Nostalgic Lead Fluxing And Ingot Pouring

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  • Last Post 12 September 2022
mashburn posted this 24 August 2022

For the last several years I do all of my bullet metal melting for ingots on my Dad's old coal blacksmith forge. I use either coal or charcoal for fuel. I have some hard coal pellets, but they are so much harder to get burning that I don't use them much. I have three fire bricks set around the fire and set a big cast iron skillet on the bricks. With the large skillet I don't have to bother with cutting the metal in small pieces, I just put them in the skillet and melt them. That saves a lot of time and aggravation.Once they are melted, I skim off all of the trash and then I give them a good fluxing and start pouring ingots,I also flux the metal often while pouring ingots. I keep a couple of extra fire bricks setting close so when the skillet starts getting too hot, I can slide the skillet onto them. My biggest problem is, I've got to get more ingot molds It don't take long before the molds get so hot that it takes forever to cool and be dumped.

My forge has a long history with my family. Here in the Hillbilly country of Southeastern Oklahoma up through the late forties and early fifties there were more farmers using teams of mules and horses to draft farm implements than there were those who used tractors .My dad had a nice blacksmith shop under a giant post-oak tree At one time he had his blacksmith shop in a large sheet iron building. I can't remember if it burned or what happened .I was very young at that time.His old Lancaster blower is what I still have. I spent many happy hours watching him do such things as sharpen implement plows, make his own horse shoes, build farm implements from scratch and such. He would always let his neighbors come and use his shop and all he expected in return was that they bring enough coal to replace what they used.

I have that same old Lancaster blower setting under another big post oak tree between my two shops. Back when I was teaching industrial technology in high school, I had this blower ,an anvil on a stump and a pile of coal setting in front of the school metals shop. It was amazing to see how many parents come by to watch what we were doing. They were amazed to say the least. And best of all, my students of the past still talk to me about it. They loved it.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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Aaron posted this 24 August 2022

I fear that the skills some of us learned from our fathers are being lost rather quickly. The younger generations have no need of them nor the "time" required to adopt or learn them. We have become a nation and society of dumb-* video gamers and reality avoidance light-weights. Very few can even change a tire now.

I guess this is great for those in the service industry but from what I have seen of the service industry "professionals", I would rather do it myself. Better.

I recall as a kid hanging out with craftsmen to simply watch them ply their trades. Boy I wish I had taken shop in high school rather than Latin! I drool every time I see a lathe now and wish I had one to do all the little jobs I need done or to make a tool I need.

 

With rifle in hand, I confidently go forth into the darkness.

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Dukem posted this 28 August 2022

Just gave the last of my smithing gear to a younger friend for him and his son along with all of the books on the subject. Within days they sent me a photo of the 10 years old's first "S" hook.

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Eutectic posted this 30 August 2022

I was extremely lucky. My Dad taught industrial arts. He was a licensed architect, plumber, and electrician. Our garage was a shop, lathe, drill press, gas welding rig. We worked on cars, boats, appliances. We rebuilt engines for several cars. I have worked on everything on a car except automatic transmissions. We had an air compressor and a professional spray rig, I have painted cars and boats.  I was a gun nut so I made a shotgun, several pistols  and a couple of 1 inch bore cannons. We cast our own fishing sinkers so it was just natural to cast bullets for my first center fire rifle. One Christmas I got a tool box and tools, I was ecstatic! I still have them, good tools can last forever.

In college I needed a new clutch so I rented a lift bay on a weekend when a local shop was closed and a friend and I did a clutch job and bearing replacement. I thought this was normal, my friends were amazed you could do something like that. I guess I missed out on the video games.

Steve

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mashburn posted this 03 September 2022

Aaron

They teach high school students everything except skills to earn a living, Most high schools have dropped their industrial arts or industrial technology programs. I look back at the years that I taught and guess what, my technology students could buy the other students, as far as money is concerned. There are some very good people out there that can still perform great things, but where they learned it is a good question.

One of my Dad's saying was, too dumb to tie two pieces of wire together. That exactly describes students who are now coming out of high schools.

Mashburn

 

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 03 September 2022

Dukem,

I hate to hear that you gave up your blacksmithing equipment. You must be getting along in years as I am. I hope the new owners appreciate the gift, and use and take care of it and also keep it .My two sons and my grandson all want mine. I've got to make a decesion as to who I will leave it to,

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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mashburn posted this 03 September 2022

Hello Eutectic

It sounds like you grew up that same way that I brought my two sons up .We spent many a happy hours working in the shop together .We built everything imaginable, from guns, cars, motorcycles and such. Now as grown men, people ask them, how did you learn to do all of the stuff that you build.Your comment about putting a clutch in your car is a good example. Wonder how many people, young and old could do that now.. There's a lot of people now that don't know how to change a flat tire.

The first rifle that I built, I had to build inletting tools for the stock as I went along.I had never seen a set of factory inletting tools to copy, as I went along and needed a tool to do a certain thing., I just built one that would do the required job. Fortunately, I had learned about tool steels, annealing, hardening and tempering before at a much younger age. Have things changed in this old world.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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LarryW posted this 12 September 2022

I agree with Aarons post above (#2 post I think) 

The old, tried & true ways, tips, tricks, work around are about to 

go extinct???? I'm only 65, cast my first bullet, at age 8. A 148gr

Button nosed wad cutter. (Still have & use that mold)

Loaded that same slug at age 8. Have been casting & loading

since. I can't remember, how many times in espically the last 

10 to 20 years, my practices & methods have been questioned

& scoffed at?? " That won't work!"  "You can't do that"  " Na, heck with all that work, ill just buy ammo" ect, ect.

I truly believe, before much longer we will hear.

" Hand Loading, what's that??? " Sad!!!!!

A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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