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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. That was my creation on Keenjunk, I have a bit more detail in my post over at swordforum. In brief, plumbing parts, a brake disk, and wood ash and clay. All bolted since I didn't have a welder back then. Michael
  2. Not concrete. When it gets hot enough, chunks will start popping off, and what doesn't pop off will turn back into powder. I'd put some feet on the pipe so it doesn't roll away. Then there are several ways to make it into a forge from there. Michael
  3. What Kevin H said - a couple weeks ago 2 guys died not far from here from carbon dioxide displacing their air. One was a fast food worker, who climbed a 10 foot wall into the enclosure to fill the CO2 tanks for the drink machines because the guy with the key wasn't there. The second death was the guy driving the gas supply truck, who succumbed while trying to rescue the first guy who wasn't able to climb back out. You all be careful out there. Michael
  4. Hi Alan! Actually, I'm envious that you got to use it. I got to see and photograph Paw Paw's tire hammer, but the on/off switch was busted the day I stopped by to see it. I also got to see briefly the one at the Madison conference. These are a great idea and I've been dreaming of building one ever since I saw Paw Paw's. I don't know how I would get one here to Tampa from Tallahassee but I'd love to hear more about the workshop just in case. Being Tampa is a port town, I'm hopeful that there may be some large shipyard scrap available somewhere nearby. Trying the Phoenix hammer at Larry Harley's
  5. Spark test it to see if it's cast iron or mild steel, those would be my first 2 guesses. If it's cast you could probably score a line, clamp it in a heavy post vise, and hit it with a big hammer (on the waste side of the line) to break it off at the line. If it's mild steel a hacksaw should work fine, although a bandsaw or a nice bimetal blade in a reciprocating saw might be faster. At least, that's how I'd approach it. Keep in mind, finesse is not one of my strong points Michael
  6. Nice work Jesse. Best wishes for a happy rest of your life together! Michael
  7. Very nice Alan. I love the bearded style. Does the wrought portion cover the whole side, or is the lower part of the beard all 5160? There's a subtle ridge in the photo that made me wonder (could be a slag line too I suppose). I haven't made one like this so I can sort of picture how it might be done either way. Another way to ask what I'm wondering is, did you start with the bit the full length of the beard, or draw it down after welding it in? Is the bit the full width of the beard? I'm trying to get the process straight in my mind before I use up a big portion of my tiny stash of wrought ir
  8. I seem to recall a description somewhere that involved feeding ore to geese, then re-smelting the results. It seems like that would add all kinds of cr@p (sorry, couldn't resist) that might include phorphorous. Anyone recall where this idea may have come from? Not that I'm suggesting replicating the process, but it might provide a partial explanation. I think J. Arthur may know a lot about phosphorous in historical steel, and I bet Ric Furrer does too. Maybe they will chime in. Michael
  9. Count me in! I quit doing beer when my younger brother became a much better brewer than I was, but mead is another story. This year, after several years of nothing but dead bees (varroa mites etc), my dad put some Russian bees in his hives, and just took out 300 lbs of honey for his trouble. Plus, we drank nearly the last two bottles of my last batch of mead (cyser, technically) at Harley's this spring. I'll have to get busy, the recipie I like tastes a lot like cough syrup for the first year but then gets much better. Michael
  10. Now that I'm in Tampa, I'd have to vote for northern FL. Would be great in any month when the weather is too darn cold to be hanging out on mountain sides in TN. Michael
  11. Thanks for the new forum Don (and Mike), great idea. I've made it to FL and one day (does the humidity ever become bearable down here?) I'll give it another go. Perhaps I can work in a visit to a certain Tallahassee smith before I try the next smelt on my own. Michael
  12. Thanks Jesse, You're probably right about it not being hot enough. That said, i did instantly lose half of each eyebrow to a sudden shift in wind direction when I was looking into the top. Hair, I learned, acts like popcorn with that much heat. Fortunately I was wearing glasses so I still have eyelashes. Plus, I cooked some burgers from frozen to medium rare in record time while waiting for it to burn down at the end. I did bump up the ID of the tuyere to about an inch, maybe an inch and a quarter, and I am using a small squirrel cage blower so I bet you're right about not enough air. I h
  13. I rebuilt and ran my smelter for a third time, still trying to convert it the rest of the way from a smelter-shaped object to the real thing Run two last month made some really shiny but nonmagnetic slag, in addition to more of the black oozy-looking magnetic slag I successfully made the first time around. This stuff was all stuck together into one giant bowling-ball sized glowing hot lump when I opened things up. The shiny part looked a bit like silicon metal, shiny with planar crystals (?). For this time, run 3, I moved the air tube higher to about 12" from the previous 8". I also m
  14. Love the corncob (?) pipe Alan, it's that special touch that puts the other photos in perspective. Shouldn't that properly be a post drill in your hand I've just packed 1500 lbs or so of my shop (guesstimate based on how low the back end is riding) into my dad's truck, and this weekend will be driving it 600+ miles to where I hope to have a new shop eventually, in Tampa. Who knew I has so much shop? That's not counting the great bellows, freestanding Champion blower, table saw, band saw, etc that I'm leaving for the movers to get next week Michael
  15. Hi Phillip, email sent. Looks like I'm moving earlier than I thought, this Saturday in fact. But if anyone out there is interested, I could deliver the anvil to any exit or rest stop along I-95 from Raleigh to Jacksonville FL, then along I-10 to Gainesville, then along I-75 to Tampa. I still hate to think of selling it, but this move is costing a lot more than I expected so I need the cash. Michael
  16. Thanks Phillip, that is just a couple days before the moving truck is scheduled to show up.
  17. Nice contrast, nice pattern, I want one! Michael
  18. What Jesse said, popcorn. Of course you realize what comes next... next round you both will have to smelt your own iron too Michael
  19. Still have a 171 lb English anvil for sale, wrought body/steel face construction, good but not excellent condition, $325. It's in Durham, NC and I don't want to ship it, pickup only please. If not sold by the end of July, I'll resign myself to taking it with me when I move to FL. Price includes the honey locust log it sits on Michael
  20. Cool, got any photos of the polished/etched bit? How about some rough dimensions on the smelter? I'm thinking I may not have had enough air flowing into mine this last run, what was your air source this time?
  21. Lovely work as always JAL. I ran mine again a couple weeks ago with some different yet interesting non-iron results; I'll try to post some pics here soon if I can get a moment to spare. If I have time for a third run before I have to move to FL next month, I think I'll finally be able to get some iron made. Michael
  22. The very cheapest cat litter is nothing but clay. I think a 20 pound bag is about 3 dollars, make sure you get the unscented stuff. I've had good luck mixing it with perlite or vermiculite (both potting soil additives) and a bit of mortar mix or portland cement to hold it all together. For your use the mix probably would work fine without the cement. The cat litter seems to dissolve almost instantly in water. If it wants to crack, try mixing in some straw or pinestraw or grass clippings to hold it together while it dries, or just patch the cracks with more of the same stuff as they appear.
  23. FYI, Striker is also a brand of power hammer: http://www.strikertools.com/
  24. That is one fine piece. There sure seems to have been an explosion of interest in this type of work the last few years. Can't wait to see the finished product. Michael
  25. I put a 9 x 14 foot shed roof (no walls) on the side of my 12x16 shed. I put a level frame of 2 x 4s around the bottom edge and filled it with half a truckload of gravelly sand fill for a level floor with drainage. The shed has power so I run an extension cord out for the grinders and (when I use it) the forge blower. In the outside space I have two coal forges, one permanent with a chimney and one movable; a gas forge, that sits on top of the second coal forge when it's not in use; a belt grinder, a hand crank forge blower, a post vise, two anvils on big stumps, a barrel of charcoal (that's t
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