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Daniel W

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About Daniel W

  • Birthday 08/24/1982

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    Pennsylvania USA
  • Interests
    Art, History, Mythology, Iron working and anything that deal with craftsmanship.

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  1. I have to add an update to this post sometime of how I now have the vise set up. I'm pretty excited that this post from so long ago gets seen from time to time and can be of some help. My angle iron jaw inserts I've made based off a set in Marky Aspery's book. I've left mine at their right angle, and I did not bend over tabs on them. I took 1/2 of the inserts and made a nice radius on them As Mark has in book 3 of his series. Works nice for making soft right angle bends. The rustier they are the better too, that rust will act like teeth. Also leaving the jaws float freely, I can sometimes use one of them as a "stop block" clamping in the same spot for multiple pieces without marking the work. I tend to work my twist horizontally for some reason, so I'll tend to slide one insert back to a stop position. The bad part is that they do fall out from time to time right when I need them. I sometimes think magnets!
  2. Having about a years experience working off a one like that, I can tell you there is no way you should spend $125 on that. I would say $25. And then try to upgrade as soon as you can. Problems with those little "track anvils" they are #1 not hard enough. There is a slim chance they are work hardened to a degree, but every missed hammer blow is going to leave a mark. Plan on HT it yourself, that's not easily done for the garage smithy. #2, there are too small, not enough mass in the right place. The "web" under which most of the mass is, does not support as well as other ASO's could. A steel block would give more support. The better way to use one of these is to stand them on edge, and use the little surface area of the rail. #3, I know this because mine has a hole in it like that too. It will be an absolute ear spliter. I pretty much took mine, and threw it aside one day and immediately called up a anvil buddy of mine, got my hay budden a week later, and never looked back. If you have no anvil, then yes, pretty much any anvil will work for you, new or vintage. The degree of qualities in them is really different. I've hit cast anvils, forged, there is a degree of difference in hardness, rebound etc. Yes I do prefer one over the other, it's a personal preference. I have also worked under mild steel blocks, and can tell you above all, you will notice a difference in something with a properly heat treated plate. I still do want to try out a new anvil, but I've been out of the loop and haven't seen one yet.
  3. My vise as well has that pinch, I thought it was a flaw too, but I was not willing to grind them flat. I found that jaw inserts correct the problem with very little fuss. Making soft jaws will be better in the long run. Personally I have the idea of taking some angle iron and just adding some brazing rod or brazing on a strip of copper. Also, there is a little bit of play in the pivot point of the arm that I never messed with. This allows the jaws to hold onto something with a taper, but is really annoying when trying to clamp something of equal thickness. So instead of trying to tighten up that bit of slop, an easy fix is to make up jaw spacers. Using a piece of flat stock of known thickness, cut down about an inch of two from the center of one end. Bend these over into tabs, so that when the spacer is in the vise it does not fall through the jaws. I have not yet found too much of a reason to make these yet, but they are a good idea. I've twisted small stock right out of the jaws may times.
  4. I normally clamp the unused side of the angle guides in a small vise. My trouble with this thing is that it never holds the blade tight enough. Even with light strokes of the stones I used to pop the knife right out of the clamp. I tend to somehow lose the edge once I get to the 800 grit stone as well. Next is just a preference thing. I want to use a stone that has the maximum amount of contact with the bevel. These days, I rough in the edge with a slow wheeled tool sharpener. Once I've got it, do a few passes by hand with a wet stone for the heavy grits. Then I use wet dry paper backed with a ceramic tile, then strop.
  5. The tire hammer you show in the video, I use one at my local shop a lot. 50lb ram weight. It's got more punch than what I expected, and fast! Which in my experiences with hammers, mechanical hammers are faster than a pneumatic, but less control. Self contained pneumatic, I haven't gotten to use one yet, but understand their the best of both worlds. Things I notice about the local shop's tire hammer, is slop in the dies. Really noticeable when working in the dies length wise as that little bit of play kicks material out of the stroke. Working on the dies the shot way, don't notice it much at all. Get an occasional kick but it's easily recoverable. Their is also very little adjustable in them as the break is just by a friction plate. So the motor only pulls at one speed and once the plate lets go, it's just gone. Can be a hassle for delicate stuff. I can get the one I use to tap, but if that break slips, I might get a hard and fast slap where I don't want it. All that may be adjustable, but I'm not sure.
  6. An angle grinder with one of those hard molded plastic backings will be better on bevels than your ordinary bench grinder. Unless you want a shallow hollow grind on all your bevels. The trouble with grinders in general, or any other radius like tool is that it will make scoops. That's where a nice flat platen on a belt stander makes a difference, and a file is even better than that. the difference is speed and the cost of the tool. I've been getting away with an old belt sander that I modified a little for metal work for years. But I'm starting to hear the bearings squeal. But that's 15 years of what I would call moderate use. If you are thinking about heavy use, and quite often, then the 2x72 is the way to go. Depending on what size bench grinder you have, their may be a belt sander attachment made for it.
  7. I think I've said it before a few times, eyes are magnets. I know the doc tells me their just organs but I could swear they are magnets. For all whirly things that spin at crazy speeds, I always have safety glasses with a face shield on. Goggles are best, IF they are worn and fit properly. My recent eye trouble was while I was cutting with a torch, hit a pocket of slag that went *pop* (I was crouched and leaning over at the time) molten metal jumped, feel between the gap in my googles and face - bounced off the inside lens and POW! Right into my left eye. It looked like a fire work coming straight at me. Washed out my eye for about 20 mins, went to some urgent care just in-case there was anything left in there. I cussed for all the 20 mins because it was my fault for not making sure I had a proper fit. I consider that overly lucky as the doc checked me out and said there was nothing in the eye, and it looked as if I had 2 small burns in the corners of the pink tissue of that eye. I see an ophthalmologist regularly these days for another trouble and I bother him continually about checking for metal in my eyes. Take heart in knowing if you have an emergency for an MRI, you will have your face x-rayed before the procedure just to check for metal fragments in the eyes. I stress eye care. I've worked with guys that use no eye protection and think holy cow! if and when they get something in there eye, they will regret the method's used to get it out. Especially when it's a preventable thing.
  8. O, where there is a determine thief there is a way. Anyone see the clip of the thieves that took a backhoe to dig out a ATM and put in on the back of a pick up? Nothing makes you more annoyed that you know already know your thief.
  9. Excellent use of some cold steel. I have often thought about picking up one of their hawks and modifying it, but with 5 of my own . . . I like the inlays you've done, a nice little accent.
  10. This is a very sad truth, I live in the middle of the "epidemic" area of the entire country. My home town used to be decent enough that you could walk down the street without a thought. Past 3 years, totally different story, you can't even approach someone without fear of incident because you don't know what their on. As a result, people turn to what I consider an '"escalation" to protect themselves from the addicts. Every smithy feels an anvil theft, we appreciate the years of work done on them for a century of craftspeople who came before us. Then some greasy sticky fingered person pinches one takes it to a scarp yard for a few cents that it's worth. I would check the scrap yards. If you find your anvil, put it on your homeowners insurance if you can. I put mine on my rental insurance and kept the hand written document of what I payed for it with my signature and the guy I bought it from. That way, the insurance company has a proof of what it's worth. Taking steps for securing property, I worked for a church in my area and went over a lot of proper security for public buildings. The #1 thing is lighting. Put up motion sensor lights everywhere, their relatively inexpensive. Cameras, quick and easy is a trail/game camera. Overall, just like any layer of defense, put up things that make it difficult or takes a thief more time to get to what they want. I still work in my garage, and I have a fear of people seeing my anvil. Therefore, when I'm done, I park my work truck in a spot that makes it almost impossible to get the anvil out when it's there (about once a week I use the truck). I also cover all my tools when their cool, as out of sight out of mind. Nib nosers, are strongly discouraged anyone asks what I'm doing - "I'm restoring a car." In the next few years, if I plan to stay at this property, I will be putting up fencing. If I put up a work shop, probably a second layer of fencing around it. Rose bushes, thistle and holly trees everywhere!
  11. I liked that, I finally didn't feel like I needed 3 foot tongs to get stuff in and out of the thing. I started out by letting the forge heat up to a nice uniform heat then I was shutting it off when I got the material to the same heat - did my step, returned to the forge. If I had to guess, 1-5 minutes was the duration it was off. I was working some small stuff (3/8 and some 1/4 material) which didn't take too long to get back up to temp. Relighting I had no problem, I'd get a little weep of gas from the ball valve and it picked up right away. There's more than enough heat in my forge after it's run for a few hours that it takes about 2 hours to fully cool down. I chose 'hard fire brick refractory instead of the recommended stuff. Tough stuff, but ultimate heat sink in my opinion. Other than online, I have not yet seen someone working with a ceramic wool forge that has also lined it with refractory. At most a hardening agent, but I can attest that wool lined forges without a hardening agent, or refractory does not last very long. Yep, this was on my mind, and I would not have attempted to run intermittently if I didn't have experience with the forge I build. I always purge my line once I'm done, and I almost always get the forge to relight with that little bit of gas. I have also gotten the good little poof up to about 15 mins later when purging the line. Maybe something that is a risky practice overall, and why I don't see it done. I did back the gas off to a lower pressure a few times, so maybe my next run, I'll try Gerald's put it on "low" idea. I agree, I try to put as much stuff in the forge at once - but sometimes I find myself getting distracted by screwing up one of the things in there. My forge is not too big, but after I've built it I realized a different design would be much more versatile for my kind of work. I make very few blades, I'm more the tool and decorative end of things. It works for right now, and my rebuild of it comes when I reline it.
  12. After about 2 years of learning how to use a propane forge effectively, I still have some simple learning about it that might be just common knowledge. I had an itch to forge something the other day, and as it's around the forum lately, it's terribly hot and muggy out. Normally when I fire up the forge, I just let it run continually . . . and I began to think why am I doing that? It does keep the forge at a continual temp - but like coal/coke fire, you bring things up to heat each time you come out of the fire, you don't usually pour air into the fire pot while your not working. So I tried to work with shutting the burner off after each heat. I was working 2 things at once (mild steel shelf brackets) the material that remained in the forge seemed to stay at a nice even forge-able heat until I could get to it. The forge also remained hot enough that it would relight without trouble. I guess, my question would be, is this a pretty common practice among propane use with atmospheric forges? Is it a more efficient use of fuel? Personally, I seeing very little reason why not to work this way. I noticed that my tank did not freeze up nearly as much, I could take a breath between heats, I did not over heat myself or the work space. The material may not have exactly heated up as fast, but normally I have 1-4 things in the fire at once so I didn't really notice. Yes I could spew gas everywhere if the forge gets below temp, but with a hard fire brick door, I don't think I'll have that problem. I wonder what everyone's thoughts are on this method.
  13. I believe that if you have bought FeCL 'over the counter' it's not all that harmful. Probably dry your skin out a little, get it in a cut and it will sting like hell. Industrially, it can be pretty potent as it was once used a lot where I'm at. The nasty acid you can get over the counter with relative ease is muriatic acid. I have worked around the stuff at workshops and when I did masonry work. I did not want to test how long before I would feel a burn before it got on my skin - but when you see it eat concrete it's probably not a good idea. It is always a good idea to read up on your chemicals - for me it's part of my real job. The three big acids are the nitrates, sulfates, and chloric. Among thousands and thousands of other harmful things. But most of them you can't get over the counter. Always better safe than sorry, so make sure to use gloves and KEEP SAFETY GLASSES ON when working with it. I have a thing about getting anything in eyes.
  14. I think as long as you bring a good attitude, a willingness to learn, and also a good appreciation of how the instructor is teaching the process by observation and instruction you will do fine. Be open to seeing things done differently than what you might have read or expect. I've worked along a good few smiths of all backgrounds, and each one does things differently than the other. No matter who's shop I go to for a visit, weather I'm just there for a socializing session or going to a work shop to work, 2 things always go with me. #1 safety glasses, #2 steel toes. I keep a set of both in my truck just in case I forget to have them with me when I go off to shops. Eventually, as you keep doing these things, you'll find more and more things that go with you.
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