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52CommentsEverton, ARJoined May 28th, 2009
I've been a professional metal smith since 1967. I've done metalwork since about the age of 9. I am primarily a blacksmith, but have done goldsmithing, silversmithing, coppersmithing, forged titanium, bronze, brass, pewter. I've done a fair amount of aluminum casting, some brass and bronze, and I've taught and demonstrated my skills all over North America. I play Celtic music, folk music, rock and blues and have been in several bands. I am interested in sailing and canoeing, learned spin... Read More »

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  • Steelsmith1 commented on mlawing's instructable Level an Above-Ground Pool5 weeks ago
    Level an Above-Ground Pool

    The basic method works here, but our ground is 1/2 rock, so the 2" x 4" does not move any dirt, and all rocks have to be removed carefully. We put old carpeting down to cushion the bottom of the pool from the rocks which stick up. Much more time consuming that where the ground is not so rocky! Good Instructable

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  • Easy to Make and Use Vise Mounted Bending Tool.

    Rather than rounding a jaw on a vice, make sheet metal inserts whee the metal is bent at how ever sharp the edge of the vise is. The thicker the sheet metal the larger the radius. 2 or 3 of these should suffice for most things and will leave your vice with it's original jaws. I dislike modifying things like vise jaws permanently when a simple insert will do the job, especially on a jig that is clamped in the vice only part of the time.

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  • Steelsmith1 commented on Metal_maestro's instructable Shop Cheats: Welder's Brake6 months ago
    Shop Cheats: Welder's Brake

    If you're cutting thicker metal and your plasma won't pierce it, take a drill and a small bit, say 1/8 and drill a hole to start the cut. I worked with a very good metal worker from Guatemala who used a cold chisel he rounded the edge on to crease some sheet metal he was bending with no break, and then he bent the metal with the crease on the inside. In this case there was no need to weld where the bend was and it did a neat job.

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  • 10 MORE Bench Vise Tips, Tricks, & Hacks (Part 2)

    You can case harden a bolt like the tap is made out of if you first remove the plating. You can do that in muriatic (diluted hydrochloric acid) acid or vinegar. Vinegar takes longer but is much nicer to work with. After the plating is gone passivate the acid by rinsing in clean water, then putting baking soda in the water. To harden the bolt you have to heat it to a birght red, and melt sugar on it. leave hot for a while , wire brush with a hand, not power wire brushand melt and carbonize the sugar on it at a red heat P(this is red in dull light, not sunlight. Do this 3 times, then cool in cold water from the bright red heat. This will put a shallow very hard case hardening on the bolt's threads. Unless the plating is gone this will not work.

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  • Steelsmith1 commented on pfred2's instructable Make an Acme Tap1 year ago
    Make an Acme Tap

    Don't know what you have to harden in. I have forges, BUT, you can usually successfully do a shallow case harden by heating to a red in a dark shop or shaded area, and melting table sugar on the piece. Do it several to half a dozen times, make sure it is a bright red for only a short period of time and quench in water. Be careful--- you cannot do this if the metal is plated, and heating plated metal is very bad on your health. If it is plated, you can remove the plating in muriatic( 30% roughly hydrochloric ) , put the piece in the acid in a well ventilated area away from ALL iron and steel tools and electronics. As soon as the acid stops foaming, rinse of in water and pacify with baking soda and water, Then case harden as above. If you have a forge type thing, put the piece in a ...

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    Don't know what you have to harden in. I have forges, BUT, you can usually successfully do a shallow case harden by heating to a red in a dark shop or shaded area, and melting table sugar on the piece. Do it several to half a dozen times, make sure it is a bright red for only a short period of time and quench in water. Be careful--- you cannot do this if the metal is plated, and heating plated metal is very bad on your health. If it is plated, you can remove the plating in muriatic( 30% roughly hydrochloric ) , put the piece in the acid in a well ventilated area away from ALL iron and steel tools and electronics. As soon as the acid stops foaming, rinse of in water and pacify with baking soda and water, Then case harden as above. If you have a forge type thing, put the piece in a steel tube lightly blocked, (so pressure will not build up) filled with anything from white paper to sawdust to bone meal, rahide scrapps, horsehhof, or sugar, make wsure there is only a tiny hole on each end and make sure you can get the piece out very quickly. Heat to a "cherry red"- 1550 F. or so, for a hour, and open the tube, dump directly into cold water. The surface should be hard enough a file will not cut it. I have made mtal taps out of bolts doing this.

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  • Medium sized DIY - CNC 20" x 30" work area

    I have often used metal from steel cans and aluminum cans for shims when I couldn't get the proper ones, and often it has worked permanently. McMaster-Carr and a lot of other places sell shims. I wold give it a try. While your machine is working without the shims, it may eventually cause some problems down the line. Very nice build and article.

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  • Steelsmith1 commented on Phil B's instructable Twist Drill Sharpening Helper1 year ago
    Twist Drill Sharpening Helper

    Some years ago I had a studnet who had taught NATO personel to sharpen drills. While not the exact , perfect angle, he used a jig made of two large nuts either tacked or super glued together. The drill was sharpened to fit in the V .formed by the 2 nuts. This is 1 degree off of the "perfect: angle.

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  • Terrible Teeth Mask for less than $20 -Glasses compatible-

    Great Instructable. The fact that you made it glasses compatible was great, and it gives me ideas for other glasses compatible outfits. Thank you!

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  • Make your own charcoal at home (Video)

    If you use wood in a forge for blacksmithing the heat comes from charcoal as the wood burns into charcoal in the fire. The drawback is the woodsmoke, which really burns your eyes and lungs, and that for a large fire you need a large pie of wood burning to coals. There is a very nice commercial forge you can find a link to if you put forging with wood into search engine. The recommend burning charcoal for hammer welding. Charcoal takes experience to use for forging, but it was preferred for forging tool steels as it doesn't have sulfur as an impurity as most coal does. Coal is used by solid fuel smiths because it is cheap and works well, but it needs to be a high BTU, low volatility coal with as little sulfur and phosphorus as possible. Pocahontus #2 is considered a decent standa...

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    If you use wood in a forge for blacksmithing the heat comes from charcoal as the wood burns into charcoal in the fire. The drawback is the woodsmoke, which really burns your eyes and lungs, and that for a large fire you need a large pie of wood burning to coals. There is a very nice commercial forge you can find a link to if you put forging with wood into search engine. The recommend burning charcoal for hammer welding. Charcoal takes experience to use for forging, but it was preferred for forging tool steels as it doesn't have sulfur as an impurity as most coal does. Coal is used by solid fuel smiths because it is cheap and works well, but it needs to be a high BTU, low volatility coal with as little sulfur and phosphorus as possible. Pocahontus #2 is considered a decent standard for blacksmithing coal. As with wood, coal smoke is bad to be around. Charcoal and coke, the equivalent of charcoal made out of coal, need to be used with good ventilation,as the carbon monoxide from them is hazardous and can easily kill or damage you. Wood or coal also has carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion of carbon, will burn with a flame with oxygen, and then turns into CO2. In your body it ties up hemoglobin,which is the same thing cyanide gas does.

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  • Steelsmith1 commented on marcus2015's instructable Make your own lye1 year ago
    Make your own lye

    What was called wood ash lye certainly was and is made from wood ashes. It does not matter just what is in it exactly but it was used for millennia for making soap. I have no doubt that modern science is much better.<http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html> describes making it and using it for making biodiesel and has a link to a book on making soap with it. My Grandmother and Grandfather (born in the 1880's) made their own wood ash lye, using a wooden hopper with straw in the bottom to filter the solution in a stone trough I presume my grandfather made, as he was a stone mason. For laundry my grandmother mixed lard and wood ash and boiled the clothes with this in a wash boiler and called it "soft soap" . While I use Wikipedia a lot, everything in it is n...

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    What was called wood ash lye certainly was and is made from wood ashes. It does not matter just what is in it exactly but it was used for millennia for making soap. I have no doubt that modern science is much better.<http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_ashlye.html> describes making it and using it for making biodiesel and has a link to a book on making soap with it. My Grandmother and Grandfather (born in the 1880's) made their own wood ash lye, using a wooden hopper with straw in the bottom to filter the solution in a stone trough I presume my grandfather made, as he was a stone mason. For laundry my grandmother mixed lard and wood ash and boiled the clothes with this in a wash boiler and called it "soft soap" . While I use Wikipedia a lot, everything in it is not the only way things were done. A web search on making soap in Colonial days will give links to the fact that lye made from wood ash was used. It may well have a lot of carbonates in it. So, this is a valid process that was used in soap making. I can attest that a bunch of wood ashes and water will dissolve your skin. I have never done a chemical analysis on it, but it is a strong alkali.

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