Blacksmiths Forum
Recent Photos
Add a Photo
Request Password
Rated: PG
Click "Long Length " for the last 125 posts.


Chuck - Sat 02 Sep 2017 20:55:49 #0

Blade smithing

To normalize- take above magnetic(1325)---let cool in calm air. Best to start at 1350-60 then 2nd time at 1340- and one last time at 1325. All this is cooled in calm air down to a good dark color.
QUENCH--Depending on the steel from 1340F up to 1750F quenching in 130 oil or warm water again depending on the steel.
TEMPERING- DRAW- in oven from 300F to 400F 45 minutes again depending on the steel---
All these procedures are best if triplicated.

Stainless Steel is a different deal all together, as is any air hardening steel.

Brief but close--If you need more info you can find it on the kinfemaker sites.

Steel less than a 1/4" or an art deal. The books all speak of 1" or thicker steel.

Alex Ivey - Mon 04 Sep 2017 13:04:35 #0

Heat treating

Chuck, thanks for the heat treat info, very good.

Posted a photo of a small hat forged from a 16 quarter mokume billit. Pattern is random, don't show up to well in the photo. LXIV,

bruce godlesky - Mon 04 Sep 2017 22:16:58 #0


nice job Alex on the mokume hat!!

Chuck - Tue 05 Sep 2017 00:47:37 #0


ALEX-- Good job on the Mokume Hat.
You have the hat deal down pat.
Good everybody.

Chuck - Thu 14 Sep 2017 23:26:57 #0


Well It will be ten days tomorrow since a post has been put up.
I don't believe anybody has been that busy. grin.
I hope everybody has not been sick

Darrell - Fri 15 Sep 2017 02:03:31 #0


Well I have managed to stay busy. I got a Bridgeport CNC mill shipped in and moved into place and then picked it up with a come-along to get it off the pallet.
Still waiting for a motor to make a 3 phase converter. In the mean time someone scrapped out a ProCut 9.0 on the car rotor turning lathe and gave it to a friend
who proceeded to cut wires and strip it down to the motor. Then he found that the motor wouldn't work for his plan so he gave it all to me.
After about a week of figuring where the wires went I got it back together and made it work so now I have a working brake lathe.
Have spent my spare time organizing the shop and building another gas forge and burner, while remodeling a condo and installing new doors on the condo storage units.
Being retired is very tiring.

Loren T - Fri 15 Sep 2017 09:48:55 #0

Being Retired

When I had my shop in the 90's, a lot of retired guys would stop in to shoot the bull. I always made time to visit no matter how busy i was, mainly because in a small town word of mouth advertising is everything. I remember one guy saying that after he retired he was so busy, he didn't know how he ever found time to hold a job. He was right.

bruce godlesky - Fri 22 Sep 2017 06:47:00 #0

I like working so don't intend to stop anytime soon. Ha!
With huntin' season creeping up on us, I might/might not be in the shop at any specific time. When the mood strikes me......... One of the advantages of being self-employed.
Hope everyone at Quad-State keeps dry! Sooner or later I'll make it out there.....
Fixin' to start on winter steel supply soon. I like to make up several dozen blades and a half dozen Damascus billets before the crappoy weather hits.

Buck Brown - Mon 25 Sep 2017 10:42:51 #0

It was 35* here this morning in south central Utah so I'll be going to the coal yard soon. I heat the shop with a caboose stove. Sure looking forward to firing the forge. Been way too hot all summer to do anything but wood working.
Anybody ever hear anything from Ellen?

Darrell - Mon 25 Sep 2017 20:40:54 #0


Hi Buck, The web still shows the pipe fittings to be in KANAB, UT 84741 where they have been since July.
I have got past the need for them but you could collect on the insurance.

Buck Brown - Wed 27 Sep 2017 17:37:53 #0

Thanks Darrell. Too bad that didn't work out. Don't hesitate to let me know if you need anything else and we'll try again!

Joe Rollings - Sun 01 Oct 2017 23:02:28 #0

Catching up

I have had a lot of trouble since my ablation, but am beginning to come out of it. They don't tell you all of the things a surgery does to you until it is too late to change your mind.

While I have been recovering, I have been making muzzle loading cannons, and have high hopes they will sell as gifts.

Prayers up for all of you who are sicker than me, and those who still feel fine.

After all, somebody needs to pray for the healthy......Joe

Buck Brown - Mon 09 Oct 2017 10:36:04 #0

Hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant Autumn. It's been nice here, although we've had a few mornings close to freezing. The cold nights have shut the garden down. Very windy yesterday, though. We've been busy getting ready for winter.
Sure don't miss cutting all the firewood like we used to do when we lived in Western Colorado. Don't miss the ice and snow for sure.

I'll be firing up the forge soon. Need to do a couple projects for the neighbors.

Joe, can you post some pics of the cannons you are making?


John Odom - Tue 10 Oct 2017 12:41:51 #0


Joe: tell us about the canons! size etc. Picture?

Joe Rollings - Tue 10 Oct 2017 23:11:53 #0

Pics up tomorrow

I will post pics tomorrow of the cannons. Thanks for your interest...Joe

Joe Rollings - Thu 12 Oct 2017 12:49:02 #0


Finally got a couple of pics of one up, more later....Joe

Joe Rollings - Thu 12 Oct 2017 13:46:33 #0


Finally got a couple of pics of one up, more later....Joe

bruce godlesky - Fri 13 Oct 2017 10:52:09 #0

Hot Dang JHoe! I like that!! How far will it send a golf ball?? The wheels are turning.........

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Fri 13 Oct 2017 21:14:46 #0

Coehorn Mortar

What's the bore?

We've had great fun with ours; it has a 2 1/4" bore and we load it with an onion (or sometimes a turnip) as a projectile, run a fireworks sparkler through the onion (before loading it down the bore, bending the "handle end" over at the bottom) and, using another sparkler as a linstock, igniting the first sparkler and then discharging the piece. A nice display as it twirls, flinging out sparks and arcing out over the river!

Loren T - Sat 14 Oct 2017 06:40:00 #0


Spud Guns! Punkin Chukkers! Onion cannons! I'm 72 and there's 3 things I never dreamed I would live to see! Along with the fact that when I took computer programming at Arizona State University, ASU only had 2 computers. Now we walk around with them on our wrist. Good thing we have blacksmithing with a simple fire, anvil, and hammer to keep us grounded.

Joe Rollings - Sat 14 Oct 2017 22:24:41 #0

cannons and stuff

I have no idea how far a short cannon like that will shoot a golf ball, but one of my bigger ones, around 18", will send it through both sides of a junk refigerator and then down range maybe 100 yards.

I dug up one of my 18" barrels that I had sold a friend who died and left me all of his junk. It was bored to 1.5", so I ordered some steel balls that size.

Loaded it up with a proper charge and shot it all of the say through both sides of a Geo Metro and it touched ground for the first time about 200 yards downrange.

I didn't run the trunion cap bolts all of the way through the cheekpiece and the cheekpiece on both sides split....found the barrel about 10 feet behind the cannon. Back to the drawing board.

I have a dang site more fun than any old man is entitled to....but I'm not even thinking about stopping.....Joe

Joe Rollings - Sat 14 Oct 2017 22:31:08 #0

On another subject

I have maybe 200 pounds of THICK 5160 leaf sptings from old dump truck spring bundles.

Thinking about running pieces of it for sale on Ebay to make hatchets and stuff from.

Think I will get any action? Have not yet measured it, but it looks like it could go maybe 3/8" thick and at least 3" or more wide.

I guess the question is too vague. I'll measure and ask again.....Joe

Bert - Sun 15 Oct 2017 11:24:46 #0

Joe's Other Subject

I've always had better luck w/ Craigslist than Ebay with all the bidding and shipping and Paypal crap I don't want to deal with. Also might be because I'm only 25 miles from downtown Portland and half the state's population lives within 50 miles of pdx... Don't know how many C's-listers you've got in rural N.M. if I remember where you live correctly.

Then there's your salesmanship to consider. I used to make a lot of trellises and tomato cages out of rebar cuz it's cheap and I could tell people the little nubbers were there for the plants to hold onto... AND, you'd be surprised at how many people would believe me when I told them it was 'Imported Art Iron'... "See it says Mexico (or Korea) right on it"...


bruce godlesky - Mon 16 Oct 2017 07:47:36 #0


My wife says I do not have enuff adult supervision to have a cannon........
I have not had good luck selling on CL nor ebay. Mebbe that's why I have sooo much "stuff" lying about.
Had a fella drop off a stack of 24" sawblades yesterday. Guess I'll get them checked for content. May pay me to buy a plasma cutter. Any suggestions on a make/model??
In the past , I was getting the big sawblades (52") waterjetted but it has just gotten to dang expensive. $400 for a complete blade cut into 1 1/4" strips. I can buy a heckuva lot of 15n20 for that!

Chuck - Mon 16 Oct 2017 23:36:27 #0

Knives + steel

BRUCE-- I always wanted to buy a plasma cutter. Wish now I had done it.
I have some damn good band saw blades, 36" circular saw blades
Cutting the patterns with a plasma leaves very little tracks to grind back passed.
I have been buying A2 from the enenmy. Did not know it till just the other day. I forget the name right now. Empire or something like that. It was the best buy on any size above a 1/8" in A2.
I been spraying and quenching the A2. Seems to work. I don't have anything but a file to check the hardness.
JOE- Hide behind something thick when shooting those things.
BRUCE How high did that anvil go on your Timeline? Took a long time it to fall.

Loren T - Tue 17 Oct 2017 08:38:25 #0

Plasma cutter

I have had a Plasma cutter since 1990. My first one was used and I gave $800 for it.Sold it in $2001 for $800. My second one, which I bought in about 2005 is a Thermal Dynamics cutmaster 38. I think I paid about $1600 for it, and it will cut up to 1/4" clean. If you are looking for one, above all, make sure the disposables are reasonably priced. I have found that Thermal Dynamics is the best. I recently bought 10 electrodes, a shield, and 10 tips from Amazon for about $90. Very
reasonably priced. When I bought my first one, I was about 100 miles from Phoenix up in the mountains, and I decided anything I could do without having access to a shear and brake was money in the bank. Having a plasma cutter was just like having a 12'long 1/4" plate shear. A customer had me cut knife blanks out of his sawblade for $10 each. I got to keep the drop and sold it as art for $350. Posted a Pic in recent pics.

bruce godlesky - Tue 17 Oct 2017 12:37:28 #0

Chuck, think that anvil shoot was in slo-mo. Ya, it dod take a long time to get it earth bound:-)
These blades I just got are all Simonds. Til I get them speced, gonna assume they are 1070/1080 plus high Ni. Plus I have a 52 incher (Simonds) an Amishman gave me. Prolly enuff steel to last mew a loooong time. Now to order a batch of 1095 to mix with it. I prefer keepin' the carbon as high as possible.
I reckon I'll start shoppin' for a plasma cutter before long. In thew long run it will pay for itself.
Kinda amazed at how many requests I get for blades from the do-it-yerselfers.

Joe Rollings - Tue 17 Oct 2017 16:42:39 #0

craigslist, steel cannons and plasma cutters

Nobody much around here to buy anything off of Craigslist. Population density around one person per 1 1.2 square miles.

The steel is both 5/16 and 7/16 by 2 3/8 and 3" wide. I dunno when they changed truck springs from 1095 to 5160, but this stuff is from the mid 1960's. If I put it on Ebay, I will pickle it to remove the scale and rust, then lightly oil it. The scale on new 5160 HR is a royal pain in the butt, and a bit or muratic followed by baking soda and water will clean it up quickly.

I always test fir those cannons wit4h a truck wheel and engine between me and it the first time it goes off. I like a solid shield better than lots of distance because you never know how far something might fly.

I have had a coupld of plasma cutters, and the difference between the two as far as consumables is pretty remarkable. The first one was a Thermal Dynamics 25 amp, and it went through consumables like crap through a tin horn. Better with a good water removal on the air system, but still a lot of tips went in the trash.

This second one is a longevity 44-d I think is the model number, and I have had it about three years. Might have a solid 10 hours cutting on it at most, but it only came with one extra tip, which I thought was pretty stingy. Fact is, I don't even know where to find that extra tip because I am still using the original! Hard to believe.

It cuts a slightly larger slot than the TD I started with, and I think the reason the tips last so long is that it uses two or three times the air as the TD, and keep the tip pretty cool. Runs air through a LOT longer after you stop cutting than the TD did. It will operate on 120 on thin stuff, 230 volts on thick stuff, and changes over automatically.

Anybody who thinks about getting one of the same xhould just resign himself to taking the lid off and replacing all of the hoses and clamps under the hood right off the bat. Cheap clear hose and lousy clamps from the factory. Other than that, no complaints, except nobody has ever figured out how to make one as portable as they look. Only way I can see to keep one in good shape is to put it on a shelf and leave it there, with loops to hang the wires from.

Oh, yeah, replace the ground clamp right off, too. The pin through the middle of the new one is held in there by spring tension and luck, both of which run out early.....Joe

Joe Rollings - Thu 19 Oct 2017 15:00:21 #0

Population density

was supposed to be 1 per i i/2 miles, not that it is important. Comes from proof reading a week after the post.

Got my "all clear" from the Albuquerque docs on the ablation. They scortch some nerve in there that makes you only able to get a bout a half a lung full of air for some time after the procedure, but that is pretty easy to live with comared to the AF. All is good!.....Joe

Buck Brown - Fri 20 Oct 2017 12:22:47 #0


Glad to hear you're doing better, and thanks for the canon pics. Very nice.

Joe Rollings - Fri 20 Oct 2017 22:25:13 #0

another cannon

Posted a pic of a larger previous cannon. Running out of the 5" round stock for the big ones. Really hate to buy new, but might have to if I keep on going with them.

I have an order for a Oxy bottle bowling ball cannon. Anybody know where I can get a reject 9" diameter Oxy bottle for a reasonable price?

It prob'ly won't be as pretty to look at, but I am REALLY looking forwards to shooting it for the test fire.

I have to turn a 5" chamber for the back of it from solid steel to damp the explosion and focus it down the barrel, and put on an elevation adjustment. I already have the acme screw and nut and some of the other stuff to make it, but need the bottle.....and some bowling balls.....Joe

Alex Ivey - Sun 22 Oct 2017 19:24:07 #0


Joe , I have an HP DOT cylinders you can have. I'm in Bosque Farms, will you be coming to Albuq any time soon. LXIV,

Joe Rollings - Tue 24 Oct 2017 11:04:10 #0

Bosque farms and cylinder

Just saw this...sorry. I bet I can think up a reason to go there ... :) ....THANKS, and if I firm up the deal on the cannon, I don't mind paying.

He gave me the order without hearing the price, so I need to make sure just how $erious he is...Joe

Bert - Fri 03 Nov 2017 15:33:40 #0

Actual Blacksmithing Question

Anybody ever forge (or make from metal) an ear of corn? Any help or pointers would be appreciated before I start blind...

I was going to start w/ a 2 or 2.5" piece of sch40 pipe. Any thoughts on that?
Long term goal is 'veggie' fence panels to keep the deer out of the garden and the Minister of Finance & Domestic Tranquility happy w/ the appearance...



Loren T - Sat 04 Nov 2017 08:56:04 #0

Corn Fence

Look up "The Corn Fence Story" on the net. I posted a couple pics of my fence in front of my shop. Same story, to make her happy. It was 100' long and I didn't have the time or inclination to make ears. got me a sale of another one 268' long. Good job, made my year, about 1993.

Darrell - Sat 04 Nov 2017 21:50:34 #0

Air oiler

What kind of oil do you use in your air oiler?

Bert - Sun 05 Nov 2017 10:24:53 #0

Thnx Loren

That was a nice story. Mine is based purely on aesthetics, not home sickness. Wife is from LA and even in the late 50's they didn't raise much corn around Wilshire Blvd... So I got a little smarter and stopped looking for a how to video on youtube and looked up cornstalk fence on bing images... That Cornstalk Hotel fence is WAY BEYOND my skill level and available time & material, but I did get some other how to ideas from some of the other pictures that came up.

Darrell, I use the air compressor oil NAPA sells. I assume you have a good water filter or two in front of the oiler. My dad's compressor spit of chocolate milk up at the top of Lotus Blossom because of the humidity... But then I couldn't convince him to buy a good one so I bought him an IR for Christmas and mailed it to him... My mom mailed it back to me, still in the box, after he died and she sold the house...

Buck Brown - Sun 05 Nov 2017 11:20:25 #0

This and that

Loren T. That's a great story about the cornstalk fence. Your grass fence is very nice. Looks like you live in some interesting country.

Darrell. I don't use air tools a lot and don't have an inline oiler. I just put a few drops of NAPA air tool lubricant # 765-1400 in the air intake before hooking up the air hose. I alternate that with a few drops of Energy Release. Here's a link:

Tom C - Fri 17 Nov 2017 20:28:33 #0


I guess everyone's been busy. Nothing on the forum for 12 days! I've been working on a couple of projects, nothing blacksmithing, though. Louise wanted me to put a shower in the shop somewhere so she can rinse off after coming back from her midday Ju jitsu class. There was a spare toilet stall we didn't need so my friend Kevin & I converted the space to a shower. I got one of those tankless hot water heaters to provide the heated water. So she's a happy gal.

I'm about ready to finally put the '57 Chevy body back on the chassis. I just need a couple of things installed & it'll be ready.

Y'all probably know that the 2018 ABANA conference is here in Virginia, only 30 miles North of Richmond. I'll be a volunteer as will a number of my fellow CVBG members. So, if the spirit moves you c'mon out to the Old Dominion & check it out.

Darrell - Fri 17 Nov 2017 21:19:37 #0


Been busy remaking my power hammer. Trying a different control system.
Rebuilding a Bridgeport mill. It's a CNC mill and so far I have had just
about everything apart. Down to the point of removing the balls from
the ball-screws. It's been a long slow process.

Bert - Sat 18 Nov 2017 11:09:25 #0

keeping busy

Been working on a lean-2 project to be able to clean the shop up and out, separate wood and metal sides, and need a place to park the new truck out of the endless Oregon rain. Decided to frame the lean-2 w/ pallet racking to get built in shelving. 12' frames on one side, 8' on the other & run 24' 2x12's across for roof joists. Of course then I couldn't find any off the shelf brackets to attach the metal shelf rails to the 2x12's so I had to first make the tooling for my little table top press to bend 3/16ths x 1.5" flat bar into square U's w/ the correct widths leg lengths and nail/bolt holes (got real tired of standing in front of the drill press). Then I built a jig to weld them up straight and @ 90 degrees, then some rustoleum... Oh yeah, needed 96 finished brackets.

Designed and had, or bought, material for the thing to be 22'W x 40'L but when I actually started assembling it I found out I only had 39' of concrete pad so today and tomorrow I'm excavating a 2'x28'x8" hole and forms soz the mini-mix truck can come pour an extension if it ever quits raining long enough...

Need to get back to forging and the garden 'veggie' fence project and some sculpture work when it's done...

Tom C, have inherited a very cherry '71 Bronco (75K miles) which is part of my clean up/out motivation soz I'll have room to add a few safety & comfort updates; 4 wheel discs, power steering, 5 spd tranny, electronic ignition, new gas tanks, etc. Still have my 1st car in the shop too, '65 Mustang GT convert I bought in Feb of '66 w/ 4K miles. Spent a lot of time & $s on it, was a #1 show car when I parked it in the shop 20 yrs ago. It needs some TLC to get back to #1 too...

Loren T - Sun 19 Nov 2017 13:14:57 #0

Brackets for Bert

BERT: You need to look seriously into a Hossfeld bender. It makes projects like the one you described a cinch. I've had one for close to 45 years and would be lost without it. The more you use it, the more uses you find for it.

Tom C - Sun 19 Nov 2017 20:19:30 #0

I've had a Hossfeld Bender for about 20 years & I can second Loren's statement about its usefulness. One time at the local salvage yard I saw a bunch of Hossfeld dies in the pile. I bought them all for $20, culled out the ones I already had (about 25%)& sold them at Quad States for $100. I use mine for bending flat bar the hard way & angle iron curves.

Bert - Mon 20 Nov 2017 15:09:27 #0

A Hossfeld

Been thinking the same thing for awhile now... Will be watching C'slist & ebay again... Any opinions, yeah or nay, on w/ or w/o the hydraulic attachment?


Loren T - Tue 21 Nov 2017 10:50:19 #0

Hossfeld Bender

Where are you located Bert? I have a lot of info on the bender, as I have given classes on it's use.Also have a main frame that's extra. Call me at Four Two Five-Three One Four- One Three Six One. I'll be happy to discuss it w/you. Or email

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 23 Nov 2017 09:28:22 #0

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Bert - Thu 23 Nov 2017 11:02:17 #0

A Hossfeld

Loren T - I live about 25 miles due West of Portland OR. Any tips or advice you might offer would be welcome. And now "For the Rest of the Story"...

And so, I was cruising C's list on Tuesday (cuz it was still raining) and called an ad about a Shop Outfitters bender w/ a couple of dies. It was Sold and as I'm expressing my disappointment to the guy he says "well I have a friend who's moving to New York and selling some of his stuff, I'll give you his number". Naturally I call the guy immediately and he says he's got a "Hossfeld and some dies" but is literally loading the truck to move. So I grab my 'cash stash bag' and take the 45 min drive to SE Portland.

The short version of the story is he thinks he's already over the gvw of the u-haul truck (his fab/weld table was in and HUGE w/ a 1.5" plate top), it had to be close to 2 tons) and the bender and dies are just going to add to that. There's the bender frame on a 24x24x3/4" base, a 30x30x1/4" side table, two big steel tool boxes I can't even come close to lifting of dies and a bunch of extra pins and all the original user manuals and parts/die catalogues.

"How much do you want for it all?" sez I... He thinks a bit, looks in the truck and all the stuff he has yet to load and asks "Is $300 too much?" I did not feel any need to negotiate!

The guy was a rail maker so there was a total of 26 dies (or sets) for tube and pipe, angle and box tube and some I haven't figured out what they are yet. I can already see how this setup would have made the bracket bending a whole lot quicker & easier.

I'm very Thankful (and a Grand Thanksgiving to you all) today and figure Christmas got rolled into today, a little early.

Buck Brown - Thu 23 Nov 2017 12:51:39 #0


That's a great find, Bert. You'll never be sorry you bought it.

Hope everyone has a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving Day.

bruce godlesky - Thu 23 Nov 2017 14:19:12 #0

Happy Turkey Day

We have a lot to be grateful and thankful for. Hope everyone has a great day!!

Tom C - Thu 23 Nov 2017 14:40:02 #0

Ya did good, Bert.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Tom C

Tom C - Thu 23 Nov 2017 14:41:49 #0

Has anyone heard from Ellen lately? Chuck, how are you doing?

Tom C




Recent Photos
Add a Photo
Request Password