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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. Nice work as always Alan. I finally got a drift a couple weeks ago, you're inspiring me to try it out someday soon. Michael
  2. Some day when I have the money I'll go with either the Iron Kiss or the Phoenix. I got to try the Phoenix for a few minutes at Harley's and it's a monster. It just sat on a wood pallet on the dirt floor and that seemed to work fine, it didn't bounce or even shift a bit. I've been following the posts on the Iron Kiss for several years now on keenjunk until it went under, and on forgemagic since then, and haven't seen anyone else share as much in print anywhere about fine tuning the performance of power hammers. Plus, given the choice between supporting makers here or in China, I'd personally mu
  3. Hey engineerboy, I've got one I'm fairly certain is a PW but the logo isn't visible (but the hundredweight marks are). It's not like-new (there is a bit of sway etc) but it's marked equal to 171 pounds and I'm trying to sell it for $325*. So if yours is mint then 450 is a good deal, but otherwise it may be a bit high. Deep cracks would be bad, small ones can be ground out or worked around. Pits can be sanded/ground out if there's enough of the face left when you're done. Most anvils that age will have a few pits and some sway, and often one edge rolled over a bit from use. If the ring and
  4. Amazing work Jake. Hey Alan, got any extra room in the truck? Michael
  5. Beautiful work Ric. I'm impressed by the degree to which each of your pieces is unique. Michael
  6. Thanks guys. Jesse, the tuyere is actually a 2 inch pipe to fit the blower, but what's not visible in the pictures is that it steps down to 1 inch or slightly smaller where it enters the wall. Probably I need some more mud, or duct tape, to get a better seal on the end where the blower connects to the pipe. This time I just set it next to it, and some air leaked out even though a lot went in. Also, I had the air intake on the blower choked down about halfway. Should I worry about too much air going in, or open it up more (presumably giving a higher temp inside)? Here's another pic, sorry i
  7. and here's a 'before' picture of the ingredients:
  8. Thanks guys. Alan, here's a pic of it fired up:
  9. Well, I tried my first bloomery run but got no iron for my troubles. I'm pretty sure I used too little charcoal, and I know the tuyere got partly plugged with slag at some point. What I did get was many pounds of some really dense material that I think is slag saturated with dissolved iron. It's dark greenish black and heavy like iron but grinds to a slightly shiny black surface, no silvery iron shininess in it at all. Other parts of the stuff look a lot like a bloom but aren't. Each part just shatters under the hammer no matter how hot I get it. It is somewhat magnetic so that must be where a
  10. Thanks again Jesse. I think I understand the process, but I need to get the book you mention and do some more reading before I'll be able to get all the terms correct. Just one more question for you and Mike for right now (hope I'm getting the chemistry right off the top of my head). I believe if I add CaCO3 in small particle size (sand to powder range I think?), the heat drives off the CO2 and what's left in the slag is CaO. If this is correct, does this liberated CO2 do something beneficial or is only the CaO in the slag the important part? Perhaps it initially comes off as CO and helps
  11. Thanks Jesse, I was thinking I probably would go with calcium rather than sand. Some of my charcoal is gathered from brush fires, and probably has a bit of naturally scraped up sand in it as well. I think I'll build a wood fire for preheat, then add a blower as it turns to charcoal. Something constructive to do with all the pine cones and small branches the trees keep dropping in the dirt that I call a back yard Do you fill all the way to the top with charcoal and then add the first charge as it burns down? I missed the very beginning of the tatara at Harley's but I think I understood th
  12. Jesse, what was your preheat time and run time on the cob model? That's a very cool photo by the way. How long a preheat would you suggest if using only wood/charcoal and a blower? Does the cob get hot to the touch on the outside at any point? I've constructed one about the same size/shape as your cob model and am intending to try a first run using hammer scale as the ore source. Just wondering how much time I should estimate for an entire run and what else to expect. Thanks, Michael
  13. Here's one of Alan demonstrating engraving by putting the runes for 'mjollnir' on the side of my diagonal pein hammer, a special thanks also to Jake for writing the runes: and a big whopper piece of rebar heating in Chris Price's washtub forge, with a little help from a propane weed burner (just visible at the right side): There are lots of photos posted by several folks over at the Outpost forum for those who may wish to see more. As everyone has noted, it was an amazing weekend. Sensory overload, in fact. Thanks to all and especially to Larry Harley. Michael
  14. Nice work Jesus. I enjoyed meeting you at Harley's, hope I have more chance to talk and look at your work next year. Michael
  15. Mike, I hate to disagree, but borax is sodium tetraborate decahydrate, at least that's what my box of 20 mule team says. So it may produce some sodium flare. Of course I have no idea what safety glasses this fact may require, just wanted to point it out for accuracy's sake. Michael
  16. mmm, homebrew mmm, especially mead. I think I have a bottle on reserve to bring to Harley's again this year. Will be seven years old, older than my either of my kids. If I find I still have two bottles left, I'll bring the drinking horn (it holds two). and back on the tobacco topic... not that I want to hear if any of you have tried it--really--but I recall reading this book about tobacco shamanism in South America...apparently tobacco enemas were not uncommon...now there's a buzz Michael
  17. Cool! I used to have a 1/2-220 on my grinder but since moving I only have 120v in my shop so I'm down to a 1/3 hp at 120v and it really is barely adequate. 2hp must be really nice. Michael
  18. now all you need are some grits...
  19. Interesting topic Brian. For me, respect for Don and his knowledge and philosophy go a long way. Plus it's immediately obvious that the level of expertise around here is tremendous, which is not the case on many other sites. I post elsewhere fairly regularly when I believe I have a useful contribution to make to a discussion, but here I find I read a lot more often than I write. Soon I hope to be capable of making a blade nice enough to share here. BTW thank you Don. Michael
  20. It looks Persian-influenced, maybe Mediterranean too, still I don't know what I would call it except 'beautiful work.'
  21. pre-1982 US pennies were 'solid' copper (maybe a high-copper alloy?), since then they have been a zinc core with a thin copper skin. The newer ones will melt and fall apart under flame from a propane plumbing torch. A chemistry geek trick: make a small scratch on the edge of a newer penny and soak it in dilute hydrochloric acid for a couple days. The acid will dissolve the zinc center but leave the copper skin. If you do it just right, the skin will fill with the hydrogen bubbles liberated by the reaction, and the penny will look the same but will begin to float.
  22. Beautiful work! I found some neat tables online here: http://www.copper.org/resourc....bs.html Looks like your Cu/Ni/Zn alloy is what is here called nickel silver (sometimes also called German silver I think). Funny name since it doesn't have any silver in it, I suppose it looks like silver though. Michael
  23. I posted this on SFI's classifieds also but no one seems to be interested over there. Vulcan, made 1943, weighs 131 on my bathroom scale but I'm conservatively guessing and pricing based on 125 lbs. 1 inch hardie and 1/2 inch pritchel. Good condition, square edges, no repairs apparent. Face is 12 1/2 inches long. I'm asking $2 per pound or $250 if picked up in Durham NC or I'll consider shipping it at buyer's expense.
  24. Michael Stuart

    anvils

    I probably wouldn't mess with it unless they are in the way somehow. My PW has the same issue, on the old wrought-body anvils the wrought is soft enough to move over the 50 or 100 years of pounding they have taken, so the steel top plate slumps over. The slumped part makes a good wide curve when you want a smaller radius than on the horn, or if you need to pound harder while still having the body of the anvil underneath the blows. I think the Fisher co. used the slumping in their ads to say that their cast iron/steel face process anvils were superior to the wrought body ones, since the cast ir
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