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I Forge Iron


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About ThomasPowers

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
     Central NM, USA, Sol 3
  • Interests
    Iron Smelting, Historical Ferrous Metals Technologies


  • Location
    Central NM
  • Interests
    Iron smelting
  • Occupation
    bit herder

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  1. My mint condition 469# Fisher cost me 75 UScents a pound; but this was back in the late 1990's and so predated IFI and the Fisher Museum. I haven't told my wife what it would sell for today, I'd never be able to eat a home cooked meal again!
  2. Naw, you keep having to fish the kids out of it before you can use it!
  3. It's like buying a used car; that one has been in a major crash and was "repaired" by a shade tree mechanic using parts that are not OEM. Possibly they don't realize that, possibly they are trying to scam you. That is a known fix; but we can't tell how well they did it. I picked up a broken base screw jack last Saturday; just to have on hand if I ever needed to try that fix. I may sell it on at Quad-State as I find enough vises with good screws/screwboxes that the only ones damaged enough to need that repair; I've bought at scrap rate, 20 USCents a pound. (And here in tool poor NM; I bought and sold 5 postvises in the last year.)
  4. Not nearly as exciting as reading the old stories of the double lunged bellows exploding and embedding their nails in the shop walls!
  5. I've forged by sunlight, moonlight, firelight, the light of the forge (coal, charcoal and propane), candle light, kerosene lanterns, propane lanterns, halogen work lights, plain old electric bulbs, fluorescent lights and I plan to try LEDs; found several of them ineffectual/dangerous to work by, others a pain to maintain; never hated any of them.
  6. They are traditionally smooth for a reason! Don't give your waitstaff sore hands---or avoid them if you do..."Try our *special*? We made it just for *you*!" Now if you cast it in clear resin....
  7. Nice to work with that stuff when you can ventilate the shop really well!
  8. My wife uses my lighted magnifier too. For bandaging I try to do my own unless the wound is worth the scolding! (As I have not developed hydrophobia and both the scrapyard dog and I are in reasonable health I guess neither one of us were rabid!)
  9. Thanks! the biggest single impediment to many people trying to get into blacksmithing is thinking they need to buy a London Pattern Anvil. (Which are $$$$$ these days.) I find this odd as the London Pattern Anvil has only been around a couple of hundred years while blacksmithing has been around about 3000 years. Showing them they can get started cheaply with an improvised anvil can get more people into the craft!
  10. I've never understood the folks building forges that say "I can't spend US$30 for good insulating refractories; but am willing to spend hundreds of extra dollars buying fuel not to mention having to stop and go to buy the fuel!"
  11. As I get older more light is a good thing; I'm also more experienced in judging heat by how long the piece is in the fire of *my* forges. Shoot I even picked up a lighted magnifier on an arm so I could pull metal splinters easier! (Yard sale of a manicurist...)
  12. It was a sad day when I realized that I had more and better tools than my Father did. I will always thank his memory that he raised me to believe that I could *do* things with my hands and could research and experiment and learn how to do things on my own. Now as I grow older; I'm quite happy to pay other people to do my waste water plumbing and car repairs; but knowing at least the basics makes it easier to tell when things are being done correctly!
  13. Two tricky items producing "hidden" water are: condensation of hot exhaust on a cold mold and sweat dropping from your face when looking to see if a mold is ready. Both can "surprise" you.
  14. Hey Tink; *we*---the net blacksmiths, coined the term ASO to refer to cast iron "anvil shaped objects" that have the form of a london pattern anvil but made from cheap grey cast iron can't be used as an anvil as they degrade too quickly. What you have is an "Improvised Anvil" made of steel and a perfectly good starter anvil! We've noticed folks misusing the term on YT lately and would like your help to keep the term used correctly to avoid misleading people as "improvised anvils" can be very good indeed! While ASO's are basically trash made to mislead folks who know nothing about anvils into spending good money on bad metal!
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