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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Shropshire, UK
  • Interests
    Mine exploration with a bit of caving thrown in.
    History: Medieval and Industrial mainly, but also very interested in the neolithic and bronze-age.

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  1. Thanks Phil I think I've decided on how to fix the anvil to the stump now... just got to get a stump!
  2. You never know, it might shatter the first time I give it a proper whack! But yeah, I'm pretty pleased with it :)
  3. Thanks for all the useful information Going to have a think about my options now. One question, using lag bolts (think they're called Coach screws here in the UK), I think they screw directly into the wood; is that correct, or do they need some sort of rawl-plug?
  4. Hi Glenn. Could you elaborate at all on the different reason? I'm going to be mounting my anvil to a stump shortly and had intended to forge staples to do so. My primary concern is noise... my anvil rings like a bell Thanks, CB
  5. Hi, I intend to use clay as a component of my forge... I have purchased refractory clay especially for the job. My question is, will this be ok to use "as is" or will it need to be mixed with other ingredients before use? Thanks, CB
  6. Thanks guys I've attacked it with a wire brush after I took the pics but no makers mark so far... will give it another go with a bit more elbow-grease this evening. Can't wait to get working on it but need to build my forge first!
  7. Hi all, I bought my first anvil yesterday. It's a bit battered, with quite a big chip taken out of one of the edges, but it has plenty of sharp(ish) edges and flat surfaces. Seems to rebound ok when I hit it and it rings really nicely. It cost me £75 which is a lot cheaper than some of the similar size anvils I've seen go on ebay recently. I can't see any makers mark or weight stamp on there though. I'm guessing it's about 70-80kg. I can just about lift it off the ground but can feel things breaking inside me when I try Any one got any idea who the maker might be, or even what sort of age it is? I believe it's post-1835 because of the pritchel hole? Thanks, Al
  8. Apologies for only just seeing your reply Rusty otherwise I'd no doubt have responded in the affirmative! I've taken on board some of the advice you guys gave, in particular with regard to getting onto some sort of course. I'd priced up one local to me but then as luck would have it, I was given the opportunity to get some tuition for free. I'm a member of the local mine exploration group who are connected with a trust who maintain an old lead mine site at Snailbeach in the Shropshire Hills. One of the extant buildings on the site is the old smithy, some 150 years old, which has been restored to a working state. The local blacksmith does demonstrations there on open-days and myself and some other members were lucky enough to get a day working with him, learning a few of the (very) basics, with a view to doing the open-day demonstrations ourselves. Here's the forge at Snailbeach... This really fired up my interest (pun sort of intended!)! The Trust who own the site have been extremely kind and allowed me to go and use the forge each Sunday, so for the past few weeks I've been spending my Sunday afternoons getting to grips with smithying and chatting with any members of the public who wonder in. So far, I've managed to almost sound like I know what I'm talking about when I get asked questions... usual response to "what are you doing?" is "well right now, I'm ruining this perfectly good piece of metal...". Very early days yet but I'm inspired enough to have started getting the things together to set my own forge up in the garage at home... bought my first anvil yesterday! I've got a fairly good idea of how I'll build my forge; I figured on making a variation on the "55" design, leaving the barrel almost intact so that it serves as a chimmney hood (I want to use it inside as the climate in the UK is unsympathetic to working outside!). No doubt, I'll be back here soon enough asking for advice on that Thanks again for all your advice and am looking forward to learning from you all!!
  9. Thanks for the warm welcome I'm amazed by the wealth of info on this site... so many things to try! Sounds like I need to get myself on a course!
  10. Thanks for all the advice guys, it's very much appreciated! I think I will take the advice to start small as I have a number of other ideas I want to try out, none of which are anywhere near as complex as what I described above. As soon as I manage to create something worth showing, I'll be sure to put some pics up!
  11. Hi all, I recently made a "Bust of Pallas" out of plaster-of-paris and now I'm hoping to cast it in bronze. I've figured out how I'm going to make my furnace and have pretty much figured out how to construct the mould with the exception of knowing what material to use... I've read various things about it but have no idea which is the most suitable. For my first attempt at casting I'm looking for something that's relatively simple to use, so was looking at using fireclay but I'm guessing that it would be too firm to capture detail and that I really need something more liquid. I read somewhere that you can use plaster-of-paris as a mould but I would have thought that it's too fragile. I presume that if it is possible to use it, I'd need to cure it for a couple of weeks first to ensure all the moisture had gone? I intend to use the lost wax method which leads onto another quick question; is there any particular type of wax I should use or can I just melt a load of candles down? Hope someone can help! CB
  12. Hi all, Been looking at this site on-and-off for a few months now as well as others, as I'm keen to get into metal-working. I found out recently that I'm actually not a bad sculptor but want to move beyond casting my creations in plaster and see if I can manage them in bronze. No doubt I'll be asking lots of questions in the near future! Once I've got a handle on casting bronze, I'm hoping to give smithing a go... I feel very inspired by some of the pattern welded swords I've seen! CB
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