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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by JerryCarroll

  1. flint--chert--obsidian has been a part of my blacksmithing for a long time. Flint and steel fire starting used to be part of Boy scout training. I was born in eastern Ky. ---mining and limestone quarry's are still there but access to the areas where we could pick up good gray flint is not available anymore. I still find some chips and decent tips on the family property. Where I live now I can find some chert that makes decent striker stones. I used to build and shoot black powder arms---mostly flintlocks and use stuff I find for the locks after knapping.  I bought a box of obsidian at the Friendship gathering in Southern Ind. back in the 70's and made some things for my buckskinning shop after learning to knapp from a couple from out west at a couple of the Friendship meets.  Times have changed!

                                                          Another Jerry B) 

  2. In 2009 I had a bad car wreck with a drunk driver running a stop sign on a main highway. I got beat up kinda rough! Since then I've had my right shoulder rebuilt, left elbow repaired, 2 heart attacks, heart surgery and 6 months of back procedures with bunches of injections for pain that has had little effect. I went to a surgeon for back help to move some nerves and bone chips and disk damage and went to my heart doctor for an ok for surgery and was told to forget any type of surgery because of congestive heart failure--no surgeon will take the chance of finishing me off!     Last week I went out to my shop to see if I could do anything.  the worst problem was bending over and standing too long. I've been going to the shop now every day and feeling better every day. Weak and shaky but I've been there before.    After reading these reports on others problems  I gotta quit feeling like I'm finished with doing something I really like to do that I've been at for 60 years-- I'm 76.   

  3. I have used a blower/injector fan from an oil furnace with a built on air gate for  years that I got for 5$ at a yard sell where the people switched over to electric heat and the fellow had enough thought to salvage some of the parts from the oil furnace. There were some pictures in the gallery long ago. I have a coal forge. 

  4. Out of curiosity I would like to know why most gas forges I see built on IFI are mostly round--like an air compressor tank and after watching the infamous FIF on tv a few times that the forges there are square ended and long and have 3 burners that look like they could melt about anything you stick in them . I have never used a gas forge--coal, and a few times charcoal that I made for about 60 years has been all I wanted.  


  5. My Dad's family is mostly in Virginia, western part. Visiting in the 50's always brought a stop at a farm that also made good whiskey and were blacksmiths-- wheel wrights mostly. It didn't take much to get me hooked on hammering. My first forge was my Dad's blow torch and a chunk of rr track made a serviceable anvil. Living in Chicago for a few years then working at a Ford stamping plant south of the city I still liked metal working so I gradually got together tools for blacksmithing then we moved to a small town south of the city out in the farm lands--on a farm and I've been enjoying life a bunch more doing things I enjoy. Having a loving Wife for 57 years don't hurt either!


  6. I picked up a nice post vice at a garage sale in Kankakee, Il for ten dollars a while back.  there is no markings on it. The only damage is the rear washer on the tightening bolt is split and open about a half inch. The washer is a half inch thick with a tapered inside.  I don't have any trouble using the vice but still would like to fix or replace it. My question is if the washer is something I can weld after squeezing back in place without special welding rod. The jaws are 5 and a half inches. The vise is mounted on a mulberry log set about 30" in the clay floor of my shop that holds it good. I don't have any sendable  pictures at the moment.  Thanks in advance for any advice.         Jerry

  7. Very valuable thread! Good info. I spent some time in my teens working in coal mines in Eastern Ky.-- came to Chicago to work in a copper wire mill for a few years then worked in a car stamping plant with metal finishing my primary job with lots of welding, filing and grinding for 35 years and have been hobby smithing about 60 years in my spare time using West Virginia and Eastern KY. coal in my forges. When I was home in Ky. we used coal for heat and in the cook stoves. I suffered a few bouts with heavy metal poisoning in the last few years at the stamping plant. In all this time none of the information listed here was made available to me or my co-workers about fume poisoning. occupational hazard? unmentionable?  Thank you fellows for your research and sharing it here on IFI.

                           Jerry        Oh yeah--I have been blessed with 76 quick years.

  8. Irondragon, I use a blower from an oil furnace that has an air gate on the side that I rigged a lever on the front of my forge to that is easy to manage the air. I can leave the motor running and shut the air completely off as I come from the fire real easy.  The blower is about 50 years old but is dependable.

  9. Dustin, a couple of years ago a friend and I drove his dump truck that holds a couple of tons of coal (stoker size chunks) down from Momence, IL to Brazil Indiana to a coal yard that had pocahantas coal from West Virginia.  We paid around $200 a ton and got a lot of really good blacksmithing coal. Health problems (old age stuff) has kept me outta the forge for sometime so I don't know if the coal yard is still there but I don't think Brazil is far from you. I have a couple of 55 gal. drums of Illinois coal from an old yard that closed here that I have used just for general heating and beating stuff and if I didn't have good venting I couldn't handle the sulfur smoke. I have had my forge shop for near 60 years and use coal for main forge.


  10. I've made stocks for muzzle loaders and shotguns for years from curly maple and wild cherry and some curly walnut I found in the mountains in eastern Ky. but nothing I've ever found compares to that kind of figure in wood!!! That's gotta be the most beautiful stuff I've ever seen. Thanks for the pictures.


  11. I've been a wood worker almost as long as I've been hammering metal. I had over a 100 trees of different kinds on the couple of acres in the farm country south of Chicago 40 years ago. Hickory, oak, wild cherry, maple and some I'm not sure of. As time goes by most of the trees have given in to high winds and bad health. Only 2 were walnut about 6" in diameter that have been used for hammer, tomahawk and various other things. They have served well over the past few years. Walnut is a beautiful wood oil  finished .


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