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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Central NM/El Paso TX Area, USA
  • Interests
    Iron Smelting


  • Location
    Central NM
  • Interests
    Iron smelting
  • Occupation
    bit herder
  1. Sorry for the typo, you are welcome to stop by and paint the letters on my keyboard again! (and having walked around on solid ground at 16400' in Chile; why Vermont does seem rather "flat".....but coming from the hills of Arkansas I know the derogatory connotation of Flatlander)
  2. too much O2 helps make thing steel "crunchy" as well. Some alloys have very narrow forging temperature ranges.
  3. I have a soapstone griddle that would be perfect for a round radiator
  4. Of course in a period forge you would be more likely be wearing wooden soled clogs than turn shoes---or barefoot with a lifetime of amazing calluses built up (see Velasquez's "Apollo at the Forge of Vulcan" for example...)
  5. looks overheated; how deep is your fire? So you have at least 4" of charcoal under the workpiece, (real charcoal not briquettes!)
  6. My shop has a sign featuring Bender from Futurama: "Work while bent"
  7. 1800's: so a round cast iron forge with a hand crank blower is perfectly correct---shoot they have them for sale in the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog! Or do you mean early 1800's? PLEASE be as specific as you can! Do you mean side draft or side blast? Side draft has the chimney to the side of the forge and side blast has the tue pipe entering from the side and not the bottom as in bottom blast (which became more common in the late 1800's) Early 1800's did not use metal firepots and they were not generally used with side blast forges. Now do you really mean a smelting furnace and not a melting furnace? If so you don't want a smelting furnace inside a building! Even our short stack scandinavian furnaces (Viking era) tend to have a 6' plume of fire off a 4' furnace at times. You don't want ANY soft firebrick in the construction of a masonry forge. Think of how wood fireplaces are built. I think you really need to get off the internet and go and look at as many forges as you can. There are some highly trained masonry forge builders out there, Jeremiah Young is one of them in Ohio from the discussion on iforgeiron back in 2011 He's listed on LinkedIn as the blacksmith at Century Village in Grove City Ohio---near Columbus I don't know if any pictures of his work are up on the web; but it's a starting point. It's important to see working forges and not forges built by guess.
  8. Not knowing if your forge is built with a vertical burner makes it hard to say. At this stage you may not need a lot of atmosphere control but may need it later. When you are learning to drive you probably don't want to do it in a Formula1 racecar even if your end goal is to enter Formula 1 races
  9. I once attended the Auction at Kidron looking for an anvil. As I understand a bit of German, I gave up on it after listening to the collusion going on.
  10. We took a chisel and when we had the arm set up just right made an indexing mark on the arm and holder. Align that and you are within using range. It's your tool you are allowed to modify it to make it better!
  11. Even better when you meet folks and get to see how they are doing things, Ohio has a number of ABANA Affiliates in it; check out ABANA's website to see if any are close to you. I started back in the early 1980's, (1981 was when I lit my first forge, which I made with pretty much a hacksaw, hammer and 1/4" drill, I was working off of Weygers' "The Modern Blacksmith" which was very much a build it from the ground up book---it's been published combined with his other two metalworking books as "the Complete Modern Blacksmith" (about US$12 used). The Backyard Blacksmith is another good one. No internet, ABANA was not well known, rather a BFMI experience (Brute Force & Massive Ignorance). You do know about your library's ILL program where you can get books the local library doesn't have---makes a good preview so you can see which books on smithing match your particular style.
  12. I found adapting to the high alloy punches and chisels easy; it's when you go backwards that the "oops" tend to occur...I like "knife blade slim" H-13 slitting chisels!
  13. Job printers were the small printers that used to located everywhere and did small print runs of whatever folks wanted/needed. So business cards, sale circulars and posters, anything a local business might need a small print run of. There used to be a job printer next to my Grandfather's Bait Stand in Fort Smith Arkansas.
  14. Plan to attend Quad-State in Troy Ohio (just north of Dayton), the last full week of September. Biggest annual blacksmithing conference in the USA! (and you can camp at the fairgrounds where it's located saving more money to buy smithing stuff. SOFA puts it on We used to carpool to SOFA meetings from Columbus OH. Your expense comment rather floored me because if you take a shovel into the back yard and dig a scoop out you have a forge! A hair dryer will put out more than enough air and you can burn scrap wood to make charcoal to use in your forge. It will be very like the forges that have been used for about 2000 years longer than the propane forge has been around. The ones that damascus swords were forged in, the great medieval ornamental ironwork was forged in, katanas are *still* forged in; etc. So I read your expense comment as "$0 is too expensive." To shut it off drop a plate of steel over the hole and turn off the air supply. I still have some of the old Ohio Penitentiary that was in Columbus---not the bars as they sold for a lot of money but some of the old watertower; the tank was made from real wrought iron! Moved it out here to NM when I changed jobs...
  15. The problem being that once you get your rhythm set: Whomp, Whomp, Quench; it makes it hard when you switch to a high alloy steel that DOES NOT GET QUENCHED