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Posts posted by Borntoolate

  1. I did a good bit of just squaring up re-bar for later use.  Some of them turned into S-Hooks or other desirable things.  


    BUt some evenings it was nothing more than a little OJT squaring up.   You can focus on technigue and gain experience without being concerned about a specific project.     THe projects can come later from your work of squaring up.  


    I also wanted to see if I could burn metal.   And yes you can.    This is good practice too.    Bring a piece just begining to burn (Sparking).   Strike it soft and watch the sparks fly.   You  get a feel for how soft you can make the metal with a good heat vs a lesser heat.  

  2. I find people are from totally disinterested as in...


    I can just buy that at Wal-mart so why bother with all that work...




    Well that's cool or interesting and I like it but...


    I really ain't interested in doin it.




    Let me try that and that was cool and so now I can put a cross through "Blacksmithing" on my bucket list but that was enough.




    Yeah let's do more of that but the more of that never happens.




    I'll let you know and a friend of mine let me know and we made some way cool handles for a woodworking project he had.  He was quite pleased but not much since.    He respects the trade but it ain't his hobby.


    But think of this as planting seeds.  Some will grow.   Some will not.  Some will lay dormant perhaps for years.    Get over trying to succeed in getting others interested and active.   Just share and move through life being humble and available and willing to help and share. 

  3. Check out your local library.   Mine had a very nice and lengthy training video on CD. Price = Free.

    Not to mention a few books.


    As for tools make your own.   But of course you need something to start with.  I used extra long skinny vice grips as my first tongs and a 3lb cross pein hammer from home depot.


    I splurged big time on my first anvil after buying the 55lb anchor from Harbor Freight.


    Making an anvil could be a lot of things.   I punched in "primitive Blacksmithing" in youtube and this popped up.   THe anvil seems reasonably solids here.   And if I am not mistaken that is a Railroad piece of metal??


  4. Think on multiple uses of the fire rake.





    Breaking up larger pieces of coke...


    or what have you...  


    Then make one that does it all.  


    But use the one you got so you can figure out what your list of uses is.


    A fancy handle would be cool too.  Mine is not fancy on the handle end.  


    I have not brought myself to quit using it to change the handle!

  5. you pre-heat so that the weld does not crack.   A large cold anvil sucks the heat out of the weld so fast that the change in temperature and rapid contraction of the weld/base metal can cause a crack.    weld build up is to replace metal that is lost, chipped off etc.   Basically build up to original.

  6. My Favorite tongs are an ugly extremly light pair that I made early on.  Second pair I think.   I love them..   I use them for everything!   I use them even when I should make a different pair. 




    Because they are so light I feel that it requires me to make sure that I hold the hot metal in such a way that my hammer blow does not cause the piece to jump.  Now very hot metal does that but so does "proper placement and contact on the anvil as well as an accurate blow with the hammer".  


    IF those things are all near perfect, depending on what you are doing, you need very little to keep things in place without jumping about.  I have visited a few shops and felt that many of the tongs were either made for much larger pieces than I mess with or a striker.   A pair of tongs that weighs like 3 lbs will wear me out.   I don't need or want that. 


    I guess I am saying that lighter tongs may teach you to be more accurate with how you hold and hammer.  plus they are...   umm lighter.   :)


    The other thing I have learned is sequence is very important.   You mentioned your sequence so I guess you get that.   The rule I try to follow is to keep everything straight as long as possible.  Then do twists.   Then bends and such last.  If possible.   And of course rules don't always apply.


    I kinda tell folks that a blacksmithed object is something you creep up on.   It often doesn't look like anything until the last heat or so and then all of a suddden there it is!

  7. excellent! I like the fine scrolls on the points :) it looks like you ended up drawing a flat taper and chamfering the front face corners instead of going for the full triangle cross section, am I reading that correctly? is that collar actually brass/bronze, or did it just really soak up the brushing?


    Yeah, I bypassed the full triangle.    I hammered on the diamond though (for the two sides) and I think that gave a bit more depth to the sides... perhaps.   


    No there is no brass.   I must have just hit the right temp to suck up the brass.   Though this is using a brass brush I bought from Backsmith Depot (Kayne and Son).   It has a LOT of very soft bristles (Platers Brush).   This is unlike the Home Depot version with thicker and less numerous bristles.   I think the larger number of softer bristles provide a much fuller brass brush effect.  You can get better coverage quicker!


    I need to work a bit harder on the next one to get neater lines.   Though I am a bit crude myself and much of what I do is a bit crude.   I am sometimes torn between really trying to make thyings very neat verses sort of letting it happen and only neatening up the lines to a certain extent.   When I punched the hole (as requested) it bulged out the top a bit/   I could have fixed it but I thought that just made it a bit more hand made and ilustrates what  punched hole lookes like.

  8. This looks like an accident waiting to happen.   :(


    I see it all the time.   It is all cool manly work until someone really gets hurt.   Then all of a sudden people get religion.  Sadly.   Too late.  


    Fix the xxxx anvil before proceeding with this!   Don't allow you or others to work with this.   Those hammers are delivering a lot of energy.   one wrong move and hammers fly, tools get damaged, body parts get damaged.


    It ain't worth it.  It ain't COOL.  It is STUPID!  


    Sorry, ain't gonna sugar coat my opinion on this.


    Cool is.  not allowing this.   Teaching others not to alow this.   taking time to fix this!  Saving others from this by teaching.



  9. Hi, no powerhammer used on any of these,

    The first one attachicon.gifCopy of Fleur de Lys flat mounted.png  on the flat plate was made from 3/4" square stock for the centre,

    and forged as seen,

    bevelled at the top end, flared at the base, waisted in the centre to fit the scrolls to


    Yikes!   :o 3/4" square!     


    A striker then?   How thick is it finished?   That looks like a LOT of hammering by my lonesome.  I mean it is all doable but that seems like pure hammer practice AND on a "fat" piece.    Sorry, had to throw that "fat" bit in.   I used it once before and got some grief.   ;)


    I'm gonna coin a new term. Ya'll can use it if you like.   Fat Metal - means starting with way more metal than is required to finish the job.   Understanding that back in the day Fat got used if that is all there was!   And I have used fat metal many times cuz it was all I had.   But these days I try to get a lil closer to the finished product.   No more hammering out 3/4" rebar to make a steak turner for me!


    I was thinking to use something like 1" by 3/8" or maybe 1"x1/2".    Though I think the 3/8" would put me close but still require a hammers touch everywhere on the piece.    Not sure I have any of that but... 

  10. Here are a couple of some I made years ago, sorry about picture quality as i had to scan them from old photo's.

    This one is attached to a fireback flat plate to give it a little character,

    attachicon.gifCopy (2) of Fleur de Lys flat mounted.png

    forged scrolls and centre, prepped and welded as an assembly at the rear,

    forged a collar and cut off to fit the assembly, prepped and welded to previous assembly.

    Dressed flush at rear, drilled through and rivetted in two places to stop it turning,

    Alternatively, blind drill and tap from rear to attach with screws so as not to reveal fixings as this one I fitted to a firescreen

    attachicon.gifCopy (2) of Fleur de Lys on fire screen.png

    The firescreen was made to match this firebasket

    attachicon.gifCopy (2) of Fleur de Lys Firebasket.png

    you should be able to figure it out from the pics.

    Good luck, have fun and let's see the finished result.

    Wow!   Somehow I missed these as I reviewed this thread recently.   Glad I reviewed this post again...  As usual once you make something suddenly everyone wants one or my wife wants one or she wants me to make Christmas presents for everyone.    So these are some fabulous go bys!   Actually my wife always wants one.... or more.   I guess that's a good thing.


    I am curious what you started with on the center piece and also what tools did you use to hammer it out.   I got no power hammer.   But I think I see how I could get there without one.

  11. Last name is Stick.    SF = Stick Forge.    Made from some leftover scroll work... experiments and a left over piece of Mahogany.   Carving tools from a buddy of mine that died last summer.    Black comes from Sharpy Marker on the wood.  Lettering ment to match the band KISS.   Not a big kiss fan btw...   Also matches my homemade touchmark.



  12. My chimney is galvanized 12 pipe too. I used it because of the almost free-standing quality.

    My sidedraft is 10+ in sq (near the same square inches as a 12 diameter is in square inches) . I even places a few obstacles in the throat of the side draft to experiment with. Well anyway it works.


    Some pics were taken at different time with different cameras.


    My sidedraft is about 7 feet long and is unattached to the inside of the building. When the wind blows excessively it vibrates a  bit, but not too much to shake items it is used as a shelf to store pencils and stuff.

    Wow!  That sucks!


    Oh, I read further...  


    Wow!   That Drafts!

  13. This could be square and bent on the diamond.    I was thinking the back should be flat.    But the whole collar thing kinda nukes that a bit.   I was thinking wall hanging.   Don't have any clay so just plan to try something.   Where I was headed was start with round and make a soft edge triangle.   Work in the taper at the anvils edge.   Could also work in some of the scroll by working the taper more to one side.    Thanks for the interest and the comments.  I'll ponder what's been written and make a go of it.

  14. On another post I asked about a Fleur De Lis.   Still working on that.   Could do it simple but am headed for a Triangular, tapered, C-Scroll arrangement.   This would make up the two sides of the Fleur De Lis which would then be collared together.   Conceptually this is where I am headed.   The middle is complete.   See pic at link below.   Any advice.   This is turning out to be more of a challenge than I thought.   BUt sometimes I am just plain dense. 



    Uncertainties I have:

    The middle is a bit of a flatish wide triangle.  (say 20/20/140 degrees-ish)  Working the edges on the anvil edge is doable.  like a knife.  Working a less flat triangle seems harder.  Especially with the taper.     I have a swedge block that I could use for the triangle.   BUt adding the taper seems a challenge since the swedge only has distinct widths.  I am not looking to grind anything or cut out the shape.  I want it all hand forged.


    Let's say I get a straight, triangle, with a taper on two ends.  I could see it being quite squirrely being bent into a C-Scroll.   Repairing that would also distort and make irregular the top part of the triangle.  The top does not have to be pointy... if that makes sense.


    I do figure that the collar will be decorative and not structural.  I plan to weld the three pieces from behind and then collar.


    This to me is turning out to be a challenge.   Dimensions are roughly 8" high (top tip to bottom tip) and expect the c-scrolls to be on the order of 3/8" thick at the thickest point.





  15. here is a basic blacksmith hammer



    40 oz blacksmithing hammer


    Find a spring or some other high carbon steel and use that hammer to make your chisels.


     I still use my 3# cross pein that was box store bought.    I mostly use it for hitting tools or for visitors.   Initially it would wear me out but now it is the lighter hammers that are tiring.   I would expect that if you have the steel that you could start making the tooling or have some students get discount training for making tools?  This is not my hammer by the way.   Just piggy backing on the response....

  16. I have about ten 100# Bags double piled in my lean too out back of the shop against a wood outdoor wall.   Hopefully that is ok?   Also, consider the bags that the coal is in if it is bagged.   The sun can break these bags down and when you go to move the bag it will just disintegrate.   So cover these with an opague tarp or otherwise keep the bag out of the sun.   Or use a spare chest freezer....   :P