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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

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

Bob Haverstock

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

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

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

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

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

Splitter press build

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

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

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

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

Tom C

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

Cataract Surgery

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

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

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

Didymium lens

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

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

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

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

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

Skate blade metal

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

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

Dry weather--skate steel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

skate steel/schtuff

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

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

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

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

Skate blade steels

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

Tom C

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

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

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

Tractor weights

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

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

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

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

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

crawler weight.

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

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


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

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

Thanks, guys

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hammer anvil

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

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

Frank Turley

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

never mind

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


This article addresses this test. You Decide!

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


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

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

Brian C.

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

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

power hammer

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

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

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

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

Joe R

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

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


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

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


A blessed Resurrection Day to you all.

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

thanks Darrell.

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

Ramblings from Southern Utah

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

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

smithing -weather + stuff

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

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

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

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

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

leaf springs


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

leaf springs

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

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

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

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

leaf spring steel

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

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


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

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

Helve hammer spring

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

tire clutch

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

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

Joe-Picking up from a bench

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

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

Tire clutch

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

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

Thanks, Jeff!

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

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

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

trowels and stuff

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




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