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I Forge Iron


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    Denver, CO
  1. It's been a while since I've posted as I've been living 1000 miles from my poor anvil for 6 months, but I'm heading back to her in 3 weeks. This is a great idea, and I'll certainly contribute as many leaves as I can get away with. It'll be great to be back at the forge, and even better to kick off a reunion with the steel by helping out a worthy cause. Best wishes to everyone affected by the tragedy, and best wishes as well to everyone who's putting their time and hammer blows into this project.
  2. I never met Tom, but I hope he finds safe passage now to wherever it is he's going. It's always a shame when the community loses a valued member, but thanks to the knowledge he shared, he'll live on through every hammer blow of the people he's mentored.
  3. This is my first thought. Fullering with a hammer works fine if you're trying to make a shovel or a leaf, where you want to be able to really guide the material around in a natural way. However, if you're making the post for a hardy from thicker stock, a spring fuller will allow you to place a shoulder at the same spot on all four sides, making the drawing process much easier and neater. Same goes for any number of other applications where symmetry and accuracy beyond that which can be achieved by a hammer (dependent on the user) is necessary. I know my limitations when it comes to accuracy. There's a lot I can do with a hammer, but there ain't much I can do with a pein that can't be done better by a stationary fuller.
  4. forgive the thread necromancy, but there's something I've been wondering, and I figured it wasn't worth a new thread. How on earth do you get the mandrel out after welding the barrel? What material is the mandrel typically made from? I've got the Foxfire book but I think it's still at home in MN.
  5. you can call those pliers and their value increases!
  6. I read that book recently, it was great. I got a little excited any time he started talking about smithing when I could predict where he'd go next in the conversation. I started working at a historic site because I didn't want to go to college and I had some connections, and there I started migrating more towards the shops area than the marching field. I've made a couple nail headers, a tomahawk, hundreds of nails, and plenty of s-hooks, among other things. It was a little tough working with 1820s tools, and I never did learn drop-tong welds or much heat treating, but it was a good start. Now I'm going back to school and hopefully I can come out with enough education to get a job where I can afford a house far away from homeowners' associations and other weaklings, so I can build a shop in the back yard.
  7. this is an excellent use of scrap. I like the fact that each one is unique
  8. dang, were the edges chiseled? this one is stellar
  9. I can somewhat respect his accomplishment if he worked his whole life in order to snag those anvils, but if he's buying with daddy's trust fund or a massive inheritance, then he may as well just be some schmo who won the lottery and said "gee golly, I really like them iron blocks, I better get 'em all!"
  10. psilogen


    william foster 1848
  11. That's disappointing. My only anvil is a William Foster, and the only spot that rings is the heel. I guess I paid too much after all. Could the half-attached chip in the side of the anvil be absorbing the sound energy, or is it pretty much guaranteed to be delaminated?
  12. Yes, good point. I'd like to be the guy turning out unique and complex parts for crazy research projects rather than just being one step in a mass-production line, but I guess that means I'll have to get really good, and keep up on my reading. What parts of the country tend to have the most stable employment in the field?
  13. I'm moving to Colorado because there's nothing here for me in the winter, and I'm hoping to go into CNC machining so I can get an interesting and well-paid job and still have the energy to come home after work and accomplish things at the forge (or work on my car or teach myself this or that). What advice can you offer to a budding machine tool operator? Jobs/tasks to avoid, supplemental classes to take, where to go from there?
  14. We've got a side draft, and to be honest I'm not much of a fan. Ours isn't designed very well though, it's just got a three inch pipe leading in that got burnt back within a week, and a flat square firepot, also with no clear-out mechanism. Because the air comes in from the side, the hotspot is fairly irregular, and only symmetrical when viewed from the front of the forge, rather than the side where I work. It may be that I don't know much about fire-tending though, which is definitely possible, and the pipe issues probably contribute heavily to the main problems. We're also burning charcoal rather than stone coal, so YMMV.
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