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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by MLMartin

  1. Iron was big business Thomas, your very right. Lots of mining and iron production was started in America. But that still does not mean it was common to burn buildings for nails. There simply would not be any type of reasonable collection after a full house burn. Iron just was not as rare as some claim in the colonies, it's not gold. The material was of much grater value compared to labor cost to work it as compared to today. But still just iron. People used iron things then tossed them out as trash when broken. I am not posting this information to argue with folks here, clearly I have anger
  2. With a band saw you will not be able to efficiently cut 1/4" round then cut 3" with the same blade. You need a very high number tooth per inch blade to properly cut small stock and need a blade with few teeth per inch to cut large stock. You can use a middle range blade but not the best option. I do not cut single pieces of 1/4 bar on my horizontal saw. It's much to easy to strip off blade teeth. I generally just such things with a hand hack saw or abrasive saw. I draw the line at 3/8 round, anything bigger gets cut on a horizontal saw, smaller does not. I most often cut stock 1/2 sq or larger
  3. If you want to see how common iron was in Colonial America you need only look at there trash. Archeologist have excavated all around James town, Williamsburg, York town and most other colonial towns up and down the coast. The trash from all these places it very easy to find becouse a huge amount was tossed in ditches close to homes, used up wells, and body's of water close by. The time of the trash can be dated very well becouse of the items and styles. Things like clothes that would only have a short life span then tossed away. And what do archeologist find in most every trash pit? Iron, lots
  4. Uggg the first link has some blatant errors. And as for a law against it, sure why not, there are laws against a huge amount of things that are not commonly done. It's only takes a few people trying out a bad idea to have a law passed against such a thing. Has anyone seen a house fire? Pretty much nothing survives when a building burns fully to the ground. The fire is much to hot and lasts much to long for little nails to survive. Nails were hand made but they were not gold. If they were scarce and super valuable people would not be using iron by the hand full to add decoration to no
  5. Yes it was a problem that some people would burn down old rotting building. This was mostly done for the reasons of clearing the land for a new building or simple to remove the old one. It was a problem because it could easily set other building on fire in close proximity. And simply dangerous in a town setting. It was common to strip old building for usable materials before destruction, this would include good wood beams, dressed stone, and iron hard ware. But nails were not that expensive and would no be salvageable after a building fire. Colonial Williamsburg has come a long way in the
  6. I will second Trinculo. I spent four years training with some great smiths, we would all routinely strike for each other. My common striker would normally use a 6 1/2 pound sledge or 9 pound sledge and she could hit much harder in one full swing than my 50 pound little giant can running full power. However my little giant only cost about 3000 then maybe a few hundred in electricity and oil for the year. The little giant will also hit maybe 250 - 300 beats per min. My striker can not hit that fast, and paying for a second full time employee in my shop is not feasible right now. I would love to
  7. I never knew the man, and I am not going to assume he intentionally lied. But if his book says it was common for Colonial Americans to burn down homes for nails he's wrong. Take a look at any common sized house nail of the time period, it just wold not hold up in a house fire. It's wrong. Speak with the smiths from Colonial Williamsburg, I am sure they have a greater collected knowledge of Colonial American iron and practices than any other place or person. They will all confirm that homes were Not commonly burned for nails. This myth started very much the same as "Sherman's army destroying
  8. Huzzah! Just the fact that the auther would mention not to do it that way clearly shows that it was common enough practice to forge weld then on. Just because the auther thought it was wrong does not mean it did not happen I am not arguing that tongs should or should not be made this way. Nor am I saying they were always made this way, certainly not. But I am quite sure that it was a common method used by some smiths for a large part of forging history. It is exstreamly common in English work when ever there is a large cross sectional change in bar mass for there to be a forge weld big bar t
  9. I am also very disapointed in Mr Brazeals responses. Normally he has offered great information on this site. But here he has blatantly ruled out hundreads of years of common practice in English forge work and gone as far as in insult others for giving perfectly fine answers. Making fun of other respected smiths and being rude is no way to teach ironwork to others Mackenzie
  10. Burning down homes for nails in early colonial America is a myth. Ask any of the smiths from Colonial Williamsburg. And just think for yourself how hot does a building get that's burning? More than hot enough and the burn time long enough for little nails to oxidize and flake away. The smiths there also teach forge welding reins on tongs as a common way of building them. Certainly all tongs in history's were not made this way. Smith all over the world make things many different ways. But I do know that at least in Britain for the past 300 something years it has been a common practice used. Ye
  11. There seems to be a difference in welding. I know it is tradisonal to forge weld reins on. But there seems to also be some people that electrically weld on reins. That method definetly is new. Using electricity seems slow if your already forging tongs in a hearth that will reash welding temperatures. Forge welding reins is quick and good practice for general. I have some friends that use coal forges every day and they weld on reins when new tongs are needed even though they are all proficient with a hand hammer and striking It's just fast if you do many forge welds every day
  12. Very unlikely that smiths were trying to save steel by welding reins. Very few tongs were made with steel until the 1900s and at this point steel was much cheaper than before. It was simply faster for people to take a bar that is already close to size for reins and forge weld it to a larger mass needed for the jaws. It may be faster for you to draw down a large bar, but it was generally faster for English smiths in the past working wrought iron to weld on a smaller bar. And many tongs that have welded on reins still taper from hinge to end. It's all about a tool that is strong enough for t
  13. After a year of good use you will find the face starting to work harden some. Should be fine for general hand forging
  14. Yikes, next time load it in a truck / trailer and bring it to a steel shop with a large bandsaw. But that is super cheep steel!
  15. Some people that have a trough forge table use sand or ash and it is wetted and shaped like clay. After and firing of the forge the water drys and the sand or ash will harden in place some. Certainly not like cement but still pretty hard. The shape made will last a while and can easily be broken up with a hammer, wetted and re shaped as desired
  16. It is also pretty common when people grind down a anvil face to over heat the face from the grinding friction. Even the large mass of a 300 lb anvil can be over heated from grinding if little care is taken. And it does look like the face has been ground to thin. Many people wreck anvils doing this. Trying to re harden is almost always a waste of money and time. Just use the anvil as it sits now. Or buy a new anvil that is in better condition.
  17. Lovely knot work. Did you chisel it in? Engraving?
  18. Haha look like it's been stung by a bee and swelled up fat. Certainly not a factory made anvil anymore.
  19. Well my short drill and short drill bits fit in the tight space with less than a 1/8" to spare. Glad I bought that drill Mackenzie
  20. Very handsome! I sure wish I had that one. Mackenzie
  21. I think Anyang sells a 20lb power hammer. If you realy wanted something small that would fit the bill
  22. Looking great Mr Miller Do your shields reinforce and cover a large forge weld from the T connection ?
  23. It definetly needs to be fastened to some type of large base. Most any smaller mechanical hammer will through it self around if run full power and not bolted in place. I am sure my 50lb little giant would rock so hard it would compleatly tip over if run full power with out a base. Doing this would be very stupid and dangerous. I made a simple base from 5.5" by 5.5" wood beams laminated into a pad 3' by 4'. Furthermore I ran a number of bolt through the wood pad in to my common concrete floor. I would guess the floor is 4" to 5" thick. You could also get a large steel plate and bolt it to this
  24. Where is that for sale? Great price. I am interested Thanks Mackenzie
  25. Hum I think it could be great. Maybe a commercial unit that has two fixed clamps that can be spread apart. Step on some foot pedal to open clamps put in bar, step on pedal again take out heated bar place next bar in clamps and forge the hot bar. Good production posabilitys. Have one that can heat up at least 1/2" SQ and make it clean and user friendly and there would be a real market. Keep up the good work
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