David Dix

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Everything posted by David Dix

  1. What happens when you have your fire hot, and you have to add some water to the coal. Will the water seep down into the clay, or will the coal suck it all up first?
  2. Oh wow! Thanks a lot for the imput and information. I'm going to definitely try all of your suggestions. There is a coal and ice place in Collinsville (now about all they have is bricks and sand), hopefully they have some good clay. I found a couple of clay recipes I'm driving to Tandy Leather Factory in St Louis tomorrow to get the 48" x 7/8" x 1/4" leather strap. I hope they have it in a discount section. Now I just need an anvil.
  3. As you can see in the photo, the center is actually elevated. Do I need to completely reshape the pan with clay so the center is depressed rather than elevated? Should I not even bother with this forge or is it worth messing with?
  4. This forge was in a barn, and I don't see any rust in the pan at all. (maybe a little around the edge, but a wire brush took it right off). Do you really think it would get burned through?
  5. I just picked up my first forge. (very exciting!!!) The problem is that the belt (maybe leather) that went around the spin wheel and blower was so old it just fell apart. I set it out straight at it measured 36" long, 7/8" wide, and 1/4" thick. I took a wire brush to the forge to clean it up, and the only thing I could make out was the numbers either 150 or 160 directly underneath the coal pan. Being a beginner, I have no idea what brand or model the forge is. I live in Collinsville, Il. Is there somewhere nearby I might be able to find a replacement belt? I think once the blower is cleaned out, the workings lubricated, and a new belt, it should work like a champ. Here are some photos of the forge:
  6. Okay. I suppose my new question will be: What type of steel and/or iron should I be trying to get my hands on that is free or very inexpensive (and is acquired legally), and is fairly consistent in its quality.
  7. I need to find a railroad crew near the Collinsville area.
  8. Way to go! My first forge will hopefully be this Wednesday. I can't wait!
  9. I'm looking for a 150# blacksmith anvil. If you have an extra one, maybe we can work out some kind of trade for some rebar. When I get all the rebar moved from my friends' property to my house, I'll then be able to see how much I have. If there's a whole lot, I'll definitely remember you.
  10. Another newbie question: Where can I get cheap/free railroad spikes. I saw some videos of people making tomahawks, tongs, and other things out of them. When the railroad workers change out the railroad ties what do they do with the old spikes?
  11. Since I am brand new to blacksmithing, I don't know much (but am learning). I have an opportunity to get a LOT of free rebar. My question is: is it worth messing with? I don't know if that is tempered steel....or carbon content is too high? I haven't even picked up a hammer yet; still trying to get all the necessary equipment together.
  12. I sent off my IVBA fee and membership application last week. I'm hoping I hear some kind of reply this week and/or a catalog.
  13. Thanks! I will try and attend that hammer-in. I am planning on going to the Wednesday meet in Carlinville this Wednesday at the Macoupin County Historical Society. I recently learned that a bunch of experienced blacksmiths meet there every Wednesday. Very exciting!
  14. Greetings. I am brand new to blacksmithing. I'm reading quite a bit and watching a lot of videos, but have yet to work with a blacksmith. I have a friend of the family giving me an older hand-crank forge. I just picked up a piece of steel from an old rail car system. I'll have to use that temporarily until I find an anvil. The problem is I'm between jobs and can't afford to spend a ton of money right now on an anvil and equipment. I live in Collinsville, Illinois (east of St. Louis), and have been keeping an eye out for auctions and farm auctions. So far I just have the piece of steel and the forge. I'd really like to get the chance to work side by side with an experienced blacksmith and learn some techniques and tricks. If anyone has advice on where to look for a VERY inexpensive used blacksmith's anvil (150 #) (I don't want a farrier's anvil) or other equipment (apron, hammers, etc), please let me know. Thanks!