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Alan Longmire

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Alan Longmire last won the day on July 28

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About Alan Longmire

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  1. Are they stainless too? If so, a trip to the Spokane area pawn shops might be in order...
  2. Quite true, and I was hoping you'd chime in. If someone went to the trouble of making that pattern, there are probably a few more of these out there. Postman used an example of these no-name anvils by picturing one he was told had come from a foundry in Detroit that made steel castings for the automotive industry from the 30s through the 70s. One of the workers made an anvil pattern for a 100-lb anvil, and over the years all the employees ended up with one, as it was a fun way to use up any leftover steel in the ladle. There are at least 30, maybe more, of these, and they have slowly spread across southern Michigan and northwest Ohio as people moved and stuff found its way into yard sales and estate auctions.
  3. When I do integrals I start with round bar. It's possible to do it freehand using just the edge of the anvil and hammer, but a guillotine fuller or a jig like Billy's make it much easier. Niels has a video on how he does it, There was a tradition of forge-welding iron bolsters to steel blades, but that was more common on the continent. But enough about that. You did a great job on these and should be proud!
  4. David, this stuff: https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/metal-prep-coloring/heat-treating-accessories/anti-scale-coating-sku100002607-23076-49084.aspx?cm_mmc=cse-_-Itwine-_-shopzilla-_-100-002-607&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=connexity&utm_campaign=itwine&utm_content=100-002-607 or this, from a fellow forum member: http://nuclayer.twinoaksforge.com/ These are liquid or powder compounds that prevent oxygen from reaching the surface of the steel, thus preventing scale and decarburization. Very handy!
  5. Not a second or a knockoff. Cast anvils have the markings in raised relief as part of the manufacturing process, and as such the seconds couldn't be marked after the fact. I didn't find anything about this particular anvil in the book, but it looks very much like someone used an early Vulcan as a pattern to cast their own anvil. Easy enough with a sand mold to do that. Given that it rings, it's all steel or heat-treated ductile iron, which is a good thing. No telling who made it, unfortunately. Any steel foundry could do it. It's what Postman (author of the book) calls a no-name. Sorry to be of no help, but that's all I have.
  6. Well, you've managed to stump me, and that doesn't happen often with anvils! It looks like a Vulcan, but it's not marked like one... Definitely cast, might be cast steel, might be cast iron with a steel face, might be plain cast iron. I'm leaning towards steel-faced cast iron, just because of the obvious care in the molding that was done, along with the slight swayback and apparent line at the face/body junction. I'll try looking it up in the book, but I can't promise anything. There are a couple of things you can do to help: 1. Does it ring when tapped with a hammer? 2. If it doesn't ring, does it bounce the hammer back with a good rebound? If it rings, it's steel. If it doesn't ring, but does bounce the hammer back, it's steel-faced cast iron. If it neither rings nor bounces the hammer back, it's plain cast iron, possibly with a chilled face to be a bit harder than plain cast iron. Welcome to the madness, by the way.
  7. Daniel, the caulk trick is a bit more than that. Filling the hole and the depression doesn't do much at all. To totally kill the ring, you need to lay a solid coat of 100%silicone about 1/2" thick on the entire underside of the anvil, not including the depression or the handling hole. Let that cure for about half an hour, long enough so it's not squishy, then set it upright on the stump and let the silicone cure for at least 24 hours, then bolt the anvil down tightly. This both glues the anvil to the stump and prevents ringing by dampening the vibrations. Think of it like one of those tubular windchime things: When the tube hangs free, it's loud and has sustain. Hold the tube tight in your hand and it just goes "clunk." Plain old bolting tightly works pretty well on its own. A sheet of horse stall mat is as good as caulk if the anvil is really solidly bolted down over it. Both of these methods are much more effective than chains, buckets of sand hung from the horn or heel, and so on. And don't even think about magnets. Some people swear by slapping a big magnet under the horn, heel, or just to the side of the anvil, I swear AT them. This turns the ring into an annoying buzz as the magnets vibrate and makes all the scale stick to the now-magnetized anvil. Of course, this is for ordinary anvils. That beast Kenon has here is a giant tuning fork, and might need both the caulk/bolting AND the bucket of sand on the horn to keep it quiet!
  8. What Alex said. I take most blades to 400 grit before heat treating. I use anti-scale powder so I don't need the post-HT vinegar soak, but it works well and saves sandpaper. Also what Alex said, looking good!
  9. Thanks! Integral bolsters are easier than you'd think. Lot of filework, but considering what you've done with the brass and so on, you can do it easily.
  10. Just a cultural variation, as far as I know. Maybe like some of the later pattern-welded blades, sort of a "Just how hard on myself can I make this" sort of thing as a status display. They are not common, nor do they appear in the archaeological record for very long. Maybe it was a single clan of germanic tribesmen advertising their OCD?
  11. The finished (mostly) product looks good! Nice even grinds, good lines. I wouldn't grind more, that's just asking for trouble in the quench. Call it a heavy chopper. How thick is your starting stock? Anything thinner than around 3mm is a pain to forge on edge like that, for that very reason. Good save, though!
  12. Nice work! They are a little wide, but that's no big deal. Next time, if you want to add some complexity, try forging them with integral bolsters. Excellent job on the sheaths, especially!
  13. But it's a dry heat... (ducks and runs) Seriously though, that's too hot no matter what, but a couple days ago we had 96 at 90% relative humidity. Just rolling your eyes caused sweat-storms of titanic proportions.
  14. The other guys beat me to it! It is indeed a coachmakers' anvil, made in 1842. That little side horn is the thing that makes it one. William Fosters are nice, because they are always stamped with the date they were made, which is rare on English anvils. It was made in the area northwest of greater Birmingham, England, called "The Black Country" for all the heavy manufacturing that went in back in the day. Somewhere in the vicinity of Wolverhampton or Dudley, if you look it up on a map. It is made of wrought iron with a thin steel face. For this reason among others, trying to fix the chipped edges by welding would do more harm than good, and trying to mill it flat would ruin it completely. Like Geoff said, it's in excellent shape for its age! All it needs is to be used and it'll clean up well. Don't let anyone tell you it needs to be fixed, it's perfect the way it is. The holes in the body are handling holes. When it was made by forge-welding together many lumps of wrought iron, they were used to hold the thing in place. Then after the face was forge-welded on, the hole in the bottom was used to "steer" it while the face was ground smooth on a large stone wheel. While it is old, it's not an antique by anvil standards. The side horn adds some value because it's a rare feature. As for what it's worth, that depends entirely on where you are and how fast you want to get rid of it! You're in a place (admins can see your IP address and can figure it out from there) that has more anvils floating around than most, which does lower your local price a bit. Someone may drive to pick it up, though, which evens things out. If you want an estimate of fair market value, send me a private message.
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