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I Forge Iron


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About Harold

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    Clarion, PA
  1. Yeah, the whole thing seems pretty solid. I didn't pay a huge amount for it and figured I'd be able to get about what I had in it if I decided to sell later. I'm not sure how many turns the crank will turn when I let go of it but I know it will fall from an upright position under its own weight. How many turns should it make when let go of?
  2. A couple months ago I picked up a cast iron forge with a hand crank blower. I'm pretty sure I got a really good price on it and at the time I wanted to get into blacksmithing, but I've since decided that between work and full time college I won't have the time, so now I kind of need to figure out what I have to put a fair price on it. It has a circular pan measuring about 19" diameter and a four legs. There are no cracks or damage anywhere but there are three small holes cast in it to attach a heat shield. There are markings on the inside of the pan but they are no longer legible. I can't find any model number on the blower but it's marked "Champion Blower & Forge Co. Lancaster, PA USA". It turns very freely and blows air well. The inside of the gearbox and the gears are in excellent shape and so is the tuyere. The exterior of the whole thing is browned from years of sitting in a barn or something but the only real rust damage is to the bottom of one of the legs. I have pics taken and will try to get them up shortly to help identification. Just hoping to get a better idea of what I have so I can figure out a fair price - or even if it's valuable enough that I should just hang on to it. Just thinking that although I want to get more educated eventually on blacksmithing, my current nomadic lifestyle would probably be better served by getting a blower and taking that (which is way smaller and more portable than a eighty or so pound cast iron forge) with me when I move, then building a forge when I get where I'm going.
  3. Thanks for all the advice. Oddly enough, I just stumbled on to a blacksmith who is somewhat local to me, actually not too far even when I go back to college next semester. He gave me his business card and told me to ask if I need any advice or help and also suggested some books. I found some round stock but some of it is short and what I'm using for tongs won't fit it. I'm planning to fire the forge up again next week to practice some more and flatten out a lawnmower blade I found to try cutting out a knife blank with the grinder, and to use up the charcoal briquets I have left so I can replace it with some coal. I was told look for less than 2% sulfur and 14,000 BTU's and that there is a local source. But before I get too serious I'm going to have to get my butt to a flea market and get some more tools. I'm seriously limited with what I got.
  4. No worries about the advice to slow down - I'm not at all offended. The biggest thing is that I didn't even know what the basics are. I'm basically a guy who always had an interest in historical things, got the opportunity to buy a forge a couple weeks ago, and couldn't wait to at least try it out. My skill level is nonexistent, so any suggestions are cool with me. But I'm still also going to retry the spear. I have a very small chance of getting it to work, you guys are right and I admit that. But it will still get me some practice heating steel up and hammering on it. FWIW - the failure the other day taught me how much I have to learn, so it wasn't a total failure. I think...
  5. Others have advised me to start with very small, simple projects. Even my attempted spearhead was a failure, which honestly wasn't a surprise. Additionally, before I asked for advice, I cut out another semi-spearhead shaped object that I planned to weld into a socket. Since then, I've been advised to not attept that yet. Having said that, I'm still planning to try it. It was junk scrap steel that I found around for free. Worst case scenario, I screw it up again and it costs me a little bit of charcoal. Not that I'm ignoring these guys - I appreciate their advice and will follow it. But a guy also never gets anywhere without a little ambition. ;)
  6. I need some suggestions for things I should be trying to teach myself to do as a total beginner. I have an old round Champion forge with a hand crank blower, a three pound hammer that I found in the garage and put a handle in, and a piece of railroad rail for an anvil that's securely anchored to a very solid (and heavy!) oak stump I got last weekend. Also have a pair of channel lock pliers and a couple cold chisels. I fired the forge up today and made an attempt at making a spear from a piece of steel pipe. I actually managed to get it somewhat spear-shaped but I didn't have enough heat to weld the "blade" into one solid bar. My next attempt will be forge-welding a somewhat pre-shaped blade into the socket, then shaping the whole thing with heat and hopefully getting it close enough to take to the grinder. I know I need tongs. What should I make them out of? A post-vise is on my flea-market wishlist. I have one I can use now but it's my dad's and mounted in his garage which is far from my work area. And I need my own. What other tools do you suggest I lay hands on? Any other suggestions or insight would be appreciated as well.
  7. Not at a forge, but when I was just out of the Army I worked this construction type job. We all had access to safety glasses but no one wore them. I even had my own because I needed a certain type to fit over my regular glasses. Anyhow, the boss was nailing a sheet of T-111 to a stud and when he struck a nail it bounced back and struck him just above the eye on the supraorbital arch. It literally missed his eye by a fraction of an inch and it drew a good amount of blood. Had he been less lucky he'd have been blinded in that eye. Since then I've been semi-fanatical about wearing safety glasses if there's a chance of any kind of hazardous flying object or substance.
  8. Thank you. I totally get what you're saying about buying from people who aren't really looking to sell their anvils. This is kind of what I'm trying to do - I just have to figure out how to get the word out to those people. I'm sure there are some around. It's just that they're in anonymous garages and sheds under forty years worth of dust and junk. The urge is to get something NOW so I can start banging away at something, but I feel like maybe I should resist that until I have a better grasp of what I'm looking for.
  9. Thanks. I called about two this morning - one 75 pound and one 150. They are priced at $1 per pound, but the seller says they have no name or identifying marks on them. I've been surfing old threads here learning the "good names" - Peter Wright, Fisher, Trenton, Hay Budden, and am trying to teach myself to pick them out based on appearance so I'll actually know a good one when I see it. Still, I'm kind of leery of buying a no-name anvil. I really am a total amateur at this and I don't know anyone locally who can advise me tell me what I'm looking at, so with no identifying marks it seems that much more likely I could screw up and waste money. I really want to start heating and beating on some steel, but I wonder if I shouldn't look for a heavy tough hunk of scrap steel to use for an anvil until I know more about what I'm doing. BTW - I am on the hunt. I've been asking people I know who might have an idea where I could find an anvil. I'm planning to start hitting up auctions, yard sales, and flea markets this summer. I know what in the rural areas I'm usually in someone has to have one out in their barn that's been sitting there unused for thirty years that they'd let go. It's just a matter of getting around and finding those people. At least, that's what I hope...
  10. Also, how much should I expect to pay for something in used but useable shape?
  11. Thanks. To check for the ring, I take it all I have to do is tap it with a hammer or some similar steel object? I found out that these are both on a shelf not secured to anything so I'd imagine that should allow them to ring if they're going to.
  12. Hi, I have a line on a couple anvils. A friend told me about them but I have to call and ask about them to get more info. It's not too far to drive really, but my truck is broke down right now so I'm going to have to do the best I can over the phone before I try to locate a ride or make other arrangements. I think the seller would hold one for me if I'm interested but I don't want to ask him to do that if he doesn't have what I want. Just to give you guys more info, I'm totally new but since I have the chance to maybe find good equipment, I'd like to take it. I'm thinking I'd like to get a hundred pound anvil to start, which I think will be big enough to do some stuff and "grow" with but still mobile enough I can take it with me when I inevitably move. What should I be looking for? What kind of questions do I need to even ask? And is there a "sticky" or some thread from the past with some anvil FAQ's? Thanks.
  13. Just figured I'd introduce myself. I've always had an interest in blacksmithing and last week I stumbled into a cast iron Champion forge with a hand crank blower locally. The price was good, the forge was there, and although I really shouldn't have spent the money I bought it. Now I'm hoping to buy the rest of the stuff I need and maybe be mangling some hot steel by the end of the summer.
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