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I Forge Iron

the bear

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  1. Hello and welcome. My take on Smithing is to do what the Smiths of old did.Build everything I possibly can.That way I develop a lot of skills and also get to clearly understand the workings of my stuff.Forges are dead easy to and really cost next to nothing if you DIY build them.This goes for both gas and coal.I have built and used both . I have also built a smelting furnace and have successfully cast bronze and aluminium with it.My coal forge is still my favourite as I can control the fire much better than with gas and also get a much hotter flame to forge Damascus. With costs bein
  2. Oh and James, Do not pass up a shoddy or heavily used anvil as long as it is structurally sound.Chips and notches are fixable and even slight swayback is not beyond redemption. These can all be repaired by a skilled welder using hard facing rods and then ground down and smoothed.Will cost somewhat but it could be worth it.
  3. Hi guys, I think it is a sign of the times that activity in this country has become muted.With the political and economic situation people are focusing more and more on surviving. I myself did a lot more work a decade or so ago,simply because everything was a lot cheaper and easier to come by and markets were also more open.Having retired now I was expecting to put in a lot more forge time but alas that has not happened, as there is always something else which gets in the way. However do not despair "Waar daar n wil is is daar n weg".If you want to connect with guys who have exten
  4. Your best bet is to troll the outlying farms.Today scrap metal is actively being hunted down all over the country by agents for dealers and even the poor and homeless and an anvil is a much sought after item.In the years to come anvils will become extinct as sure as shooting.
  5. Netjiese fotos Gert.Ja dis jammer daar is so min belangstelling in ons voorgeskiedenis is, veral in hierdie moeilike tye waar dit nog doelbewus onderdruk en verander word en vir baie mense n verleentheid geword het.Maar dit daar gelaat.Ek het self hier n interessante staanskroef met n dowwwe datum op van 1864,so dit was een van daardie wat saam met die waens gekom het.En Ja ons sal die tradisies laat voortleef solank ons nog daar is.Sal graag die volgende fees wil bywoon en die smede daar wil leer ken....
  6. hello Guys, I had the same problem some years ago so I upped and built my own grinder.The most expensive items were the two polyurethane covered aluminium wheels over which the belt runs which i had to buy from a specialist supplier.The power source came form a single phase 2200 watt Wolf electric lawnmower which was a quarter century old and retired at the time, and is now past 35 and still going strong. The rest of the stuff was pure scrapyard steel and the construction was undertaken with normal home tools and my forge of course.Just for the record I am not an engineer or a techni
  7. HI Guys, Well, its mid winter here (July) now, and we had - 4 C this morning with a daytime maximum of 13 C.Due to our altitude and the dry air in winter when it does not rain, it feels colder than it really is.As was already mentioned our houses here are not insulated very well, with fibrewool in the ceiling being about as far as it goes.The early sunsets and late sunrises are more of a bother as they cut into working time,especially if a large part of your working area is outdoors.As soon as the sun sets the cold closes in and work becomes a bother. I am working on collars of a rope desig
  8. The old time Scythe, you know - the one the grim reaper carries, has fallen into disuse in many modern economies and youngsters just stare blankly when the term is mentioned.Still there is a rapidly emerging interest in these old and very efficient tools and a number of websites dedicted to them can be found. I am pretty sure that the old time smiths made them in large numbers as they were known even in Biblical times.There were also a number of factories in Europe turning out scythes as late as the 1950's and there probably is till the odd shop in some remote country doing the same. I h
  9. Hi guys, Long silence due to a little mishappie,read about it on the victorian gate site.I have a good friend for whom I recently made two machetes in exchange for an anvil, who says he has plans for a little giant which he wants to modify.He reckons he can build a better working example for about ten G's. I'll go see him soon and keep you posted. regards The Bear
  10. Ah Yes the gate, In my blind enthusiasm I guess I overdid it a bit and as I am writing this I am sitting with that famous right arm in a sling after an overhaul of the right shoulder at the local orthopaedic center. Rent in the ligament I am told. And that after 20 years of hammering with the same ol 2kg sledge.As the doc said, rather sagely, I must admit:"Ja well, 20 years ago you were 40, you ain't that no more,gotta accept that..." So,no more hammering for 6 months and that just when I was moving on the roped collars which really give the gate its authentic look. Arrgh can you hear that
  11. Progress report on the gate. I am about 40% along to date.Have to make 85 scrolls of various shapes from 25x5mm MS which I bend by hand in the fire.Getting a lot of wholesome exercise and my right arm is developing nicely. Around 35 ccompleted to date.The frame is complete and has been hung and the scrolling is about 20% fitted. Am being hampered by early winter nightfall and biting cold up here in the highveld. Bear
  12. hallo Germaan, Jou eie aangablaasde vuur vervaardig kooks uit steenkool in die verbrandingsproses.As jou vuur opgehou het met rook en dit gloei op sy hoogste met sulke blou vlammetjies wat bo op dans is dit skoon en dis net kooks wat nou brand en kan jy feitlik enige werk daarin doen. Jy het nie regtig kooks nodig nie.Dis vir mense wat wil staal smelt,moeilik verkrygbaar en duur boonop.Al wat dit doen is om gouer op hoee tempratuur en skoon te brand. En dit bring my by jou vraag oor die smelt van hoekoolstofstaal.Jy weet seker dat jy dit nie in n oop vuur kan regkry nie.Al wat gebeur as di
  13. YES MAN, the other Guys seem to be more blacksmiths than wordsmiths judging from the dearth of inputs which is a bit sad.This forum is such an ideal place to exchange ideas and hear from colleagues. Maar ons boere is mos maar n bietjie skryflui of so iets? Hoop alles is wel daar by jou Groetnis HB
  14. Hello Guys, I am building a replica of a Victorian scrolled iron garden gate and I have a feeling it is going to turn out very nicely. Will post some pics as well as a descripition on how it was done as soon as it is complete. Afrikaans: Ek is besig om n replica van n Victoriaanse tuinhek met gespiraalde versierings te bou en ek dink dit gaan baie mooi uitkom. Sal n foto of twee laai en ook die maakproses toelig sodra dit klaar is. groete BEAR
  15. Toemaar JONGMAN die OOM het intussen reggekom.Plan gekry uit VSA en versamel nou materiaal.Gaan die ding self Bou. Groetnis By the way wanneer is daar weer n forge in?Dis darem altemitters baie stil deesdae. Groete BEER Never mind YOUNG MAN got fixed up via a plan from the US.Gonna build one myself.By the way when is the next forge in.?Very quiet of late. Regards BEAR
  16. Hello Jono, And welcome to a world of hard physical work and lots of dirt and sweat and even more of accomplishment and satisfaction, I've been at it for at least 15 years now, started out as a knife forger(bladesmith) and that started by taking a course in bladesmithing followed by an advanced course with heavin forge (check out their website)in Mpumalanga when they were still operating from Gold reef city. Since then I have come quite a way and mostly taught myself from sites on the internet (Check out Anvilfire as well as this one and various others)and of course reading lots of lite
  17. Ek berei al vir n rukkie voor om n meganiese hammer te verkry omdat die jare aanstap en n mens in die proses n bietjie spoed en krag verloor.Synde dat die meeste mense my deesdae "Oom" begin noem lyk dit vir my die tyd kom nou nader. N lugdrukhammer skyn vir my die pad te wees om te loop omdat ek oor n geskikte kompressor beskik.Het enigeiemand vir my raad waar ek planne of beskrywings van n bewese werkbare model kan bekom.Is kommersiele modelle in die mark beskikbaar en waar? En laastens is daar enigeiemand daar buite wat so iets gebou het en gereeld gebruik? English: Due to oncoming age
  18. Thanks to all you guys for your inputs, I have been able to do some good welds meanwhile, both mild to mild and mild to HC.I find that, in the immortal words of our great golfer Gary Player; "the more I practise(and read and listen - my addition)the Luckier I get". greetings to y'all
  19. Hi there Thurstan, Greetings from a coolish autumny South Africa, I started off getting knife making training which has been the best investment I ever made.Within a year I had built two gas forges,a standard dragons breath tube type and a stand up post box type.Both worked very well and I made a dozen big hunting knives on them before I fell for the lure of artist blacksmithing. Now, every blacksmith should make a sword at least once in his career and once you start, this is where you will end up. The lure of knowing you can do it will just become too strong.I used my post office type f
  20. hallo Ian, Thanks for your kind offer.I have since made contatc with an outfit quite close to here namely in Hedielberg called Strongman Tools who manufacture an Australian design.Nifty and very strong industrial type machine at an excellent price. Got me one and problems are solved. Thanks once agaain for your response Regards Herman
  21. Shane,All natural materials have their own little idiosyncrasies.Here in Africa we use lots of them,ivory warthog tooth and giraffe bone being popular.All have one commonality and that is that they don't like heat.I have used Sambar stag on a big double edged toothpick.belt ground it to shape very carefully keeping it cool by pausing time to time.same with drilling for rat tail tang.

  22. I have used old double jack 2kg (4lb) sledges to make straight and cross peen hammers as these are not freely available in the configuration used by smiths here in South africa. I forge down the one side into a sharp end in either configuration then heat treat them in the way described by Frank above and have never had any problems. I find that dedicted hammer type steel which is probably a medium carbon tool steel works very well for this type of exercise and there are always old hammers lying around at scrap dealers. A slow steady heat gradually working up evenly to non magnetic on the
  23. Yes, I was the colleague which was involved with Kevan on this one and we really enjoyed the challenge.I did the castings of the brass fittings in my backyard furnace and although the casting of especially the plaque was in actual fact not a very good one it fitted in precisely with the look we wre trying to achieve - ancient and weathered, just salvaged from the bottom of the sea.The voice pipe is a 40mm thin walled steel pipe and lack of a suitable pipe bender caused me to try the traditional packing with dry sand method, after which it was stoppered,with both ends tightly closed, heated to
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