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About ChrisBriggs

  • Birthday 02/07/1981

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Whitehall, Michigan
  • Interests
    Firearms (the blacker the better) and coffee (also the blacker the better), blades of all flavors specifically tactical, ancient/vintage edged weapons of war, hunting/fishing (A LOT, like I've lost jobs because I was hunting/fishing too much).

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  1. I’ve got probably at least 50 railroad spring anchors/clips that I’m told are about equivalent to 1060 steel as well as probably at least 50 railroad spikes. Asking $5 each for the clips and $2 each for the spikes. Varying degrees of quality but all are extremely forgeable. Can be mailed or picked up locally in Muskegon, MI area. Could also consider discounts for quantity purchases. Would also consider trades for other smithing items. Whatcha got? I also have a 25 foot section of railroad tracks that could be cut and used for small anvils. That wouldn’t be able to be mailed- obviously. Thanks for taking a look! Message me and I’ll get back with you as soon as possible. thanks, chris
  2. Jaro, first off- amazing build! Second- how did you bend your leaf springs? thanks!!!
  3. So this is a VERY initial post on this. I‘M not sure yet where this will take me but not unlike every other project I’ve undertaken I’m sure it will end up somewhere interesting. I don’t make plans or have expectations because inevitably I end up at some entirely unexpected end or beginning to some new adventure. That being said, I collected some teconite while on an impromptu family vacation/road trip. In an ancient land far, far but not too far away from my humble west Michigan pastures....in a land called “Da Yoop” my first step into MAKING my own steel began.... Oh yeah, I put my family to work too. Cheap labor, ya know? Will be collecting more over the next couple days. Labor strikes may force my hand if work conditions don’t improve. Or so I’m told. Ice cream MUST be provided as well as shade breaks at least ten minutes every hour.
  4. Yeah, I did. I used a series of levers and bar stock as rollers and moved it Great Pyramid/Easter Island style.
  5. I’ve been in the process of (slowly) acquiring materials for a pneumatic power hammer build for quite some time now. A hammer hand sided chronic elbow injury, social distancing, and some time off work have allowed me and prompted me to get up off my third point of contact and kick this mule into gear. I picked up the last major component (a base plate) yesterday with my cohort in crime- Jeremy Blohm AKA Benona Blacksmith. We went up north (to Scottville, MI) and grabbed a 1/2” plate that measures just a hair over 48” x 48”. Weight is estimated at around 350 pounds, like an intoxicated south Mississippian driver pulled over on Live PD. I’ve got a boat load of good quality extra material for reinforcement, brackets, and general beautification and badassery. Lots of grinder blades, welding rod, and various whatsitcalleds. Shaping up to be a long and passionate relationship.....
  6. Don't forget I've got more of that big 12" steel pipe. The one biggest piece I have is 7'10". I could help you load it up and we'd still be at least six feet apart. Social distancing loop hole, boom!!! Roasted!
  7. I've made a couple of these- one from mild steel and one from O1. I haven't noticed a difference. The mild works and holds up just as well. I made the one fullering tool out of O1 because I happened to have a TON of O1 and I happened to have some that was the right size.
  8. I'm an AVID shooter. I reload a fair portion of my brass however I also have a lot of brass that I don't reload for- obviously .22LR being one of those. I paid my kids (7 and 10) $5 a piece to pick up spent .22 up at my home for an hour. I uh, got a decent pile. I had been working on a small home foundry for recycling my brass, some aluminum I acquired, among other things I have found. I melted down a couple hundred .22 cases and ended up with this. Clearly not a perfect casting. It was my first attempt. But I can definitely see where there is utility in doing this. I'm aware of the concerns with zinc, hexavalent chromium etc so I ensured it was done outdoors with a good fan blowing over it, wore a good respirator (which has not been repurposed-I work in a hospital- so I'm sure you all understand...LOL) so forth. I've also melted down a bunch of old one inch copper tube. It is a little bit more finicky but also can be done. I understand copper needs to be melted in a much more anoxic environment so I throw a chunk of coal in the furnace along with it. All that being said I can definitely see using spent cases to melt down into furniture for a blade such as Clifford Brewer mentioned if you're into growing your hobby and making as many parts of a blade as possible. I like the idea of each part having a "story" so to speak. So being able to say "yeah, I melted down (insert cases here) for the pummel, guard...". Just my .02- oh wait, I need that .02 back, pay cuts and all....
  9. I've got the vast majority of the materials to do a build like this. It's been on my list of things to do. I have been planning to build it once the zombie apocalypse started and I was no longer working. However, I never anticipated the zombie apocalypse would be a zombie VIRUS apocalypse and that it would require me to work MORE. However, once I can practice a little less social distancing I'll have Jeremy Blohm over to help me get some work done. I need to get smarter on the valves for this. I understand the principles of plumbing this, how the air cylinder operates and so forth. But when it comes to the valves and such what I read doesn't exactly match up with the items I find available through various suppliers. I bought "the book" for this build and it is a pretty good start. But I know I've still got education to gather. Well, back to the zombie hordes....I got a crawler at the door! Gotta get the crossbow! If I don't make it, Jeremy, you can have my tools and sh*t!!!
  10. Yeah, I was looking into paper from various suppliers and was PRAYING for a local supply because I'm 'Merican and impatient! LOL!!! No real pressing matter other than the ADD (and probably a brain injury or two...I can't remember ) and it hit me that I NEEDED it. By pure coincidence one of the suppliers I found on the interwebs was located within minutes of home/work. So I blasted down...only to realize it was 'tha Lord's Day...So I went back...uh...later....and, ta-da! I was welcomed into an abrasive shop that was in the original building dating back to the mid 1880's or so. Again, memory...from the drain bamage, I mean brain damage...I was impressed to find a WAREHOUSE of enough abrasives to last ALL OF US FOREVER!!! Literally everything from tiny 1" x 30" to MASSIVE like 48" x 120' (YES FEET!) Ok, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but they had ROLLS of stuff that can be made into any size belt you want. I got twenty three (I think) 2" x 72" belts for $103. Only caveat was telling the wife why this was such a savings....snicker...she BOUGHT IT!!! Oh my gosh! I tossed the receipt...just more evidence for her to find later..."I thought you were at WORK?" ...busted...meh, life goes on. Or it doesn't and this is the zombie apocalypse. The Walking Dead wasn't entertainment...It was a training film. Dang...the ADHD got me again...well, back to the horde...OH YEAH THE PLACE IS CALLED ECONOWAY IN GRAND HAVEN MI. THE ENTIRE REASON FOR THIS POST...DEAR GOD...NO MORE REDBULL!!!!!!!
  11. Hey all, thanks for the responses. It has been a bit since I was last on here and had the chance to respond. Upon starting to follow up on my initial post I had wanted to thank each of you individually for your advice however there are enough that I don't have time to thank each individually. So I will say "THANKS!" en masse. A couple things, yes, I have seen a doctor, not just diagnosing myself. I have a rule in my house- I don't treat (or diagnose) my family or myself. That goes badly all too often. I did abandon my hammer hand glove (my left as I am a devoted south paw, like, pathologically LOL) several years ago as I realized I was gripping the hammer like I was Lenny. heh... Alan, thanks for the link. I wasn't aware that there was a section on this in the shop safety area. I don't get to get on here often enough to be truly familiar with the site. A lot of you mentioned having to lay off for however long it takes to recover before I get back hammerin'. Yup, I got that part on lock. It's bad enough that I uh, don't really have a choice. I tried just a few minutes the other day as I have laid off for like a month and it was starting to feel a bit better- or so I told me. The pain was rough enough that I was unable to sleep that night in spite of all my attempts, chemical or otherwise. Although I'm smart enough to know "right from wrong" in this sense I'm also an alpha male and have always survived and thrived (Army infantry for about 15 years so....use your imagination) by "working through" pain, adversity and so on. But I get older every day and that alpha male mentality seems to haunt me more and more. I can't just muscle through everything. I've been guilty of using brute force, a bigger hammer (figuratively and literally), and generally just mongoloid manners to accomplish things. I started learning this craft without any kind of mentorship, guidance etc. I was doing this without even being aware of this site for like 3 years. So body mechanics, hammer technique etc never even crossed my mind. So here I am, working on those things now. This is the longest post/response I think I've ever made so I believe my free time limit has been reached...time to ghost out for a while. Thanks again all, truly, for all the advice. I've got things to try now beyond just the medical side. THANK YOU!!!!
  12. Hey thanks for the idea Tim! I hadn't thought of the wiring there being an issue. I THOUGHT it was right but now that you mention the idea, it is like leaving the house and second guessing whether or not you turned the lights off and locked the door. You KNOW you did, then you THINK you did, then you WONDER if you did... As far as my VFD, I have tried multiple settings ad nauseum. I have now read the manual OVER and OVER again to the point that I know it by heart. Literally. I've sent emails to the manufacturer. Nobody has yet suggested that the motor could be the issue. It is a VERY high quality motor that I got brand new in the box from someone who didn't know what they had. So given that I am as confident in my VFD settings as I can possibly be, checking the motor is the next course of action. Thanks a ton!!!
  13. I recently built my first 2"x72" belt grinder and it runs GREAT!!! Everything tracks dead on straight. It's super strong, super stable and generally bad a$$! HOWEVER- I've got what I believe is a problem with a programming parameter on the VFD. Let me note the tech specs then I'll describe the problem and see if anyone has any input from there. Thanks. 1hp, 3 phase SEW-EURODRIVE motor TEFC 60Hz, Volts: 230YY/460Y Amps: 3.70/1.85 Duty: continuous RPM: CT 300-1800/10-60Hz. Ins Class: F Other pertinent data: I'm running a SOYAN SVD-E phase converter that seems like a pretty decent piece. Everything seems to run well. I don't have the specific technical details in front of me now however I believe it is rated at 3.0kW and it does run my machine. I've got a 4" drive wheel, a bunch of new various types of belts. Nothing else pertinent I can come up with. I'm at work so I don't know what I currently have my parameters set at however I've tried many. Here is my issue. It seems to run with adequate speed but ZERO torque. If I TOUCH a piece of steel (even just mild round bar) to the belt it will grind the metal ever so slowly but will not even throw sparks. If I put basically as little as one finger pressure against the bar on the belt it will be enough to stop the belt from running. If I remove said pressure it returns to running well. I don't have an RPM counter on it but it seems to my perception to be running at about that max of 1800rpms but like I said, it seems to run with NO torque. It is ALMOST impossible to get it to spark. I get that it isn't a 3450rpm motor and I follow that it is only a 4" drive wheel. But am I wrong in assuming that I should be able to do some kind of reasonable grinding with it? If I were to attempt shaping or any kind of stock removal on even the thinnest of a billet I'd be there for DAYS. I did recently acquire a 3hp, 1ph, 220v 3450 motor and a 7" drive wheel as well as most of the other necessary components to craft another even more serious beast.... But I've put a lot of work into my other grinder design, development, fine tuning, parts, labor etc and I would like to get acceptable performance out of it. Any thoughts? Thanks again, Chris from Michigan
  14. My question up front is this: is there a proper way, a proper form, or some other factor used to avoid or minimize the onset, impact, or severity of chronic overuse injuries? What does everyone else out there do to manage things like this? So a little context. I'm a Physician Assistant in an interventional pain clinic; I'm a prior soldier (Army, infantry and PA as well for total of 15 years), and I've been smithing for about 4 years, although more seriously (consistently, usually 3-6 hours/day, at least 3-4 days/week) over the last 2-3 years. I've begun noticing some chronic aches and pains over the last about 12-18 months. Most specifically my left elbow (I hammer with my left hand). I've got "lateral epicondylitis" or "tennis elbow" that WAS a minor annoyance which was initially fairly responsive to the typical self care techniques I preach day in and day out- rest/avoidance of aggravating activity (the hardest of them all ), ice, compression, elevation, NSAID (Ibuprofen or similar) use routinely, Tylenol as needed, etc. Currently using basically all of the above plus a compression sleeve a few hours here and there. The pain does seem to respond and decrease by maybe 30% as long as I don't hammer. That only remains an option for so long!!! LOL Now the pain is becoming less responsive, more intense, and when I do hammer (which has been only minimal over the last ~2 weeks) I can only hammer for a few minutes before I'm unwilling to continue worsening the pain. The pain gets bad enough that I find even holding a hammer to be difficult to the point that I've dropped my hammer or lost control of it. Now like I said, I'm a Pain Service Physician Assistant and I know what I would say to my patients ("like it or not you may have to stop doing the aggravating activity") but let us all be honest- that isn't happening. For real. I would truly appreciate any input anyone might have. Thanks a ton!!!! Respectfully, Chris in Michigan
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