Archive for April, 2012

Found a new coke dealer

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I just bought 150 Kg of coke from a new supplier!

Okay, now that Echelon has flagged these suspicious keywords, and I have the attention of the fine folks at the CSE (howdy folks – thanks for the great work you do!); it’s not what you think. I’m talking about roasted coal, not drugs.

So far, I’ve been burning hardwood charcoal. It’s not bad. It gets nice and hot, has very little smoke, and lights quickly and easily. But you burn through a lot of it! It’s also bad for sparks. I actually have a bag of coal too, but being in an urban setting, I can’t risk offending the neighbours with the smoke.

A number of other smiths have recommended burning coke. The problem, is that it’s not easy to come by (at least not around here). OABA does a ‘group run’ to an industrial supplier a couple of times a year, but I missed the last one, and the next isn’t for a while. Besides that, I’m pretty sure most of the guys who go, buy in bulk. I don’t want to commit to buying too much until I’ve tried working with it first.

I recently found out about a gentlemen, not too far from me, who sells it by the 50 Kg bag. I just grabbed 3 bags from him so I can try it. I’m very curious how it compares to charcoal.

A larger forge

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

I’ve got to stop looking on Kijiji. This forge came up, and I just couldn’t let it go.

The blower turns smoothly in both directions, and moves a lot of air. The forge itself is a bit rusted, but not too bad. It’ll probably need new legs. The firepot isn’t in great shape, but does have some life left in it.

I plan to use this as my main forge, likely with the electric blower hooked up to it. The hand-cranked blower is in great shape, and wouldn’t take too much to restore it. Could hold onto it for future use, or sell it. Once this is up & running, I want to do a complete restoration on the small forge… see if I can perhaps get rid of that wobble.

Back to school

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

It’s official, after many years away from a classroom, I’m going back to school.

I have been accepted into the fall 2012 Heritage Conservation program at the School of Restoration Arts at Willowbank.

I cannot begin to tell you how exciting this is for me! This is going to be a long, long summer.

I was hacked!

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Grrr, I found out this morning that my site had been hacked!!!

It’s back up now, and with some security upgrades … I don’t have the time nor inclination to restore a backup at the moment.  Will have to see if the upgrades, etc. are sufficient before I put too much effort into rebuilding it.  What a complete and utter pain in the…….

My new post vise

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

The gentleman I bought my anvil and electric blower from, also had a couple of vises. The bigger one was already spoken for, but he had another that needed some work.

The jaws move, but are stiff. The screw is good. It’s missing the spring and mounting bracket. But for $75, it’s worth fixing (note: I understand these are fairly easy to get in some places, but where I live is not one of them. They’re rare here, and always sell for a high price).

This is a temporary stand I whacked together out of left over 6″x material. I just wanted to get the vise off the ground so that a) I can work on fixing it, and b) so I’d stop tripping on it.

The guy I bought the vise from threw in an automotive leaf spring, which is what he’d planned on making a new spring from.

Hmm, I’m thinking that the new heavy stump is about the right height for this…


Monday, April 2nd, 2012

No sooner had I built my ‘stump’ out of 6″x6″ posts, than my wife says to me “You know, now that you have an anvil stand, you’re going to see free tree stumps all over the place“.

She was right.

This is about 300 lbs of hard maple. I was doing some renovations over at my sister-in-law’s house, and the neighbour was having a tree removed. I took a walk over to talk to the guys when they appeared to be on a break (I hate interrupting people while they’re working) and 10 minutes later, I had this.

The photo doesn’t do this stump justice – it’s massive. I could barely push it up the slight grade of the driveway, and it bent the axle on my dolly.

It’s actually a bit too big for my little anvil, but I’m sure I can put it to good use.