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I Forge Iron

Drunken Dwarf

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    Norwich, UK

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  1. Lol. Im lucky enough that a local smith buys coal direct by the several tonne and resells to everyone in the area for cheaper than we could buy it from the source in more manageable quantities.
  2. Recreating my own saga in wood carving? Since I live on a boat and have very little to do of an evening, that sounds quite appealing to be honest. The event sounds very cool! I'm aware that charcoal was the fuel of the time, but I am not a real viking, but a dwarf of proud mining heritage deep in the coal filled mountains ;). And from a practicality standpoint, while the general public cant often tell the difference between the fuels, the Welsh steam coal I use gives off a lot less smoke and far fewer 'fireflies' to reach the eye sockets of younglings being inducted into the craft
  3. That's really interesting Thomas. While probably not the typical 'travelling craftsman', the first carving showing the forge bellows behind Regin definitely shows the forge at at least knee height, not on the ground. Suggests to me at least that at the time some forges were raised. Makes sense, they would feel that bending down was hurting their backs. The alternative of course was the type Rune Bertrum-Neillson made a video of where he dug out a pit to sit in and work at ground level. I'm not sure tbh whether to go fully reenactment about it. Onviously if I got in with a reenactment group that'd be different, but I see no harm in adding a non historical twist to traditional techniques. I am 5'1", I can always add some "dwarven" style to traditional feeling setups.
  4. I had thought that it'd be the case that more people would buy what they've seen being made. That's one reason I'm going to focus the quick little stuff with the bigger bits pre-made. I make an axe head pendant that's quite popular. Luckily I should be able to count on the wife to run the stall and sales while I do demos, if we can keep the dogs quiet and calm that is. I'll keep my touch mark readily available too, although its a slightly annoying one as the punch is too short to hold comfortably. I'm thinking of welding a handle to it, but I don't want to mess with the heat treating. I'll definitely check out that thread, sounds interesting:)
  5. Thanks for the comments George. I'm aware that most smiths of the age would have made a dirt mound forge wherever they were working, however I've decided to build a standing forge for 2 reasons, although it is not historically accurate. 1, if I were to go to faires and do demonstrations, most hosting spaces don't take to kindly to you digging holes in their ground and charring it somewhat. 2, and the main reason to be honest, if I even try to picture a ground based forge in my head, the small of my back makes it very known that I would be punished harshly for such nonesense It's a very good idea to incorporate layers of vermiculite or something like that, to increase the insulation. Thanks for that :) And yeah, this little forge is for the small stuff at shows or whatnot. S-Hooks, brooches, little neck knives etc. I have a workshop where my 'proper' forge and beloved anvil live where I do the 'business' smithing. Very few people would hang around at a demo to watch a 3 hour axe build, but 10 minutes to whip up a nice S-Hook more people will stick with me for
  6. Hi all. Im looking at putting together a little dirtbox forge, just for some mobile stuff and maybe some demos. I'm building a Mastermyr style tool chest and my plan is to fit an entire smithy into it. Stake anvils, stands, forge, hammers the works. Whats the minimum thickness of lining between forge bowl and wooden frame people would consider safe? I'm not going to be doing massive projects in it, just the smaller stuff really. I probably don't need more than a 6inch firebowl. It'll be mainly for coal use, with a leather bellows as a manual air source. Would 2 inches of dirt or cast lining be enough? That would give me a 12x12 inch forge in total which would be pretty neat and easy to pack away. (6 inch firebowl, 2 inches of lining each side and inch thick wooden frame)
  7. After going through and hunting Ebay, the British members are right, you can still get hold of it, not from your local supermarket anymore. I finished off the pine stand, looks lovely. Got it nice and flat with a quick router jig. Even welded up a couple of hammer racks for the side. Frosty, the only thing I will say is no, Brexit has not helped with anything. And I'll refrain from saying anything more on my views of that due to the forums rules on political content
  8. Many things are regulated and there are so many factors to regulation that you can't really use that as any basis for judgement. But I like to at least look up the stuff I don't know about before I use it, if you don't get into the habit of that then it's not a big stretch to start thinking "Well, galvanised steel is everywhere and cheap, why shouldn't I build my forge pipe out of it" if you've never actually come across the dangers of zinc.
  9. You definiately can't get it in supermarkets here, possibly chemists but that would be the only option. Looking at the classifications it's considered a risk to fertility and unborn children. The risk is obviously negligable, and yes, it does seem extreme. But on the other hand, just because people use it doesn't mean it's safe.
  10. I googled about getting Borax in the UK and came across some hippe girls blog saying that it's been reclassified in the EU as a hazardous material (which we knew already) but that reclassification means it can't be bought in the EU or UK, only borax substitute (dont know if it works the same way for smithing). Although the standard English method taught over here, and I know used by my local smiths, is not to use flux at all. Welding becomes more about maintaining a clean fire.
  11. Thank you for all of the awesome input. You guys never cease to be incredibly helpful. After this I will go ahead with what I have, I've got the day off on Wedensday to finish the stand ;) I've cut it 1cm too high on purpose and my plan is to use my router to route out a 1cm deep footprint of my anvil to keep it nice and secure horizontally. (Got a sheet of dense rubber to lay in the cutout too for deadening). And treat the stand with BLO probably. Anvil will be fastened down with chain and turn buckles, shouldn't take more than a day to get it all finished:)
  12. This is true. I didn't flesh out my original post enough I don't think. There are ways to fabricate an anvil stand without welding, that's true, my personal preference would be for a wooden stand but in reality, getting a forging surface going is more important to me than personal preference. However, if possible I would like to limit costs, my main interest is whether I can use the sleeper-made block I have as I already have it so there's no additional costs/time etc.
  13. Hi all I have a question about the wood for my anvil stand. I made a stand (not quite finished yet) out of the largest peices of wood I could find locally (100mm x 200mm sleepers). They're kinda roughly glues together (sleepers weren't flat and I lack the proper tooling to make them flat, but it's pretty xxxx strong) I was listening to "The Forgecast" in the truck and they said that the one wood to not make your stand out of is pine, due to the fire hazard of the sap and oils. The sleepers I used commercial link removed were advertised as "Scandanavian Softwood", now just listed as softwood, so there's a good chance they are pine if not spruce. The wood itself seems pretty dry and it's pressure treated, (I didnt know if the podcast was talking about sawn, treated wood or fresh stumps), would the fire safety still be an issue with what I have or could I safely use it? Any advice would be great (except for replacing it with steel, I can't weld) Many thanks Drunken Dwarf
  14. So the oven cleaner and hand wire brush did absolutely nothing The example on the previous post was lye based, but I don't think we can get that in our country, at least it's not readily available in supermarkets. There was hints of another colour coming through (more the brushing than the cleaner) so I think there's more than 1 coat of paint on it. I will move up to the wire wheel I think. While I'm taking it slow on what I do with the anvil, I'm also building the anvil stand which has been fun, a bit surprised by the height though. I've read a lot through the anvil height thread, I'd originally just thought about the knuckle height rule, however I did make a tall block of wood and strike it, adjusting the height until I got full round impressions, and was really surprised that it was at BELOW knuckle height, even though there was a lot of comments that wrist height is actually better as the old knuckle height is based off having strikers and top tools. I am wondering whether I was standing closer to the block than I could to an anvil or if there was something wrong with my posture, though I tried to keep the back straight.
  15. I absolutely don't wish to rush and damage my new baby. This Saturday I will take what I consider to be the lightest approach (a bit of surface/oven cleaner and a hand brush) and try it on the underside of the feet in a small area to have a look at the result. Then work up from there I do understand the 'petina' which will not build up again in my lifetime, however in my mind, petina is an aging effect on metal, seeing as this appears to be painted I'd say that ship has already sailed.
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