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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. From what I've heard, HF sells both a cast iron (Chinese) and a cast steel (Russian) anvil. The Russian one is supposed to be adequate as a starter anvil, but may have an off-size hardy hole, poor surface finish (not too hard to fix), and an ugly not-very-well-shaped horn. The cast iron one, as always, is a doorstop or worse. If you can be sure which is which, the steel one might not be too bad. To me, a bigger chunk of metal is easier to work on, and the rail piece I learned on is a lot more difficult to move metal on than an anvil because it absorbs a lot more of the hammer's energy.
  2. I'd take a file to the top, if it's cast iron it will be really easy to file and if so, it's not worth much for hot work but may be good for tooling leather, setting rivets, or similar work. I have a 93 pound Peter Wright anvil, a similar size, and the top is hard as glass. Another good test is to hit it squarely (that is, not with the edge but with the flat of the hammer) and moderately hard. A good anvil will practically throw the hammer back, even into your forehead if you aren't careful. Larger anvils are usually a bit softer than smaller ones because of the physics of heat treating, but a
  3. Outstanding! The more I see by you folks with jewelry training, the more I wonder whether I might be approaching the wrong end of the animal by coming in through smithing  ???
  4. Isn't flame hardening the same process as induction hardening, but with a different source of heat? The good bandsaw blades (for wood, I haven't seen metal-cutting ones yet) have induction hardened teeth that stay sharp practically forever.
  5. Speaking as someone who just got a job after a long unemployment, it's much easier to scrounge things before you start working...for cheap forge ideas, also check out the sketchbook page at the keenjunk site, I posted a picture there a while back of a forge I made from a broken lawnmower. The deck shape is just right when you turn it upside down and add some wood ashes or kitty litter or clay to ramp up from the center hole to the edges. That one has a brake disc (not drum) sitting across the hole, and 2 inch pipe for air supply. Less than $10 in pipe pieces, the rest was scrounged; and I moun
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