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I Forge Iron


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    Auckland, New Zealand

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  1. Hi there, I've been asked by a local chef, here in Auckland, New Zealand to make some serving plates for his new restaurant. He wants a rustic/battered look, hence contacting me. My thought is that stainless steel is going to be the obvious material, due to its corrosion resistance. I'm thinking 2mm 304 grade sheet, which is 5/64" I think in US measurements However I have never forged stainless and am a bit freaked out by 3 issues 1. potential mild steel contamination - So new grinding discs, cutting discs, wire brush, files etc... thats ok, but what about hammers and anvil? My biggest concern is using some SG steel formers and also some out of mild steel that I'd use for dishing the plates. If I give them a good clean up with a flap disc, would that help. 2. annealing the stainless - is it as simple as I've read, or a bit hit and miss? - bring stainless up to heat (orange?) and then quenching it in water? 3. Passivation /pickling - So I'm going to need to get the scale off, is there a better option - passivation or pickling? Also is total scale removal essential - are there any toxic, corrosive other issues involved with not removing all the scale? I know some blacksmiths who will leave varying of scale on their work (mild steel). Is there a DIY passivation / pickling process, or rather a way I can bypass what seem to be a very toxic and potentially dangerous chemicals? I have heard of citric acid being used. If anyone has any other thoughts on what other material might be able to be used to make these plates? The issue is that they need to be washed, so mild steel is out,, unless they want to constantly clean and reoil. Thoughts, suggestions, advice greatly appreciated! Regards, Nate I'd be very grateful for the help.
  2. HI all. I got given a LPG (propane) forge and have used it for about 3 years on and off and never had any issues. Now I'm getting sore thorats, headaches and a bit of nausea after I use it for a prolonged time (full day, multiple days in a row), issues I never had before, same forge and same space. Two things have changed - i relined it and increased the insulation - it initially only had ceramic fibre board insulation. I replaced the ceramic fibre board also used some ITC products to seal thefibre board, boost reflectivity etc.. The other thing I did was I removed the back forge wall with the intention of putting in a door for longer pieces. I got busy and haven't got round to it so the back is open. With the increased insulation, the heat is greater in the forge, and the flame also seems more intense, stronger, and has a greater blast coming out the front. As far as I'm concerned the flame is a good level of blue, though I'm no expert. I'm wondering if the flame is perhaps running too rich and not burning off all the LPG/Propane? Would having the back open effect things at all? My prime concern is that I'm creating more CO now then I was before I relined the forge. There is an air adjustment which I've never messed with because I never had any issues previously, perhaps this needs adjusting?. I have a lot of ventilation via a large barn style sliding door, and air vents which run down one side of the space, which previously seemed adequate I'm after thoughts, advice on how I might go about dealing with this, as I don't really have a lot of experience with gas. I'd like to get back to how it was before honestly, I had less heat but I also felt better! Advice gratefully accepted! Nate
  3. Thanks for the responses, I'm going to go and look at the anvils today and see what they're like. Nate
  4. Hi all, A question about what a good HRC hardness is for an anvil? Anvils are hard to find in New Zealand and I've come across a brand of anvil from Australia called Grinter. They are made for farrier's but the Grinter people say that it should be fine for blacksmithing. The anvils are cast from SG Iron and the HRC is 65. Any thoughts? Thanks
  5. Hi All, I know there have been various discussions about scale in the past, I've had a look and they have been helpful. My problem is with the making of ladle bowls and the buildup of scale within the bowl. As the bowl takes shape (I hammer it into a home made former) the scale becomes harder and harder to remove by brush due to the shape of the bowl (can't get my brush in there). In the time take to forge the bowl, the scale builds up and becomes very hard (no doubt due to hammering). I've tried vinegar as apickle but I find it relatively slow and even after a couple days hasn't always loosened up the really hard embedded scale. I'd rather not use anything highly toxic, or particularly dangerous to handle. An thoughts? THanks!
  6. Thanks guys for your comments, might have to follow up on these plating kits!
  7. Hi all, Just wondering if anyone has had experience plating their work? I make a lot of small objects (spoons, ladles, bottle openers etc...) and have wondered about getting some plated. How easy is it to plate hand forged work? My work is relatively rough (hammer marks etc...), I've been told it is much easier to plate smooth objects, I presume all scale etc. would have to be removed. I'm sure there are other things I haven't considered, so any thoughts or advice would gratefully received. Cheers, Nate
  8. Hi all, I've been asked to make a bunch of copper ladles (copper bowl, steel handle), which I promptly started on before finding a whole lot of info (which is reasonably unclear) about acidic foods causing a toxic reaction on copper which if ingested can be quite harmful. Subsequently I've found that most copper cookware is lined with tin, stainless steel etc. to prevent this. Now having read some posts which cover similar topics on other message boards there seems to be a school of thought that a copper ladle is not going be much a problem as it doesn't get frequent use and will not be used to store acidic food (which is where the toxicity really comes into play). Ideally I'd like to hear from people who make and sell copper ladles and how you deal with this potential situation, also are there any out there who regularly use a copper ladle, what has been your experience? I'd rather not sell something that is potentially harmful, and equally don't really want to sell something with a long list of conditions attached to the ladle's use. My choice to use copper was to avoid the amount of care required to maintain a forged steel (mild) ladle, as well as some uncertainty how to really seal ladle so that any coating (beeswax, vegetable oil etc...) didn't disappear as the result of use... any advice on this would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone Nate .
  9. Hi there! Just wondering if anyone has had success tinting or coloring the classic beeswax/linseed/turpentine mixture? I've definitely made it darker by using black shoe polish. I was wondering about using dyes for coloring candles... Or perhaps gilders paste is the answer? - basically I like making my own coatings where possible and I'm cheap. Thanks, Nate
  10. Anyone bought/used a BECMA anvil, any thoughts. Any thoughts? Nate
  11. I've been looking around the net for new anvil around 77 pounds and keep coming across these kanca anvils... has anyone put one through its paces. I'd like to know if it stands up to serious use? Otherwise can anyone recommend any other anvils around this weight? I must say that the kanca is attractive due to the price. Cheers, Nate
  12. With both the vinegar and sodium bisulphate I imagine they need to be neturalized? If so what do you use?
  13. Great! Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
  14. Thanks for all your suggestions! I made up some of the beeswax, turps, linseed mix and has been working really well, but I would like to make it darker. When I paint it on it remains fairly clear with a slight 'tint', I'm looking for a much darker brown/black look. Can I add something else to color it? Thanks!
  15. Wondering if stove black would work? Has anyone used stove black for this sort of thing?
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