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I Forge Iron

Bob Menard

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About Bob Menard

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    Portland, Maine

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  1. You should charge big money for this, you know big shears big money.
  2. I have two the tie for just plain weird. The first was a branding iron for a silly white kid who wanted it for branding his own skin. Apparently this is some sort of family tradition started by his grandfather. The design he submitted was kind of intricate. I responded that this would be a tough design to create and had he thought it through. To get the design effect on his skin the temp of the brand would have to be just right. too much heat and the resultant burn would obliterate the delicate design. Too little heat and it would not be deep enough to be permanent and he would have to try ag
  3. The style of apron is really dictated by what you are trying to protect. My forging apron is primarily protecting my waist, goodies, and ends mid/lower thigh. This was arrived at by looking at a wear pattern on my clothing. If I need to protect my upper torso, say for welding, I have a leather welders jacket. Living in northern New England this doubles as protection and warmth. I like just a waist apron that ties in the back for freedom of movement. I have seen Smiths that seem to like the full frontal leather armor but for me at the end of the day it looks heavy and adds to the fatigue fac
  4. The eye brow I have is removable and is mostly useful up to the point where the stack heats up. Once it is hot the eye brow is no longer necessary and the hood is drawing the smoke laterally back away from the firepot and keeping the local environment clear. I have a plan for the hood. If you would like it send me an email, ballandchainforge@yahoo.com and I will send it to you.
  5. Bob Menard

    Vise ID

    So many post vises were hand made, identifying yours in the absence of a makers mark is likely impossible. Some of the characteristics the help date a post vise is the extra detail added during it's construction, like chamfered edges and the extra detail added to the screw box. This is not always an indicator as the person/firm that made it could have been feeling expansive for that tool and added extra detail. It is not easy to forge a post vise and once you are into it adding embellishments might seem like a good idea at the time. Lets see some photos, it might help.
  6. Bob Menard

    Striking Vise

    Many vises are set to high for hammer work, good for filing and finishing just not hammering. Both of these are good hammer solutions. Of course the big heavy tools are necessary for serious hammer work. Good job guys!
  7. Good score for a hundred bucks. The pipe jaws look like an add on.
  8. This is a coal forge I made as a portable demo rig. It breaks down so the largest part is the hood. It can practically fit in a compact car. The table is 1/8" diamond plate bordered by 2"x 1/8" angle iron. The legs are 2" square tubing. The hood is 16G aluminum. It is set up for either an electric blower or a hand crank blower.
  9. Nice looking forge, it should serve you well. Once years ago I had a coal forge that had a grate at the bottom of the firepot instead of a triangular clinker breaker. It would degrade over time and I would have to replace it. I would suggest keeping a grate in place to protect difficult to replace fabricated parts and have an extra on the shelf to throw in when you are in the middle of a project and the primary burns out.
  10. I have found that the forge table is just that, a table. It holds coal/coke and tools. The fire is contained in whatever your are using for a fire pot. If you are not planning on moving the forge you can make the table from whatever weight material you desire, even masonry. The heart of any forge is the pot and tuyere.
  11. The original post seems to have been a little bit hijacked. As it has been I'll add a few comments of my own. Another method of making a hard point on a digging bar is to case harden the end. It is amazing how effective this technique is for improving mild steel. The downsides are if you have to dress the point you can grind the hard shell right off. Another problem, case hardening only effects the surface so if you are banging your digging bar on a rock you can drive to point back into itself because the softer mild steel core is not strong enough to support the hard point. I will use case h
  12. This is a small press I put together. It is not my own design. A very clever blade smith in Vermont made one and demonstrated it's effectiveness at a New England Blacksmiths Meet. I liked it so much I made one for myself. The frame is 2" square tubing with a 1/4" wall thickness. I added gussets at stress points. I am not sure it needed that but I had the welder and there I was..... It is powered by a 20 ton air over hyd. jack from harbor freight. It is a little slow but once you get the technique down it works surprisingly well. The first photo shows the build phase and the second shows it
  13. It looks pretty stocky, maybe to heavy to carry around to picket a horse or even a small herd. Is there a chance it is some ones idea of art? I have seen stranger.
  14. Unquestionably interesting. The part I liked was the 3 different levels of tech represented in the video. The last being most recognizable to western eyes, hand crank blower, London pattern anvil, hammers with handles, forging standing up. All three were making the same agricultural implements. Some of those smiths could have been working with some of this higher technology but chose to do it a harder way. Hmmm, I wonder why. In the video side bar there was a French film showcasing a modern high tech steel plant featuring smelting from raw and scrap and forging with a 100 tonish hyd. press.
  15. Last year I bought a 272 lb Peter Wright with similar edge damage for $300. The seller wanted $450 For what the time was to fix it I thought that was a fair price. Peter Wrights Are a good anvil and the one in the ad seemed to have completely fixable damage. I did think the price was high for the size and damage shown.
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