The forge

Most of this summer has been working on projects that have been hanging around and needed to be finished. We took in a number of outside jobs to pay the bills. The cash flow issue allowed only the projects that required no money to be accomplished. This lead to a number of items being completed that I really wanted to do. This is one of the projects. Getting the 3 burner forge running.

This story actually started long before this last summer. It started with wanting a forge to do some blacksmithing. A number of years ago I started to build a propane gas forge using a freon bottle and a home made gas burner.

DSC_6556sAfter making sure it was empty I removed the valve.

IMG_0298sIt was open up to allow for insulation and actually setting it up to be a forge.

IMG_0299sParts were machined for the nozzle and the adapter to the tank.

IMG_0301sThe adapter was welded on and the proper insulation added.



IMG_0304sEven a stand was built.

IMG_0308sHowever while I was waiting for the hardener to arrive this forge showed up. Actually I pulled it from a dumpster. It is a natural gas forge that uses a fan to provide air to the burner. Work stopped on the first forge as things do when life gets into the way. I thought I would convert this to propane, but again it was a time thing.

DSC_6546sI was ready to get back on the home made forge when this cute 3 burner forge showed up at my door.

DSC_2662sI obtain a regulator and hose and it was back to getting the forge up and running in the shop.

DSC_6550sExtra insulation was added and it was a go when….

DSC_6549sThis cute single burner forge showed up.


Then rick, a friend of gun lab wanted to know if I wanted this one.DSC_6528s



Being the scrounge that I an I said yes, It is at this point in the story that I must point out that my wife constantly reminds me that I have a problem. Taking it from natural gas to propane was next.

The piping removed.

DSC_6967sThe door was fixed.

DSC_6968sThe door still needs a covering of insulation.

DSC_6969sThe hole was plugged with insulation and just needs a sheet metal cap.

DSC_6970sNext will be the new burner hole and adapter.

At least now the three burner forge is up and running.

A quick video of it working.

Completed the anvil stand

The new anvil stand is finally finished. The wheel supports are some scrap steel that was sized to and then bored out and threaded for a 5/8 shoulder bolt


IMG_3857sThe wheels actually came from old floor jacks that I retrieved from a dumpster and then bored out the bolt size on my lathe.

IMG_3858sNow when I have to I can move the anvil out of the way easily.

A quick movie of drilling out the holes.

Shirley’s WalMart for metal

Due to the number and types of projects we work on here at Gun Lab a great deal of raw material is used. For those of you that build projects you understand the cost of material. For that reason not much is thrown out here. Generally most items can be used as is or re-purposed to something else. However, it can get out of hand quickly and easily. That happen here. I had a number of piles of steel and most of it was not accessible. My wife took it upon herself to clean and organize the steel piles into what is now known as Shirley’s WalMart for steel.





DSC_6956sThe ease of finding material has made a huge benefit in being able to start and complete projects.

A quick video of the metal yard.

Finishing up the new anvil stand

Another weekend has come and gone. A few house hold projects were completed and a couple of minor projects worked on. Most of the weekend was spent on writing reports for work. Friday night for 2 hours, Saturday for a couple of hours in the morning and then again that night for a couple of more hours. Then Sunday from 6am to 11 am to finally finish them all up.

The only exciting project that I was able to work on this weekend was the new anvil stand I am building.

Using the router table I built a while back I cut a radius on the posts to allow them to fit inside the angle iron supports.

IMG_3764sThe radius cutter for the operation.

IMG_3765sAfter welding everything up it was a challenge moving it.

IMG_3766sClose up of the new stand.

IMG_3767sAs it stands in the fab shop. It still needs to be sanded on the top.

IMG_3772sWith the anvil set up on it.

IMG_3774sThe final step for the base is to install wheels to allow easier moving


Fly press stand for the fab shop


Here at gun lab everything is generally made or re-purposed to go with the project at hand. I have a small fly press that I obtained at a yard sale for real cheap. I wanted to use it in the fab shop for punching hole and pressing designs. So it was time to spend some time making a stand for it.

I found an old lathe that some one had dumped in a field. After some checking in the surrounding businesses t was determined that it was just a midnight drop off. I took my old truck and trailer over and picked it up, much to the appreciation of the property owner. and drug it home. It set  in the fab shop for a number of years where it gathered dust and rust and generally was in the way. There was no fixing it and bringing it back to it’s glory days so the next best thing to do with is to re-purpose it.

IMG_0019sI took it apart and saved the gears and anything that I could use.

This leads me to the base for the fly press.

IMG_3069sWhen we made the hydraulic forging press the center plate was saved.

IMG_3074sThat material was then cut for the base.



A nice fit to the base.

IMG_3072stwo extra holes were located and drilled.


And the plate bolted to the base.

IMG_3079sNext a piece of scrap from the hydraulic power pack for the big press was machined to hole the fly press and allow an opening to drop out the slugs.


IMG_2979sThe press was mounted to verify proper alignment.

IMG_2984sA piece of 6″ pipe that I managed to scrounge up was cut to length and welded to the top plate.



IMG_3610sAfter welding up the top and bottom plates the fly press is mounted ans ready for use once the special tooling is made.



IMG_3659sAnother weekend project completed.

This is it setting next to the forging hammer I built.


Working on the new anvil stand

Most of Sunday was spent on making a new stand for my anvil. The stand that came with the anvil, when I dug it out of a dumpster, is way to short for me.

IMG_3719sDue to the short height I was always having back issues when I did any forging. Finally having a few moments to my self I decided to build a new stand that fit my size.

Starting with old pallet wood, Philippine Mahogany.



IMG_3686sThe ends were cut off to the point where I could find good wood. This was dome on the radial arm saw.

IMG_3690sAfter that step was completed they then went to the joiner.

IMG_3712sThis allowed me to make two of the sides perpendicular. From there they went to the planer.

IMG_3707sThis allowed the sides to be parallel. Then off to the table saw to get them close to the same size.

IMG_3710sThe wood actually looked usable at this point.

IMG_3713sA large amount of material was taken off on some of the boards to accomplish this. Now I needed to put it together as a puzzle.


IMG_3704sThe ends were sanded to make them as flat as possible.

Today it is off to do the metal work. First to grind down flat my base steel.

IMG_3714sThen cut heavy angle iron to support the corners.

IMG_3718sBack to the shop.




3 day weekend fun time.

It is Saturday night of a three day weekend and already the fun has started.

I have not chatted about the kitchen for awhile but today I finished a major project that I have been putting off. I finished piping the gas to the new stove top. This should make Axel happy.

IMG_3688sEat your heart out Mac and Susan.

I replace all the gfi plugs in the bathrooms. Then went back out to the fab shop and put the last isolation valve in the water system. The water system is energized through out the entire fab shop. I will start of the evap cooler stands in the near future.



The work was started on the new anvil stand. Using the 4.5×4.5 pallet pieces that I have been saving and my wife started making into bench seats.


IMG_3687sI started cutting them to length and will continue tomorrow with this project.


IMG_3691sSaturday is over just waiting for more fun on Sunday.

Working on the Fab shop

I have spent the last 3 weekend getting ready for a new water line to the fab shop. My limit for digging is only a couple of hours. When you look at the size of the rocks you will understand why.

IMG_3605sJust pebbles.



IMG_3606sThe conduit as it came out from under the slab at the fab shop.

IMG_3609sAll the conduit laid in the trench

IMG_3652sThe pex pipe pulled through the conduit.

IMG_3654sThe high tech compacting tool and the trench filled in.

IMG_3674sHooked up at the water source

IMG_3675sHooked up at the fab shop.

IMG_3676sThe only thing left to is seal the ends of the pipe.

Dealer Showroom

I was able to obtain a number of books for my reference library from John. I think the hardest item that he let go was some of his books.

IMG_3514 IMG_3515 IMG_3516 IMG_3517 IMG_3518 IMG_3519 IMG_3520 IMG_3495 IMG_3496 IMG_3497 IMG_3498 IMG_3499 IMG_3500 IMG_3501 IMG_3502 IMG_3503 IMG_3504 IMG_3505 IMG_3506 IMG_3507 IMG_3508 IMG_3509 IMG_3510 IMG_3511 IMG_3512 IMG_3513Some of the books are English, some are not. There are hard back books, magazines, soft back books and technical manuals. There are even a couple for a young friend just starting the collector road. It was a good book trip. Contact John for your book needs.

Another Webley pistol

On the way back from Oregon my wife and I stopped at a friends house in Nevada. In his very nice collect was a New Zealand marked Mk 6 revolver.




IMG_3443sThe pistol has been shaved to allow the use of the 45 auto rim or the 45acp with the 1/2 moon clip.