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Joe Rollings - Tue 13 Jun 2017 10:53:44 #0


Is always good, providing that the deal is settled completely before anything changes hands. Otherwise, you wind up doing stuff for barter that you would not DREAM of doing for cold, hard cash....Joe

Buck Brown - Tue 13 Jun 2017 13:54:04 #0


Thanks for the help. I did a spark test on a Victor brand trap. It shows very high carbon. I've got to think it will make a fine knife

Buck Brown - Tue 13 Jun 2017 13:58:53 #0


Bruce is right on with the led lights. We're switching everything over to them. They are a much brighter and whiter light than incandescent bulbs. Our electric company repays us for the first $100.00 worth. You might want to see if yours does too.

bruce godlesky - Tue 13 Jun 2017 17:47:07 #0


one of the big things with them lights is the absence of that annoying HUMMMMMM and flicker in cold weather......

Mike B - Wed 14 Jun 2017 20:17:21 #0


I like the LEDs too. The only problem I've had is that my welding rods don't seem as dry since I switched.

Seriously, though, is there a particular brand of the four-footers you're using?

Joe Rollings - Wed 14 Jun 2017 21:01:26 #0


I dunno if they are three or four footers, but I bought the ones from Sams club maybe a year ago, and they were the cheapest around at the time, and work GREAT !

They are still working perfectly, and if I had bought more flouresent ones, I'd be replacing bulbs by now, pro'by some for the second time....Joe

bruce godlesky - Wed 14 Jun 2017 21:34:44 #0


I'd have to look at a box I still have. They come from Rural King store.
There is another option. You can buy the led strips and mount them into existing 4 footers. By-passes the ballasts. The company I looked at was Greenway or sumpin like that.

bruce godlesky - Thu 15 Jun 2017 20:45:00 #0

Brian, did you ever find yer 15n20?

bruce godlesky - Sun 18 Jun 2017 09:19:30 #0


MikeB, the leds I have are made by Lights of America. 4500ens

Mike B - Mon 19 Jun 2017 20:39:41 #0

Thanks, Bruce! That gives me an idea what to look for.

plain ol Bill - Tue 20 Jun 2017 17:44:57 #0

HOT in the SW

Chuck you and others that live in the southwest take care in all the heat. WOW, makes me really thankful for the pacific northwest and our scorching day that hit 72. We had a young couple from Amarillo visit last weekend and were driving back through Phoenix - glad I'm not with them.

bruce godlesky - Wed 21 Jun 2017 08:46:11 #0


as they say... hotter than nine kinds of hades.
I been in the forge shop mearly last 2 mornings welding Damascus. low 60's then up from there. Finish up before it goes to 80.
Ben having all sorts of problems gettin' things to stick. Kinda think I may not be quite hot enuff.
Annoyed enuff I just may buy a made by someone else forge.

Chuck - Wed 21 Jun 2017 21:14:36 #0


JOE--If you can get on Facebook. One of my Granddaughters took some pictures of a few of my knives.
Three different knives have the wood scales from the board you gave me. She photo shopped them but you tell how nice the wood came out.
BRUCE I saw three gas fired forges in one shop of a beginning knife maker, along with a coke forge.
He has been a farrier for a long time, but has gathered everything to be a blacksmith/blademaker.
He had a couple of "Whisper" forges and another that looked impressive. Most of the top part was cast. He mentioned that it would go right up to 2100 and on up to 2300 with just an adjustment. Somehow the forge was able to be set at heat where you wanted.
My gas forge has to be pushed to make forge welding heat. I could burn up a lot of steel in Kevin's propane forges. Grin
You will see him on my Facebook. His name is Kevin Stephens. Nice young man about 60. You will like him. Menefee has went fishing in Florida. He took his oldest daughter fishing for Sharks and Tarpon. Great for them.

I would like to know what his good propane forge was, just to look it up.

JOE been having any of the desert sand storms like they have south of you?

Got to do chores.
God Bless

Chuck - Wed 21 Jun 2017 22:15:06 #0


BRUCE--Mine & Kevin's--- All the forges are propane except the coke forge.
I don't have any natural gas in my shop.

bruce godlesky - Thu 22 Jun 2017 06:09:50 #0


Gonna rig up a blower on mine today.
I think my problem is an underpowered burner.

Joe Rollings - Thu 22 Jun 2017 21:07:46 #0

No sand storms, BUT

It's been real nice and toasty here, 108 one afternoon. So far Arizona has lost about 45000 acres to wildfires and they ain't out yet, and lots fires in New Mexico, too.

My grandson used up his time on the lne and was cussing because he got "stuck" back at base filling up brush trucks, but about that time the guys that were on the fire line picked up about 50 cases of strep throat, so I'm guessing he is pretty happy to be at base filling up trucks for a while.

Gottta wonder if somebody didn't bleach canteens when they filled them or maybe didn't hand them back to the same guy.

Janet is on facebook, and I'll see if she can find your knives, but we may need some coaching.

Have a good'n......Joe

bruce godlesky - Sun 25 Jun 2017 16:19:54 #0

hot forge

I rigged up a yard balloon blower-upper to the new forge ands she just screams.
Use da piece of flexible manifold pipe to connect things. HOT!! Melted the insilboard liner this morning....... No problem with welds shearing now :-)
Picture in the recent file.

bruce godlesky - Sat 01 Jul 2017 21:51:48 #0


awfully quiet around here. Hope everyone keeps there fingers away from the fireworks this weekend.

Joe Rollings - Sun 02 Jul 2017 14:24:01 #0

Anything BUT quiet

here. Three birthdays within a couple of days of the 4th, the house is full of screming kids and adults talking just below shouting. Had to come out here and hide for a few minutes. Glad to see all of the kids, grandkids, great grandkids, friends, spouses, etc........not quite as glad to HEAR them....well, back to the battle....happy fourth, everybody......Joe

Buck Brown - Tue 04 Jul 2017 12:18:11 #0

Hope everyone has a safe and fun filled Independence Day.

Chuck - Wed 05 Jul 2017 00:44:33 #0

Great Fourth Of July.

Happy Independence Day.
We had a good day. Two Grand-sons spent the day with us.
We went fishing yesterday. One neito had a super day fishing from the bank with lures. He caught a black bass and channel cat that both weighed over five pounds.
He cast a net for bait. The only things in the net from several casts were two carp of over 2.5 pounds. Caught in separate cast----No bait fish. Not good for the lake.
Having trouble grinding blades--Have developed Macular Degeneration. Right has always been the eye I used. It is the worst for this Macular deal.
All the trucks you meet on the highway, look like they have already been wrecked. Not good, but we will manage.
Everybody stay safe.
God Bless

Joe Rollings - Sun 09 Jul 2017 22:11:46 #0

Sorry for your troubles

Sandpile. As you know, I have had a lot of eye troubles, too, and just about the time you figure you are going to have to give up, you figure out how to work with the new reality.

I like to keep them going at the optometrist. Every time they slip a new set of glasses on me, I look at my wife and say....."dang! you got a new hairdo" like I have not seen her for months.

We do it with a straight face, and sometimes they seem to believe me.

No fun getting older, but maybe if you get a LOT worse in the eyes, your knives will start to look half as primitive as mine......but I'm not holding my breath....Joe

Chuck - Mon 10 Jul 2017 14:23:04 #0

Knife grinding.

JOE--I ground two knives from some 1/16" A2.
They came out alright. Not Nice but alright.
I will make something if I just make a mess. Grin.
I hope it cools down over your way. We have not been up in the hundreds for about ten days. Lord' we appreciate that,
Got some garden hoe work done this morning.
Now to the shop.
God Bless

John Odom - Mon 10 Jul 2017 16:29:19 #0


I have been out with pneumonia since July 2.

I am now out of the hospital and in a rehab facility.

I am rapidly improving. The question is how much I can get back. I will keep fighting.

Darrell - Mon 10 Jul 2017 22:14:13 #0


You can get a lot back if you just don't quit trying.
I had two strokes in January and I have gone from paralyzed on the right side to not using a cane and back in the shop making things. I couldn't hit anything when I started but now I can drive nails.

John Odom - Wed 12 Jul 2017 19:00:43 #0


I am home. Much better, but not well. I am supposed to take it really easy.

Loren T - Thu 13 Jul 2017 09:06:59 #0


Anybody heard any more about Ellen? I know she had a stroke and was selling her major equipment, but haven't heard any more.

Chuck - Sat 15 Jul 2017 00:40:55 #0


Health is wealth.---DARRELL --I am so glad to hear you are back in the shop making things. I really like your sander/grinder. Simple but durably good.
JOHN Keep plugging. Myrtle(sp) needs you.
ELLEN --I have a number here somewhere for her sister. Helen will have to find it. The last time we called we a got a message and did not get a call back.
We have been having a go of it. Helen is some better--I think just learning to live with it. She is making herself do stuff, whether she feels like it, or not.

My Macular Degeneration deal is something, I am just going to have to deal with. I have made two knives from 1/16" steel just to see if I could grind it straight. Had to look close , but they came out alright. I have handled some older better blades. Selling some kept back knives.
I have about 20 blades I can handle. Maybe by then the Eye doctors can put some better priscripted(sp) glasses on me.
LOREN T. If I can find out something I will post.
JOE--Don't step in any holes.

God Bless all of you.

Joe Rollings - Sat 15 Jul 2017 22:49:40 #0


If you need a REALLY good eye doc, I know the best surgeon AND the best cornea guy in Arizona. The cornea guy got famous by saving my right eye after an idiot surgeon nearly lost if for me. Yes, some eye docs are idiots, and my first attempt at eye surgery, I found one. The cornea guy fixed a detatched retina that not many would have attempted, and it is still good about 5 years later.

So, I have an ablation sceduled, and a kind of funny misunderstanding happened as a result;


"We have your procedure sceduled for September first, providing you take the medications perscribed, with NO mistossis.


"What is mistossis?"


"That is when you miss a dose!"


"Oh, you mean missed doses"


"what did you THINK I said?"


"never mind"

"mistossis" sounded real medical to me.....Joe

John Odom - Sun 16 Jul 2017 21:06:12 #0


S L O W L Y gaining strength.

Tom C - Sat 22 Jul 2017 11:05:33 #0

Tom C

Joe Rollings - Sat 22 Jul 2017 23:09:53 #0

Slowly gaining strength

Me, too, but I am sceduled for a shower on Tuesday....

Sorry, can't resist a gag. Here's hoping you recover quickly, John....Joe

Chuck - Tue 25 Jul 2017 23:15:50 #0

Slow business this knfemaking.

The older I get the slower I get.
BRUCE---How is Diane. Did y'alls garden make before the heat hit you?
JOE--Is Janet coaching you on how to gradually get older?

Helen is making herself go. She can barely get out of her chair, but she does and after a few steps, she bows her neck, throws her elbows out and she is off. She is busy doing some most of the day. She tries to nap in the mid-afternoon, some days she does. You see her stop, stand a bit then when the pain eases off some. She is gone again.

I seem to get slower by the week. I was going pretty good, then the eye deal hit. I have finished the ones I was working on then. I can not see a straight line but ground two small knives. Did not hear comments on how they looked crooked.
Sheath work is going to change up, More front pocket or back pack type sheaths. I made two slant/side draw sheaths today(4 inch belt loop in the middle of the sheath)It will ride straight up or slant, easy for a cross-draw. May start handling some earlier blades that I never did put guards and handles on.
Well y'all don't be so quiet.
God Bless

Darrell - Tue 25 Jul 2017 23:55:14 #0

I need 4 1/4" black iron couplings and 4 1/4" black iron street Ls. That should fit in a small flat rate box.
Would send a check if someone was willing to pick them up from the hardware store and send them.
Has anyone heard from Stephen Gensheimer? He was supposed to call me last week and now his phone mail box is full.

Buck Brown - Wed 26 Jul 2017 10:10:29 #0

Pipe fittings

Hi Darrell..........I'd be happy to send the fittings to you.
Here is my E-mail address so you can send me your shipping address:

Buck Brown - Wed 26 Jul 2017 12:03:29 #0

Pipe fittings

Hi again.......I have your fittings and will ship when I get your address.

bruce godlesky - Wed 26 Jul 2017 22:20:09 #0


Chuck, Di is still awaitin' results from Monday's biopsy. We're thinkin' it's pneumonia (shrug) She's hangin' in there lioke them hillbilly girls do :-)

I had a bunch of lil stuff to make for a customer, wreath holders, hat hooks, etc. got that all done last week, now gearing up for a run of hawks. Have 4 or 5 orders on the list.

We don't get the heat here like yall do out West. Ha dso much rain lately, the sweetcorn and taters is overcome with weeds.

The kid that won the Forged in Fire contest broadcast last evening is a cousin of mine. Heckuva good maker! Glad he did well!! We've spent a lot of time at the anvil together (BOG)

Darrell - Wed 26 Jul 2017 23:49:08 #0


thank you very much. I will be building forge burners with the parts.
I just got the high temp IR temp gun in the mail today.

Joe Rollings - Fri 28 Jul 2017 22:26:56 #0


Nope, Janet is not trying to slow me down on the getting older. I'm doing it at a pretty good clip. At least it seems to happen quicker than it used to.

If your one eye is causing that crooked vision, I have been through that a few times. I gave up on the stamps for years one time right after I beat up on a jack handle with my head and it took them over 4 hours to sew everything up.

Some years later I had adjusted to it and made stamps for several more years. When the injury first happened, I couldn't even cut a juniper branch at 90 degrees, give or take 15 degrees. Have you had the doc look at it? My Dad talked about trucks coming at him o the hyway looking like their wheels were laying down just like you did the other day, and he had had a bleeder in his eye. They got it fixed so maybe you can do the same. Or use your other eye to check for straightness.

If you are going to go for the short knives for a while, might be a good time to switch to folders. I know far more folders get sold every year than fixed blade anyway. I made a bunch of friction folders a few years ago, and they outsold the fixed blade by a LOT, and took less time to build.

I used a machinist slotting saw to inlet the handles, and got pretty quick after a while. I think if I make another batch, I will use hard maple on the handles and maybe look for a way to dye it some fancy colors 'cause it is pretty plain wood. Makes good handles, though, 'cause it will hardly ever split.

I used to make wooden pliers out of it for buffing jewelry without burning the fingers or scratching up the jewelry, and sold a LOT of them. 2 drywall screws through each side, above and below the pin to keep the joint from splitting, and never got a broken pair back for warranty.

Here is hoping that you two get to feeling more chipper soon. I have kicked the "mistossis" and will go in for ablation around September first. Most old farts are not talking about the heartbeat when they wish for more "regularity", but then I never was subject to the "usual complaints", always having more "interesting afflictions" though any of them were at all "interesting".....what a hoot!.....Joe

Buck Brown - Sat 29 Jul 2017 10:41:21 #0


You're sure welcome. Good luck with your forge.

Loren T - Sat 29 Jul 2017 11:12:31 #0

Old Blacksmiths

You know you're old when you take Ibuprofen without thinking about it, you automatically put your copper bracelets on to cover the arthritis in your elbows and you refer to what was previously your left and right knees as your good and bad knees. I read somewhere (maybe here) about a guy taking instructions from an old blacksmith when he dropped something. He bent over to pick it up and his instructor said,"Stop right there! While you're down there, pick everything up. Never waste a good bend down." I find myself thinking about that every time I bend over.

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 29 Jul 2017 20:01:48 #0

Old Blacksmiths

Loren T, I resemble that comment:)

Buck Brown - Sun 30 Jul 2017 11:03:15 #0

Loren T

That's a good one! I can get down just fine. It's getting up that's the problem!

bruce godlesky - Mon 07 Aug 2017 16:02:08 #0

down and can't get up.

that's one of the reasons I give up the autobody bidness. Gittin' down was OK , being down not bad sometimes. But when ya just couldn't get up that was the end. Gets pretty cold down there...... At least now I can stand at the anvil or hammer or press and work.
Had a good weekend forging hawks and b&t blades. Along with cleraning up some cable billets and pattern weld billets.

Joe Rollings - Mon 07 Aug 2017 22:58:11 #0


They have a pill for that, I'm told....Joe

Loren T - Tue 08 Aug 2017 15:01:22 #0


Santa came early this year. I went to the shop at my son's house (see photo in recent photos-new shop building). Imagine my surprise to find a brand new Grizzly brand 15" planer, shaper, lathe with duplicate attachments, miter saw, edge belt sander, and the best, a 20" disc sander! I know this is a blacksmithing site, but think what you can do with that kind of equipment! Turns out that it belongs to the electrician who wired the shop and he had it in storage where he had to vacate. We are free to set it up and use it, and he can access it any time. Merry Christmas in August!

Buck Brown - Wed 09 Aug 2017 16:43:54 #0


That would be a little blue one? I've heard about them. Haha.

John Odom - Fri 11 Aug 2017 19:56:01 #0


Is our 60th anniversary. I was a broken-up kid with a scrambled brain when she married me. Myrna is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Buck Brown - Sat 12 Aug 2017 11:06:39 #0

John Odom

Congratulations John and Myrna!

Bert - Sat 12 Aug 2017 11:14:05 #0

Congratulations John & Myrna...

On 60 yrs together. Mine & I are just rookies by comparison; 40 yrs come October. I was a grizzled old Mountain Man/Cowboy Wannbe/Motorcycle Hoodlum of 30 and she was barely 20. Always wondered what he folks thought when she brought me to dinner to meet them...

I've learned Patience, Forgiveness, Kindness & Sensitivity for others and to NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES MESS w/ HER SCHEDULE...! Not always smooth, but it's been a good 40 years overall...

Jeff Reinhardt - Sat 12 Aug 2017 11:25:41 #0

Happy Anniversary John and Myrna! I too am a rank amateur in comparison. The Rock and I met in 1977, when I was her jumpmaster. We soon started dating, became a couple, and were married in 1981. Like Bert I was the wilder side of the couple, and her folks must have been quite alarmed when she announced she was engaged to a skydiving, half crippled mechanic.

Chuck - Sat 12 Aug 2017 18:07:14 #0

No rookies at close to 40 years.

JOHN MYRNA--Congrats hang in there. God Bless
There are not any rookies when you have been double hitched for forty or close years.
I am blessed to have my Helen for 54 years.
God Bless any that can stay hooked.

Joe Rollings - Wed 16 Aug 2017 16:46:05 #0


My wife told our grandkids that we hope to be together for 75 years, and one grandaughter asked what happened at er 75 years?

Janet told her she guessed we would both be free agents after that. The gradaughter is an adult now, still laughing about the idea of us doddering into singles bars at age 95.....Joe

bruce godlesky - Sun 20 Aug 2017 17:39:59 #0


to all the old time marriages!
I been married since 1971 with a 1 year rest in between. heheh 13 the first one and now 32 to the current Mrs.G.
Just spent 8 days at our County Fair. Really anxious to get back into the shop.
Enuff people contact for a spell........ Not used to the 40+ trip back and forth either but it is fun. Seein' folks once a year is not a bad thing (BOG). Plus make some smithing contacts.

Tom C - Sun 27 Aug 2017 12:01:21 #0


Louise & I lived together for 11 years before we got hitched. That was on Groundhog's day 2002. We didn't want to rush into things, you see.

My '57 Chevy restoration project is taking a lot longer than I'd planned ( no surprise there, right?) I'm in the middle of doing the body work, which I hate. I hope to have it back on the chassis & at the painter's shop next month. We'll see.....

Meanwhile, it's time to think about Quad States.

Tom C

John Odom - Wed 30 Aug 2017 09:23:48 #0


Praying for our people there.

Alex Ivey - Thu 31 Aug 2017 00:35:46 #0


Can't imagine the grief the people in the Houston are sand suffering. Prayers for them.

Jim Poor was on Forged In Fire episode 64 last night. Lost chance for the final round due to broken blade. Wanted to see his shop and equipment but maybe he'll get to come back again.

Busy getting ready for demonstrating at the NM state fair starting on Sept. 7th. Yuall invited to come by and visit with us if in the area. You can swing a hammer to if you please. LXIV

Darrell - Thu 31 Aug 2017 18:20:21 #0


I received this today. Can anyone help?

name: Tony


I am 95 years old and I have my father's old grinding wheel. It is no long on a base, and I have ideas of how to build one.
I am needing help in locating the hardware for the grinding stone. Any thoughts on how to get new hardware/pillow blocks and handle to refurbish this tool?


bruce godlesky - Fri 01 Sep 2017 07:00:35 #0

grinding wheel.

only 2 options I can come up with are , check with some Amish or build new setup from scratch. 1/2" angle and homade pillow blocks.

Loren T - Fri 01 Sep 2017 10:50:16 #0

Forged in Fire

As a newby many years ago I was taught that you heated up a blade and quenched it to normalize the metal. Then you polished it and ran the colors until the desired one was at the blade edge, then quenched it to set it. On Forged in Fire they heat it up, quench it, and that is it. I have had more than one blade shatter in dozens of pieces when in a normalized state. Are modern alloys different or do they have to skip this step because of time restrictions? After all it is Television.

John Odom - Fri 01 Sep 2017 16:13:21 #0


I have the same question. I have been told they do tempering off camera, but I do not know.

bruce godlesky - Sat 02 Sep 2017 08:43:05 #0


they do the blade tempering off camera.

Mike B - Sat 02 Sep 2017 10:33:26 #0


I've never seen the show, but am told the blades are tempered in an oven. Might not make the most riveting part of an episode . . .

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

Blade smithing

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

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

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

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

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

Heat treating

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

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

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


nice job Alex on the mokume hat!!

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

Being Retired

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Catching up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

Pics up tomorrow

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Coehorn Mortar

What's the bore?

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

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


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

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

cannons and stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

On another subject

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

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

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

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

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

Joe's Other Subject

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

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


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


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

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

Knives + steel

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

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

Plasma cutter

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

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

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

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

craigslist, steel cannons and plasma cutters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Population density

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

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

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


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

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

another cannon

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Bosque farms and cylinder

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

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

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

Actual Blacksmithing Question

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

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



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

Corn Fence

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

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

Air oiler

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

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

Thnx Loren

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

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

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

This and that

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

keeping busy

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

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

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

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

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

Brackets for Bert

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

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

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

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

A Hossfeld

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


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

Hossfeld Bender

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

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

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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

A Hossfeld

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Hope everyone has a pleasant and safe Thanksgiving Day.

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

Happy Turkey Day

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

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

Ya did good, Bert.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Tom C

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

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

Tom C

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........




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