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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

Bert - Thu 23 Nov 2017 17:46:18 #0

A Hossfeld

Buck B., I know I won't be sorry but my amiable/sympathetic (Recessive as it is) side wonders what the seller will think if he stays in the rail making biz once he's relocated...

I'll be posting some pics and asking for help if I can't figure out what some of this tooling is for...


Loren T - Thu 23 Nov 2017 21:42:34 #0


GREAT buy. Did it have a power unit with it? I had an old style Power pack I bought of C's for $300. After 3 years of never using it I sold it for $500. As you begin to use it for simple things such as 90 degree bends, you get a feel for how the tremendous leverage works for you. Other than the basic pins, I have made most of my dies as needed. For bending circles, I use a piece of pipe with a center disk drilled to fit over the pin. I was working at a structural steel company north of Seattle and told the shop foreman that whenever they had a pipe in the Marvel Bandsaw, cut me a 2" piece and a 4" piece. I have a collection from 1/2" pipe to 8" pipe. Hossfeld Mmfg. has videos available showing how to set up different dies. There are also a host of videos on Utube that are about die setup.
One tip: if you are making a quantity of bent brackets and want them to be Identical try to make sure the metal is all cut from the same bar, or bars from the same bundle or heat. They may all be within mill tolarences, but the metallurgy is just different enough between heats that the spring back after bending will be different, so a mechanical stop doesn't quite work.

Joe Rollings - Fri 24 Nov 2017 22:34:21 #0

Happy belated Thanksgiving

The real day was pretty crazy and never got a chance to pass on the good wishes.

This year, we are blessed with a "new" grandaughter, age 16, who has come here to live with my youngest daughter and family, who considers herself a "dork" because whe loves working metal and turning it in to things of beauty and utility.

You just don't get an eager, young new "striker" at my age without divine intervention. Her life is vastly improving, too, away from the city and city crazyness.

To quote the old country song, "every day they shuffle and deal life again" and I feel highly privelaged to still be at the table, still holding a winning hand.....Joe

Darrell - Tue 28 Nov 2017 23:36:18 #0


Finally making some progress. I now have the Y axis up and running.
I have also tested and ran the X & Z axis motors. As soon as the drivers
arrive I will have X & Z running. Still waiting for a few parts for the head.
Eventually I will have to replace the balls in the X axis to take out
some play as they have some wear.

plain ol Bill - Thu 30 Nov 2017 17:05:25 #0


Must have missed where you were making a cnc. What ya starting off with - from scratch or? built mine years ago and it has seen a lot of use.

Darrell - Thu 30 Nov 2017 22:28:27 #0


Started off with a BOSS 10 that sometimes kind of worked.

Joe Rollings - Tue 05 Dec 2017 08:43:58 #0

Chuck........You OK?


Chuck - Sat 09 Dec 2017 18:50:44 #0


Yeah, I am okay.
I have been busy on the Turkey day and Christmas deals.
Been working on grinders, sanders, Little Giant Hammer.

Have not resolved the eye deal. Been making wood carving tools.
I did find some super good steel in the new(unused) jeep springs. Lucked out on finally using some of it. They have been laying around for a few years.
Been reading just not posting.
I will try to do better.
Blessings to all and a very 'Merry Christmas'.

Tom C - Sat 09 Dec 2017 20:11:12 #0

Good to hear from you, Chuck.

Tom C

bruce godlesky - Sun 10 Dec 2017 08:58:05 #0

back in the shop

finally gettin' all the orders finished up. Mebbe one or 2 more.
Pretty much spent the last 2 weeks huntin' deer, rifle season. Put some speedbeef in the freezer. Now that's it's cold, back to the forgeshop :-) Enuff wood split and stacked to last thru January. Had a call yesterday offering firewwqood for some skinners. Sounds like a good deal (BOG)

Joe Rollings - Sun 10 Dec 2017 15:12:59 #0


Glad you are OK, chuck.

It took quite a while when my vision changed to do any fine work, but eventually I got used to it and things looked right again, except I DID have to go to a better guy to get the glasses perscription made and the glasses made from the scrip.

There are a lot of charlatons out there. When I had to change opthamologists, I took to bringing one of the stamps I ground with me to show him I needed to see really well, because some of them think after you are 65 or so all you need to see is your plate and eating utensils.

Going to start listing some stuff on Ebay again. Finaly got the messes pretty much cleaned up for those estates I handled and ready to heat it and beat it again......Joe

bruce godlesky - Sun 10 Dec 2017 19:04:16 #0


after 65 that's all some folks think about........

Joe Rollings - Tue 19 Dec 2017 22:41:25 #0

Starting to re-incarnate

Sold the business as it existed a couple of years ago to use our time to administer a couple of estates, and that is over with so now beginning to make some different stuff again, and list on Ebay.

Seems more fun after a couple of years off, and not locking myself into a million af anything, just making a few of something, listing it, selling, making something different.

Life couldn't be much better without making me young again, but if that happened, I would also be stupid once more, so I will settle for what I have got.

Merry Christmas to all you heat and beaters, and may God bless you all in the coming year.....Joe and Janet

Darrell - Wed 20 Dec 2017 02:38:05 #0


Merry Christmas Joe. Seems like you're not the only one starting over.
In January I had two strokes that left me virtually paralyzed. Since then
I have recovered almost everything except the 40 pounds that I lost.
A couple of months ago I bought a Bridgeport BOSS 10 and and Enco 12 x 36 lathe. The BOSS 10 was in rough shape. Over the last two months I have completely removed
the Bridgeport control. I have removed the balls from the X and y-axis and put in new balls that took all the back lash out.
I am waiting for the last few parts to finish rebuilding the mill.
I don't even have it running yet and already have orders for things to make.
Between the mill, lathe and blacksmith shop I will be quite busy.
Well Merry Christmas everybody and looking forward to a new year.

bruce godlesky - Wed 20 Dec 2017 07:07:33 #0

You fellas inspire me. Having some minor health issues the past yr. has left me with the blahs. I come over here and folks is resurrecting.......Themselves, equipment , etc. Great to hear!

I only made a fraction of the output this year, for a variety of reasons. Gettin' myself fired up for the coming year. Since the knife shows are quieting down considerably, I'm looking at a few different venues.

The trapping community has been very receptive to what I produce and I hope to continue with their shows/conventions.
In the past year I took up a hobby.....hehehehe Tradditional archery. And sure enuff, the guys want forged broadheads, both monosteel and Damascus. So, new challenges for the year ahead.

I'm also working on an ongoing project. Been providing knives for one of the hunting groups in my state . Lookin' to produce some pattern welded steel with steel made locally and also something added that has historical significance. Slow goin' but we're getting close.

A very Merry Christams to everyone and a healthy and prosperous New year!

Joe Rollings - Fri 22 Dec 2017 11:15:57 #0


That is interesting, Bruce. A coupe of three years ago I was conversing with some guy up north about buying some hard maple an when he heard where we live, got all cranked up because he had trapping permits for the Chiricahua mountains, right in our back yard.

Camped here by the shop for a month or so with his freezer plugged into the electric for preserving his pelts. Got a nice haul, and as it turned out he makes the original forms for various taxadermy mounts and gets royalties for every duplicate sold.

Had no idea that trapping had turned back into such a big deal until then....Joe

bruce godlesky - Fri 22 Dec 2017 22:27:20 #0


Fur prices are at pretty much rock bottom right now but for lotsa folks, it's a way of life. They gonna do it no matter what. And it is a great conservation tool.
There ain't nothin' better than seeing them young kids, 7-8-9 yrs old come strollin' thru the convention/show halls with their 1st batch of traps slung over their shoulder!
We starts setting up at their shows about 10 yrs ago and have done very well there, not only knives and hawks but bbq tools, hooks, all sorta forged items.
Plus they are just flat out good folks!!

Tom C - Sun 24 Dec 2017 11:41:05 #0

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! And a Happy New Year.

Tom C

Darrell - Sun 24 Dec 2017 13:20:35 #0

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone.

Jeff Reinhardt - Sun 24 Dec 2017 15:39:27 #0

Merry Christmas from Southern Indiana

Don Shears - Sun 24 Dec 2017 20:26:08 #0

Merry Christmas from up North.

Joe Rollings - Mon 25 Dec 2017 11:08:25 #0

Merry Christmas!

From the sandy desert....Joe and Janet

Loren T - Mon 25 Dec 2017 11:14:13 #0

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from NE Oklahoma!

bruce godlesky - Wed 27 Dec 2017 07:37:02 #0

hop[e everyone had a nice Christmas. We sure have a lot to be grateful for!!
Temperatur etook a dip this week and produced a bit of snow. Just in time for the winter flintlock deer season. (BOG)
In between chasin' speed beef I have a stack of knives to grind and heat treat.
I'll be glad for the New Year to arrive. 2017 was extremely trying....

Joe Rollings - Wed 27 Dec 2017 23:01:32 #0


is an excellent word to indicate a pain in the butt. Hope things improve for you....Joe

Chuck - Thu 28 Dec 2017 17:36:46 #0


Late Merry Christmas.
I had typed a bunch bout what we have been up to.
Making firewood forging campfire tools making knives.
I must have hit the wrong button. This dammed thing cleared itself.
The daughter laws dog jut eat up three of our good dog beds.
More later.
God Bless

brucegodlesky - Sat 30 Dec 2017 08:19:42 #0

and a happy New Year to ya Chuck and everyone else!!
Joe, things are lookin' to be on the upswing here :-)
With this cold snap my Fairbanks is out of commission. Ground heaves and I reduced to Armstrong power and the press. Glad I roughed out 20 more so blades earlier in the month.
Ya'll be careful out there!

Joe Rollings - Sat 30 Dec 2017 14:06:31 #0

clean slate

In a good place to begin the new year.

Doing a little business, Old friend who REALLY needed to move into his next and final life got over the hill peacefully and left his earthly agony behind, some other situations with family and friends got resolved for the best.

My own heart ablation seems to have worked like a charm, and the "future is so bright I have to wear shades."

Speaking of shades, 72 degrees and sunny. Couldn't be better......Joe

bruce godlesky - Sun 31 Dec 2017 08:52:46 #0

clean slate

72 and sunny???? we are not to see 20F for at least a week...... -1F this morning. At least I haven't seen a skeeter in a month or so.......hahaha

Tom C - Wed 03 Jan 2018 09:10:54 #0


It was 9 degrees this morning which is pretty cold in Richmond VA.

In other news, I put the body back on the chassis of my '57 Chevy resto-mod project. However, the engine sits a little too far back, so I'm redoing the motor mounts for the 3rd time which means pulling the engine out again.

Friday, my friends from CVBG Bruce & John & I are going to the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the annual Gichner's Memorial Hammer In at Dave Hutchinson's farm. It's always a good meet & helps kick off the year's events.

Keep warm!
Tom C

Tom C - Thu 11 Jan 2018 09:32:25 #0

Gichner's was a good meet. About 100 folks braved the frigid snowy winds to attend. Dave Hammer was there to demonstrate his tiny "Cricket" power hammers. Judy Berger & Blue Moon Press had lots of metalworking books to peruse. Kirk Sullens was the featured demonstrator & forged an octopus, Russian rose & a frog. He did a good job.

Next is the annual Boone's Pasture Party at the end of February in Louisa County, VA.

Tom C

Tom C - Thu 18 Jan 2018 13:11:49 #0

(sound of crickets chirping)

I'm the only one who's posted in the last 2 weeks. Is it time to say "So long, it's been good to know ya?"

I have repaired the motor mount mistake I made & have proceeded to adjusting the body & fastening the steering column. Next is spot painting the door openings & their circumferences in prep to mount them.

Stay warm.
Tom C

Darrell - Thu 18 Jan 2018 13:22:31 #0

(sound of crickets chirping)

Tom I have wondered the same thing myself. I hate to see this group disband
as I have enjoyed it over the years.
Hopefully more will begin posting. I see several are active on Facebook.

bruce godlesky - Thu 18 Jan 2018 16:37:29 #0


I too would hate to see this page close.....
Seems like the numbers keep dwindling.
Is anyone trying to work in this weather? I'm sure glad I roughed out 2 or 3 dozen blades before the deepfreeze hit! Every 5 or 6 days we get a brief respite and I go out and heat treat a few blades in the gas forge. Gonna break again this weekend!!

Chuck - Thu 18 Jan 2018 19:47:57 #0

Ongoing discussion

DAERRELL-- I have really enjoyed your administering this forum.
I appreciate the effort.
I have been having eye problems, makes it hard to hunt and peck.
I do check here the first thing when I turn on the 'puter.
Buck, Bruce, Tom C, Loren, Joe, Alex, Plain Ole Bill---having an old mans moment with name calling, and a few more that check this board regularly would really miss it if goes by the way side.
I don't know how many of the old "Junkyard" bunch are still around. We like to have "Prolapsed" when Neil quit.--

I think Ellen must have passed. I have not been able to rouse her for a while.

I for one, would hate to lose your support.
Blessings from the panhandle of TX.
Beautiful day today.

Chuck - Thu 18 Jan 2018 19:50:43 #0

Proof then post.


Tom C - Thu 18 Jan 2018 21:12:56 #0


I have a business card with her phone #. I've been hesitant to call it but maybe I will to see what's happened.
I have an inkling she's passed because she hasn't replied to our queries.

Re; this forum: I started with Keenjunk in '96 a couple of days after we got our first computer & I found Neil's site. I have made a lot of friends, learned a lot about blacksmithing (& other stuff) from that site, then Sparky's & now Darrell's. I participate in other forums, but keep coming back here because it's simple, stream of conscious format resembles a bunch of guys standing around a pickup bed, shooting the breeze. It's something that, had you told me in my younger years that I'd be able to talk to people all over the US & the world, much less share photos with, I'd have said "You're crazy!" It's what's good about the 'net.

Thanks, Darrell.

Tom C

Chuck - Thu 18 Jan 2018 22:08:46 #0


We have been on a lot of years. Can't remember just what year we started with The Junkyard. Lots of great guys/gals. Some fantastic blacksmithing---art has been produced through the years.
I think I built my farrier forge in the 2001 or early 2002. I went to Joe Cordova's hammer-in in 2003, I think.
Met a lot of well known folks in the knife world.
Perry, Okla. Purcel, Ok
Bill, Dianne Davis, Glenn Franklin, Nathan Robertson would like to hear from them some more. Steve Parker, Thomas Power Jerry Duran lots of folks to remember.
Everytime I think of Papa Wilson I have a sag in my rhythm. All my kids and grand-kids know to stay a-way from galvanize.
Waugh was always admired.
God has been good to all of us, even the ones that rubbed dogs bellies instead of bending a knee.

Darrell - Fri 19 Jan 2018 01:27:00 #0

Thanks for the support

I really like this site and the people that post on it.
I'm guilty as most of you about just reading and not posting.
I have learned much from you guys and am still trying to put that knowledge to use.
I know I ruffled a few feathers when I first started. At that time I was simply trying
to clean up the spam.
At this time I am almost full-time in my shop with several projects in process.
The current priority is rebuilding an old BOSS 10. Once I get that done,
I will be using it to make some parts to get my air hammer running.
The BOSS 10 will start out as a three axis CNC mill. I also have a 12 x 36 Enco Lathe. Eventually I will convert it to CNC also.
With the knife grinder I built, and the propane tank forge I plan to try knife making.
Chuck, I understand about problems typing, I am a very poor at two finger typing.
That is why I bought a program called Dragon speak. It types as fast as I can talk.

Bert - Fri 19 Jan 2018 10:53:18 #0

Gotta Add My $.02

worth about Thanking Darrell and missing this site too if it were to close. How else would I know there will be a machine shop in Ocean View, HI? You worried about incoming NK missiles down there, or was that just Honolulu? Don't recall ever seeing one of those reader boards on the Big Island.

Been busy w/ a new lean-2 project myself (pics posted). Need to move a 'bunch-o-crap' out of my shop and separate the wood and metal BEFORE I set a pile of sawdust afire with a hot spark and park the newer truck outta the weather... Seems at 70, doing it myself, in the winter (Western OR style... not REAL Winter like a lot of you have) everything just takes Forever.... Had to make my own brackets to attach the joists to the pallet rack rails too, good thing I had my shop and tools.

Anyway, I'm pretty much just a 'lurker' by nature but take great comfort in knowing that when I do have a question or something to share about blacksmithing, or most anything to do w/ metal, I will get a straight forward answer here and maybe some pictures of how to do it.

Speaking of pictures, I find the gallery a great resource too, losing that would be a big disappointment.

And I Really Enjoy Chuck's 'life stories'.

Thnx again Darrell and Everybody....

Loren T - Fri 19 Jan 2018 11:42:39 #0


I echo many of the feelings expressed here concerning this forum. I think the numbers of contributors dwindles for many reasons. We're all getting older. I'm 72, soon to be 73. We've reached the stage in life where our friends and acquaintances are going away, leaving us with memories, good and bad. Our physical abilities are more strained, most often supported by a plethora of pills. Life has changed drastically from the days of Keen junk.Computer generations are not 20 years like humans, but shorter and shorter. Just think of all the new stuff that has cropped up,(and died),over the last couple years. My son, who is 42, hasn't gone on his computer for a couple of years. Everything is done on his i-phone.
2 1/2 years ago I moved to Sun City, Arizona. I promptly joined the metalworking club. After 40 years of welding, fabrication, and smithing I was eager to help impart my knowledge to anyone wanting it. What I discovered was a political quagmire run by a bunch of oldtimers who jealously guarded their domain, NONE of whom had ever worked a day in the metal trades. If someone wanted to know how to do something, I was invisible. 90% of the clubs activities centered around a plasma-cam. I left them and moved on. Now in Oklahoma, I have the use of my son's 40 x 50 shop and have a dozen projects in progress.
I too feel that Ellen may have passed, or is no longer able to respond. I visited her several years ago in Mesa where she lived and had a very nice shop. I enjoy reading other peoples entries and would be sorry to see it go away. Many thanks Darrell for your efforts. (Please excuse the rambling tone of this entry)

Jeff Reinhardt - Fri 19 Jan 2018 16:19:53 #0

Guilty of lurking and not posting much. I will try to amend my ways :)

Jeremy K - Fri 19 Jan 2018 17:32:22 #0

scrounging around

Been scrounging around the shop and finding all sorts of stuff ive been accumulating, For starters I found the mat'ls to make a 9-10" long ribbon burner - even a 50lb bag of unused castable refractory - bought some crayons today and will start the process of making a ribbon burner this weekend between other work scheduled already. Hope everyone is going into this year healthy and happy. - Jeremy K

Bert - Fri 19 Jan 2018 17:38:01 #0

Loren T

I see no need to ask excuse for rambling.... Sometimes it's forums like this that provide us all an opportunity to 'ramble on' about stuff we are all dealing with... And I'm grateful for its availability...

Chuck - Fri 19 Jan 2018 21:55:15 #0


Tanner went with me. t o eye-ball some log splitters.
I intend to build a splitter while thinking of using it as a press when the wood detail is done.
I know the difficulties. but will plan before hand on how to move the floor up( drilling two holes in a re-enforced shelf to hold the bottom flatter with added dies).( will leave the splitting wedge below} I have some grand-sons that will help me figure it out. They will probably do the actual building.

The gallery is cherished.
ALEX and all that post pictures are much appreciated.
JOHN ODUM has been quiet. Hope all is well with him and MURTLE.
I am still conservative but think others should have their own ideas.
Love this bench, pick-up, hammer-in---How ever it feels to everybody.

Joe Rollings - Fri 19 Jan 2018 23:06:34 #0

I'd like it to keep going

BUT, Don't have a lot to contribute. Any news of Ellen would be welcome. and I am gratified that Chuck is still here. Winding down and willing to surrender to the new bunch. NOT willing to start with facebook, though. Just as soon stop altogether. God bless all artisans.....Joe

gavainh - Sat 20 Jan 2018 04:23:33 #0


I haven't visited too often in the past year and half and it's even longer since I posted. Didn't even get to any blacksmith meeting/events last year. I had to re-invent myself for work, and became an independent contractor for a group that issues quality certifications to lab's testing aerospace materials. Last year kept me really busy going world wide for audits. This year the start is the same, but looks as though it will slow a bit after the first quarter and I might be able to actually doe some smithing, (if I can remember how to swing a hammer). I've also had a few health issues - atrial fibrillation (under control with meds) and I need to plan on a knee replacement this year. I've been putting that off for too long.

It's always good to be able to come back to this site and see/hear what people have been up to - as Jeff said, I'll try to mend my ways.

brucegodlesky - Sat 20 Jan 2018 08:03:54 #0

Golly , look at everyone comin' outta the woodwork (BOG) Good to see!!
Gavainh, you still in Latrobe?

Startin' to red out the part of the shop where I haven't been for awhile. Lost some W2 and feel it may be hiding in the wood collection......

Mixed feelings about FB. Incredible outreach for small bidness but I get increasingly weary of all the whiners........

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 20 Jan 2018 08:24:24 #0

Today is install a water heater for the youngest. Should not be too bad, allowing that I have to Get the rear wheel drive S-10 out of the snow covered hilly windy drive way :)

Gavainh - Sat 20 Jan 2018 10:43:19 #0


I'm still in western PA - my wife and I have homes in both Ligonier Township and in Jackson Township near Cranberry. I'm mostly basing out of the Jackson Twp location, as I'm doing a lot of travel by plane - it's a lot easier to get to the Pittsburgh airport from Jackson Twp than from Ligonier. I'm currently in France for a week and a half of work - naturally the really neat nearby castle is closed for January. Going to try to get to the "black" cathedral in Clermont-Ferrand tommorow - construction started in the 1300's and it's called black because it was built from local black lava rocks "Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption Cathedral" I did find out that France has a chain of Irish shops "Le Comptoir Irlandais" decent selection of Irish, Scottish, and Breton single malts.
Going to try to get to the PAABA meeting to be held at John Groll's shop in February - for a change, I'm not running off for an audit somewhere. If my schedule doesn't change, I'll get to add Poland and the Czech Republic to the list of countries I've gone to for work.

Tom C - Sat 20 Jan 2018 13:16:00 #0

I called Ellen's cell# & got a "this number not in service" recording. The landline for her business went to a fax noise. I'll keep investigating.

It's 60 degrees here & I have the shop door open to let in some heat.

Tom C

Buck Brown - Sat 20 Jan 2018 13:45:20 #0

Checking in

WOW! What a pleasant surprise to hear from all of you this morning! I too check in every morning and have been saying I need to post.
Sure hope you can keep this site going, Darrell. We only have flip phones and donít text or do any social media. Iíll be 74 in April and just donít really care to learn how to do all that. Also, I sure can relate to the not being able to do what I used to be able to do. We had a feed store in Colorado for awhile and I could carry 3 50# bags at once. Now just one is a challenge!
It has been terrible dry here. Our total preciptation for 2017 was 5.86 inches. Weíre doing a little better this year. Weíve had 0.41 inches this month.
I too have been busy cleaning and organizing the shop. A neighbor knows I do blacksmithing and has two nephews that are interested. They are going to be here in a couple weeks and I was asked to do a demo for them. Isnít it amazing how knowing company is coming will motivate you to clean?
Thanks so much for your efforts keeping this site up Darrell. I started way back when Neil was doing it. Be a shame for it to go away.
Tom C...thanks for checking on Helen for us.

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 20 Jan 2018 19:04:16 #0

Got the hot water heater in and heating by about 1:30 this afternoon. Youngest just reported that she has hot water, and no visible leaks.

My good friend Butch Sparks came by to help with the heater on his way home from a half day's work, then we moved to my shop and made messalunas. In a short afternoon we made 8. starting to stock up for this coming season. Also made a new design for me a rocking pizza cutter. It is forged, needs grinding and heat treat.

The snow is melting and 48F outside felt like a heat wave.

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 20 Jan 2018 19:51:57 #0

Forgot to mention that as I was closing the gate valve to isolate the hot water tank, the valve bonnet came off in my hand, leaving me with a valve body but no bonnet-stem gate etc, and so full pressure cold water was spraying me and the hallway. Dropped to my good knee and swiped the ball valve to isolate the house and the spray stopped. Boy was that surprising. Never ever had a bonnet come off like that and let me tell you I have opened and closed many in all my years in old factories and old houses. Lost maybe a gallon but it sure flew around.

Chuck - Sat 20 Jan 2018 23:16:44 #0


Gonna tell little of what we did today.
During the Christmas family gathering. The nietos put up a 37 X 21 car port for Us.
The concrete guys had put in weld pads when they poured the slab back in 2003. I do not know what they anchored the pads with.

We had a 60 and up wind a couple of weeks ago. It made a little concrete dust spewed out around the weld pads, on three 4X4 thin wall rectangular pipes.
Another nieto and I decided to not wait on the other boys to come back. This grandson can't stick weld thin walled pipe. He drilled the holes in the concrete He did it all but the welding.
I have been virtually one eyed all my life. stigmatism in my left has made it a follower. I now have wet Macular Degeneration in the right(strong) eye. SO I have a black screen to see through on my good eye and no depth perception with my weak left eye. You would have laughed to watch a fellow --blind n one eye and can't see out of the other---weld the 3/16" angle iron to the thin walled pipe.
I got it done but it does look like a blind fellow did it by touch. The other boys will come by and clean up the welds for us.
Supposed to have high wind tomorrow--Maybe we got it hooked down some better.

We did bolt the angle to the concrete and weld the pads to it where we could. It should be alright. Grin
Damn I like this getting old. The cheeks of my butt are going to be sore tomorrow. Grin.
Good Night & God Bless

Loren T - Sat 20 Jan 2018 23:52:11 #0

Welding thin wall pipe

My first job as a welder was working in an ornamental iron shop while going to college. I was brand new at it. I had a friend's father teach me how to strike an arc and run a bead one Sunday afternoon so I could apply for the job. All we had were Lincoln AC tombstone welders and 6011 1/8" rod which is high penetration. Our ornamental columns were made of 16ga. tubing and when welding them I learned to keep a rod with the flux removed to use as a filler when blowing a hole through the tubing. Essentially gas welding with an arc, rather than a torch. I got good enough at it that I started doing piece work and made very good money. My boss never had enough funds and many times he had to pay me over 2 paychecks.

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




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