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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by fluidsteel

  1. I think I'll go with the wrist height to start, and build my stand with a couple keepers on either side to allow the addition or removal of plates as needed. I figured I'd have to fiddle with it, but wanted to see if I was alone in feeling stooped over when my anvils were the more traditionally suggested knuckle height. I'll also do the striking on wood to see how square my hammer blows are. All in all I'm just stoked to be able to set up my own shop after hanging out in my friends shops for the last year while I was moving multiple times. I've taken lessons from a well known Bladesmith and have to say that it really taught me a ton about proper ergonomics when forging.
  2. So, after a year of living with my brother I finally have my own place. I have an 8'x16' jobshack trailer that my boss gave me for my finish work and grinders. It's fully wired with heat, and lights too. The smithy outside will be small, 12'x8' with a covered 8'x8' area that will be under an awning off the back of the trailer. I am primarily a knife maker, but will also do ornamental iron for fun. I have three anvils a 300# Fisher that I will be using, and a 119# Kohlswa with a 55# unknown make really old anvil. The Fisher is too heavy to be lifting repeatedly. So, I want to get it close to the right height from the start. My question is regarding the build of my anvil stand. I have found that the knuckle height that most anvils are set feels uncomfortable to me. I'm 6'2" but when I stand next to a 5'10" guy my knuckles are usually around the same height from the ground due to my wide wingspan. Is there another rule of thumb regarding height and ergonomics for your hip height etc? I feel like I'm stooping to forge most of the time... I'm only over thinking this because 300# is heavy.... I won't be using too many fuller tools, guillotines etc except the random ornamental ironwork. Does anyone else out there use a higher anvil for forging? I imagine what I'll do, is make a stand with room to add or remove 1" plates like some stands I've seen on the Show me your Anvil Stand thread...but thought I'd ask for a few opinions. Thanks, Brian
  3. I use the Blaze ceramics in 36,60 and 120, and Trizact(Gator) structrued abrasives for the finer belts. I have a GIB(PolarBearForge) 2"x72" with a 3Ph 1.5Hp motor run off of a VFD for variable speed. The belts hold up well... I make knives, but am a rookie still... I'm running 60 and 120 grit 9" discs on my disc grinder now. You can extend the life of the ceramic belts by dressing them with a diamond dressing tool..... I do have a few Jflex Klingspor for cutting plunge lines, handles and other slackbelt work....
  4. Rent an engine hoist... Or, if the rafters are solid, a chainfall and rigging straps. the other idea that was posted for a big anvil awhile back was build up 2"x4" pieces, alternating sides, under it with a simple lever/pry bar and slide the table/stand under it...
  5. If you are only running one, or two Hp motor, get a VFD to convert the single phase input to 3 phase output to the motor... The lower Hp VFD's are reasonable in price....Likely cheaper than a rotary phase converter for a lower Hp motor. My 2"x72" belt grinder has a 1.5Hp 3 phase motor run through a KBAC VFD with a reversing switch too.....
  6. "Used" anvils should always be cheaper. My 1913 300# Fisher had $600 written on the horn in paint. I bought it from the guy for $360 because he had "used" it...(but not enough to wear the paint off)
  7. Furniture dolly/handtruck once it's on the ground. If it's being drop shipped, hopefully the truck has a liftgate. I can easily lift my 300# Fisher with help, but 400# is asking for an injury. My work truck has a ramp and I just slid my 300#er down the ramp. As far as the overhead lift to get it out of the truck goes, I'd highly recommend using a chainfall to raise and lower it. Pictures when you get it!
  8. I looked at it closer today. It's forge welded from 4 pieces it appears. I don't see any other marks. It has a nice patina and looks to have been wire wheeled/brushed. The feet, and waist have obvious forging/weld seams along with the face. The whole anvil is slightly askew. Mostly in the feet as one side is splayed out more than the other... It looks like the feet were hammered to shape with a big hammer... (I picture a Bradley Helve hammer and a blacksmith toiling away)...I looked at Anvilfire and it looks more like a Hay Budden or a Peter Wright.. It rings like a steel anvil, not a thwack like my Fisher. Maybe made by a Blacksmith? It's a cool little anvil and I'm liking it more and more.
  9. So. I bought my first anvil 5 months ago. A 119# Kohlswa with a nice clean face and rough edges for $150, then last month I found a 300# Fisher for $360, it had an awesome face but the horn was missing a few inches but had been chiseled to shape long ago by all appearances. So I CAN"T STOP looking for deals on CL... I found a little 55# anvil and bought it. I got it for $140. Not as good a deal as my other two per pound, but it was the first small anvil I've seen that wasn't either a Farriers anvil, or a Chinese ASO... I have a 3"x6"x10" 81# forklift tine cutoff that I got for a bench anvil, so I didn't "need" it, but wanted it for it's uniqueness. It has two handling holes, a 3/4" hardie hole, a 3/8" pritchel hole and is stamped 52. No other markings. The rebound is 60-70%. The edges are rounded a bit, and the face looks like it was chipped in a few areas due to being struck with a chisel? Those areas have been hammered on enough that the have shunts(right word?) closing them over a bit....It's absolutely covered in small chisel marks. The face is flat, and there is zero sway on the back. Any ideas on the make? No desire to sell, just want to know the history if possible.
  10. I have a 119# Kohlswa and a 300# Fisher... I bought them both in the last 4 months. I used SearchTempest too... I look 4-5 times a day... I see anvils on there that are gone in hours at $3.00 and up per pound here in Oregon. I bought the 119# for $150 and the 300# for $360.... Both had some flaws, but were had for a great price by searching continuously...
  11. Long term I would plan on building a salt pot, and getting an oven as well. For now, I'm stuck with a forge. I'm going by the shop today. I might pick up a solenoid and put together a couple new tanks and make a blown forge instead. I honestly don't have much time or money in the venturi burner or the tank itself. More time doing the WIP post actually.... Maybe buy a box of crayons too.... and make a ribbon forge burner... I'm ADD... Can't stay on, look at that anvil, topic long... It's easy to change direction for me if it's not the best choice for what I want to do. Thanks for the link on the heat treat. I greatly respect Kevin Cashen.... I soak up all the info I can on heat treating..! This is a short reply.. I'll think about all this and decide which way to go.
  12. A couple questions Matt, One, it's not obvious from the picture, as I didn't show an After picture, but, the burner inlet was bent on the tank to cause tt to come in on an angle like a b on it's side. I was told that will help the flame roll through the forge. Do yo think that will help keep the temps even? I was going with the thicker refractory because I my research said that it will help keep the temps more stable, More mass does take longer to heat, but it also retains it's heat longer. Thoughts? I could easily scrap this plan if it's a waste of my time. For now, all I'm forging is 1084. No soak time at temp is needed. 1475 and into the Parks 50. Normalizing also needs no time at temp. So it seems that I should be able to hit my temps w/o too much trouble? My other option, and what I planned on doing, is to scrap the tank as is, do another with two burner ports. And make a high low solenoid/PID controlled dual burner blown forge... It would have a Low burner that when running would get the temps to say 1400 degrees max. The high burner controlled by the PID would boost the tempt to whatever temp I set. The PID's fuzzy logic figures out how long the burner needs to stay on, and will "learn" to correct for overshoots. Option B. Make a blown forge w/PID so I can read the thermocouple, and us it for forging, and buy an Evenheat to do my heat treat. I want to do some stock removal kitchen knives with some PG O-1 and that needs the 5-6 minute soak times. I need a smaller, somewhat portable forge now. I don't have the space for a drum forge. Besides, that drum forge would have 3 times the mass to heat than my freon tank wouldn't it? Even if they only added a skim coat of refractory to keep the ceramic blanket from being damaged?
  13. These are my hammers...I also have a fiberglass handled 3# double faced sledge. I posted these on a thread where the guy was asking which hammer to use. I used hammers at a friends to help me decide which ones liked... I also bought them because I greatly admire the two bladesmiths who made them. I can't justify buying one of their knives, but having a hammer they made was the next best thing! Of course, soon I'll make my own hammers, and won't but them either....
  14. BP Building a freon tank forge. For now it'll be a venturi burner, but will be modifiable to be blown.. This is getting me by till I have the time to do a dual burner PID controlled temperature adjustable heattreat/forge. I didn't like that they weren't QUITE deep enough for a big 15-18" chopper blade. Also going to add angle iron to the back and make a firebrick back door for bigger/longer stock. Started with my shops scrap bin... Lookie here free(on) tanks! I picked out a couple....Applied the safety goggles and respirator....cut one in half with the angle grinder, and cut off the end of the other..... Then I stuck them together... Actually, I stuck them together BEFORE I cut the end off of the blue tank, it took me ten minutes to get them apart. I think that means they fit together nicely. Next, allowing for 2" of inswool and around 2" of 3200 degree refractory cement I centered my burner hole and drilled it with a hole saw...I put in an 1-1/2" BI nipple it's in there now with locknuts from an EMT conduit connector, but, it'll be welded when done. I made this burner... it's based on a Zoeller Z burner. I bought the parallel fitting, but the rest was scrap including the 1" SS 304 pipe. I'm going to forge a flare into the end of the SS.... Put it on the pipe rack and with the help of a hammer to keep it from kinking bent it to bring the burner in on a tangent.... Like a 6 on it's side... Next, I'm welding a couple 1" pipes to the side. Going to run a couple pieces of 1/2" rod through them with a 1/4" plate between for a tool/tong rest. Ordered and added a PID controller with a thermocouple, shield and a couple other items to get my temps set for normalizing, heat treat.. I'm a beginning bladesmith, and want to do blacksmithing as well.. I'm also adding angle iron to the front to allow a firebrick door that slides open left and right like a big aircraft hanger...Will weld it up this weekend. If the PID comes, I'll add the thermocouple too! What do you guys think? I'm a total newbie and am coming at this from HOURS of reading and researching... This is my version of slapping something together because I want to forge NOW! Brian
  15. My Double Draw angle pien and my angle pien by Ed Caffrey. The Angle pien is around 2lb14oz and the double draw angle pien a few ounces less... The Tai Goo hammer is 3#. I used on of Tai's hammers a few weeks back, but it was a bit heavier. I'll be forging out a few blades this weekend. Up until now I borrowed hammers trying to figure out what I like.
  16. Well how about a better pic than the one I "stole" from your ad?
  17. For me, spacers are purely aesthetic... With the glues available, stabilized wood from K&G or WSSI, there's no worry about allowing for stress relief. Liner's are just another way for accents... Note, sometimes they can cause more problems that they are worth, especially vulcanized rubber.... Stick to G10 for thin liners and you'll be fine.
  18. First, fill out your profile. Where you are from will help as there are many knifemakers and by and large all of them are happy to help a newbie out. Steel for making knives and swords is generally the same, it's usually the tempering that's different. You usually want your swords drawn back to the low, mid fifties in hardness(HRC)...knives 59,60, and maybe even up to 61 for kitchen knives/slicers...All general terms here. Use 1080/1084 steel to learn to make knives 1080/1084 are eutectoid steels. In general terms this means with a homemade heat treatment setup, they will be the easiest steels to get hard, and temper without problems.... Spring steel, like leaf spring is generally 5160 in older springs leaf springs. 5160, is usually available new and easily found at Machine and tool steel suppliers... In my opinion, working with steel for knives should be done with known steel. knife steel, like 1080 is cheap. I recently purchased 32' of 1/8" and 3/16" in various widths for 112 dollars, free shipping.... Look in the knife forum here. Lot's of advice there.... Brian Ayres ABS Apprentice Bladesmith
  19. Thanks. I'm looking forward to using it. I'm going to forge some hardy tools for it. On in particular I want to do is a stake anvil, I'll use it for refining the bevels on my blades and forging in the ricasso. Question, the one I used was tapered to fit in a 250# Fisher, it seems to me that you risk losing your heel with a wedged/tapered hardy tool. The hammer blows are pretty mild with a 2# or so hammer. Having the stake stay firmly in place was the reason the stake was tapered... Should I forge mine to be snug, or slightly loose? I have a few pieces of 2"x2" 4140 to use... The guy I got the anvil from decided to let this little 48# Roger Lorance swage block go too...
  20. I have 3 pieces of 2.5"x4.5"x18" and 2 ea 2.5"x6.5"x18" steel in the back of my truck got it free Friday from a forklift fork mfg here in town. I also picked up a hole fork from a forklift salvage yard for scrap price. Look around for shops that do work on forklifts... Also, call http://www.alaskasteel.com/steel.htm and ask if they have 4" or 5" square solid cutoff pieces.. You can do as small as 12", knuckle height would be great! For a forge, go to a plumbing/heating A/C co....Ask for an old freon tank. I assume Alaska has A/C??? Line the forge with Inswool and refractory cement. Buy/build a venturi burner and start hammering!
  21. Here it is cleaned up.. I lightly cleaned up the mushroomed sides. I then slathered it in diesel and then wire wheeled it. I believe it is actually missing several inches from the horn. It looks like from the gouges that it was cleaned up and fixed with a chisel, so my guess is the repair was a long time ago. For reference, I set my 119# Kohlswa on top of it. The rebound is around 90-95% over the entire face. One are near the hardie hole that's maybe 85%...The awesome thing is the ring, or should I say the lack of... I picked up twenty 1-1/4" steel bearings Friday so I just happened to have one in my pocket. The ring from the Kohlswa to the Fisher is night and day! The date on it is 1913 I am sooo happy!
  22. I'm an apprentice bladesmith. One hammer I LOVE is my Caffrey angle pien. It allows you to draw out your bevels with your arms in a normal position. Ed Caffrey makes a real nice one. Blacksmith Depot has some too. Also, a doghead, also known as Japanese cutler hammer.... I started at a Bladesmiths shop, I tried many of his to find what I Liked. For bladestock, try starting with 1/4" thick for forging... Have fun!
  23. This one's for sale in the Seattle area on CL. Said to have come g\from an Oregon mill and weighs 455#... Asking price $1000
  24. it appears to be 1913... scraped on the date with my knife. The 3 looks a lot like the 3 for the weight, so it could be 1918 unless they weren't making them in the last year of WWI? The horn looks like it was repaired with GIANT rasp....pics in the morning. Question....???what's the proper way to fix the mushroomed sides? Pien them up? Or, grind em off?? Gasp, cough, cough....
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