surface.

I've just found a product (on the 'net) that the producers claim is being

used by some people as a spray-on solution. It is called CitriSurf

(1-847-854-2800), the man on the phone was very helpful. He told me this

product is a citric-based acid that works the same as nitric acid, only much

faster, thus making it possible to spray this solution on the piece. Another

benefit is that this product is much more environmentally friendly, and much

less toxic. Usual precautions of gloves, respirator, goggles, etc, are still


This product was developed for use in baths as an alternative to the nitric

solution, but is much more viable as a spray-on treatment than the nitric due

to it's faster working time (about 10 minutes). It's available in 5 gal. and

55 gal. quantities, I'm getting the 5 gal. quantity, it's about $110, but

it's in concentrate form, and will make about 70 gallons. (that ought to last

me awhile!)

Once I use it, I'll report back about how it went. I guess the real test make

take a few years, so we'll see...

Usual note on this kind of letter: I have NO affiliation with this company in

any way, I won't even get a beer for telling people about it. :(



>Is Miracle Grow the same stuff as concrete cleaner?

>Someone correct me if I'm wrong-

>Miracle Grow= MuriAtic Acid, Concrete Cleaner= MurItic Acid?

>I'm interested in the descaling properties of either. How much do you use

>in a five gallon bucket for descaling?




i've never used miracle grow for descaling but have used muriatic acid.

i have a rubber garbage can behind my shop about 3/4 full. it is mixed

about 1 part musiatic acid, (from the gallon containers available at any

hardware store) to about 5 parts water. pieces that will fit i just

suspend in the tub. if to big i paint the solution on, let sit about 20

minutes then rinse, and neutralixe with baking soda. i don't use this for

forged iron, just to get mill scale off plate steel prior to a rust or

patina finish.

till later

roger olsen,


> Subject: Cleaning Welds

> I'm interested in methods anyone may have for cleaning hard to get to areas

> after forge welding to prevent flux residue showing up later. Thanks in

> advance.

> Dan Cruzan


I've had good results from soaking forge welded pieces in phosphoric acid

solution. I mixed a roughly 10% acid by volume water solution. I soak pieces

for 30 - 45 minutes, then dunk them into sodium bicarbonate solution to

neutralize and then paint or whatever.

I'll read whatever other responses you get. I may see one that's easier than



Return To Index

CHEAP BANDSAWS: (See Page 1 also)

......I agree with David, the bandsaw is a great step up from the

power hacksaw. For $200 ( from Harbor Freight ) I've used mine

everyday for 10 years with no major problems. And if you go to:

you will find plans to make a great stand for this type of saw complete

with a coolant pump and recovery system.

and you can get bi-metal blades for this type of saw (64 1/2" x 1/2")

for $13 each at a place in Mississippi named Tyler Tool Co.

601-876-2145. I went through several hundred 'carbon steel' blades

before I wised up to the bi-metal.

Dave Mudge / Magic Hammer Forge /

Editor for: Louisiana Metalsmiths' Association

-----Original Message-----

From: Dr. David C. Hufford <clshuffo@ACS.EKU.EDU>

To: <>

Date: Monday, October 13, 1997 2:37 PM

Subject: Re: Metal Band Saws/power hacksaws

> wrote:


>> Question:

>> Has anyone built the (Gingery Plans) power hacksaw or the band saw?

>> o Did you have to beef-up any sections etc.

>> o Does the saw perform well (rate of cut etc.)


>I built the Gingery power hacksaw about 4 years ago. It was a good

>learning experience as I hadn't built any sort of power equipment

>before. There are a couple of errors in the plans, which I can alert

>you to if you decide to pursue the project; and a couple of places I

>deviated from his design. With at least a 1/2 HP motor the saw performs

>well, and has the advantage of using inexpensive hardware store-variety

>12-inch blades. However, I retired the hacksaw in preference for a band

>saw (which I purchased, not built).


>David C. Hufford


Dave Mudge wrote:

> ......I agree with David, the bandsaw is a great step up from the

> power hacksaw. For $200 ( from Harbor Freight ) I've used mine

> everyday for 10 years with no major problems. And if you go to:


> you will find plans to make a great stand for this type of saw complete

> with a coolant pump and recovery system.

The url you sent is deadern a door nail. The url that works is:

Phil Rosche

Summerville, SC

Return To Index

GAS FORGES: (See Page 1 also)

Ralph A Kessler wrote:

> Hello to all on the Forge.

> I know that there are two types of Gas Forges.

> Does any one have a set of plans for the second type.


Matt Wills in Wichita, KS has some good, proven forge designs. E-mail

him at ""

Mike George


At 04:08 PM 9/29/97 EDT, you wrote:

>I had an interesting talk with Hans Peot yesterday at Quad State 97. The

>plans for the propane forge that I had built said "based on a design by

>Hans Peot." As it turns out Mr. Peot had nothing to do with the plan for

>this particular forge and didn't seem to appreciate his name being

>associated with "that atmospheric junk." The forge that he designed is

>the one with one burner and a blower and he was adamant that this was the

>ONLY one that he had anything to do with and don't believe anything that

>you get from the net. He told me that you have no control over the

>environment inside the atmospheric models and you have complete control

>with his. Very good point.






>PS: I thought that the atmospheric junk worked pretty well



If you want to see good atmospheric "junk", take a look at the Sandia Forge

(plans available from ABANA) that Robb Gunter helped design. I've seen a

lot of gas forges over the last couple of years and this past weekend I saw

my first Sandia Forge (built by Guild of Metalsmiths in MN). I was really

impressed with it's design and efficiency. Robb Gunter was using this

forge. It ran routinely at 5# pressure and he jumped the pressure to 12#

for welding. The pre-heat for the air heats the air to about 900 degrees.

That is not only a lot of recovered heat, it significantly improves the

efficiency of the forge.

The Sandia Forge is an atmospheric forge and calling it "junk" shows a lack

of knowledge of this forge. Some of the atmospherics may well be "junk",

but this one certainly isn't. After seeing it work, I'll take it and pass

on the forced air forges.

I don't know Hans Peot, but do know of him. He may be a gifted smith and

knowledgeable about a lot of things, but he is a bit off track on this.

At least that is what I think.

Dave Brown

Return To Index

STEEL INFORMATION: (See Volume #1 also)


> Ron, I have made gravers by reforging Nicholson files that were no longer

> good as files. Of course, the fewer heats you take, the less carbon you

> loose. I used the gravers on zinc plates for printing, and on mild steel for decoration.

> Chris

> Alexandria, Va.


> On Wed, 12 Feb 1997 22:15:57 -0700 "Ron Reil" <> writes:

> > I need a small amount of ultra high carbon steel, around 130 points.

> >I need it to make up some gravers. . . .

How about using lathe tool blanks. Any good tool supply shold have them,

our local welding supply even carries them. I buy mine ad a discount

industrial tool place for about $1.50 each, and they also have them in

1/8". If you need longer than about 2.5", you could weld the tool blank

to something else for the handle end. I have some gravers that I made

from used chain saw files.

Just my thoughts as my brain thaws out from the -20 degree trip into work


Otto Bacon


Ron, I would try an old file first. The carbon content in old files is

very high, and certainly much cheaper than buying some specialty alloy

off someone's shelf. There is a nasty rumor that new files are case

hardened mild steel with the teeth cut into the case only. So, I would

find a really old file at the flea market or someone's junk pile. Forge

close to final shape, and carefully grind and file to final shape, harden

and temper to staw for wood, softer for metal. Rule I remember is, the

harder the material to be cut, the softer the temper color.



To All,

Drill rod is typically 1.2-1.3% C depending on the manufacturer. I think that

Cartech has a web page and they should list their tool steels and


Files are red short to a fault. They will also fall apart if they get a

little too hot. I don't think there will be a problem in a gas forge but in a

coal forge just pay attention to what you are doing.

The plain high carbon tool steels do decarburize but not as badly as you

might think. Just leave enough stock for removal after forging.



Ron Reil wrote:

> Lee, I am a little confused about the "O" series of tool steel. Looking in

> my reference book it seems that O-1 steel will reach a maximum hardness of

> about 58 Rockwell C, tempered at 200 degrees F, while 120 point carbon

> steel will achieve about 67 Rockwell C hardness, and 130 point close to 70

> RC with the same tempering at 200 degrees. It would seem to me that the

> "O" series would not be hard enough for gravers. I am asking, since I am

> not all that knowledgeable about the letter series of steels. I know the

> "O" means oil hardening, but am I mistaken that 58 would be pretty soft for

> a graver that would be used on steel and other metals?

> Your comments would be most appreciated. Thanks.

Ron...Oil hardening tool & die steel (O-1 in this case) is (quoting from

the machinists handbook) "A low alloy tool steel with low tendency to

warpage. Used for cutting tools in applications where high heat is not

produced, such as taps and threading dies, press dies for blanking,

trimming, and forming dies in short to medium runs.

Any choice of steels is always a compromise proposition. You are

balancing hardness, toughness, ease of machining, resistance to warpage

during heat treat, cost, etc.

O-1 is a relatively inexpensive tool steel with properties that should

meet your criteria. There are better choices out there, but may not be

readily available inexpensively.

Enjoy the hunt.

Lee Marshall

Bonny Doon Engineering



I did find at least one source for 100 point steel. Crucible Service

Centers ( has AISI 52100 steel. A lot of the other

suggestions sound a lot better than trying to buy small quantities of steel

from any supplier, though.

I also located a suppler of alloy and tool steels closer to you neck of the

woods. Pacific Machinery & Tool Steel is in Portland, OR. (800) 547-1091. I

did not make a note of their URL, however. :-( They have plow and spring

steels and various A, O and S steels.




I have made gravers and chisels for carving metal from both O1 and

W1 tool steel they are both about .1% carbon. They work well for this

purpous. Ron you were wanting a higher carbon content but I think that you

will find that the higher carbon content will make the tools too brittle

and they will break in use. Even with the O1 and W1 steels I temper the

tool after hardening to a pale straw yellow this will reduce the tendency

to shatter in use. If you realy need harder tools then you need colbalt

alloy tool steel or other alloy steel . These are very hard to heat treat

without special equipment if you want to get the advertised hardness of

these special alloys. So I would start with O1 and W1 both of which are

sold as drill rod by most tool and machinery supply houses (Reid, Rutland,




> > I need a small amount of ultra high carbon steel, around 130 points. I

> > need it to make up some gravers for engraving work. Ideally it would be

> > about 1/4 inch in cross section, but I can draw it down if its bigger, but

> > not much bigger. <grin> If you have anything like that laying around

> > collecting dust, or know a source for it, I would appreciate knowing about

> > it.


> Try they have a wide variety of metals and sell by the

> inch. Reasonable rates and no cutting charge.


> Doug Couts >>


> Don't bother with metalmart. They do not have any high carbon steel alloys

> at all. The highest carbon content of their alloys was about 45 points.


> Keith

Try a place called Metal Supermarkets. Their ad claims that they can

get whatever you want. I figured I would try them out.

I called in the morning asking for a 3' piece of rectangular S7,

1/2"x1". Not a huge order! That afternoon, they called me back with a

price of $31.32 plus shipping. I ended up buying a 12' piece of it for

$93. This works out to $4.42/pound, which is not a bad price for

rectangular S7.

Please note that these prices include a 15% discount for first time


Metal Supermarkets


1675 Tonne Road

Elk Grove, IL 60007



184 Selig Drive

Atlanta, GA 30336


Their ad lists many shapes of aluminum, stainless, brass, copper,

carbon steel, tool steel, bearing bronze, alloy bar. They also

(appropriately) say things like "sick of paying high prices for small

quantities? tired of meeting minimum orders?".

Steven O. Smith


At 01:24 PM 2/14/97 -0500, you wrote:

>Does anyone know the carbon content of your standard, fluted concrete

>nails? I've been using them to make engraving chisels (which work

>great, incidentally), but I don't know the percent(points) of carbon

>they contain.

>David C. Hufford

I don't know the carbon content, but they certainly do make good engraving

tools. We had a demonstration of this at the November meeting of UMBA.

While I've never tried it, what I saw worked great. And, the price is right.

Dave Brown

**************** wrote:

> Ron,

> I did find at least one source for 100 point steel. Crucible Service

> Centers ( has AISI 52100 steel. A lot of the other

> suggestions sound a lot better than trying to buy small quantities of steel

> from any supplier, though.


> I also located a suppler of alloy and tool steels closer to you neck of the

> woods. Pacific Machinery & Tool Steel is in Portland, OR. (800) 547-1091. I

> did not make a note of their URL, however. :-( They have plow and spring

> steels and various A, O and S steels.

> Keith

You can get 52100 steel from roller bearing races. And the ball bearings

for that matter.




I've just done what you're hesitant to do over the years..Actually I've

been turned onto old equipment that's just out in a field or scrap heaps that

are on old homesteads. Seems most of such stuff doesn't ever find its way

to the scrap yards unless the farm has been bought by a non-farmer/rancher

who just wants to clean up. Keep your eyes peeled on back roads. One

warning is that the conveyor steel rods are almost always still intact and

thus are linked together and are very heavy to move unless you take the

time to "unlink" them or have a cutting torch to cut them into managable

sections to move. Good luck

Barry... Twisp, Wa.


In a message dated 97-02-13 08:52:07 EST, you write:

<< I need a small amount of ultra high carbon steel, around 130 points. >>

W1 tool steel can have up to that amount or more, but is usually in the

.80/.90 range. If you check W1 or "water hardening" DRILL ROD, you find that

the carbon is much higher, around the 1.05 to 1.25 range. Ask for mill

certifications, they will have them.

Mike Schermerhorn


<< Does anyone know what kind of steel is use in fork lift tangs

It must be something good!! I have one that is about 2"X 4"X 4'+

E-YA, GBH... :-) >>

I had a customer bring one in that he had bent. He wanted me to straighten

and retemper it. When I called the forklift manufacturer, they said that the

tang was made out of 1045.



I would suspect that if the stainless and was used in the food

processing industry it is probably a "mild" stainless and is not

hardenable. There are stainless steels that harden and are a favourite

of todays knife makers. Namely ATS34 and 440C. these are usually air

hardened. I really don't think that a stainless would make good punches

and chisles.

You would be better off trying old struts from the auto industry. These

are often an "S" ( shock resistant )type steel and harden into some

dandy punches and chisels.

Stainless also doesn't fare too well in a coal forge as it soaks up the

sulfer gases produced thereby ruining the steel.

I have forged some ATS34, not into punches but rather into a hook. Just

had to try. It is "Red Hard" ( doesn't move too well even into orange

) It also retains a lot of stiffness and is difficult to shape. Be

carefull not to get it too hot or it does "red short"...

Wayne Hirkala..


>Talked to the highway dept. grader driver and he said , "If the edge of the

>blade has a burr on the edge that is in contact with the ground, it is of

>high carbon plow steel. If it is rounded, it is a high tungston ,chrome

>steel." I made a knife out of the tungston stuff and it lost its fine cutting

>edge after only a few cuts, then wore the slightly rounded edge through

>anything I could throw at it. A metalurgist friend of miine told me that it

>is its nature, do to the tungston.

> Steve Rollert

My steel supplier sells grader blades in varying sizes. They call it "cut

edge". It is 1045.

Bob Schade


In a message dated 97-05-15 00:27:35 EDT, you write:

<< This would be directed more to Steve Rollert. Myself a novice in knife

making, I read all sorts of articles by master knifesmiths who make thier

wares from exotic materials such as D2, A2, L6, AST34, etc, etc, & and so on.

My experience as a diemaker ( actually die maintenance ) has shown me that

most of these materials are expensive, difficult to heat-treat properly, and

once sharpened do have an extremely good edge. However, once chipped or worn,

is very hard to hone back to a sharp edge. They would be OK for a

presentation piece or show piece. But I would think that if you were going to

make a good utility/hunting knife, you would want a good tough material such

as 1065,1080,1095, 5160 and the like.

I also need to find some of these knife making classes in my area.

Presently, I don't have the time to take off of work to attend some of them.

I suppose I'll have to break down and buy a few good knife making books. And

I appreciate the hint on the hint on making the cutler hammers from a rail

spike hammer. Now my only problem will be to find one of those.

Steve Rabuck


With the proper heat treat and temper the "exotic" steels as you put it will

hold up very well under normal use. If you chip an edge, you are abusing the

knife, period. You are right that it will be difficult to resharpen these

materials, but the amazing increase in cutting ability is well worth it. The

other tool steels you mention also make good knives, no question about that.

One of the main considerations when choosing the steel to make a knife out

of is what the knife will be used for, and what type of person will be using it.

If you don't already have it, "The Complete Bladesmith" by Jim Hrisoulas

should be required reading material for all budding knifemakers IMHO.



Many leaf springs are 5160, some are 1060-1080 hi carbon steel. All of these

are considered low allow steels and can be annealed by heating to a uniform

dull red color and packing in vermiculite or wood ashes or powdered lime and

letting it slowly cool down overnight.

Heat treat by quenching from a red to red-orange color in oil (30 wt motor oil

will work). For these steels you can verify you are at the right temperature

by checking the hot steel with a magnet, when the magnet won't stick anymore

you are hot enough. Then temper in an oven at 350-450 degrees for 20-30

minutes three times with an air cool in between each temper session. The

higher the temper temperature the softer the tool will be.

Use a file to check the hardness, after the initial quench and before tempering

the file should skate accross the surface of the steel without biting in.

After tempering it should just barely bite in. How hard you leave it after

tempering depends on how it will be used.



Experts of the list...

And compared to me the rest of you are just that. Want to start out

today by thanking everyone for being such a great group of people,

I've learned more lately then I can ever hope to keep in my limited

little mind (especially whilst trying to pass College Physics).

Anyway, my question (seems I have only questions and never advice.

The guy who is getting some scrap steel from a spring place for me

brought me a phamplet that they handed out during one of their

mandatory classes. It lists the steel that they use. Some of the

steel types I have never seen before so I thought that I would ask you

guys and see what you had to say. Here is the list

SUP 6 - mainly contains silicon, which raises the elastic limit; and

manganese, which improves hardenability


7 - contains more silicon than SUP6. Silicon raises the elastic

limit and helps the spring risist permanent set. Care must be taken

with its use because it makes the spring more susceptible to


SUP 9A (5160M) - Manganese and chrome are added to increase

hardenability so that it can be used for items which are thicker than

the ones using SUP6 and SUP7.

SUP 10 - Chrome and vanadium steel improves hardenability and

toughness for springs which will undergo great stress

SUP 11A - boron has been introdued to provide better hardenability

than that of SUP9A. It can be used with thicker springs than those

made with SUP9A.

SUP 12V (SRS-60) - Chrome and vanadium have been added to SUP6,

prividing great resistance to permanent set throught refining of

crystal grains.

SUP7 OTW - Materials with components of SUP7 are preheated (tempering

and cooled (quenching). (This doesn't makes sense to me, the order

that is, and I am assuming that the terms are are not right, switched

or I don't know what I am talking about. The phamplet goes on to talk

about the structures involved in heat treating, gives temperature

versus time charts which show grain structure, etc. so I am baffled by


ND 250S - Hass a lesser amount of carbon than other spring steels.

Nickel, molybdenum and vanadium have been added to it, making it

harder than previous springs. It can be used under high stress


The list of things that they are used for is as follows:

SUP6 - Leaf Springs

SUP7 - Coil Springs

SUP9A (5160M) - leaf, coil radius rods, torsion bars, solid


SUP10 - Leaf Springs

SUP11A - Leaf Springs

SUP12V (SRS-60) - Coil Springs, Torsion bars

SUP7 OTW-D - Cold formed coil springs

S45C - Induction hardened torsion bars

S48C - Sold stabilizers

ND25OS - Coil springs

They also list ASB25N which is a seam welded pipe containing boron to

improve hardenability for water quenching. This hollow stock is used

for stabilizers.

I know what 5160 is and I am assuming that 5160M is for the manganese,

am I right? If nothing else this kinds gives a really clear picture

of what kind of stock modern springs (including many foreign cards to

include Honda and Nissan as this company is making springs for lots of

cars) are made out of. Hope that this isn't repetative and if anyone

can clue me in on what this SUP stands for and what types of steels

these are I'd appreciate it.



Return To Index


I visited a metalworkers shop yesterday and was shown a fine looking

treadle hammer. It has excellent craftmanship, finish, and balance with a

leaf spring system. A fine tuning wheel adjust it. This hammer is 125 lb.

and cost $1000. So I called the guy, Cliff Yeary, that builds them and I

hope to have a picture soon. He is building another design that he says is

much improved! The new one is 130 lb. and cost $1200. He is trying to get

his hand drawn plans and operating manual on a computer. Cliff said that

hammer construction turnaround is about three days now. Possibly will sell

the plans, and he mentioned making some tooling such as dies, swage block,

etc., also. With his permission, I'm posting his name, address (no email


Cliff Yeary


The Sheppard hammer uses a "rocker arm" type mechanism and the ram moves

vertically; the Spencer-style hammer uses a "swing arm" type mechanism

and the ram moves in an arc. In my experience, the Sheppard hammer has

less "snap" and more force of impact is transmitted back to your foot

via the direct linkage of the design. The only other disadvantage of

the Sheppard hammer is the more limited clearance between the ram and

the anvil; however, I haven't found that to be a problem in my work.

The Sheppard hammer is more compact, and the vertical path of the ram

negates the need for adjustment for different size stock or workpieces.

I've had a Sheppard (Tick Creek Forge) hammer for two years and been

very pleased with it. The only improvement I could suggest is use of a

solid anvil post rather than the tube-filled-with-concrete anvil post

which mine has.


Is this the hammer that uses 4 springs in the back,

if so I have all the drawings.

Mike wolfe 313-668-0404

At 07:35 PM 5/11/97 +0000, you wrote:

>in the anvil's ring vol. 24 no. 2 pg. 16there is a picture of a

>treadle style hammer. i have been told that it is called a 'big lick

>hammer .' is this correct? i am interested in building said hammer

>and would like to know if plans are available for this design.

>any help would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance

>daniel-waxing moon forge



The "Big Lick" treadle hammer is built snd sold by Richard Sheppard, Tick

Creek Forge in Bruceton Mills, W. Va. Shop phone 304-379-7450. I don't

know if the plans are available, you"ll have to check with him.


On Sun, 11 May 1997 19:35:29 +0000 "Daniel" writes:

>in the anvil's ring vol. 24 no. 2 pg. 16there is a picture of a

>treadle style hammer. i have been told that it is called a 'big lick

>hammer .' is this correct? i am interested in building said hammer

>and would like to know if plans are available for this design.

>any help would be greatly appreciated thanks in advance

>daniel-waxing moon forge


Always the heretic, I'd like to weigh in on treadle hammer anvils....

I have built a few treadle hammers. I use two currently, one in the shop

and one demonstrating. Both have hollow columns. I have never found the

lack of weight to be the slightest issue. I have found that regardless of

weight, having used just about every type around in demos that I have flown

to (no treadle hammer fits the overhead luggage compartment), that they do

need to be bolted down. I have also found a distinct advantage to the (4")

square tube (1/4" wall) column left can drift through a slit

hole. I have cut an opening in the side and put an angled piece of plate

about 10" below the bottom plate. This allows a drift to pass through and

out of the tube column into a bucket of water. In 10 years of almost

daily use there has been no deformation of the tube wall. In as many years

of demonstrating on other types I have not noticed a disadvantage in the

lack of 'anvil' weight.

I also have the original ABANA plan springs on all of the ones I have

built. They are 8 smaller-wire type springs that are very easy to extend

on the downstroke and they give a quick return. An advantage of this

approach is the rapidity of stroke, for layout and fast multiple passes as

well as the fact that less effort is needed to extend those springs in

general to make a blow. All the spring does is return the head to the

upright position so a stiff, heavy spring can make the work more tiring

and the hammer less responsive as you work to overcome the heavier

spring(s). The light action of the hammers I use can be illustrated by the

fact that I can do layout chisel cuts, incising and repousse' just flexing

my ankle. A full stomp moves the head very fast, thus imparting a lot of

energy through the tooling into the stock for splitting and fullering. The

head weight is about 85lb.

The springs lifting head of the treadle hammer should allow it to float

just enough to raise it into the starting position, any more 'lift' is

simply more to overcome on the leg operated down stroke. The head should

be at a balance where the spring overcomes the head-weight and no more.

Head weight and velocity (overcoming the springs lift) of that head gives

the hammer its heavy swat.

George Dixon


James P. Ryan wrote:

>Anybody have a online picture of a treadle hammer?

>I have never seen one and just can't get a grasp of it.

I haven't seen one online, but you could call Jere Kirkpatrick,

800-367-5373. He has a flyer with a photo of one. He sells kits for $625,

and of course numerous other items like tapes and books. His company is

Valley Forge and Welding, open 8 am - 5 pm Pacific time.



Dear Ron;

Glad to hear from you. I do not sell plans for the "Big Lick". The

hammer sells for 1050.00 dollars + tax (if any), and shipping. I deliver

them if you are fairly close. I am also beginning to take orders and sell

tools I have made specifically for use with the treadle hammer. If you

would give me your address, I would be glad to send you a flier on the

hammer. Have a great summer.

Yours in Smithing,

Richard N. Sheppard

Tick Creek Forge

P.O. Box 146

Bruceton Mills, WV 26525

Ph. (304) 379-2807 office

(304) 379-7450 home



>I didn't know about the possible power upgrade to the hammer. That is

>worth knowing about.

>I still do not know the weight of the hammer, but I assume it is

>about 65 pounds like the other designs.

Checked my notes & didn't see that but I remember it being in the 60-80 lb


>Just looking at the foggy image I have of it really looks like a fine >unit.

I had planned to bring a camera to the event & left it home on the counter.

>It also looks, although I could be in error, that it may be a little >more

compact than other designs.

Yes it is. Richard brought 7 out west dropped one off in Spokane & sold 6

at the event.

> I have no doubt that it would put me light years ahead of where I

>am now on capability to work heavy sections, especially with both hands

>on the work.

The hammer does good heavy blows but remarkably can do som very fine light

work as well.

>If you think of any thing else about the hammer I would love to hear >it.

The springs at the back have a hose around them to cut down on the noise.

The back vertical tube is filled full of sand, the front one the anvil

rests on is sand about half way & then concrete. The anvil comes with it's

own ...I guess hardy hole..which has a tapped screw into the side so the

tool won't slip. It comes with an optional 1" thick round plate that slips

into the hole to do work on....whcih also has an ofset hardy hole for

helper tools.

The head slides inside a another square tube, about 5-6", which also has

the sides tapped for a screw fitting in which a silicon bushing sits (3

sides) which helps the head move smoothly without any problems. The unit

itself weighs about 550 lbs & has a fairly small foot print. they were

using them on top of 3/4" ply over the dirt so they are very stable when

using them.

Hope that helps....

Bob Miller


Dave B. wrote:

> Is there anyone on this list who has experience with one of richard

> Sheppard's "Big "Lick" treadle hammers?

I purchased one of Richard Sheppard's Tick Creek Forge treadle hammers

from the first batch he made. I've been very pleased with it. The

major advantage is the the vertical motion of the ram, which negates any

adjustment for work piece/tooling size. It is a very compact design

and, in my opinion, well made. The disadvantage of the vertical motion

ram is the fixed and limited clearance between ram and anvil, which is

about 11 inches on my model; tooling height needs to be kept to a

minimum to allow for maximum travel of the ram. Also, the rocker-arm

type linkage between treadle and ram seems to transmit more impact shock

back to the operator's foot/leg, but this has not proven to be of

consequence in my experience. In addition, I feel the Sheppard hammer

has less "snap" to the blows than the Spencer-type/swing arm hammer;

however, with an 80+ lb ram, the hammer delivers sufficient force for

most purposes.


>Roger,What are the functions you use the treadle hammer most for? I have a

>power hammer and am collecting the parts for a kinyon air hammer. I have

>only begun to think on treadle hammers as I haven't even seen one

>yet..........sheltered life heh? Ralph

>Ralph Sproul

Lately I've been using it for "step over" forgings. I've just finished

ironing a house with step overs being a part of the theme, they were used

on fireplace doors, mirror and picture frames, and some trim work. I made

a top and bottom form and used the Big Lick for the forging. It worked

great. I also am amazed how often I am going to it for a quick "flatter

run" across a piece of iron to level it up. I have a flatter that lives

just next to the Big Lick. This use may be more important to me than

others as my 260 lb Peter Wright has about a 3/32 nd saddle in it.

I also use it for top working iron, you know that kind of work that is

somewhat akin to leatherworking, I have about 3 coffee cans full of

different top tools for surface work.

This is just a small sampling of what it can do, and these are all examples

of procedures I would not or could not do under a power hammer. I am

looking forward to seeing a video of Clay Spencer demonstrating on the uses

of a treadle hammer. I am sure it will enlighten me further. I ordered

the tape from:

An outlet for Blacksmith products & video tapes. I have not received tyhem yet.

Till later,

Roger Olsen


Dear Ron;

Sorry I have not gotten back to you sooner. I have been very busy,

but also have had some computer problems!!!!

As for the hammer, I am not currently planning any trips out west.

I may be in the midwest (Missouri), at the next conferance there.

Otherwise, I am not sure. If you want a hammer, we might be able to arrange

something with a carrier going your direction that would not be so

expensive. I'll keep checking and maybe so can you.

As to tools. I am currently making a 12 piece set, (6 sets of 2

each), which sells for 149.95 plus shipping. I accept Master Card and Visa.

Was great hearing from you and hope all is well with you and yours.

Happy Smithing

Richard N. Sheppard

Return To Index

HYDRAULIC PRESSES: (See Volume #1 also)

I finally finished the hydraulic press that I started back in January. It

has 15" platens with a post guided die set for holding coining and other

types of dies. I built all of the innards first so as to make absolutely

sure that there would be plenty of daylight available. It has a 50 ton

cylinder with a 6" stroke and an electric pump system.

Taking advice from AM I used the 7018 rod and probably have over 60 linear

inches of weld on each corner of the press.

I love it. Now I just have to figure out what color to paint it and build a

steel table to hold this monster.

Thank you Lee, Frosty, Valerie and everyone else who helped me with this


Kenneth Gastineau


>> Steve, I strongly suggest you communicate with Lee Marshall about hydraulic

>> press requirements for forge work. It is not worth "poor boying" it in the

>> press department. They have to be very powerful, but also very fast, and

>Thanks, I've stared a lot at Lee's web page. Good stuff, but he is

>selling finished presses--hardly fair to ask him for free advice about

>building my own!

>Batson's plans are far from poor boying it. He's designed around a 5",

>24 ton cylinder, 1-2" per second travel (2-5HP), severely overdesigned

>C frame (reinforced 14" web, 38lb/ft I beam..).

>Steven O. Smith

>Fort Collins, Colorado




To all those interested:

The basic rule of thumb is: 1hp= 1gal-min@1500psi

This rule applies to electric motors.

other rules that follow from this one are:

1 electric motor hp= 1 1/2 hydraulic motor hp

1 gasoline engine hp= 2/3 hydraulic motor hp

1 hydraulic motor hp= 1 2/3 gasoline engine hp

1 hydraulic motor hp= 2/3 electric motor hp

1 electric motor hp= 2 1/2 gasoline engine hp

and I'll bet you thought a hp was a hp ...........hah! but from

this you should be able to figure your needs. The other thing to figure is

the cubic inches in a gallon

I think the 38lb/ft I beam is a good idea for a 24 ton ram.That

is alot of power. You could easily bend 2" schedule 40...........(cold!) so

think what you could do hot! step is to think about lifting it.

Hydraulics are great! Ralph

Ralph Sproul

Bear Hill Blacksmith

Return To Index


>George, where can a fly press be obtained today? Are they available

>anyplace in the US?

Used machinery dealers in the north east, Rhode Island (a hot-bed of fly

presses) and Mass. for example, often have them. Look for triple-lead

screw type presses, they have more travel vertically per rotation of the

screw so they are faster in cycle for hot work. A yellow page search of

larger cities up there would probably produce leads.

One approach that served Tal Harris, Pres NC ABANA, was to look in the

Thomas Register at companies which were both in the press using industry

and were old. Many he called had old presses still around but unused since

hydraulics came along.



>George, where can a fly press be obtained today? Are they available

>anyplace in the US?


> Ron


Jim Bomba had some a while back.

P O Drawer C, North East, MD, 21901, 410-287-7851




I use a fly press for various tasks in architectural scale forge work. The

fly-press is best analogized as a mechanical version of a hydraulic press.

The ones I have take 1" round shank tooling in the end of the ram. This

allows chisels and drifts to be made for slit-and-drift operations.

Slitting a 3/4" thick bar is a one heat operation with the larger one.

Drifting holes for 1" bars is also a one heat event.

The next job calls for English Half-penny snub end scrolls. The press is

being tooled to isolate the material for the snub-end and start the taper

of the scroll in one operation. The snub end will still be hand forged on

a snub end tool, but the blank with taper will save at least 2 weeks of


Bends, both curved into swages and square into V-blocks can be done with ease.

Straightening forged bars, using a flat faced plate on the end of the ram,

is very quick work. I hand reforge every inch of every bar before a rail

is started, so there is a lot of straightening. 5/8" X 2" or 3/4" X 1

1/4" bars are no problem. And it goes fast.

Offset bends are a breeze, the tooling is simple. One thing I like about a

fly press is that you can feel the effect as it happens since you are

actuating the thrust by hand. There is less (almost no) chance of applying

too much pressure. The cycle time is also much faster than a hydraulic


All manners of set tool work can be done on the fly press.

George Dixon

Return To Index


Ron R. wrote:

> It looks like you have lots of advice on the anvil so I will comment on the

> bits. I have both a post drill, and a drill press that I built patterned

> after some of the presses that predate post drills. it uses a brace driven

> with a big ACME screw. I use the "spade bits" in it and I simply make them

> myself.

Ron, could you post a picture of this, please? I have a mental picture

of what's going on, but figure it's not quite right.

I second your notion of making your own bits. Some years ago I used to

teach jewelry making. (Patience please, there really is some

blacksmithing coming up here.)

Jewelers do a lot of pierced work. That is, drill a little hole, thread

the jeweler's saw blade through, saw an interior shape, remove the blade

and repeat until the piece is sawn to shape. A jeweler's saw is tiny.

Shapes are small. This means a small drill (say a #60 or so). 20 years

ago, a #60 drill cost about 80 cents, buying one at a time.

Students tend to break LOTS of these bits. For a while, I simply told

them to supply their own, figuring that they'd be more careful. Finally

I realized that most of them were simply learning fine motor control in

their hands and fingers, and were physically incapable of the control

necessary to work at that scale. I added a demonstration to my teaching

cirriculum -- making tiny drills. Here's about how it goes:

Required components:

Sewing needle

Alcohol lamp

3-in-one oil



Jeweler's bench block (polished steel)

Jeweler's hammer (chasing hammer OK, I prefer rivetting hammer)

1. Light the acohol lamp. Have the bench block next to the lamp.

2. Holding the needle by the eye in the pliers, heat the tip to red

hot in the flame of the lamp.

3. Forge it flat on the bench block. (if you can't do this in one

heat, you're moving too slow between heating and hammering.)

4. Let the needle air cool.

5. File the flattened tip of needle to the diameter of the hole and

shape the tip to a spade bit shape. Angle of filing creates the

relief for the cutting edges.

6. Prepare a quenching container (I often used a soft drink bottle cap)

and put some 3-in-one oil in it.

7. Heat the point to red hot and quench in oil before it loses color.

8. Come right out of the oil and hold it in the alcohol lamp flame just

long enough to ignite the oil. Pull it back and let the oil burn

itself out. This draws the temper to just about the right point.

This little demo was really an eye opener to a lot of students. The

look on their faces when they could see two little curls of metal coming

off the point of their drill was amizing.

Morgan Hall


Hello All,

The neat thing about these triangular holes is that if you use calipers or

a telescope gage to measure them with, they will measure the correct

dimension all the way around. This is one reason why in addition to a good

finish, precise holes are usually reamed or bored on a lathe. Any two

fluted drill which is used to drill a hole without a pilot hole will do

this to a certain degree. The higher the tool pressure the greater the

effect. If you are looking for cheap reamers for round holes try a D-bit

reamer. You make them yourself from drill rod. There is a book called the

Machinist's Bedside Reader written by Guy Lautard which is full of good

stuff like D-bit reamers and other types of neat tooling ideas. How about

using milk as a tapping lube for copper? It's in there!



> From: Frost, Jerry

> Subject: Re: Drill Bits

> Fred Clark wrote:

> > If you grind it too steep you will

> > >find that you can drill a perfect triangular hole, but not a round one!

> >

> > Ron, I hate to be the only one to bite on this, but ...a TRIANGULAR hole??

> >

> > Fred


> That's right, triangular. Of course the corners are rounded but the hole

> comes out triangular none-the-less. Other factors can achieve the effect

> too, such as uneven bevels or cutting faces so If you're freehand

> sharpening your own, it pays to buy a gage and practice.

> Frosty

Return To Index

ANVILS AND ANVIL REPAIR: (See also Volume #1)

From: Matt Balent/HCS/CSC on 02/06/97 07:23 AM

I used 'super missile' rod from Arco after a 400 degree pre-heat.

Make sure you use some sort of heat sink on the surface or you

could lose temper.

Been using the anvil for over a year now with no problems.

- Matt


I recently repaired some fairly serious damage on mine by preheating to

400 degrees and welding with a hard facing rod ( 6700 from UTP.) I

wouldn't skip the pre-heat, I think you could get some cracks without it.

Mine seems to be working well.

My .02 worth

Jack Geisler

(BCS Jerry Boyd) writes:

>I have been using an anvil for several years that had been abused


>There are a few arc marks and gouges from a cutting torch that I try


>work around. Can I fill these gouges up with an arc welder and file

>smooth without hurting the hard surface? Should I just mill the face

>down below the depth of the gouges?


> I have an anvil that has been passed down to me through several

> generations. From the stand point of appearance it is in great shape.

> But the function ability of it is limited due to the hard surface that

> is about 1/2" thick being loose. Does anyone offer a repair service (or

> know someone that does) to repair this anvil to its original condition by

> means of the original method of attachment

> Kirk T


I saved the stuff below from a previous discussion. Also included is

something that just came across rec.crafts.metalworking news which

might be of interest. Ernie makes anvils from plate.

Steven O. Smith

Subject: Re: Repairing anvils

I have gone to the trouble of repairing several anvils by welding on new

plates. It does not take as much time as you might think, but several things

make life easier.

Although I've used truck springs for the plate with success, I also had one

fail miserably. Maybe it was work or weld stressed or maybe it was

overheated before quenched, but it cracked horribly and had to be rewelded.

Conversely, I've had several work out well.

The only time I would recommend this process is to restore extensive damage

on large anvils that are worth the time. The basic procedure is to gouge off

the remnants of the old plate and "V" the top of the anvil to provide a root

for the welding. Drill/cut the hardie and pritchel holes in the new plate

with drill/torch/die grinder to match existing holes. Make sure the plate is

stress relieved before welding. Tack it squarely in place and preheat to

about 300-400 F. Weld from the center out and fill the entire root until

there is a protruding bead that can be ground flush without leaving traces of

the weld (undercuts, puddles, etc.) I either use a MIG or an E6011 rod and

don't clean the welds - I just weld right over each pass (you can't do this

with rods that leave heavy slag). Although I can't prove it, I think now

would be a good time to bring the anvil to critical temp and let it normalize

in the atmosphere, but I have hardened several without taking this extra

step. However, the cracking incident has made me wary.

The forge I made to heat anvils is a piece of plate, 3'x3'x1/4", set on 3

legs (I'm lazy) with a slot cut in the plate about 1/2" wide and as long as

the anvil face. There is a long piece of square tubing welded to the bottom

of the plate as a tuyere. The fuel is coal and the air can be a manual or

electric blower. I make a collar encircling the anvil's waist with 1-1/4"

pipe arms sticking out to allow manipulation and so a piece of 1" pipe will

slip fit. Two men can handle a 300 lb anvil in this manner without too much

trouble. Personally, I use a tractor with gin pole to pick it up with the

3-point or you could also use a hoist. You must also provide some method of

supporting the anvil while it heats - I make two simple "A"frames, welded to

the plate which hold the pipe so the anvil is about 2-3" above the slot. The

fire is started first and when it is going over the full length of the slot,

the anvil is put in place. Pack lots of damp coal around and keep the blast

low to medium, making sure the fire does not burn hollow under the anvil.

The heel will heat up first because it is thinner, but you can usually heat

a 250 lb anvil to critical temp in about an hour. At this point, you can

either quench in a large water container (like a cattle trough) or you can

pour a continuous, heavy stream of water on the anvil face. I fill several

55-gallon open-top drums with water, say a fervent prayer and start pouring

FAST to drop the critical temp quickly. Be wary of the steam! After the

water is gone, I play a garden hose on it to finish the cooling. If it

hasn't cracked, it can now be finish ground. I don't temper and I can't say

whether it is necessary. My main "battle" anvil is a 250 lb Peter Wright

that I repaired this way and it has lasted under regular, heavy use for 10



1. If you use scrap for the plate, do thorough testing before welding it on

- it's probably safer to buy W1 in the right size.

2. Stress relieve!

3. Don't overheat the face - not much heat is needed to get to critical

temp. Better to have a slightly softer face than a glass-hard surface which


4. Be careful!!! - this is a BIG, HOT, HEAVY piece of steel.

Work time for me to replate an average anvil is 12-16 hours - you might be

faster or slower depending on skill and initiative. I have also done

build-up work with rods - I use Certanium, but Stoody and Palco are good,

too. Don't use standard low-hydrogen rods for build-up.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a summary of this method with sketches in the

Anvil's Ring. If anybody wants further detail, you can E-mail me with




Subject: Re: Repairing anvils


I sold Certanium rods for about 6 months (the source of my ever dwindling

supply) and the tech guys told me that low hydrogen rod does NOTHING for

carbon steel. Their reasoning was that any time you weld on carbon steel,

you get carbon embrittlement due to the dissolution of the carbon into the

weld pool. For example, say you were welding a piece of 1095 plate with

low-hy rod. You would probably get spots in the weld deposit that were .5%

and others that are over 1% creating an imbalanced structure. The party line

at Certanium was that the specialty rods are supposed to create a ductile and

homogenous weld zone. Their demo was to weld two pieces of a file

edge-to-edge without preheat, then clamp one end in a vise and beat the file

first one way and then the other. Usually, the top piece would bend 90

degrees to one side and then BACK 180 degrees. They swore that no common

rods would meet this test. All this said, I can't say with certainty that

your 9016 rods won't work. Try it and see - just make sure you pre and post

heat to minimize chilling.

From: (Ernie Leimkuhler)

Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking

Subject: Re: How to clean up anvil?

Date: 7 Feb 1997 03:49:27 GMT

Organization: Stagesmith Productions

> I just purchased an old 190-lb anvil. It is rusted and has some dings

> in it. I want to clean it up with a wire wheel and paint the sides.

> What is usually done to make the anvil look nice and can small dents

> in the horn be filled with my MIG 250 welder? Is the top face

> hardened and can/should it be face milled?


> Thanks

OK Dave

Since you have a 250 amp MIG life will be pretty easy.

Grinding the surface with a coarse 9" right angle grinder will help true

it up, but to build up the edges and fill holes you will need to lay down

some hardface.

If you were stick welding then you would need to go through the usual

rigamarol of preheating to 400 deg F and allowing it to slow cool.

Since you have a MIG life will be much easier. Rankin makes several

hardfacing wire products that work wonderfully.

For general buildup I use Rankin BBG ( rockwell C47 ) , and for the final

surface I use Rankin DDG ( rockwell C56 ).

The wires come in .045" and .065", but the you will only be able to run

the .045" in a 250 amp MIG, since .065" wire requires about 350 amps.

The Rankin hardfacing wires are actually a dual-shield product. This means

that they are flux-core wires that are run with a gas sheild.

Dual-shield burns very hot so no preheat is necessary. To fill holes

first you need to gouge out the holes with the edge of a grinding wheel.

The idea is to grind out the cracks and any gunk that is wedged in the

holes. If the edges are cracked then grind them too.

Any surface that is to be hardfaced must be ground first to get rid of any

contaminants. If your anvil is cast or forged steel then you can also

hardface the horn.

If it is cast iron then you have to lay down a layer of nickle rod to act

as a buttering pass. Then lay down the hardface on top of that.

Having a hardfaced horn is really nice.

I rebuilt the face on an old trenton anvil last year and I went ahead and

hardfaced the horn while I was at it.

You will be running the MIG at almost full power, so be prepared for some

heavy welding.

Personally I love the Rankin wires and would never go back to stick rod.

The odd thing about the rankin wires is that you end up with a layer of

fllux that cools on top of the bead just like stick rod, but the flux self

ejects as it cools. So some light tapping and it falls off real clean.

Make sure to clean off the all flux before laying down a second pass to

prevent flux inclusions.

Lay down beads of about 3/4" width and make sure to weave as you go to

spread it out.

You will find that the anvil will get quite warm as you progress.

If as you grind off the added metal you find small pockets you missed,

just fill them in.

Be careful about hardfacing around the hardie hole since grinding it out

can be quite difficult. A handfile will cut the BBG wire, but the DDG is

way to hard.

It's like filing glass.

If you wanted a harder surface, they also make a hardfacing wire that has

Tungsten Carbide in it ( rockwell C62 ).

I usually paint my anvils with Hammerite and clean up any markings with a

hand chisel.

Best of luck

Ernie Leimkuhler


> From: Phil Rosche <>

> Subject: Anvil Repair

> Well, to get off some other subjects floating around theforge in the

> last couple of days, I have a couple of questions about anvil repair:

> 1. If I want to just build up the edges a little, can I weld relatively

> short beads and let them cool a little, and then weld another short

> bead, without preheating?

Yep. Just weld about an inch an stop and let it cool - or cool it

with a cup of water but be careful not to get your feet wet and

become a better ground than your cable is.

> 2. A guy this last weekend mentioned a technique for building up the

> edges. He said to clamp a piece of flat brass against the side (or top,

> depending on which side of the edge you are building up) and weld

> against it. He said you could get a relatively smooth and flat weld,

> and the weld metal would not stick to the brass.

> Has anyone done this before?

Yep. Works great. I fixed the wallowed out edges of my hardy hole

this way by using a piece of brass about 3/16" thick and 3/4" wide.

I used 7018 low hydrogen rods. They work harden a little but not

enough to become brittle. It will ding a little if you hit with the

edges of the hammer but holds up well enough as long as you don't do

any forging of cold iron on it.

Donnie Fulwood, Editor


Phil Rosche wrote:

> Well, to get off some other subjects floating around theforge in the

> last couple of days, I have a couple of questions about anvil repair:

> 1. If I want to just build up the edges a little, can I weld relatively

> short beads and let them cool a little, and then weld another short

> bead, without preheating?

> 2. A guy this last weekend mentioned a technique for building up the

> edges. He said to clamp a piece of flat brass against the side (or top,

> depending on which side of the edge you are building up) and weld

> against it. He said you could get a relatively smooth and flat weld,

> and the weld metal would not stick to the brass.

> Has anyone done this before?

> How thick does the brass have to be?

> Doesn't the brass melt?

> 3. What welding rods are recommended?

> Thanks,

> Phil Rosche

Phil: Copper will work better and put a spacer between the plate and

the anvil, say 16ga., so that you have a bit to grind away. You won't

need any of that if you are just welding a few inches at a time. Just be

sure that you pein your weld diligently after each 1/2 rod and then go

to the other side of the anvil for the next 1/2 rod. This might be a bit

of overkill but the start of a long weld will be quite cool by the time

you burn a whole 5/32 rod. I would use Stoody 2110 since your only

building up corners and have no room for a harder cap. Just be sure to

pein it plenty before you grind it because this is essentially a buildup

rod but it will work harden to 40 - 45 Rc in two passes. Grind the edges

of your anvil first. This is a cast steel we're talking about.



> I would use Stoody 2110 since your only building up corners and have

> no room for a harder cap. Just be sure to pein it plenty before you

> grind it because this is essentially a buildup rod but it will work

> harden to 40 - 45 Rc in two passes. Grind the edges of your anvil

> first. This is a cast steel we're talking about.

> Ross

I show Stoody 1105 as a buildup rod and 2110 as a hardfacing rod. I

think that the 2110 reaches something like 53 Rc (with the 40-45 Rc

being right for 1105).

Stoody 2110 sometimes has a hard time sticking to anvils. If you are

welding to a tool steel top plate, it will probably be ok. If you are

welding to the anvil body material, watch for cracking. What I've seen

happen is that a crack can form all along the edge of the bead. If

this happens, then you need a buildup rod, such as 1105 (or maybe

preheat, or more wirebrushing..).

Preheat isn't too hard to do with a weedburner. Note that the

temperature of 400F is chosen so that you do not lose any of the

hardness in the rest of the anvil. This means that you don't need to

re-harden and temper your anvil. The Stoody rod work hardens. Don't

exceed 450F if you want to not 'lose your temper'. A welding

instructor told me that you probably only need 200-300F preheat, but I

haven't tried this. Insulate the anvil when done so it cools slowly.--

Steven O. Smith


This is sure a complex subject.

I've talked with two different guys on the Stoody hotline

(800)832-4123 about rebuilding anvils. I'm convinced (was convinced

before, actually) that there are no simple answers here. I'm going to

try to summarize what I've got so far.

The procedure that works depends a lot on exactly what the composition

of your anvil steel is (as has been said here previously). The only

thing I've tried is 1105 first, 2110 on top. This works on Peter

Wright anvils. It will not work on cast iron (i.e. Vulcan), may be

likely to work on wrought body anvils like PW. This is all I can speak

of from my own experience. Before you blow a bunch of money on rod,

get a sample and see how it welds on the anvil you intend to

rebuild. A couple of years ago, I paid $3.50/lb for 1105 and $5.20/lb

for 2110. They come in 10lb. packages, so it adds up fast.

2110 rod is good at bonding dissimilar steels together. It is about 20

Rc as deposited, and can work harden into the low 50's after

substantial deformation. Abrasion resistance is good, impact

resistance is excellent. The impact resistance is why it is a good top

layer. 2110 is high in Chromium (13%), and is essentially a kind of

stainless (I think). Uses include surfacing (buildup of) roll

crushers, shear blades, shovel teeth and hammers. No limit on layers.

1105 rod is an air hardening tool steel. It is 43 Rc as welded, no

hardening needed. Bonds well to carbon and low alloy steels, not

recommended for manganese steel. Moderate abrasion and impact

resistance. LIMIT 4 layers. Uses include shovel rollers and idlers,


1102 is similar to 1105 but harder--54-58 Rc as welded, H12 air

hardening tool steel. Relatively new rod. Abrasion resistance

excellent, impact strength good, compressive strength high. LIMIT 1/2"

(4 layers nominal). Uses include forging dies, crane wheels, hot and

cold shear blades. Good for hot wear up to 1100F.

All three rods are AC or +/-DC. I've only used DC reverse. Note that

Stoody says that none of the rods should show any cracking if put down

on an appropriate base with sufficient preheat, contrary to a previous

letter on theforge.

The first Stoody guy I talked to said that if the 2110 cracks when put

down first (which fits my experience), then the base material is

acting as if it were a cast iron (which it is not-Peter Wright). He

said that if the 1105 welds without cracking, just use 1105, don't

bother with the 2110. The second Stoody guy said the 2110 was

definitely the stuff for a top layer due to its impact resistance.

They also said that what works works. If you have experience with an

approach that works, stay with it. A lot depends on exactly what type of

steel you are welding to, and this will vary a whole bunch from one

anvil manufacturer to another.

I end up finding his recommendation of 1105 only compelling (if it

bonds well to the base material). 1105 is cheaper for one (3.50

vs. 5.20 per pound). As for needing a harder top layer, I haven't

gotten much if any deformation out of my top layer 2110, which means

that it hasn't done much hardening-- 20Rc according to Stoody. The

limitation here is that they only recommend a maximum of 4 layers of


The second Stoody guy suggested another combination that should work

is using BuildupLH first, topped off with 2110. (Note here that I am

getting different recommendations from two different guys, both at

Stoody). This will not work on cast iron.

The conclusion I come away with is that if you don't know what will

definitely work, plan on experimenting a bit with rod samples. There

are also other specialty rod companies besides Stoody (such as

Certainium). Keep reporting your results to this forum!

Steven O. Smith


Here is an anvil thread from early last year.....

Subject: Re: old anvil

Vince and all other anvil lovers,

Double check your anvil, it should read Peter Wright, England,

Warranted, although the name of the company was Peter Wright and

Sons, during the later part of othe 19th and early part of the 20th


If it is Henry, you probably have a unique Anvil, for there is no mention

of a Henry Wright anvil in the literature I have. Take your anvil out in the

sun, tip it, for good lighting, and have another look. If still not sure, do a rubbing.

The "130" is the weight, 1=112, 3/4 of 112 = 84 and 0=0, The anvil weights

196 lbs.

Brief history and dating of Anvils in use before the Hay-Budden in 1886.

Before 1650, made by local smiths

1650?-1850?, made by Mouse Hole Forge in Dudley, England

1850?-1886, made by Peter Wright in England, first at Dudley

1850?-1886, made by the Wilkeyson Forge in Dudley, England, following the

Peter Wright method of the six piece then a three piece anvil (more on

these next time)

1842 OR 1843, the first Anvil was made in America by Mr. Mark Fisher, and

later produced under the name of Fisher & Norris. "Eagle" brand.

In 1864 James Chase got out his first batch of two-piece American Wrought

anvils, 12 in all.

In Sweden, the Soderfore Bruke Aktiebology, founded in 1250, sold a one

solid piece anvil in 1885, sold in American as the Paragon.

Next time more about the building up process of the Mouse Hole and Peter

Wright Anvils.

Vince Herod wrote :

> Henry Wright

> England

> Warranted

> 130

> Vince


Subject: Re: old anvil again

On Thu, 8 Feb 1996, chris Hubbard wrote:

> While we are on the topic of old anvils, I have one that has Arm and Hammar

> Wrought Iron on the side plus the number 85 which I assume is the weight.

>I wondered if anyone has heard of this type of anvil since I haven't seen it

> listed in the discussions so far.

Secont part of Anvils and more Anvils, but first a answer to the above.

This anvil was either forged or given a major repair job by the

Columbian Anvil & Forging Co. All their adds from 1906 to early 1920's state:

"We can repair any wrought iron anivl, and made it better and new."

In all of their adds, they do not once mention that they also sell anvils.

I assume that after a major repair job of a wrought iron anvil, they would then stamp

it with the raised Arm and Hammer, I believe enclosed in a circle. Will

check this evening and let you know on Monday.

Part 2. Quoted and paraphrased from The American Blacksmith, Oct. 1914.

Peter Wright started forging anvils somewhere around 1850, after working

for the Mouse Hole Forge in Dudley. The anvils were made up of 3 parts

(before this anvils consisted of 6 parts: two legs, body, horn,

tail and steel plate (usually consisted of three or more pieces)).

"The bottom part is formed by piling up scrap iron and welding it into a

solid mass. While still hot it is placed in a die and blocked to shape.

The whole of the upper part, including the horn and tail, are forged

in one piece from scrap iron, the greater part of the shaping being done

at the same heat at which the scrap is welded. Next the steel face is

welded on, the hardie and pritched hole punched, the tail

or heal squared and the horn finished to shape. The two pieces, base

and upper parts are welded at the waist. This is done by jumping. The two

pieces are heated in an open fire; when the welding temperature has been

reached the two ar placed in alignment under a steam hammer & a few blows

join them together. The steam hammer is then used as a vise to hold the

anvil while the edges of the weld are hammered in. The anvil is then

thrown on the floor where it can easily be turned in any position or

direction and finished, as far as forging goes, with hand tools. For

a long time the steel faces, were welded on in sections of about 6

inches in length. Sometime after the turn of the century, the whole face

was welded on in one piece, borrowed from an An American blacksmith.

Want to forge an anvil???????!!!!!!!

>From The American Blacksmith, September 1914. History of Development of

the Anvil--1, by James Cran. Evidently he had just visited the Mouse Hole

Forge in Sheffield, England and the Peter Wright Forge in Dudley, England.

For he states, "The present owners [of of the Mouse Hole Forge], Brooks &

Cooper, have run the works for upwards of 38 years, and are still making

anvils that are hard to beat ... and they operate their forge to this day

with no other power than that developoed by an old-fashioned water wheel.

The same old-fashioned helve hammer, or 'metal helve' as

it is locally termed, is still doing duty and is operated by the already

mentioned water wheel. The building itself, with its old-fashonied solid

stone walls and low arched windows and doorways, shows but slight signs

of the ravages usually worked by time, and are apparently good, barring

misfortune, for centuries to come.

Originally the Mouse Hole anvil was made up of 6 pieces by the building up

process. The corners of the base or feet, the horn and tail or heel was

welded on to a centerpiece. After this the steel face was welded on in

sections, trimmed and finished to the desired shape by hand tools. The

face was then ground and hardened and, after hardening, the face was

again ground and finished."

I have a Wilkinspon anvil, made in Dudley. It is a six piece anvil, the

horn and tail have been broken off, but it is clear that they have been

forged on to the centerpiece as have the corners of the


More next time.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Page Thomas <>

Advertisements in the American Blacksmith from 1906-1915

Columbus Anvil and Forging Co., West Frankfort St., Columbus, Ohio.

"We are experts at repairing old wrought anvils. We also manufacture

the celebrated Arm and Hammer brand anvil."

Eagle Anvil Works, Trenton, New Jersey. In 1911 changed name to Fisher

& Norris, Trenton, New Jersey. Known as the Trinton Anvil.

Oldest manufacturing of anvils in the U.S., 1843.

"The face consists of a single piece of the very best cast steel,

perfectly welded and of the hardest temper. The horn is made of tough

untempered steel and will neither break nor bend. All 'Eagle' anvils

made with the latest Fisher Patent double thick steel on both edges of

the face. From 10 to 1300 lbs."

How to identify. A spread eagle [1922 the eagle is enclosed in a


The weight of the anvil is on the right foot. " FISHER" stamped on front

of foot below the tail. Above this on the top of the foot is "PATENT".

Forged eyelets are on each foot under the tail and horn.

Peter Wright & Sons, England. Wiebusch & Hilcer, Ltd., New York Office,

9-15 Murray Street, New York City.

Peter Wright


Solid Wrought

Columbian Hardware Company, Cleveland, Ohio.

"Columbian All-Steel Anvil"

'Columbian' on body.

Hay-Budden Mfg. Co., Brooklyn N.Y.

"Hay-Budden solid Wrought Anvils. Gold Medal Award in 1898 at Omaha and

1901 at Pan American. Made of the best American Wrought Iron and faced

with best crucible cast steel.


Manufacturing Co.

Brooklyn, N.Y.


Soederfors Bruks Aktiebolog, Falan, Sweden. General Sales Agent, Hrace

T. Potts & Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

"Paragon Solid Anvil. Made of one piece of steel. There are no welds to

come apart."

Solid Steel

Paragon [enclosed in rectangle]


All of the above except Peter Wright are advertised in ther Jan. 1915 issue.

In March 1922, only Trenton Solid Wrought and Hay-Budden run advertisements.

October 1922, only Trenton Solid Wrought with Eagle inside a horseshoe.

Other Anvils manufactured in the early 20's.

Vulcan, made entirely of tough untempered steel. The body is charcoal

iron, and the face is covered with one solid peice of tool steel welded

to the body.

Montgomery Wards in their 1894-95 cagtalog, list "An American Wrought

'Horse Shoe' anvil and the Peter Wright Blacksmith Wrought Anvil.

In 1908 Sears lists the Acme anvil forged of two pieces of wrought iron

welded at the waist; face is made of one piece of tool steel, electriclly

welded to the body. "Acme Guaranted" on the body.

In a 1916? Reichman-Crosly Co. advertisest the Peter Wright Wrought, the

Vulcan with Arm and Hammer inside a circle in raised letters, the Columbian

All-steel, and the Hay-Budden.

All for now.



Phil Rosche wrote:

> > Greetings,

> > I'm somewhat interested in upgrading my anvil. Can you folks give me some

> > advice on kinds of anvils, and reasonable pricing? I'm figuring on looking

> > at farm auctions, estate sales, and maybe at talegate sales. Thanks for

> > your comments and suggestions. JS

> JS:


> I like the following kinds of anvils in order of preference (this is

> only based on what I have used):


> Hay Budden

> Peter Wright

> Peddinghaus

> Fisher Norris

> Columbian

> Kohlswa

> Arm and Hammer


> I think a really decent price is $1-2 a pound. If it's in really (as in

> pristine) condition, I don't mind paying $3-3.50.


> Phil Rosche

Add to that list Vulcan anvils, which are awful, and Jet, which are

worse than awful.

Larry Noller


At 11:34 PM 9/22/97 -0400, you wrote:

>I have a line on a 275# Peddinghaus double horn anvil. It is supposed

>to be in excellent condition, but I haven't seen it yet. I havn't used

>one of these before... is it anything special? Having outgrown my 130#

>haybudden, I need a new anvil, but I don't know if I can justify the

>expense... (we haven't gotten down to the bottom line yet, but I know

>what they cost at Centaur) Is this the anvil of my dreams, or should I

>keep looking?



The interesting part about the Peddinghaus anvil, at least to me, is that

the second horn is flat topped. Also, if I remember correctly, the sides

at this end are also flat, not curved like a typical horn. Having this

tapering flat surface can really come in handy at times for those hard to

get at pieces that need to be worked on.

I've never used a Peddinghaus, but the design is very similar to the

Refflinghaus, which I have used and liked very much.

Dave Brown

Return To Index

HOODS AND CHIMNEYS: (See Also Volume #1)

Mark wrote:

> I will be moving my forge inside this fall . The building it is going

> into has a steel insulated(with fiberglass batt) roof . My question is

> must I use an insulated steel chimney or could I use just a steel pipe.

> The hood is 3'x4' and the exit flue is 10" diameter . Which would draw

> better ? Any suggestions would be appreciated .Mark from Wisconsin

On the "suggestions would be appreciated" side --

At last spring's NWBA conference in Eugene, OR, I was very impressed

with our host's chimney and hood arrangement. It was very effective and

worked great. I'll try to describe it, so please bear with me.

Basically, it consisted of a larger diameter outer pipe that started

about 6 feet above the forge. Inside this was a smaller pipe with a

small (about 2 1/2 feet in diameter) cone-shaped hood. The outer pipe

was 10" in diameter, the inner pipe was 8" in diameter. The inner pipe

was telescoped into the fixed outer pipe and counterweighted. In

addition, there were visible spacers on the bottom of the outer (fixed)

pipe to keep the moveable inner pipe approximately centered. I'm not

sure if there were spacers on the top of the inner pipe.

The inner pipe and hood could be brought down into contact with the coal

in the forge and raised up about 5 or 6 feet above. The counterweight

arrangement (rope, pulleys, and weight) made it effortless to move. The

friction of the two pipes (and centering ring) kept it right where you

put it.

To light, you build your fire and get the flame going, bring the hood

right down to surround the flame and pour on the blast. Almost no smoke

escapes into the shop. Within a few minutes you start raising the hood.

By now the air inside the chimney is well heated and the chimney is

drawing. By the time the fire is burning good, the chimney is drawing

great and the hood is about 3 feet above the fire. If you need more

head room over the fire, it's easy to get. If you're banking down for a

while, just bring the hood down.

I'm seriously considering a shop expansion (the mess has grown to

overflow the space available). When (if) I get the shop expanded, I

plan to replace my fixed chimney with this style. It's the best I've

seen yet.

Morgan Hall

Return To Index


Ron... just came across some more info for O-1 re final hardness after


Harden at 1450-1500F. oil quench

Temper at 300-350 1 hour for 62/64

temper at 400-450 1 hour for 58/60

temper at 800-850 1 hour for 48/52

Take care.

Lee Marshall


In a message dated 97-02-13 22:01:50 EST, you write:

<< More accurately, If the sparks look like a shotgun blast, low to medium

carbon. If the sparks look like a bunch of single lines, real low

carbon. If the sparks look like the 4th of july, then you got high

carbon. >>

That will certainly get you close enough to temper the chisel that was made.

You can, however, determine the carbon content of the unknown piece of steel

much more accurately than your description.

I have a small piece of each of the following:

Wrought Iron 1018

3130 4140

1045 5160


By comparing the sparks of the unknown piece with the known samples, you

can get pretty close to the actual carbon content.



At 5:40 PM 2/20/97, Tom Vincent wrote:

>Clay, could I trouble you to let me know your forging and hardening temps,

>or colors? Thanks, Tom

Forge above cherry red and below yellow.

>> Don't heat too fast or too hot. I have seen some real hot ones come apart

>> on the first blow.

>> I normalize them, quench in water (not cold water) and draw temper to blue.

>> The head which is to be struck is left soft from the normalizing.

Normalize by heating just to nonmagnetic, not 200° above, and set aside

until cool to touch.

Heat slowly and just as it becomes nonmagnetic, quench the tool edge

(usually in water) and about an inch of stock above the edge.

Shine the surface above the edge and just as blue gets close to the edge,

cool in water to stop the tempering process(this is not quenching).

If any of the tool is above a black heat at this time, do not put that part

in water. Put 1/2" of water in in a can and stand the working edge in the

water, let the rest cool slowly.

Check the hardened edge for hardness with a file-should just barely cut or

maybe skate. Check the struck head to make sure the file cuts it easily,

otherwise it is too hard.

For hot cutting tools, it probably isn't worth the effort to quench and temper.

You must always normalize or anneal any tool you have forged.




>What is involved in the normalize process?


Heat just to point that it has no magnetic attraction and lay aside to cool.


Heat just to point that it has no magnetic attraction and put in

vermiculite, lime or ashes to cool.



One of the neatest helps in determining the anneal, normalize, quench

temperature is a "cow magnet" It's a slim, cylindrical, bar type magnet

about 4 inches long. Quite strong, and if you don't drop it it will

serve for many years. Available at Farm Supply Stores, or you can have

your local veternarian get some for you...they cure or prevent "Hardware

Disease." He'll know what you mean.

The best method to determine the temperature at which to anneal,

normalize, quench is to heat slowly till just above the point at which

the magnet no longer is attracted to the iron. Check this often when you

reach a cherry and heat slowly beyond till the magnet has no effect,

then one more easy heat. Then bury in ashes or any good insulating

material (except fiberglass) for several hours, or until you can touch it

with your bare hand. Re-heat to that non-magnetic point, and quench in

whatever medium is appropriate...(don't know what kind of steel you

have...use oil) then reheat with a propane torch or above the fire till

you get the color appropriate for the tool/part. Quench again to stop

that process and you're done. Alexander Weygers' book "The Making of

Tools" covers this in detail isbn o-442-29360-7 it's a great reference

for everyone.



There is one metallurgical explanation for the efficacy of

"packing": If the piece has been heated much above critical

temperature for any length of time, grain growth will have occured,

weakening the part. Hammering the surface at red heat will reduce

the size of the surface grains, somewhat improving strength.

A much better approach is to normalize the piece: Heat to just

above critical and allow to slowly air cool. This will restore

the fine grain structure. (Critical temp is where the steel

becomes non-magnetic.)

Ken Zastrow



I am sure that there are persons out there that know all about this

stuff and you may also find that there are as many oppinions as there

are persons who have them.

In any event, while you are waiting for the oppinions to roll in, you can

do what you ancestor (smiths) would do and that is experiment!

Take some metal, heat it up but not to critical and quench it. Is it soft?

is it brittle? What is the grain like etc. This process is described in

many blacksmithing books. If you do, pass it on to the rest of us

what your results are.

It is also possible to harden one end of a piece and temper it and then

go back and heat the other end, keeping the first end cool with water

so it does not change its temper and then harden and temper the

other end.

I just finished reading "Step-By Step Knifemaking" by David Boye. He

hardens the * whole* blade in the first quench. Then he goes back and

draws the temper to the cutting edge to a light or dark straw depending

on the steel and the intended use of the blade. This process does not

fully temper the back of the knife so he does a second tempering where

he keeps the edge cool in water and uses a torch to temper the spine

down to within about 1/2 - 3/4 " of the edge to a deep peacock blue. This

keeps the blade springy and strong in the body but the edge remains hard.

Then he tempers the tang to the blue also. It is a study in being able to

actually treat different parts of the same piece of steel almost as if they

were totally separate.

I just did this process on a lawnmower blade vegetable knife and it works

fine. You just have to be careful and really keep the parts you are not working

on *cool*.

This kind of experimentation is a great teacher and we will all benefit if

you pass on your conclusions when you are finished.

Frederick Faller


>Just an update on some experimentation that may save some of you

>a bit of grief in the future:

Standard Rule:

If you're not positive what steel it is and it wasn't file

hard after it cooled down (air hardening), always quench it in Oil first

then if the file still cuts it you can go to water (brine). Once you've

successfully hardened a piece stamp the stock end it came from "A", "O" or

"W" before you throw it back on the tool steel pile.

If you bought the steel stamp both ends (eg S1, S5, O1,

A33, etc) before you put it down anywhere.


Return To Index


>I am trying to solder some steel pins to the backs of 1\4 inch brass and

>am having

>trouble making them stick.

Try Silver Brazing Alloy Kit No. 101 by All-State. Container says: "Ideal

for tight fitting joints and light gauge ferrous and nonfferrous metals or

combinations of both (excluding white meatals)." Contains Cadmium.

I've used it to solder fairly heavy brass to 1/4" thick mild steel with

good results.



Make sure that you are using the correct solder. Tin-Lead solder

does not work very well with steel. Use a tin-silver or a tin-silver-lead

solder and it will improve your chances with steel. It takes more heat

but the silver provides good adhesion to the steel.

Frederick Faller


One method that works well for me is to use rough sandpaper, or emory

cloth, on both surfaces. (To remove coatings, you may sometimes need to

grind down to bare steel or brass.) Sanding will roughen the surfaces up

and remove some of the oxides. Then wash with soap/water, use acid flux and

immediately heat metal with torch (not solder) until solder melts and flows

into joint. The better the joint, the better the solder will hold. Silicone

Bronze brazing rod will also work, just tricky (to me) to keep from melting

thin brass work piece.

I've been using "Metal Mender" solder from True Value. Of the many solders

I've tried, it's worked the best. It's acid cored and contains lead, so

beware. But it does stick very well.


Return To Index


The best post vice repair I just heard of at the Indina Connerence WAS!!!

Pull out the messed up screw, and affix a shaft, to the front jaw and on the

end of the shaft that sticks through the back hole, attach a 2 1\2 x 2" air

cyl., hook it up to a three way valve with a manual or a foot switch, and you have a very very

strong and a very fast working vice, just think how many times you open and

close a vice for wire brushing.

Mike Wolfe


Ron Reil asked about material to prevent brazing metal from

spreading where you don't want it. I have used white shoe polish

with reasonable success. I have heard of other material(s),

but don;t recall what they were. Try a jewelry supply house if

you can't find something in your local welding supply shop.

Ken Zastrow



I've done some babit work and have always had good luck using candle soot

as a release on the shaft. If you hold the threads over a candle that

should prevent the braze from sticking.


>> Where did you find the ACME thread rod and nuts? The hardware stores

>I've tried have never heard of it and have no idea where to get it. ACME rod and nuts are >available from almost any of the industrial supply houses. Try McMaster Carr (Sp?). You >certainly will not find it in your local hardware store. You should also check your local >junk/recycling yard.There are often fine ACME threaded screws and nuts there as part >ofscrapped out equipment. It would be a LOT cheaper too. You can get it up to 2-1/2" in >diameter in this country. You might get it bigger outside the US.

>I was looking at getting some 2-1/2" ACME rod for a BIG screw press.

>It is spendy, so are the big flanged nuts, over $100 each!

>The nuts can be ordered as regular nuts, or flanged at a considerable

>premium. I should add that I never order this stuff myself. I have a friend

>with a machine shop who has all the catalogs and connections and gets

>everything I need for cost. I do a lot of work for him in exchange for all

>the machining time and other help. I have three forges, but no lathe. :-)

>> Also you say that you are going to "tin" the parts. Do you mean brass plate or tin with solder?

>Tin them with brazing rod. That way they will easily bond with 100%

>contact, no gaps. By the way, I mix a little brazing flux with water in a

>table spoon or other small container (to saturation), and paint it on my

>cleaned surface prior to heating. I use a small artist's paint brush. I

>find that I get more reliable "wetting" of the metal with the brass.

>As soon as the work comes up in temperature add the powdered flux too.

>This just prevents oxidation problems during the early heating stages.

>The only difficulty I foresee is getting enough of the brazing removed

>from the "tinned" surfaces so that they will still slide together. You have

>to wipe it off at a red heat. Once you have them tinned, just slide them

>together and add a little more brazing rod when the brass melts until

>all gaps are filled. Be careful you don't also fill in the threads. <grin>

>I suspect there is something you could paint on to the parts of the nut

>you don't want brazing to flow on to. If you happen to know what to use I

>would like to know too, just to prevent fouling the threads.

> Ron



There are ways to get hold of McMaster Carr. While they don't send a catalog to

just anyone, they will do business with anyone and their service is excellent.

They have four warehouses and offer one or two day service to most of the

country. Another large supplier is MSC who will send a catalog to anyone that

asks. In addition, MSC will give you an account without a hassle. Finally, a

place someone out west recommended to me. Addresses:

American Material Resources, Inc.

Post Office Box 849

302 6th Avenue

Ouray, CO 81427-0849



Supplier of all that McMaster Carr does and more for less.

McMaster-Carr Supply Company

PO Box 4355 P.O. Box 54960

Chicago, IL 60680-4355 Los Angeles, CA 90054

708-833-0300 213-945-2811

and 310-692-5911

PO Box 440

New Brunswick NJ 08903-0440 Atlanta: 404-346-7000

908-329-3200 (Sales) 404-349-9091 fax

908-329-6666 (Other Departments)

908-329-3772 FAX

Sales @ email web site

Suppliers of industrial anything-you-need. Their catalog is huge,

but they want a business name before they will send a catalog.

They will sell to anyone.

MSC Industrial Supply Company

151 Sunnyside Blvd.

Plainview, NY 11803-1592


800-255-5067 fax

516-349-0265 FAX

Suppliers of everything from nuts & bolts to machinery. Their

catalog runs to 3000 pages. They prefer a business name, but will

sell to anyone.

Hope this helps in finding Acme threaded nuts & bolts.



> Ron Reil asked about material to prevent brazing metal from

> spreading where you don't want it. I have used white shoe polish

> with reasonable success. I have heard of other material(s), but

> don;t recall what they were. Try a jewelry supply house if you

> can't find something in your local welding supply shop.

Wite-Out -- The stuff used insteadof erasing at typewriters

(Rememeber typewriters?) seems to work for both brazing and silver

soldering. The traditional one is, I believe, yellow ochre pigment

made liquid with water or alcohol.

<> Marrin T. Fleet <>



I have several square sockets cast into the concrete floor of my shop.

They are made from square tubing with reinforcing rod welded to them and

are about 10" long. Concrete was poured around them about 16" deep and

about 2' square with more rebar to make a strong stable base. My hossfield

bender and my post vice are attached to square tubing that fits snugly into

the socket. For my post vice I attached a foot 10" or so from the bottom

of the tube with a hole drilled in it to accept to pin at the bottom of the

vice. I made a small table at the top of the tube that the vice bolts to

and gives a place to lay tools etc. The setup is not completely ridged due

to a small amount of play in the socket but works well for me and I have

done some serious pounding on my vice. I made caps that fit in the sockets

when they aren't being used to keep out dirt. I use my shop for a variety

of things and this allows me to put things where I need them.

Dan Cruzan

> From: Stephen Deppen <>

> To: ''

> Subject: Post vice setup?

> Date: Saturday, September 06, 1997 10:11 AM



> I would like some suggestions on setting up my post vice. I have seen a

> number of setups, on the edge of a bench and standing alone in the middle

> of the work area. I prefer the vice to stand alone, as his allows easy

> access to all angles of the piece. I have seen many methods of mounting

> the vice, scrap 2x4s hammered together and driven into a dirt floor, I


> with a wooden top attached to a large circular plate that allowed the


> to be moved, a similar setup bolted to the concrete floor, etc.


> I plan to get more into carving and chasing metal so in need a stable

> platform on which to bash my metal. I also will have (hopefully)


> floors in my workshop. What do the experienced smiths (i.e. members of

> this list) suggest?

> Thanks

> Stephen Deppen


>I would like some suggestions on setting up my post vice. I have seen a

>number of setups, on the edge of a bench and standing alone in the middle

>of the work area. I prefer the vice to stand alone, as his allows easy

>access to all angles of the piece. I have seen many methods of mounting

>the vice, scrap 2x4s hammered together and driven into a dirt floor, I beam

>with a wooden top attached to a large circular plate that allowed the vice

>to be moved, a similar setup bolted to the concrete floor, etc.


>I plan to get more into carving and chasing metal so in need a stable

>platform on which to bash my metal. I also will have (hopefully) concrete

>floors in my workshop. What do the experienced smiths (i.e. members of

>this list) suggest?


>Stephen Deppen

Stephen, My favorite way to mount a multitude of vises and fabricating

tables and devices is to bury an 18-24" 3/8 wall 6"x6" square tubing into

the floor and use your concrete floor as an anvil and the tube like a hardy

hole tool,because 1/2" x 5"x5" tubing will slide right into that and you can

put anything you want onto that and it will not move. If you find the slop

of 1/16-1/8" unsatisfactory you can drive some metal wedges into the seam

between the two and it will be very stable. This works well puting it in

before you've poured your floor obviously. Good thought to keep when

building a shop.

My portable leg vise is mounted on that steel plate with the I

beam in the middle that you mentioned,and I used Mark Williams idea to put a

plate behind the vice for all the bending jigs to fit in....thank you Mark.

Ralph Sproul

Return To Index


..Well...I've seen this principle used for winches on log trucks here in

the piney-woods...

The first thing I see is that you apperently have a pin in one of the

lug-bolt holes to or some such arrangement to push the hammer into the

work...It would seem better to use the pin to raise the hammer so it will

free-fall into the work as the positive movement of the "pushed" hammer

will not compensate for different thicknesses of the workpiece. I

suggest something in the manner of a starter-handle as fitted to some of

the old-time double-flywheel "hit-and-miss" engines that folded into the

flywheel after the engine started so that it engages the handle of the

hammer on the upward stroke and folds up out of the way as the pin passes

over top-dead-center; this way the hammer can fall unobstructed and one

does not need to synchronise the speed of the wheel with the pendulum

effect of the hammer...spring-load the pin so it flies outward to catch

the hammer on the next stroke..

...Next, one does not need the master cylinder, just use the emergency

brake cable and connect it to a treadle; the hammer will rise and fall so

long as you hold the treadle can also ease the pressure off the

treadle and slip the brake to slow the hammer down... wrote:

> I recently picked up this item from a discussion on the Blacksmiths

> I am posting it here to theforge in the hopes of getting a little

> critical evaluation of this design. What do you think - would it work?

> Can you suggest any improvements? How safe would something like this be?

...It's something *I* would build...

> Wayne Jay,

> Subject: power hammer

> Here are the plans for the power hammer.

> If you take a rear diff from a car(working), and drive it with a motor and

> flywheel at the point where the gearbox attaches to it connected with a vee

> belt, the motor must be quite a powerful one, mine is a 1.5 hp motor running

> at about 600rpm (6 pole induction motor) and at only one wheel side you

> leave the drum brake and connect it to a master cylinder, so if the motor is

> driving the diff then it willbe driving the two axels, then you were to hit

> the brake, the end with the brake will stop turning and the other end will

> be turning twice the speed (this is the way diffs work). At the end without

> the brake you put a small sledge hammer (12lb) axially eg:


> || <- Hammer handle

> ||

> Axel \/ |||

> ---------------|||

> ---------------|||

> |||

> ||

> _||_

> ( ) <-Hammer head

> ( )

> ----


> Top view


> then put a spring about 100mm from the hammer head vertically up so when

> nothing is turning the hammer handle rests on the spring eg:

> _____ ____

> Axel flange-> / \ | |

> --------------------------| |

> --------------------------| |

> \ / / / | |

> spring-> \ \ ----

> / / Frame \/

> -----------------------------------------------------------


> The spring must be strong enough to stop the hammer from moving down when

> the diff is being driven, but soft enough that when you push the master

> cylinder the hammer moves down fast and WHACK! If you position the master

> cylinder below the handle end of the sledge hammer and time it such that

> just when the hammer raises itself it pushes the master cylinder and hammers

> again.


> To control the speed of the hammer move the motor up and that will loosen

> the belt and the motor will no longer grip the flywheel and the power hammer

> will slow down.


> all that is left is to make a frame.


> Author Background:

> I am currently 17 years old and have been doing blacksmithing and making

> gadgets

> for at least 5 years. I live in Australia and am always coming up with gadgets

> or as my friends say "hair brained ideas" and am pleased to say most of them

> work. Please send me a donation if you use this idea, I like to share my ideas

> and would also like to hear yours

> Please send donations to:


> Adriaan Seevinck, Kingfisher Forge

> 25 Grenoble St The Gap Brisbane Qld

> Australia 4061


> by the way have you seen the plans for the Kinyon air hammer......pretty nice.

> Ralph Sproul

Actually in the early days I was able to move most of my "stuff" in the

largest UHAUL and about a dozen van loads. When I moved out my parients

truly had an empty nest and could even get their cars back in their


I got a set of the Kinyon Air Hammer plans, it does look like a nice

hammer. I was at the Stonewall Jackson Jubelee last weekend and noticed

a small power hammer that a smith had on the back of his deminstration

trailer. I asked him about it. He said it was a "Maytag." It was powered

by a motor he recycled from an old washing machine. The head only

weighed about fifteen pounds but seemed fine for most light work. The

head was connected by a light leaf spring recycled from a utility

trailer was held by a center pivot. A foot peddle caused the motor to

tighten the belt that controlled the action of the hammer. He told me

had a hundred pounder that he build for his shop, based on the same

design. I like the control an air hammer gives. If a mechanical power

hammer can give about the same control, with a cluch and brake, then

there's no need to have an air compressor running at full tilt.

Jay Hayes

Return To Index

REPOUSSE': (Also See Volume  #1)

>I believe I heard George Dixon mention that his repousse' tools, less

>than 1/2 inch were made of drill stem (3/8") and they were S1 steel. Is

>that correct and if so, where can this material be obtained? It may be

>more economical than H-13 air hardening steel.




Centaur Forge (1-414-763-9175) sells H-13, S-5 and S-7. These are all good

hot/cold work steels. The H-13 is $2.95 for a 1/2 x 8 1/2" piece. The S-5

is $4.50 for a 5/8 x 10" piece (both round stock). Pretty cheap either way.

Good luck.



>In the Hammer's Blow and watching your demonstrations at the Rocky

>Mountain Smiths Conference you >suggest making slitting chisels, fullers,

>butchers etc. in incremental sizes with the same radiuses...........

What I was trying to suggest is to make slitting chisels that

have the same thickness but incremental widths. This common cutting edge

thickness leaves incised lines that have the same visual line-weight. That

is to say that they would all leave the same width line if struck to the

same depth. For example, 3/16" wide, 3/8" wide and 1/2" wide chisels

that are all similar in thickness would allow you to switch between them,

as the pattern requires, and still maintain the same visual effect in

incising as if a single tool was used.

Why switch between various straight chisels? The 1/2" wide chisel

will cut a straight line, as will the 3/8" wide and 3/16" wide chisel. But

the 3/8" wide and 3/16" wide, straight chisels will cut or incise

progressively tighter curves. Having the same line-weight as they cut ever

tighter curves allows one to cut a near infinite range of curves as well as

various length straight lines while maintaining the visual width of the cut

as a decorative constant (calligraphy with a chisel ). This line weight

in incising can be seen in pierced work as a constant bevel along the

cut edge that you will not get if the chisels have varying thicknesses as

you switch between them to accommodate the pattern. Visualize a set of

chisels with a common wedge in vertical section compared to a set with

varied vertical wedge sections.....

Also... In cutting or incising intricate patterns one finds the

need for varied length straight and curved cutting capacity. In some

cases the curve is so tight that only a curved chisel will suffice, then

make one appropriate to the patterns' demands. (Make all curved chisels

symmetrical. Test in lead before heat treatment by rotating it as it is

struck. A symmetrical curved chisel will cut a core-shaped plug, an

asymmetrical curved chisel will ride out of its track and give a choppy cut

when rotated). Otherwise, it is very handy to move from a straight cut into

a range of broad curves using just the three sizes of straight chisels.

This is true whether you incise into or cut completely through the metal.

Intricate repousse' and pierced sheet metal patterns with areas cut out

completely (negative spaces) often have various length short straight lines

to cut as well.

Lastly on chisels, the cutting edge should be slightly crowned

along its blade length, so the center just makes contact first with both

ends of the blade radiused so the cutting edge continues up the side of the

chisel for a distance. Chisels intended for deep slitting should have a

cutting edge that extends up the side for about half of the thickness of

the metal to be slit. The ideal cross section for a slitting or incising

chisel is elliptical, like a canoe. If one was to make slices through a

properly formed chisel there should be progressively narrower canoe shaped

cross sections as you approach the actual blade. Why go through all of

this for a chisel?...... When one cuts or incises a line, one should move

the chisel forward about one half of the blade length per stroke. The

cutting edge that runs from the center of the blade up the side of the

chisel leads the cut cleanly. The radius on the corner makes a leading cut

that is a diagonal to the plane of the metal being cut. This gives a

visually clean effect ( a tapered cut rising through the metal) at the end

of a slit AND, since it is diagonal through the metal instead a vertical

line, flexing is less likely to result in a crack. A saw cut split often

cracks during flexing since it is vertical through the metal. The canoe or

elliptical cross section has the effect of planishing the lead cut mark as

the thicker center is moved forward a half-chisel length per cut. (Do not

get the center too thick or the wedge action will cause drag as well as

wedging open the cut and tearing the metal). So, what happens is a lead

cut followed by planishing action at the middle of the chisel as the lead

cut is moved forward. You get cuts so clean that little or no filing is

needed afterwards. Make each cutting process a series of passes, do not

force the tool through the material if you want a smooth result.

>What increments or sizes would you recommend for a basic set of tools,

and would the sizes

>be the same for each tool type? Since 1/4" stock for a 1/4" tool would not

>stand up to a treadle or hand hammer what size stock do you recommend?

The chisels sizes above plus:

1) Butchers in 1/8", 1/4" and 1/2" width (First and second pass as a set.

First pass butchers are steeper in angle back from the vertical face,

second pass about half as steep, about 30 degrees and 45 degrees


2) Flatters in 1/8" square, 1/4" square and 3/8" square...all with a

slightly crowned face and less than sharp edges

3) Ball end tools that are in sets, one half-round and one elliptical face

per size in every size of tool steel stock I find. start with 1/8" round ,

then 5/16", 3/8". 1/2". 5/8", 3/4" and 1".

4) Chasing tools have work faces that can range all over the map. start

with oval and rectangular faces, slightly crowned in sizes similar to those

cited above. Ball end tools are also used in chasing.

5) Teardrop flatters or 'shoes'. These have a teardrop shaped perimeter to

the working face that is slightly crowned in some while others with the

same 'foot print' are dead flat , both types have slightly rounded edges.

These tools range in size from 3/16" from point to heel up to 1/2" in

several increments and the width at the heel ranges from 1/8" to 3/8"


6) Fullers; there is the fuller shape most are familiar with, it is a

tapered wedge that ends in various half-rounds or elliptical working

faces. The sides are somewhat squared off. This configuration is intended

to span the material to be fullered. For repousse' and chasing, a fuller

that has the ends tapered and rounded with a slight crown along the work

face is better. This blunt version of a chisel, with less of a canoe-like

section, allows conventional fullering, set and strike...but it also allows

the tool to be slid a half-tool length per strike so as to leave a fullered

line that has no tool marks. Conventional fuller shapes tend to dig in at

the ends if they are not held perfectly vertical.

I heat treat all of my tools full length save about 1/2" at the end

so they do not spall when struck. Full length heat treatment allows a 1/4"

W-1 (water hardening drill rod) tool, for example, to survive treadle

hammer work all day long. Although I use 1/2" round S1 for all of my

chisels and butchers, due to the heat resistant properties that are needed

for thin bladed tools (I use all of my tools in either hot or cold work

without regard to tool steel. All work is laid out then marked cold with

the tool to be used in the subsequent process, either hot or cold), many of

my chasing (repousse') tools are either 1/4". 5/16" or 3/8" round W-1. Due

to the mass of their blunt working ends (small flatters, ball shapes which

are half-round and elliptical faced in every size I can find, oval and

rectangular faced, all with a slightly crowned work surface), W-1 is OK

for chasing tools smaller than 1/2" diameter.

One point to make in this tool explanation; although I am

describing tools that may seem somewhat small, my scale of work ranges from

very small to large. A small tool is more versatile, it fits into more

spaces and a small tool transfers more energy from the hammer (hand or

treadle) to the work face due to its small footprint. This really matters

in deep cold chasing. The shapes are more generic than specific in that

there are very few that give a single effect. This also allows more

versatility of work. My choice of work is period European motifs, which

means an huge range of patterns and shapes. The generic, small tool

approach allows a smaller set of tools to do a wider range of work in a

wider range of sizes than any other approach I have encountered.

>Do you use a few standard sizes and forge the business end to smaller sizes

>or do you make them both smaller and larger from the same size stock? So

>for instance do you use 3/8" stock for sizes 3/8 and smaller, less than

>3/8, or greater than 3/8 by spreading the end?

As alluded to above, there are certain cases as well as availability's of

tool steel that makes it necessary to draw down some stock, 1/2" round S1

for a 3/16" wide chisel blade for example. But for the most part, tools

that are blunt as opposed to chisels (straight and curved) and butchers,

are made out of stock close to the size needed for the working end.

To use these tools: There is a specific action used in applying tool to

metal. Although there are plenty of times that a tool is set and struck as

a single operation, most application of tooling to metal (hot or cold)

involves setting the tool and maintaining continuous contact (as opposed to

set and strike, set and strike) while striking and dragging the working end

along the layout. The crowned faces of the tools makes it easier to drag

the tool , again- one half tool width per blow- without lifting and setting

it per strike. This dragging or continuous contact approach gives a much

smoother effect to whatever tool process one is applying. Cutting,

chasing, incising etc. are all made much cleaner this way. There is also

less chance of a miss-strike. When one lifts the tool and sets it anew

with every strike it is easy to set it off and strike it anyway due to the

rhythm that develops. So set the tool on the layout or previous pass, and

with a rocking and dragging motion..drag and strike. This applies to

either hand or treadle hammer driven tooling.

If you decide to make these or any kind of tools, pay very close attention

to the details of form, edge, radius and finish (polish the working end

like a mirror - less friction as it moves across or through the metal).

This attention to the tool will help you refine it if it does not work

like you think it should. The difference between a tool that works REAL

WELL and one that does not is often very subtle. Those subtleties will not

be apparent without trial and error and attention paid to the result of

every nuance of modification. Other than that, it's real casual



George Dixon

Return To Index


Marc Davis

Grainger has one for 42.20 it is model 4c443 and does 100 cfm@2870 RPMs @.74 A

It has a nice 3 hole flange with an opening of 2 1/8". I have been using

one on my gas forge for about two yearsnow. They Have offices all over the

country Check local listings if you don't find one let me know where you

are at and I'll look one up for you.

Have a good one



According to an ad in _The American Blacksmith_ the Royal Blower/Western

Chief crank turns right or let, its operation is easy and noiseless,

blast is powerful, after-blast lasting, gears and boxes are phosphor bronze and

steel, it has no spiral or worm gears and the fan is 12 inches.

It was manufactured by Canedy-Otto Mfg. Co., Chicago Heights, Ill.

They also manufactured The Western Chief, No. 14 Drill and the Royal No.

100 Forge. The Blower (mine is at least 70 years old and blowing strong)

and Forge are the best ever.

Page A. Thomas


I started using my auction acquired Royal with 30 wt. (all I had)

You are correct, it was difficult to crank, a few leaks around the

gearbox housing. Someone suggested adding kerosene. After some

serious leaking around the gearbox housing, the kerosene apparently

swelled the paper gasket enough to stop it. Am happy to say, the Royal

has required no additional lube in 12 years and serves for my uses.

The aforementioned "someone" reasoned that the low speed gears didn't

require a modern highspeed lubricant, the gaskets were probably paper or

cork, (a later disassembly to cure a chipped tooth proved him right) and

his lubrication suggestion was right on.



Want a really cheap blower that makes lots of air, and pressure too?

See your friendly neighborhood appliance repairman. The blower from a

junked clothes dryer will blow the coal right out of your forge.

Mike George

Return To Index

TORCHES: (Also See Volume #1)

I am a little hesitant to post this, but since I recently discovered

that not everyone had heard of this, I felt it was worth a few words.

Rather than use those flint type strikers for your

oxy-acetylene/propane torches use a long-neck lighter. I am refering

to the lighters made by Scripto and Bic that have a long neck and a

small piezo starter in the tip. You squeeze the trigger and the

lighter lights. When the butane runs out, the piezo starter is still

very good and lasts for a -long- time. Use that instead of your

flint striker to light your torch and you will never have to run out

for new flints again. I usually have several of them scattered

around the shop and I have been using several for about 3 years.

Since I routinely buy that style lighter for my BBQ grill, I never

run out of "empties".

It's a simple trick, but those are usually the best.

Franklyn D. Garland


Walter L. Mullett wrote:


> I gave an article to our newsletter editor on the treadle torch that was

> discussed here a couple of weeks ago. This interested one of our

> members but it seems I did not include a manufacture/supplier for the

> valve.

> Does anybody have the name? Do you Mark W.?

> Thanks,

> Walt


The one I use is made by:

Weldit Division

National Torch Tip Co., Inc.

50 Freeport Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15215



They have several models for different gases (all look about the same

- difference is pilot light assemblies):

Model W-100 Gasaver for MAPP or Propylene/Oxygen

Model W-101 Gasaver for Acetylene

Model W-102 Gasaver for Inert Arc Welding

Model W-103 Gasaver for Natural Gas

Model W-104 Gasaver for Propane at 4 psi or more

The inlet side of Models W-100, W-101 and W-104 is connected to a fuel

gas pilot light. Model W-103 requires an additional hose to supply the

pilot light. The inlet and outlet threads are Class B, 9/16-18 male,

L.H. for fuel gas, R.H. for oxygen.

The Model W-102, for inert gas-water applications, does not have a

pilot light. The inlet and outlet threads are Class B, 5/8-18 female,

L.H. for water, R.H. for inert gas.

I bought mine for $80 in 1994.

Hope this helps.

Tom Coker

Wheaton, MD, USA

(DC Metro area)


H R. HOLT wrote:

> David,

> If you find the time, kindly fill me in on, what is a "Dillon/Henrob"

> torch. I'm trying to fill in the gap between my Air/acetylene torch and

> oxyacaetylene torch.

> Many thanks,

> Hal

A Dillion is a gas welding torch made in Australia. It has a pistol like

shape, unlike the conventional welding torch design. It uses a single

oxyacetylene flame to preheat the steel and a single oxygen only stream

of higher pressure gas to make the cut. No acetylene flame follows, so

the cut stays clean. The drawback is that the Dillion cutting

attachment works only in one direction. If you want to cut a circle,

you have to keep the preheat oxyacetylene flame and oxygen in a

leading-trailing relationship. Cutting thin sheet metal, such as car

fenders, is really where this torch excels.

The Dillion torch also works well as a regular gas torch for welding..

Michael Patrick

Return To Index


I just received a flyer from the Tavern Puzzle people and in it was an ad

for a book: "Puzzles old and new. How to make and solve them"

The book is by Jerry Slocum and Jack Botermana.

It says the book is available from:

Tucker-Jones House,Inc

PO box 231

East Setauket, NY 11733

Return To Index


Re froe blades: it is harder to come up with a quicker, better froe blade

then a truck or auto leaf spring. Just cut it off to the right length from

the eye (generally speaking, I find a bit shorter to be better...@10"), weld

up the eye, taper the eye slightly (wider at the bottom, cutting edge) and

draw down a beveled blade. In the process take the curve from the blade.

The very best thing I have found for a froe mallet is a dogwood root. Find a

dogwood about 5-6" around at ground level and dig it out, roots and all. Cut

it about 24", trim off all the roots, rough shape the handle and put it in a

plastic bag. About once a week or two turn the bag inside out, let the

surgace moisture dry off the maul (15-20 mins) and put it back in. Just to

be sure we are accurately communicating: the root part becomes the maul head

and the handle runs up the tree trunk. These things last like iron and are

iron friendly.

The combination of spring steel and dogwood, while not historically correct

or as aesthetically appealing, will give you a froe to take to your grave. I

like a hickory or ash handle. Anything else will be less satisfactory.

Kindest regards

Don Plummer

Return To Index


> Well that is my first post in this, I hope, new thread. I can't help but

> think it would be an improvement over the certification thread we have been

> going through. :-)

> OK guys, someone else pick this one up please...thanks.

No egg on your face there, Ron! Here's my contribution:

When I'm not doing anything in particular, I gather up some of the

short stock left over from other projects and make leaves which I

toss in a box to use later as decorations on items I make to sell and

to give to visitors. I found that when I wanted several leaves to

make a "branch" on, say a fireplace tool stand, I could save a lot of

aggravation in this manner.

Using a piece of stock 4-8" long (you pick it, you know what you

want) turn an eye in one end and weld the end to the shank in the

usual manner. In the other end, turn another eye, and weld it as

though it were a lap-link for a chain. Now cut both eyes about

half-way from the welds and spread the "legs"; 3 of the legs will

branch off in one direction and only one will branch in the other.

Form stems and leaves on the three, use the fourth as the "twig" to

weld to the piece you are going to embellish. The advantage is that

throughout the making of the three-leaf set, you are only holding one

piece of iron in the tongs, not trying to join two or more small

pieces together. Of course all you old-timers knew this..

Jack Yates


you wrote:

>Wonderful idea Ron! Jack chipped in right away.

>Keep them coming; we'll worry how to catalog them later.


>Getting from idea to finished product in the shortest amount of time.

1) using clay can make you think out your procedures without the heat

2)use poster board for patterns,it's cheaper than steel and you can

file them for repeat projects of the same kind later-also write the stock

size,length,and job notes on those filed pieces.

3)if you like a sketch you have done,and it's not the right size

for the job or if a customer wants this exact thing(picture) or if a book

has the item you want to make, use an opaque projector to shoot the item

onto a piece of posterboard at just the right distance as to proportion your

project. then take the cut out posterboard to your layout table, or floor,

and draw your pattern in soap stone. also keep the posterboard around as you

will smudge and loose your drawing as you work.Then file it away for next time.



you wrote:

> >Using a piece of stock 4-8" long (you pick it, you know what you

> >want) turn an eye in one end and weld the end to the shank in the

> >usual manner. In the other end, turn another eye, and weld it as

> >though it were a lap-link for a chain. Now cut both eyes about

> >half-way from the welds and spread the "legs"; 3 of the legs will

> >branch off in one direction and only one will branch in the other.

> >Form stems and leaves on the three, use the fourth as the "twig" to

> >weld to the piece you are going to embellish. The advantage is that

> >throughout the making of the three-leaf set, you are only holding one

> >piece of iron in the tongs, not trying to join two or more small

> >pieces together.


> I'm confused, but that isn't anything unusual. In the first weld, you say

> do it in the "usual manner". What's the usual manner? For the second weld

> I'm not sure I know what you mean by a "lap-link for a chain." 4" of stock

> wouldn't give much fore making eyes with, or am I just thinking too big?


> I sure wish putting pictures in these postings were easier and didn't make

> for huge files.

> Dave Brown

OOPS! I hit the 4 on the keypad, should have been the 7..That's what

I get for posting after they blow out the lamps..

..Normal manner:

stick a rod in the fire. heat the end, pull it out; the part you are

holding with your tongs is south, the hot part north...make a loop

over the end of the horn and now the *end* of the north end is

facing south, parallel to the rod; weld the end to the rod in this


Lap-link: stick he other end of the rod in the fire, the end

you are holding with the tongs, (the first loop) is south, the hot

end is north...again, turn a loop over the end of the horn, but keep

turning it until the tip of the rod is facing north again, "lapped"

over the rod..Weld this.

Now, when you cut the two loops and hold the lapped end in the tongs,

the first "normal" loop will have both "twigs" branching northward;

the second loop, lap-welded will have one of the twigs branching

northward also, the part that was the end of the rod. The middle

part of the rod will branch southward..

Try it with a piece of string first and you'll get the idea.

..I saw a Keyboard at Sam's Club the other day, it had a little

window that you placed your finger on to move the cursor instead of a

mouse and had a stylus that one could use to sign one's name.

Presumable the stylus could be used to create sketches..

...I want one.......

Jack Yates

Return To Index

BOOKS: (See Also Volume #1)

D. L. Couts wrote:

> fred clark wrote:

> > >Hello, all:

> > >I am a 'smith wannbe. I am a retired machinist. Could someone please

> > >suggest a couple of basic 'smith books? I am a fair hand with a stick

> > >welder, I own a 100# anvil and a few tools I've collected up. The first

> > >projects I want to tackle are tools for the anvil, the 'dies' that fit the

> > >hardee hole, various 'pinchers' to hold hot stuff with, and I need plans

> > >for a small forge. I presently have plans for one using a big truck drum,

> > >but am interested in something I can weld up. After this post, I'll be

> > >listening rather than posting. One other question: how far can I get in

> > >making my first tools using wood rather than coal? Where can one get coal

> > >in St. Louis, MO? (My fireplace died and I have about 6 cords to get rid


> Also try " Country Blacksmithing" by Charles McRaven. Very good beginners

> book. Easy to understand and quite entertaining.

Couldn't help but notice that all the books people were recommending

were out of print so I did a quick check and found some books which I've

found useful and your local bookstore will have or can easily get:

The Art of Blacksmithing, by Alex Bealer, ISBN 0-06-015225-7

Practical Blacksmithing and Metalworking, by Percy Blandford,

ISBN 0-8306-2894-0

The Blacksmith Ironworker and Farrier, by Aldren Watson,


New Edge of the Anvil, by Jack Andrews, ISBN 1-879535-09-2

The Art of Blacksmithing contains some fairly useful instructions for

making a forge with a welded together firepot. I've built a dozen or so

forges over the years and have never bothered with brake drums, I make

the pan by welding together a shallow box about 3" deep and 18" to 24"

square out of 12 gauge steel. Air can come up through a bunch of 1/4"

holes in the bottom of the pan or you can buy or build a fire pot and

tuyere, which will allow a deeper fire. Your air source can be about

anything that delivers 150-500 cfm of air. Control of the air flow is

essential and can be done with a gate or rheostat. Remember to provide

some way to remove ashes that fall through the air inlet.

Eventually you're going to want some smithing tools that you can't

make or find locally. Centaur Forge has the most comprehensive catalog

around (though not always the best prices), their number is:

1-414-763-9175. They sell forges and parts for same, by the way.

Hope this helps, be sure to let us all know if you need any more info

or clarification of previous rambles.

Larry Noller


FYI: Alexander Weygers' three books, The Making of Tools (1973); The

Modern Blacksmith (1974); and The Recycling, Use, and Repair of Tools

(1978); have been republished in a single volume entitled, The Complete

Modern Blacksmith. This new book is published by Ten Speed Press (ISBN

0-89815-896-6, 1997, $19.95). Weygers' books are full of great ideas,

techniques, and excellent illustrations. I found this new single volume

at my local bookstore; I persume Norm Larson has (or soon will have)

this book availble.


If you are interested in doing this seriously, as opposed

to casually, I'd suggest you buy (or borrow) a book entitled

"The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals" by

Richard Huges and Michael Rowe. It is certainly a definitive

contemporary work on the subject and contains about 360

recipes for patinating copper and related metals and alloys.

It is not cheap at $80, but again if you are looking to

do serious artworks, then I would have to recommend it

highly as it not only gives recipes, but is in itself a

more or less complete textbook on the craft.

Good luck.

-Andy V. - Freehold NJ (happy now?? :) )


I suspect this may become a long thread, but:

An interesting book is-

Hooks, Rings & Other Things, An Illustrated Index of New England Iron


by Frank T. Barnes (Christopher Publishing House, Commerce Green, 24

Rockland St, Hanover, MA 02339)

copyright 1988, ISBN: 0-8158-0440-7

If you ever wanted to make a harpoon or a "Crown" game hanging rack, this

is the book for you.


George Montee


The is book titled "Custom tools for Woodworkers: designing and making

your own" by Joe Petrovich Stackpole Books 1990- I bought it recently and

am sure it is still in print. It is an excellent book for any blacksmith

interested in this topic. He gives design tips and especially for chisels

he has some very compelling reasons for deviating from the styles

commericially available-he like shorter rather than longer. As a

part-time woodworker and fair blacksmith I can highly recommend this book.

He does cover heat treating, but also encourages experimentation. Your

time will be well spent getting and reading this book before aactually

committing you ideas to steel.


> OK, here goes: I want to make some woodworking chisels and gouges. I have

> pictures of several common styles and I want to make a handfull to be able to

> chop out and clean up dovetail and mortise & tennon joints for woodworking

> projects. I've also forged several knives so I understand the basics of

> forging and heat treating simple tool steels like 1095, O1 and L6.


> What else do I have to know? A few questions present themselves, like how hard

> should I leave the cutting edge? Would the chisel benefit from differential

> hardening/tempering? What alloys are best for making chisels?


> My working plan is to make a couple from O1 (I have a lot of it) and experiment

> with different degrees of hardness. The complete plan is to forge a nice set

> out of damascus (probably my favorite 1095+N200 mix) with a flat of M2 forge

> welded on as the cutting edge.


> I bet there are a couple of folks here that make a lot of woodworking tools,

> I'd sure like a few pointers before I learn from my own mistakes...

> Joe McGlynn


Frederick W. Faller wrote:

> I have read and heard allusions to "chasing" forged pieces and

> and have seen pictures of "chasing tools" in books, but

> references have been very short on the art of chasing itself:

> how it is done, the effects that can be rendered, how the work

> is held, whether it is done hot or cold, etc.


> If anyone out there knows some details or has some good

> references on the subject, I would be thankful for a few hints

> and pointers


> Frederick W. Faller

> Shiloh Forge Ironware

> Burlington, MA


The best book there is on engraving (dignified chasing) is James B.

Meeks' Art of Engraving. It goes way beyond the simpler decoration that

blacksmiths usually use, but it's a great book if you can afford it.

Norm Larson ( it I believe.

Donnie Fulwood



My number is 1 800 743 4766. Anytime after 6 a.m. is fine. Since I do this

out of my home days, evenings, and week ends are OK times to call.

Norm Larson


A very good sitting-down-and-reading book is "The Forgotten Arts" by John Seymore. It has about two pages devoted to Charcoal Burning, but doesn't add much to what has already been said on TheForge.

Charcoal Burning is just one of the 61 "Forgotton Arts" discussed in this book. Some get just a cursory description, some are discussed in reasonable depth. Author also has a great style.

Makes a great coffee-table book too, if you are that way inclined ;-)


Return To Index

STRIKERS: (See Also Volume #1)

> I was thinking about strikers. Doing living history I use one for

> starting fires and when demonstrating I use it a few times a day. I

> have never made one. I figure 5160 will work fine. Anything other

> then mild steel I would guess, but then I was wondering if anyone had

> experimented with different alloys and found a particular type of

> steel better for strikers. I was also wondering to what point you

> temper it, should it be harder then a knife blade????softer???? Has

> anyone had any experience in this matter?


> Robert

I saved some of the thread a year ago last April when this was

discussed; see below.

Steven O. Smith

From: Russell McCrackin <>

Subject: Corrected flint & steel directions

Dave, you can enter, but you better get so you consistantly produce flame in

less than 4 seconds, no matter where the contest is. But here are the


Start with a good high carbon steel file. DON'T USE ONE FROM SEARS, they

have chrome content. I use about an eight or ten inch smooth mill file.

Measure about five inches from where the tang joins the body. Mark it

with chalk, and break it there. Put the file in a vice with the extra

part above the vice, and hit it with a hammer. Be careful. Protect

your eyes.

Put it in your forge, get a cherry red heat, then stick it into a large

can of perlite or ashes. I use perlite from the garden shop. It's

cheap, does not pack like ashes, so is always easy to stick the file in.

Leave it there until it is cold. You now have an annealed file, and it

will grind easily. So go grind off ALL the file teeth. I mean, ALL of

them. If you leave any, they will act as stress raisers, and your steel

will break at the WRONG time.

Now take it back to the forge, heat it, and bend it so that the shape is

like that below when viewd edge on. The part between A and B can be bent

into a gentle curve, the middle about 1/8 inch below the ends. The

length of A-B should be about 2 1/2 inches. In use, the B-D end is hooked

over the middle section of your ring finger, and the thumb placed on end

A-C, with all of your fingers curved into a loose fist. Why hold it this

way? So that you are less apt to get cut if your flint breaks!!


( ) Now harden the steel.

\ <-- This end is made / Heat to an orange heat in

\ from the tang of / a reducing or neutral fire.

| the file. | Hold by one end and plunge

C/ \D into water, move it around

in the water until it is cold.

You now have a steel that will make sparks, but they will be very white,

and burst after traveling only a couple inches. And the steel is so

hard it will probably break if you drop it on a hard surface. So it is

time to TEMPER it.

I set the oven on my wife's kitchen stove to 325 degrees, then while I

wait 20 minutes for it to come to temperature, I take the steel to the

bench grinder and grind the face A-B to a shine. You can also clean up

the curved ends if you wish, I do. I put the steel on an aluminum pie

pan, or a piece of aluminum foil, and put it in the oven. Why the pan

or foil? So that the steel doesn't get any direct radiation heating

if the oven comes on again. Leave the steel alone for about 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, lift it out with tongs and look at the face A-B. You

want that face to turn a light straw color. If it is a deep straw or blue,

your oven was too hot, so take it back to the forge and harden it again.

If it not yet a light straw color, leave it out of the oven, turn the oven

up another 25 degrees, wait 20 minutes, put the steel in for 15 minutes,

etc. When you finally find the temperature that produces the straw color,

note it down for future use. But put the steel back in the oven, leave

it another 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven. Leave the steel in the

oven until the oven is cold.

Now test the steel. Hold the steel between thumb and ring finger of one

hand, and hit the cirved A-B face a sweeping blow with the sharp edge of

a piece of flint or jasper. Sometimes a piece of quartz will work. You

should get bright orange sparks that travel nearly two feet before they

burst. If they are white and burst in only a couple inches, back to the

oven for a little higher temperature. If they are cool orange, or don't

burst, you got it too hot, back to the forge and harden, then temper at

a slightly cooler temperature.

Make a "char box." An empty one quart paint can will work fine. Get a

new, clean one from the paint store, or put an old one in a fire and

burn it clean. Use a nail to punch a hole in the center of the lid. A

number 8 or 16 common nail works fine. Save the nail.

Now for the char. Get some heavy cotton cloth, such as duck. Unravel

a lot of it. Enough that the wadded up threads will fill the can, but

not packed in. Lots of openings between the threads. Put the lid on

nice and tight. Put the can in a fire. When smoke comes out the hole

in the lid, light the smoke. Turn the can over every now and then,

until no more smoke comes out the hole. Take the can out of the fire,

and QUICKLY put the nail back into the hole to keep air from going in.

leave the can until it is cold. If you open it while hot all the threads

will burn. If it is cold when you open it, you will find a wad of black

thread, nicely charred, and almost pure carbon.

Now to start a fire. Take about a foot of stout sisel or hemp twin.

I like sisel because the fibers are usually finer. Cut it into 3 inch

lengths, and unravel them all. Make a "nest" about 3 inches across with

the fibers. Put a pinch, about 3 inches across and 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep,

of your charred thread on top of the fiber nest. Now get down on your

knees. Put the nest on a dry spot on the ground. Hold the steel about

six inches to a foot above the nest, and strike it with your flint.

When the sparks from the steel land on the charred threads, they will

start the threads glowing. Pick up the nest BY THE EDGES, and blow at

it. The glowing threads will get very hot, the heat will go through

to the fiber, and they will burst into flame. BE CAREFULL!! If you

get everything right, the flame will roar and be like a small blow torch!

Be ready to drop the whole thing as soon as it flames. If you do it

over the bed of your forge, have the small tinder sticks ready to drop

it on, and some more small pieces of wood ready to add.

Most people will char small squares of cloth. Trouble is, the sparks

mostly bounce off the cloth, or if they stick, the glowing coal on the

charred cloth has to burn a hole before heat can get through to the

fiber, and then the glowing coal moves along to a new area before it

heats the fiber very much. With charred threads, the heat goes from

the top threads right through to the ones below, and they add more

heat that goes through to more threads, that add more heat, etc.,

until all that heat hits the fibers, and they really flame, fast and

hot. I usually can get flame with just one short puff.

NOTICE: I make these steels and sell them at rendezvous, and they sell

very nicely. But I'd hate to have you beat me out of sales! So if you

make them and sell them, you can send me a Royalty of 25 cents each.

Not bad, when you can easily get 7 to 10 dollars each for them. Send to


Subject: Re: Fire Starting with flint & steel.

Tom in Nova Scotia mentioned starting a fire with flint & steel.

If you want to be really authentic get youself a tinder box, a strike a light

(make one in your forge from an old file-- [best]), and a piece of charred,

cotton cloth and a good piece of flint.

The tinder box is best made out of something waterproof like tin. Silver if

you're fancy. Pewter in between and plain iron if you're common. They were

of a size that could be easily carried in the pocket. If your really cool

(and modern) a Campbell's soup can-- with just the right amount of rust on

it-- is great. Keep it on the back of the forge where it will stay warm and


The strike-a-light, or fire steel, is hard to describe if you haven't seen

one. I can better tell you how to make one. This will have a straight

striker bar 3 to 4" long that fits on the outside of your knuckles and a flat

handle that runs from the top of the flat bar inside your hand and ends below

the edge of your palm with either a quarter circle of a little curlique--

(rhymes with burlique.)

1. To make the bar part. Take an old, really worn out 6 or 8" fine tooth

file. Bring it up to a good, bright yellow and draw out half of it to

one-third of its' width edgewise. Try to keep it the same thickness as the

file is thick. If the teeth are too coarse, you have to weld them shut.

Better to use a really worn out fine tooth file.

2. The handle is made from half of the first draw and draw it out until the

last two thirds of it are two to three times as wide as the file was thick.

On this second draw, hang the file over the rounded edge of your old beat up

anvil so that it has a neat, rounded shoulder on it where it joins the bar

part. You don't want a sharp corner here. Roll up the very end until the

handle part is as long as the width of your four fingers plus 3/4 of an inch.

You can also leave this in a quarter circle.

3. When you've got it drawn out to the proper shape, take a second heat at

that rounded shoulder. Bend the drawn out handle away from the shoulder to a

rough 90 degrees. Drop the tang of the file in the pritchel hole and hold the

bar vertically with your tongs. Hammering straight down, slightly upset the

right angle joint until it looks good.

4. Finish off by bending the rest of the handle over the horn. The interior

circle should match the curve of either your index finger or little finger.

(Some folks use these inverted.)

You should now have a gismo that roughly resembles a pair of brass knuckles

open at either the top of the bottom depending on which way you hold it. The

handle part fits inside the first joint of the knuckles and the bar is

outside the knuckles.

5. With the bar part at a cherry red, drop it into the slack tub.

The nice thing about this little project is that it doesn't matter what size

you make it. It'll fit someone. You can make it as simple or ornate as you


Now for the flint. Get a chunk big enough to hold comfortably in your hand.

Make sure it is of good quality. Black is best-- only because it's called

flint. Brown works just as well but is called chert. (Some chert isn't

flint and doesn't work worth a d~~~.) Some of these rond-i-voo people should

be able to steer you onto a piece. A gun flint will work, but if you use one

make sure it is a musket flint, not a rifle or pistol size. The latter are

too small to hold.

As far as the tinder goes-- and this is the reason I got off on this toot--

is that I never heard of using an oiled rag as Tom mentioned. I'd be

interested in getting more details on the practice. I always use a piece of

charred cotton. Take a chuck of clean, old T shirt and roll it into a tube.

Set one end on fire. When it is burning good, drop it into an air tight

container. A Mason jar works fine. When it is out, you have charred cotton.

Using the cotton as a pad around the flint-- so you don't cut yourself with

the flint-- hold the flint just above the charred part of the cotton. Strike

a sharp edge of the flint with the striker so that the sparks go downward

into the charred cotton. The fun part here is not knocking all the char off

with the bar. When you catch the spark, blow gently into the spark until it

lights. Set what you want on fire and then throw the cotton into the Mason

jar again to be ready for the next time.

Didn't mean to get off on a toot here. It was sort of like drinking a

cuspidor-- once you get started, it's all one, long string to the end. (Part

of an old, gross joke.)



Subject: Re: Fire Starting and shooting the breeze!

At 11:27 AM 4/6/96 -0400, you wrote:

>>At 02:24 PM 4/5/96 -0700, you wrote:


>>As I said in the other e-mail, my best recorded time is 1.8 seconds from

>>flint hitting steel to flame, but I have a personal goal of getting an

>>official time at a contest of strike to flame of under one second. I think

>>it is possible, because it seems like I do it when I practice without a

>>timer checking me.

> I think this is great; under 1 sec...don't let the *match-making*

>companies get wind of this...:o)

>P.S. The type of flint must be a factor in this..

>Thanks for the info..

>-->Thomas B.

Hi Thomas

No, the type of flint doesn't matter as long as it will cut the steel enough

to make sparks. I actually use a piece of jasper because I have a lot of it

and can get it easily from many sites here in Oregon. Flint I have to pay

for, and I'm of Scottish heritage.

The first requirement is a good hot spark that will travel atleast a foot,

maybe 18 inches, betfore bursting. Use a good carbon steel, heat treat it

properly, and you will get them. I see lots of "steels" made at rendezvous

by other smiths out of ordinary hot rolled steel. You get maybe a few cold

orange sparks if you hit it enough.

Real secret is to char those heavy threads unraveled from cotton canvas.

The open spaces let the heat through to the tinder, and having atleast 1/4

inch thickness of char threads keeps the heat supply over one spot on the

tinder long enough to do some good. I described using sisel twin, unraveled,

for tinder. At some rendezvous they don't allow that, so I just use some

dry grass or fine weed stems. If you can get some really rotten wood out of

a stump, dry it and use it. And to be sure you can get a fire started, even

with wet wood or coal, get some pitchy wood. Usually found by digging into

large stumps that have been dead for a while, and started to rot. Rotten

wood and pitch pockets all from the same location.

I wass in a "survival class" run by the local sherrif's office. They

allowed us a knife and 20 matches. Turned us out in wooded area with lots

of blow down trees right after a rain to build a shelter, collect enough

wood for 24 hours (that's a lot!), and get a fire started. I used a knife

made from a ferrier's file, large, sharp, and heavy enough to be able to

hack into dead stumps.

I finished and was sitting in my shelter with a nice fire in less

than 2 hours. After 4 hours they collected all the trainees, and checked

their match supply. Some had none left, and no fire. When I returned

20 matches, they had a hard time believing it, so had to demonstrate flint

and steel method. For a steel I used my belt buckle that had been forged

out of a file, and a piece of hard quartz I picked up on the site. Rotten

wood and a pitch pocket, and no char of any kind. I could have used my

knife for a steel, but it was sort of pitchy by the time I was ready to

start a fire.

Don't try to start a fire by rubbing 2 sticks together unless

they are matches.

Get it hot and hit it hard.


From: "D. M. Dickie" <>

Subject: Flint 'n Steel

An addendum to the discussion of fire starting. The best material I have

used to make char out of is the pure cotton waste that used to be available,

and was used as an oil filter. It would seem to me that some form of natural

cotton fibre should be available in the cotton growing areas? I have a box

of the stuff, and it beats the hell out of trying to fray old jeans or duck.

I agree that the frayed/shredded variety however obtained is better than

using whole cloth.

Rusty nails however, are best made in a Brandy snifter, using room

temperature or slightly warmed Single Malt - Highland Park or the Macallan

come to mind - and eliminating the Drambuie entirely!

Hi Mike.

Yes, "cotton waste" does work. Have a friend that gets a roll of cotton from

the first aide supplies in the drugstore. (Cheap, and lots of cotton.) Cuts

off about a foot of it. Drops it on the ground, and drops a lit match on it.

When the top surface is burning good and black all over, he stomps it out.

Uses a chunk about 3 or 4 inches across to start a fire. Has no trouble with

sparks bouncing off, one strike of the steel and he has several glowing spots.

Only trouble it, when he blows at it, it takes several seconds for the embers

to burn through and make holes, and until there are holes no heat gets through

to his tinder. He always gets fire, but it always takes 10 or 15 seconds.

If you just want fire, works fine, but will never due for a timed contest.

About the Rusty Nails in the Brandy snifter:

I guess it's time fur-r-r-r me tu confess, I ha' tu geeve uup dr-r-r-rinkin'

R-R-R-Rusty Nails. When I was dr-r-r-rinkin' them made from me own bottles

I dina' enjoy them fur-r-r-r the thought o' th' hor-r-r-r-r-r-ubul expense.

An' when I was Dr-r-r-rinkin' them made from some one illses bottles, th'

glass was so full tha' me hand woood shake, an' I'd spill sum, an' then me

tungue wu' get all dir-r-r-rty fr-r-r-r-rum th' floor-r-r-r, an' then I

couldna' taste the wunder-r-r-rfull liqui' an' I'd cr-r-r-r-ry so har-r-r-rd

at not tastin' it that me tear-r-rs wud make the glass over-r-rflow agin, an'

then I'd have tu get down and git me tongue dir-r-r-rty agin. So tu save me

knees fr-r-r-rum all tha' ups en dunes, I ha' tu geeve uup R-R-R-Rusty Nails.

But sur-r-r-re an' as soon as yee invite me over-r-r-r fur a wee dr-r-rop, I

just might take uup the tastin' agin.


Return To Index

FLUX: (Also See Volume #1)

Steve and Arlene Jacobson wrote:

> I was just in the scrapbin of the blacksmiths junkyard and someone wrote

> about laundry borax vs anhydrous borax. He stated that you can't use

> laundry borax to weld and that he makes and sells anhydrous borax to

> sell for $25-$35 a pound. I'm a beginner blacksmits but have made all my

> welds using laundry borax. Do you think he was making a joke or just

> trying to make a sale? Would that price be about right for anhydrous

> borax? How does one compare to the other for welding?

> Thanks, Steve


I'm with everyone else on this, I've always used Laundry Borax for all my welding. But,

here's a few things to throw in:

First, Anhydrous borax doesn't 'foam' up the way laundry borax does, because the water

has already been removed. This makes it a little easier to work with.

Second, I've seen an address that sells 25# bags of the stuff for like $50.00 so I would

say the price offered to you is awfuly high at $25 -$35 per pound.

Third, you can make your own anhydrous borax. Fill an old pot etc. about 1/4 to 1/3

full of laundry borax, and heat in your forge. The borax will 'foam' up, so be

carefull, but it will eventualy melt down into a thick honey like fluid. Slowly keep

adding borax until you get a sufficient amount of the melted borax, and then pour out

onto a piece of sheet metal. (Be carefull, this stuff is very hot).. Allow to cool and

it will form a sold black glass like substance. Crush or grind this into a powder, and

voila, anhydrous borax. The black glass borax is realy hard, to crush/grind it up, I've

used a piece of 2" black pipe with an end cap. Put the borax into this, and then pound

it up with either a smaller dia pipe/end cap or a rod.

Hope this helps,

Mark Schneider


Back in April Dick Nietfeld posted the following message to theforge:

Back in December 1996, D/S Ralph in the knife-list e-mail posted where he

purchased anhydrous borax. I just purchased a 50 pound bag from the same

place. The seller is in Ohio, is named Aqua Science, has a phone # of

614-252-5000, the person to talk to is Candy. My cost was $79 including

shipping to Nebraska. Shipping was approx. $25 of the $79. I attempted to

get it in my area and was quoted prices as high as $100 for 5 pounds,

therefore I thought Candy's price reasonable. The bag says it was

manufactured by U.S. Borax Inc., 26877 Tourney Road, Valencia, CA

91355-1847, USA. The product is called 20 Mule Team - Dehybor. The bag

also says it may cause reproductive harm based on animal data, so be

careful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you want to be reproductive. Thanks D/S Ralph for

the information.

July 31, 1997

This old post got me interested so I just called a U. S. Borax chemist just

now and he said that anhydrous borax will hydrate in the atmosphere unless

put in a container to keep the atmosphere out. He also said putting regular

borax on a cookie sheet in the at oven at 400 degrees or over will

essentially turn it into anhydrous borax. Further, he said that he doesn't

know of anyone making any kind of flux that uses anhydrous borax as opposed

to regular borax because the anhydrous borax is more expensive. Lastly, he

said that the borax you buy in the stores is pure borax except that it has

an anti-caking compound in it. Borax melts at about 1300 degress F and he

said that if it is pure borax, it should be clear or perhaps have a yellow

tinge to it after melting. I know I've melted what I thought was chemically

pure borax and it turned into the glassy black mass thing.

Norm Larson

Return To Index

COAL AND COKE: (See Also Volume #1)

Cumberland coal interested me. Where does this coal come from?

Cumberland Elkhorn Coal

950 Swan St.

Louisville, Kentucky, 40204

502? 585-5141

>you happen to know if it is available anyplace closer to me than K Falls?

I think if you get in touch with them they can tell you who buys bulk

closest to you.

>Any information you can pass along regarding this coal, including quality,

>would be greatly appreciated.

This is pea coal, pretty uniform in size, burns pretty clesn, has no stone

in it, leaves little or no clinker. Company motto is: SPECIAL COAL FOR

SPECIAL PEOPLE. I can't yet find the paperwork that tells where in Klamath

Falls I bought it, but haven't yet really had the time. I will find it and

get back to you.

P.S., Al Bart liked it a lot.

Jon Glazer Lame Smith Forge


I just checked a sack: Cumberland Elkhorn Coal comes from:

950 Swan St.

Louisville, Kentucky, 40204

502? 585-5141


Hi Ron,

I found it. In Klamath Falls, I got the Cumberland Coal from


2225 Washburn Way

Sorry I have no phone#, but they're listed. You certainly ought to phone

first if you go to check their price 1995 it was $17.50/50#... and to

confirm they have enough on hand.

Jon Glazer Lame Smith Forge


> Subject: Forge Coal

> Hello:

> How nice it would be if some one in the Seattle area could clue me in on a

> source of decent forge coal at a reasonable price. I'd be more than happy

> to pop for the beer!

> Thanks,

> Hal

I'm not from Washington state, however I do have an address for coal. Should

you find a different supplier, please let me know. I will add that name to the

suppliers list.

Central Fuel

1945 S. Market Blvd.

Chehalis, WA 98532


Blacksmith coal. Bring your own containers.

Harry's Leather Shop

2712 Hewitt Avenue

Everett, WA 98201


Coal supplier.

Morris Coal Sales

26458 Black Diamond Road SE

Maple Valley, WA 98953


Coal suppliers.

Have a good one.



> I'm looking for a supplier of blacksmith's or furnace coke in

> the SF Bay Area. I called Lazzari Fuels in Brisbane, they do not

> currently carry coke, but will if there is sufficient demand.

> In the meantime I'm looking for source that might supply a few

> hundred pounds.


> If they are other people in the SF Bay Area interested in

> obtaining blacksmith's coke, we could perhaps convince Lazzari

> to stock it, or I can put together a pooled order to one

> of the manufacturers.

I think the next closest supplier to you is:


P.O. Box 7701

South Lake Tahoe, California 96158


Excellent blacksmithing coal. High BTU value, low ash & sulphur.

Cokes well.

(According to Mark Williams List posted on my Web Page)

Donnie Fulwood, Editor


<< I'm looking for a supplier of blacksmith's or furnace coke in

the SF Bay Area. >>

Call John McClellan - McClellan Blacksmithing in Roseville (near Sacramento).

John is selling 80# bags of coke for $20. The number is (916) 786-0560.


Return To Index


A question on detail - did you put the plates on the inside or the outside of

your tray? And - how close was the crack to the tuyere?

I do not have a welder (although friends do) and I do have a drill press....


-----------------------( Forwarded letter follows )--------------------------

I had this exact problem last year with my forge. I tried several of the

fix-ups that have already been suggested. First I tried welding the

crack but I could not get the forge pre-heated enought to prevent

expansion. Next I drilled holes at either end of the crack on either

sided of the crack. I fashioned steel plates to span the holes then put

rivits through the holes and welded the rivit heads to the plates. I

finally coated the inside of the forge with refractory cement. Since

this repair I have had no trouble at all with additional cracking. Chris

Hubbard, Dekalb, IL

Return To Index


For George Montee, and others who may be interested:

Yes, I think an inch is way too thick for a nail header, unless the

hole is an absolute cone that only grips the shank of the nail for about

1/8" or so. Heck, I've got antique carriage bolt headers no more than 5/8"

thick, and they work fine. I'd reduce the thickness of the tool, increase

the taper, or both.

If you want to try something different, I offer the following story...

About 1970 (long before I got started, when I was yet in the fascinated

spectator phase), I spent an afternoon watching and talking to the smith at

Old Sturbridge Village in Masachusetts. This gentleman in his seventies had

spent most of his life smithing in the old railroad shops. For nail-making

demonstrations, he'd made a tool that looked like a farrier's cutoff, i.e.,

a flat blade offset to one side of the hardy, with only an edge taper on the

end. This particular piece had a blade about 4 1/2" long by 1 1/4" wide by

5/16" thick; the shank for the hardy hole was maybe 5" long. About halfway up

the blade was a hole in the center. He'd take his rod from the fire, put a

square taper point on it, then notch it on the cutoff, stick it into the hole

and break it off just below the notch, take the tool out of the anvil and

holding it by the shank, drop the nail point through the pritchel hole and

beat a perfect rose head on top. He tapped the pointed end against the heel of

the anvil, and a new nail fell into a slack tub below. All in one heat, of

course. I bet he could do five a minute once he got the rhythm established.

I thought it was about the slickest thing I'd ever seen. Though I've never

had much interest in making nails, I've always figured that's how I'd do it if

I did.

I didn't know enough then to ask what kind of steel he used for the tool, but

now I suppose it would probably be one of the shock-resistant types like S7.


Dale Dreyfuss

Return To Index

RAILROAD SPIKES: (See Also Volume #1)

> Subject: Re: Out of Ideas

I've also seen them made into doorknockers, with the head either left

alone, or turned into a face. There used to be someone out in this

area who did a lot with them. I can't remember the name. Can anyone

else? Clay, can you remember? (Clay wishes I'd quit pickin' on


<> Marrin T. Fleet <>


I've made spikes into a pretty useful outdoor bottle opener. Seems pretty

popular for some reason...

Upset or scroll the point into a knob turned up about 30 degrees. Draw out the

rest of the shank to about 150% of original length. Bend in approximately the

center, with the clip on the spike head to the inside of the bend. The idea is

to line it up so the top of the bottle cap rests against the knob while the

edge of the head clip engages the rim of the cap as you pull downward. Remember

the old Coke openers on the sides of the machines? It's the same principle.

You'll have to tweak the edge of the clip to get it to grab just right.

This can be mounted on a fence post, or maybe to the back of the one to which

your vice is fastened.


Ron Reil wrote:

> BTW Doug, how much of the spike do you forge into a blade, assuming you

> preserve part for a handle? It seems like the blade would be pretty small.

> I had not thought of making a knife, and the handle too, out of one spike.

Chris Thomas, a beginning BS here in Kent, has forged several knives

that he polishes to a mirror finish then draws temper color into the

twisted handle and freezes it there. These are really pretty to look

at. Most people think they are chromed.



>I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

>about 500 pounds of them in new condition and, other than the occasional

>need for a piece of iron that sized, have no ideas what to use them for. I

>have seen comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

>for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

>appreciate hearing. Thanks.

> Ron

Ron -

Cut the points off so that the head and shaft are about 3.5" long. Weld

them to a strip of 3/16" or 1/4" by 3" or so flat stock. Space them out

right and they make a good back hall coat rack.

Or, send them to me.

Dave Brown


> I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes.

If they are the "HC" type spikes they should be around 1040 steel.

That makes them just the ticket for tongs and drifts, simple stamps

(basic texture only) and a host of other useful tools. There are

TONS of cutesy items that can be made, but most folks forget that

they can be used for decent tools as well.

Franklyn D. Garland


>I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes.

One cute little thing is what's called a Tennessee Troll. I have a pix if

you want an scanned attachment. Or I can easily put up a quickie web site

to view it.

Also, another use is for making a door knocker. The spike head makes a good

knocker on a horse shoe. I have pix of this but not developed yet. Flea

market stuf, but fun, none the less.

Not RR spikes but...

Yall have the Blacksmith weinie roaster? Weld together two pieces of pipe,

side by side. Pipe should be large enough to hold weinies in without

touching the sides. Weld attachment to fit into hardie hole, like a

vertical "Y". Put gizmo into forge and get about a black heat. Put gizmo

into hardie hole. Take fork, stick weinies into pipes till done. YUM, YUM.

Impresses the visitors, especially kids.



> I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

> about 500 pounds of them in new condition and, other than the occasional

> need for a piece of iron that sized, have no ideas what to use them for. I

> have seen comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

> for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

> appreciate hearing. Thanks.

> Ron


I use them for making wizards and trolls. Ive also started a line of

little people using the same technique, Ive made a golfer, my next will

be a blacksmith for our iron-in-the-hat, after that a tennis player,

fisherman etc...



>I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

>about 500 pounds of them in new condition and, other than the occasional

>need for a piece of iron that sized, have no ideas what to use them for. I

>have seen comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

>for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

>appreciate hearing. Thanks.

Ron, you may prefer a higher grade of steel, but RR spike knives

"sell like hot cakes" so don't give up on that idea. Go where the market is!



> I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

> about 500 pounds of them in new condition and, other than the occasional

> need for a piece of iron that sized, have no ideas what to use them for. I

> have seen comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

> for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

> appreciate hearing. Thanks.

> Ron

They make dandy letter openers Ron and you don't have to worry about

hardening, tempering or edge holding characteristics.

Personally, I like drawing them out into long 30"+ round tapers, leaving

the head. They make cute snakes for candle holders.

They also make decent, if short, tongs.



Ron Reil wrote:

> I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

> comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

> for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

> appreciate hearing. Thanks.

> Ron

Andy Anderson of Freedom Forge in Freedom, Oklahoma has made the major

part of his living for several years by turning RR spikes into knives

and very imaginative handles for other implements.

Ted Salyer in Nickerson, Kansas also has found some neat uses. He makes

several kinds of figures with spikes. From cowboys to dragons to

buffalo and on and on.

I can envision several wall hangings from various combinations of

manipulated spikes.

Steak turners made by drawing a spike out to 14 inches or so are popular

at a craft booth.

Do lots of doodles, either on paper or at the forge, and just see what

suggests itself.

Mike George


>> I could use some suggestions on good uses for rail road spikes. I have

>> about 500 pounds of them in new condition and, other than the occasional

>> need for a piece of iron that sized, have no ideas what to use them for. I

>> have seen comments about knives, but I would prefer a higher grade steel

>> for that. If anyone has anything they have found them useful for I would

>> appreciate hearing. Thanks.

>> Ron

>They make dandy letter openers Ron and you don't have to worry about

>hardening, tempering or edge holding characteristics.

>Personally, I like drawing them out into long 30"+ round tapers, leaving

>the head. They make cute snakes for candle holders.


In previous message I forgot duckhead letter openers, etc. The spike head

is a great start to make a duckhead.



>I've also seen them made into doorknockers, with the head either left

>alone, or turned into a face. There used to be someone out in this

>area who did a lot with them. I can't remember the name. Can anyone

>else? Clay, can you remember? (Clay wishes I'd quit pickin' on


I have made a few rail spike door knockers, candlestands and damper dogs.

Ryan Johnson put the spike in the hardy hole and chiseled a face on the top

of the head,

Mike Pleasant and Gary Scarsbrick split the spike head into feet and then

made a wizard that would stand.

QSRU has had several contests about objectsmade from spikes. Several

goodies there.

I can't find or remember the chisel tang except that it was as you

described, no bolster.

A piece of 3/4"

black iron pipe was fullered down to a cone, then cut off the end of

the pipe. The tang was inserted into a hole left at the point of

the cone, and forge welded. The flare of the cone for the socket

was approximated over the horn of the anvil. An anvil bick would be good.



At 09:31 PM 6/30/97 -0600, you wrote:

>Rusty, do those knives have the rest of the spike on as a handle, or is it

>just using the steel to forge a blade? I have never seen one of these

>before so I am quite interested. Thanks.

> Ron

Ron, I heat the shank of the spike near the head and put a 1/2 turn twist

there, keeping it real close to the head. Then I heat the next part of the

shank, letting the red go into the already twisted part. When it is up to

near an orange heat I dunk the head end up to the hot end of the twist

in the slack tuv for just a couple seconds, then clamp the head in the

vise and do a reverse 1/2 turn on the still hot part. I try to keep the

twist and reverse twist limited to about 3 to 4 inches of the shank.

By heating and dunking between the twists I get a very sharp reversal

of the twist that looks real good.

Then I draw out the remainder of the spike to what ever blade length

and size I want, tapering quickly down from the handle size, but

keeping it uniform in cross section until I have the

length of blade I want. Then I keep it flat, but curve the entire blade

sharply toward the edge that will be sharp. Then I forge the edge

and shape the blade. Forging the edge will expand the metal in that

area and straighten out the curve you just put into the blade. When

the blade is shaped the way I want it, I heat it to cherry red and bury

the blade in a can of vermiculite and let it cool a couple hours.

With the blade now soft I use the bench grinder to finish shaping the

blade. The I heat to cherry in a reducing flame to keep the blade as

clean as possible. Dunk it in oil and stir until cold. Back to the

bench grinder to GENTLY grind and buff to a high polish. Then into

the oven in the kitchen to slowly heat the whole thing until the shine

of the blade reaches the color I want, usually a golden straw color.

I turn the oven off and leave the blade until the oven is cool.

By heat treating this way I get a good usuable blade that is usually

so strong that I can lay an 8 penny nail on a board, put the knife

edge across the nail, and hit the back of the blade with a brass

hammer head, cutting the nail without marking the blade. That is

a good enough blade for me.



Ron Reil wrote:

> On average, how long does it take you to make one of them?

After practicing on quite a few (7 to be exact) I can forge one in

about 1.5hrs The ones I sent you were #4,5,& 7. The ones with arms take

about ½ hr longer cuz you have to split the arms out of the back. I use

a treadle hammer to make them. Ive got the step-by-step drawings for

both the treadle hammer way and the hand hammer way. As soon as I get

them digitized and formated Ill post them.

> Also, how do you get your finish. I don't see much in the way of scale, or

> scale scars, on the metal.

I bring everything up to a dull red heat and scrub with a wire brush

until it loses color. Then I chuck it up in the vise and take the 4½"

angle with a brush cup to it. When its shiny (relatively speaking) I

either clear coat with polyurathane spray of I take the torch to it and

bring out the temper colors then clear coat. I prefer the natural colors

of steel to paints and patinas. But paint can be good to hide

imperfections and welds.

> forward to "carving" a few of those spikes up now. I am very glad I asked

> the question I did.

Good luck and if I can help just let me know.




Sorry for the delay in response, I sort of began as a hobbyist with RR spikes, and am now covered up professionaly.

To begin with, railroad spike work is looked down upon severely by the artist blacksmith types, so be careful who you go bragging to! I was ignorant of the fact when I started, and did mine at the National Ornamental Metals Musuem right in front of the most critical of the bunch. However, since I was instrumental in erecting their smithy, and because I really don't care anyway nothing was said about it. (To my face, anyway) I enjoy every blow I strike, on whatever the material. End of Sermon.

Other than making animals, (elephants, camels, cowboys) by welding them together, and one instance of driving the spike through a rail, I usually made (and still make) barbeque sets with them. The fork is the easiest, just draw a spike out, split the end, and make a meat fork. A sauce mop is the same, draw out, pierce, and insert yarn. Spatulas are a little harder, but easier with a power hammer. I can get an 18" long spatula with a 3 1/2 square flipper at the end easily. Ladles and spoons are made in a swage block.

Just think of them as pieces of 3/4" square stock, which is all they are.

They are good to impress people about how much can be made with a short piece of steel, so are more useful in short demonstrations, or as gifts to friends, which is the only times I work with them any more. They were very useful to me when I started, and enabled me to do this to my hearts content, so I advise you to beat the hell out of about 400 pounds of them, then go on to bigger and better things. Save the last 100 pounds for your grand children, or just to remind yourself of what you did in your youth.

Charlie McKinney

From: Ron Reil[]

Hello. Your brother Harold gave me your e-mail address and suggested I

contact you regarding RR Spike work. I have about 500 pounds of rail road

spikes, mostly high carbon, that I am looking for uses, other than building

a rail road, for. He mentioned you make various utensils for barbecue, etc.

I would be very interested in any information you could share on what, and

how, you make these. I am not a commercial smith, just a hobby smith, but I

do like to spend as much time at it as possible at the forge.

Thank you very much for any information you could share with me.

Ron Reil

Return To Index


While perusing past issues of The Anvils Ring, I came across an article by

Steve Wooldridge that addresses a thread that was bantered about a month or

so ago.

There were questions concerning the "Missle Rod" and where to get it.

According to the article

(AR spring 1986) the "problem solving" rod he uses is the E 312-15 or E 312-16

E = arc electrode

312 = the specific alloy

-15 = DC only

-16 = AC/DC

this rod is used for welding the following :

tool steel to mild steel

tool steel to stainless steel

stainless to mild steel

mild steel to cast iron

tool steel to tool steel

stainless to stainless

the 312 SS rods were developed to weld the alloy fins on jet engine rotors.

Thusly the welds had to be very strong and able to withstand extreamly high

heat. It can be quenched in oil without cracking unlike 7018 rods.

He says there are other, more expesive rods in this catagory, that work

well, but no better than the 312 SS. the are Eutectic 680, Super Missle

Weld, Certanium 792 and Coor-Alloy 3000.

The source listed in the article is Indianapolis Welding Supply

315 West

McCarty St.


s, IN (sorry no zip)


its more expensive than standard 7018 but ALOT cheaper than the others.

below is a list of makers and their designations

Aga de Mexico, S.A. INOX-ARL 312

Air Products AP 312 AL-DC

Airco Welding Prod. Airco 312 AC-DC

Allweld Equipment Allweld 312-16

Chemetron P&H 312 and Arcaloy 312 AC-DC

Arcos Stainlend 312

Aufhauser E 312-16

Champion Commercial Champion 312-16

Dytron Dytron 312-16

Hobart 312-16

McKay 312 AC-DC

Murex Type 312-16

Perma-Latem Perma-Latem 312-16

Reid-Avery Reid-Avery 312-16

Stoody Stoody 312-16

Unibraze Unibraze 312-16

Welco Welco 312-16

Weldwire Super Weldwire 312-16

Westinghouse 312-16

hope this helps.



Dave: You need to check the welder specs. Sounds like a basic home/shop AC

welder rated at 225 Amps max. What you don't know is what the duty cycle is

which is the time welding compared to the time idling. I suspect it is

around 20 or 30 percent. For info on arc welding, I don't know of a better

reference than " The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding" by the Lincoln

Electric Company. This is the thirteenth edition dated 1995. I first saw

it mentioned in The Anvils Ring in the back pages a little over a year ago.

In June of 1996 they sent me one for the sum of $15 post paid. Try: The

Lincoln Electric Co. , 22801 St.Clair Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44117-1199.


>Friends -

>Tonight's classifieds include the following that I found interesting:

>LINCOLN AC-225-S WELDER, electric with helmet. $150.

>Does anyone know anything about this particular model welder? I am an

>absolute neophyte in the world of welding, and Valerie isn't around to ask.

>Is this a reasonable price, or are negotiations in order?

>Dave Brown

Return To Index

IRON FINISHES: (See Also Volume #1)

We had a salt bath when I worked for Loctite. It was suppose to simulate

years of rust in days of testing.

basicly all you need to do is build an enclosure (doesn't have to be air tight)

at least one plexiglass or glass side would be nice to watch

place a large tub of salt water inside

blow air into a venturi tube (something to suck water out of the tub and blow

it into the air to create a fine mist)(the mist should be dense enough so you

can not see more than10"-15")

Keep the temp between 70 and 85 degrees F

stand your steel upright, so the water does not pool, a few inches apart

Run it 24 hrs and do not let the tub empty (if you can cause the water that

condences on the sides and top to drain into the tub the water will last a

long time)

You should have some nice rust in a week or two

Good luck If you have any questions EMail me.



I'm using a clear paste wax with a tablespoon of powdered graphite mixed in.

Makes a nice black finish,especially on those pieces where the end of a poker

is forged but the middle isn't. I put it on while the iron is warm,it soaks

right in and doesn't come off on your hands when it cools. Jim Treadwell


On Jun 25, 9:07pm, steven bronstein wrote:

> Subject: re: iron finishes

> I know it's been posted before but what is the formula for Bill Fiorini's

> finish with Japan Drier, and Johnson Paste Was?

> Thanks.

Try this which is from 1996.

I don't know what you are using your mixture for, but if you are using it

on interior iron a good mixture that I got from Francis Whitaker many years

ago is: 1 part turp., 2 parts boiled linseed oil, 1/4 part bees wax and a

tablespoon or so of japan dryer. This should be put on cold and heated

with a torch just enough to go into the oxide finish and then the remainder

removed with a cloth. If you make this use a double boiler. It also takes

a couple days to set up but looks like a light paste wax.



Return To Index


David, you write:

<< Suggestions, as to how to free-up parts without using a

torch (keeping in mind that

this is a large 500 pound iron machine), would be appreciated. >>

The best stuff I've found for rusted solid parts is "KROIL". It is used by

many old car restorers. Apply, tap with hammer, repete daily till loose.

Sooner or later it WILL work. Comes in spray cans and gallons from:

Kano Laboratories

1000 S. Thompson LN

Nashville, TN 37211


Mike Alexander

Return To Index

LOW HEAT FORGE WELDING: (See Also Volume #1)

O.K., let me see if I explain this in as few words as possible ;-)

Forge welding only requires two things.

1. Clean Surfaces

2. Surface Contact

If you put two pieces of perfectly clean metal together they would

weld at room temperature. Unfortunately, the air oxidizes the metal

and prevents this from happening and getting the metal perfectly

smooth for maximum contact between the pieces is also impossible

(thus far). To overcome oxidation we use heat and flux and to

overcome the issue of surface contact we use pressure. If the metal

is very clean and the suface area contact between the pieces is at a

maximum, welding at lower temperatures become easy.

Here is How Darryl does it for a simple billet:

All pieces of metal in the stack must be ground clean of surface

scale. Rinse the pieces in kerosene (or similar product) as you go

to keep them clean and reapply frequently.

Stack the pieces, flush with kerosene again, and arc weld the edges

all the way around, completely enclosing the billet EXCEPT for one

small area at one end of the billet. Add a few more drops of

kerosene to that opening and stick the whole mess into the forge.

As the metal heats, the kerosene heats up and evaporates.

As the kerosene evaporates, it pushes the oxygen out of the billet.

The hydrocarbons that are left wil actually dissolve into the hot


Bring it up to tempetaure (orange heat or there-abouts) and apply a

hammer or press to it.

Voila' forge weld.

This is the technique Darryl used to make stainless damascus, and

that awsome flag bowie knife you may have read about. He

uses a big rolling mill for some of the production work. The billet

(once welded up) can be kept around for quite a while as long as

some sort of petrol goes into the hole to keep the pieces from


If anyone needs me to explain anything further (in case I confused

you) just let me know and I will give it a shot.

If you ever get the chance to see Darryl in action at a conference,

DO SO! You will learn more about forge welding in a couple of hours

than you will learn on your own in years.

Franklyn D. Garland

Return To Index


On 19 Jun 97 at 15:24, 415- wrote:

> >Jim....A young man who is experimenting on pattern welded blades

> >has a problem of losing pattern at the point he solders the guard

> >on . Is there some remedy or is this a problem that can't be

> >helped?

> Soldering shouldn't affect the pattern, although it might make it

> invisable.

In the case of a recent -- and only -- blade that I collabarated on,

we had a similar problem. Rob Keeler, of Keeler Iron, who some of

you may know, forged a 'fantasy chef's knife' blade of carbon steel

shim stock and nickel foil, and I hefted it with a cast sterling

silver bolster and burl rosewood one-piece handle. (The knife was

presented to Fawn Learn, wife of Doug Learn, past president of our

chapter, for her culinary support of Forging On The River for

several years, as well as Repair Days, the RBFC Art Show and Sale,

and other activities). While making the bolster, the pattern

'disappeared' just adjacent to the bolster. We determined that just

handling the blade was removing the coloration of the steel --

wearing it off with my hands, as I was the only one touching it by

that time. I partially restored the coloration displaying the

pattern by using a fine paint brush to apply straight, undiluted

etchant, which was Radio Shack PC board etchant, in this case. Doug

further enhanced the coloration with lemon juice! Noticing

previously that lemon juice darkened the color of steel :^), he spread

some on the light part of the blade. Viola'!! Perhaps we have

discovered something here!

<> Marrin T. Fleet <>

Return To Index


Chris Worsley wrote <snip-snip>

> It is not silver, but the pencil I have been using for years is the

> Berol Prismacolor White #938. Being white, it shows up nicely on

> cold steel, and when the steel is hot (even up to yellow).

This is the kind of pencil I prefer, but you can just ask for a white

charcol pencil, any brand, and buy them by the handful. They are

cheap, can be sharpened to a fine point, will write on wet metal and

basically beat the snot out of soapstone.

Franklyn D. Garland

Return To Index



We have a member in BAM that specializes in making hammers

and has given several demonstrations on it. I have used his methods

to make my own hammer and they work.

First the quench. He recomends that once you have the face to critical

temp (non-magnetic) you poor the water on the center of the face.

This makes the center harder than the edges and eliminates the problem

of the water heating up around the hammer which has a large mass. He

recommends using at least 5 gal. to make sure it is cool enough to

prevent uncontroled tempering.

Second. You must temper a hamme!! If you don't it will be too hard and

chip while using and damage your anvil. The easiest way to temper

is polish the face and put in an oven at about 500 deg. You need to bring

it into the purple/blue range, then shut off the oven and let it cool


I usuall set the oven a little cooler and then increase the temp as I see

the color. If you over shoot on the temper you will have to re-harden.

Hope this helps

Bob Ehrenberger (Troy Mo)

> Forge722 wrote:

> When reworking a hammer is tempering needed after hardening?

> Is it ok to harden by bringing up to heat then cooling by rotating

> face and ping in water till cool?

> Thanks

> Travis


What color comes first in the oven ? straw or blue and what color

will it be if I over shot the temper?

Thanks for all your help!!!!!



> I agree it would be more comfortable, but I can't find a decent big

> straight peen anywhere. I have a small one with a cross peen on the other

> end. I would like to get a big straight peen and a big combination. Anyone

> have any ideas?

> Thanks

> Marc3

I just made my first hammers this year and was surprised at how

straightforward it is to do so. I had been pretty intimidated about

slitting the eye, but its not that hard.

The hard part about making hammer heads is that you are working with

big stock. If all you have is a hammer and anvil, you are in for some

pretty serious work. A treadle hammer, a flypress, or a power hammer

help immensely.

A couple of tips about making eyes:

SLIT the eye, don't try to punch it. Slitting makes a much

nicer hole whatever you are working on, and takes much less

effort than punching.

Use a HIGH TEMP STEEL for the slitting tool. S7 is pretty

commonly available, I also have used A10. Until you've tried

this type of steel, you won't believe how effective it is.

High temp. steel retains its hardness at a dull red heat.

Using a slitting chisel made from 1/2" A10 with a treadle

hammer, I can easily slit a 1" bar (sheet metal hammer) in one

heat. No water dips needed.

After slitting, drift the eye to shape.

Steven O. Smith


What we know of hammers and handles: (thanks for asking)

-The hammer is an extention of your fingertips, if you can't feel the face

of your hammer touching and moving the metal then get a different hammer.

-Use a really big hammer. I rough forge most stock (3/8" to 3/4") with a

six pound sledge, refine with a three pound french pattern and fine tune

with a two pound machinists usually all in one heat for a taper. It's my

personal belief that many elbow and joint problems are caused by swinging

too hard. It's easier on your arm to control a few falls of a big hammer

than to swing a pixie hammer hard a hundred times. Don't swing harder for

more power, lift the hammer higher. Anything lighter than a pound and a

half is for quarter inch and lighter stock, or polishing. (my opinion)

-Hammer control comes from experience, not short handles. The longer you

have been hammering, the farther back you can hold the hammer with

acceptable results. Everyone chokes way up now and again for really fine

control, but power comes from a big swing and a long handle.

-There's nothing prettier than wood handle polished to a gleam with honest

work and sweat. Admire the polish and then rough it up. The slicker the

handle the tighter your grip has to be to maintain control. You want to be

able to control your hammer with a relaxed hand. To avoid fatigue keep your

handles roughed with a file or sandpaper or wrapped with grip tape. Lots of

new handles come varnished, remove the finish as it only slicks up the grip.

Wear a sweat band on your wrist to keep sweat from making things slippery.

-Thin your handles down. Even though I've lost a few handles too excessive

thinning, All of my hammer handles have been filed down with a rasp to give

them a bit of flex. This reduces fatigue by absorbing the shock of the blow.

If you haven't been turned on to this trick, you'll be amazed at the relief

it gives your hands.

-Much of a hammer's performance is the handle. If you aren't comfortable

with the grip and balance of a hammer, find a different handle. Some of my

least favorite hammers have become old friends with a new handle.

Peddinghaus makes wonderful great incredible hammers. Their handles are

stout and long and need a bit of thinning. They are costly, but will be

passed on from generation to generation. I've never had to replace or

tighten a Peddinghaus handle. They are a good second choice to an old

hammer passed down to you.

Hope these tips help those who haven't grown soft and spoiled by a power

hammer. (cheap dig by a jealous smith)


you wrote:

>Let me add to my earlir post. My teacher, Frank Turley, and all my

>prefious reading taught me and I believed and practiced holding the hammer

>at the end of the handle, My query is specifically addressed to those who

>were at the ABANA Conf. this summer and reported on the technique

>advocated by I believe somebody named Uri from Isreal. Memory being what

>it is maybe it was not this past summer but at someothe demo--i am pretty

>sure that Uri was the demonstrator.

--Doug Hays & Penny Cash

Return To Index


I have seen a lot said about swedge blocks the last few days. I just bought

a anvil, tongs some hardy tools and coal form Wallace Metal Work of Kempton,

PA. I'm also in the market for a swedge block. Bruce Wallace told me that

they are going to be casting new swedge blocks in a few weeks. The price has

not been set yet. I ordered mine from a drawing of the pattern that they are

casting. Mr. Wallace told me the price will be about $1.50 to $2.00 per

pound dressed not rough. Depending on how many he casts. He expects the new

block to weigh about 100 pound. It seems the more they cast the cheaper they

will be. He is also working on patterns to cast small and large cone

mandrels. I also visited a older friend of Bruce's who has been collecting

tool it looks like for a 100 years. Between the two of them they have a lot

more blacksmith and antique tools for sale. I'm sure Mr. Wallace would not

mind hearing from you. I found them on the computer myself there E-Mail

adderss is:

Contact: Bruce R. Wallace

Wallace Metal Work & Tool Sales

R.D. # 1 Box 11-A

Blacksmith Lane

Kempton, PA 19529


K. A. Corson


At 10:12 AM 5/21/97 PDT, you wrote:

>For 80$ it would seem that the Laurel Mfg. swage block is the best bargain.

Certainly would beat torchin' one out.

>Would anyone concur on this?

>Steve Howell

....yes, Steve.. i use one of the Laurel Machine & Foundry swage blocks

every day. They do have a somewhat rough finish, but clean up very nicely. and for the

price who cares? i'm not making jewelry :-) they make a great floor cone mandrel too.

you can even get a floor cone that is machined and polished. they make a lot of

other blacksmith stuff too. small hardy hole cones, anvils, Little Giant

Power Hammer parts & pieces, Gene even has a complete (better than new) 250# Little Giant

Hammer for sale. it's a beauty. you can contact LMF at:

Laurel Machine & Foundry Co.

attn: Gene Mulloy (president and fellow blacksmith)

810 Front Street

P.O. Drawer 1049

Laurel, MS 39441

phone: 601-428-0541

FAX: 601-425-5617

***this has been an un-solicited, un-paid, un-expected testimonial***

***i don't work for LMF, just passing on useful info to "the list"***

Dave Mudge


George Watts wrote:

> > For 80$ it would seem that the Laurel Mfg. swage block is the best bargain. Certainly would beat torchin' one out.

> > Would anyone concur on this?

> > Steve Howell

> I saw theirs at Alfred, last year and the only reason I didn't get one

> was that I didn't want to haul it back here to San Diego. Decent

> looking product.

> George.

The Lawler block is a nice one, as is the ones Roger Lowrance (Illinois)

is selling. Roger's has a shovel blank on it that most people hate until

they learn how to make the crucial top tool that does the trick. In my

opinion the Yater blocks are the best ones if you can afford them

Definitly buy a new one as the old ones are usually made from junk and

will be chipped and pitted and your work will suffer. Of course my

opinion will change if I am trying to sell you an old block...

Jim McCarty

Return To Index


It pay's to check your notes I found out.According tomy notes jackhammer bit

is S2 tool steel.I started with a 4" piece of steel. 1] Punch the eye with

oval punch.2] Shape the eye of hammer with long oval drift [drift is 12''

long made of 4130 tempered to bronze aneal struck end in vise] .3] While on

drift shape metal around eye with hammer. 4]Draw out pien. 5] Re-insert drift

and reshape eye to prevent distortion. 6] Fuller around pien .7] repeat step

5. 8] Fuller around head of hammer. 9] Repeat step 5. 10] Grind and polish

face and pien. 11] This is hard to describe but here goes I heated the head

slowly to bright red then I re-inserted the drift just enough to hold the

head securly without wobble. Then I used the rim of the quench tub[metal 5

gallon bucket]to rest the drift against and slowly spin the drift with the

hammer head acting like a propellar but only about a quarter inch of the face

and pien touching the water. I did this until the eye of hammer had lost it's

color. Then take hammer head of drift and let air cool. Sorry about the

mis-information about oil quench earlier . Let me know if this is clear

enough in step 11 Good Luck Jim Treadwell P.S.I would like to here of

other way's hammer's or other tools are made!


> It pay's to check your notes I found out.According tomy notes jackhammer bit

> is S2 tool steel.I started with a 4" piece of steel. 1] Punch the eye with


Interesting method. Different from the way we're doing it. We are

far more sparing of the drift, perhaps because we made it ourselves

and it was, at least for us, quite a bit of work. We slit though

the head with a slitting chisel and then drift through the resulting

hole. This establishes the location of the eye and whether or not

it appears the material will remain intact or develop any major

structural problems early on. You don't mention using a slitter.

We've found that it is a far superior way ot initiating an eye from

the standpoints of ease and accuracy. I've tried punching right

through with a drift in the past and found it to be a lot more work

than if you do so in a preslitted piece of material.

We never leave the drift in for very long and give it a gentle quench

in paraffin at frequent intervals. We try never to allow it to come

up to red heat, though it has once or twice. We *never* use it as a

mandrel. We've found that the simple act of punching leaves a perfect


After drifting, we shape the head as we see fit. This usually closes

up the eye a bit and did so quit a lot when we decided that one of the

heads would be a straight peen. After all the shaping and other


was finished we redrifted the eye, which came out pretty near


brought things back to heat and normalized in vermiculite. From that

point, we clean them up and HT. Voy-luh!

-Andy V.

Return To Index

LINING FORGE PANS: (See Also Volume #1)

Demon Buddha wrote:

> Hi folks,

> I have a question: can anyone here tell me how to clay a portable

> forge and with what? I suspect fire clay would be in order as

> opposed to, say, a refractory cement, but I'm not certain of this

> and how thick the layer should be. Also, how should the clay be

> contoured down to the tuyere?

> Thanks very much.

> -Andy V.

Hey Andy:

Good timing, I'm ramming up a liner for a propane forge today. I use

fire clay, very lightly dampened and ram it in with a wooden mallet or

heavy dowel in tight places. I use only enough water so it sticks

together in a tight lump when I squeeze it hard in my hand, it'll still

make dust. Almost dry like this and it won't shrink check when it dries,

I don't even score it on large surfaces as it doesn't seem to heat check


I add water with a pump sprayer and just lightly mist the surface, then

rake a thin layer of dry clay over the damp stuff and spray it again.

Once all the clay has been raked into a hill on one side of the tub, I

rake it back and forth for a while and give it the squeeze test. If it

fails, I repeat the mist/rake process for the whole batch and test

again. When it clumps when squeezed, I seal the tub and let it stand

overnight, then re-rake and test in the morning, it's a bit like

tempering green sand for casting.

It's easy to smooth and shape, you can even burnish it to a nice shiny

surface if you like. I usually lay it about 1" thick in a forge pan.

After I ram it up, I let it dry for a day or so, doesn't take long, then

fire it with 8-12" of charcoal briquettes. Once fired it's pretty water

resistant and usually lasts several years.

For the propane forge liner I'm doing today, I mixed about 3 parts fine

sawdust to 1 part fire clay and am going to ram it into the space

between 10" and 6" stove pipe. I've wrapped the 6" "mandrel" with 5

layers of newspaper and one layer of saran wrap. The Saran wrap keeps

what little moisture there is from making the newspaper sticky, so I can

pull the mandrel. When you ram it the water will be driven out and dry

newspaper will attract it.

Once I fire the liner, I'm going to paint it with cone 14 porcelain

slip, I'm hoping it'll resist hot borax longer and maybe be a bit



Return To Index


Amway makes a similiar product called L.O.C. which can be substituted for

"I". This is the surfacant portion of the recipe, Tom

Dr. David C. Hufford wrote:

> Phil Rosche wrote:

> > Can you get the Shaklee Basic "1" via mail order or do you have to find a Shaklee salesperson locally?

> That's Shaklee Basic I (the letter I), NOT 1 (the numeral). As far as I

> know, you must obtain this from a Shaklee salesperson.

> David C. Hufford


> What exactly is "Dawn Dishwashing liquid" and "Shaklee Basic 1 Wetting

> Agent" ? We haven't heard of either here in Australia. Any suggestions? Is

> there something special in this particular dishwashing liquid or wetting

> agent?

The purpose of the Dawn and Basic "i" is to make the water

wetter. Dawn is simply a good quality, hand dishwashing liquid

soap. It doesn't matter what color it is, except that Rob Gunter says

that when the blue stuff turns green, toss the solution and start with

a new batch.

Shaklee Basic I is a wetting agent and surfactant. Maybe the easiest

thing to do is mix up various alternatives and see what kind of

hardness you get from them. A possible surfactant to experiment with

is Kodak Photo-flo, used in film processing to eliminate water beading

on negatives (lowers surface tension). There ought to be something

suitable where you live--try stuff out!

I find superquench most useful in making tooling that will be pounded

on. There are two main advantages:

1. I'm lots more likely to have a piece of mild steel the right

size that a piece of tool steel the right size. Using superquench

doesn't make the mild steel as hard as tool steel certainly, but hard

enough for many purposes.

2. When you superquench a piece of mild steel, you don't need to

temper it, which saves time.

Superquench can be used up to maybe 1045 (axel steel). If you use it

on higher carbon, you are likely to get cracking.

One key to see if your superquench is working is that the steel should

make a screaming noise when it hits the liquid. This means that you

are getting a whole lot of really tiny bubbles, instead of larger

bubbles that insulate more.

Steven O. Smith

Return To Index


If you are interested in doing this seriously, as opposed

to casually, I'd suggest you buy (or borrow) a book entitled

"The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals" by

Richard Huges and Michael Rowe. It is certainly a definitive

contemporary work on the subject and contains about 360

recipes for patinating copper and related metals and alloys.

It is not cheap at $80, but again if you are looking to

do serious artworks, then I would have to recommend it

highly as it not only gives recipes, but is in itself a

more or less complete textbook on the craft.

Good luck.

-Andy V. - Freehold NJ (happy now?? :) )


Hello Ron,

There is really nothing more to it than has been mentioned in my earlier

post or in Chris Ray's response. I use propane and wasn't sure if the same

results would happen with coal but according to Chris it does. The process

simply involves taking a prolonged heat on a piece of plate stock. A nice

soak hot enough to cause scaling but be careful not to burn.

If you try it without success it can only be that it wasn't in the fire

long enough, in propane I figure 4 or 5 minutes.

hope this helps,

Roger Olsen

Return To Index


On Feb 9, 12:00pm, wrote:

> Subject: RE: Mandrels

> To add insult to my quest for more tools, I recently met a girl who's rich

>parents collected mandrels and other 'antique junk'.

> They are unwilling to part with any of their 'antiques', of course, leaving me to say:

> Where can I find a cone mandrel that won't clean out the bank?

> (preferably 'floor' size - ~4ft.)

> Steve


New cone mandrels are still being made in this country. Check with LMF (Laurel

Machine & Foundry)

P.O.Box 1049

810 Front Street

Laurel, MS 39440


Ask for Ray Robinson. I'm not sure what the cost is. With shipping you're

looking at $700 or so. There is another person down south using Wally Yater's

design. I don't remember his name, but I'll look it up and post it to the list

and to you.



Andrew Morrison wrote:

> I'm looking for a reasonably priced blacksmith's cone out here in California.

> Andy

Well now Andy, if you were here in Sydney (Australia) you could have that cone. I

have them for sale...diameter at base 245mm, top 45mm, height 700mm, flange at

base, wall thickness 22mm, grey cast iron, AU$300. Don't know about shipping

though, might be a bit pricey.


William Bros. Blacksmiths

Sydney, Australia



Laurel Machine & Foundry Co. P.O. Box 1049, 810 Front St., Laurel, Ms.

601 428 0541

LMF have a 48in. high cone in in four different styles. Ductile Iron Cone

with or without slot $349 214#, they have a solid core cone for $150

more and if you want a slot add another $225. There is no weight on the

solid core one in my catalog. I got my fire/pot assy. blower, tuyre,

air gate etc. from LMF for $255 real good quality.

Hope this helps Byrne

Return To Index


HI David Wilson,

I just did a job bending some small tubes 3/8" (60 pieces) I used a Low

melt metal, it melts at 158° so you just melt it in a double boiler pour

it in, do your bends, then melt it back out in boiling water,

McMaster-carr has it.

also Cerro metals.

It is maked for doing just that, bending tubes, it works real nice.

it is called 'Cerrobend' there are directions for using it, you also can

use it to hold parts that you can't any other way...

good luck!!!

Glenn Horr


>Absent a Hosfeld, which probably isn't up to the task, I would recommend

>large amounts of oxy-acetylene, your rose bud, your jig, heavy gloves and

>a garage door spring. We have bent much two inch pipe in this fashion. You

>didn't specify ID or OD, so perhaps you will have to hunt a bit for the

>proper diameter, but you may be amazed at how easy it is. Tom

Wow, what a thought.... If you could get a spring big enough, you sould

possibly get some advantage by "enclosing" the pipe/tubing with the spring

and bending it (like the bending springs used with copper tubing). Thanks

for the idea, just may come in handy..........


Return To Index

WROUGHT IRON: (See Also Volume #1)

On Feb 24, 7:58pm, Leslie L. Whitaker wrote:

> Subject: Re: Market for wrought iron?

> Andy V. wrote:

> > Folks,

> > > real honest to God wroght iron.

> > Okay, I for one would like some wrought iron. How much? I don't know.What

am I willing to pay? More for antique gun restoration, less for

> misc. projects. In short, it cannot be significantly more expensive than

> available materials.

> Les Whitaker

There is a supplier of wrought iron in this country. I'm not sure what the cost

is and I'm not sure what the market is.

The Real Wrought Iron Co, LTD

c/o Tom Ryan

58 Wyman Street

Arlington, MA 02174

617-643-0158 voice & fax

Mark W.

Return To Index

Compiled by Ron Reil

Edited With: AOLpress

5 Dec. 98