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bruce godlesky - Thu 15 Feb 2018 19:04:02 #0

Cambria Works Blacksmith shop

I heard today that smithing classes will be held soon at the Cambria Works Blacksmith shop in Johnstown Pa.
Been a long time coming.

Joe Rollings - Fri 16 Feb 2018 17:22:09 #0


Joe Rollings - Fri 16 Feb 2018 17:29:42 #0

Sorry 'bout that

Had trouble getting through the first time with the new computer. I want to encourage everybody contemplating eye surgery to get the best doc recommendation possible from somebody who knows what they are talking about. I didn't, and it was a big mistake.

New lens slipped (they said), legally blind in one eye for months, detached retina, repairs accomplished by better docs, but they could only do so much. Eye is now 20/50 and going downhill pretty fast. On top of that, she could not get it numbed, and I could feel every thing she did for over two hours BIG TIME. Even when she poured water in it it felt like battery acid.

Not trying to scare anybody out of doing it, just make sure your guy or gal is up to the job, because not all of them are.....Joe

Joe Rollings - Sun 18 Feb 2018 23:05:07 #0

Bob Haverstock

Hoping he is still around somewhere. Was a valuable contributor to the forum and maybe the only guy who shared a knowledge of some of my relatives who made the team decades ago. Nice guy, too.

Love to here from you, Bob....Joe

Buck Brown - Wed 21 Feb 2018 10:15:40 #0

Well, we finally are getting some wintry weather. Been real nice 'till lately. It's 14* here this morning and still very dry.
I had cataracts done a few months ago and sure am glad there were no problems.
I now have 20/20 in both eyes and just need 2x cheaters to read.
I have astigmatism in my right eye, so that took a special lens, unless I wanted to wear glasses full time. The insurance would only pay for a standard lens. They said the better lens was "cosmetic"! Anyway, $850.00 was well worth it to get 20/20 vision.
Sure hope everyone can dodge the flu. Linda and I have been lucky so far.

Chuck - Wed 21 Feb 2018 23:29:20 #0

Splitter press build

We have been gathering parts and metal. All we like now is the cylinder. May do a separate guillotine build for the press. Scared of the long splitter cylinder.
I found and old cattle hydraulic chute. Every thing seems to work on it. Plenty of controls, pump, good hoses, reservoir, filer housing. Single phase 3HP 1750 RPM motor. It will bring enough to pay for the rest.
I am yet to know what the GPM is going to be on the 40 series pump with a 9.5 BS engine.
If it is as it appears to be a Cross 40 D 12 it will be just right. Can't tell for sure what the 12 means on the pump.
We have the metal will just have figure the gussets. The press has to be safe. Going to shield the clevis and rod part above the top die.
Got some coal from Aquilar, Colo. Propane is too high here. Just one supplier.
Skiff of snow today--about a half inch--dry snow.
Ready for spring planting of garden.
Eye is no better but I can tell which woman to take home from church(without feeling) Grin.
Blessings to all.

Tom C - Thu 22 Feb 2018 21:32:45 #0

We've been watching the Olympics. Tonight, one of the speed skater's blades broke & he had to have it replaced. That got me to thinking that they must be some sort of alloy steel. Any idea what kind? Like a knife, you'd want it to hold an edge but not be too brittle. Maybe A2? D-2 would be too hard to sharpen I suppose.

I now have the doors on my '57 Chevy project. The front clip is next.

Tom C

Alex Ivey - Fri 23 Feb 2018 01:29:12 #0

Cataract Surgery

Joe, sorry to hear about your I guess you would say bad eye surgery. Had mine done at Pacific Cataract And Laser Institute in Albuq. by Dr Robert Ford who has done over 200,000 cataract surgery's. So far 2 weeks after the surgery both eyes are doing great. My regular eye Dr did the 1 week post op and says I will no longer need glasses, only readers. My drivers lic. had me requiring glasses to drive and that restriction will go away.

I read somewhere in the past about what is referred to as glass blowers cataract's caused by looking at the fire in gas forges and possibly the bright fire in a coal forge. The recomendation is to wear didymium safety glasses. Does anyone have any experience with them. LXIV,

Jeff Reinhardt - Fri 23 Feb 2018 17:58:14 #0

Didymium lens

Alex Ivey the glass blower lens are the wrong filter for IR from steel. You need a plain green shade 3 or 4 or 5 for steel at forging temp. The make nice flip up shade 4's for safety glasses. For what its worth poly-carbonate lens as used in most safety glasses are a natural IR filter. Not sure right wavelength but the do filter even when clear.

Joe Rollings - Fri 23 Feb 2018 21:45:40 #0

My eye doc wrote me a scrip for a single permanently midrange tinted lens for my bad eye because when they screwed it up they also stopped the iris's ability to open and close.

People who made the glasses almost refused to make them that way, but it is a really big help to kill the glare in that eye. I have to have the same argument every time I go back for new lenses, but it is worth it....Joe

Tom C - Sat 24 Feb 2018 21:27:04 #0

Skate blade metal

440 C, 420HC, 1085 is what Paramount skates' blades are made from.

Chuck - Sat 24 Feb 2018 23:58:28 #0

Dry weather--skate steel.

This ole country is drying out. they are calling for 5% to 12% humidity Tomrrow and Monday with a strong wind. Still have a lot of fodder for fires. I hope everyone is on the ball, watches what is happening around them.
There are ten or twelve places along the highway between here and Amarillo where they have caught road fires before they got out of hand. --About 90 miles. Blessings that they were caught before they really got to rolling.

TOM C. --I started to put up a guess--something between 1075 and 1095. These steels can be drawn back to a strong(not brittle) tough blade but still hold an edge.

Good friend of mine thinks his Macular Degeneration in both eyes was caused by quick darkening welding hoods. He was hard facing drill bits for a couple of years before it showed up. He was 64 when he first noticed it.
Forging steel could cause that. I have seen a couple of guys spot welding with a wire welder, no glasses or hood.
Mine was caused by sympathy pains for my wife. Grin

Joe Rollings - Sun 25 Feb 2018 09:36:42 #0

I had been flame hardening silversmith stamps for years and years, staring into the fire to judge the color, and all of a sudden I was night blind REALLY bad. I'm sure it did not happen overnight but I just noticed it overnight.....Joe

brucegodlesky - Mon 26 Feb 2018 08:37:44 #0

skate steel/schtuff

Tom C that a pretty wide range of steel!
it's all in the heat-treat!

We're finally dryin' out here in w Pa. Even have blue sky out there this morning!

Headed off to the shop to make tomahawks. Billets been settin' there since January. Hope I remember how......:-)

Tom C - Mon 26 Feb 2018 11:56:38 #0

Skate blade steels

The company makes various blades with the 440 C being the expensive one & the 1085 for the budget minded. I thought it interesting that they used similar alloys to what bladesmiths use.

Tom C

brucegodlesky - Mon 26 Feb 2018 18:21:44 #0

well, skates are a blade....:-)
420hc is a middle of the road carbon ss. IMO doesn't make much of a knife blade, a little bit better than kitchen cutlery steel. Does take a nice shine tho.hehehe
It goes without saying, the other 2 are old standbys in the knife bidness, easy to work and heat treat.
RWCase and Queen both use 420hc for their shiney knives. It's made right here in the Allegheny River valley by ATI.

Joe Rollings - Fri 02 Mar 2018 22:44:20 #0

Tractor weights

I have a track loader that is a parts machine, and noticed a weight on the back of it that prob'ly weighs in at 1000 pounds. Has the Allis Chalmers insignia on it and has been welded onto 1" plate strips, I think with an arc welder. Stroked it a couple of times with a 12 pound doublejack and it dented nicely.

I would like to use it as an anvil for a power hammer, but have trouble believing that it is steel. Cast iron would be MUCH cheaper for weights.

The welds might be older than me, and none of them are cracked. Any wisdom out there?

I just bought a 10" I beam with a 5/8" web, 12 feet long, so I could fashion an anvil without the tractor weight if required, but if I can use it I want to.....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 03 Mar 2018 07:16:39 #0

crawler weight.

Joe, may be cast steel. easier to weld, and tougher, so may have been the choice in the allis foundrey as it would be less likely to break and crack in frame parts. try grinding, cast steel will throw the regular long stream of sparks and cast iron will be oranger and shorter and not branch as much.

Buck Brown - Sat 03 Mar 2018 11:06:56 #0


I agree with Jeff that it's probably cast steel Cast iron will arc weld with special rod, but it has a nasty habit of not staying welded. When the weld fails, it pulls a rut out of the cast iron. Peening the bead after welding helps

Joe Rollings - Sat 03 Mar 2018 22:21:10 #0

Thanks, guys

I was trying to figure how to get a grinder to it for a spark test, and then figured out I have an air grinder that will run off of the co2 tank I use for airing up tires, so tomorrow I will go spark test it.

Those old crawler tractors are from the 40's and 50's right after the war, so maybe lots of scrap steel around to cast. I know they threw enough of it away overseas.

I built one power hammer before, but was never very happy with it's control and sold it at a decent profit. This time I have the time and material to make a good one if I am smart enough.

I dunno if it has been done before or not, but I am going to build it with the crossed leaf spring linkage and a blue engine for power. Those blue engines have a remarkably good governor for speed control, and that way no electricity or compressed air will be required. I will construct a really effective muffler to make it comfortable to be around.

Will need to figure out how to match the hammer weight with the size of the leaf spring bundle, amongst other things.....Joe

Chuck - Sat 03 Mar 2018 23:25:38 #0

Hammer anvil

JOE- the more you can put under the hammer the better.
700 pounds and up would be where I would shoot on another hammer build.- 10 to 1 ratio.
Three or four leaf--plus 30", with a 60 pound total throw weight. This design kind of mimics a Little Giant.
4' X 4' packed caliche or concrete under it.
The Piddler--Ray Clontz has a good design on the spare tire hammer.
Got a good report on the Prostrate deal. PSA number was .47. Sounds good.

Alex Ivey - Sun 04 Mar 2018 15:31:46 #0

Frank Turley

Frank, has parkinson's and can't do any smithing. I found out yesterday that he's in some type of rehab and there is a GoFundMe to raise money to make his place handicap accessible when he goes home. I don't know all of the details about the situation but if anyone wishes to make a donation do a search for (gofundme for Frank Turley) and it will pop up. I will be suggesting that our guild New Mexico Artist Blacksmiths Association make a sizeable donation . Frank has giving so much to the smithing community over the years, i'ts sad to see him in this condition. LXIV,

Joe Rollings - Thu 08 Mar 2018 22:58:32 #0


First time I read your previous post I missed the decimal point in your prostate number. Went back and looked again and was much relieved. Not the sort of things we were comparing with others in our youth, but times change, for sure.

Tomorrow I will go down and pull off the tractor weight and start sawing off the I beam sections to weld together for a base.

I am a bit paranoid about the spring for the DuPont linkage on the hammer. Seems like it should be sensitive to being either too strong or too weak. Anybody ever tried an adjustable air spring? I have plenty of leaf and coil spring sections so I will not voluntarily spend money if it is not needed, but it looks like it would be easy to make a mistake in that department.

So far I am calculating the anvil at 1000 pounds and the base at nearly 400 pounds. I can cut the hammer stock at any length up to 180 pounds.

NO limiting factors except, as usual, my own stupidity. Easier back when I could plead poverty as an excuse.... :) .......Joe

Joe Rollings - Sat 10 Mar 2018 21:36:58 #0

never mind

studied the problem a bit and I can see how to move the pivot points and change the levers around to alter the work load of the spring. Got a couple of rear coils out of an old Geo Metro today and will just have to work up all of the parts until they do the job properly.

Even at my age, one sometimes forgets that the final answers come from the workbench, NOT the cad drawing......Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Mon 12 Mar 2018 17:01:23 #0

Joe Rollings, I do my best engineering at the bench :)

Brian C. - Fri 16 Mar 2018 15:26:37 #0


Chuck, good news on your PSA! Mine was .15, the best ever. Early detection and treatment is the key. Get yourselves checked gentlemen.

Loren T - Sat 17 Mar 2018 07:09:02 #0


This article addresses this test. You Decide!

Brian C. - Mon 19 Mar 2018 16:04:57 #0


Loren T., that is not new info. My PSA numbers had been erratic since my early 50's. It shot up and red flagged my cancer. It would have been undetected without the PSA and subsequent biopsy. As it was it was caught early and I was able to be treated with radiation and without surgery or chemo. YMMV

Loren T - Tue 20 Mar 2018 09:48:50 #0

Brian C.

Thanks for the info. I have spent the majority of my life without insurance, and with Medicare, I am learning a whole lot I never knew.
This comes with regular Dr. visits, and 21 pills a day. Oh, and a B-12 shot every month. I receive a report after a blood test, and I have signed less paperwork when taking out a mortgage than I have to read in test results. I now have a good Doctor who listens, lives where he works (a small rural community), and doesn't feel the necessity to order unnecessary tests. He reminds me of my Doctor when I grew up. I used to think A1c was the third revision of the first model of a new product. And PSA was Pacific Southwest Airlines.
Hammering! (Had to put something about blacksmithing in here)

Joe Rollings - Wed 21 Mar 2018 11:33:16 #0

power hammer

Had a bit of ill health lately and have noticed something funny.

On the days when I am feeling great, the power hammer design flowers and grows and expands, and when I am not feeling so good the thing turns more basic and simple and "just get it done" style.

I am learning that on those days I need to either work on something else or nothing at all......Joe

Bert - Fri 23 Mar 2018 11:20:15 #0

Joe R

I have the same problem, feeling well or not...! There are days and then, there are Just Days....

Chuck - Thu 29 Mar 2018 00:13:23 #0


I am getting tired of this infernal machine helping me type then of all things it goes to reading my post to me and I can't shut the damn fool thing up.
We gave been barn cleaning and working on a splitter/press affair.
It has not rained in 180 days.
Dry is fashionable these days but not very becoming.
Trying to figure out how to rain dance in a birthday suit that is wrinkled pretty bad from all the dry weather.
The splitter/press is ready for wheels and a slide on the table of it.
No better than I weld it takes some grinding to straighten up the bed for the slide.
JOE hope you are faring well this days. Some days I am on slot some days I am not on slot. The sad part is--No body but Helen and I seem to give damn. Grin Been that way for years.
Nah, not really two Nietos have been helping(doing)with the barn clean-up.
New babies chicks took a bath tonight. The water deal was turned the wrong way.
I better go check them. It is cold here tonight.
Good night and
God Bless

Darrell - Sun 01 Apr 2018 13:33:55 #0


A blessed Resurrection Day to you all.

Chuck - Sun 01 Apr 2018 21:57:06 #0


It was a grateful day.
We had several Grand-Kids---all six Greats. All attended Mass.
We had fine cool day, hid the Easter eggs and candy filled plastic eggs in the house for the little ones. The high was 39.

Barn is pert near cleaned up. Splitter is coming together slowly. New chicks are growing exceptionally well. A warm spell back a few days back gave us a small mess of Asparagus.
Everyday is a gift.
God Bless

bruce godlesky - Tue 03 Apr 2018 15:26:40 #0


All it does , it seems lately, here in w Pa. is rain or snow then rain again.....
on the bright side, the ramps are up!!!!!

Got 2 hawks finished, one got raffled off Saturday night at a sportsmens banquet. Tuned 3 more up yesterday. Mebbe get them ground today and tomorrow. All so far have been either Damascus or welded cable.
Lookin' to cut out some osage handles for them.
Does anyone have a home brew for the fluid used in electro-etching stamps and logos?

Darrell - Tue 03 Apr 2018 20:47:17 #0

Salt water works. you just need enough salt to conduct electricity.

brucegodlesky - Tue 10 Apr 2018 15:02:39 #0

thanks Darrell.

Buck Brown - Mon 16 Apr 2018 10:28:10 #0

Ramblings from Southern Utah

We had an extremely mild and dry winter, and now here it is spring. Friends in western Colorado say the same thing. Cow camp cabins in the high country that are normally snowed completely over have only a foot of snow.
We are planting some cold weather plant seeds in the garden and have pepper plant seeds in peat pots inside.
Baby chicks came last Friday and are doing well.
I'm going to fire up the forge one of these days. A friend wants some branding irons to wood burn a sign for his driveway.
Take care my friends!

Chuck - Tue 17 Apr 2018 00:44:05 #0

smithing -weather + stuff

Trying to get ready for a G & K show at Raton, NM.
Slow but gaining. Kindling Splitter, Pig Tail flipper , spatulas, meat forks , a few knives that were ground before the Macular deal. Grand son BRADY Wagner is helping.
No winter to speak of -pop corn fart dry winter. Less than 2 tenths moisture in almost seven months.
HELEN is having plenty health problems----Eyes, Auto Immune, R.A., F. M. Renown's. Way too much for my sweetheart. All are painful.
Age is a rough deal but we waited too long to skip it.
Blessings to all of you.

bruce godlesky - Thu 19 Apr 2018 09:18:18 #0

Hang in there Sandpile!!
Old age ain't for the timid and you folks certainly aren't timid!!

Every time the weather breaks , I get into the forge shop and bang out a few knives and hawks. Then, WHASM, it snows again! This crap is gettin' old!
Any suggestions on steel type for making slitters?? For opening up hatchet holes??

Joe Rollings - Thu 19 Apr 2018 17:53:38 #0

leaf springs


Joe Rollings - Thu 19 Apr 2018 17:58:29 #0

leaf springs

Power hammer is coming together, but I need some straight leaf springs and got no way to heat treat something that long, so I called the spring shop and asked them about dong it, because they do all kinds of stuff to springs.

Guy tells me he gets his 5160 already heat treated and arced and can alter the arc or flatten it or whatever in the press. Anybody care to take a guess if he is just getting it as rolled? If he is doing that, I can just buy 20 feet from admiral and cut it up like I want it and use it. Seems pretty hard when it comes in, so maybe it is used "normalized".

Any thoughts?......Thanks.....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 19 Apr 2018 18:51:48 #0

leaf spring steel

I get what is called "Repair plates" and they are from Triangle spring co. Definitely already arched and heat treated. But the heat treat is not full hard. I can cut them with my cutoff bandsaw with a bimetal blade.My spring shop where I buy them will de-arch them for a little extra and that is what I use in my power hammer. He has a press and tooling made from the very large U bolts from truck axles. Pushes between the u bolt laid on its side between the legs and takes many many bites to easily level the spring to flat. The Triangle spring rep was there one day as I visited and he told me Triangle uses ONLY 5160 in the leaf springs.

Chuck - Fri 20 Apr 2018 23:19:35 #0


I have used 5160 in the 'done' stage to annealed.
5160 straight from the spring joints works for 'kindling splitters' but are to soft for dies in my 'Little Giant' fifty. I rose budded the face of the dies to a high(1400+) red, quenched in a warm Texaco quench, colored it back with a rose bud. It works pretty well.
JOE If your making a 'Helm' type just use it as is, while making the arch work for you. A couple of springs(used tandem)off a dodge one ton or even a 3/4 ton should work for a helm. It might be hard to figure the fulcrum.
I use 5160 drops from an Amarillo spring joint for knives. I anneal then re-harden and draw. I really like 5160.
BRUCE--I got suckered into going to Raton, NM for a G & K show. Neitos were gung-ho now they are dragging. I can't see well enough grind to a line or cut handle material to fit. Will just grind to fit. GRIN. Have blacksmithed enough stuff to fill a table, with some older knives.
Good luck to all
God Bless

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 21 Apr 2018 06:58:28 #0

Helve hammer spring

I use spraings tempered as bought in my helve hammer. Mine is a 70#.

Joe Rollings - Sat 21 Apr 2018 14:05:17 #0


Well, I took the advice and straightened the springs as instructed right down to pressing them between the legs of the U bolt, and it worked just dandy!

Turns out after much agonizing that the hammer will be 100 pounds, the anvil around 1300, the base plate is 3 four foot sections of 10" H beam welded together that should come to about another 600 pounds. Should be close to a 20/1 ratio, and I could have added more hammer but I dunno what I would do with more than 100 pounds of hammer. I can't pick up much more than 100 pound work piece any more, and even then I better be picking it up from a bench, not the floor.

Ready to address the pivot and guide, now. I was going to make the clutch a slipping flat belt, but I guess that tire clutch has such a good reputation that there is no need bucking success. I'm thinking I may use a stack of hard rubber wheels instead of a metal roller to rub against the tire, though. Might make the tires last longer and be cheaper than a big old slug of metal anyway.

Thank y'all for your help, and everybody be careful. We don't hold up like we used to....God bless.....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 22 Apr 2018 07:01:18 #0

tire clutch

Joe my hammer has the tire clutch and it far out performs the slipping belt I had before. I used the rear bearing hub assembly off a 1990 Gran Voyager. It has a bolt flange, sealed taper roller bearings and has worked at 70# weight for years now. I mounted the lower pivot for the pitman that would have been welded to the compact spare to the cut out center of another wheel that fit that hub and then did not have to weld to the compact spare wheel. that took away the issues of welded to a wheel with the tire on it, I just used the same lug bolts that held the tire wheel on to hold the pivot wheel center on. I used a heavy turnbuckle from a building wind stay for the pitman and to give adjustment. Go as big here as you can as the threads take a beating load. My pivot for the helve is the rear cap off a hydraulic cylinder, with the mounting clevis to match. I used the original pin too. cross drilled every pivot for grease holes and added zerks for the grease. I use moly grease and have seen no pivot wear since 2002. I also uses rod end clevises and pins for the pittman end as well.I copied The Tire Hammer slide design and it works well.

Loren T - Sun 22 Apr 2018 07:01:50 #0

Joe-Picking up from a bench

I can relate to that. I tell people that anything close to the ground is no longer my friend. I had a conversation with a guy in Washington State at a yard sale. He had a new metal building shop about 30 x 50. It was pretty much empty and I wondered what was going on. Seems he had it built for a retirement
project. He did transmission rebuilds and figured he would do some side work when he retired. What he didn't foresee was that he could get down, but not back up. AND he didn't have enough head room to put in a hoist.

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 22 Apr 2018 07:05:18 #0

Tire clutch

Joe there are photos under my name in the gallery that show some of the details that may be helpful. I used a steel slug for the tire. It has the as turned finish on the rubbing surface. No observed wear since I installed it years ago. Some folks I know have used a Knurled surface and it makes the clutch too grabby and eats the tire. Have no fear of excess wear with a steel tire. Mine was made while I worked at the axle forge shop so it is a hunk of truck axle stock.

Joe Rollings - Tue 24 Apr 2018 10:28:36 #0

Thanks, Jeff!

The forces in those machines are interesting. That spring provides a LOT of isolation for the parts holding and moving it. When I was running the one I built previously, it occurred to me that the linkages and pivot on the spring could be beaten to death in a couple of minutes under the hammer, but they run smooth and last long on the other end of the spring.

I also admired your trowels and other stuff. Would you care to share how much you sold those for? I am acquainted with a lot of mineral diggers. Again, thanks....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Tue 24 Apr 2018 16:29:15 #0

trowels and stuff

Joe I sell the RR spike trowels currently for $50 each and I sell my Messaluna choppers for $45. The choppers and trowels are both on ETSY and the choppers are on Handmade at Amazon.The trowel sales peaks and ebbs, as does Mesalunas.




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