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Click "Long Length " for the last 125 posts.


Jeff Reinhardt - Wed 25 Jul 2018 20:29:23 #0

Joe's tire hammer

On my tire clutch powerhammer I have the steel roller "as turned" and no belt dressing. I have also found the sweet spot for tire pressure. It does make a big difference. I run mine at about 30 psi instead of the 50 for a spare tire use.I see some "denting" of the tire when the treadle is fully pressed. I also find that in changing weather I get condensation and that makes Too much slip

Joe Rollings - Sat 28 Jul 2018 22:02:27 #0

tire pressure

makes a profound difference....thanks.....Joe

Joe Rollings - Tue 31 Jul 2018 22:35:13 #0


is a sweetheart! Thought I was finished except for the paint, tossed a 3/4" hex nut, cold, on the flat die and closed it up tight in a half dozen beats, each beat well controlled. Later, the clamp that binds the ends of the spring leaves together sheared a 3/8" bolt, so I will have to bore them out for 1/2" bolts and put double-nuts on them, tack weld the clamps to the spring leaves. Other minor tuning and finishing, but that ultra controlled power tells me I am almost there.

My uncle I was named for told me once that "you have not lived if you have never throttled any steam", and I think the power hammer is a close substitute, at least when it works right.

Thanks, one and all, for your help. Can't believe I started building it in March. Time flies when you are having fun.....Joe

Bert - Wed 01 Aug 2018 10:27:39 #0

So Joe....

Pics when you can??? Inquiring minds and all that...


Joe Rollings - Thu 02 Aug 2018 14:16:12 #0


Yeah, I took some lousy ones yesterday, but will do a good bunch in a few days and post them. Might wait for the paint.... :) ...Joe

Darrell - Fri 10 Aug 2018 02:59:50 #0

Power hammer

Well I have most all the bugs worked out. I can do single blows, clamp,
pound light and pound heavy. The best part is that it is doing this on 35# of air pressure.
Here is a clip of it,

Chuck - Sun 12 Aug 2018 19:13:15 #0


DARRELL--Got a good lick and stick. Great on the low pressure. Hope things are going well on your planned move.
We don't hear anything on the news anymore.
Hope your health stays good.

JOE sounds like you got it coming your way. We are not using our shop much--
Gardening mostly. We did put some handles on blades that were ground years ago. Started carrying six inch Knipex pliers to favor stiff hands and THUMBS. Made a sheath for them put an A2 chisel ground inside the sheath behind the pliers. Could have been better designed.
Blessings to all
---send us a rain.

Tom C - Fri 17 Aug 2018 08:40:52 #0


I am a day or so from starting the engine in my '57 Chevy project. Some wiring, fluids & installing a temporary driver's seat & I can try it out. It's been an interesting 2 1/2 years.

I'm looking forward to taking a break & going to Quad States in a month. Who else is going?

Chuck, We have had 42" of rain so far this year in Richmond, about 18" more than normal. We could spare a foot or so if we were able.

Tom C

Jeff Reinhardt - Tue 21 Aug 2018 17:24:10 #0

Quad State

I am goiang as I and the BFH team are the Friday Night demo! :)

Loren T - Fri 24 Aug 2018 14:05:09 #0


How are you faring with the hurricane? Hope all is well.

Loren T - Fri 24 Aug 2018 14:06:14 #0

Meant for Darrell

Lane is the hurricane

Darrell - Fri 24 Aug 2018 14:22:12 #0


Here in Ocean View we have renamed it to Hurricane Lame. So far we have 1.5" of rain
and a gust of 36 mph. Hasn't even tipped over the plastic lawn chair.

Loren T - Sat 25 Aug 2018 08:07:26 #0


That's good news. When we lived in Lake Stevens, WA, storms from the west would hit the Olympic peninsula. There they would split and come back together right over us. It is known as the convergence zone. Now that we are living in Eucha, OK, storms from the west split just before reaching us, putting us squarely in the divergence zone. Don't know how this relates to blacksmithing, except that sometimes I really miss my shop in the mountains of Arizona. Forge work is much more comfortable with 7-10% humidity rather than the 84% it is here.

Darrell - Sat 25 Aug 2018 15:00:42 #0

Hurricane Lame

Well Lame has broken up. We have got about 3" more rain. Our 12,500 gal. tank is
almost full again. It should be full by Wednesday. We depend on rain for water.
It's called "Catchment system". So far we haven't had to buy water for the last 2 years.

Joe Rollings - Mon 27 Aug 2018 10:12:36 #0

Got lost in the heat

A couple of weeks ago I either dehydrated or caught a bug and started getting dizzy, then started getting so dizzy I barfed and barfed. I thought I was low on salt, but doc says there is a bug that affects the inner ear and people get so dizzy they cannot sit up and barf until they pass out. Sounds about right. She says it takes 2 weeks to get back from it, and that sounds about right, too.

Going for paint for the hammer tomorrow if everything lines up right, and I seem to be back straight again, so here we go!

I will post hammer pics when it is painted, but I wanted to point out that one can "tune" those leaf springs on a hammer pretty well with the two "bundle clamps" that hold the ends of the spring bundles together.

A weak spring makes it hit harder but you lose some control and a strong spring makes it not hit so hard but you can control it better. To strengthen the spring, lose some impact strength, gain some control, move the bundle clamps as far from the center as you can and still capture all of the leaves in the clamps.

To gain impact strength, sacrifice some control, you weaken the spring by moving the clamps closer together, away from the ends of the bundle. One caution, the more you weaken the spring bundle, the longer the stroke, so you could start hitting the guide with the hammer head.....Talk to y'all soon....Joe

bruce godlesky - Thu 30 Aug 2018 07:01:44 #0


That inner ear bug must be all over the country. Got it her ein w Pa. Twice actually. Thought it might be the wet humid conditions we have had all summer.
Rather annoying at times, stand up and dizziness puts ya right back down!

Had a really close call in the shop last weekend. Had a pair of guys here learning the Damascus process. Let a hot billet get away from me. Smacked me right between the eyes. Didn't even see it coming..... Lucky fer sure!! Not many options on a Saturday afternoon for repairs, so ER it was. 6 stitches. YOW!!
It actually cauterized part of the wound. Gals attending said I had made their afternoon since they don't get many knifemakers/smiths on a regular basis (BOG)

On another note, I think I can make the trek across Ohio to Quad States this yr.
Gonna meet 10 Hammers there and who knbows who else.....

Loren T - Thu 30 Aug 2018 08:16:47 #0


I have had my share stitches throughout the years. One time I was laying on the table while a doctor put 7 or 8 stitches in my scalp. The local nurse practitioner ran into my wife in the hallway and asked what she was doing at the hospital. She came in the emergency room and asked if they were taking good care of me. Later when I got the bill, there was a $90 consult fee from her! (Which I didn't pay). Now is a good time to review the cautionary tale of Paw Paw Wilson's tangle with a grinder across the street. It has accompanying pictures. I NEVER use a bench grinder that I don't think about that.

bruce godlesky - Thu 30 Aug 2018 09:16:44 #0


not the 1st time for me :-) I've gotten to the point where superglue is my friend. This time, no.

Sure are a multitude of ways to hurt yourself in the shop. I'm familiar with a lot of them, heheheh

Joe Rollings - Sat 01 Sep 2018 11:27:11 #0


I have had a lot of grinder injuries and they are especially prone to infection, but my most humorous set of stitches was in Miami, New Mexico. We lived just a mile or so from the doc and it was a weekend, but he always told us to drop by if we needed anything, so my wife drove my tore-up hand and me over to his house and he sat me down at the dining room table, washed it up, and was fixing to start sewing when his wife came into the room and told him it just was not right to have his spit-cup on the table when he was stitching me up, so he threw it in the trash outside, changed gloves, got down to business.

He was a guy who always had his black bag with him, like the old timey docs of yesteryear......Joe

bruce godlesky - Mon 03 Sep 2018 11:06:13 #0


Joe, sounds like a good ol boy to have in the neighborhood!!

Tom C - Wed 05 Sep 2018 13:05:58 #0

Big day yesterday

I started the engine in my '57 Chevy restomod project yesterday. After 2 years & 8 months, it's come alive. The engine is from a 2011 Silverado & was an order of magnitude more complicated to install & get running than a stock setup. I have a date with the painters next Friday.

Tom C

Chuck - Sun 09 Sep 2018 00:45:18 #0

Grandson's car wreck

Our Grand-son CY WAGNER had a bad car wreck at 1:00 Monday the 13TH of August.
He is still in ICU at Northwest Hospital in Amarillo.
He did a number on his head. Still not really awake. Seems to be his own self part of the time but not much. He is going to be laid up for a long while.
The Doctors think he will recover because of his age and health.
He is in a neck brace to hold his head up and back when they set him up.
Sure hard watching a 27 year old that is helpless as a new born. He was and will be again as tough as a junk yard dog.
It is going to take us a spell to get there.
Any unused prayers would be appreciated.
God Bless

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 09 Sep 2018 07:07:33 #0


Prayers being sent Chuck

bruce godlesky - Sun 09 Sep 2018 20:44:49 #0

Sandpiles grandson

Had a serious TBI near 20 yrs ago. It's a long road but not impossible with a lot of prayer and gumption.
Kneemail sent!!

Tom C - Wed 12 Sep 2018 08:03:20 #0

Looks like we'll get some serious weather here on the East Coast. The hurricane has taken a turn to the left a little so it might not be as bad for us in Virginia, but the coastal Carolinas look to get pasted, again. Last time we had a hurricane come through Richmond, Gaston in 2004, there was widespread flooding from all the rain.It was good we had a flood wall because it kept all the cars from getting flushed into the James River.

bruce godlesky - Wed 12 Sep 2018 20:15:58 #0


keep yer waterwings handy Tom!
We had near 7 inches here in w Pa last weekend. Pretty uncommon. Ready for some warm dry again....

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 13 Sep 2018 16:29:36 #0

Tom C be very careful. We got 6.5" here last weekend, I can't imagine 20".

Chuck - Thu 13 Sep 2018 19:01:45 #0

Cy & storm.

TOM I hope all of you on the right coast get by this huge rain/wind-storm.
It has let up a little on the high wind part of the storm but is so slow moving it is going to dump a tub of water, and a relentless wind will find a hold somewhere to tear things a part. A slow moving storm with even 60 or 70 MPH can rip things apart.
CY WAGNER our second Grand-son is having a time of it. He has not moved his feet or right hand as yet. He had lung surgery Tuesday. It was successful.
They put a electric toothbrush in his hand this morning. He eventually got the brush part in his mouth. VICTORY.
Looks like he is going to have to learn it all over--Everything--Maybe we can clean up his vocabulary a little.
We have been blessed with tons of prayers from all over.
BRUCE your head heal up?

bruce godlesky - Thu 13 Sep 2018 22:04:06 #0

Sandpiles grandson

Ya, my heads all healed up , at least it ain't leakin' anymore.....

That relearning stuff is not a bad thing, tho it didn't help MY vocabulary(BOG)
19 yrs ago this month I decided I wasn't going to set on the porch and vegatate any longer. Ordered a Grizzly knife grinder and began an interesting journey. I attempted going back to my former occupation as an autobody repairman. Found I had to relearn everything I had learnt in the past 28 yrs. Not a fun time.....
About the same time became aware of this thing called the internet. Discovered there were guys making things from hot metal.
It's been quite a journey since then!! So Chuck, give Cy all the encouragement ya can! He's gonna be a bit different than the guy you formerly knew but that's OK too.

Chuck - Sat 15 Sep 2018 00:29:18 #0

Relearning and staying to the line.

CYRUS TYLER WAGNER-- Is about as hard-headed and determined as anyone you will ever meet. The family moved almost every year to another town for their Dad to keep teaching in NM.
Three boys --four years apart. It got to where they would just toe the mark--tell the new town toughies to send out the best. The pecking order was straightened right quick. The boys have friends scattered all over the state.
CY and Brady played in the state finals in BB and FB . Lost each by a point and one touch-down.
I am aware of how hard a road CY has got. Brady has not left the hospital except to clean up. Cy's wife and Mother have stayed everyday and night.
It has been 30 days since his accident.
Pneumonia along with the head injuries, broke the front off his face, both eye orbits, top jaw, bottom jaw not so bad. Completely bed ridden just barely conscious.
He has no control of anything but his left hand. He is dragging his right hand around by his ID bracelet.
Motions for his Mom to prop up his head. He has figured out how to 'thumbs up' when they figure out what he wants.
Treach in, ventilator in, feeding tube in. One eye open.
Best demonstration of pure guts I have ever seen. It may take a year or two years but this guy will be back.
He has lots of moral support. It is going to financially break every damn one of us. But we did not have anything when we started this old life--We can go out the same way.
Just needed to let folks know how tough a tussle my second grand-son is into.

Darrell - Sat 15 Sep 2018 01:23:30 #0


I know there is hope. I myself have gone from full paralyzed on the right side and part
paralyzed on the left to a full recovery in a little over one year.
Physical therapy got me started in the 1st month after the stroke, actually after the 2 strokes 1 of which happened in the hospital.
That one was the worst. As soon as I got some motion, I went to the mouse and keyboard
on my computer and started working bookkeeping and taxes. I was using my right hand
which I had the least control of to work the mouse to improve coordination.
We will keep CY in our prayers. We have experience with answered prayer.

bruce godlesky - Wed 19 Sep 2018 07:01:18 #0

"we have experience with answeresd prayer" YEP!!!!

See some of you at Troy, I hope!

Tom C - Mon 24 Sep 2018 15:34:46 #0

Quad States

I got back from Quad States last night at 11:00 after driving through West Virginia in the rain. I was a good conference with a hugh amount of tailgating.Anvil asking prices seemed to have taken a jump. For instance,I saw a 100 lb. Vulcan anvil someone had for $440. There were a few good deals to be had & I was there mainly for the comraderie, anyway. There seemed to be a few more younger folks showing up which is good.I'm sorry I didn't see you there Bruce. I should have given you our location, I suppose. Anyway, John Fee had his Blacksmiths' Stew on Friday evening & I did a couple of pork shoulders on the ol' Weber for Saturday. I was fun to see Jeff Reinhardt & his crew make a couple of their big crosses for Friday nite's main demo. Good job. Jeff. All in all, another fine event.

Tom C

Jeff Reinhardt - Mon 24 Sep 2018 18:04:37 #0

Quad State

Had a great time, my team made 2 each of the 3" crosses and an great time was had by all.

bruce godlesky - Mon 24 Sep 2018 22:17:26 #0

quad state

Tom C , prolly saw ya and couldn't put the name to a face. Met so many folks I've talked with over the years! I was really surprised how many I did know! Saw a lotta folks I know from the trapping fraternity too! Quite a crossover!

Jeff , your gang really out on a great demo!! Good talkin' with ya!

Did Billy Epps judge the smithing competition Saturday nite? I headed home late afternoon.

John Fee sure did a great job on the possum stew!!

Tom C - Tue 25 Sep 2018 13:14:31 #0

If you were at John's eating Possum stew, I saw you, or you, me. I was the tall guy with the grubby SOFA hat & kinda long beard.
We'll talk next time.

Tom C

Brian C. - Tue 25 Sep 2018 17:50:28 #0


Another one in the books. The Blonde and I didn't see much of the demonstrations, too busy visiting with old friends. John Fee and Tom Chenoweth both put on fine meals, thanks again for the hospitality. A great event.

bruce godlesky - Tue 25 Sep 2018 22:28:50 #0


Yep, we were at JohnFees possum dinner :-) Came in with TenHammers, Keith Sommers and Bill Epps. The grubbyhay/long beard description fits a large percentage of attendees Ha!

Tom C - Wed 26 Sep 2018 09:08:01 #0

Yeah, I guess it does. I don't suppose adding that I had a slight limp (plantars wart on left foot) & a ponytail helps either.

I took my '57 Chevy project to the painters last Wednesday so now I can attend to stuff I've let slide. After I straighten up the shop first, of course. A car restoration project is the ultimate mixed media piece.

Tom C

Mike B - Wed 26 Sep 2018 18:46:42 #0


I've meaning to ask how you put a late-model engine in a old car. Do you have to try to transplant all the computer stuff, or is there an aftermarket kit to connect it up?


Tom C - Thu 27 Sep 2018 12:03:41 #0

It's quite a challenge, Mike & one which, had I known how difficult it would be, wouldn't have done. Luckily, there is a forum devoted to '55, '56 & '57 Chevys which proved invaluable to this project. Yes, There are aftermarket kits to hook up the electronics but that's the simple part...... This being a site devoted to smithing, I won't post a litany of what else you have to do to put a 2011 truck engine & transmission into a 61 year old car, but if you're going to Spring Fling, I'll probably have it there & will point out the salient details to you then.

Tom C

Mike B - Thu 27 Sep 2018 19:09:24 #0

Look forward to seeing it (and, more importantly, you) in April!

Loren T - Sun 07 Oct 2018 22:17:45 #0


I was looking through the gallery and came across a bunch of pics posted by Ellen. i know a while back some were asking about her, not having heard for a while. I noticed that Sandpile had sent some stuff back and forth with her. I have visited her at her home 4 years ago or so, but don't remember exactly where it is. Anyone know updated information?

Chuck - Sun 07 Oct 2018 22:48:28 #0


LOREN T. I will have to see if I can find the addy.
ELLEN lived in Apache Junction.
Her sister called here and Helen spoke to her.
Ann Reid was Ellens name. I think. Here sister said Ellen had had some serious strokes then had another. Her sister she was in bad shape. Later e called the number and got no answer.
We suspect Ellen has passed.
JOHN LARSON might still have address.

We were going to out to Phoenix, stopping at Joe Rolling's and then Ellen's. I got sick and we did not go.

Tom C - Mon 08 Oct 2018 10:08:48 #0

I visited Ellen a couple of times a few years ago & she stayed with us when she took a motorcycle trip East about 10 years ago. I tried calling her but got a recorded message. She was an accountant who did peoples' taxes & one of the numbers was for a fax machine. I have her address somewhere but I won't put it up here. I, too, suspect she has passed.

Tom C

Loren T - Tue 09 Oct 2018 10:22:59 #0

Motorcycle Trip

I remember her posting about that trip. If I remember correctly she had bought an Iron Kiss hammer and went to take a class on using it from John Larson.

Joe Rollings - Wed 10 Oct 2018 13:56:11 #0

Prayers up

for Cy Wagner. That is a REALLY tough break, but I betcha he will overcome it in spite of the hardship.

Sorry I have been missing for a while, just sorting out a lot of false starts on my next adventure. Got the power hammer done, and boy is it a hitter, but not sure yet if I am the man for it. 100 pounds of hammer on a 1300 pound anvil sometimes can do more damage than good to a project. Not really accustomed to long learning curves any more I have been doing the same stuff over and over again for so long.

Hammer is not even bolted down, just sits there and wiggles a tiny bit because the floor is not flat. Almost any crowned die, no matter how large the radius, leaves big old dents. Maybe I need to be making bigger stuff so the dents don't show so much BOG.....Joe

Tom C - Thu 11 Oct 2018 08:52:38 #0

Loren, she was also a history buff & toured many of the historic sites in Virginia regarding the Revolutionary & Civil wars. I think there's a pic of her & her bike in the photo gallery under my name. I was impressed that she made that trip, solo, at her age. She was a tough one.

Tom C

Buck Brown - Thu 11 Oct 2018 12:22:14 #0


I remember when Ellen first got her power hammer. She was discussing what to name it and decided on Thor.
There's a pic somewhere of her on a tall Thoroughbred bay horse. Seems she had a cabin or something up in the hills near Apache Junction.

Tom C - Fri 12 Oct 2018 10:54:09 #0

If you click on her name in the Gallery, there's a pic of her on her horse. The caption says that her cabin was in New Mexico.

Tom C

Bruce Blackistone (Atli) - Sun 14 Oct 2018 14:47:05 #0


Pax vobiscum.




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