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I Forge Iron


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About tomhw

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  • Interests
    blacksmithing, history, archaeology, geology, keeping my 87 supra turbo running

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  1. Too many videos have too much useless talk. The lack of blabber of some of the old pre-war videos is a pleasure for me.
  2. Try to keep track of your time on the lathe, if you have any other interests. For iron workers lathes are more seductive than video games are for kids. Measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk, cut with an axe.
  3. Learn from your mistakes and failures. I have had several moves since beginning this craft and have a sadly abrieviated pile of screw-ups. I still have a few examples of what not to do. Failure is a stern teacher. I have round-punched eye-tools (hot cuts, punches, and drifts) punched and drifted with round tools. The sides are too thin for heavy hammer work. I still have a few other examples of good ideas and poor tool selection or application. These failures have been useful for me. I expect to make many more embarrassments before I cannot lift my hammer.
  4. A well balanced body and mind is good. It requires diligence over one's life time. The product of a blacksmith is an iron or steel object, produced to a high standard, that satisfies the customer's demands.
  5. Clay the pan, if you must. I prefer Grout mixed with a minimum of water. Keep clay and cement out of the fire pot, it becomes clinker. Cast Iron forge parts are consumable. Replace them as needed.
  6. The yellowish material suggests the presents of sulpher in the rock . Supher contamination may cause problems for blacksmiths. It may well be useful but there are problems with corrosion and welding that you must learn to work with.
  7. The only time I had carpal tunnel problems was when I was a rod buster- worked with rebar in construction. I had no feeling from elbow to finger tips on my right arm. It got better after several months of not twisting wire.
  8. Rex, Fire clay or fire brick are unnecessary for the table. A properly maintained fire will never get the the bed hot enough to damage it. I use mortar mix to level my forge table. I use just enough water for a good mix- uniformly damp, not wet. This mix can withstand the the wide and sudden changes of heat and humidity. I also applied 1/8" of (red) automotive high temperature silicone to the outside of the cast iron fire pot where it contacts the concrete, to reduce the stress of expansion and contracion of the dissimilar materials. This regime will last for years of work. Do not line
  9. This is fluid dynamics. I did a 30 second search and found this: http://www.claychimneypots.com/ Convert it to sheet metal tubes. The ratios are right.
  10. A couple of decades ago my wife had a relative who ran a calcining plant near Lake charles, Louisiana. I got several pickup truck loads of petrolium coke. It was in large chunks- fist, to head, sized. It was hard to light so I made a lighter-pine fire first and then added coke to it. The fire was very hot but tended to spread to the whole fire pot. The coke burned hot enough to melt five pounds of bronze to cast a bell clapper for a large Mexican bell. That said, making reliable forge welds was difficult; possibly due to the high sulfer content. I would use it today if it was avail
  11. Are you really interested? If you are then make a commitment that compells you to dillagence and sacrofice. Buy the best that you can afford to spend and make it worth it. My father-in-law told me that he once dropped a quarter down the hole in the out house. It was not worth going after so then he threw in a silver dollar.....
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