Discussion in 'Coffee House' started by BrianK, Aug 23, 2019.
In Ireland in the 1800's they banned feeding workers with fresh salmon because they got so fed up eating it ever day. Just imagine.
I am a pretty good shot myself. I remember one time going to the library one day and getting a book out on practical sniping. On the way home I was stopped by a British Army foot patrol and stopped and searched. The officer in charge looked at my book , smiled and said,
'You don't need this!'
But what I was shooting were a lot bigger than squirrells.
God forgive me.
It's not a good thing for a Christian, like myself, going round shooting folks.
Well, I got a fox squirrel with a clean head shot at 40 meters last week.
There’s an old saying in America - “Aim small, miss small.”
I figure if I can consistently hit a 3 inch (8cm) target at 40 meters with a pellet gun, I can hit “bigger” targets further away with my .223/5.56 carbine...
It’s in my blood. My direct ancestors, my great great great great grandfather Andrew Kopp and my great great great uncle George Kopp, were Pennsylvania long rifle makers from 1810 to 1865. Their most common rifles were .38 caliber squirrel guns the owners used for squirrel and other small game like rabbits and turkeys.
Squirrel was a more central and important element of the American diet than we realize today.
Our family has several of those Kopp rifles in the family today. They’re works of art.
The one in the middle here was mine but it “disappeared” when my dad passed away. I had it stored at his house.
The 22 year old son of my friend on whose property I’m currently living told me he wanted to try his hand at some basic blacksmithing, and asked me to help him locate some of the tools and equipment to get started. He knows I have a knack for finding good deals online for obscure stuff, so I started searching last week.
I’m actually going to take some basic blacksmithing classes too. I’ve always been fascinated with blacksmithing and I have some metal working under my belt from when I was building rocket mass heaters a couple years ago.
So I posted on Facebook that I was looking for an anvil, and if anyone knew where I could find one, let me know. Crazy idea, as they’re rare and usually take months or years to locate, but it was worth a try.
An old friend from State College PA contacted me minutes later and said she was trying to sell one from the estate of a 97 year old neighbor she cared for who just passed away.
It’s a very high quality collectible antique English anvil from 1870, definitely NOT something I would consider. The old guy’s children wanted way too much money for it.
Just for kicks, I made a low offer for it. I had no intention of buying it even at that price. I was talking about it with my brother and brother in law at dinner last night and showing them photos.
The friend selling it for her neighbor’s son responded that the family said I could have it for just a little more than my initial offer. I just laughed and told my brother and brother in law there was no way I was spending that much for an old anvil.
My mom was sitting next to us and overheard the conversation. So she said, “Would you use it? I’ll buy it for you.”
I said that was just too much money for an anvil, but she didn’t bat an eye and just repeated the offer.
So I messaged back and said I’d take it and be there to pick it up today.
The old friend who was selling it for the estate is a homeschooling Catholic and a good friend of my spiritual director too, so I asked him last night if he wanted to ride along while I picked up an anvil from our mutual friend an hour north of him in State College.
I picked him up at 3:00 this afternoon and we drove up to State College, loaded up the anvil, and had dinner with our friend at her house.
During dinner he mentioned he was only saying his private Novus Ordo masses in Latin now, so I asked him when was he going to learn the TLM. He said he couldn’t unless we could find him a 1962 Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) missal, as they were too expensive for him to buy one himself.
Our friend had one! She helped care for an elderly diocesan priest and got all his pre VII liturgical books when he died.
She gave all the books to my spiritual director and he promised to do his first TLM for her birthday February 2nd.
So for the next month, he’s learning the TLM!!
And I’m going to try my hand at blacksmithing now.
All wonderful news!
Talk about the Hand of God
Amen! NO denying it. Even my spiritual director said so. He’d been meaning to learn the TLM for the last year or two. He said God’s Will and God’s Providence in this situation was like a neon sign.
When things like this happen they remind me of little rainbows. Sometimes when I have been busy at work and have a day off I write a little to do list of six or seven things to get done, may of which because of the virus I never really expect to be easy or get done at all really. I always feel the Hand of God if I get them all ticked off. I always give thinks.
My husband's great grandfather was a blacksmith and wheelwright in Long Old Fields, now Forestville, Maryland. He was born c. 1840 and died in the 1920's and is buried a stone's throw from where he lived and worked. My husband inherited some of his abilities.
I built a wood fired forge out of a wash basin and a piece of angle iron to distribute the forced air, which will be introduced through a hole in the bottom. I cut a longitudinal groove in the angle to let the air into the bottom of the forge:
I lined it with perlite on the bottom as insulation then with clay about 2” to 3” thick. I found the clay in the woods here just under our thin topsoil. I fired it with a big fire and that layer turned rock hard. Then I mixed furnace cement, clay, perlite and wood ash and put another inch layer of that on top the clay as a refractory layer and fired it. Now I have the proper shaped refractory basin for a wood fired forge inside my wash basin.
I built a forced air “tuyere” (“nozzle, mouthpiece, or fixture through which the blast is delivered to the interior of a blast furnace, or to the fire of a forge“) out of a dryer vent, and cut a red neck ash clean out door into the side of the dryer vent:
Next I build a wooden frame for everything to sit on, plumbed the air tubes and picked up a cheap used farm cart to mount it all on:
Finally I found a hand cranked forge blower cheap on Facebook Marketplace to force air into the forge It will be here Saturday:
Until then, I have a 110v Intex pool inflater I found on Facebook Marketplace for $5. I’m going to hook that up as an electric blower so I can try out the forge tonight.
Let us know! This was a lot of skilled work but I know you love it.
Thanks! It’s really enjoyable to do something you’ve never tried before, and never even imagined trying!
Ran out of steam today, though. Got a lot done today - relatively, for me - but between the heart and chronic fatigue I can only do so much. Mind is willing but the flesh is weak, so to speak. So first fire tomorrow. I’ll see if I can get steel hot enough to forge on the anvil.
I’m taking a beginners blacksmithing class February 20, but I’d like to accomplish some basic tasks, like making a set blacksmith tongs, prior to this class.
Well dear Padraig, you don’t do that anymore and you asked forgiveness...it’s all good
Brian you continue to be the Renaissance Man. Well done!
It actually works!!
That antique anvil cleaned up real nice, too.
Of course, I already stupidly burned multiple fingers on my hand when I grabbed the middle of a hot piece I just took out of the forge.
But enough to remind me not to make such a boneheaded move again.
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