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Darrell - Sun 21 Jan 2018 14:53:09 #0


Well after several months of waiting for parts to come in the mail the CNC mill actually ran yesterday.
Now comes the process of cleaning up the wiring and adding a couple of bells and whistles.
One thing is flood coolant, another is an encoder to read spindle speed.
Then begins programming with Fusion 360 to make parts.
First project will be to get my hammer running.

brucegodlesky - Tue 23 Jan 2018 15:34:12 #0

What kinda hammer Darrell?
My Fairbanks is generally out of commission this time of year. Too much frost heave. Have to rely on the hydraulic press or Armstrong powewr :-)
Keep tryin' to talk myself into a hammer rebuild and move the drive wheel to the rear so I can mount a motor on the back of the frame.

Weather has moderated so looks like some forge time before long. Saw a lil video MS Ray Kirk did on forging small intregal blades. Have to give it a try befor I forget how.....

Darrell - Tue 23 Jan 2018 23:18:25 #0


I have an air hammer that was a basic Kinyon style.
The shuttle valve O-rings kept going bad. That was a bit expensive counting the shipping.
I am replacing that valve with a hydraulic valve. Right now I am working on some
prototype linkage that I hope will be more like a Steam hammer.
Had the mill up and running today and made a couple of parts for the hammer.
Kind of slow going learning the new mill software and the CAD/CAM program.

Buck Brown - Wed 24 Jan 2018 09:40:09 #0


Glad to hear your hammer project is coming along. The only time I was around a power hammer was at Robb Gunter's school. It was a Little Giant. Sid Suedmeier was there too. He had just purchased the Little Giant company.

Jeremy K - Wed 24 Jan 2018 15:18:51 #0

Darrel - o-rings

Darrell - Do you have an inline oiler on your air hammer - I put a "T" in the piping and unplug the "T" and a few drops of oil and re-plug the "T" then hammer away. - no problems since.

Jeff Reinhardt - Wed 24 Jan 2018 16:09:59 #0

Darrell, most hydraulic valves are lapped spool design, IE they have a spool that is lapped into the bore. They depend on the viscosity of the oil to slow leakage across the lands of the spool to an acceptable level. I fear you will not be happy with the air leakage in this type valve. One of the items that is usually changed in a steam hammer that is being modified to air is to refit the valves with seals. As Jeremy notes oil is pretty essential to the seal life in pneumatic items. Also the RIGHT oil. Oils like Marvel Mystery Oil and others of the Patent Medicine type will often degrade seals faster then no oil. A really good choice for seal life is ATF. Works well and does not hurt seals. Is very stable in viscosity vs temp as well. The antiwear package in ATF works well in cylinders as well. In a previous century, while working at a major pneumatic valve and cylinder makers lab I got to test seals against various oils. Marvel Mystery oil would turn regular Nitrile seals to mush overnight. Several of the "airline oils" were little better. Hydraulic oil in low viscosity say 10 weight was quite good as was ATF.

Darrell - Wed 24 Jan 2018 21:04:23 #0


I have an in-line oiler that I am using 10 weight hydraulic oil.
The original shuttle valve spool lasted a long time, but the new thin ones hardly lasted a month.
I know the hydraulic valve that I'm using is new, but I am detecting no air leakage at this time.
At $70 plus and shipping and waiting for the shuttles it won't take long to pay for the hydraulic valve.
What would happen is if the hammer sat for a couple of days the shuttle would stick in place
and I would have to take the end off and tap the shuttle in both directions and free it up.
Two or three times of that and those thin seals that they used to replace O-rings were shot.

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 25 Jan 2018 15:57:58 #0

Darrell, sounds like if the hydraulic valve does not work, you need to change brand/style of valve.If that occurs let me know, I can advise on some very bullet proof valves.

Joe Rollings - Thu 01 Feb 2018 11:28:16 #0


I inherited a bunch of stuff a couple of years ago, and have been slowly selling it off a bit at a time, and nobody stepped up for the old ditch witch trencher, so I had me a plan to remove the hydrostatic tranny and use it to build the ultimate finely controlled power hammer.

Just about the time I was getting ready to scrap it out, somebody called and wants to buy it, but them I figured out there is another of the trannys in an old wheel horse tractor I can use.

Seems like a perfect solution to me for absolute control. The one I built with a slipping belt was not controllable by me, at least.

Seems like I plan more than I build these days, but I'm not much for chilly weather, even chilly weather that would make you guys from cold country put on your swim trunks and go sun bathing......Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 01 Feb 2018 16:28:59 #0

Joe Rollings, a friend of mine built a guided helve with a hydro tranny and it was not good. the tranny was loud and the hammer did not perform well. When he saw my hammer with a tire clutch he rebuilt his and is much happier with the hammer now.
I used the rear hub bearing assembly from a 1990 Gran Caravan, with the spare tire from same. For the pivot I used the center from a wheel off the same. That way I could weld the pivot and not have to touch the compact spare wheel with any welding. Just bolted the center on over top the spare using the lug nuts. Been running that for years.

Chuck - Thu 01 Feb 2018 23:19:28 #0

Tire Hammers

I wish I had seen RAY CLONTZ's "Piddler" hammer before I built mine.
Ray is damn near a genius developing tools and jigs. He is great place to get advice.
I have my "50" running on flat dies and my home built is running for on fullering dies.
I am now about through the figuring stage of building a 37 ton splitter/press. Got all the steel, 17 HP vertical motor, tank and axle.--need cylinder, control, hydraulic motor. Some pretty weather. Grin

Loren T - Fri 02 Feb 2018 11:04:12 #0


My wife, who is a quilter, says that quilters abound in UFO's. Seems like we all have a bunch of those!!
UFO= Unfinished Object.

Alex Ivey - Fri 02 Feb 2018 16:18:01 #0

Catching Up

Catching up on my reading, did notice Toms post couple of weeks back about the silence, thanks Tom as it did wake everybody up. I'm usually silent just mostly a reader, not checking the post often as there's been a lot on our plate here to occupy our time, wife diagnosed with uterine cancer back in early November, had operation Nov. 30, going through chemo now and radiation later, stage was 1B so that was good news. She's a tough girl, is taking it well and with all the prayers we're getting I'm sure all will turn out ok. Someone else may have mentioned it but I thank you all for posting as I enjoy reading (Tom C, Bruce, Chuck, Bert, Loren, Jeff. Joe, Gavainh, Buck, Jeremy and anyone I left out)and special thanks to you Darrell for hosting.

Our NM Artist Blacksmiths Assoc. meeting will be at Ward Brenigar's shop in Santa Fe tomorrow Feb 3 and anyone is invited to attend as guest are always welcomed. Directions can be found on NMABA's website, if interested just look it up on the ABANA site under affilites. Ward will be doing a demo for us, his last since he is retiring and will be selling most of his shop equipment that will be identified at the meeting. I posted a photo of a letter opener with slant ladder pattern mokume scales I made for iron in the hat, pattern not aged enough yet to see in the photo. LXIV,

Joe Rollings - Fri 02 Feb 2018 20:36:31 #0

Prayers up for your wife, Alex, and

very cool letter opener. Any hints on the Mokume making? Do they need to be fluxed?

I bet you could sell jewelry made from it. Not me, though. I figured out years ago I shouldn't try to sell anything without understanding why people buy it, and that applies to jewelry in spades...Joe

Joe Rollings - Fri 02 Feb 2018 20:48:32 #0

and while I am rambling.....

Has anybody ever built a power hammer with an air pressure based spring? You gotta understand that these days when I start building a machine it is rarely because I really honestly need it, but because I really want to build it. Lucked out and got to build a big bandsaw for a client a few months ago, but I'm getting the fever again and no client handy, so I may have to build something and either use it, sell it, or make it part of the estate sale, which will give my executor another reason to tear his hair out.... :)

Anyhow, I am getting ready to scrap out the front and rear axle assemblys from an old dump truck for the springs and such (leaf springs look like about 4"x 1/2") and I keep looking at those old air brake pots. You can get the new pancakes for them and using one for a spring in a mechanical hammer would allow one to adjust the spring pressure to find the sweet spot.

On second thought, not enough stroke. Must be good for something, though. Looks like a 10" pot would develop around 7500 pounds of push. Maybe an air operated vise.....Joe

bruce godlesky - Sat 03 Feb 2018 07:42:12 #0

lotsa interesting stuff here lately.
Me? I'm kinda hibernating....... That dang roadpig got everyone in a tizzy over 6 more weeks of this stuff. I saw him in the garden just before Thanksgiving and regret I didn't make him yote bait then........

This is good forging weather:-)May get bout soon and fire up. Have a run of hawks planned. That should keep me busy for a month or so.....The pattern welded billets are "seasoning" in the open air HA!

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 03 Feb 2018 07:49:04 #0

air brake pots

Joe Rollings, air brake pots would make a great edge gluing table for wood. used in cabinet shops all the time. edge the wood, glue, lay in table, turn on the air to hold the wood edges together. They usually have a crank adjustable back stop for different width glue ups.
When I worked at VOGT we had about 70 or so air vises in 2 sizes. looked like a regular bench vise, but the back extended out for a diaphragm/spring set up similar to an air pot. the jaw screw threaded into the diaphragm center so the gross adjustments were made with the screw and the finally travel for production clamping was by applying air. they were set up to only travel maybe a 1/2", more for safety then anything. Still had a guy stumble and trip and stomp the treadle as he grabbed the vise jaw to stop from falling. Cost him most of his thumb and first finger. Of course a safety treadle with cover would have prevented that.

Mike B - Sun 04 Feb 2018 07:49:38 #0

Even if you had enough travel, air springs would not be efficient for a power hammer. When the air compresses, it heats up. Some of that heat goes into heating the body of the spring rather than in helping it extend again. Perhaps that would be manageable if there were other advantages, but it's an issue you don't have with mechanical springs.

This effect is actually a plus on vehicles -- which already have shock absorbers specifically designed to convert some of the motion into heat.

Joe Rollings - Sun 04 Feb 2018 20:29:51 #0

air springs

Only possible advantage I saw was the adjustability and ability to fine tune.

Compression only heats air because of locating more heat molecules in less space, aside from very small increase because of friction. Without constantly increasing pressure, heat should not build up after initial charge of compressed air is added, as I see it.....Joe

Mike B - Mon 05 Feb 2018 19:14:06 #0

If you're using air as a spring, it heats up as it is compressed on each stroke. It the cools off again when the air expands. In itself this wouldn't be an issue. The air would heat as it was compressed, increasing the pressure and requiring the motor to work harder to compress the spring. But that extra pressure would help extend the spring again. The two strokes would be mirror images, and nothing would be lost.

However, some of heat is lost to the walls of the spring. If you compressed the spring in the morning, you'd have to fight against the increasing pressure as you compressed it. If you then let it expand in the evening, the air inside would have decreased to room temperature, and you'd get less push out of the spring than you put into it.

Obviously the air in the spring isn't going to cool to room temperature on each stroke of the hammer. But it will heat up on each stroke, and some of the heat will go to heating the walls of the spring and the air around it. That lost heat represents energy you put into the spring and won't get back out of it (except to help heat your shop).

The inefficiency isn't that big a deal in itself -- you can just throw a bigger motor on the hammer.

It's also possible the spring would overheat. I don't know how likely that is, but the hammer would exercise the spring more than a truck would (except maybe on the worst washboard road).

Also, the pressure in the spring would be lower when you first started the hammer, since the suck walls would be cold and therefore suck the most heat out of the air. As the walls heated up, the rate of heat loss would drop, and the air pressure would increase. Again, I don't know how significant this is. You might be able to manage it by bleeding a little air out of the spring as it heated up.

I hadn't thought about being able to fine tune the spring. That might make it all worthwhile. On the other hand the pressure increase as you ran the hammer might drive you nuts.

Hopefully someone will build one and tell us.

Alex Ivey - Tue 06 Feb 2018 00:28:43 #0

Quarter Mokume

Joe, I'm not an expert on forging mokume, so far I've only used quarters and fifty pieces, have found that the newer quarters seem to weld up better than old ones. using a stack of 16 I flatten them by hitting with a treadle hammer to take some of raised defination out, clamp them evenly with a small "C" clamp style visegrip, wrap the stack with just enough tape to hold them in place then clamp them between 2 pieces of 3/16 x 2 inch flat mild steel bar. I'm using a 4 in. and a 5 in. long bar with holes drilled 3 in. apart for 1/4 in. bolts to secure the coins. Just make sure the bolts clear your flat dies when pressing them to weld. I'm using the press in the photo I posted a while back. I heat up the coins and clamp until the whole thing is all the same color as the interior of the forge taking care not to overheat which will melt the nickle, you will know when that happens and when I see little flicker on the coins I go to the press and press them down to about 1/2 the original thickness, pop them from the clamp and then they can now be heated to a red heat not quite as hot done to weld them and hammer forged to about any shape. No flux is needed and the tape will burn off no matter what kind is used, I use masking tape. The number of coins does not have to be 16, I've done 22, could be even less. I've also welded the billits pairs. I smooth the surfaces on the belt sander and welded up the pairs. You can keep stacking them to make a billit as big as you want. I use a 1 inch thick fire brick in the gas forge so if I do a melt down I don't have a mess on the forge floor. I did one that ended up with 64 quarters. Sorry about the long explanation but hope it is helpfull.

Joe, I still have a HP DOT cylinder for you. LXIV, .

Alex Ivey - Sat 10 Feb 2018 11:30:46 #0


Didn't mean to imply that I melted 64 quarters. The 64 quarter billit is not finished with pattern yet, will do later when I can get back in the shop. Had cataract removal surgery on both eyes Wed. and Thurs so have to take it easy with the eyes for a while.

Am registered for the Abana Conf. and hotel in Richmond so hope to see some from the forum, probably Tom C. for sure. LXIV,

Chuck - Sun 11 Feb 2018 15:02:03 #0


ALEX-- I hope your wife is faring better. Pretty tough old coot to have both eyes worked over at the same time. Hope this is 100% successful.

While waiting for my eye to improve.--Wet Macular Degeneration.
I am looking for a good stout cylinder 4X24--or bigger, control valve. I am going to build a splitter. Later I will make some blocks and a slide for the cylinder end to convert it to a press.
Hoping to find a cylinder stout enough for a 30 ton press. A new cylinder this big is too expensive too play with on my ever reducing SS check.
I plan buy a 16 GPM pump.
I have a Muncie clutched pump, but to get the RPMs to get the GPMs is tooo much for my 17 horse B & S engine.
I have an old Dennison pump. It won't put of the GPM that I will need.
The neietos will get more use than I will, but would like to have a press to use for a while.
Hope everyone skips the flu.

Loren T - Mon 12 Feb 2018 08:56:28 #0


I have been lucky and haven't needed it done, but my wife had both done about a week apart 6 or 7 years ago. She had a choice of lenses, basic for no extra charge, medium for $800 each, or super-duper computer type for $3-4000 each. Went with basic. Had worn glasses for her entire life. Now has 20-20. Needs to wear readers is all. Total time for surgery was about 2 hours from check in to check out. Actual surgery was 7 or 8 minutes.

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.

Joe Rollings - Thu 26 Apr 2018 20:43:25 #0

Thanks, jeff

I won't get into your marketplace or even online. I just think the rockhounds and arrowhead diggers would "dig" them.

Got the toggle assembly ready to put together and starting on the offset pin for the crankshaft. I'll prob'ly not weld it to the wheel, but only because my eyes tell me I should not trust my welding amy more. Mig is broken down and the wheels I have a pretty thin material for stick.

I might just turn some really long lug nuts on the lathe, thread them, bolt a plate to the tops of them and put the pin in the plate.

Taking the project slow and enjoying it.......Joe

Loren T - Fri 27 Apr 2018 08:09:40 #0


Joe, I am also questioning my welding. I haven't used a stick welder in years, and find out that old standby rod 7024 isn't stocked anymore, at least locally. I am replacing the tongue on a 25' trailer for a customer, and using a Miller Thunderbolt 225 AC I have had for 20 years. I forgot that the duty cycle is important, and when it just quit, I discovered I had melted the end off the transformer winding, which was aluminum. I have always wanted it to be a DC weld, and went to You Tube. For $25 I bought a bridge rectifier and rewired it. Now it is a DC and works great. I hooked up the High range, and just abandoned the low range. Now my welds are a lot better looking.

Joe Rollings - Fri 27 Apr 2018 11:05:25 #0


My problem is more in eyesight. I delivered a violent attack to a high lift jack handle with my head :) a long time ago that affected my right eye and it has had both good and lousy doctoring since then, some of which destroyed it's ability to react to light.

I simply cannot make out what is happening in the weld puddle like I used to. I guess I have some other rims like the one I will be using that I could practice on, but the idea of putting that kind of strain on the thin metal of the spare tire wheel has me picturing the whole plate coming off under load and giving me a thrashing.

I have gotten more cowardly in recent years, because at my age there is a decent chance that my heirs may be using or selling what I am building today....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 29 Apr 2018 06:52:44 #0

pivot mount on tire clutch

Joe Rollings, I would recommend using the lug nuts to hold another steel part against the clutch wheel as a geed alternative to welding to the actual wheel. That is what I did and it has worked well for many years. If you use the center of another wheel with the rim cut off, you may be able to use the existing lugs. if you use the rear hub bearing assembly as I did and then remove the backing plate and the brake drum it is pretty clean and the thickness of the brake drum is about the thickness of the second wheel center.

Joe Rollings - Wed 02 May 2018 22:58:27 #0

power hammer parts

I am working with the rear tire and wheel from a Geo Metro, which has 4 lug bolts. I took off the rear hubs which have the brake drums integral with the hubs and discovered that the splines on the lug bolts were a tad undersize to drill out for 1/2" uss threaded rod, so I drilled them, and tapped for 1/2" coarse thread, extended them a bit and will soon mount an old sprocket to the extended lugs with pipe spacers and weld a large nut to the sprocket to accept the crank pin.

Next chore is to either salvage the spindles from the Geo or turn fresh ones and weld them to a support block. Getting cranked as things come together.

Remaining major component is the guide for the hammer. Part of me wants to just go steel on steel and use a high quality grease, but another part wants to make brass gibs that are adjustable. 5/8" round brass is available for gibs and I have everything I need to make them, but doing it right is one thing and wasting time and material is another.

Any thoughts? And, by the way, thank you for your help. Nothing in this world is equal to a guy who has "been there and done that"....Again....thanks ...Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Thu 03 May 2018 19:03:47 #0

power hammer parts

Joe, I did a take on the tire hammer ram and guides. I used 1/4" wall 6" square tube with a 5" square tube for the ram. I used 1/4" UHMWPE for the bearing surfaces. Has worked well for 7 years and just now thinking about some new poly for the bearings. I used countersunk flat head screws through the tube wall to retain and that has worked well. The ram has a 3" or so think block welded inside the open end and was plug welded from the side. That is drilled and tapped for the dies. I filled the open remaining space with drops of 2.25" by .5" flat bar with lots of stick weld.I had two of those bars extended up above the tube to carry the rollers to ride above and below the spring. If I rebuild I will probably go to a rubber bushed link as there is a clatter as the rollers bounce back and forth against the spring.

Chuck - Sun 06 May 2018 18:15:24 #0


DARRELL--- Which island do you live on? The Hawaii Island is catching it? Lava flow and quakes, bad mocus.
Not likely to let up anytime soon?
HOT and DRY here.
Planting garden--hope the heat does not turn up like it did last year.
We have had a steady high wind for weeks. Less than an inch of moisture in the last seven months. Fires keep cropping up around the panhandle.
I put a kiddy wading pool of water out(with a 2X4 in it)for the quail and pheasants, in case any wanted to nest around here.
We are closer each day to having a rain.
God Bless

Darrell - Mon 07 May 2018 03:59:48 #0

Big Island

We are about 80 miles from the lava outbreak. It is moving away from us and
the current outbreak is no danger to us. We did have a 6.9 earthquake a
couple of days ago. We were far enough away that it was simply a small shaking. It is quite a trial for the people that live in the subdivision
where the lava is surfacing. As of tonight, 30 homes have been destroyed.
The sulfur dioxide gas is quite heavy in the Leilani subdivision.
They let people in 2 selected areas to retrieve property when it is safe.

Buck Brown - Thu 10 May 2018 10:08:26 #0


Thanks for the up-date, Darrell. Knee mail up for those not so fortunate.

Joe Rollings - Sat 19 May 2018 22:33:57 #0

Power hammer stuff

To catch up anybody else who is building one, the easy way out for the drive wheel to rub the tire is an X series weld-on sprocket hub in the proper size bore for the motor shaft. The OD will be about 2 1/2" but one can bore and then turn on the lathe a 2" hole in a larger round bar and weld in the hub, if one has a metal lathe. That will get you an accurate hole for the motor shaft, a proper set screw and keyway to keep the hub on the shaft and running true.

Total price.....$12....well worth the money.....Joe

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 20 May 2018 06:40:10 #0


Joe Rollings. The weld in hub is a good shortcut. My steel wheel to rub the tire is about 2 1/2" od so that would work as is on mine.

bruce godlesky - Sat 26 May 2018 10:57:45 #0

Decoration Day

Hope everyone enjoys this special day coming up. It's not about the celebration , it's the sacrifice paid by many.
I always attend a small visitation by the local VFW to the "home" cematery where I was raised and a lot of family is buried. Lots of memories there......
Been attending since I was a kid.

Smithing content..... getting some cable billets cleaned up I started this week. Making a run of BBQ tools, flippers and squirrel forks. Labor intensive but fun stuff!!

Alex Ivey - Wed 30 May 2018 19:50:33 #0


Sorry to say I had to cancel my registration for the conference today due to the wife's continuing cancer treatments. I thought we would be able to attend but found that it just can't happen. LXIV,

Tom C - Fri 01 Jun 2018 21:21:44 #0

Sorry to hear you can't make it. I was looking forward to catching up with you. Family comes first,however, especially the missus.Here's hoping for a full recovery.

Tom C

Joe Rollings - Sat 02 Jun 2018 20:02:26 #0


Really sorry to hear of your wife's illness. Prayers up for her quick recovery.....Joe

Joe Rollings - Sat 02 Jun 2018 20:34:28 #0

Power hammer stuff

Power hammer is well along the road to completion, and have to come to a few decisions that would be a bit difficult to re-make after the fact.

Have a 7" mechanical stroke and guesstimate will have about 12" of combined total stroke. There is 16" of ram movement inside the guide, so I can do an additional 4" max of adjustment with the turnbuckle, and even more by adding and removing dies and anvil extensions.

The anvil top itself is about 10" deep, front to back and about 2 feet wide, side to side. It is an old tractor weight somewhere between 1000 and 1300 pounds, so the entire hammer may be near a ton, but it seems like I should put a smaller top on the anvil, like a 5 " round or square, up a few inches from the top of the weight, just because of the difficulty of finding a way to get tongs flat on the side of the hammering surface, if that makes sense. I have lots of material to choose from, including 3" square bar which I can double up on to make a 6" square, 3 inches high, or a 1" 16 X 16" plate I can cut any shape from.

I also have to choose what goes on the bottom of the ram. I have read endless discussions about dies V. bottom tools like spring fullers, etc. The ram is made from the 3" square bar, and it would be easy enough to put a 6" section of that crossways on the end of the ram and make a pins-in-holes arrangement to lock other 3" wide dies to that, but which might make it tougher to use bottom tooling.

So far, after I truly got started, things have gone really well, and I have made the guide with brass gibs inserted into milled slots and adjusting screws, got a removable plate system for the wheel and took far more time and care than I ever used to when building a machine, because at this age, my Grandson may wind up running it after I am gone, and it would suck for him to get hurt on my machine. Or anybody else, for that matter.

Of course, I realize most of the questions I have asked are up to the individual and have no 100% always-right answers, but anything along the lines of discussion about what causes the most frustration will help to make my choices. Once I have that guide mounted, it would be a major hassle to decide it needed to have a 6" block welded to or taken off of the anvil and the guide height changed.

I also wanted to add that if anybody has a surface they would like to add a hardy hole to, those same weld-on x series sprocket hubs come in square holes from about 3/4" to maybe 1 1/4", and one could drill a round hole topped with one of those and have a nice tight hardy hole.

Thanks in advance for any help......Joe

Chuck - Tue 05 Jun 2018 23:48:53 #0

Stuff and hammer

ALEX Sorry to hear about the Missus. Hoped she was doing better. Blessings to y'all you are on our prayer list.
JOE you need room to change dies and work your metal and tongs--fullers. I like the room on my Giant '50'.
I would like to have at least 6" clearance including top and bottom, more if possible.
I work around my hammers to 180 or 200 degrees. Sometimes a helper is holding tongs or fullers from a 90 to me.
My dies are close to three inches wide and as much as six inches long.
Hope this might be something you were wanting to know.
Blessings to the folks on 'Big Island'.
Cimarron, NM folks got to go back home. Ute Park, NM still has 200 dwellings threatened.

Joe Rollings - Thu 07 Jun 2018 22:41:05 #0

Glad to hear

that ute park still HAS 200 buildings. News made it sound like they were all gone.

Good stuff about the hammers, Chuck.....Thanks......Joe

Buck Brown - Fri 08 Jun 2018 12:20:54 #0

Anyone heard from Darrell?

We're in the high 90's here already. Need to make handles for 2 branding irons I made for a friend, so I better get it done soon.

Talked to a friend near Glenwood Springs, Colorado, my old home town. The Colorado River usually peaks after June 15th. It peaked the 1st of June this year at 50% of normal run off.

Darrell - Fri 08 Jun 2018 12:58:42 #0

Still here

Finished re-building the Bridgeport and now I am converting the Enco lathe to CNC.
Made the timing pulleys for that on the Bridgeport.
Pulled the engine on my 98 Forester and fixed the oil leak and put it back.
Next project is to re-build my power hammer and see if I can get it to run the way it should.

Alex Ivey - Fri 15 Jun 2018 17:00:12 #0

Joe & Chuck

I thank you both for your prayers concerning my wife's cancer and treatments. She is done with chemo and radiation and things are looking better at this point but only time will tell if everything she went through works out for her. Her doctor that did the operation and guided her through the treatments is very optimistic that she will have a full recovery Thanks again guys. LXIV,

Chuck - Sun 17 Jun 2018 01:45:54 #0

Alex Ivey

ALEX glad to hear a positive prognosis.
The bad part of growing older is the gradual--sometimes drastic downward spiral of our health.

Looks like my eye deal is permanent, I will find something to occupy my time. Garden is off to a good start.
We got an inch and a quarter Friday, with another sixty seven hundreds this afternoon. This old country is going to be green once again.
The prospects for more rain this coming week seems good.

Tonight Derek, our fifth grandson brought a ten foot piece of two inch draw bar stock. I would guess this steel to be 40 series steel.

DARRELL good luck amigo, the volcano seems to want to turn its self wrong side out.
Keep the gas masks handy. Meter the Sulphur Dioxide(sp) bad stuff.
Good night
God Bless

Tom C - Fri 22 Jun 2018 08:02:27 #0

Big doings in the Old Dominion

Well it's less than a week to the start of the ABANA Conference here in Virginia. Our gild has lent a bunch of equipment to help out. I've lent a Vulcan anvil to the Learning tent. It looks like the weather will be cooperative with PM showers on Thursday only. I look forward to seeing my metal mangler buds here on my home turf. Besides the gallery at the conference, there are 2 shows of metalwork in the area. Gallery Flux in Ashland has a show of various smiths & CVBG has a little exhibition at Artworx in Richmond. I invite anyone to get in touch with me for shop visits or a trip to Dominion Salvage on Southside for interesting metal doodads.

Darrell - Sat 30 Jun 2018 19:38:41 #0

CNC Mill

Well I have the CNC mill up and running. Just one major problem, I can't seem to get the darn thing to do what I wanted to do. It keeps doing exactly what I told it to do. Seeings as it refuses to learn I guess I'm just going to have to break down and teach myself.

Alex Ivey - Fri 06 Jul 2018 12:57:30 #0


So how was the conf. Sorry I had to miss it, LXIV,

Joe Rollings - Sat 07 Jul 2018 22:36:13 #0

still stroking

on that silly power hammer. The older I get the slower I get and the less sure of myself. 10 years ago I would have had it together in 1/4 the time and lived with how it turned out, but all of a sudden I am picky and questioning everything I do.

Ready to deal with the dies, and have noticed from reading that everybody who started out with flat dies is REALLY glad they did, while everybody who started out with changeable bolt-on or dovetail dies is ALSO really glad that they did. Go figure.

I looked at Clifton Ralf's die clamp and like it, but dunno if it will keep a top die in place or not. Not a good thing to be hit in the chest with if the clamp fails.

The top die attachment will be my last big decision, or perhaps deciding whether to just stick with flat dies and loose tooling. Anybody got any opinions to add that might help me make it?

Chuck, as you might recall, I gave up on my eyes for any precision work almost 20 years ago after being whacked with a jack handle and seeing curves where none existed. After a few years passed, my mind corrected what I was seeing and I got another decade of hand grinding silversmith tools off hand to REALLY tight tolerances. Take your pulse every morning. If you ain't dead, you ain't finished......Joe

Darrell - Sun 08 Jul 2018 00:22:47 #0

Change in the wind

Well working towards a new adventure. If I can sell this house in the near future
we will be moving to Eugene Oregon area. There is a lot to do to make this happen.
We need to get the extra stuff sold off and some minor repairs on the building
and then find somebody that wants to buy this place.

Chuck - Sun 08 Jul 2018 23:56:29 #0

DARRELL---We are with you. Anything we might be able help you with let us know. We have some twice removd cousins in Eugene.

I am like you I would just move on. I can imagine the day to day worry that everybody is experiencing over there.

Joe we have got a strong idler button over here. Can't stay hooked on a hoe handle very long at a time. Just now starting to get gather a little from the green patch.
We have had a total of just over three inches of moisture since September 30. Nine months and most of this came in small increments. We had one rain of 1.25 ---thought we had a flood. Grin. Could be worse---We have not had a fire or killer storm come through.
Blessings DARRELL hope everything works out alright.


Joe Rollings - Mon 09 Jul 2018 19:47:53 #0


Darrell, we moved 11 times in 50 years, and always recall those moves, the big ones at least, as times of big excitement and anticipation, with good cause. Born under a wandering star, I guess. Still get the urge from time to time, but I suspect we will finish up here.

One piece of unasked for advice, simply because I can't help myself.

In all of those moves, I cannot recall a single time when our previous house was sold by a realtor. Not that we have not tried them, but if they get an inkling that you are in a bit of a hurry to get the place sold, they will overprice it, go through all sorts of contortions to stall it off, then when they sense you are desperate, bring around a favored client that will kick some money back to them ro make an offer on it themselves.

Just saw that story get re-played again just down the road. Owner was happy that the realtor thought the place was worth so much and listed it so high, months dragged by, next thing you know, the realtor owned it for a pittance and now has it up for rent.

In the instances when we listed homes with realtors, the term expired and they cane around to relist, I refused, had it sold myself in about a month both times. Just saying......Joe

Darrell; - Mon 09 Jul 2018 22:33:14 #0


Thanks Joe. Not much in favor of agents myself. Seems they want a lot for not doing much of anything.

Darrell - Tue 10 Jul 2018 12:46:22 #0


The X axis ballscrew is working now I just have to get the Z axis going.

Loren T - Wed 11 Jul 2018 08:07:53 #0

Real estate agents

The town where we lived in the AZ mountains had a population of about 3000, 5000 plus cabins, and 7 real estate offices plus 3 new developments that had their own agents. I knew one couple who bought a cabin from one agent, then sold it and bought another one 3 more times over about 6 or 7 years. I lump real estate agents together with lawyers, accountants, and bankers. They produce NOTHING and merely live off the labors and heartaches of others. Years ago the Multiple Listing Service publication was like the holy grail and not to be shown to the general public. It was jealously guarded. Now you can take virtual tours via the internet put together by homeowners themselves. Sale documents are handled by a title company. Now who needs agents?

Darrell - Wed 11 Jul 2018 23:52:50 #0


I need 6 pieces of steel, 4340 or 5160 1/8 of an inch by 3/4 of an inch by 18 inches.
Where what I look for something like that? I could get away with 1 inch with but I am not having any luck finding anything close. Any help would be appreciated.

Joe Rollings - Thu 12 Jul 2018 11:05:24 #0


I dunno anything about 4340, but 5160 is all over the place in the form of auto leaf springs. I think you might have to split the width and forge the thickness down from about .200 which is a fair amount of work, but that would get you there.

I have been caught in those shopping "traps" where you spend lots more time searching than if you had just resolved to resize what is easy to get. The bi-metal bandsaw blades will split the leaf springs as-tempered and if you have a power hammer you can use a kiss block to beat the stuff to thickness.

You can copy and paste this to get to admiral steel's offerings of 5160;

Rotsa ruck......Joe

Joe Rollings - Thu 12 Jul 2018 11:13:08 #0


These guys have the right thickness but it would need to be ripped more narrow...


Chuck - Sun 15 Jul 2018 00:02:49 #0


DARRELL: The various steel sell about any steel you want. You may have to work it over a little.
The one steel outfit I have found with drops and the 18" --36" lengths is Amektek Steel. I will be in the shop tomorrow.
Freddie Haire told me about them. I kinda like them except I believe might be an Arab. company.
Good service, prices, assorted sizes.
If you have anybody building -off road vehicles-----Like from Jeeps-- They take the brand new coiled springs off the Jeeps. The 9/16" or 5/8" 5160 in these coiled springs works excellently.
You do have a hammer or press?
How much you need?
Dryer than a pop-corn fart out here.
I hope the lava flows have slowed up. We are not getting news about them now.

Chuck - Sun 15 Jul 2018 00:05:50 #0


AMETEK STEEL----I will be in the shop tomorrow for the right addy.

Chuck - Sun 15 Jul 2018 00:09:45 #0


AMTEK STEEL= This seems to be the National or Global addy.

Hope this helps.

Darrell - Sun 15 Jul 2018 13:23:49 #0


I ordered some 1095 from Adm. Steele because I figure it will do what I need It to do.
It came in the 0.125" x 1" x 18" that I needed. Thank you all for the help.

Tom C - Wed 25 Jul 2018 13:26:20 #0

Abana Conference pix

I've posted several pix from last month's Abana Conference. The first one is of "Bad" Roger Degner flexing his muscles. I'll put some more up later.

Joe Rollings - Wed 25 Jul 2018 20:22:49 #0

New hammer

OK, got the new 100 pound hammer far enough along to try a few beats. Still gotta build up a lot of welds, put in some braces, etc, but my foot was itching to caress that pedal.

Hits good and hard, machine is heavy enough to hold steady without hold-down bolts, but I need to get a bit more control. Can't make it just tap lightly. I think I may have messed up by spraying some belt dressing on the tire. Pretty grabby now. I also think I need to stiffen the spring, because just starting off with a 5 inch separation between the hammer and die it will kiss.

I will work it out, but any comments welcome....and thanks......Joe

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! :)




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