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I Forge Iron

Glenn

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  1. Condolenses to his friends and family.
  2. Pallets are behind every business and are usually free if you ask. Wood (charcoal) has been used for years. It would be a shame to go back and tell those blacksmiths that charcoal does not work. (grin) Clean up the sticks from the yard, wood scraps laying around, etc. Avoid pressure treated lumber and any pallet that may be marked with a MB in the hot brand on the wood. Stay with what fuel you have available and at the best price. All the control settings change when you decide to change fuels. If you keep switching back and forth between fuels, you will only confuse yourself and not do well with either fuel.
  3. Split the wood into about 3 pieces each to get a quicker bed of coals. Then add more wood to make a deeper bed of coals. It is the embers that heat the metal not the flame. Once you have the bed of coals, back off on the air until you find just how much air is needed (actually very little) in order to provide the heat you need from the coals. The metal will heat better and faster if it goes into the coals horizontally, not at a down angle. Keep a close eye on that ratchet strap so it does not become overheated. Congratulations, you have it working. Now to play with the controls and tweak things a bit.
  4. arftist Most equipment can be sold, but getting the same piece of equipment later will cost a whole lot more than what you sold it for, and not be in the same condition. If the equipment is paid for, your only cost will be storage. If you get a project that needs that piece of equipment, you can accept the project and make some money. It hurts when you must pass a cherished piece of equipment on to someone else. Take comfort in the fact that they can take care of the equipment, use it, cherish it, and then pass it on again. Ask the son if he wants the equipment. Let it be his choice.
  5. Frazer Leave the stem thick while you make the leaf. Once the leaf is to your liking, then thin out the stem. Work the stem from the leaf toward the parent stock. The thicker parent stock will hold more heat and allow you to work the stem for a longer time. A water bottle with a small hole in the end or a condiment bottle of water will allow you to cool specific areas of the project (think thin areas) while you continue to work on the rest. Chris If you are burning up the steel, then it is too hot. That is burning the carbon out of the steel turning it to look like popcorn, repeatedly forming scale, or messing with the structure of the steel by repeated heatings. Before you fire up the forge, figure out what you are going to do, and how your going to do it. While the metal is getting hot, do the dance and practice taking the metal to the anvil, know where the hammer is located, and know where the anvil is located. As the metal is approaching working temperature, think about where your going it hit the metal, and how hard to kit the metal to move it where you want it to go. Do not answer the phone, get a drink of coffee, eat a sandwich, etc between getting the metal out of the fire and to the anvil. As Thomas has said, have two projects in the fire most of the time. One is working on the anvil, the other is ready to be exchanged and go to the anvil. Gas forges only get the metal up to a certain heat and then hold it at that heat. This means you can put two or three pieces of metal in the same fire, and one will always be ready. If you then take a break or think about what to do with the hammer, you not using time and fuel at the most efficient level. If you want classes, then take them. You can learn much more than the course material. If you want to learn until the class starts, then go to the forge with an idea. Get out the modeling clay and practice the project. Put the clay at the cold forge and practice taking it to the anvil, hammering it out, back to the forge to reheat, back to the anvil, etc. Practice the dance until you have learned how many steps it is from the forge to the anvil, where to put your feet, where the hammer is located etc. Use two pieces of clay so you work as efficiently as possible. When you have the plan and the dance, you can hear the music, so light the forge. On a wooden stump, or place a piece of wood on top of the anvil and practice hammer blows. For a full power stroke I touch my fingernails to the top of my ear, then bring the hammer down with the intent of burying the hammer 2 inches below the surface of the anvil. Yes, that much of a swing, and yes, that much impact on the metal (wood). The hammer swing should use the shoulder first, then the arm, and then whip the wrist to add acceleration to the hammer head. ALL this should be in the same plane based on the location of the shoulder. The hammer should naturally pass to the outside of the pants pocket. Move your body position so the hammer, in this plane, hits the sweet spot on the anvil. For me it is a step1/2 or more to the off side. If you need less power only raise the hammer to the top of the shoulder, the arm pit, etc until you get the power you need for each hammer blow. You MUST have hammer control to put the face of the hammer where you want it, or the power is of little use. It takes practice, and each hammer blow IS practice. Just be sure of the location of the target before you pull the trigger on the hammer.
  6. If you are burning up the steel, then it is too hot. Different steels like to move at different temperatures and some more easier than others. You can tap tap tap all day long and not move metal. Before you hit the steel with the hammer, decide which direction you want the steel to move and how far you want it to move. See how hard, WITH control, you can hit the metal. Keep the hammer under control so it will do what you want it to do. Think like a working blacksmith that needs to make a product in order to eat, not a hobby smith that has the rest of today to play in the fire. Take a deliberate swing and forceful hammer blow to make the steel move. Repeat as needed one swing at a time.
  7. This thread What did you do in the shop today now has13,000 replies on 521 pages, with 618,545 views.
  8. Ash is a good insulator. A couple of inches of ash should work. It is too long and too wide to be used as is. Restrict the area (size) as needed. Try it and see how it works, while you look for a better set up.
  9. A certified welder in which country of the world? Which type of welding?
  10. Keep working at the project. Go to the steel yard and physically look at, and handle, the materials you are considering for the build. The more time you spend on this end the closer you get to what you want.
  11. If you are loosing air at the piston rod, cut a square of tire inter tube and add a hole in the center for the rod.
  12. Yes on the red handle for tightening bolts.
  13. I agree, NO paint on heated surfaces, or those surfaces what need electrical contact. Expanders can and should be used to suit your needs. One suggestion is to weld a piece of 1/4 or 3/8 inch (6 and 9 mm) rod across the heads of the bolts (forming a T) that are used to tighten and hold things in place. Very easy to use to tighten or adjust the bolt and no wrench is needed. No one ever said you could only have one table. One for heavy work, and one for light work would be nice.
  14. You need to address what you are going to do with the table. Light welding of thin stock, as opposed to welding on heavy metals, plasma cutting and the stock size you are cutting, general fabrication etc is much different from making jewelry, leather work, etc. For either use you need the table to be rigid and strong against twisting due to use and moving it out of the way when you finish using it. As a work table in a shop, I like it. In an apartment, it seems just a bit heavy. I am sure a wife or girlfriend will tell you the same thing. A well applied and colorful paint will help but not change their opinions.
  15. You list the table as 25 x 47 inches, and the ends as 25 inches x 33+ inches tall. The leg material is 2 inches (50mm) square and about 4.3 pounds per foot. The ends of the table (with the center brace) would be about 12 feet of 2 inch material which is about 55 pounds each. The top (with the center brace at the bottom) is about 55 pounds. You say the top plate is 29x23'' (74x59 cm) and 1/4 in (6mm) thick. That is 4.63 square feet which is just over 46 pounds. The projected weight of the entire table adds up to 2 ends, top frame, and top plate for a estimated total of 211 pounds (96 kg). Add the 40mm internal legs at 3 pounds per foot, and the expanders, and you could pass 300 pounds (136 kg). All this is to be able to get some idea of the size and weight of your project.
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