10 Essential Non-Electric Tools-EndTimesReportCOM http://www.endtimesreport.com/essential_tools.


10. Essential Tools
Tools are civilization. Proper tools allow tasks to be done quickly and efficiently, so life can be more than a dreary, bone weary scavenge for food and shelter. Many farms up until WW II had the proper tools to be virtually self sufficient...and that meant manual, non electric tools and machines which would work come hell or high water, year after year, from one generation to the next.

Firewood tools

Tool storage

Shovels, axes


Modern families and even farms rarely have enough non electric equipment to even begin to heat homes or as a means to cook their meals. The necessary equipment is still available, some new, some only available at flea markets or antique shops. But this equipment can still be found if only one has the persistence and dedication to search them out. Our civilization is now defined by electricity. Take that away, and "civilization" as we know it comes to an end for most people.. Life would go on...as it did a hundred years in the past. The unprepared could starve, many will die of hypothermia in the cold darkness of their once "user friendly" homes. "Something wicked this way comes." Thoughtful, brave men, though, would be able to survive with a degree of comfort, providing they prepare to live without electrical energy now, while still possible.

The basic categories of essential tools required for survival in our very uncertain future can be broadly classified under the following categories:
1. Non electric cooking and kitchen equipment;


Wood cutting and splitting tools for heating and cooking; Carpentry tools for repairs, construction, and shelter building. Home defense firearms; Knives; Medical and nursing supplies, including radiological testing equipment; and Preservation oils, lubricants, grinding and sharpening stones, files, etc, for the maintenance of the essential tools. Playing with temperatures- make your own tools. BLACKSMITHING, by Dale Raby

3. 4. 5.



I bought a book several years ago which may go along with your website very well. It is written by Aldren A. Watson, titled "Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings". ISBN # 0-393-32276-9. It is written to explain the purpose, use, and maintenance of hand tools, many of them obscure. In his work, the author recommends what to get, what not to get, how to adjust these tools. Things like hand drills, froes, spokeshaves, saws, adzes, etc. Anyone planning to stockpile an assortment of tools to use during the "bitter end" should know how to properly (safely) use them and how to adjust/maintain them. Also very good reference for those planning on a DIY cabin/retreat. Strictly hand tools. Lists for $15.95, over 400 pages and 450 illustrations. Check it out, an excellent resource....Mark - 12.9.05

Will life "The Day After" be pleasant? In a word, no. It would be ridiculous and irresponsible to believe that our so called "lifestyle" would continue unabated. You must prepare now for the security of your families. There are no alternatives if you desire to stay out of harms way in the near future. Today I can go into the shop and get a cross cut saw, wedges and single jack, walk out into the woods and fall a dead tree. Limbing can be done with a heavy single bit axe, and if needed sections cut and yarded out into an open area with a hand winch or a long rope and pulleys. Then the tree can be sawed into firewood lengths. Then splitting mauls, augmented with splitting wedges and a sledgehammer, are available to split the wood into sections suitable for burning. Being from a dead tree, the wood will burn immediately in a wood stove for heating or cooking. That is possible only because I have not only the equipment necessary, but also the wood stoves in place now, when they are available.

My neighbors are also rural dwellers, but they heat with electricity, cook with electricity, pump water from deep wells with electricity, and have no alternative methods to compensate for the ultimate failure of the electric utility grid. Most of these people have long since discarded their wood stoves, even trash burners that could heat a kitchen, remodeled perfectly useable wood burning fireplaces into "pretty" artificial log systems, destroying the infrastructure of a once reliable source of heat. I personally have had conversations with neighbors who actually believe their artificial fireplaces could still be used if the power was down! They forgot the electric fans which make the system work! And they will have no water when the power goes out. That is their fault, not mine. They have chosen to be totally dependent upon others and upon fragile technology very new in the history of mankind for their very existence. We have the "free will" to act, or not to act, in such a manner as will ensure our survival as free, independent souls, and not have to beg for handouts from "big brother" in order to live from one day to the next. What is your choice? It is very possible you may want to bury and "lose" some essential tools that may be very important to your future survival. Engine oil is NOT a rust preventive oil. If you need to preserve any carbon steel products against rust (as in buried storage), a real rust preventive oil must be used. The best product I have found for rust prevention is NAPA brand "Chain and Cable" lubricant. It comes in a spray can and sprays out as a highly penetrating foam. The foam dissipates into an oil and penetrates into the pores of the steel. After awhile wipe off any excess, cover the item carefully with moisture-proof material, then seal the seams against any water infiltration. Don't forget that "Seal-AMeal" bags are available in 20 foot lengths and either 7 or 10 inches wide - ideal for sealing long, narrow objects you would want in a future dire emergency.

The package can then be placed into a sturdy container (metal or thick PVC pipe), coated with liquid paraffin, wrapped again with black plastic sheeting (to protect the paraffin) and the seams sealed with vinyl tape, then buried. Bury at least 3 feet deep, cover the object with a foot of dirt, throw some scrap iron or old pipe into the hole, then finish covering with dirt, finally replacing the surface material so the landscape does not appear disturbed. If anyone with a metal detector gets curious, they will find the scrap iron first and hopefully get discouraged from digging further.

Without proper cooking and kitchen equipment, preparations of food becomes drudgery, wasting both time and energy, frustrating the family cook beyond his or her stamina. In hard times, if you haven¶t stocked up well in advance, you will be fortunate just to find the basic ingredients to use in cooking,. Forget fast food restaurants...your ration coupons won¶t go that far. Food

preparation will require non electric techniques, and that means canning, drying of fruits and vegetables and smoking of meats. In just a few minutes I gathered up a variety of canning knives, corers, peelers, etc, and filled a coffee table top with them. I have more, but this was a representative sample. Without those specialized tools, developed over centuries, preparing foods would be extremely difficult and time consuming.

[Left to right: canning tools; more canning tools; food chopper; grain and meat grinders; and Squeezo strainer.]

Of the first foods rationed in any emergency is flour. It is possible to store flour for months in a rodent safe container kept n a dry location. See #2 Food for more details. Ultimately, however, a grain mill may prove to be a lifesaver. The finest flour is obtained using a mill with stone burrs, but they are relatively fragile and expensive. Steel burr mills are inexpensive and very sturdy, and the flour they produce are certainly quite useable. In addition, steel burr mills can grind softer grains such as corn and beans which can clog the pores of stone burrs. The standard for hand cranked mills is the Corona, manufactured all over the world. Northern Tool has offered a Corona clone made in China for less than $20.00. Over twenty years ago I purchased a Corona made in Brazil for $60, so a hand cranked grain mill is less costly than a family meal for four at McDonalds, and its use can give you bread, the staff of life, forever. For making sauce from apples, squash, fruits and berries, nothing beats a Victorio strainer. In any survival scenario, stored vitamins and minerals are extremely important. Fruits and vegetables are the source, of course. They must be stabilized and stored for out of season use. Drying has been used for centuries, canning was invented in the 19th Century, and the reason that tools were designed was to make the work process easier and more precise. The Victorio Strainer, also called a Squeezo strainer, is a marvel. Simply boil for 20 minutes apple quarters, 2 inch chunks of squash, rhubarb chunks, etc, then run them through the strainer with the proper screen installed. The peels and small seeds are ejected out the front, and pure, even pulp comes out the side, ready for canning. Berries need only a few minutes of simmering. There are three screens available for the Victorio: small holes for berries, medium sized holes for apples and most uses, and a screen with larger holes for squash. To properly grind meat, a #2 Universal food chopper, or a meat grinder, are essential. Northern Tool offers inexpensive meat grinders, and food choppers may often be found at flea markets and antique stores for less than $10.00.


Lehman¶s Non Electric Catalogue Printed catalogue price: $5.00 each, but so valuable it could be the best $5.00 you ever spent. Phone: 330-857-5757 Northern Tool & Equipment Phone: 800-533-5545

There is a popular image of one strong guy with rippling muscles, using only a double bit axe, building a log cabin and chopping all the firewood for heating and cooking with his one trusty tool. That image is patently false, as you will be able to judge for yourself. There are a great many tools which have been invented precisely to make specific operations easier...or even possible. I gathered up some of my tools and laid them against a wood pile. Though by no means complete, this does represent what is actually needed to efficiently gather firewood for cooking and heating.

In the photo, left to right, are the following tools: 6 pound splitting maul, 8 pound splitting maul, 11 pound sledgehammer, peavey (or cant hook), cross cut saw, brush hook, pickeroon, and a Pulaski. On the ground is a Jonsered¶s chain saw, and in front of the saw is a 4 pound single jack.

Double bit axes are available in a variety of sizes and shapes - each one for a different purpose! The rough looking double bit axe on the left is good for limbing, but has too thick of a blade for falling or notching.

Limbing and utility work is very hard on an axe - look at the chips in the blade compared to the shiny falling axe. The falling axe is pristine even though used for decades by my father and grandfather. Neither should be used to split wood! Single bit axes usually fall into the utility category. They are safer to use when cutting limbs off trees and other utility work, compared to a double bit axe.

The four pound single bit axe on the left has a considerably thicker blade than the falling axe on the right...it simply cannot get the depth of cut for easily cutting notches or falling trees. My father taught me that if you can't make chips large enough to burn for firewood when felling a tree, you're using the wrong axe.

Splitting wood into stove-sized pieces should be done with the proper splitting maul, or a sledge hammer and wedges. These tools are needed even if you have a hydraulic log splitter. A hydraulic log splitter will save an incredible amount of energy compared with manual tools, but occasionally a piece of oak or other tough wood will not split cleanly, and then a splitting maul becomes very handy. For more on splitting wood with a hydraulic log splitter, click here.
Splitting mauls shown from the top edge, so you can see the difference in thickness. The 8 pound maul on the left is ideal for hard-to-split wood, as it has the heft and thickness to not get stuck in the end grain. The lighter 6 pound maul on the right is easier to use, but should only be used on easy-to-split wood like pine or knot-free Douglas fir. Both mauls have "sledge hammer" handles. Never buy an "axe-eye" handled maul - the handles break far too easily. Fiberglass handles are easier on your hands, arms and back, as they take up some of the shock of impact, and fiberglass handles last longer than wood handles on splitting mauls.

Steel is hardened and tempered to perform various tasks, and they are often not interchangeable. A splitting maul, for example, should NEVER be used as a sledgehammer, or slivers of metal can be sheared off and put out an eye from a great distance. If you have to drive steel wedges

into large or knotty sections of wood to split them, then always use a sledgehammer to drive the wedges. Start the steel wedge into the wood by driving it in an inch or so with a "single jack," then you can use a long handled sledge hammer without the wedge fear of the wedge coming back out - fast!
Use a light "single jack" hammer for driving wedges. The broader face surface does less damage to the wedge, and the weight of the single jack drives the wedges easily. On the right is an obviously well-used 2 1/2 pound single jack. In the center is a 3 pound Estwing. On the left is an 8 pound sledge with an 18" handle for one or two hand operation. See more tools for log cabin building under "Shelter." Carry a single jack in a belt holder so it is easy to use.

Splitting wedges are steel - cutting wedges are plastic - and they are not interchangeable!

Two steel splitting wedges. The one on the top has a wide splitting section and rebated top, so burrs formed from striking with a sledgehammer do not project beyond the width of the wedge. The simple steel wedge at the bottom is of poor quality steel, and the burrs stop it from being driven deeper than the top. Quality pays off in actual use. Start the wedge into the wood with a single jack before taking a full swing with a sledgehammer!

One should never saw into dirt, or try to saw through brush. The brush hook is used to clear out the area around a tree before felling, and to clear brush away from a fallen tree. The limbs are best cut off using a heavy single bit axe or Pulaski, then fireplace size chunks (usually 16") are cut using the saw. To avoid cutting into soil and dulling the teeth very quickly, the log is cut about 2/3rds of the way through every 16" (or whatever is best for you), then the log is rolled over using the peavey, raised somewhat by placing some sections of limb near the middle of the log. The cuts are then on the bottom, so the log may be cut through from the top to match the bottom cut, and the saw never touches the ground. Each section is then pulled away with a pickeroon, if available, before another cut is made. If a log is too large to be rolled over, or has fallen in such a way that it cannot be moved, then the cut should be held open with a plastic wedge when there is space above the saw blade. Never use steel wedges around a saw! Use a plastic wedge and drive it with a single jack. Falling wedges should also be plastic, and driven with the single jack, not a maul. Splitting wedges are steel - cutting wedges are plastic - and they are not interchangeable!

A 5" plastic bucking wedge. A bucking wedge is driven into the cut (kerf) after the cut is 3/4" of the way through to prevent the log from dropping and pinching the saw blade. Plastic falling wedges have the same lift, but are at least 10" long.

It should be obvious that the saw used should have sharp teeth. If you use a chainsaw, filing the teeth means having a proper file in a gauge, and the saw bar should be clamped in a vise so it won't move. Sharpening large cross cut saws is a bit more of a challenge. The proper file and set gauges can often be found in junque or antique shops - as long as you know what to look for and recognize it as a tool. File and set gauges can also be found on eBay...search under "crosscut saw." Then you need instructions on how to use those tools, as the knowledge base has evaporated with the demise of the older loggers. The instructions for sharpening are here. Obviously is easier to saw a log in a cleared area, rather than amongst trees and limbs. Moving the logs out is called "yarding." Chains, cables and winches can be used to move sections of logs out of a jumble, and the time involved is more than compensated for by the increased safety and speed in sawing sections of the log. Logging chains are far better to use than steel cables, as when chains break they "lay down," but when cables break they whip around and can cause serious injuries. It is better to have a multitude of 8 to 12 foot chains than a few longer ones, as you can always couple chains together, or even make your own "chain extender." How? Cut down a sapling of, say, 4" diameter, strip off the limbs, and place it between sections of chain! You can use as many saplings as necessary to reach the downed section of log. Of course the saplings won¶t bend like a chain, but that is irrelevant: you have to pull in a straight line anyway, as manual pulling does not generate the power necessary to twist logs around standing trees. I use several 12 foot chains for yarding plus an assortment of 2, 3 and 4 foot chains as chokers or for attaching poles together to extend the length of the yarding chains. Each chain must have a hook at each end, of course. The choker chains have large hooks that will fit over the links of the yarding chains. From my experience, it is better to use a hook with a clevis pin attachment than to use a soft steel "hammer together" link. The clevis pin can be removed and a larger hook installed, if needed, whereas the "hammer together" links are too weak - the "weakest link in the chain."
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Some wood simply cannot be split. Very hard woods, dense or with large knots, etc, do not split except with a great deal of effort. I have found it vastly easier to simply use a large chain saw and cut stove-size pieces of wood, as shown at left. First the log is cut ("bucked") into suitable sections, usually 18". Then the section is sliced by cutting with the grain - the length of the tree - into stove-sized pieces. The wood box at left has large caster wheels so it can be filled outside and pushed into the house, and all the debris stays in the box! USING CROSSCUT SAWS FOR CUTTING FIREWOOD (Click Here)

TOOLS ARE PRECIOUS - AND IRREPLACEABLE IN HARD TIMES! Your tools are precious - they may be irreplaceable in hard times. Fortunately, it is easy to keep all your tools in sturdy plastic boxes (crates?) like those used to distribute gallon milk containers to stores. This type of box is now sold by many stores and need not be "liberated" from behind a grocery store. There is almost nothing worse than going out to work on cutting firewood and finding you have left some essential tools behind, or spending half a day trying to find where they all are before you can even begin that day's work. The crates solve that problem. For wood gathering tools (except crosscut saws), I have a large crate for my larger saws (an end cut open for the bars); a crate for wedges, ear muffs (chain saws make NOISE), single jack, saw sharpening tools (in a box to protect them), heavy work gloves, 16" marking stick, a limb saw to cut a small slice every 16" so I get uniform sections for easy stacking, etc; and a small crate with a couple of layers of cardboard on the bottom for chain saw bar oil and a gas/oil can for fuel. Every crate has a 1 foot long piece of parachute cord tied to one corner, and to the other end, a medium sized brass snap hook. On each rear corner of the pickup bed I have screwed in an eye bolt, so the snap hooks clip to the eye bolt and keep the crate from sliding around. Logging chains are an exception to keeping woodcutting tools in crates...the chain links fall out the holes in the sides and the bottom. For logging chains, I use 50 caliber ammo cans. After use in the woods, the chains are of course wet, and they will rust. The sealed 50 caliber ammo cans make it easy to spray WD-40 or NAPA Chain & Cable Lube on the chains in the can, and the rattling around while on the move will distribute the anti rust oil throughout all the links without leaking through to the bed of your pickup, keeping your expensive logging chains rust free and always ready to use.

I built shelving in my woodshed to hold the crates, so everything is all together in its place. To go out to work the beehives means I grab two of the crates and put them in the back of the pickup, then hook them to the eye bolts. Done in less than 2 minutes, and I know everything I'll need is in those crates. For wood cutting, it takes four crates, but all is there and ready for use in minutes. After a tool is used, it goes back into the proper crate.

Always sharpen a saw when held firmly in a vise. The vise at left is designed to be sunk into a stump with a single jack, and the bar clamped with the screw. Then the teeth can be sharpened straight - and you won't cut yourself! For field use in an emergency, this type of vise can also be used for crosscut saws, but the depth of the vise is not ideal for that use.

At the end of the use season, every tool should be inspected carefully. Mauls and axes should be cleaned and sharpened. Any burrs on the top edge of wedges should be ground down flush (wear eye protection!). Files should be wire brushed and sprayed with rust preventative oil. Saws should be sharpened and have the teeth "set" properly. Chain saws should have the bar removed, all debris brushed off with a stiff bristle brush, the air cleaner washed with gasoline and then replaced, and a new spark plug installed. Then you know that when you need them, all the tools will work properly - and you will know where they all are located!

Maintaining the livability of your home is a constant challenge in prosperous times as well as periods of recession or worse. Roofs leak, siding falls apart, porch studs, beams, and pillars may rot from the bottom, causing a dangerous condition. In hard times, hiring a repairman (if even available!) at $40.00 per hour for simple home repairs may be impossible. With a few basic tools and a beginning carpentry book on home repairs as a guide, most anything can be repaired by a determined person with the will to keep his house in order. Rodale Press (Emmaus, PA 10849) markets a book called "Build It Better Yourself" which has plans for almost everything. From gardening, cold frames, food dryers, etc, to construction and home repair projects, it is all there. You will need my "Booklets by Miles" for ultimate survival, as the unique information in these packed guide books is not easily found elsewhere, if at all. Still useable carpentry tools are often to be found at flea markets, complete with a carpenter¶s carrying tool box to keep them together and organized. If you have to assemble all of the tools yourself, it gets more expensive and time consuming.

Common carpentry tools include 12 and 16 ounce claw hammers, nail pullers, a rip saw, cross cut saw, carpenter¶s square, hack saw, staple gun, 8" and 12" levels, miter box and saw, counter sink, hand drill and bit selection, screwdriver set, wood rasps, etc. A more advanced set of tools would include draw knives, calipers, spoke shaves, hand planes, scrapers, brace and bits, chisels, soft faced hammers, etc. These items can often be found used at good prices on eBay. A word to the wise: Buy a good assortment of nails, screws and bolts and nuts. Build your own water level. You will need these to rebuild everything, and they might be impossible to find in a crisis situation. In the event of a disaster, or an evacuation to the deep woods, the tools listed above (and the tools listed in woodcutting) are all you need to build a livable log cabin or other shelter where you can be warm, safe and protected from the elements - an absolute necessity for long-term survival. It normally takes two strong men to build a log cabin, but with levers and pulleys, the job can be done by one person. Look at the photo below. That log cabin, faced with 1 x 12's on the upper floor to cut the draft, was built by my father and grandfather - I was born there! The photo was taken 45 years after the log cabin was built, so ignore the telephone/electric pole - the cabin was built without electric tools, just the hand tools listed above.

One point that is not readily apparent to novice builders should be mentioned. Nails are not mandatory! Everything does not need to be joined through the use of heavy hammers and huge nails. Take a look at #14, Gardening, and see the greenhouses and patio I built. Check out #3 Water and see the shed building I constructed to cover my water storage tank. That construction was entirely done using plated decking screws. Screws cost more than nails, and the holes should be predrilled, so it takes more time as well. But, the screws can be removed! This is a huge advantage. If damage should occur, a single stud or beam can be removed and replaced. This renders the repair job much easier. And if the water tank develops a leak (God forbid!), the entire building can be easily disassembled, the tank repaired, then the shed rebuilt piece by piece. If the water tank shed was built using nails, I would be hard pressed to salvage any useable lumber at all. In most situations, only one side of the shed would be dismantled to repair the water tank leak, and that is only possible if screws instead of nails are used in construction. And in a survival mode, wooden pegs in holes made with an augur will secure wooden construction quite securely.


We are no longer naive. We will need to defend our homes, indeed our very lives, from now into the future. Only call 911 for an antidote for poison. The status quo is that the bad guys are there and gone before the police can even respond. All they can do is take information for the next of kin. Besides, the Supreme Court has already ruled that police have a duty to the community at large, not to any one individual. That's right - the police have "No Affirmative Duty to Protect" us, affirmed by many court decisions! When your home experiences an "home invasion," try defending yourself with your kid¶s baseball bat against bad guys armed with AK-47's. America is polarized with political opposites no longer able to compromise, with a huge influx of illegal aliens, etc. Throw in the possibility of a banking meltdown, trucker strike or wide-spread terrorist "events" creating food shortages, and civility can be quickly lost. Assault by one side can only be met with bold defense ± or subjugation ± on the other side. The result? Anarchy. It will happen. And when it happens, will you be able to defend yourself?

always having the means to defend yourself available at all times. The North American Arms mini revolver in .22 LR shown at right only weighs 4 ounces, but 5 rounds of hollow points are better than a sharp stick anytime! Sure, a .45 auto is vastly superior to a .22 in battle, but personal defense often comes down to a knife versus a gun...and a gun wins every time, particularly if the handgun is readily available. The excellent Multi-Purpose carry case can hold a mini .22 and some ammo in a belt case that does not appear to be a holster. Available at my Survival Shop.

IF YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE ONLY ONE WEAPON FOR HOME DEFENSE..... Pepper sprays and slingshots will work just fine to infuriate an enemy...might as well build a catapult and hurl your stored food, and when that runs out, fling them your wife and kids. So ultimately, we¶re talking guns for home defense. (NOTE: What I am going to say about firearms is for defensive use, not offensive use, and within the narrow view of Home Defense only - the purpose of this article. This is not to say that other weapons would not be very useful for other purposes, or that other weapons could not be used for Home Defense! This narrow definition is being written for those who do NOT already own firearms, and only wish one (1) weapon for Home Defense only. Personally, I believe the more, the merrier. The lowly .22 Long Rifle is incredibly useful for survival, as are the newer spring-powered air rifles that can attain 1000 fps in .17 caliber. But "survival" is not the same as "defense.") The primary object in home defense is to hit the target while avoiding such power and penetration that unintended victims are not hit. Obviously, if you are familiar with and have firearms, you are going to use what you have. But if you don¶t have a firearm and are going to buy one (1) for home defense, I recommend a shotgun. But not just any shotgun. Most common shotguns are 12 gauge waterfowl guns with long, full choke barrels. They are unwieldy in confined spaces, more powerful than required, overly noisy in confined spaces, and "kick" too much for novice shooters.

A 12 gauge "riot" shotgun fired in a house produces an incredibly deafening blast!

Twelve gauge "riot" shotguns with folding stocks are a particular problem with the stock unfolded. The hard synthetic stock is straight or slightly raised toward the front, not sloped downward toward the action. When the shotgun is fired, the shotgun raises in recoil, and the

hard synthetic stock seems to jump straight up into your cheekbone with a teeth rattling jolt. A softer cheek piece is needed, and it should be black or dark grey to match the stock and sturdy closed cell foam, so it will not hold water. The answer? Water pipe insulation tubing! The tubing is 3/8" thick foam, so it is thin enough to allow the stock to fold in the normal manner, yet thick enough to provide some cushioning from the brutal recoil when used unfolded.

At left is a 4" long piece of 3/4" pipe insulation glued to the top of the folding butt stock using "Household Goop." A channel was cut out of the round pipe insulation (as shown) for a good fit. The 3/8" insulation makes a soft cheek piece, the shotgun can be fired without the feeling your teeth are going to rattle loose, and the stock still folds up tight against the action.

As women and older children could be using this home defense shotgun, bulk, weight, recoil and noise are definitely factors to consider. Thus, a .410 bore shotgun is a great choice. A 3 inch .410 shot shell fires 3/4 ounce of shot at 1100 feet per second, resulting in approximately 800 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle, and a 2 ½" .410 with ½ ounce of shot produces approximately 600 foot pounds at the muzzle. The delivered energy at the defense ranges considered here are greater than a .357 Magnum revolver cartridge, but the longer barrel and greater weight of the shotgun results in less than half the noise and recoil. More important, the shot pattern is about 8 inches in diameter at 20 feet (full choke), and does not generally penetrate a wall, whereas a .357 Mag bullet pierces walls easily...and unintended victims on the other side.

In the close confines of home defense, a small dot laser light has limited usefulness. I mounted a 1" tube light with 8 super-bright LED's and a tail button switch. In the dark, the LED light is more than enough...if the target is lit up, it will be hit. The nice wide, non-marring clamp is model #SMC-1100 from www.allenslaw.com .

(There are those who will claim that the lowly .410 shot shell is too underpowered, even less than a .357 Magnum revolver. They are making their judgment based on recoil - comparing a .357 Magnum revolver versus a .410 shotgun. Bad comparison, as a full length shotgun is heavier and held by two hands. I've got a .45 Colt/.410 derringer: recoil with a 2 1/2" .410 is extremely heavy, far worse than with a .357 Magnum derringer, and stronger than with the .45 Colt; recoil with a full length 3" Magnum .410 shot shell is fearsome enough to make just hanging onto the derringer extremely difficult. That recoil is easily tamed by the weight and length of a .410 shotgun.) Of course home defense means more than defense against two legged creature. In any breakdown of civilization, a weapon like a shotgun becomes critical. Pet dogs are abandoned, join in packs and quickly become feral. The can, and do, attack domestic animals, pets, and are

even a danger to children. Raccoons can get into a chicken coop and kill a flock very quickly. Rabid dogs are not uncommon in a societal disaster. These must be dispatched quickly, yet they are a moving target and hard to hit. This is where a shotgun really shines, as the pattern of shot is easier to put on target than a single bullet fired by someone shaking under extreme anxiety and stress, and repeat shots are more likely to put additional pellets into the target zone. A .410 bore, 3" magnum with #4 pellets is up to the task -- at reasonable ranges. Don't think these are 100 yard range weapons! Hunting for food may well be necessary in the future. Small birds such as quail can be taken with a 2 ½" .410, larger birds with a 3" magnum, and game up to deer (at fairly close ranges) taken with a .410 slug load.


One excellent .410 bore shotgun for home defense was actually designed specifically for that task...wonder of wonders. The Mossberg HS410 (the "HS" an acronym for "Home Security", model #50359) is a 6 shot pump action shotgun with an 18 ½" barrel having a spreader choke, ideal for close action shooting in home defense situations. The stock is synthetic and the right length of pull for women and older children (but still works with large men), the action extremely rugged and reliable, and the short length makes it very handy in confined spaces. The price? About $360.00 in 2005. Now there is another excellent .410 bore shotgun on the market which may well be as good as or better than the Mossberg HS410 - the SAIGA .410 SHOTGUN. The cost of the Saiga is only about $270.00 - delivered, in 2005. It is an adaptation of the Kalashnikov designed AK-47 designed to fire .410 Magnum shot shells, has a semi-automatic action, and it comes with two magazines. With its 19" barrel, it would be handy in confined places, and it also comes with two choke tubes, increasing its versatility. The rate of fire would be better than with the Mossberg, and reliability is reportedly extremely high, but as with everything there are other factors to consider: A semi-auto action is less tolerant of loads than a slide action such as the Mossberg, so reloading for the Saiga requires more care and testing to be certain of reliable feeding. More information on the Saiga .410 shotgun can be found at http://www.weareguns.com/saiga.html

An additional .410 shotgun which some may want to consider is the Winchester lever action 9410, a variation of the venerable Winchester 94 lever action first introduced on January 1, 1895. In some variations, it holds 9 rounds of 2 1/2" shells in a very long tubular magazine, but the overall length is not conducive to easy handling in a home as compared with the overall length of either the Saiga or the Mossberg HS410. The 9410 is not chambered for the 3" Magnum .410 shell. Loading a tubular magazine is slower than simply changing magazines as with the Saiga, and it costs more than the Saiga. Nevertheless, there are those who love lever actions, and this is the only one of which I am aware that is chambered for .410 shotshells. www.cdnnsports.com has both the Saiga semi-auto and Winchester 9410 lever action at very competitive prices. One lonely .410 shotgun will not suffice as complete home defense against a determined band armed with 7.62 x 39 mm AK-47's. But that is not the issue here. Either the Mossberg HS410 or the Saiga .410 will provide deterrence against such attacks, and time is always on your side in any conflict: given resistance, most attackers will give up and go on to easier pickings. Against a lesser attack, either shotgun should be equal to the task at hand, and far better than nothing at all. If you already have a good selection of home defense weapons, make sure you can reload for all of them. Ammo will make great barter stock in the future. My booklet, "Survival Reloading," includes reloading data for just about any cartridge (not shot shells) you would ever encounter, using hand tools or bench tools, and with only three different smokeless powders, so you can stockpile and be covered with whatever comes your way.

DON'T DO THIS! Respect your OWN privacy and keep off any government lists. Why invite trouble?

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=97491 Saturday, May 09, 2009 HOMELAND INSECURITY WorldNetDaily Exclusive Next step? No guns allowed for right-wing 'extremists' Bill empowers attorney general to forbid firearms for those 'suspected dangerous'

By Drew Zahn WorldNetDaily Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. A new gun law being considered in Congress, if aligned with Department of Homeland Security memos labeling everyday Americans as potential "threats," could potentially deny firearms to prolifers, gun-rights advocates, tax protesters, animal rights activists, and a host of others - any already on the expansive DHS watch list for potential "extremism." Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has sponsored H.R. 2159, the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009, which permits the attorney general to deny transfer of a firearm to any "known or suspected dangerous terrorist." The bill requires only that the potential firearm transferee is "appropriately suspected" of preparing for a terrorist act and that the attorney general "has a reasonable belief" that the gun might be used in connection with terrorism. Gun rights advocates, however, object to the bill's language, arguing that it enables the federal government to suspend a person's Second Amendment rights without any trial or legal proof and only upon suspicion of being "dangerous."

.410 BORE SHOT SHELL AMMO Surprisingly, 3" .410 bore shot shells cost twice as much as the much larger and more common 12 gauge shotgun shells, being priced at about $8 per box of 25. For the purpose of home defense, one does not need to have an armory full of ammo, though. I would recommend at least four (4) boxes of 3" .410's and four (4) boxes of 2 ½" .410 shells at a minimum, all with #4 shot. Those who are smart would also have a simple reloading kit for .410 and some reloading components as well. Remember that I wrote above that one advantage of the .410 is a lack of penetration? That can also be a disadvantage if you don¶t know where to aim. Number 4 shot is definitely not going to penetrate body armor, and many intruders now wear such readily available equipment. One advantage of a shotgun that can be used to offset that factor, however, is the very pattern that makes precise aiming not so critical: shoot at the face. It is unprotected, and even a visor won¶t help much. At longer ranges even a few pellets in the cheeks will discourage a determined opponent, µcause it hurts, and they will know you are as intent on hurting them as they are intent on hurting you. Turnabout is fair play! "Aim" with a shotgun means looking down the barrel and seeing the front sight...there usually isn¶t a rear sight. The target is placed on top of the sight for the pellet pattern to strike correctly on bird sized game. On larger game, such as a feral dog, aim at the bottom of the body and the shot pattern should be in the chest area. If shooting at longer ranges, remember that small sized shot lacks mass and being circular has a poor ballistic

coefficient, so it drops about 8 inches from line of sight at about 50 yards, so aim a little higher on the target.

The great debate regarding handguns for self defense usually comes down to the subjective issue of "stopping power." I used the word "subjective" deliberately. There are those who cite military experiments (Gen. Hatcher) as "proving" that only .45 caliber handgun bullets as having acceptable stopping power usually do not mention that the bullets used were "hardball," non expanding round nose bullets conforming to the Geneva Convention guidelines. A 185 grain, .452" round nose bullet fired from a 1911 Colt in .45 ACP does not "cut" a .45" hole in the "target," but rather punctures a .45" hole because of the round nose. And in many cases that non expanding bullet has too much penetration for home defense, so it does not transfer all of its energy to the first "target." Often there is sufficient penetration to go through a wall behind the first target and endanger an innocent. The trick, then, is to obtain at least .45" expansion with full transfer of deliverable energy within the body of the first "target," with no excessive penetration.

Sufficient "stopping power" for home defense can be obtained with a 0.357" bullet if it is properly chosen and reloaded to acceptable velocities. The photo above shows the results of tests using a Speer .357" hollow base wadcutter - loaded backwards - with the full huge hollowpoint exposed. At the extreme left above is a .38 S&W cartridge with a Speer 38 HBWC loaded backwards, and at right is a .38 Special with the same bullet. The load was 3.0 grains of Red Dot, for a "real world" velocity of over 820 fps in a 3" barrel. Recoil was extremely mild and the load is suitable even for old top-break .38 S&W's. Bullet #1 was loaded with the hollow base down, as normal. Penetration was far too great and there was no expansion. This loading is unacceptable for home defense. Bullet #2 was loaded backward, but the bullet hit solid bone. There was no "fluid" to effect an opening of the hollow cavity, so the cavity collapsed and the bullet nose "self forged" into a spire point. Expansion was to 0.625" with very sharp cutting edges, and penetration was not excessive. Bullet #3 was loaded backward and fired into fluid with no solid object hit (a "gut shot"). Hydraulic effect in the hollow cavity resulted in expansion to 0.694", and penetration was 6".

The hydrostatic shock of this bullet is incredible, and there was full transfer of 200 ft. lbs of energy within 6" of bullet impact travel. Bullet #4 was loaded backward and first hit soft tissue and fluid, then hit hard bone. The hydraulic effect opened the hollow cavity which was then further expanded by contact with a hard object. Expansion was to 0.800" with sharp cutting edges. This is almost twice the diameter of a .45 ACP bullet - and the sharp edges combined with the rotational aspect imparted by the rifling had a cutting power not possible with a non expanding round nose 0.452" bullet at the same velocity. Properly loaded, even an ancient top break .38 S&W has adequate "stopping power" for home defense. "Properly loaded" includes overall cartridge length. There is no ogive on the fulldiameter hollow base wadcutter loaded backwards, but revolver chambers have a "step" in the forward portion of the cylinder for the bullet. The bullets must be seated deeply enough to slightly enter the chamber fully without resistance. As individual handguns have different specifications for chamber dimensions, the loaded cartridges must be tried in each chamber to obtain the correct seating depth. That is why the seating depth of the bullets in the cartridges shown above is not the same. Loaded into a .38 Special case to velocities exceeding 950 fps, expansion of the backwardsloaded hollow base wadcutter is spectacular, often resulting in considerable bullet fragmentation. For home defense, however, the higher velocity is not needed, as it results in considerably higher recoil and noise, neither of which is desirable when fired from a small handgun fired in the confines of a closed room.

Links to more information: RELOADING .410 BORE SHOT SHELLS


5. Medical/Health
Mexican (H1N1) Swine Flu (Click here)
UPDATE March 17, 2006: In "Preparing For a Pandemic," Darlene Washington, the director of disease prevention education at the American Red Cross said "...we encourage families to have supplies on hand like flashlights and batteries, matches. Hand-cranked or battery-operated radios...

We have grown soft and accustomed to cleanliness, proper hygiene, and the lack of disease as some sort of "right." Our modern world is safe due to the well-oiled machinery of sanitation: clean water, regular refuse collection and proper disposal, automated sewerage treatment facilities, and relatively well functioning medical facilities. In the breakdown of any civilized society, diseases now common to third world countries spring up is if by magic. Remember your history lessons of how all immigration used to be strictly controlled, and all immigrants were quarantined for a period of time before being allowed into the country? That was to control the spread of infectious diseases! Our own government will not define (close) our borders and control illegal immigration. Our "country" now has open borders, with thousands of foreigners sneaking in daily from third world countries - and many are carriers of typhus and cholera, among other diseases. Perhaps we are not really a "country" at all now, as by definition a "country" must define its borders and its citizens -- those who belong and those who do not. For decades the Vatican refused to recognize Israel as a country simply because Israel would not define its borders. Throughout history, great societies have always risen -- and fallen. We are witnessing the end of our Pax Romana, or should I say Pax Americana. Goodbye civilization. Hello anarchy and all the chaos it brings. During troubled times you cannot depend upon others to be there and take care of you and your family. You must be prepared to do it yourself. And prepare we must, as our infrastructure is incredibly fragile and targeted by terrorists.

H5N1 Coming - So, What Do We Do?
Public health officials have created the chilling scenario of hospitals and other health facilities being overwhelmed by the number of patients seeking treatment and other health services; health professionals being reduced in number because they, after being exposed to the virus, are themselves down with the sickness; anti-viral agents and antibiotics being exhausted; basic services like power, water, transportation, and communication severely strained by absenteeism; drugstores, grocery stores, restaurants, and public markets closed and padlocked to prevent looting by a desperate population. Most people would have to fend for themselves. If a member of the family got infected, he will have to be taken care of and treated by the others at home. Should families now stock up on anti-viral agents and medicines, and foodstuff like rice, canned goods, drinking water, and even face masks and rubber gloves? Who would determine when and what dosage of medicine should be given the sick person, or who would administer intravenous antibiotics since health practitioners may be fully occupied at health centers or are themselves incapacitated by the flu?

America is handling Bird Flu much as medieval Europe handled Black Plague. In the great bubonic plague year of 1348 some cities lost 40% of their populations to the horrendous contagion. Medieval quarantines, sanitary cordons, and health passports were necessary to keep sick people in their homes or cities where they lived, suffered, and died, and well people

kept out of the quarantined areas and away from the infected. Brute force was required. In his October 4 Rose Garden news conference, President Bush announced that in case of the potential disaster of a Bird Flu epidemic, he favored the military rather than local and state responders because, as he stated, quarantines would be necessary. A quarantine today, just as in the Middle Ages, is an official legal restraint on people entering and people leaving a particular place. A house can be quarantined and everyone inside prohibited from leaving and no one permitted to get in. A block can be cordoned off and similarly quarantined. A section of a city, an entire city, or a geographic region can be quarantined. The idea is to keep the disease raging where it is and not spreading to the rest of the population outside the site of quarantine. Quarantine through the centuries has lead to murders of those who impose and maintain the quarantines. Naturally everyone inside the quarantine wants to escape. Those cordoned out of the place of contagion do not want to get near it, or accept products from it, unless their family or their valuables are inside. That is powerful incentive to risk entrance to the forbidden place. In case of a Bird Flu epidemic, President Bush intends to preempt state and local officials, assure a declaration of martial law, and force people to be imprisoned in their quarantines with the armed force of the American military. Contemplate what that means to you and to this nation.

Bird Flu: Personal Preparedness Must Include These 4 Critical Areas
There are four essential areas that you must address to prepare for the bird-flu pandemic: 1) "social distancing"; 2) commodities--including food, 3) personal protective equipment (PPE), and 4) financial preparation. [Click the link above for an excellent article by Bradford Frank, M.D. I have been preaching preparedness for decades, and this web site is devoted to information on how to prepare. Dr. Frank gives you the reasons why you should prepare.

Being prepared means having some basic medical equipment and first aid supplies, available easily and inexpensively through Internet sources and even local retail stores. Taking a CPR course, even an emergency medical technician course, is only prudent. Good medical literature is available for advanced first aid, but much is far too simplified...."Get the patient to a doctor, fast." That advice is virtually worthless, as there may be no doctor, and no "getting" anyplace! Fortunately, there are medical books available for sailors and other adventurers which contain very clear and detailed information for help when no physician is available. I¶ve had a copy of "Advanced First Aid Afloat" by Dr. Peter F. Eastman, MD, for over 20 years, and value it highly. It was available from Cornell Maritime Press, Centreville, Maryland, ISBN # 0-87033-169-8. My copy was $6.00, but I'm sure the cost is considerably more now. Nevertheless, I bought a bound copy of Survival and Austere Medicine (below), even though I have the .pdf version on my computer.
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Being prepared also means having some medicines on hand, and the knowledge of how they are used. People in need can always resort to home remedies which have been used for years with decent results: knowledge and supplies are both desirable. There is a method of disinfecting exposed surfaces that you can do at home.

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Part of being prepared for medical emergencies is simply thinking ahead. For example, in really hard times people will be out cutting firewood, perhaps even building log structures. They are going to get cut or at the very least get splinters in various parts of their anatomy. One trick which has been used is regular super glue. A dab of super glue on a splinter will dry to the splinter, and then tweezers can pull it out. But what about a thin slice on a leg or arm? I'm not talking about a deep cut, but rather a shallow slice that leave a large flap of skin that is slow to heal. These happen often and can be debilitating, even life threatening if the person has to walk to an evacuation area, or just be able to continue working. First, the wound can be thoroughly cleansed by flushing with oxygen peroxide. Once the bleeding has stopped, the wound can be lightly packed with Nolvasan Antiseptic Ointment. Then the edges of the cut are carefully cleaned and flap of skin super glued in place. The entire area must then be wrapped with an Ace bandage and must be checked for abscesses periodically, but the person can at least be mobile again instead of being a liability on a whole family group. Another example of thinking ahead and being prepared is for eye injuries. Eyes are very delicate! In very difficult times, people will be doing hard work, sometimes under expedient conditions. Debris can get into eyes, and eyes can be burned. The treatment required is mentioned in the articles linked below, but bears repeating. Do not rub injured eyes! Eyes should be flushed with copious quantities clear water or a saline solution to flush out any debris or chemicals that can cause burns. "Flushing" means more than a slow dribble of water! A squirt from an eye dropper is barely adequate. Actually, turkey basters work very well, as they hold a lot more water but do not produce too much water pressure. Metal slivers from striking metal tools or welding can become stuck in an eye and not be flushed out with water. A small, powerful magnet, such as a pencil type stud finder, can be very carefully moved 1/2" over the eye while holding the eyelids up, and ferrous metal particles will spring up to the magnet. But the eye will still be injured, and eye injuries are extremely painful, so treatment is needed. Prilocaine, or Neomycin eye drops, will help the eye heal very quickly, and also lessen the pain considerably, but those antibiotics are prescription items and must be on hand. Farm animals are always scratching their eyes, and ranchers often treat those eye injuries using "NFZ Puffer," a veterinary medicine 0.2% Nitrofurazome. Some ranchers use it on human eye injuries as well (heeding the advise on the label that some people are hypersensitive to this medication) when a physician is not available and losing an eye could well result from no antibiotic treatment at all. If there is an irritant reaction, flushing the eyes with copious quantities of water will quickly dilute the Nitrofurazome, as it is water soluble. Then, of course, the eye should be covered with a patch so there will be no incentive to move the eye and continue any irritation. The treatments mentioned above are repeated daily until the eye is healed.

With readily available medicines you can treat cholera and typhus, the plague, and other diseases with broad spectrum antibiotics. Those who have the ability of discernment can stockpile certain veterinary medicines if they cannot obtain other types from a physician. It is very important to know how long medications last.

I sometimes have the feeling that honest, tax paying, God fearing citizens have their heads in the sand when it comes to emergency medical preparedness, like they just don¶t "get it." Heck, even the radical left gives medical advice for protesters, but the common person is left out in the cold. The new H5N1 avian virus spreading around the world now, in June, 2005 March, could well prove to be a roaring pandemic by the winter of 2005, killing millions of people worldwide. There is reportedly a news blackout on this avian flu in the US media, but reliable reports are that 121 of the 200 people in China who contracted this flu have died - it is extremely lethal! Large areas of China are quarantined in a vain attempt to keep this avian flue from spreading. Being a new strain of flu, no one has immunity. The Bush administration has issued an Executive Order for the quarantine of civilians when the H5N1 avian flu reaches the United States. Get prepared! It could save your life in the not too distant future. You will be on your own.

Potential Radioactive Fallout Across the Continental United States

Continental US Fallout Pattern for Prevailing Winds To check the precise daily jet stream map, click here. North Korea detonated an underground nuke on May 25, 2009. I have detected no radiation from that test, nor is any expected. However, the North Koreans also unilaterally repudiated the 1953 cease fire agreement and thus we are technically at war again. On May 31, 2009, North Korea began moving an ICBM to a launch pad. Very bad news. I will be checking for radiation frequently when hostilities begin. This is the most commonly used prevailing wind predicted fallout pattern, but remember, fallout can go anywhere or everywhere (and probably will). I will update this site continually if needed, so you will at least have a clue what is headed your way. Due to the possibility of a war with Iran or North Korea that could well include nuclear weapons, I do check my radiation meters and they are reading normal background radiation only.


May 31, 2009


3:00 PM




Survey Meter Reading: Dosimeter accumulation:

Normal background None (Roentgens)

Elapsed time of dosimeter recording: "Hot Spot" readings are different from "background" readings. In the event of large particle tertiary fallout, a single particle per square meter can produce a reading many times greater than the background reading, as measured in Roentgens per hour (R/hr). Neither of those methods of measuring radioactivity involve an accumulated dose of radiation -- which requires the use of a dosimeter. All of these reading are critical in determining the rate of

radioactive decay, and thus the time required to stay indoors as well as the amount and type of shielding required. Look at the jet stream map above. I live about 30 miles from Cape Blanco, the farthest west point on the map in SW Oregon. Check the daily jet stream map and you will know if you are downwind from my location; my readings may not be precise for your particular area, but at least for tertiary fallout you will have some clue as to what is heading your way via the jet stream. I will update this page as frequently as required if I detect tertiary fallout. Nuclear War Survival booklet, by Miles Stair - $3.95

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Addressing the Unthinkable, U.S. Revives Study of Fallout
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/19/national/19NUKE.html By WILLIAM J. BROAD, New York Times March 19, 2004 To cope with the possibility that terrorists might someday detonate a nuclear bomb on American soil, the federal government is reviving a scientific art that was lost after the cold war: fallout analysis. The goal, officials and weapons experts both inside and outside the government say, is to figure out quickly who exploded such a bomb and where the nuclear material came from. That would clarify the options for striking back. Officials also hope that if terrorists know a bomb can be traced, they will be less likely to try to use one. In a secretive effort that began five years ago but whose outlines are just now becoming known, the government's network of weapons laboratories is hiring new experts, calling in old-timers, dusting off data and holding drills to sharpen its ability to do what is euphemistically known as nuclear attribution or post-event forensics. It is also building robots that would go into an affected area and take radioactive samples, as well as field stations that would dilute dangerous material for safe shipment to national laboratories. "Certainly, there's a frightening aspect in all of this," said Charles B. Richardson, the project leader for nuclear identification research at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. "But we're putting all these things together with the hope that they'll never have to be used." 



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Most experts say the risk of a terrorist nuclear attack is low but no longer unthinkable, given the spread of material and know-how around the globe. Dr. Jay C. Davis, a nuclear scientist who in 1999 helped found the Pentagon's part of the government wide effort, said the precautions would "pay huge dividends after the event, both in terms of the ability to identify the bad actor and in terms of establishing public trust." In a nuclear crisis, Dr. Davis added, the identification effort would be vital in "dealing with the desire for instant gratification through vengeance." Vice President Dick Cheney was briefed on the program last fall, Dr. Davis said. The National Security Council coordinates the work among a dozen or so federal agencies. The basic science relies on faint clues -- tiny bits of radioactive fallout, often invisible to the eye, that under intense scrutiny can reveal distinctive signatures. Such wisps of evidence can help identify an exploded bomb's type and characteristics, including its country of origin. Solving the nuclear whodunit could take much more information, including hard-won law enforcement clues and good intelligence on foreign nuclear arms and terrorist groups. For that reason, several federal agencies are involved in the program, among them the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The program addresses true nuclear weapons as well as so-called dirty bombs, ordinary explosives that spew radioactive debris. "It's a very hard job," said William Happer, a physicist at Princeton who led a panel that evaluated the identification work. Mr. Happer said he was worried that a rush for retribution after a nuclear attack might cut short the time needed for careful analysis. "If we lose a city," he said, "we might not wait around that long." The effort to fingerprint domestic nuclear blasts is part of a larger federal project to strengthen the nation's overall defenses against unconventional terrorist threats. Mostly, the goal is prevention. For instance, the government recently sent teams of scientists with hidden radiation detectors to check major American cities for signs that terrorists might be preparing to detonate radiological bombs.

In contrast, the identification program seeks to increase the government's knowledge and options should prevention fail. "We're trying to resurrect some of our capability," said Reid Worlton, a retired nuclear scientist from the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico who has been called in to aid the fallout endeavor. "It sort of died. They're not doing radiochemistry on nuclear tests anymore, so it's hard to keep these people around." The effort draws on work that began at the dawn of the atomic era. Scientists working on the

Manhattan Project built an array of devices to monitor nuclear blasts in the New Mexico desert in July 1945 and at Hiroshima and Nagasaki a month later. The experience helped scientists learn what to look for. The first hunt zeroed in on the Soviet Union. In the late 1940's, military weather planes used paper filters to gather dust particles around the periphery of Russia, and scientists in the United States who analyzed the data at first sounded dozens of false alarms, said Jeffrey T. Richelson, an intelligence expert in Washington. Then, on Sept. 3, 1949, a weather plane flying from Japan to Alaska picked up a slew of atomic particles. "That was the real thing," Mr. Richelson said. Twenty days later, President Harry S. Truman announced that the Soviets had exploded their first nuclear device. The ranks of fallout investigators swelled during the cold war as foreign nations conducted hundreds of atmospheric nuclear tests. By all accounts, the sleuths made many important discoveries about the nature and design of foreign nuclear arms. In time, the ranks dwindled as more and more nations decided to move their test explosions underground, eliminating fallout. The last nuclear blast to pummel the earth's atmosphere was in 1980, and the last known underground test, conducted by Pakistan, was in 1998. As the terrorist threat rose in the 1990's, the government began to consider the quandary that would arise if a nuclear weapon exploded on American soil. In 1999, Dr. Davis, then head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the Pentagon, began an effort to address the identification problem by financing research at the nation's weapons laboratories, many of them run by the Energy Department. The first money came in late 2000, Dr. Davis said, and the attacks of September 2001 "made it clear that a very organized event on a large scale was credible." That perception, he said, helped the effort expand. The secretive work won rare public praise in a June 2002 report ("Making the Nation Safer") from the National Research Council of the National Academies, the country's leading scientific advisory group. Having the ability to find out who launched a domestic nuclear strike, the report said, could deter attackers and bolster threats of retaliation. The report urged that the program go into operation "as quickly as practical" and that the government publicly declare its existence. Since then, weapons laboratories and other federal agencies have worked hard on the problem. "They're making progress but they've got a ways to go," said Mr. Worlton, the retired Los Alamos scientist. In a drill this year, dozens of federal experts in fallout analysis met at the Sandia laboratories in Albuquerque to study a simulated terrorist nuclear blast. Mr. Worlton said they were broken into teams and given radiological data from two old American nuclear tests, whose identities remained hidden, and were instructed to try to name them. Some teams succeeded, he said.

Mr. Richardson of Sandia said the laboratory was developing a land robot that could roll up to 10 miles to sample fallout and return it to human operators for analysis. It could also radio back some results if it became stuck. Mr. Richardson said the robots, now in development, are to be ready in a couple of years. Experts say a new aircraft for atmospheric sampling of nuclear fallout is also in development. The Air Force currently has one, the WC-135W Constant Phoenix, for such work. It was first deployed in 1965. Weapons experts say getting samples fast is important because some radioactive debris can decay rapidly. If captured quickly, they can shed light on a weapon's design. One way of trying to identify a bomb's origin positively, several experts say, is to match debris signatures with libraries of classified data about nuclear arms around the world, including old fallout signatures and more direct intelligence about bomb types, characteristics and construction materials. "If you're talking about a stolen device, you might try to do that," Mr. Richardson said. "But if it's improvised, that's less likely to work. It might not look like things you've seen before." A further complication is that even knowing who made a bomb may say little about who detonated it. In a 1991 Tom Clancy novel, "The Sum of All Fears," Islamic terrorists find and rebuild an Israeli nuclear weapon and set it off at the Super Bowl. Federal experts say complex threat scenarios (for instance, an American warhead being stolen and detonated in an American city) mean that many types of intelligence might be needed for successful identification. Over all, it is unclear how much money the government is spending on the effort. Private experts offered suggestions for improvement. Dr. Happer of Princeton, who heads a university board that helps oversee campus research, said the program might be cooperating too little with nuclear allies. "It's to our advantage," he said, "for all of us to share." Dr. Davis, the former head of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, made several policy recommendations last April in an article for The Journal of Homeland Security. He said the F. B. I. should lead the program, presidentially appointed overseers should guide it, goals should be set for how long analyses should take and legal issues of prosecution should be examined. In an interview, Dr. Davis said his suggestions had made little headway, partly because of the topic's grisly nature. "This is an ugly subject because your best effort is going to be barely adequate," he said. "That's not the kind of phrase people like to hear." Mr. Richardson of Sandia said that the attribution effort had made good technical progress and had already some ability to identify an attacker. "We're hoping for deterrence," he said. "We don't want anybody to think they can get away with

it." http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/19/national/19NUKE.html And the reason for this "secretive effort that began five years ago but whose outlines are just now becoming known" was actually published in the UK just days after the post above was published. It can happen here, which is why I wrote the booklet "Evacuation and Relocation," and why I wrote what is listed on the War Preparations page on this web site.

Dirty bomb victims 'may be shot'
http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=547552003 JOHN INNES, March 15, 2004 POLICE could be forced to shoot members of the public to maintain order in the event of a terrorist "dirty bomb" or biological attack on Britain, it was claimed yesterday. The Police Federation annual conference in Blackpool was told that so few officers have been trained to deal with a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological strike that they would have to resort to "very unsavoury but necessary" crowd control. Bob Elder, the chairman of the constables¶ central committee, did not refer specifically to officers firing on civilians, but sources within the organisation said it was clear police could have to resort to firearms to stop contamination being spread by fleeing victims. The government had failed to explain how important it would be to keep the public inside a cordon after such an atrocity, Mr Elder said. "This is not about creating mass hysteria," he said. "This is about the opposite. The public has a right to know. "The natural reaction from the public caught up in such an incident will be to get as far away from the scene as possible. This could, of course, only extend the problem." In another reference to the possible use of firearms to keep control of an area, Mr Elder added: "We will be the ones who would have to carry out that containment and we would be the ones held responsible for our actions - whatever those may be." Asked if he could foresee officers firing on civilians, he said: "It¶s an option the government is going to have to consider. We haven¶t got enough cops trained to deal with full-scale containment and it¶s putting everyone at risk." A spokesman for the Home Office insisted police would not have powers to shoot the public to enforce a cordon in the event of a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological strike attack.

"Police have the right to detain people if they present a risk to the public," he said. "There are no circumstances in which police could operate some kind of shoot to kill policy under the law."

One oil does not fit all uses. Preservative oils are not created equal. Lubricating oils for machinery generally lack rust proofing qualities. Shafts on food grinders, choppers, strainers, etc, should be lubricated with food grade oil, which usually means olive oil, but for long term storage they should be preserved with rust preventative oil. WD-40 has some fine uses, but the spray cans are for tourists. WD-40 is available by the gallon and can be used with a small hand-pump sprayer much more efficiently than a spray can. The finest rust preventive oil I have ever found is NAPA brand Chain and Cable Lube (part number "Mac's 1370"). NAPA is a national chain of auto parts stores, this particular product is unique to NAPA; other "chain and cable lubes" do not come close in quality, some being simply a sticky, long polymer goo. The discovery of the ability of NAPA Chain and Cable Lube to penetrate into the pores of steel and prevent rust has been known to loggers for many years. Out here in the rain forests of southwest Oregon, loggers would often find discarded wire rope, particularly chokers. The rain and salt spray created by the Pacific Ocean would render chokers absolutely stiff with rust after a single year on the ground. These hardy men would clean off the dirt, spray one side with NAPA Chain and Cable Lube, let the foam dissolve into a thin oil and penetrate the cable, then after awhile turn the cable over and spray the other side. Sometimes a second coat was needed, but often by the end of the day the choker was limp and supple as new. Use NAPA Chain and Cable Lube on all bare metal to prevent rust: especially warranted for saws, blades, or any metal which can rust, and you will have preserved your irreplaceable tools. Each spray can will cover a multitude of metal, while extra cans held in reserve should see you in good stead for years.

Sharpening stones come in many variations, shapes, grades and compositions, making it is hard to describe all of them. I have Arkansas stones, "mud" stones, "Carborundum" stones of silicon carbide, aluminum oxide stones, etc., in different sizes and shapes. Crystrolon and India stones are electric furnace abrasives. Arkansas stones are made of natural novaculite rock in ultra fine

grit. "Queer Creek" mud stones are made from a high silicone content sandstone. All have a purpose, so special attention must be taken when considering the ultimate use of the stone. In years past, when most knife and edged tools had a hardness of 48 to 52 on the Rockwell "C" scale, standard Carborundum stones worked well, and still do for mild steels. Since the advent of 440 C, 154CM, and other hard, tough steels in the early 70's, with a hardness of 58 to 64 R. "C", harder stones such as aluminum oxide, give better use. Arkansas stones are generally used as hones. Once an edge has already been sharpened on an aluminum oxide stone, it can be honed or buffed with an Arkansas stone, but that is an extra step that need not be performed. Arkansas stones made their reputation back in the days when the only alternative was rough carborundum stones. Arkansas stones are expensive and relatively fragile, so with the finer grades of aluminum oxide stones now available, they are no longer the only stone upon which to depend. My particular choice as the best all around sharpening stone is a 2 inch by 8 inch aluminum oxide combination stone, with course and fine grade compositions on each side. This size is large enough for virtually any use. I keep a spare stone marked just for use with hand plane blades. All sharpening stones should be lubricated while in use, so the pores can float off and not clog the pores of the stone. Special honing oil is available, but kerosene works very well as a lubricant. In an emergency, even water may be used as a lubricant. If a stone cuts too rapidly, it can be tempered by soaking it in a pan of hot petroleum jelly, filling the pores of the stone with a thick lubricant. If the pores have been filled due to improper lubrication, clean your stone by soaking it in kerosene, then wash off the surface with a brush soaked in kerosene. This technique can even be used to reclaim almost worthless old stones that most people would consider useless or have already discarded!

Hand cranked grinding wheels are extremely handy for a wide variety of uses, and I wouldn¶t be without one. They can be used to sharpen drill bits, put an edge on shovels, grind nicks out of hatchet blades, etc. I use a medium grit aluminum oxide wheel on my grinder, and can replace it easily with a fine grit wheel when necessary. Foot pedal grinding wheels are very rare, but useful.

Back when sharp tools meant having the winter crops in - a matter of life or death - a pedal powered sandstone grinder was a real luxury item. Pedal power enabled the operator to use two hands to hold the tool being sharpened, making the task quicker and easier. Water is dripped on the stone for lubrication from a container attached to the upright rod. The photo at left shows my century old sandstone grinder.

Many old sandstone grinders are found with a groove in the middle. That was caused by a water container shaped like a funnel, pouring water only in the center of the wheel. I use a triple aquarium air valve fastened to a sturdy plastic gallon container, as shown at left (tilted back to photograph better). The sediment in the plastic container shows the results of decades of use, and the sandstone wheel is perfectly flat. It works! The valves allow infinite control of the quantity of water dropped on the sandstone.

You are going to need metal cutting files. This is a given. Small triangular files are used to sharpen hand saw teeth. Mill bastard files (6" and 8") are used to sharpen cross cut saw teeth, axes, shovels, hoes, etc. When sharpening saws, the correct offset for the teeth must be maintained. A plier type tool works well on hand saws, but with the larger teeth of cross cut saws, tapping with a hammer, then checking against a gauge works best. Files are made from extremely hard carbon steel always susceptible to rust. Files need to be used with care. When using a file, stroke away from you, lift the file, then bring the file back for another stroke. DO NOT drag the file back over the steel, as that only serves to dull the teeth and clogging them with debris. Protect files in storage from rust with a good rust preventive oil. Before use, and before storage, clean files with a wire brush and kerosene. Treated with respect, files will last for decades!

Treat each tool as if it were the last one you will ever own. It may come down to that! Storage in a dry, well ventilated area is mandatory. Obviously, all dirt, grass, etc, should be removed with a scraper or wire brush, even washing with soap and water if necessary, then thoroughly dried and oiled before storing away for a future use. Wooden tool handles should be scraped smooth with a piece of plate glass, or sanded, then stained and coated with linseed oil. It can easily take 3 days for linseed oil to soak in and "dry," and several coats will be needed; select an area in which to hang the tools while they are drying. I use Old English walnut stain and furniture polish as the first coat, then successive coats of linseed oil. I am pleased to say my tool handles look like finely finished gunstocks. A smooth, well finished tool handle will not cause blisters or slivers on your hands during hard use! There are of course many different ways to store tools and equipment, this is your decision. One fellow I know grew up on a farm during the Great Depression, in North Dakota. In the fall, the job for the boys was to wash off all the disks, plows, harrows, etc, clean and dry them thoroughly, then take them into a barn or shed for winter storage. There they were elevated and placed on blocks, any bearings lubricated, then the entire implement coated with linseed oil. In

the spring, those tools were in perfect operating condition, ready for use. Tools in use all the time, such as shovels, received a different treatment. They would fill a 5 gallon bucket with sand, saturate the sand with used engine oil, then place it in a covered location. After a shovel was used, it was washed off and the blade stuck into the oily sand. The next time the tool was used, it was clean, sharp, and rust free. It doesn¶t matter which technique of tool preservation you use as long as it¶s effective. The main objective is to protect and preserve your tools so they will be there to serve you far into the future.

Temperature - heat and cold - changes the actual physical properties of things, and is easy to use to help us make or repair things, or even make our own tools.

A very useful railroad spike! Making steel tools for various specific purposes has long been done by the person who wants and needs the tool. Again, using temperatures properly can make a hard job much easier. Leaf spring or file steel has incredible quality, and can be worked rather easily if first softened by a process called annealing. Place the steel to be annealed into a fireplace or wood stove, heat it to a cherry red, then let it cool naturally, and it will be annealed. The annealed steel can then be cut, drilled, and shaped as desired. While still soft it is then sanded and filed to very near the final finish, including buffing if desired, then heated again to a cherry red and then immediately quenched completely in oil, a process called tempering. The oilbath tempering restores a spring-steel quality of temper. Then the oil scale is removed, final buffing done, the finish edge applied (as in a knife), and the tool is ready for use. Cold water quenching makes steel harder, but brittle. The size of the tool desired is used as a gauge for what size steel to use to make it. Wood rasps make fine knives or scrapers, needing only to be swaged into shape when annealed. Swaging is cold-forming of steel with a hammer and anvil. The combination of annealing, swaging, and tempering can be used to fix bent leaf springs used in many applications. Let us assume you have a collapsed "V" shaped spring in one of your tools. First the spring is annealed, then it is gently swaged to its original shape, then tempered, and it is almost as good as new. Pioneer gunsmiths restored leaf springs over campfires in the wilderness.

Heating steel makes it expand slightly, while rapid cooling makes it shrink, or contract, slightly. Using those principles the pioneers could put a steel rim onto a wooden wagon tire in the middle of nowhere. The rim was formed to be slightly smaller in diameter than the wheel, then heated in a campfire to a red color, quickly placed around the wooden rim, then shrunk to a tight fit by splashing the hot steel with cold water. The steel would be brittle from the cold water quench, so better wagon smiths quenched with oil of some kind, even lard or fat. That same principle can be used to attach bands of steel around shafts, for example to attach a pulley or a sleeve to strengthen a bent rod or shaft. The sleeve or pulley is boiled while the shaft is frozen, thus expanding the sleeve and contracting the shaft. If the sleeve was drilled slightly smaller than the shaft, it will now fit over it, and as the temperatures equalize the band or sleeve becomes tightly bound to the shaft. Primitive welding can be done with the process of hot swaging. Say you want to make a steel band to reinforce a tank. The band is first annealed, then swaged round to the final diameter when cold. Then the overlapping ends of the band are heated cherry red and hammered together on an anvil while hot. The process may have to be. repeated several times, but the ends of the band will become "welded" together and stay firmly attached. A gasoline or propane torch can be used for "spot" heating for this purpose, thus confining the heat to a specific spot. If a fire is used instead, tongs or vice grips must be used to hold the steel while swaging, as the heat cannot be localized as with a torch.

Working with wax making candles or as a beekeeper? A tea kettle can be your best friend. Take wax, for example. It melts at 145°F, so boiling water (212°F) can melt it easily. A brief dip in hot water loosens a candle from a mold, and soaking in boiling water will clean the mold. Have a candle gang mold and the candles are stuck? Freeze the mold, and the wax and mold will contract. Thawing expands the mold faster than the wax, and the candles should come out easily. If not, a little boiling water from a whistling tea kettle over the mold will expand the mold and the candles will come out easily. Then pour boiling water into the mold to dissolve whatever was causing the candles to stick. See more in Making Candles. Boiling water poured through a honey filter turned inside-out will melt the wax particles and residue right off.

Propolis is remarkably sticky and tenacious at room temperature. But freeze it and propolis becomes brittle and can be "popped off" frames. Heat an old but sturdy frame in a solar melter and the wax will melt off, leaving the propolis which will be soft and easily scraped away. Encounter cartridge brass that is too hard (old) and getting split necks, and you need that brass for reloading? Anneal the neck and shoulder area and the brass will become soft and last another 20 rounds or so before annealing is again needed. The details of annealing cartridge brass can be found in Reloading .410 shotshell cases.

The Post Apocalyptic Blacksmith
Chapter 1, Introduction

his is to be a brief introduction to blacksmithing, an art and a science that is so old as to be almost beyond reckoning. I cannot possibly attempt to make a Master Smith out of everyone who reads this article. There are many books written on the subject, and the authors, those learned scholars who wield the hammer beside forge and anvil would be most upset if they found out that I could teach the subject in one article, especially considering that I am only a "shade tree" smith myself. I will also note for the sake of political correctness that in this article I have used the second person gender specific masculine pronoun. This is for convenience only and is not a political

statement. While most blacksmiths have been and still are male, there are female smiths these days, many of whom could teach me quite a bit. A female smith in general might lack upper body strength, which is an inconvenience to be sure, but not an outright dis-qualifier. Creativity is much more valuable to a blacksmith than physical prowess... muscle can always be hired, and often cheaply. Creativity cannot be purchased at any price. However, should you, the Reader, wish to brand me a sexist because of my diction in this article... by all means go right ahead! The emphasis for this article (and the subsequent book that may arise from it) will be on postapocalyptic smithing operations. That much should have been obvious from the title, but this needs more definition than simply to use the phrase "post-apocalyptic". This phrase means different things to different people... and to different peoples, for that matter. That said, I will also point out that one does not have to be concerned about any disaster and/or subsequent breakdown of civilization in order to benefit from reading this. Anyone interested in learning how to forge iron in the traditional manner will benefit from reading these words. In the most common sense, post-apocalyptic means "after the Apocalypse", as in the Apocalypse of John in the Book of Revelations. This is not to be a treatise on the various Biblical interpretations lest Biblical scholars take me to task as being unqualified for it, and they would be right to do so. However, we must touch upon Biblical prophecies... just a bit, if for no other purpose than to give one reason for this jumble of words to exist at all. By all accounts, those times, the end times, described by John in the book of Revelations and by Jesus in the various Gospels, no matter how they are interpreted, will be Dark Times Indeed. For those who have not read the above referenced works... there is still hope for you. RTFM (Read The Fine Manual, in Geekspeak), the manual being described as any variation of the King James or other version of the Bible that includes the New Testament. The Catholic Bible contains a few extra books. Read them if you wish, but they are not necessary to understand the conditions that will prevail in the end times. That we are presently in the end times is no longer a matter of opinion, in my opinion, (Yes, I know that is circular logic!). As I write this, a recent school massacre in Minnesota is in the news. The teen-aged perpetrator of this most recent act of carnage fits the profile for demonic activity with almost frightening accuracy. Make no mistake; Satan walks among us. There is also the matter of the Rapture, in which the faithful will be raptured away from all the chaos reigning on the earth. Some will ask, "If I am to be raptured away, why should I make any but spiritual preparations? Good question. When will the Rapture come? Another good question. You are learning, Grasshopper!

The time of the rapture is a matter of some debate. Indeed, there are only a few verses in the Bible where it is even mentioned... and even those are sketchy. A friend of mine who IS, in fact, a Biblical scholar holds the opinion that the rapture is quite possibly not what most people envision. So, in a nutshell; it may come before tribulation, it may come during tribulation, it may come after tribulation, or it may come not at all... or at least not in the way it is expected by those who do expect it. So on the timing of things, take your choice... and pray that you are right. Now, a ³paranoid´ individual such as myself takes the view that the end of the world could happen at any moment, and that it will certainly happen suddenly, like ³a thief in the night.´ With this view, it is best to always be prepared for any eventuality. It is too late for the students, teachers, and security guard who were massacred in the neighboring state to the West of here. It is too late for whatever number you prefer of Jews, Gypsies, Jehova's Witnesses, and others massacred by the Nazis. It will be too late for the residents of the first American city to be bombed in an act of nuclear terrorism... it is only a matter of time before we see that. I found that in the revision of this article, I must mention natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, which recently devastated the Gulf coast region of the United States. The residents of the Big Easy, in many cases, were absolutely unprepared for a disaster. Their response, while predictable, was far from an example one might hope for. One must not depend upon governmental agencies to provide solace and comfort in the event of any sort of disaster, and this is especially so when the disaster is on the order of apocalyptic in magnitude. This, the study of blacksmithing is but one step in the process of being prepared for disaster. I will also mention that it is by no means the only thing needed. Miles' site is an excellent primer for things apocalyptic, though it is not the only one. There are the end times and there are the end times. Revelations is filled with metaphor, and no exact timetable can be drawn from it. Once certain things have occurred, if we recognize them, we can start to build a time table, but what happens before that is still unclear. Almost certainly, things are going to get more and more lawless and chaotic as resources become scarce, morals decline, and people become more and more animalistic in nature. The times leading up to the Biblical end times may be nearly as bad as the end times themselves, and they will have to be survived as well. The Post-Rapture period needs to be at least mentioned... just in case it happens. The question of whether or not salvation is still possible at that point is for Biblical scholars and uninformed

gossips to debate. I will not enter into this fray as I am neither. I've read Revelations, and am still not clear on exactly when what will occur. That they will occur is beyond doubt, its just the order of things and the details that are in debate to my mind. Once you have begun to see your neighbors and former friends beginning to take the mark of the beast (whatever it may be), things will really be heating up. At that point, you had better be well situated somewhere safe and well supplied, because you will not be able to replenish your supplies until Christ returns... unless you are so foolish as to take the mark or allow others who have taken the mark to live in your company. I am not prepared to say which comes first; the Mark of the Beast, the Rapture, or Tribulations. Either of the former events will be immediately obvious. Proceed accordingly, depending upon how the events unfold. Tribulation is a relative term. Suffice it to say, however, that the Biblical version of Tribulation is not something on the order of having Windows crash on you. It is debatable whether or not those who have missed the Rapture, whatever it may be, can still be saved. I prefer to operate on the premise that Salvation is still possible. In any case, if you are damned already, you have nothing to lose by continuing to survive, if you are not damned, you have everything to gain by surviving until Christ returns... without taking the mark. Once you take the mark, you are damned and so is anyone else who takes it... that much even Biblical scholars agree on. Have no dealings with such people. Their master is a Master of Deceit and there is nothing to be gained by even speaking to them. At that point, (the post-rapture period, if it in fact occurs) the Bible and specifically, the New Testament, is your only reliable source of information. Read it... well... religiously. ³Trust No One´ will be an excellent motto for everyone, not just Agent Mulder, as all those who are worthy to offer religious guidance will have been raptured away. Even if we discount Biblical prophecy, there are still events that could happen which may be termed "apocalyptic". Need a few suggestions? How 'bout a large meteor strike on the planet? Maybe just a near miss by a heavy body that alters our orbit and drastically changes the climate. Maybe it will be a world wide pandemic of a recently mutated virus that kills 90% of host organisms and takes a couple of months to gestate in each host, thus allowing it a good chance to spread before it can be contained.

Need more local examples? Hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, floods... disasters happen every day. How about a world-wide drought? How 'bout a nuclear war? Disasters happen, something killed off the dinosaurs... and more recently, the mammoths and other extinct species. The point is that the Apocalypse, or a mini-apocalypse could occur at any moment. Remember also, that the end of the world for an individual could be just one car accident... or one bullet hit away. For the purpose of these pages of text, I will define the post-Apocalyptic world as one in which a major cataclysmic event of some kind has occurred, or is about to occur that will severely disrupt society. Our distribution network will have broken down, and widespread law and order will become a thing of the past. Only little pockets of order will exist in a sea of chaos. That said, I suppose I should get to it and address a question that might be asked. It's an obvious one, but it doesn't often occur to those who have decided to learn smithing. Someone who wants to learn it never questions his motives, so he never considers why it might be desirable to learn it in the first place. These motivations might be just as valid for an individual who is relatively unconcerned with matters apocalyptic. So why bother with blacksmithing? It takes years to learn, a sizable investment in materials and tooling, and is pretty much an obsolete skill? Isn't it? Well, not quite. Surprisingly, even in the beginning of the 21st century, there are still blacksmiths and farriers earning a living in much the same way that their great-great-grandfathers might have done... to be sure with any of a number of modern tools and methods, but a Master Smith from the late 1700's would still be able to find his way around a modern blacksmith's shop and turn out quality work. Electric tools and welding apparatus might mystify him at first, but he'd still find a forge, anvil, and hammer... the basics from which everything else is derived. With a modern apprentice to show him the switches and gas valves, he'd be quite comfortable in his new "home".
A post-apocalyptic smith will not necessarily be a replica of the Master Smith of 1776. There will be gaps in his knowledge that only experience not presently available can fill. Many modern smiths do not, for example, know how to make files or shoe horses. They will, however, have a wealth of knowledge and materials that would amaze our 18th century Master Smith. They may have Templesticks, a power hammer, modern steels that are air-hardened. They'll understand some science and engineering that their forebears never heard of. They will find, unfortunately in many cases, that they'll have to go back to hand tools rather than electrically powered machines. They will find that they cannot order propane, coal, steel, acetylene, oxygen, or other items now commonly ordered by phone or on line. They'll have

to make do... something most smiths have had to learn even in these times. The blacksmith of old was the original Angus MacGyver, and had to be at least as inventive as that television character. Who do you think made the first Swiss Army Knife anyway? The post-apocalyptic smith will have to be even more inventive than his forefathers. The answer to the basic question (why to learn smithing in the first place) is fairly self-evident to a "born" smith, someone who wants to learn it just for the sake of learning it; he does it because he can and he needs no

further justification for it. Anyone else, particularly those reading these words on Miles' site, might need some additional motivation. He might ask, "How will learning to do blacksmithing help me survive the end times, or any other disaster?" Well, life in a post-Apocalyptic world will not be easy. The things we have all become accustomed to, like toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, dry-cell batteries, state-of-the-automotive-art Maybach automobiles (if one is extremely weathy!), and telecommunications will all either be gone completely or sharply reduced in availability. We will have to find substitutes or trade for what we want. I like honey, for example, but I absolutely HATE bees (You wondered why I didn't buy the bee book, Miles?). After a nuclear war or some natural or supernatural disaster, I won't be able to go to Aldi's or Sam's to buy honey. I'll have to raise the bees myself, trade other goods and services, rob a beekeeper, or do without honey. If I thought that I could control my nerves well enough to actually open an active hive and rob the bees of their labor, I might consider learning how to raise the little venomous flying thorns myself, but I don't think I could do that... hey, even Superman has a weakness! This leaves brigandage and trade. One is costly, one is risky and immoral. I would choose to trade. Trade what? Well, the beekeeper probably isn't a blacksmith, and like me, he can't go to Fleet Farm to buy tools that he needs to ply his trade. He, like everyone else will need to find other sources for axes, shovels, hoes, picks, wedges, hooks, and a thousand other tools. I need a quart of honey, he needs... say, a boot scraper for outside his front door to keep the mud out of the house (no electricity for the vacuum cleaner and he probably has other things for his wife to do than wear herself out sweeping up dried mud). Or maybe he needs a hook to hang his lantern on when the sun goes down. Possibly he might need a spring for his shotgun to keep the bears out of his hives. He might want something nobody ever heard of, like, for instance a 'skeeter chaser (pictured at left). Mosquitoes and other insect vectors spread more disease than all the sneezes in the world. Virtually any essential tool can be made by a skilled blacksmith using only the basic tools of hammer, forge, and anvil. You need a fish-hook? Can do! How 'bout a horse shoe? No problem at all! It might pay to remember that gasoline not being available will make horses extremely popular all of a sudden... which will make farriers quite sought after. A word about farriers... a good farrier, which is a blacksmith who specializes in horse shoeing and related enterprises is worth at least his weight in gold. He must be part blacksmith, part veterinarian,

and it doesn't hurt to know something about wainwrightry and harness mending. A farrier can do most simple blacksmithing tasks, though he may not be up to things like hardening and tempering knife blades or making a file from scratch. A blacksmith who is not trained in working with horses should not attempt to shoe a horse. He could end up crippling a valuable animal... and the owner might then become upset enough to find a new place to shove the smith's hammer... after first heating the head to red heat in the forge! Any steel tool can be repaired and/or refurbished by a competent blacksmith. Many a modern smith makes a fair amount of his living from refurbishing plow points, or at least he did ten or fifteen years ago. Picks, axes, shovels, mattocks, broadaxes, froes, adzes, hoes, and other hand tools do break and wear out. They'll be needed, quite probably, within the time span addressed by other areas of Miles' site. Many essential tools will be broken and need repair... probably more repairs will be needed than new tools, though this will depend upon many issues as yet unknown. This is not to say that trade is the only reason to get into this kind of work. Indeed, most farmers would still find basic smithing skills useful, even in the age of electric arc welders. I was able to persuade a modern dairy farmer to part with his grandfather's forge only with great persistence and the promise that I would see to any future blacksmithing needs he might have. I've since straightened a wagon tongue and a steel lever, and repaired "obsolete" farm machinery, among other things. The three basic tools of the smith (hammer, forge and anvil) can and must be supplemented by a whole bunch of other tools, but every one of those tools from a drill bit to a rotary forge blower can be made with the three basic ones. The most commonly used hand tool in my shop is a two pound cross-peen hammer. The two on the bottom in the illustration at left are cross-peen hammers. The astute observer will note that one has a longer handle on it. Both weigh the same, but the longer handle gives the smith more leverage and allows for a more forceful hit. I use this one for rough work like squaring round stock. The shorter handled hammer is used for finishing points, bending, and welding of light stock. Most smiths use a heavier hammer than two pounds, but they are usually in better shape than I, work with heavier iron, and have a much larger anvil than I do. I sometimes use the 4 pounder for heavier stock, but not often. I don t think I would crack my anvil face, but I don t especially want to find out. Almost any hammer will work for smithing... even that little 10 oz hammer your wife uses to hang pictures in the living room, though to do any significant amount of work, you'd have to do quite a bit of

hammering with something that light. It is best to get a hammer in the two to five pound range at a minimum for general blacksmithing, but even better to have an assortment of hammers in different weights and configurations. Brass, and lead hammers do have their uses in blacksmithing, as do wooden mallets, but in a pinch they can be done without. I find them useful for adjusting work clamped to a drill press table and straightening out bends that find their way into longitudinal twists. An anvil, at least a quality anvil, is one of the more difficult items to find these days. My own anvil, pictured at left, is a relatively small and light model made in China and sold at Fleet Farm (on clearance) more than twenty years ago. It is a traditional one in that the body of the anvil is made of wrought iron and the face of tool steel welded onto the body. It has served me well for some twenty odd years and will likely last another twenty. Unlike most modern anvils, my anvil rings just like the old ones did. Modern anvils are almost all made of cast steel, thus they do not ring. This is not as bad as some smiths will tell you. The old London pattern anvil or slight variations thereof, is the most common anvil in public perception. This is the anvil that commonly gets dropped on the heads of cartoon characters from great heights. It has a horn, a face, a pritchel hole, and a hardy hole near the heal of

the anvil. A common variant is the farrier's anvil, which is generally lighter in weight, and has a longer and more tapered horn. Other designs may have two horns or other design variations. They can weigh anywhere from a thousand pounds or more in the case of a shop that does steam locomotive repair or traditional anchor making, to a few ounces for a jeweler's anvil. If you can afford to buy an anvil, get one that weighs at least 150 pounds or so... heavier is better, but if you are trying to bug out of town with your family in a '91 Ford Escort, a 500 pound anvil in the back will almost certainly overload the suspension, not to mention the back of the smith who has to lift it. I have found that my 50 pounder is heavy enough for most small household hardware like hooks, trivets, fireplace tools, etc. It is also easy to move around my garage. Would I trade it for 150 pounder, though? Absolutely! If you have to improvise an anvil, a section of railroad track will work, as will a section of steel I-beam. Almost any kind of heavy steel will work. Cast iron, like an engine block does not make a very good anvil. Cast iron is brittle and will shatter upon impact with a hammer. Probably the first anvil was simply a large rock, and while a piece of granite is not my favorite anvil, I have been able to use it for some purposes. The anvil at right is made from a section of railroad track and has served Miles for quite some time. An anvil like this one does have limitations, especially when working with very heavy stock, but you can use it for a surprising number of things. Most common tool repairs can easily be handled with this anvil. An important consideration with this type of anvil, or any light weight anvil is the fact that it will soak up heat from the hot iron being worked on its surface. When I am working with any stock larger than half an inch in diameter, I generally put my anvil in the slack tub for a few minutes after every two hours or so. As a rule of thumb, if it becomes too hot to touch, it is too hot! The anvil is mounted traditionally by spiking it to a heavy wooden post sunk into the floor a fair distance with the face of the anvil about knuckle-height to the smith. If you want it lower, be my guest, I suspect that chiropractors will still be plying their trade in the foreseeable future. I mount mine on a box made

of 2x12 stock held together with long carriage bolts and filled with concrete capped by another piece of wood. This is a fairly stable support and can be moved... with difficulty, as it weighs more than the anvil. Instead of being spiked, my anvil simply rests in a rectangular recess sized to fit its base. This allows me to remove the anvil and move it separate from the base. Other smiths use a steel frame support and some chain the anvil down. This, they tell me, keeps the anvil from ringing as loudly. To each their own. You also need a forge. The forge can be as simple as a fire built on the ground with a "trench tuyer" and three "slaves" using their lungs and a long tube each one in sequence to provide a forced draft as it was done in times past. Now, slaves, by nature are not very good workers, being unwilling ones... not that I blame them. Volunteers fail as well, as they require food, shelter, and other human needs just like the slaves do... but in a pinch, a group of men with a good sense of rhythm can serve in this fashion for a time. There are better ways, however. The forced draft is essential. Naturally aspirated fires simply do not provide enough heat to work iron and steel unless they are quite large. This can be done, as, I have been told, the traditional Japanese swordsmiths do, but a large fire consumes proportionately large amounts of fuel and the immense heat from such a fire makes it difficult to approach the iron being worked. Almost everyone even in these modern times is familiar with the common fireplace bellows. This small bellows is called a "single-acting" bellows, because it can only provide a forced draft when being pumped in one direction. The double-chambered or great bellows is similar in operation, but it has two chambers and can provide a steady draft by virtue of the design allowing for draft production while being pumped in either direction. While a pair of single-acting bellows can be used in tandem, a double-chambered bellows is preferred. The size of the bellows depends upon the size of the forge, which in turn is dependent upon the size of the metal to be worked. Probably the best compromise package is either a modern or an antique forge with a hand-cranked rotary squirrel-cage blower to provide draft. The rotary blower was invented around 1850 and has pretty much supplanted the bellows due in part to its compact size relative to the bellows it replaced. My own forge is one of these. It was built by the Buffalo Forge Company of Buffalo, NY, probably in the early 1900's. It is made of heavy cast-iron and provides useful heat for most things I need it for. I obtained it

from a friend and when I picked it up, the blower was froze up from rust and lack of use. Some of the parts were bent from where it had been crushed against the back wall of a shed by a trailer carelessly backed into it. I've since restored it to working condition with minimal expense. This is what you want, if you can possibly find one. The modern ones are available from several sources, and the old ones can sometimes be found at farm auctions. If you cannot locate or cannot afford a forge... all is not lost. The first forges were made from scratch. Forges can be made from masonry, or iron and steel. I've made forges constructed out of brick held in a wooden box with a piece of black iron pipe as a tuyer... the tube providing the draft to the fire. Never use galvanized pipe for any forge part that will get hot... unless you would like to experience lead poisoning first-hand. I've also used brake drums for the "duck's nest". Brake drums work fairly well, being made of cast iron. Anyone capable of performing basic smithing operations should be well-able to engineer his own forge... and there are numerous sources available for those not able to design their own. It is often helpful to have a "blacksmith's helper"... a support that is the same height as the edge of the forge. It is useful to have such a device adjustable to account for variations in the level of the floor as well as the angle one wishes the work to be held in the fire. At right can be seen an improvised helper, a sawhorse. There are iron helpers, but for light work, a wooden support is more than sufficient. Another item that is needed is some kind of container for quenching steel and supplying water for cokification of the coal, or containing the fire in the case of a charcoal forge. This is called the slack tub, and is essential. I use an old whiskey barrel sawed in half, as can be seen in the photograph, but any kind of bucket or tub will work so long as it is water-tight and relatively heat resistant. In addition to the slack tub, you also might want a container of oil and/or brine. Not all steels can be effectively hardened in a simple water bath. There are, for example, oil-hardening steels. Caution: plastic buckets and the like do not make good slack tubs, especially when containing oil. They will melt and possibly cause a large oil spill in your driveway. A forge traditionally burns coal or charcoal, though they can be designed to burn various petroleum

products, alcohol, wood, coke, natural gas, wood gas, and propane. If it will burn, you can probably design a forge to burn it... though some fuels are more preferred than others. Probably the most useful fuels for a post-apocalyptic smith are the traditional ones; coal and charcoal. Most of the others, natural gas, propane, etc. will not be available in any reliable quantity. Coal suitable for smithing is not at all easy to come by commercially any longer. I used to buy it from a local coal supplier, but now they only supply stoker coal, which is a high-sulfur product in very large granulation. It can be used, but it doesn't work well at all. Smithing coal can be ordered in fifty pound bags, but be prepared to pay for shipping... coal is heavy. Coke, which is what you convert the coal into when you burn it in a forge, can be burned as well... if you can find it. The best coal (or coke) for smithing has a very high percentage of carbon, and a low percentage of sulfur and other impurities. The "shelf life" of coal, coke or charcoal is in the millions of years... much longer than you need to store it, and it can be stored out in the weather with no problems. Unless you live in an area where you can "strip mine" it on your own land however, you can't make it yourself, so get a few hundred pounds in storage against the time when you can't order it any longer... more if you plan to "hire out" your services to the neighbors. "Shot coke" is a petroleum product, and does not work well for smithing due to an extremely high sulfur content... take in a lung full of the fumes from that stuff some day. After you have finished your coughing spell, you'll understand with a great wealth of detail why you don't want to use it if you can possibly avoid it. Charcoal is pretty much the antithesis of coal in many ways. It is almost pure carbon, with no sulfur or anything else to make the thick black smoke that characterizes a coal fire. It is readily available at many distribution points. It can even be made on-site if one has a ready supply of wood. It is relatively light in weight. It is not without problems, however. First, the forge must be designed with a much deeper bowl than a coal forge in order to produce useful heat. A coal forge can burn charcoal, but it must be modified a bit. When I burn charcoal in my own forge, I generally stack a few rows of bricks around the periphery to improvise a deeper bowl. Alternatively, one can simply mound it up over the top of the fire. The best charcoal is "natural lump" charcoal, which looks like blackened tree branches, or in one case I saw, blackened hardwood flooring scraps. Conventional charcoal briquettes intended for outdoor cooking have some problems... the binder in this product will break down if exposed to excessive moisture, and I have heard that it will produce toxic fumes under a draft. I question this claim, but I cannot refute it, so use charcoal briquettes for smithing at your own risk. Probably the biggest drawback for charcoal is that it burns up much faster than coal does. A hundred pounds of coal will be enough to supply my own forge for the entire Summer, a hundred pounds of charcoal will be gone in a month or two.

Should you wish, you can make your own charcoal. Alex Bealer's book contains some references to the subject as it was done historically, and is done today. Not all that much has changed in the basic process. Charcoalers build fires in piles of wood that are partially buried in the earth. They open drafts up to let varying amounts of air in to the fire from time to time until the charcoal is done, and then they smother the fire. This is a very simplistic version of what they actually do, however. Most of us would not have need for such large amounts of charcoal as is commonly made this way, however. Charcoal making is as much art as science... kinda like blacksmithing... and those who make it develop an expertise that is difficult to impart to others who have not spent time in the woods sleeping under a tarp and tending fires. My neighbor Seffe tells me of long hard hours spent in making charcoal under his father s tutelage as a boy growing up in Mexico. He also tells me that the pay for the finished product was minimal at best. This is, unfortunately (or fortunately, if one is buying rather than selling) common in the history of charcoal making. The basic process is simple; one burns wood under carefully controlled conditions to burn off the wood gas and moisture among other things, and leave behind the almost pure carbon that is charcoal. Hardwood makes the best charcoal, but any wood can be used. Making small batches is labor-intensive, but not impossible to accomplish. One way is to simply build a fire on the ground, wait for the flames to die down, (an indication that most of the wood gas has been burned off), and douse it with water. This will leave charcoal in the ashes that can be gathered up and put to use in a forge. Another way that I have found effective is to build a fire in a commonly available Weber charcoal grill with hardwood. Let the fire get going pretty well and then put the lid on the grill and close up the vents. The Weber design is almost perfect for small scale charcoal production. It pretty much duplicates with modern air vents and steel, what the traditional charcoal makers do with dirt. Your first batch of charcoal will probably have quite a bit of wood left in it. No problem, leave the wood for the next batch... or simply use it as it is in the forge. You can convert it to charcoal much as coal is coked in the forge, though you probably do not want excessive amounts of wood in your forge. It produces tars, creosote, smoke, etc. that are tough on the smith's eyes, not to mention his lungs. The first tool that a smith needs to construct, assuming he has a hammer, working forge, and an anvil, is a pair of tongs. Tongs are a tool used to handle small pieces of iron in the forge. In a pinch, a pair of ViseGrips will work, though the short handles on them limit their utility somewhat. A piece of iron can be worked without tongs, provided it is long enough that the smith can hold onto one end of it without burning himself when the other end is at red heat. Eighteen to twenty-four inches or more is about right. This should give you some idea of how long to make the tongs. My first and second sets of tongs are not pretty. They are crude and ugly. I made them myself, though,

and I still use them from time to time. These days, though, I seldom admit to having made something that ugly! If you wish, you can order tongs already made. This is perhaps not a bad idea for the neophyte who is short of time... which we all may be. However, making a pair of tongs is a good exercise and by the time the apprentice has finished a pair of tongs, he will have learned a good deal and will... perhaps... be ready to tackle the project he made the tongs for in the first place. The tongs at left are horse shoe tongs... or that is my belief. With so many tools, it is not at all uncommon to find one in a shop that you never saw before. Most often the

smith who used the tool in question is long dead, so you cannot ask him outside of consulting a medium... something I definitely DO NOT recommend. These are used, as near as I can tell, to handle horse shoes in a forge. The cupped jaws allow for the cleats to be held firmly. There are a plethora of other tools that can be either made or ordered. None of them are essential, but all of them are useful. They include hardies, specialized hammers, clamps, nail-headers, vises, drills, punches, and so many others that I could not possibly list them all here. About vises.... a five dollar vise with a clamp to attaching it to a work bench is unsuitable for blacksmithing. Your vise needs to be large, heavy, and firmly fastened to a work bench. It it can be swiveled in several dimensions, so much the better, but it must be sturdy and able to take pounding as you may be using it quite heavily. Should you be so very fortunate as to find a leg vise... get down on your knees and thank God profusely. I only recently acquired one myself, and this after actively searching for twenty years. Even if you find a damaged one that can be repaired... you have a prize beyond price. A leg vise has an extension on the stationary jaw that goes to the floor, thus it is supported right from the floor and is much sturdier than any bench mounted vise. When something is clamped in this vise and is hammered on, the force of the blows is not wasted on the flexing of the bench, it is rather, applied to the work being hammered. Traditionally, a leg vise's leg is set upon something like a white oak post buried a fair distance into the ground, though this is not my favorite. My own smithy needs to be portable, so I prefer something on the order of a wedge plate or other support base that can be picked up and moved along with the rest of the shop. A plumbing flange and nipple of the appropriate size makes a tolerable adjustable "foot" for the leg. A concrete floor with a steel plate supporting the vise leg is pretty hard to beat, but if you don't have concrete, improvise

something else... a large rock, a post, a steel plate, etc. I got this vise (shown "as found" in the photo at right) from a farmer's work bench in Abrams, WI. The present owner of thefarm had little use for it after his father's death, so it stood idle. When I came to remove the vise, it hadn't been used in some twenty to thirty years, and neither had the blowtorch in the ice cream bucket on the bench. The leg was buried in the dirt floor with the rotted remains of a wooden post under it. Most smiths buy some of their tools and make others. Necessity being the mother of invention, smiths often make tools that they will only use one time for some specific purpose. They do this primarily because they can. The one "tool" that a neophyte smith simply cannot do without is a good set of books detailing smithing operations, properties of metals, and any other subjects that might be thought useful. Wainwrightry, harness

making, and automobile mechanics come to mind. Yes, smiths can repair automobiles... who do you think made and repaired the first ones? Two books I have found to be extremely informative are The Complete Modern Blacksmith, by Alexander G. Weygers, and The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W. Bealer. Both have a wealth of information in the form of prose as well as diagrams. Remember, even if I manage to expand this article such that it becomes more of an e-book than a web article, it won't be available when the Internet is gone... unless somebody saves the entire document and puts it out on a packet radio server. Another tool that can be useful is either a gasoline or kerosene blow torch. It used to be a commonly available tool, but today is found more often in antique shops, having been replaced in the working world by propane torch. Both the old and the new torches are shown at left. Please excuse the workbench clutter. You might not be able to use it once the gasoline is gone, but until that time, it will be quite useful for tempering steel tools, soldering (you'll need an old-fashioned soldering iron that has to be heated up by the torch), etc.. Be careful with this tool... and make very certain it is in workable condition before you do something as foolish as actually igniting it. NEVER attempt to add pressure to a burning blow-torch. If the check valve fails and sprays gasoline out through the pump stem... it will ignite with no way to shut off the fuel supply. It is difficult to get one to actually explode, but if it does, you don't want to be near it. A good rule of thumb is to always have a full bucket of water around to pour on the torch if something... unexpected... should happen. I cannot stress enough that these torches, while quite useful, are dangerous in the extreme and as they are all fifty year old antiques now, may not be in the safest condition. Get a good tap and die set. The one shown at left is a high-end set by Sears in their Craftsman line. They make several different sets in different price ranges. This one contains a set of Easy Outs. I have personally found Easy Outs to often be ineffective in removing broken bolts, but the alternatives are definitely to be avoided. Photo courtesy of Sears. There will come a time when you will need to either tap a hole in something or thread a rod for some

reason. Trust me, you do not want to attempt to cut threads by hand with a file. It can be done, but is extremely time intensive and has a large scrap ratio. Cutting internal threads by hand involves first making a tap, which is done by first cutting threads on a rod of annealed/normalized tool steel, then tapering the threads at the end and cutting flutes into it. If this sounds impossible to you it probably is, though it has been done. Making taps and dies is not nearly so difficult if one has a properly equipped metal lathe. More on this topic later. By now you may have come up with another question; if I can't buy a shovel at Fleet Farm, where can I order a half-ton of half-inch square mild steel? The answer is, unfortunately, that a post-apocalyptic smith may not be able to order anything. Where, then, can he get metal to ply his trade with? Good question! Probably the first thing any competent post-apocalyptic smith would do is to secure a good supply of raw material, mostly mild steel, but various types of tool steels might also be put into "stock", as well as a few other metals, i.e.: brass for brazing, lead and tin for soldering, maybe some copper tubing and other materials. He might also procure for himself some old recycled wrought iron or Swedish iron. Preferably, he'd do this ahead of time, before the waste products hit the fan. He'd load his stock, tools, forge, anvil, weapons, reloading equipment, ammunition, food, water, other assorted supplies and his family, carefully into an old school bus he bought and bug out to parts unknown. (An old school bus makes a very good bug-out vehicle because of its large cargo capacity, high roadclearance, and the nearly bullet-proof sides). But suppose he did not plan well enough and was caught unawares. (Remember, not even Jesus knows the hour!) Photo courtesy of www.usedschoolbusses.com. Well, look around you. There are all kinds of things in the average garage or machine shed that won't have much use in a post-apocalyptic world. A gas or electric lawn mower, for example. The blade is highcarbon steel, suitable for making knives, machetes, cleavers, hoes, mattocks, splitting froes, etc. How 'bout that old side rake? Well, you might be able to use it as is, but the rake tines are also high carbon steel that can be used for many things. The most useful source of base material however, may be that very school bus that got you out to Gramma's farm in the first place. (Trust me; at four to ten miles per gallon, you won't be driving it around all that much after the original trip!) You can jack the body up and remove the drive train, wheels and suspension. Leave the body intact as it makes a very good instant shelter and eventually a good place to store things that need to be out of the weather. After you finish dismantling the drive

train and suspension, you will have hundreds of pounds of springs, shafting, and nuts & bolts. Much of this will be good quality high-carbon steel. In a post-apocalyptic world, a common ordinary junk-yard is considerably more valuable than a gold mine. You have at your fingertips, an almost inexhaustible supply of various grades of iron and steel bar stock. You have tons of sheet steel, which, as any smith who has attempted to draw a bar down to a thin sheet will tell you, is unbelievably precious. You have wire, and generators, hundreds of radios that probably still work, gears and transmissions, air-conditioning compressors, batteries... that can be used as is or broken up for scrap lead which has a whole 'nother application... as projectiles. If you are a competent smith and wish to ply that trade in the post-apocalyptic world, try to locate yourself near a country junk yard. You will enrich yourself immeasurably not only for your own projects, but if you can lay claim to that junk yard somehow, you can supply other smiths with base materials as well... in exchange for other goods and services, of course. It is possible for a knowledgeable smith to make his own iron and steel. This is not to be undertaken lightly, however. Alex Bealer address this topic in the second chapter of his book. Depending upon what exactly is wanted, different methods were and are used. One method of making wrought iron involves distributing small pieces of cast iron in a furnace filled with charcoal. The charcoal is then ignited and the fire fanned to a very high heat. This will burn the extra carbon out of the cast iron and leave pure iron and slag behind. This material will collect in the form of a "bloom" in the bottom of the furnace, where it can be dragged out and worked with hammers to form various sized rods of wrought iron stock. This will not be an easy task to accomplish, and anyone attempting it should first consult a doctor to make certain of his own sanity before proceeding. The final product of this venture however may be well worth the effort. Actual wrought iron is virtually unavailable today. It hasn't been made in any form for quite some time, and after about 1900, wrought iron bar stock was pretty much replaced by mild steel. Most smiths hated the stuff, but short of making their own wrought iron, a daunting task, they had to use mild steel where they had used wrought iron. The advantages of wrought iron may almost be worth the effort, however. It is far easier to weld than any steel, one cannot burn it at any temperature... it will melt first. It is much more resistant to rust than mild steel. This is the stuff from which you want to make hooks that will be used outdoors. There are still a few sources for wrought iron. It is expensive, but it might be worth stocking a few hundred pounds for certain purposes... if one has the money. Swedish iron is very much like wrought iron, but has less slag content and is more expensive. It, too, is available in limited quantities. Stainless steel is interesting material to work with. It cannot be welded in a forge. It retains heat well

and it can be used to forge implements that are virtually indestructible as far as rust is concerned. If you really try hard, you can get it to rust, but it won't be an easy task. There are different grades of stainless steel. The most rust resistant is not magnetic and is generally softer. Surgical steels, some cookware, and other food grade machinery is made of this stuff. Other tools might be desirable. In the way of power tools, a trip-hammer or power hammer will save many hours of hammering if it can be adapted to wind, water, steam or other post-apocalyptic power supply. Another machine that will be greatly useful is a metal lathe... preferably a large one with as many accessories as possible. Most of them will be electric, but there are ways to supply limited electricity in a post-apocalyptic world. Traditional machines that are useful include treadle grinding wheels and post drills, which are a kind of oldfashioned drill press with a hand crank. Time was when every farm in the country had both of these items in a shed somewhere and often they can still be found there, covered with rust and with wooden parts rotted to nothing. The post drill at right was missing a few parts, covered with accumulated grime, and not very well mounted to the wall of this work shop when I first laid eyes on it. I was able to place it back into service with relatively little effort. Currently it is "in trust" to me, pending its return to the farmer who owns it. As he normally borrows my electric drill press when he needs it, his post drill may be in my garage for some time to come. Keep your electric tools; drills, saws, grinders, etc. You can still use them as I type this. I know this because I am using a computer to type it on. For a while... possibly a long while... electricity will continue to be available and electric tools are of immense value in speeding the construction of a home, if one needs to be built, a smithy, sheds, greenhouses, and other structures and/or projects. There are also ways of producing post-apocalyptic electricity for your power tools addressed in other areas of Miles site.

I have made much mention and emphasis on post-apocalyptic issues in this article. As I was writing this for Miles, I thought this appropriate, but the principals can and perhaps should be applied outside of a post-apocalyptic scenario as well. By definition, the apocalypse is at a time no one knows. It will come as a "thief in the night." How then can one prepare? First, trust God. Second, don't worry. If you are able to get prepared in time for the coming changes, so much the better. If you get killed in the first nuclear exchange, you have nothing to

worry about anyway... not that it would do you any good at that point. Living "off the grid" is, in fact, its own reward. Slavery was never actually abolished, you know. Only the form of it was changed. We are all still slaves in many ways. We have to work for a "master" in order to make money in order to pay for our living expenses. We have to take rudeness, unpleasant working conditions, and other nastiness as a matter of course. We never seem to get out of the rut we have dug for ourselves. This is by design... and started early in the last century. It is a difficult cycle to break, but break it we can, if we really want to. The best way to cope with a post-apocalyptic world is to start living in the way you would have to live then as soon as possible. On the day the bombs fall, an Amish farmer will likely look at the distant mushroom clouds, shrug his shoulders, perhaps mutter "Gott in Himmel!", say a prayer, then urge the horse on to the farm yard. He probably won't be milking cows much longer for a living due to the changes in the economic system, but otherwise, he has plenty of Kerosene and appliances that use them. He won't miss the electricity as he doesn't use it, and he won't care about the EMP that fried all the radio and television stations. His life, and the lives of his family will probably go on. He may have problems he might not otherwise have had, but the basic living skills are already there and he is an expert. We should all become experts... while there is still time, and the best way is to simply go out and do it. Chapter II, Learning the Art K, so you've managed to beg, borrow, purchase or steal (just an expression... you wanna try to steal my blacksmith shop... by all means go ahead and try!) all the required tools to set up a smithy. Congratulations, you're ready to become an apprentice. An apprentice is one step above an idiot, and even that only by virtue of the fact that he has decided he wants to be a blacksmith. The absolute best way to learn the smithing trade is to find a Master Smith who is willing to undergo the many headaches associated with training such an individual who wishes to learn... or at least thinks he wishes to learn. Many modern apprentices quickly discover that blacksmithing is not an easy way to make a living, nor is it a simple task to learn. As an apprentice, you will find yourself doing all sorts of things that will make you think that the Master Smith training you is in fact Satan himself... especially the first week. You will become familiar with a great wealth of detail exactly what the phrase "hands on training" means... and each one of your blisters will remind you every day of that first week. It might help to understand the Master Smith's reasoning. Most Master Smiths have been at this for quite some time. They have the muscles, the callouses, the scars, and, most importantly, the experience to prove it. They've also trained, or attempted to train a modern apprentice or two... often to their eventual regret. If you want to be trained as a blacksmith... be prepared to pay for the privilege. A Master Smith's time is valuable. The smith will invest a good deal of time in training an apprentice, much of this training is

accomplished in that first week. The apprentice will learn to build and tend a fire, the names of tools... which he will be fetching constantly. He'll learn the meaning of the phrase "black heat", at some point. He'll also find out in that week of Hell whether or not he really wants to be a blacksmith or not. The Master Smith will find this out as well... and he normally has no patience for slow learners. You will get yelled at as an apprentice. This is something most modern schools do not teach their students, which is a sad thing. You're an apprentice, so get used to it. Figure the first week is one of testing... if you pass, great. You pass by not quitting. Most young apprentices give up and quit. This is a sad commentary on our youth, but it is often true nevertheless. By the end of the first week, you will have learned a great deal... but don't get cocky... you're still just a newly-trained apprentice with excrement for brains, as far as the Master Smith is concerned. Over the next few months and years... if you make it through the first week... your knowledge and skill will increase such that you may become a journeyman. The exact point at which this occurs is difficult to determine. On the day that the smith gives you some payment for your work, you have officially become a journeyman. You can permit yourself exactly one and one half seconds of pride in this... then get back to work. Time is money... or what passes for money in the post-apocalyptic world. I have been doing this on and off for nigh onto twenty years. I do not consider myself a Master Smith. In fact, I probably am not much of a journeyman, in real terms. The gaps in my knowledge are too great to be of any real use to a Master Smith other than as a half-trained apprentice. I call myself a "shade tree blacksmith", or "hobby smith". Even this is a bit pretentious of me. Most modern smiths will never achieve that exalted title of "Master Smith", though quite a few will claim it. If you ever reach a point where there is nothing else to learn, some apprentice will teach you something new and you'll realize that you really have not mastered your craft yet. When you have reached a point where you know more than half of the things you need to know as a blacksmith, perhaps then you can call yourself a "Master Smith". It is always better to wait until another Master Smith tells you this, though. He can see not only how much you have learned, but also how much you have yet to learn and so he is a better judge of your progression. An important maxim: "A Master Smith is always learning... if he ever stops learning, get a shovel, for he has expired." There are a few schools that teach blacksmithing, though not as many as there used to be. If you've got the time, the money, and the inclination, go for it! Plan on learning much more than just blacksmithing, however, and also plan on having gaps in your education that a true apprenticeship would not leave you with. You'll learn technical math, for example, but you probably won't learn how to use a coal forge. You'll learn how to weld with various types of

electric and gas welders, but you may not learn how to weld in a forge. Yes... you can weld iron and steel in a traditional forge. How do you think welds were made before the oxy-acetylene welding torch was invented? The third way to learn blacksmithing is the least satisfactory, but probably the most widely practiced these days. It is learning by doing. This is the way I learned. About twenty years ago, I ran across a book in the public library called "The Art of Blacksmithing", by Alex W. Bealer. I found it fascinating. I read it cover to cover and renewed it for an extra month. My first forge was an iron box that had previously been soldered together and used metal window screen for a grate and an electric hair-drier to provide draft. This did not work very well, as one might imagine. I built a second forge out of metal pipe, wood, and brick held up on a metal frame. While more satisfactory than the first, it still left much to be desired, and I built a progression of other forges, each more or less superior to the previous model over the next several years. My first anvil was a section of railroad track, which worked quite well, all things considered. My second was an actual London pattern anvil, but it had been made of cast iron, and it broke when I hammered on it. My third and final anvil is the one I use now. I made my first pair of tongs using some scrap iron I found in the garage. They are not pretty, about what you'd expect from an untrained apprentice, but I still have them today and I still use them. After reading Alex's book, most of my learning came from my own experimentation and from watching other smiths work. I am still learning, and I hope I never stop learning. If you find yourself in the final category of learning methods, take heart, for you are in very good company indeed. The first blacksmith did not have Alex's book. He did not have a steel hammer, a forge, or a steel anvil. He learned much as you will, by personal experimentation. We don't know that man's first name.... but we know his last name; Smith, or Schmidt, or Schmitt, or Smit, or any of a number of other variations depending upon the nationality of the individual. Next time you are introduced to a Mr. Smith, shake his hand with a bit of pride, for you are meeting someone descended from a Very Important Person. Many a post-apocalyptic smith will quite probably fit into this final category as well. Most probably he hasn't had the opportunity to prepare himself for life in the post-apocalyptic world... like many of the rest of us. He'll learn blacksmithing because the blade on his hoe is worn out or broken, and he'll probably ruin his first attempts to repair anything. If he is persistent, he'll learn however. Chapter III, Basic Forging Operations K, so now you have either completed some course of study or read a few books on the subject. If you are very smart indeed, you have now realized how much you have to learn and have either abandoned all hope of ever joining the ranks of even the "shade tree blacksmiths", or you think you are ready to start working iron. If you are still

reading this, perhaps you are in the final group. If you are not very smart, continue to read as even you may glean something from this... hey, even I learned how to do it, nicht wahr? The first thing you need to do is go out and get yourself some moleskins, Bandaids, and tincture of iodine. Unless you are a professional carpenter, mason, or other tradesman who works with his hands, you are going to have blisters. It usually takes me a couple of weeks in the Spring to develop callouses on my hands such that I no longer get blisters from hammering. No pain, no gain. I have assumed that the reader has been able to obtain a forge somehow. The ways and means of building forges is beyond the scope of this article. Look in your blacksmithing books for examples. There are many on line articles on the subject as well. Excuse me, I have to go and stir the beans for the chili. OK, I'm back again. Fire management is a basic skill acquired early by an apprentice that does not enjoy getting yelled at constantly. You want the forge fire to be centered over the grate so you start the fire by packing coal around a four-by-four block placed over it. You pack the coal, which should be wet and finely ground almost to a powder, to a depth of six inches or so. Start the fire with wood shavings and small pieces of wood in a sort of tepee fire lay down in the hole formed by the four-by-four, which should now be removed. Try to avoid using Kerosene to start your forge fire... Kerosene will be sought after in the post-apocalyptic world for other purposes, such as lighting, heating, and cooking. Learn to start a fire with birch bark, wood shavings, and pine sticks... known as tinder and kindling. Popsicle sticks work great if you can get them. You can use the ubiquitous Bic butane lighter for igniting your tinder, but you will find that a wooden match works better, if you have a good supply of them. They are cheap now, but they won't be when the supply runs out, so stock up. When the tinder catches fire, go ahead and start providing a draft from the rotary blower, bellows, or whatever provides your draft. This should be done very slowly at first and gradually building up as the kindling starts. You then push the coal toward the center of the forge and increase the draft. By now the fire should be "roaring". It will produce quite a bit of black smoke as the tar and other impurities are burned off leaving "coke", which is almost pure carbon, behind. Coke is what you want to use to heat your iron, and you will continually be producing it as you work. Within a few moments, your fire will be ready to work. Probably the first basic smithing operation that everyone learns is called "drawing out". No, this does not involve a pencil, triangle and T-square, though the related field of mechanical drawing would not be a bad sideline to have at your disposal. Some day you might be called upon to make a steam engine from a set of 1875 blueprints. Drawing out is the process of forming work by hammering it on the face of the anvil while it is at red heat, in a "plastic" state. A length of iron bar stock is thus made longer and thinner by this

process. You heat a section of the bar and work it, flipping it ninety degrees after a few blows have been landed, to repeat the process again. To sort of "get the hang of it", you might want to get yourself some oil clay commonly available at any art supply store... or any other fairly stiff putty-like material. Roll the clay out into a long piece of round "stock" and let it cool for a while in the refrigerator. Take it out and try to work it with a toy plastic hammer. You can use your regular anvil, or the kitchen table, if the female half of the household will allow it. This will give you a rough idea of how iron behaves in a plastic state without burning any coal. When you flip the work, allow your hammer to fall to the anvil surface and rebound for one stroke. Don't actually apply any force to the blow, just let it fall from its own weight. This allows your arm to get a short rest and also helps to remove the scale, that dark material that flakes off the hot iron as you hammer it. It also causes the anvil to ring. Take your choice of the reasons to hit the anvil while the work is being flipped. Any one of them is just OK... and all smiths do this for one reason or another... the reason varying with the smith. A good first project for a new smith is a "rake". A rake is a tool used by the blacksmith, or quite likely the apprentice, to move lumps of coal, or other objects around in the forge. It is a rod of metal with a short flattened bend on the working end, and an elongated loop on the handle end. It needs to be long enough so that you can handle it without burning yourself on it. About 24 inches length overall is about right. Some smiths actually use something more akin to a garden rake with small tines, but I have found my simple rake to be quite sufficient. The use of this tool gave rise to the phrase "raking over the coals", meaning to make someone uncomfortable. Another good project is a fireplace poker... which can double as the forge rake, for those short of iron stock. You'll note that the finished work will be black in color. This is where the term "blacksmith" comes from. Iron as it was traditionally worked, was called "the black metal". "Smith" comes from the verb "smite", as in to smite the black metal. Hence: blacksmith. Another catch phrase even in modern culture is "to strike while the iron is hot", meaning to take advantage of a transient condition of opportunity. Iron is normally worked at "red heat". So... what does that mean exactly? Well, in theory, Iron can be worked at any temperature, and in some applications, medieval armor, for example, is worked cold. There are problems with cold working bar stock however. First and foremost, you will quickly run out of energy trying to forge cold bar stock. Second, if you do manage to work it while cold, you will end up with a piece of iron that is so work hardened and loaded with internal stresses, that it will likely break at the first application you put it to. This is especially important when forging something like a sword or other knife blade. So strike while the iron is hot. It may have occurred to you by now that you have to work

quickly. If it has, you are correct in your presumption. Heat is traditionally gaged by color, and the proper forging heat will vary with the type of material being worked. Most mild steel, used for 90% of the work most smiths do, works best at a bright yellow-orange to a red-orange color. When it gets to a dull red color, it has cooled too much and must be reheated for further working. Forging temperature is not nearly as critical as that of welding or hardening and tempering. If you get it so hot, that sparks fly out of the forge, you have gotten it too hot. This is what is termed "white heat", and is the temperature used for welding. You can burn your work like this and if you do, you will have to discard that piece of metal and start over. The smaller the work becomes, the more critical this is because smaller work heats up much faster. A word about "black heat". Recently forged iron holds its temperature for quite a while after it is taken out of the fire. One will obviously be careful about picking up a piece of work that is still glowing red, but an inexperienced individual might simply grab onto a piece of black iron laying on the anvil. That piece of iron can be hot enough to make a piece of wood burst into flame. Think what it could do to your hand. Good rule of thumb: when you are visiting another smith's shop, don't touch anything unless he hands it to you... if it didn't burn his hands, it won't burn yours either. An experienced smith upon reaching for a piece of iron for which he is unsure of the temperature, will invariably hold his hand over it first to see if he can feel any heat, then he will touch it quickly and pull his hand away... perhaps a few times... before picking it up. If the iron is very hot, it will sear the nerve endings so fast that there is no time for the pain to get to the brain. The nerve endings a little further up the network will fire before they die though... but not fast enough to keep you from blistering your hand. If you are fortunate, your skin and the flesh beneath will not stick to the metal when you scream and pull your hand away. Iron works HOT. Never forget that. You'll gradually lengthen and thin the bar to the required specifications and end (hopefully) with a square piece of bar stock that has some hammer texture, a black surface, and is the proper length for the required usage. Try to avoid getting it into a trapezoidal shape... unless you are actually trying to do that. Hint: if you end up with a trapezoidal cross section... claim you wanted it that way! Once a bar has gotten started in a trapezoidal shape, it requires a good deal of effort to correct. Keep your blows square to each other. A point is formed by gradually tapering the work down. You can make it as gradual or as abrupt as you wish. I start tapering my storage hooks about three inches from the end and bring 'em to a fairly sharp point. This is not necessary, and it may be desirable to avoid sharp hooks, especially when they are destined to be placed where someone might injure

himself on it. Hint: don't hang wall hooks at eye level if it can be avoided. Bending can be accomplished in any one of several ways. It seems fairly straight-forward, but it can be the most frustrating experience a new smith can have, perhaps because it seems so simple. That pointed end of the anvil is called the "horn", and one of the primary uses it has is for bending the iron being worked. It can be used with light blows close to the pivot point to make for a gradual curve, or further from the pivot point to produce a more abrupt bend. Bending on the horn is not as easy as one might think. I will just about guarantee that your first bend will be misaligned. Don't panic, you can flatten it out on the anvil's face to correct your mistake. The elongated loop for the handle of your rake is normally forged on the horn. Figure that you need about two inches more than the length of the loop you plan to make. Measure that distance... about a hand's breadth... from the end and add three inches for the bend and mark it with a piece of soapstone. Heat the area just beyond the mark and then make your bend either over the horn or by simply bending it with tongs. You can either make a teardrop shaped loop or a "square handle". If you wish to do the teardrop handle, you need to put a scarf on the end of the rod before you make the U bend. If you want a square handle, just bend the rod until it becomes parallel to itself and then heat the end of it and bend the rod until it touches itself. You can weld this joint... and it is fairly easy to do if you have a teardrop shape and have properly scarfed the end of the rod. This is not necessary, however. At this point, you should have a fairly usable rake and are ready to move on to other things. What other things? The sky is the limit! Drawing out is probably the most common forging operation, but it is not the only one. A second operation is called "upsetting". While drawing out thins and lengthens the work stock, upsetting does the opposite; it shortens and thickens the stock. There are various techniques for upsetting. One of the most interesting is to simply heat the end of the rod you want to upset and then drop it onto a hard surface such that it hits longitudinally. The momentum of the rod itself supplies the force of the blow. This can be repeated as many times as necessary to achieve the desired thickness. This method is rather difficult to control however. You will often find that the work will bend as well as being upset. Other methods involve hammering on the heated end of the workpiece to facilitate upsetting, and bracing the heated end against the anvil face and hammering the other end. These both work to some extent, but also suffer from a tendency to bend the work. The Complete Modern Blacksmith has an excellent section on upsetting. There are techniques there for correcting the above mentioned bends. The use of an upsetting matrix, also shown in this book, greatly reduces the tendency to bend the work while upsetting. Why would you want to upset a piece of work in the first place? Well, for things like wall hooks, as I make them, you wouldn't. Likewise for many other implements. But suppose you wanted to make a bolt with a head on it? I suppose that you could forge the shaft and the head separately,

but handling such a small piece as a bolt head... and especially at welding heat, is almost an exercise in frustration. Even if you somehow manage it as a new smith, quite possibly the weld will be imperfect and will break when torque is applied to it. Much better to upset the head from the shaft in an upsetting matrix and then refine the shoulder with a header plate. Once this is accomplished, one can forge the square or hexagonal bolt head. I would highly suggest the square bolt head for beginners... they are much easier to do. Carriage bolts are made similarly, but with a square-holed header plate. Fullering is a specialized form of drawing out. It involves the use of a tool that looks like a chisel with a rounded over working surface. To use it, one simply places the working surface over the workpiece and hammers it into the metal. This will make a (hopefully) shallow impression on the work, thinning it and lengthening it, but not appreciably increasing the width. This is repeated for the entire length of the workpiece. The finishing operation involves forging the high spots down to the level of the impression, thus forming... perhaps... a blank for a knife blade or similar implement. Fullering can also be done with the peen of a hammer... so long as it is not too sharp. Another type of fuller fits into the hardy hole of the anvil and the metal is placed on top of it and struck with the hammer. I have never found fullering to be all that useful... but then, I don't normally make knives from round or square bar stock. Still, it is an available technique. Twists are formed by holding one end of a workpiece that has been heated and twisting the other end of it. You either need an apprentice, or you need to get creative. If the implement to have the twist applied to it has a bend in it as a forge rake or wall hook, one can put the bend into the pritchel hole or hardy hole of the anvil and twist the other end. If it does not have such a bend, you need something like a vise to hold it. I have a metal work table (rummage sale $5.00) that has a few holes drilled in it that I sometimes use for twisting. This method has the advantage of having the relatively true work surface to use as a gage to avoid unwanted bends in the section getting the twist as I can keep the workpiece relatively parallel to the table top. You also may need some kind of gripping tool to apply twists for some applications. Tongs will work, but I have a couple of old-fashioned monkey-wrenches (photo at left) that work quite well for this. The jaws can be adjusted to fit the metal and then used without fear of having the work twist out of the grip. I've seen one of these wrenches with another piece of metal welded onto it to form an adjustable "T" handle. I haven't tried that yet, but it should work rather well as you would have more control over the workpiece, not to mention added leverage.

Bends will sometimes manifest themselves in a twist. They can be dealt with. You can't really correct them very well on an anvil with a hammer in the way you would a bend developed while drawing out as you will cause flats to form on the twisted section. I usually correct them by laying a small piece of plywood on the anvil and then using a brass hammer to correct the bend against the plywood. The plywood will burn, but it and the brass hammer are usually soft enough to avoid flats and hard enough to allow for the bend correction. Another technique I have found useful is a wooden mallet and a large section of a tree trunk or stump. This makes for much smoke, but never produces any flats on the twist. It also does not leave any brass residue on the work. I have placed a short Windows Media clip here that demonstrates a few techniques. Video quality could be better, but it does serve to show drawing out, twisting, and correcting a bend in a twist. Most twists, such as those put in a fireplace poker's handle, are purely decorative. Whether or not the post-apocalyptic smith would utilize his limited resources of time and coal to produce such things would depend upon circumstances. I suspect that most smiths would still do some decorative work on their products... decorative work tends to fetch a higher price in the market place. Market considerations will still be important in the post-apocalyptic world... though the relative values of things will likely be skewed from where they are now. In some places a bride's dowry is still commonly paid to the new husband by the bride's family. In the post-apocalyptic world, surviving women may be a bit scarce... conditions being harsh. If you want a healthy young wife, for example, (this is assuming, of course, that you are not an ornery old man such as myself, but rather a youngster intent on starting a family) you may end up having to pay her father. It is easier to make twenty decorative pieces than it is to make forty plain ones in exchange for the hand of the same woman. If she is beautiful and/or exotic, you might have to pay even more, further enhancing the added value of your labor. My solution would be to court her older sister, who might not be as pretty, but probably is smarter and possibly not as flaky... and maybe only have to produce ten decorative items. If she is a widow with kids (a definite possibility in this kind of world), so much the better! Older children are infinitely useful around a smithy! Some twists are not decorative, however, but are actually one of the basic simple machines known as the screw. Certainly you can make lag bolts and wood screws by twisting appropriately shaped bits of metal. You might also find yourself needing to make a drill bit for your post drill, or even a brace bit for the local carpenter's brace. Twists for drill bits need to be more true than a decorative twist. You need some kind of guide. A piece of half-inch pipe the appropriate length will provide a good guide for twisting a metal strap sized a little smaller than the inside diameter of the pipe. You would then insert the workpiece and twist it the appropriate number of times. For a six-inch bit, you will probably twist it six times. Drill bits do wear out. They also break. You will have to replace them somehow. Start

with decorative twists... the techniques are similar. Metal can be cut by various methods. You can use a chisel, a hardy, a bar-cutter, a hack-saw, a set of bolt cutters, or even a hand ax. If at all possible, get yourself some bolt-cutters and/or a stock cutter before the bombs fall. These items are infinitely useful and save an unbelievable amount of labor and coal. A hardy is one of a variety of anvil tools that fits into the hardy hole (catchy name, nicht wahr?). It is a sort of inverted chisel that sits fixed in the anvil. One uses it by placing a heated workpiece over it and striking it lightly with the hammer. You do this, typically four times, rotating the workpiece 90 degrees between blows and finish it off by breaking the almost cut through bar with your tongs. If you have a good sturdy hardy, you can do this cold, but it is quite a bit of work and wears out the hardy. Using a hardy to cut bar stock takes a bit of practice. If you hit too hard, you may cut through in one stroke and impact the hardy with your hammer face possibly marring both the hardy and the hammer face. A brass hammer is a good tool to use when cutting small stock on a hardy. A chisel is used in pretty much the same way, excepting that it is held above the work and struck directly with the hammer. This is done on the edge of the anvil over the area known as the "table", just forward of the edge of the face before the horn. This area is softer than the face. In modern times with anvils scarce and expensive, one normally covers the table with a thickness of soft metal, aluminum, brass, or soft iron. This avoids marring the surface. Never try this directly over the face of the anvil. This is a hardened work surface and will damage your chisel... if you are fortunate. If you are not so fortunate, your chisel will damage your anvil face. Its kind of an irresistible force vs. immovable object kind of dilemma. Another kind of chisel-like implement is called a ³hot set´. A hot set is a chisel or punch that has a perpendicular handle on it. This allows one to keep one's hand clear of the hot metal. All in all, a hardy is superior to any chisel or hot set for most applications involving heated metal. Cold chisels are often useful for some tasks where it would not be convenient to heat the work being cut. Typically this will be when it is necessary to remove a bolt from a piece of antique farm machinery and the nut is rusted tight and rounded over. Chiseling it off may be the only alternative if your acetylene torch is out of fuel. To avoid all the extra effort, expenses, and risks associated with the use of hardies and chisels for cutting metal, use your bar-cutter or bolt-cutters. Learn to use the hardy, however; one of these days somebody may steal your bolt-cutters and you'll have to go back to the old ways... unless you really want to start using a hack saw. These constitute most of the common methods of forging iron and steel. There are others, however, they are pretty much just variations of the above operations. If you master the above techniques, you will be well on your way to becoming a fair-to-middlin' post-apocalyptic smith. There are more things to learn however, so after you feed the rabbits or the goats, finish driving the sand point, dig the latrine pit, and shoot the weasel that's been pestering the chickens, come

on back and read on. Chapter IV, Welding, Brazing and Soldering ll smiths eventually have to weld something... and most of us do not especially enjoy the experience. It requires exceptional skill, good quality coal or charcoal, and often no small measure of Divine assistance. Call it luck if you wish... I don't believe in luck. If you get a good weld the first time you attempt it, God was standing over you supervising your work. There is simply no other explanation... it is that improbable. I will not address welding with modern apparatus like oxy-acetylene, electric arc, etc. I do not know the first thing about these techniques... don't even know how to light a torch. If you own one of these things, good for you, you probably have taken a course somewhere on modern welding. If you haven't ... you'd be well advised to do so before you kill yourself and a few bystanders. In any case, the supply of pressurized oxygen and acetylene will be sharply curtailed in the event of a major disaster. If you have such a torch, lay in some supplies if you intend to use it. Don't waste money on an electric arc welder in preparation for a disaster. They require a fairly high tech base to remain usable. Welding rods and high voltage electricity are going to be in short supply. In times past, there were welding apparatuses (apparatii?) that utilized calcium carbide and water to produce a chemical reaction that liberated acetylene gas. If you can get one of those units in working condition, grab it, but not if you don't know how to use it. Acetylene gas can still be made with the same calcium carbide/water reaction. Oxygen can be made through electrolysis of water. If a method can be devised for getting the gases into your welding tanks, oxy-acetylene welding could still be a viable welding technique in the post-apocalyptic world. This will not be easy, however, and if you do not know how to facilitate this kind of production and storage, do not attempt it. The production of oxygen and acetylene, not to mention hydrogen as a by product, is extremely dangerous as all these gases are explosive. Forge-welding is a process as old as blacksmithing. Indeed, traditional wrought iron has been "folded" several times before it ever gets to the smithy. The word "wrought" means "worked", and making it involves a good deal of work... much of which is welding. Folding, that type of welding used in the manufacture of wrought iron is just exactly that; one folds the metal being welded in half, heats it to welding heat and forges it into one solid mass. This is not as simple as it sounds, however. Traditional wrought iron is the easiest by far to weld as the danger of burning the metal is all but eliminated. It welds so easily that a flux is often not needed. Wrought iron, though, is probably not the material the post-apocalyptic smith will be working with. The simplest weld to make is a common lap weld, and the simplest variation is one in which the piece to be welded is a ring or chain link. The reason that this is fairly simple is that both ends of the weld are composed of the same material as they are in fact two ends of the same piece of

metal. Thus the welding temperature will be the same. It is much more difficult to weld two different types of steel together because they have to be heated to different temperatures simultaneously. This is often not as critical as it might be thought, however. To begin, take a piece of bar stock, draw it out to the required thickness and length and then put a "scarf" on each end. This is a tapered section. Make one scarf "up" and one "down" such that they will fit together. Forge the link so that the two scarfs are almost touching and then dip the area to be welded into the flux. Flux is something to keep oxygen and other impurities away from the metal surfaces to be joined. Various substances have been used. Japanese sword smiths used a flux made from charcoal ashes, others have used sand, ground glass, iron filings, and other things. Often smiths are a bit secretive about what they use as a flux. I am not, I use borax. You can get borax from chemical supply companies and possibly at a welding supply store... but I just use the familiar Twenty Mule-Team Borax available as a product to wash clothes with. You can get it in pretty much any grocery store. Again, Borax will not be available in a post-apocalyptic world. Stock up now and keep it someplace dry. It has a long shelf life. Once the scarfed joints have been well-coated with flux, get your rake and rake out the clinkers from your fire. Clinkers are impurities that are within the coal and collect at the grate in the bottom of your forge. They are multi-colored and when they fall to the floor, they make a metallic "clink" sound... hence "clinkers". If you do not do this, you will not be able to make a successful weld in that fire. If you are using charcoal, don't worry about clinkers, they don't exist. It's an old joke for a smith visiting another smith's forge to drop a bit of copper down into the forge when the "home" smith is not looking. Until the bit of copper has been found and removed, that smith will not be able to make successful welds. This is not funny. It wastes resources, time, and effort that will all be in short supply in the post apocalyptic world. A smith who plays this trick on another smith owes him a day's labor and/or the use of his wife for a period of time to be negotiated between the victim of the prank and the wife in question. If she decides that she likes the new smith better, she may stay... at her option, not her husband's. In other words... don't play this kind of trick unless you are willing to assume the risk of the consequences. There most assuredly will be consequences. Rake the coals back into the center, place the workpiece back into the fire, way down deep where the fire is the hottest and start fanning the fire. Judging welding temperature requires experience, and you will probably burn some iron before you have gotten the hang of it. Welding heat is described as "white heat", though this is a misnomer. First of all, welding heat will vary with the composition of the steel. Generally, high carbon steels will weld at a lower temperature than mild steels, and if you heat it too hot, it will burn. This is most critical with small workpieces... or thin ones. Knife blades forged of folded stock are extremely difficult to make if you actually have to do the folding. Also, "white heat" really isn't white. It is, at best, an off white color, more yellowish. White heat as applied to forging operations is about the color of a "cold blast" lantern flame. A Dietz

Blizzard and Little Wizard are both examples of cold blast lanterns. This is the proper color/temperature to weld most mild steels, Swedish iron and wrought iron. High carbon steels such as are used in the manufacture of automobile springs generally weld at a yellowish temperature. Take a look at a "hot blast" lantern flame for a fairly close example of this color. A Dietz Monarch is an example of a hot blast lantern. Be careful not to burn the work. When in doubt as to welding temperature, take a thin rod... say 1/8th inch or so in diameter and slowly push it down to the piece being welded. If it sticks to the workpiece, you have reached welding temperature. If you are welding a large piece, you need not work especially fast as a large workpiece holds its temperature fairly well... a small piece needs to be welded quite quickly. Be careful not to burn the work. Judging temperature by color is almost a lost art. It is easier to do in a dark area, which is one of the reasons that smithies tend to be dark and gloomy places. If you are forging out of doors, which you may be doing at least initially, a hood for the forge helps quite a bit. All rivet forges had hoods, but many forges commonly used on farms did not have them. Hoods are made of sheet metal, have a large opening for fire tending and placing work inside, and are tapered to form a short smoke stack. If you are indoors, this stack needs to go to a chimney... though if indoors, you probably don't need the hood in the first place, just good ventilation. The obvious fire hazard in using a forge indoors cannot be overstated, and if your neighbors see smoke coming from the eaves of your garage, they will call the fire department. I know this from experience. The fire chief who responded was very polite, but he was not amused. When your workpiece has reached welding heat, take it out of the forge quickly and hit it with the hammer. This blow must be quick, hard, and accurate. It needs to both spray the flux out of the joint and join the molten metal together in one or at very most two or three blows. Hammer it together and examine it. Hopefully the lap will be aligned properly. If it has been misaligned, you can try to dress it by forging it on the horn or the face of the anvil... after it has cooled to red heat. If the weld holds under this kind of stress, it will hold whatever stress you are making it to withstand... if it does not hold up, it was never welded in the first place and you must start over. Be careful not to burn the work. Should you have need to weld two separate pieces into one piece, you will have need of either a hold-down of some kind, or a well-trained apprentice. This most difficult of tasks is something I have never managed... though I only attempted it one time. Even more difficult is trying to weld, say a high carbon steel blade onto the edge of an ax head. This is seldom done these days as we have good quality high carbon steel available in quantity at affordable prices. Today one would make the entire ax head out of high carbon steel and not just the edge. In times past it was common to weld blades into ax heads, hammer faces onto hammer heads, and even high carbon

edges onto scissors and shears. Pray to God you never have to do this kind of work! The technique involves placing both items into the forge in such a way as both reach their respective welding temperatures at the same time. When this happens, you have to lay the blade into the scarf made for it and quickly weld it into place. It can be done, and has been done, but the men who can do it are truly Master Smiths indeed. Forge (or "pressure") welding is not without difficulties and risks. Risks of fire and injury can be minimized by making sure that all flammable material and all personnel are far enough away from the smith to avoid the molten metal and flux that will be violently expelled in the welding process. Take this seriously. Medical help will be in short supply, so avoid risk of injury whenever possible. Welding is a type of cohesion, and is especially strong. Less strong, though somewhat easier to do are brazing and soldering. Both of these methods of joining metal are classed as adhesion. As such, they are not as strong as welding. Brazing involves heating the steel to the proper temperature and then joining two pieces together with melted, or initially powdered, brass. Brazing requires a fairly high temperature, but not as high as is required for welding. It is done in the forge. If something needs to be brazed... normally this will be some item made of cast iron which cannot be welded... it is best to use modern methods if at all possible. Forge brazing is chancy at best, and unless the item being repaired is small, say fixing a broken handle on a Lodge 6 1/2" skillet, your chances of success will be limited. To braze, you must first clean both surfaces to be joined. You can do this with a common wire brush. Next, heat both surfaces, apply flux and some brass filings (spelter), and after placing the workpieces to be joined in the forge, heat until the brass melts. Then tap the end of the smaller of the two pieces such that the melted brass on both pieces is joined together. Obviously, both pieces must be carefully supported such that they align well. Once they are joined together, let the fire die down so that the brass will harden and (hopefully) the two pieces will be joined together. In times past it was (allegedly) fairly common to braze items like broken saw blades, due to the difficulty in welding such thin metal. I have never met a smith who could demonstrate this to my satisfaction with traditional methods. Soldering is fairly simple and straightforward. First, as with brazing, you must make certain the surfaces to be joined are clean. You melt a lead alloy and use it to stick two pieces of metal together. Steel can be soldered, but it is difficult to do properly, and even when done properly is not very strong. When steel is soldered, it is normally thin sheet steel. The metal traditionally joined in this manner is copper, though brass will also submit well to soldering. Aluminum cannot be soldered or brazed... it must be welded, and a blacksmith cannot weld aluminum with traditional methods. It can be cast, though my only attempt at casting

aluminum... didn't work out too well. Never attempt to heat magnesium. It looks like aluminum, but is stronger and lighter. It also burns with a fire that cannot be extinguished. If the ³aluminum´ you are trying to melt in a crucible catches fire, take it out of the forge and get away from it until it burns out. It wasn't aluminum. By traditional methods, one would heat an old-fashioned soldering iron up either in a forge or with a blow torch, and use it to heat the items being joined and the solder. You can apply the torch flames directly to the material being joined, and you may have to if you are joining items that are large... like sections of a copper roof being repaired in cold weather (be careful not to burn the wood underneath the copper). You would also use solder to fit copper pipe and tubing together. Silver solder is the stuff to use these days, as there are laws forbidding the use of lead solder for this purpose. Soldering also takes much skill and practice and is not really the bailiwick of the blacksmith, though he should be at least somewhat familiar with the process. A post-apocalyptic smith might be called upon to repair nearly anything, and a short-wave vacuum tube radio cannot be repaired with a forge and a hammer. Metal can also be joined by other methods. Mechanical fastening, is probably the oldest method, next to welding. Riveting and/or bradding are both methods of mechanical fastening. One does this by placing rivets or brads through holes in both pieces to be joined and rounding over the end or ends. Only the rivet needs to be heated... and even this is not an absolute requirement. If the rivet is soft enough and small enough to be worked cold, one can mushroom the end with no problems... at least for light work where extremely tight fitting is not necessary. For heavier work using large rivets, the rivet must be heated to a working temperature, placed, and be mushroomed over before it can cool. As it cools, it shrinks, further tightening the joint. Hull plates on older ships like the HMS Titanic were riveted, so a properly fitted and riveted workpiece is capable of great precision and strength. Quite possibly the Titanic's rivets failed due to their not meeting specs... but this is conjecture. There are ships still floating that date from the Titanic's day and have riveted hulls. I have done some riveting, with mostly small rivets. Probably the most common use for a rivet that a blacksmith will encounter is the pivot for his tongs. A rivet works well there. There are special forges, special hammers, special anvils, and other tools for riveting. If you plan to build an ark out of iron. Perhaps you might have need of such items. Since an ark will not be needed for survival in the post-apocalyptic world, you might consider something else as an extra tool. I have found that a simple hammer, anvil, and forge will suffice for most riveting jobs. Pop rivets are different from traditional rivets, though they operate in somewhat the same way. Pop rivets require a special tool called a Pop riveter. They have the advantage in that they can be done "blind" with no access to the other side of the surfaces being joined, however, they are not especially strong. Use them to assemble sheet steel to be put under light loads. If you need to build an armored vehicle to combat the armed mobs besieging you and your neighbors... use heavier steel and traditional rivets or bolts.

Other items used for mechanical fastening include nuts & bolts, nails, screws... in an almost endless variety of sizes, shapes, materials, and types. Get yourself a good supply of mechanical fasteners. One can make mechanical fasteners, but nothing is more tedious than spending a day with a nail header and a bunch of nail rods making nails in the traditional way. If you have need for a decorative rose-head nail on occasion, get yourself a nail-header, and make these rare items up as needed. Otherwise, get yourself a twenty-five pound box of nails in various sizes and a selection of screws, bolts, rivets, washers, nuts, lock nuts, and other common hardware before the giant mushrooms start growing on the horizon. Your time will be better spent getting Grampa's old steam-tractor up and chugging than it will in making nails and rivets. There are some modern adhesives that are truly amazing in their capabilities. One of the most common is any variation of epoxy... and there are specialized epoxies for many purposes. Polyurethane glues like Elmer's Probond and Gorilla Glue are also amazing. None of these will handle heat well, though, so use them where appropriate. There are also adhesives used in aircraft manufacture not generally available to the public. Some of these are heat resistant. If you have a source of the stuff used for repairing U2 airframes, you probably know more about such substances than I do. Needless to say, such materials will be rare in the post-apocalyptic era. Stock up if you think you will need them. Chapter V, Heat Treating uch about the subject of heat treating is misunderstood by most people... and even some otherwise fairly skilled smiths are a bit weak in this area. It is a confusing subject. There are basically four types of heat treatment; hardening, tempering, normalizing, and annealing. There are any number of ways to accomplish each one, however, and the effectiveness of the method varies with the type of metal being worked, not to mention the skill and the effort of the smith. Practically speaking, these kinds of treatment are only useful when dealing with some kind of high-carbon or tool steel. Metals other than ferrous metals can also be annealed, though the technique varies quite a bit from what is common with steel. Annealing brass cartridge cases is one common application for this process. Hardening is just exactly what it sounds like, treating the metal in such a manner that it reaches it's maximum level of hardness. Tempering is reducing that level somewhat to enhance other properties. Annealing is the process of treating the metal such that when cooled, it is as soft as it can be made without re-heating it. Normalizing is done differently, but the result is similar to annealing. Of course everyone knows that the proper way to harden steel is to heat it red hot and then to plunge it into water. A sword blade thus treated will be virtually indestructible; flexible as a whip and so hard that it can chop through a machine gun barrel without marring the blade in the slightest. Right? Well... not quite.

There are... problems with this method... especially when dealing with the more modern alloys. Some of these alloys are amazing in their capabilities. Their properties and heat treatment requirements may also be quite exotic. Air hardening steel, for example, should not be quenched in water, brine, or oil. It has very specific requirements to achieve desirable properties. None of those involve conventional quenching. If you can get the steel, you can get a data sheet on it, and if one is going to be playing with such magical stuff, one had better be well informed. Otherwise, stick to conventional materials that you know how to work with. For most practical projects, simple high carbon steel will suffice for the most demanding tool requirements. The adamant of Greek and Roman mythology is neither needed nor desired for simple hand tools. The forging of weapons, particularly edged weapons is a whole 'nother kind of smithing, however, and those who forge weapons and armor are often very interested in new alloys. Hardenability is dependent upon many factors, but the most important one is carbon content. If it does not have enough carbon in it, it cannot effectively be hardened by heating and quenching. There is a substance known as "superquench", which supposedly allows even mild steel to be hardened. I have my doubts about this. I don't know much about superquench, having never used it. There are several different formulas, most involving the use of lye as an ingredient. There are other formulas however, that use other ingredients, though most of these ingredients will be in short supply in the post-apocalyptic era. If you need to harden it, make it from high-carbon steel. You'll need such lye as you can make for soap production eventually. To harden steel, heat it red hot and quench it. It really is that simple. Now, what exactly is "red heat", and what do I quench the steel in? Good question, apprentice, you are learning! The proper hardening temperature for any given steel will vary depending upon carbon content, and also other things alloyed to it like molybdenum, chromium, arsenic, potassium, etc. Carbon content is by far the most important factor having to do with the composition of the steel, however. If you have a data sheet on the steel you are working with, you will know the proper hardening temperature. Matching that temperature with a specific color that you may not be familiar with in a primitive forge, however, is another matter entirely. Most often in the post-apocalyptic era, you will not be able to get specific alloys with nicely defined properties detailed in a data sheet. You're gonna be after junk-yard steel... which is a whole 'nother subject entirely that I'll go into in a later chapter. In general, a ferrous metal has reached its hardening temperature when it loses its magnetic properties. In other words, when the metal being hardened no longer sticks to a magnet, it is at the proper temperature for hardening. This temperature is fairly critical, so when it is reached, take a good look at it and try to remember the color. A mechanic's pick-up tool, a magnet on a telescoping metal rod works well to test the metal being heated. You need not actually touch the metal... just feel for the pull of the magnet. When it ceases, you have reached "red heat" for the purposes of hardening.

Most high carbon steels can be quenched in either oil or water. Tool steels sometimes get a little temperamental about what they like to be quenched in. I ran across a crow-bar once the metal of which would crack when quenched in water. If you get a piece of metal like that, quench it in oil. Used motor oil will do unless the work has to be used in food preparation. Transmission fluid, vegetable oil, or any other kind will work. You have to submerge the entire work when you do this as the oil will burst into flame when touching the hot steel. Exactly what to quench the work in depends upon the level of hardness desired, the requirements of the material you are quenching, and the availability of quenching media. If you don't have any oil, you can't quench oil-hardening steel in it. Hardening can also be accomplished by other methods. A needle can be quenched, for example, by thrusting it into an apple or tomato. In times past sword blades were hardened by thrusting into human flesh. I do not recommend human beings as a quenching medium. This makes the smith rather unpopular with the friends and relatives of the specific medium in question... to say nothing of the medium himself... who may actually survive the process. Besides, anything alive tends to writhe around when subjected to hot steel, no matter how well restrained and might damage the work in the process. If you must use brine as a quenching medium, and water is in short supply, collect a bucket of urine. It may not smell good, but it will work, as will the blood of a recently butchered animal. The post-apocalyptic era is not for the squeamish. In general the faster the steel is cooled, the harder it gets. In order of fastest to slowest, here are common quenching mediums: superquench, brine, water, oil, air. Larger pieces to be quenched such as anvils are frequently quenched by pouring a continuous stream of quenching medium on them... in the case of an anvil, on the working surface, the face. Remember that as the metal cools, it shrinks. Thus, if it is not cooled evenly, it may crack. Keep it moving when you quench it, and if it has specific quench media requirements, follow them. Once quenched, the artifact is hard. It is not very tough, however, it is brittle. It may in fact be as brittle as glass. It is rather disconcerting to see a piece of steel shatter into shards... not to mention potentially dangerous. If you harden and temper your work in separate steps, be careful with recently hardened steel. There is a process known generally as "case hardening". Case hardening is not the same as conventional hardening in a heat treatment sense. To case harden something, one packs it into a container of any one of several carboniferous compounds marketed under different trade names. One such trade name is Caseknit. The container is then heated to a very high temperature and kept that way for a period of time. The carbon from the compound then migrates to and is absorbed by the artifact. In this way, an artifact made of mild steel can have the outer surface rendered much harder than the rest of the metal.

There are a few applications for which this is desirable for one reason or another, but most smiths do not have the facilities or the inclination to do case hardening. It really is quite timeconsuming and troublesome. A variation of case hardening is color case hardening. Color case hardening produces a hardened surface in addition to a random color pattern as is commonly seen on Colt Single Action Army revolver frames, Shiloh Sharps rifle receivers, and similar applications. Color case hardening is somewhat more difficult to do than conventional case hardening... and the practitioners of this process guard their secrets well. For post-apocalyptic operations, this is not especially important and there are other things that should take priority to the smith's time. The way to do case hardening effectively is to wait until you have a number of articles to case harden and then do them all in one batch. You'll need a very hot fire and it will need to be kept going for an entire day or more to properly case harden the work. In the post-apocalyptic era, this will be a difficult thing to manage effectively. If someone is running a steam plant nearby for local electricity generation or some other reason, the way to proceed is to wrap your package in clay, plaster, or cement, let it harden, and then put it into the firebox of the steam plant. Just leave it there until the plant is shut down, then go retrieve your package, break the covering, and quench the case-hardened artifact. Color case hardening is very much dependent upon the quenching process, though, depending upon who you ask, there are other factors such as inclusion of animal hooves, leather, etc. in the hardening compound. The quench media can be water or any of a number of other materials. I have heard that acids are commonly used. I do not recommend this... it is dangerous to quench hot metal in any substance, adding acid to the equation, which may liberate hydrogen upon the addition of iron, strikes me as a bit foolhardy. Other methods involve a rising column of bubbles in the quench media. Supposedly the bubbles in the quench material rising to the surface are what cause the color pattern. If you want to try case hardening, be careful. Use safety goggles, acid proof clothing if you want to try acid, do not breathe the fumes, and good luck to you. Most often the product obtained by case-hardening is simply not worth the effort needed in a post-apocalyptic world, but if one really wants something casehardened for some unfathomable reason, with much experimentation, it can be done. Normalizing metal is done by heating to hardening heat and then allowing it to air-cool. By this method, the metal is rendered relatively soft. You would do this if you wanted to file, grind, engrave, polish or do some other cold machining of the artifact before hardening and tempering. Annealing is done for the same reasons as normalizing; to make the metal soft. The difference is that with annealing, the metal is cooled very slowly. If you have facilities to do so, you can cool it over several days. Some smiths use Vermiculite, asbestos, or other insulating materials. When I want to anneal something, I wait until I am almost done for the day, then heat the artifact up until a magnet will no longer stick to it, bury it in the coke and let the fire go out, covering my

forge with an old Weber grill cover. It will take several hours to cool and the metal is rendered soft enough for most cold machining operations. Typically one forges the work, normalizes or anneals it, performs any necessary cold machining operations, hardens it and finally tempers it. There are ways and means of hardening and tempering in one operation. A chisel, for example, can be shaped by forging, have a blade rough ground on it after normalizing, and be hardened and tempered in one operation. I'll detail these techniques at the end of this chapter. After the workpiece has been hardened, one then must temper it. In some cases, this must be done immediately, as certain alloys will develop longitudinal cracks if it is not quickly tempered. Drawing/tempering is that part of smithing that is extremely critical. If you want to produce usable tools in your smithy, you must become an expert at this. There is an almost endless variety of techniques to produce properly hardened and tempered working surfaces. No one method is best for every smith or every application. Springs are probably the most challenging heat treatment task for any smith, and as might be expected, there have been many tricks developed over the years. When an artifact has been hardened homogeneously, that is to say that it was heated to hardening temperature and then entirely quenched, tempering is a second step in the heat treatment process. The exact procedure will vary a bit depending upon the application. Making a tool bit for a metal lathe for example requires the bit to be brought into a state of homogeneous temper throughout the entire artifact. This can be a tricky process, and is best accomplished by using a kiln equipped with a pyrometer. You may not have such a luxury however, in the post-apocalyptic era. If you do not, you will have to experiment until you have your technique down to a science. One way to homogeneously temper an object is to build a small kiln of sorts over the top of the forge with firebrick. After the interior of the kiln has been heated one can place the artifact to be tempered inside the kiln and watch it carefully for color, pulling it out quickly when it reaches the proper color/temperature and quench it. Relatively few tools, however, require homogeneous tempering. Most are made hard at the working surface, leaving the rest of the tool relatively soft. A cold-chisel is a good example. This tool must have a sharp edge that retains its shape even as it is used to cut iron and steel. The other end of the tool, however, must take repeated hammer blows. It cannot be rendered overly hard or it may shatter when struck. This is why when one sees a cold-chisel that has been used a bit, the cutting edge may be sharp, but the other end is battered and mushroomed over with steel that has been deformed by hammer blows. One must often dress such a tool on a grinder in order to avoid having bits of metal fly off under use. There are a number of ways to temper a tool such as this. The way I first learned it was to harden the tool by quenching and then polish it to an almost mirror sheen. This can be done with a wire brush, a fine grindstone, or a whetstone. At this point, you've (hopefully) got a very hard and brittle tool... be careful not to drop it on a hard surface, it may shatter like glass.

Now, the tool must be slowly heated from the striking end. As you watch it , you will notice color bands forming on the surface of the tool. The color bands represent different levels of hardness. The hardest color band is a light straw color and the softest a dark blue color. The color bands will slowly march down the length of the tool until the reach the cutting surface. Now it must be quickly cooled by quenching before the edge can become too soft. Quench it cutting edge first to arrest the process immediately, then slowly submerge the rest of the tool. Heating the tool can be done in the forge, and in the case of a cold chisel, this will work fine. One can also use a blow torch for this purpose, and this is one of the best tools available for that purpose. There is danger in getting a tool overly heated on the striking end because if it gets red hot, and is subsequently quenched, it will again become hardened, necessitating a repeat of the process. It should be noted that a fire hot enough to bring the work to red heat is not necessary. The heat source need not be a fire. In the case of a knife blade, for example, tempering may be accomplished by bringing the back of the knife very close to or actually in contact with a red hot piece of steel. This will afford better control of the process. Variations of this type of tempering process are called drawing. In order to be certain that the tempering is done evenly, the process may be repeated. This may be termed double-drawing or triple-drawing. Normally you will see high-quality wood chisels and such that are double or triple drawn. Screw drivers and such are normally only drawn once. If this sounds unnecessarily complex and time consuming, there are other options, though the process of drawing a tool to the proper temper is probably the most common and useful method for most tools. One method for tempering a small lock spring I have read about involves hardening it in oil, and then dipping into sawdust. The sawdust will adhere to the oil and coat the spring. The next step is to hold the spring over the forge until it catches fire, allowing all the oil and sawdust to burn off. This supposedly gives a spring that is perfectly tempered. In my experience, nothing is ever that simple. The methods that work will vary greatly depending upon the size of the spring, the quenching medium used, and most importantly, the composition of the steel. You can try this if you need to replace a spring in the lock of a muzzleloading firearm or something, and if it works with a particular alloy, take note of it. If it doesn't work, you will have to try other methods. Tempering small parts in the post apocalyptic era will have modern smiths tearing their beards out until they have adapted to the new conditions and learned new techniques. Take a good look at your text books on the techniques of drawing and tempering steel. Learn these chapters. Practice the techniques while you can still get steel relatively cheaply. Currently, most general blacksmiths make their living by wrought iron work. Tools will likely be a more important stock in trade for the post apocalyptic smith. Not every tool needs to be hardened and tempered. Plow points, for example do need to be hard, but this is less critical in the case of a hand tool like a hoe, which can be made of mild steel and

simply quenched when finished. It won't be as durable as a hardened blade, but it doesn't take as much to make, and remember that the first hoe was probably made of wood and/or stone, bronze and/or copper coming later on. Always remember that in the immediate post-apocalyptic era, resources may well be in short supply. Use high carbon steel for critical tools, not for boot scrapers, nails, and wall hooks. Save stainless steel for items that must be rust-proof for some reason. Depending upon what has caused the situation to be defined as post-apocalyptic, you may be facing shortages that may last a year, seven years, or for the rest of your life. Chapter VI, Junk-yard Steel here is an old adage that states; ³One man's trash is another man's treasure.´ There is much truth in that statement. While in Northern Iraq during the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War, I frequently saw Kurdish refugees scrounging our trash dump for things we had discarded. A broken tent peg (or sometimes one that was not broken) was perfectly good firewood to cook dinner over. Discarded portions of MRE's were also sought after. Probably the most highly regarded item, though, was the metal tin that our T-rations were shipped in. After the food they had contained was cooked and served up to the soldiers, they were ³junk´ to us, and we threw them out with the rest of the trash... until we noticed the refugees ³mining´ the trash dump for these treasures in particular. At first we were mystified. What in the world did they want with used tins like these? We eventually noticed the tins being stored in and around the refugees' tents. At last, an explanation came forth. The Kurds had been chased out of their homes with the Iraqi military hot on their heels. They left, typically in the back of a wagon pulled by something like a 1950's era Ford/Ferguson farm tractor with their families, a few blankets, AK47's and ammunition, other weapons, and little else. Some left on foot leading an ass, horse, or other pack animal. I know of one woman who walked sixty miles while in her eighth month of pregnancy. Needless to say, she didn't carry much other than her child. A few thoughtful individuals brought along a wok... which is a very useful cooking utensil that cooked Mid-Eastern flat-bread (in an inverted position) as well as rice and various meat stews. Most of these refugees, however, had either not thought to take cooking utensils or been too rushed for time to do so. The various NGO's as well as the US military supplied food for the refugees, as well as water and shelter, but nobody had thought to supply cooking utensils in any great numbers. Hence the trash miners. The T-rat tins were waterproof, did not burn, and most importantly, were available locally. Thus, they became the cooking utensil of choice among the ingenious Kurdish refugees. Eventually, the shortages were addressed and woks were supplied, but for a while there, T-rat tins were all the rage. We had to start saving the tins and passing them out on trash day in order to keep the miners out of the trash.... which was a great source of disease and injury. This way there weren't as many fights over the tins, as ownership was immediately established upon possession. When

digging through the trash, there was always the possibility of a ³claim jumper´ grabbing a tin from the miner's pile.... which could end in bloodshed! These Kurdish refugees had the right idea in their Time of Trouble... and so in our own postapocalyptic era, we will likely take a page from their book of wisdom. A common junk yard filled with automobiles in various states of damage and completeness is a ready source of materials for the post-apocalyptic blacksmith. It should be obvious, though, that not all steel is created equal. Some parts of automobiles are better for some purposes than others. Springs, either coil springs, or leaf springs, are made of high-carbon steel. They are extremely useful in tool making. Likewise torsion bars. You can harden and temper these steels to fit virtually any common use. In the case of a coil spring, one can either straighten it out on the anvil and then cut it, or cut it first and then straighten out the sections. Coils springs are to be found in various sizes depending upon their original applications, so you can have stock readily available to form a doctor's scalpel (from an old garage door spring) or a mason's hammer head (from a heavy truck spring). Leaf springs are infinitely useful for making farm implements such as hoes, pickaxes, adzes, mattocks, knives, scythes, etc. Most of the drawing out has already been done, and it will only need minor shaping to be made into a tool. These steels are fairly common stuff and do not require any special heat treatment to fit them for use in tools. Just harden them in water or oil, temper them as needed, and they'll serve fine. Internal engine parts are of limited utility. Shafting is normally a high-carbon steel, but a crankshaft or camshaft requires a bit of work to get at, and a good deal of work in shaping it for use in most tools. Poppet valves are interesting things. They are made to retain their shape and hardness even at red heat... hence their use in engines. This will likely cause the smith trouble when he tries to forge them. Some internal engine parts, most notably valve heads, are sometimes filled with sodium. For this reason alone, do not attempt to forge them or to grind them. Sodium will explode under such circumstances, and it is also quite poisonous. If in doubt, assume the worst and let the valves lay in the junk yard... unless you need the valve as a valve. Valve springs are another story, and are good quality high-carbon steel in a small size. Grab 'em if you can get 'em. Drive shafts from front-wheel drive vehicles (or older RWD Volkswagen/Porche vehicles) are all made of good-quality high-carbon steel. They are already straight, and are of sufficient diameter to be useful for many purposes. Vehicle frames are most often too large to be all that useful as raw stock for a forge, though they might have other uses. A chassis with wheels on it yet can be fitted with a tongue, a bed, sides, etc., and used for a wagon. to be pulled by animals or a tractor. Car bodies are a ready source of sheet steel. Cutting the roof out of an old Cadillac will provide the post-apocalyptic smith with a large section that would have taken days to draw out on an

anvil, not to mention more coal/charcoal than he likely has available. Sheet steel is incredibly useful stuff. You can make from it spatulas, small shovels, buckets, and other items too numerous to mention. Probably the most sought after scrounge in the junk yard is tool steel. This you can find in grader blades, bucket teeth, and any kind of farm implement that has some kind of chopper head in it. Grab all you can get of this magical stuff. Not all vehicles should immediately be carved up for scrap metal, however. If you are so fortunate as to have found an operational Ford Model A or Model T (or similar early car/truck), grab that machine and store it carefully. It will be capable of traversing deeply rutted roads that only a modern SUV could manage.... but it will do it at much greater efficiency. Remember, your public servants have their own problems now and will not be out maintaining the roadways... which will quickly fall into disrepair. Usable gasoline will be quite valuable for a while after a disaster. I remember a man coming up to me and asking for some one night in Northern Iraq. He had run out of gas with his Land Rover. None of our vehicles ran on gas, only Diesel, so he was in pretty dire straights. We did, however, have a gasoline generator, and while we could not spare him the remaining five gallons we had on hand for it, I was able to accumulate about a half gallon from dredging the last drops out of all the remaining ³empty´ gas cans. Given a gas-engined Land-Rover's thirst for fuel, I figure he got five or ten miles before he ran out of gas again. Still, he was closer to home than he had been. Likewise, any vehicle, especially a large vehicle, that runs on Diesel fuel is another type of community treasure. Diesel powered school buses are great for moving refugees and supplies around. Unlike gasoline, Diesel fuel can be store for fairly long periods of time, and most Diesel engines will also run on Kerosene. (Yes, traditional Kerosene lamps and lanterns will burn Diesel fuel, but not very well... too much sulfur content, for one thing. Do this only in an emergency.) It should be noted that most government vehicles run on Diesel or glorified jet fuel. It will likely become the most commonly available petroleum based fuel around. Don't cannibalize operational vehicles that might have some use if you can avoid it. Even after the gas is all gone, there is such a thing as wood gas, not to mention alcohol, both of which can be manufactured locally if necessary. A related field within blacksmithing is tin smithing. We have to remember the story of the Kurds in Northern Iraq and their precious T-rat tins. Almost certainly, you will end up with prodigious quantities of tin cans of various sizes and shapes that previously contained tuna, beans, mushrooms, tomato paste, etc.. Don't throw those precious items in whatever passes for the trash! They are extremely valuable items in the post-apocalyptic world. It might take a day for a skilled blacksmith or tinsmith to make a water-tight, food-grade, fireproof tin if he has to actually draw out the sheet metal. If he has sheet metal available, the time factor is greatly reduced, but when you already have the utensil on hand, why go to any trouble to make another one?

It takes very little effort to attach a handle to a soup can for a tin cup, though it can serve as it is as soon as it is opened and washed out. A tuna can filled with ashes that are soaked with Kerosene, gasoline, or alcohol can make a tolerable camp stove when placed under some kind of support structure for another can that contains something that needs to be heated. Remember, resources are scarce now, don't waste anything that can be used in some way. Making one's own iron and steel can be done... but it is extremely labor and fuel intensive. There will likely be quite enough steel around in junk yards and farm fields to supply the needs of most families for several years. If you've got a bunch of cast iron around that is not serving any useful purpose and lots of charcoal, you might try to make some wrought iron, but there are better ways to spend one's time than this. Actually mining iron (or other metals) is far more trouble than it is worth in the post-apocalyptic era. Don't bother unless you are an experienced mining engineer... and if you are, you don't need this book, you can write your own. Chapter VII The Smithy smithy is, in a nutshell, a place for the blacksmith to work. It can be as simple as a shaded area behind the house with a portable forge and anvil or as complex as a fullblown workshop with a permanent masonry forge, several powered machines, and a 500 pound anvil.

In general, you want some place that is out of the wind a bit... grampa's workshop might be just the ticket. Then again, it might not. While some smithies have wooden floors, most do not. A wooden floor is an obvious fire hazard... put some sheet metal over the top of it where you work with hot metal. If you can manage it, a concrete floor is desirable, but not essential. Traditional smithies have had dirt floors with the anvil stand sunk into the dirt a fair distance. This is better than a wood floor. Ventilation is extremely important, unless you enjoy breathing noxious gases. Your forge should have a chimney or else be vented other ways. In the Summer months, those warm months when I do all of my own work, a pair of open doors or windows may suffice. If the building has open eaves, you won't have any trouble with smoke... though you might have trouble with wasps and other flying pests. Unfortunately, one cannot count on things breaking only during the Summer. In my experience working around farms, things most often break during the Winter... and often it will be something like a manure spreader with a full load that cannot be allowed to freeze. Time for another story.

During the first Persian Gulf War, my unit, the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion was billeted in Al Jubail, quite far South of Kuwait City. Before the Iraqis left Kuwait, they set as many of the oil wells on fire as they could. This didn't concern us all that much at first... but after a couple of weeks had gone by, it started to get cold. We could see the sun, through clouds of smoke, but in Saudi Arabia, we had to break out the field jackets where before we'd been running around in T-shirts and shorts when not in uniform. Yes, those are land mines on the surface of the road and in the sand on either side of the road. The time of day was, if I recall correctly, about 0800 hrs, and the sun can be seen above the

horizon in the center of the photograph below. The lighting conditions are accurately portrayed. These photographs were taken with Kodachrome 25 color slide film... if I remember correctly... and it was a difficult task to shoot with it in such dim light. Later on, when we entered Kuwait City itself, we had to have our headlights on to see to drive, even at noon. Twice a day, we had to wipe tar off the windshield and the headlights. It was even more cold then it had been to the South. This is my experience with what has been called a mini-nuclear winter by SSG Steven Dutch, a geology professor who deployed with us. Now the effects of that smoke were limited to a local area... and only the oil wells had been set ablaze. For the most part, the largely concrete and masonry structures of Kuwait were intact and unburned. A real nuclear war would set everything ablaze and hoist it far into the stratosphere. The effects would not be local, they would be global, and while what I experienced was fairly short term, a global nuclear war's winter could last for decades if not longer. Also, while the mean temperature was somewhat lower than normal in the Persian Gulf region, a real nuclear winter would be much more severe. In other words, you cannot count on warm weather. You will quite likely have to provide your own. Plan on having your smithy closed up from the cold, an overhead draft for your forge, and a supplemental heating system within the smithy. A pot bellied stove will work, as will any other cast-iron stove, or even a barrel stove. An M1945 US military tent stove is not a bad item to have around. Miles likes Kerosene heaters, and so do I, especially when it is desirable not to send ³smoke signals´. Indeed a Kerosene heater is well suited to heating the smithy... but you will eventually run out of Kerosene, and if you have a woodlot, you may not run out of firewood. Also, remember that if you have a lit forge, you are sending smoke signals anyway. Hint: charcoal doesn't make as much smoke as coal does. Be sure to put a spark arrestor on the chimney... and a metal roof is better than cedar shakes for this application. If it can have a stone foundation a couple of feet above floor level, so much the better. A complete stone or concrete block wall is great, but not necessary.

Other than that, the requirements are fairly simple; enough space to work, room to walk around everything within the smithy (you really don't want to try to chase a red-hot piece of metal you just dropped that is leaning against a wooden wall just out of reach behind the trip hammer), and enough room to store the stock and tools. If you are going to be working on wagons and/or horses/oxen/mules/asses, you need more room as well as some extra space in a separate building for the animals. Chapter VIII What Should I Make? hatever you wish. Perhaps it would be more prudent to suggest things not to attempt. Don't attempt to make any firearms. There are enough of them around as it is, and you don't want a bad weld or a slag inclusion to cause a breech failure. Keep the existing ones in working condition. A good quality rifle or shotgun will last a

couple of hundred years. That's longer than you'll need it.

You might be tempted to make a steam engine. Before you go through all that effort, check into

the feasibility of adapting an existing engine or other device for that purpose. Steam engines can

be quite useful, but they were supplanted because of inefficiency among other reasons. Check other areas of Miles' site for more information on home-grown steam power. Also, you might wish to visit the site of Tiny Power, who make small steam engines and kits, among other things. Don't waste any effort on iron armor. A standard .30-'06 round will defeat any armor that you could conceivably wear on your body. Just because the bombs have fallen does not mean that you will be facing only mobs with pitchforks and spears. The mobs will be there, but they'll have guns and ammunition. Don't make swords, battle axes, spears, lances, or other primitive weapons either. Your enemy's deer rifle shoots further than you can launch an arrow or spear. As to swords, well only a fool brings a knife... even a big knife... to a gun fight. After the ammunition runs out it still won't be time for swords, it'll be time to learn how to make black powder and reload your own shells. Hint: muzzle-loading firearms (either flintlocks or percussion), breach-loading percussion rifles and percussion revolvers do not require cartridges. What will you need? Well, it depends.... if you were smart and laid in a supply of hand tools, farm implements, and the like, when you could still buy them cheaply, you may not need to make anything, at least initially. Set up your smithy and just wait for something to break or wear out. Almost certainly, you will be without electricity within a short time after the bombs fall. The grid will go down from a massive EMP, and it will take everything that is plugged into it down as well. Assuming the authorities get right on it, it will be months if not years before power is restored. They will not bother to get right on it, however. There'll be other things to worry about than restoring power to outlying areas. First things first, then. You'll need light after the sun goes down. Hopefully, you will have purchased a supply of Kerosene and some lanterns to

burn it in. As soon as you get your smithy set up and all the other immediate needs taken care of, you can start making some wall hooks to hang lanterns on (left), and maybe a shepherd's hook or two if you think you will need outside illumination. I take a certain measure of pride in my hook designs. God gave me more talents than I deserve, and while I frequently misuse my talents, my hook designs are first rate, even if I do say so myself. I have several variations of wall hooks, but all of them start with a circle that is intended to be hung on a nail. The circle provides a measure of stability in case the hook should be bumped and hanging from one nail is a much simpler installation than other hooks requiring two or more anchored screws to secure. The lower portion of the hook is a fair distance away from the base so as to facilitate less pulling stress on the nail. A hook like this one will hang your lantern perfectly level and securely out of reach for small children. The shepherd's hook above right differs from conventional shepherd's hooks in that the weight is directed straight down, as opposed to off at a slight tangent. One of my hooks can stand in a bucket of sawdust with even the weight of a Coleman lantern suspended from it. Conventional hooks often fall toward the weight they support when the ground becomes saturated with rain water. Mine remain at the position of attention. I mention this not so much to brag about my superior design abilities, but rather to point out that it pays to spend a fair amount of time considering before even lighting the forge. Two tools help with this; a drawing pad and pencil, and a length of flexible wire. Hint: You've got illumination. The folks that are going to be fleeing the cities and maybe some

of your neighbors will not be so well off, and they will be drawn to any visible light like moths to a flame. They'll also eat the food you've got squirreled away like ravenous locusts. Don't advertise your good fortune... inside illumination only unless you really need some light outside at night for a specific purpose. Keep the windows shuttered and only burn one lantern at a time... move it from room to room as needed. If you've got a red globe for it, so much the better... it won't ruin your night vision, and you should keep watch for the first few nights at very least. If you didn't get your Kerosene and/or lamps and lanterns purchased in time, then you will need candelabra for the candles you will have to make. Candelabra can be as ornate as you wish them to be, but they need not be especially fancy to get the job done. The basic task it must do is hold a candle securely, provide a convenient means to move it around the house, and collect the wax that will melt off of it. Be careful in your execution.... candles are just about the most dangerous thing you will encounter in the post-apocalyptic world. Mrs. O'Leary's cow likely did not kick over a lantern to start the Chicago fire, but more likely a candle. Hot and cold blast lanterns go out when they are

upended, candles simply ignite whatever they happen to land on. Candle lanterns are quite useful. These can be made from sheet steel, and are most easily made from standard steel cans such as the ones your beans are likely stored in. One of these cans punched with plenty of holes around the periphery can provide adequate light at night and still be relatively wind proof. Not a bad idea to provide a means of darkening it suddenly if needed. There are a few candle lanterns made commercially today... mostly out of Japan and China. Stay away from paper lanterns, not only are they not durable, but they can be fire hazards. There are some that are simply modified traditional cold blast lanterns. Instead of a burner, they have a cup that holds a tea light. Tea lights can be bought cheaply in large quantities. These lanterns will work outside quite well, and are proof against fairly strong wind... but they do not do well in cold weather. The wax will not melt around the periphery of the candle in cold temperatures and thus it will not burn. Keep lanterns on hooks whenever possible. Any hot or cold blast lantern tends to extinguish itself when overturned... but it will still spill its fuel, which is a rare and valuable resource in the post-apocalyptic era. Dietz makes the best traditional Kerosene lanterns, though not necessarily the cheapest ones. Dietz for personal use, cheap off-brands for trade. If you did not bring farm implements, you will need to either secure them or make them. You need at minimum a hoe, a rake, and a shovel. Pioneer tools such as axes, fros, mattocks, and the like may be needed as well for various things. You'll need knives of various types and sizes. Knives are difficult to make. Wait until you become proficient. You're also gonna need some tools for smithing. Make several pairs of tongs, a few hardies, and other anvil tools. A small mandrel is useful to have around Get busy making some of these tools before you need them. When you do need them, time will be in short supply, if it isn't already. Remember also that it never hurts to practice. A would-be smith who has spent the previous months making hooks and other pieces of hardware has a much better chance of successfully repairing a walking plow than one who has been reading books occasionally while loafing when he has ³nothing´ to do. Hint: There is always something to do in the smithy. Chapter IX Other Tools and Machinery hile one can make most anything with just the basic tools of hammer, forge and anvil, there are a number of machines that make life much easier for the smith. Many of these will be hand tools, like bolt cutters, for example, mentioned in a previous chapter.

This chapter will deal mostly with floor machines. Don't plan to load a bunch of these machines into your school bus two days before the bombs fall. If you are going to have a smithy this well prepared, you had better get it set up immediately if not sooner. These machines are heavy and bulky. There will not be room for all of them in one trip. A common machine in even fairly early smithies was a trip hammer, or power hammer. This machine replaces an apprentice for some work. It forges metal with a much heavier hammer than a smith would normally wield and can tirelessly deliver many blows per minute exactly on target with exactly the correct amount of force. There are wide variations in the design ranging from hydraulically operated machines to primitive devices that simply use a cogged wheel that alternately lifts and drops a heavy sledge hammer. Power hammers and trip hammers have probably crippled more smiths than all the horses that have ever lived on the Earth. Keep the floor clear, and don't put your hands near the moving parts. These machines are dangerous. A swedge block is a block of steel or cast iron with recesses of various sizes and shapes formed into it. It is used to make shapes otherwise difficult to forge, such as triangular bars. I've never found I needed one, and they are heavy and expensive. By an extra anvil instead or a floor mandrel. The drill press is extremely useful and can save hours. It is much easier and simpler to drill a hole than it is to punch one, and it will be perfect every time. To go along with it, a set of drill bits and at least one extra chuck key. The post drill is a variation on the drill press. Time was when every farm in the country had a post drill in one of the buildings. The biggest advantage in a post drill is that it is designed to be run with no electricity, using hand cranks for motive power. A feed mechanism using a cogged wheel, cam, and rocker, feeds the quill as the drill bit is rotated. They normally require a special blacksmith's drill bit, that is to say, a 1/2´ shaft drill bit with a flat side machined on it for the lock screw to hold it in the primitive vise. It is possible to convert to a conventional three jaw drill chuck. One needs only a 1/2´ arbor that is threaded to accept the new chuck. The shaft can then be chucked into the original chuck. A post drill thus converted can use conventional drill bits. Post drills are one of the few antique tools that are relatively easy to locate. Be prepared to pay what is asked for a drill in good condition with all the parts, and also to repair a drill that you got

cheaply... possibly having to replace some missing parts... perhaps even having to make them from scratch. I would say to generally avoid those that have been converted to electric operation. They were never intended to be used at the high speeds an electric motor can impart, and unless the owner took pains to keep it well lubricated, its bearing surfaces may have suffered. Lay in a good supply of heavy grease. Slick-50 One Grease works well, and the Teflon content adds to its lubricating ability. Eventually, you may be down to rendered animal fat, but avoid it as long as you can. Most machine tools require some kind of lubricant in normal operation. Cutting oil will also be necessary for some of them. I¶ve always liked Marvel Mystery Oil. A metal lathe is the one machine tool that can completely reproduce itself without any others. You will need a complete set of tooling to go with it including a four jaw independent chuck and a three jaw universal chuck. Get a ball-bearing dead center if possible. When it finally wears out, you can make a solid one. Have a ready supply of tool bits... carbide ones if possible. They will outlast the standard tool steel ones. Milling machines and shapers are nice to have, but only if you really have a need for them. If you are going to be building a steam locomotive or a triple expansion steam engine, perhaps you could justify the added expense and trouble of setting up either of these machines. Otherwise, leave 'em behind and buy yourself an extra couple years' worth of food and Kerosene. A modern welder, whether an electric one or a gas one is extremely useful as long as you can get the gas or the electricity it requires to run. When that is gone, you have a really heavy paperweight or an anchor. Learn how to use one of these things before you buy it and use it while you can. An electric generator is quite useful as long as you have fuel for it. Diesel is the best way to go, but even a gas generator has its uses while fuel is still available. If you intend to power your floor machines with it, you'd be well advised to get one that is large enough. A little Coleman camp generator is not going to cut it. A stationary engine can be quite useful for a variety of things. If your machines are not direct drive and use pulley systems, a stationary engine can be set up to run them in the absence of electricity. Briggs & Stratton and Tecumseh both make reliable air-cooled engines that would be suitable for such things. Setting them up is beyond the scope of this article, however. Bear in mind that you get more efficiency using the engine directly rather than converting its energy first to electricity and then back again to mechanical energy. A farm tractor might seem to be the most unlikely requirement for a smithy, but they are infinitely useful machines. They have, among other things, a power take-off unit... sometimes more than one kind of power take-off. You can use these to run your floor machines, to run a generator, if you must have electricity, and to haul coal and charcoal, and also the obvious uses that it was originally designed for. I myself would prefer something small like a Farmall Cub or A, but a Ford 8N or 9N will serve just as well. One of the modern monsters with four-wheeldrive and all the bells and whistles will not long be running in the post apocalyptic world, as there will be nobody able to fix them when they break for one thing, also that extra horsepower

requires quite a bit of fuel. There are ³alternative´ fuels that can burn in spark ignition engines... alcohol and wood gas are just two of them. A discussion of how to make them is beyond the scope of this article. I seem to say that quite a bit... perhaps I should expand the scope of the article a bit. Nah... maybe later. A smithy that has all these machines is far beyond what most people would need. This is a blacksmith's dream shop... and having one could be of great benefit to a community if it were able to support and defend it. For most practical purposes... you need only the basics and a few of the luxuries, if you can manage it. Chapter X The Neighbors ou are gonna have neighbors, like it or not. So... first the obvious question; how do the neighbors relate to post apocalyptic smithing operations? The fact of the matter is that everything affects everything else. It is said that the wind raised by a bird's wing can eventually become a storm. Well, with the wrong set of neighbors, the storm that a puff of smoke from your forge might initiate could be especially violent... and unfortunately, right next door. So it is that we come to the neighbors. One of the many things I learned during my time in an Army civil affairs battalion is that in the aftermath of any disaster, whether it is a battle, a famine, or a natural cataclysm of some type, there will be shortages of water, food, fuel, medicine, and/or any one of a number of things. There is one thing that there is never a shortage of, however; refugees. In the aftermath or even prior to the apocalypse, they are going to come boiling out of the ruins of large cities. Many of them will be useless people who are accustomed to having everything given to them by the sweat of others. They will be most upset when they go to the store and find that not only will their welfare card not work, but that there is nothing in the store to buy even if the card did still work. Unfortunately, many of these individuals will go feral and start simply taking whatever they wish from others. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Thus, some morning about a week after the mushroom clouds began growing, you will awaken to find a group of former city dwellers encamped in your field with their Coleman tents and SUVs parked right on top of a field of oats that was almost ready to harvest. Count to ten, now, remember that they are likely here because they have nowhere else to go, and they didn't deliberately crush your food supply... to them it was just brown grass. The first thing to do is assess them as a group. Are they potential allies? Escaped criminals? Did they bring anything useful, or are they truly useless people too stupid to know how to take care of themselves. This initial survey, conducted with firearms at the ready, will determine how to deal with them. If they are not openly hostile, talk to them, in Spanish or broken English if necessary, get an idea of their needs. If they are short of water and you have a well with a hand pump, enlist the aid of some of their young men and get some water distributed. Don't immediately volunteer that you have food or anything else... you'll get a better idea of what they have just by watching them.

Check out their skills as well. Are any of them nurses or doctors? Soldiers or former soldiers? Drug dealers? Legitimate pharmacists? Mechanics? In short, decide quickly whether or not you want them as neighbors. If you do, move them into shelter someplace other than on top of the remains of your unharvested oats. Don't immediately dismiss men in orange uniforms bearing the names of prisons. Not all murderers are bad people... I know a few of 'em I would love to have as a neighbor... especially in this kind of world. Criminals are sometimes useful individuals who made errors in judgment. Just be careful with them. Most of those guys really do belong in the cage. If you think you'd be better off without them as a group, be polite, but firm. Load them up with as much water as they can carry, give them a gallon of gasoline... the ³last´ gallon you have... for their vehicle, if in fact they are out of gas, and send them on their way to a refugee collection point. There will usually be radio broadcasts advising where to go for food, shelter, and medical care. The gallon of gas you give them will buy you their good will, it will get them at least fifteen or twenty miles away from you, and it is less valuable than the ammunition you would have to expend in killing the entire party. If you have to shoot, you do it quickly, you dig a hole, you keep your mouth shut. This is to be avoided as much as possible. Gunfighters never live long. You cannot stand alone, and the more people in the community, the better the chances of collective survival. Remember, the Chinese may be on the march, or the Russians, or even the Mexicans or Canadians. We will not even discuss local bandits, which are more likely than foreign powers who will have problems of their own. At the risk of being labeled a racist, I will address the issue of race despite being a White AngloSaxon Protestant. This is, of course, sacriledge to a liberal, and I am going to be branded a racist no matter what I say. Therefore, I will speak the truth as I see it, shoot straight, and let the chips fall where they may. Back in the innocent age circa 1975 or so, I tended to believe the prevalent propaganda spewed out by the media that "Black is Beautiful". Somehow, I came to the belief that all Black people were God-fearing men and women who lived in poverty only because White men forced them to live that way. This belief had some truth behind it, but was woefully inaccurate when applied universally. Upon my inception into the US Army, I was divested of that notion, realizing that Black people were no better than anyone else... and later in life, I came to realize that as a group they tended to be somewhat ignorant and stupid, prone to violence, and often given to immoral behavior. That said, I have to point out that these, or any other generalizations, do not apply to every single individual of the Black race... or any other race, for that matter. Individuals vary with the individual. The unfortunate fact remains that a majority of violent crime in the United States is commited by

people of minority races... Blacks leading the pack, for the most part. I will not get into the reasons for this as those put forth by others are highly debatable, and my premise here is quite inflamatory enough. Suffice it to say that the reasons will end up being many and varied, and probably the biggest problem that Blacks have as a group was systematically engineered by evil White men. No, not the KKK, but rather, liberal Democrats. The institutions they implemented are collectively known generally as social welfare programs and include or have included housing allowance, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and others. This "free lunch" program has caused more damage to the poor and/or the Blacks than the KKK leadership could ever have dreamed of. But that's another story... It does NOT logically follow that because a majority of crime in the United States is done by Blacks, the majority of Blacks are criminals. Most Black people, like most Mexicans, White Anglo-Saxons, Asians, or any other race of people are no more prone to crime and violence than anyone else. It DOES logically follow that a neighborhood full of people who are as a group prone to crime and violence will have high crime rates. In the post-apocalyptic world, these are important things to consider. You do not want to be living in a Black neighborhood when the caca hits the fan... even if you are Black yourself. Leave before the looting, robbing, raping, burning and killing begins in earnest. If you choose to leave a Black ghetto, however, remember to leave the ghetto behind... don't bring it with you. That is excess baggage you don't need to carry. Outside of the ghetto, there will be White people. They'll have guns. You will have to get along with them if you want to survive. It has been said that niggers come in all colors, and this is quite true. Nevertheless, having a dark complexion should not be a license to act like a nigger. Institutionalized slavery ended a a century ago and it is no longer an excuse for bad behavior. This is a point to remember. Now some will wonder why this racist clap-trap is included here. Two reasons. The first reason is a warning to Blacks who choose to flee the inner city and try to survive out in the open air. You will quite probably be tolerated... but only if you behave yourselves. If you start behaving in ways that are considered normal in the inner city ghettoes, your White neighbors are not likely to accept you... and you need to be accepted if you want to live. Be polite. Leave the ghetto life behind... and make damned certain your children behave as well. If you are driven out, you will have no where else to go. The second reason is the fact that many rural people have little if any experience living among Blacks and other minorities. I was probably into my teens before I actually saw a Black person... and considerably older before I saw a Mexican. Now I live in an inner city neighborhood in a small city where it is at least as common to hear Spanish spoken on the street as English. My next door neighbors are Mexican and a man across the street is Black. It should not be a matter of public policy in the post-apocalyptic world to shoot Mexicans or Blacks on sight. Not all Blacks, Mexicans, American Indians, or other minority members are criminals. Neither, however, are they all fine upstanding citizens. Remember, the man in your

gun site is an individual, not a group, so be careful not to make your judgement based on group statistics. That man in your site might just be another George Washington Carver... a genius who will be badly needed when it comes time to plant crops again after the worst is over. He could also be, however, another Idi Amin... whom the world could easily do without. One would hope that we could avoid a race war. This may not be the case, however, so if your skin color becomes your uniform, all bets are off. Civil war is a bloody thing, and hopefully will be of limited duration, but it certainly could happen, and dividing line could easily become one of race. All the more reason to avoid conflicts if at all possible. Let others fight over the last scraps of food in a grocery store or somebody else's attractive young wife. Sit quietly in your little corner of the world and stay hidden if you can. The neighbors you have now... before the bombs fall, will be your best bets for allies. You know them, for one thing, or at least you should. If you do not, you should set about rectifying that state of affairs. If you see your neighbor with a tractor buried to the axle, go over with a heavy chain and your own tractor or SUV. If you take care of your neighbors, they will hopefully take care of you some day. Should you be so fortunate as to have an Amish or Mennonite neighbor, get down on your knees immediately and praise God with a loud voice! Your neighbor is an absolute ³rock star´ at living off the grid. He'll have horses, oxen, hand tools, harnesses, wagons, stored food and probably Kerosene. He'll also have skills that you don't have. If he is willing to talk to the English at all, he'll talk to his neighbor. It helps if you can speak a bit of German as well. He'll probably speak ³Plat Deutsch´, a dialect that is a bit different from the ³Hoch Deutsch´ taught in American schools, but he'll be able to understand you and will appreciate that you made the effort. When he discovers that his neighbor is a blacksmith, he will likely spread the word to the rest of the Amish. This is a good thing. When the fuel runs out, you will have been able to negotiate for a good draft horse and a wagon. Possibly even a wife or an apprentice to help you out in the smithy. After the bombs fall, we'll all be Amish.... whether we like it or not! In the grand scheme of things, though, there are worse things to be. Chapter XI Weapons t seems to be a given that any discussion of the end times, or survivalist doctrine in general must contain a section on weapons. So we come to the final chapter and I must weigh in on the subject as well. Having spent the better part of a decade engaged in the selling and servicing of firearms, and more than fifteen years in military service, I am somewhat qualified, though no more so than Miles or many others. I will not address primitive weapons like the atlatl, boomerang, sling, spear, or bow and arrow. All of these weapons have their place in the post-apocalyptic world. I simply do not have the time or the space to address every aspect of the situation, and so I must eliminate some subjects I

would like to cover. Suffice it to say that a man armed with a sling or an atlatl who knows what he is doing is better armed than a man with a battleship who doesn't. I will point out that primitive weapons tend to be absolutely silent, seldom have laws regarding their use or possession, and are easily made from base materials. If you have a length of cord, a small piece of leather and a rock, you have the makings of a sling and can kill small animals... or giants. A straight peice of wood and a broken piece of glass can become an arrow, quarrel, or spear. A bent piece of wood can be made into a boomerang. If you choose to carry and use primitive weapons like these in the post-apocalyptic era, practice religiously and God be with you, for everything else is against you. Much of what I have to say is based on opinion... informed opinion, but opinion nevertheless. "What's the best gun?" in one variation or another, is probably the most commonly asked question at the counter of any gun shop, followed closely by "What's the best cartridge?". Welllll.... there is no perfect answer to either of them. All guns, from a Brown Bess musket to a Buck Rogers styled directed energy beam weapon have their pros and cons. The use to which the weapon is to be put will have much influence on the choice of weapon. If you are planning to visit Washington state for hunting, stainless steel has a certain advantage.... but bad neighborhoods in Washington DC have needs all their own. As to cartridge choice, the various 30-'06 class cartridges are so close ballistically as to be almost indistinguishable. Everyone has their favorites. To me, if the cartridge does what it is supposed to do, it's a win, if not, it should be retired. We could eliminate all but ten chamberings and there would still be plenty of choices left. In point of fact, for survival, one would be better served by a collection of weapons in various chamberings. For breaking through roadblocks escaping from a city, keeping mobs at bay, or similar martial activities, any of the AK-47 variants would be ideal. (A better idea would be a letter of acceptance from a well-known local resident of the community you are trying to enter!) I would personally opt for one chambered in .223 Remington. Others would prefer a 12 gage Remington 870 riot gun. Later on, a rifle in .22 LR might be nice to get game for the evening meal without drawing undue attention. Handguns have their place, but mostly, that place is hanging on the patriarch of the family's hip seldom if ever to be fired. Others have other ideas. To each his own. What has all this to do with blacksmithing? In the early days of firearms, it was the blacksmith who made the firearms. It was the blacksmith who repaired them. You will almost certainly be called upon to repair a firearm of some type at one point or another. Most probably it will be one of your own. This is only one area to consider when choosing a weapon. You'll need to defend yourself and your family. You'll also likely wish to hunt or destroy pests who plague the garden... or plague humans directly. Feral dogs frequently become a problem in

devastated areas. PETA be damned! In a war zone, shoot all stray dogs on sight! The danger stray dogs pose to unarmed humans cannot be overstated. I implore you not to attempt to make a firearm from scratch. Unless you are a gunsmith with a well equipped shop, you will have, at best, a poorly made weapon that will not shoot where it is aimed, and at worst, a bomb waiting to detonate right next to... say... your wife's face. She will not be happy with you, nor will anyone else. There are also certain repairs not to attempt. Don't do anything with the major parts of a weapon; the bolt, breach, or barrel. Messing with these can get you killed. Find a gunsmith for these kinds of things. You can learn how to drill and tap for scope mounts, though I don't recommend it. I would suggest that you confine your post-apocalyptic gun repairs to stock replacement, parts replacement, cleaning, and other minor repairs. One can attempt to make some springs, but again stay away from things like firing pin return springs, safety springs, trigger return springs, etc. Muzzle-loading firearms with traditional exposed hammers, do lend themselves to simple repairs. A broken hammer or trigger-guard can easily be crafted by a skilled smith. Unless you are a trained gunsmith, avoid major repairs to firearms. Miles has stated that hunting will be impossible at some point. This is true, though that point will not happen immediately. In Northern Iraq, we looked high and low for wild animals, but found very few alive. There was a large mongrel dog that helped me guard the camp at night, a fox that was seen at a great distance, and tiny fast-moving lizards. That was it. Everything else had been killed and eaten by the Kurds. As I write this, the deer population in Wisconsin is bulging. There are herds that wander in among the barracks on Fort McCoy. One would think that they were squirrels in any public park, for all the attention they pay to soldiers who walk among them. One would think that they would provide an excellent food source in any disaster scenario. Correct? Probably not. In whatever version you choose to believe concerning the extinction of dinosaurs, one thing is clear; the large herbivores were the first to perish. They need foliage to survive... and foliage is always the first food source to fail in any kind of climatic alteration. A nuclear war will cause widespread changes to temperature and available sunlight, as will many other types of disasters. Even if we discount such a disaster, with the distribution network smashed, how long would one suppose the deer herd will last with a starving population out hunting them? Probably about as long as the park squirrels. Had the Kurds been left much longer, I suspect even the mongrel dog (an unclean animal under Islam) and the lizards would have been eaten.

Hunting will be sharply curtailed at some point, in the post-apocalyptic era, but not completely gone. In general, cartridge guns should be considered emergency guns. Use them for self-defense only. Those cartridges, even if we allow for reloading, are too precious to waste. As to a choice of cartridge guns, I would suggest avoiding everyone's favorite Colt AR-15 type rifle. It is rugged, it is, contrary to popular belief, fairly reliable, the .223 Remington rounds will be plentiful (or as plentiful as any ammunition), and accuracy is fairly good. The problem with this weapon is that it requires a fairly high tech base to keep it operational. If you fall and break the butt stock, you have to replace it somehow. You won't be able to order a replacement stock. Thus, the wood-stocked AK-47 in one version or another, which was designed for low tech levels, is infinitely superior in the kind of world I envision. The best attribute of this weapon is also the worst problem; semi-automatic capability. Untrained individuals tend to use the "spray and pray" approach to war fighting, and they also tend to take risks they probably shouldn't. This is fine when one has a large combat load of ammunition and a truckload waiting at the base camp, not to mention skilled medics. When you have one case of ammo that has to last a decade, and limited medical care, the balance tends to tip toward those who avoid gunfights and guns that require marksmanship and thought before expending a single round. Shotguns are probably the most versatile weapon out there. You can kill everything from an elephant to a hummingbird with a shotgun loaded with suitable cartridges, and there are a plethora of available cartridges. I have a preference for pump shotguns. My favorite current production gun is the Remington 870, though I much prefer the old Winchester Model '97. I find an exposed hammer to be a comfort rather than a concern. A .410 bore shotgun has certain advantages in that the report is fairly quiet compared to other gages. Brass cartridges can be formed from old .303 Brittish shells that can be reloaded many times. I own a Winchester Model 9410 lever-action shotgun, which is pictured at left with an ornery old guy holding it. It has certain tactical advantages that might not be immediately noticed. As a home-defense weapon, it is almost without peer, holding ten rounds of of .38 S&W Special-equivalent ammunition. In an urban environment, it is not likely to penetrate several walls and kill a little old lady down the street walking her dog, yet it will impart lethal wounds up close where most combat shooting is done. Loaded with 000 buckshot rounds, each shell holds three rounds approximately thirty caliver in diameter. At close range... say out to twenty five or thirty yards or so... I can put three rounds on target faster than a man with a modern selective fire weapon can manage, as I can do it with one shot instead of three. If I need to kill a

squirrel or rabbit for lunch, number six or 7 1/2 shot will suffice. If longer range shots are needed for coyote, human beings, or deer, slugs will fit the bill... admittedly in a marginal capacity. Further, designs like this (lever-actions in general) will be among the last cartridge loading weapons to be rendered illegal simply because there are so many of them out there. Need I mention that you need at least a 12 gage to kill an elephant? Shot shells are heavy and fairly expensive. They also have plastic cases that cannot be reloaded just too many times. this needs to be considered at some point. A .22 LR rifle is great. You can easily stock thousands of shells for it and spend very little money doing so. Everyone has a preference. I like Remington Nylon 66 rifles, though Winchester 9422 lever-actions are pretty nice as well. Ruger 10/22 rifles are pretty hard to beat for a modern production gun. There are many handguns that take the same cartridge. It goes without saying that one must learn to reload cartridges if one plans to continue to use them. I cannot possibly begin to address that topic though, and since Miles has covered it elsewhere, I'll forgo it entirely.

A class of weapon that many will discount entirely is that of the black-powder weapons. Think about this for a minute. You are in a pretty nasty environment where resources are scarce. You want to get lost and stay lost until Christ returns to find you. Probably you won't be doing much hunting, and when you do, you'll want to make every shot count. Muzzle-loaders, breach-loading percussion rifles like the 1866 Sharps (above, photo courtesy Shilo Sharps Rifles) , and percussion revolvers like the Colt Dragoon series (at left, photo courtesy Cimarron Fire Arms) do not require any cartridges. One needs a supply of powder, caps, and lead balls. That's it. One can dispense even with the caps if one wishes

to use a flint-lock, wheel-lock, or match-lock weapon. Some will scoff "But you only get one shot!", citing the advantage of superior "firepower". I will not dispute the advantages of having a repeating rifle in certain tactical situations. Clearly there are some, but the weapon is only one part of the weapon system of weapon, projectile, and soldier. Having only one shot can be turned to a tactical advantage as well. Have you ever noticed that when you hear a distant shot, it is difficult to get a handle on the direction it came from? If the shooter fires a second shot, it is much easier to triangulate the position the shot was fired from. The weapon pictured at right is a Thompson/Center Cherokee rifle currently for sale on line. I have one in .32 caliber and have used it to good effect on squirrels and other small game. With only 20 grains of powder, I can kill a squirrel or a rabbit, which will supply my family with meat for a day. Now, one pound of powder contains 7000 grains. Doing the math... 7000/20 = 350 shots. Figuring that fffg black powder costs about $15.00/lb, doing the math again... that's a little over four cents a shot, plus the cost of the projectile and the cap... figure a nickel for both, so about a dime a shot. Now, granted, this is not as good as .22 LR shells, but it is much better than any good quality center-fire cartridge, and you are also firing a much larger projectile. It is currently illegal to hunt deer with one of these, and I would not recommend it if it were legal. But... if push came to shove, could I kill a deer with my T/C Cherokee? You bet I could! When you shoot, if at all possible, fire only one shot, and make it count. Multiple shots will draw attention... probably unwelcome attention. Facing multiple armed attackers with a primitive firearm would not be my favorite way to spend an evening, but given sufficient warning, even if all my cartridge guns had been rendered inoperative, I could present a fairly decent defense of my position with a muzzle loading weapon. I'd do even better with a breach-loader like the Sharps and a supply of paper cartridges that can be made up ahead of time. Remember, mobs from the large cities are not going to be well-trained militias. They're gonna be mobs or street-gangs with loosely governed command structures and almost no individual soldier training.

Very few of them have any concept of guerrilla warfare, which is what you will be fighting. Pick off the leader and the rest will likely run away. If they don't, they'll hunker down behind whatever cover they can find. They will probably not know what constitutes proper cover, so you'll be able to pick them off at leisure. Even if they run, kill as many as you can. If you can't get them all, move to another location immediately. They'll be back with help. If things have progressed to the point where you have formed local militias, you can introduce intruders to the concept of volley fire. This is somewhat wasteful of ammunition, but it is effective in driving your enemies before you. A study of Sun Tzu is in order if one becomes involved in any kind of conflict involving massed armies. The percussion revolver has long been considered obsolete. Obsolete does not mean useless, however. Bill Hickok carried 1851 Colt Navy revolvers long past the point where cartridge revolvers were the current state of the art. This fact did not influence the outcome of the gunfight in which he folded his dead man's hand. Consider the fact that the Colt Walker (at right, courtesy of Cimarron Fire Arms) and Dragoon revolvers packed more power than any cartridge revolver until the advent of the .357 S&W Magnum in 1937. True, you only have five shots, six, if you are foolish enough to load all the chambers. Remember, though, that if one needs more than five shots to get out of a tight spot, one has become involved in the wrong kind of business. Again, I must stress that gunfighters do not live long, so avoid conflicts if at all possible.

There is one final advantage that black powder firearms enjoy over more modern weaponry. In most locales, they are exempt from any gun control schemes. If you choose to go black powder only, there will be no paper trail to lead gun-grabbing federal authorities to your home defense arsenal. When they show up to steal your guns, give them the stuff they know about and keep the unregistered and untraceable guns hidden away. Currently, there are schemes to keep track of black powder sales at the final distribution point, but since one can make black powder from a number of base materials, this is not as big a problem as one would imagine. The formula varies, but 1/3 each of any of several nitrates, charcoal, and sulfur mixed together will give you usable powder. There are numerous publications available that detail black powder production, so I will not detail it here. The only admonishment I will offer is to be careful if you try to make your own... and be extra careful in how and where you store it... whether you make your own powder or not! Chapter XII: Location. Location, Location he best way to survive the aftermath of a cataclysmic event is to avoid it entirely. Squirrel your supplies away to some location and get there yourself, avoiding all conflicts along the way. Stay there and don't attract attention at all. "Where should I go?", some might ask. Underground in some bunker is beyond the reach of most of us, and underground living is fairly unhealthy in any case. You might have to start in a fallout shelter, but if you want to survive, you'll have to emerge from it as soon as radiation levels have fallen sufficiently to allow you to escape. Ideally, you would locate to a rural area that is as unattractive to looters, invading armies, people who have taken the mark of the beast, or anyone else, as is possible. Swamps are nice for hiding in, but bad for long-term health. Woods are better. Remote wilderness is best. The idea is to go somewhere that nobody else is likely to stumble upon you. Preferably, there would be a building already constructed for supplies to be pre-positioned. Abandoned houses that look haunted can be effective, so can old barns and rusty steel buildings. Bad-tempered wasps make good guards. If possible, you want cover, preferably from evergreen trees. This way your activities will be kept hidden year-round. Some kind of early-warning system might be in order. In a quiet woodland area, twigs and branches provide a good warning system, especially from city-dwellers who tromp through the woods without realizing that they can be heard for hundreds of yards. You might wish to supplement this with a system of trip-threads attached to little bells, tin cans, or something inside your cabin. When the mobs come boiling out of the cities, they are going to be looking for shelter, food, warmth... and whatever else you have that they don't. These items might include wives, weapons, fuel, and other

valuables. It is best to avoid attention as much as possible. It should go without saying that you will not be living in a four-bedroom house on top of a hill in sight of a major highway. Rather, you want a tiny cabin inside a cedar grove with a rusted steel building nearby for storage. If you need quick temporary housing, a large tent such as shown at left will suffice. This is not suitable for longterm survival, however. Military tents tend to be better choices for longer term survival needs, but even they are not as good as a permanent structure like a cabin. The tent pictured below is a US Army shelter half tent. They are very sturdy structures, but leave much to be desired as far as creature comforts are concerned, and there is little room inside

for more than one or two people. I use this one for storage of supplies that I don't want in my living tent. Gasoline for my chainsaw does not go well with a lit lantern inside the tent. This sort of locale is what you want, however. The cedar trees provide plenty of cover both from the side as well as overhead and the trees themselves provide plenty of building material for structures, camp furniture, and firewood. Hopefully, you will have enough Kerosene to fill your needs for at least a year after the apocalyptic event. More would be better. A small building is easier to keep warm than a large one. You don't really need anything larger than 12' x 20", and you may be able to get by on much less for housing. Your smithy should be about 12' x 8' or so unless you have gone in for a large shop with floor machines. You will want to keep this low-profile for at least a year or so. After that, play it by ear and be flexible.

As bad as it might be, this too will pass. After Word One final piece of advice; if you think you will need this document in the post-apocalyptic world, print it out. Preferably do this on good quality rag-bond stock with a laser printer. Ink jet printers use water soluble inks, and a leaky roof could render the printed document illegible. Alternatively, an oldfashioned dot matrix printer will provide good durable copy, though the imagery will not be rendered. Remember, an EMP will likely fry your computer, and even if it doesn't, your printer and computer both require electricity, which may be in short supply.

(c) 2005 by Dale A. Raby, and as such, may not be redistributed in full or in part without my express written permission. Ask, though, and you'll probably receive permission.

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