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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by Michael

  1. 19 hours ago, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

    A wash tub could work great to cover my little portable pancake forges,

     but I’m in the process of building a big table forge so when its done I’ll probably start using it primarily an it’s gonna be hard to cover, 

    for covering a full sized table forge, I use those sheet metal "driveway saver" drip pans sold at the auto parts store, though I've always found them at garage sales. usually 3x 4 foot or bigger, they cover the whole forge and overhang the edges quite a bit.

    I'm currently rebuilding the patio space my smithy has been on for years. The 60 year old corrugated metal roof has rusted through, but the sides are still good. New space on the other side of the yard. 4x4 posts, decomposed granite "floor" goes in today!



  2. I've brought donuts to the yard more than once. Showed up with my six year old in tow once (this was more than a few years ago),  they said 'keep her close to you and it's fine'.  Her small pink work boots, overalls and safety glasses might have had something to do with it.

  3. I've had all the parts to set up an oxy propane torch for months now. Regulators and torch from a PraxAir exchange deal, hoses from Amazon, Oxy tank from an estate sale last March, 30 lb propane tank from the local supplier, (the gas forge  drains the 20 lb exchange tanks too fast). But no cart. Local salvage yard had this wide one out in the yard with a $150 tag on it for a few months. Walking thru after donating some stuff the other day, didn't see it, 'someone must have bought it finally'  Poked around behind some lawn furniture, it's still there!  Untangling the cart from a cafe table and rolled up to the check out, 'how much?'  '$50' , and into the truck it goes!  Could probably use the next sized propane tank, but this will get me started.



  4. An old friend, who started me in smithing back in the early 2000's, would run a sprinkler in the grass next to his shop while forging, against stray sparks.

    Grass in my yard is dry as a bone and I'll spray it down with the hose before lighting up solid fuel, along with topping off the slack tub and filling a bucket I can get my whole foot into (don't ask), a charged hose is part of the regular smithing setup.  Not something you can always do at demos but it works at home.

    Ember blocks, just screening screwed in at the top and bottom of the chimney, also help.

  5. What is your flooring material and did you do much ground prep before laying it down?

    I'm on dirt at the moment, with about a ton of gravel filling a french drain around the perimeter of the space. Need to level the dirt a bit more and then considering decomposed granite for a 'floor'.


  6. Nice progression of your space from then to now. I like being able to see the same trees (and the roof cut out) in both shots. I'm getting ready to erect a similar cover over an unused portion of the yard to move my smithy, 17 years on the patio, to a space where I can leave stuff out instead of packing it away and tarping after every session.

  7. 9 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

    "your talent for understatement shines through like the North Star on a clear winter night. "  pretty much an understatement too as the north star is fairly dim compared to Rigel and Betelgeuse!

    The 'clear as ' metaphor that always comes to mind is 'clear as a glass bell, on a cold night, in Montana, before Statehood' but it works for Alaska too.

  8. from the local building material salvage place. I'm guessed the ring was a part of an anchor chain or maybe some dockside hardware (wearing a buddy's anchor forging project T shirt might have been an influence), but thinking on it a bit, I think its from  some lifting or rigging gear.  Might be a useful shape in the smithy, might just end up as a tarp holdown weight.


  9. Nice space there Red Pedro! I'm looking to build something similar in a corner of the yard, and free up the patio for the family. Did you build yours (assuming you built it) as a pole barn, with the posts sunk in the ground or concrete?  I don't suppose drainage is much of an issue where you are.  Slowly moving out all the dirt to get ready for drainage gravel.

  10. 1 hour ago, JHCC said:

    I'm lucky: a few years back, a friend gave me an empty half-barrel beer keg that makes an excellent slack tub once you cut off one end. Since it's seamless and designed to withstand pressure, freezing isn't a problem; since it's stainless steel, I don't have to worry about it rusting.

    I also have a stainless half keg with the end cut off for a slack tub. Best one yet!  Killed the prior mop bucket by accidently dropping a BIG clinker in it, on the way to the clinker bucket, and burned a hole in the bottom.

  11. I live in a place that rarely gets to freezing and not for very long when it does, but I've read that a wooden stick, any piece of scrap really, stood up in your quench tub will keep it from freezing solid.  Never had to try it, YMMV.  

    At the very least a length of 2x4 at hand will make breaking the surface ice easier.

  12. In terms of a good rain cover for a JABOB, or JABOM, I have found that the 3x4 foot Steel or Aluminum drip pans from the auto parts store, to protect your driveway from oil leaks (or cars "marking their territory")  make great forge covers, often with a lot of overhang and pretty easy on and off.

  13. Nice arrowhead Nathan! For work holding, I'm a big fan of a weighted chain across the face of the anvil. might be a little slippy-slidey across the small, rounded face of a sledge hammer head anvil though.  Bicycle chain works (and might be better sized to your anvil) until you can find motorcycle chain.  Mine is fastened to the near side of the stump with the weight on the far side.  Maybe an open ended hook on the far side to keep the chain lined up with the anvil face?

    Chain will hold your work still, not necessarily securely, but enough to get that first punch dimple where you want it.

    Remember the chain over the work is HOT DAMHIKT (Don't Ask Me How I Know This)

  14. 11 hours ago, twigg said:

    Michael, I love your forge buddy. I want to do one too, but I know if I did I'd start talking to it while I forge. :blink:

    As long as you don't lose too many arguments, I think you're good.

    Chimaera-he does look a lot like Kerbal Space creatures, Bug eyes would be great, hard to do by punching, maybe rivets? Been trying to figure out a forged Dalek (nerd alert) and those have a lot of 'frighteningly convex' shapes.


  15. Another 'junk on hand' hold down. Motorcycle chain nailed to the stump on the front, the cast iron weight hangs just above the ground on the other side. Chain usually at the step or back of the horn when not in use.  Square tube is my "bridge" fixture for fork tines and the like. The foot of chain across the face WAS painted red in the last incarnation of this hold down, haven't had to on this one, the recollection of grabbing too close to the hot part is still fresh in memory.


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