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Thread: Craftsmen on TV

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Craftsmen on TV

    I mentioned elsewhere the Forged in Fire TV series. It made me think of a number of other craftsmen shows. I enjoy watching them. I have considerable skill in electronics, troubleshooting, field service. I understand the depth of experience I have. I enjoy watching craftsmen in other areas, of which I have ZERO knowledge, knowing they have a similar level of skill and experience. I am fascinated.

    Forged in Fire sets several blade makers against one another to create knives or swords or similar from bare metal. Might be fresh metal, or they might give them old car springs to turn into blades. The show uses the exact same formula as some competitive cooking or baking shows, and I find it rather contrived in that, but the guys have some super skills. I get tired of the one judge who has to make swooshy moves whenever he hefts a blade. I understand solder, these guys understand metal. It is cool.

    I used to watch American Chopper, where guys made custom motorcycles. I enjoyed seeing them do the metal work, and the welding. Unfortunately, the show turned into a soap opera about the old guy with the mustache versus his son. Lots of yelling and such. Fooey. But the English Wheel is fun to watch, and that thing that hammers. Power hammer?

    I like the car guys. Counting Cars, though I get a bit tired of the "Hey Brother Man" persona and some of the whacky guys are a bit much, but they do put together some great cars. The Fast n Loud guys at Gas Monkey GArage, seem likewise highly skilled. I like watching those.

    I am pretty good in the kitchen, but I like shows like Beat Bobby Flay and Iron Chef. there is SOOO much knowledge there I will never have.

    I appreciated Norm Abrams, and it was great to see him turn out cabinetry, but I tired of it years ago. Never got into the guy on PBS who used only hand powered tools. He'd start with logs and make finished cabinet work.

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    Are you talking about Roy Underhill for logs to cabinets? My wife is particularly into his thing. I've thought it would be cool to try making guitars with only hand tools, quiet and peaceful after years of power tools as a carpenter. By the way on the last show of Roy's that I caught he talked of a Scandinavian woodworking teacher he credits with great influence on modern teaching methods and one of his catch phrases was pretty much your MEF signature.

    How about Craftsmans Legacy on PBS? A motorcycle shop up in Saint Johns has a sign out front with a picture of the same tattooed hand that he has. It's called Hammer In Hand, same as the production company for the show. I assume the same guy.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Looking him up, yes, Underhill is who I saw. I appreciate his skill, but to me, if I want a 2x4 to build something, I start at the lumber yard rather than the forest.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    I was **impressed** by this, this guy starts with a rusty maybe 100 years old horse drawn wagon wheel, specifically the flat strip of iron nailed all around the wood wheel and acting similar to what a horse shoe does, and forges it into a **gun barrel** .

    Mind you, besides mechanical strength in general, it must stand a very high pressure gunpowder explosion inside, and propel a bullet.

    And by definition it has a seam all along the tube (he started with a flat strip) which under any conceivable circumstance should split under pressure ... yet it does not .



    And he forges the hole instead of drilling a solid bar

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    I was **impressed** by this, this guy starts with a rusty maybe 100 years old horse drawn wagon wheel, . . . and forges it into a **gun barrel** .
    Yes, impressive & way kool! I was wondering how it was done in the way back when days. Nice to have that swage block too. I did some blacksmith work in high school shop class, the only kid who was krazy enough to deal with that stuff while the other students putzed around making wooden tie racks & birdhouses. We had no swage block - it's terrific to learn about a "new" tool - one that's likely been around for centuries. Thanx Juan for posting that video.

    Good thick piece of iron, should be able to stand relatively slow burning black powder charges. Not a good idea to stress a barrel like that with modern hi-x. Ask my Massachusetts cousins about that, they wrecked one of their dad's cannon, splintered the barrel with hi-x shot powder. OOPS!

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    You guys are all talking like you don't have blacksmiths in your villages?

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I have a friend who works at a tech company in Austin. He tells me that an overwhelming majority of the guys at work are all into the same hobby -- blacksmithing. Nobody can explain it, but it's as if working in a cubicle all day makes them all want to go home and beat on hot iron.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    You guys are all talking like you don't have blacksmiths in your villages?
    Not EVERYONE can be Canadian, after all.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Canada Wants You! You're in Michigan. Just swim across Huron and emigrate to the Great White North.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Um, how fast can you shoe a horse?

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I have a friend who works at a tech company in Austin. He tells me that an overwhelming majority of the guys at work are all into the same hobby -- blacksmithing. Nobody can explain it, but it's as if working in a cubicle all day makes them all want to go home and beat on hot iron.
    It's a good way to work off daily tension. In a similar way, there's a bunch of CO's (prison guards) around here who like to play loud rock 'n roll. If you can't take it out on your coworkers, bosses, prisoners etc, you can whack a drum kit, thrash a guitar, or mash a piece of red hot iron with a big hammer. Keep in mind another fellow who counts blacksmithing among his hobbies, Joe Walsh. He'd probably have completely lost it somewhere between then and now if he couldn't spend some time bashing some steel over an anvil. He's a ham radio operator too.

    There are some folks who ought to stay away from blacksmithing though. Couple weeks ago there was a guy up in Cohoes NY, north of Albany, who tried to emulate what he saw on the Forged in Fire show, this dimwit fired up his own forging rig in a steel drum on a windy day. He lost control of his fire and burned down a couple city blocks. D'OH! Bet he won't be doing that again.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Um, how fast can you shoe a horse?

    Pretty fast.

    SHOO, horse, SHOO, go on, get out of here, SHOO!!!

    See?

    As to swimming, I'll just use the bridge to Sarnia.

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Or the Mackinac bridge and cross at the Sault.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Lots of horses to be shod in Mackinac. A good blacksmith might never leave.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    It is hard to find a parking space on Mackinac.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Ever harder to drive around looking for one.

    What would you do with one if you found it?

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I'd wait for my friends from elsewhere to figure out what the hell I was talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Yes, impressive & way kool! I was wondering how it was done in the way back when days.
    Another method would be the spiral Damascus barrel. Apparently, they were still common enough in the early '70s to warrant mention in my NRA hunting safety class. They were said to have a nasty habit of exploding into a giant ensnaring spring.

    -rb

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I'd wait for my friends from elsewhere to figure out what the hell I was talking about.
    No boats, no lights, no motorcars. Or at least the motorcar bit.
    If you want to get really obscure, I'll give you "holy Mackinaw!"

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Another method would be the spiral Damascus barrel. Apparently, they were still common enough in the early '70s to warrant mention in my NRA hunting safety class. They were said to have a nasty habit of exploding into a giant ensnaring spring.
    I recall hearing about those too. I think my brother found one in the attic of a house he bought, fortunately he never tried it.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    No boats, no lights, no motorcars.
    you had me humming the theme to Gilligan's Island. but I was wrong -- it's "no phones, no lights, no motor cars..."

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    I'm still a fan of This Old House (the current iteration).
    But I'm with Enzo, I've always loved the artistry of custom fabrication in cars and motorcycles. Plus I enjoy doing metalwork. I was fortunate enough to grow up around a shop. My mother was a sign maker and father a woodworking and wooden boat enthusiast. But I still remember being very young and having my father's project 1934 Ford in the driveway. Too bad he sold it, but I suppose it's what you have to do when your a working man with a young wife and 3 kids under 10yrs old. I suppose that's where I got my affinity for this custom work like these:


    -minus the spikes on the rims
    But like Enzo mentioned, whenever they feature stuff like this on TV, it's often heavy on the personal drama. I suppose they use this to build the suspense for a 1/2hr-1hr story format.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I saw him in passing once on TV, and looked him up, I am a fan of the work of Ron Finch in Detroit.

    Finchs Custom Styled Cycles

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I saw him in passing once on TV, and looked him up, I am a fan of the work of Ron Finch in Detroit.

    Finchs Custom Styled Cycles
    Yeah, he’s fantastic!

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Oh come on -- you've got to have the Ben Hur wheels on your scythed chariot Rat Rod -- It wouldn't be a bad ass Rat without them.


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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    okay, I'll hold onto the spikes. I may need them for when I have to drive to the Thunderdome.

    2 men enter, 1 man leaves.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I have had dates like that...

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I have had dates like that...
    braggart. did you tell your wife about those dates?

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    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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