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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by Marksnagel

  1. As a cast iron cook it would be a shame in my eyes to waste a cast iron pan when there are so many other ways to build a cheap forge.


    Also Cast iron cookware is not Teflon coated. It is seasoned with any number of cooking food grade oils which gives it it's non stick coating when seasoned correctly.


    I use a brake drum forge and a 55 forge. Both easy to make and both cheap. A side blast in an old bbq grill also works for getting started.



    We do have a "fern gully" that produces fiddle heads prodigiously in spring. Fiddle heads. . . Mmmmmmm. Lots of shrooms too I just don't eat them.


    I miss Fiddle heads. When we lived in Kodiak there was a never ending supply in the spring and summer. I would eat them raw as I hiked along and loved them fried in butter with garlic and some salt and pepper. I might pass on the shrooms though.

    I'm about 2 1/2 hrs east of Intrex. Too many shrooms to pick from here.

  3. Just a month in and you are well on your way.

    A few suggestions that may make things a little easier. And these are only suggestions.


    I do not wear gloves but if I do, it is a thin leather glove on my tong hand only. I never wear a glove on my hammer hand. I cannot control the hammer with any degree of accuracy if I am wearing a glove. 


    If you haven't yet, make yourself some different tongs. I noticed that the handles were pretty wide while grabbing the thicker stock of the spike. Very wide grip on the tong handles doesn't allow you to get as good of a grip. Plus you can make tongs that fit different thickness and shape stock. Having a piece of hot iron fly out of your tongs towards your face is a rude awakening. Trust me, this is experience talking (typing).


    I have cut the handles of most of my hammers short. I see where you are holding yours and that is good for control. If I need a harder strike I use a heavier hammer or get a striker.


    Just a few things for you to think about. It all boils down to your choice.


    I like your forge. What was it in it's former life?


    And your blower is a good idea. PS, your wife might want the fan put back in the bathroom ceiling when you're done. :)

  4. My son salvaged a Champion 400 blower from the area on the farm where old equipment goes to die. It was 3/4's buried and full of dirt. It's hooked to my forge and has been given a new life.


    Love bringing old things back into service.


    Mark <><

  5. Ridgeway,


     First let me thank you for documenting your adventure through pictures. Failures and all. It helps others so much.


    Second, congratulations on your forge. Through trial and error and hard work you have a forge! Good for you!


    My only concern would be losing valuable coal through the wire mesh. I agree that another layer or two of wire and some clay or firebricks on top as your table would solve that problem. Since I save and use coal fines they would fall through the mesh.


    You have done a wonderful job and should be proud. I forged under an oak tree for about a year and a half before I built a smithy made from lumber and tin on the farm. Getting out of the weather allows for a lot more forge time.


    Keep up the great work.


    Mark <><

  6. And the can of worms is opened and spilled over.


    This question has gone round and round before.


    I would like to call myself a blacksmith but alas I can not. I have had no formal training nor shall I ever. All I have learned is from trial and error, videos, talking with blacksmiths and here at IFI. When someone with less experience than I asks a question, I may give my advice based on personal experience but mostly it is my opinion.


    I do however refer to myself as a hobby blacksmith. I am content with that. I do not imply or assume that I have any knowledge above hobby level. I put a lot of time in at my forge and sell what I make but nothing compared to a professional blacksmith.


    There are those that make a living at blacksmithing and have spent years working and learning under other actual blacksmiths and I will not detract form their time, efforts and talent.


    Mark <><

  7. Thanks for your thoughts Rich.


    I have a hand belt sander that sits idle and every now and then it whispers to me to build it a box and stand it upright. I need to either do as it wishes or wait it out and buy a commercially made one. 


    I may want to start dabbling in bladesmithing once I get my hands on some book that I heard a couple of guys wrote.



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