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I Forge Iron


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    Gainesville, GA, U.S.A
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing (Duh), writing and reading stories, kayaking, the mountains, writing and reading poetry and prose, history from year 0-1900, science, making movies, hearing and making music, and riding stubborn horses.

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  1. Thank you for replying, Frosty! Ok, I will definitely search the site for the side draft hood, it sounds interesting, especially since I've always assumed the overhead was the only way to go. :? Thanks for asking about my story--it's going really well, I've been taking classes from an extremely helpful and generous fiction writing teacher online, who has totally revolutionized the way I think about writing. I am in personal contact with him pretty much weekly through Facebook, so you bet my story has taken a turn for the better. The premise will still be the same, and the prison cell bar scene I described in the other forum may or may not be in it. If it is, it will be based on y'all's suggestions and input. Thanks! :)
  2. I'm not sure if this fits into the 'designing a shop' forum, but here goes. I have a very simple little outdoor forge made out of a lawn mower cover, with of course a t-pipe and ash-catching stopper. My air supply is an old hair dryer that works surprisingly well (It would get metal to yellow-white heat if I left it in the coals long enough). Thanks to an extremely generous gift from a blacksmithing friend I met last year, I have the tools necessary to do what I want to do in blacksmithing (Except, perhaps, more skill :)). Anyway, The one thing that really makes me NOT want to go outside and forge is that I have no way of getting rid of the coal smoke. There's usually at least a small breeze going outside, so I'm constantly dodging the smoke as it flies in different directions. It's toxic, and for some reason smelling it drains my energy real fast, even with the help of keeping hydrated while I'm out there. I need some kind of device, flue or no, to get rid of that smoke effectively. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? Thanks! Matt~
  3. No, I am not planning on lockpicking any doors. I was wondering, though, if there are any locksmiths on this website who would be willing to tell me a little about how they work and what methods you use to make them. As stated in anothewr one of my posts, I am working on a novel, and it is set in the middle ages when there were different jobs for blacksmiths to do--cutler, armorer, locksmith, etc. So I would just like to gather a bit more knowledge about the subject from experienced smiths like y'all :) Thanks!
  4. Yeah, I'm not sure about everything yet--the story is in its very early stages, so nothing is set in stone--my choices for the setting are either a: before the third crusade. b:during or shortly after the third crusade, or c: during the major civil wars, upheavals and such that were going on in England during King John's reign. :)
  5. All good legends deserve variation. My Robin Hood is actually a young, compassionate teenager, and so is not suspected of treachery of any sort, especially by the utter despair he exhibits when he is finally caught and imprisoned. It really breaks him. The prison itself is unguarded, because there is no way out of the area--no windows or back doors--but the guards patrol it once every two hours. Robin has an incredibly strong friend with him in the cell. The two of them escape the cell and generally nip the guards in the bud with cunning, speed and strength. They make it out of the prison and steal two horses. From there it's no hard matter to escape the city, as most of the city walls are still under construction, and there is no gate yet (A job that is busying Robin's master, the smith). They hack their way through soldiers with some help from the townspeople, who are inspired by Robin's returned strength. Sorry, no giant Little Johns in my story--mine is about Robin's age and considerably more agile and quick, thus giving his brother reason to tease him with the term 'Little'.
  6. He's Robin Hood--a=the icon and champion of the serfs. He gets thrown into a very temporary cell for one night to get hung the next morning before the entire city.
  7. I agree! So then that is possible, TP? To have iron of such bad quality that it could break like that? I think your suggestion makes much more sense--and JB, I agree with you--I've always been of the opinion that sometimes a good story needs a bit of dramatic license--or a lot, depending on where the story is. :) Thanks everyone for your help!
  8. He accidentally kills an assailant in a pure act of self defense. That assailant so happens to be the right hand man of the antagonist, the earl of the city. At the scene, he flees in panic and manages to escape to a forest nearby. He survives alone in the woods, hunted by the law, until eventually he is captured and taken, defeated, to the city dungeon. While in the prison cell he experiences an epiphany about the character flaw he has been acting in that is keeping him from defeating the antagonist, and he also learns about his past. With these two things motivating him to rise up again, he begins closely examining the cell bars, and finds his trade mark on one of the bars. By this, he knows the bars aren't good ones. With the help of a fellow prisoner, he begins breaking the bars until they are able to slip out and escape.
  9. What if the protagonist simply didn't have anything on hand to coat his finished products with rust-resistant qualities (Beeswax)? Then (Considering the damp and leaky conditions of some medieval dungeons) they would rust bad and quick. By the time the protagonist got imprisoned, they would be brittle enough to be split and broken with a nice, strong jerk. Does that sound plausible?
  10. Well, I didn't mean that the bars got STOLEN--just that the buyer was taking them off. The protagonist is possibly, and admittedly, one of the worst blacksmiths in all of England, and is apprenticed to one of the best. His master's family does live in the house by the smithy, but they are unimportant characters. The master blacksmith is there to help the buyers load the order up in a cart. No stealing involved--just a misunderstanding, because the buyer came a day or two earlier than they should have. The protagonist wasn't able to fix his mistake in time, and considering the extravagent punishment for any kind of sleight towards the buyer (The city's earl), the protagonist decides it's best to keep quiet about it.
  11. I haven't learned how to temper things yet, so all of my finished pieces were quenched in water usually around black heat, at which point I had been banging on it enough to cool it down some. However, none of my pieces seem brittle--certainly not enough to break in water or from just sitting around. The only one I ever was able to break with my hands was one little bar that had rusted pretty bad. That did break, after a nice little jerk, but it still didn't exactly seem brittle. The reason I ask this random question about tempering is because my character is forging prison cell bars (It's set in the medieval time period). He forges the bars one day, and plans to temper them the next day, because it's such a huge job, but before he arrives home from taking a breather, the buyer has already loaded the cart full of bars up and left with them. The buyer came a day early, so the protagonist wasn't expecting him to take the bars yet. He doesn't tell anyone, though, hoping not to get in trouble. Later he is outlawed and eventually imprisoned in one of the many new cells made with his bars. The bars being brittle, rusty and hard, he is able to break enough of them to escape.
  12. Can one forge what he is needing to make, cool it off and leave the tempering process for later, particularly if it is a huge job that needs an entire second day to do?
  13. Hey everyone! I have an odd and out of the blue question about tempering, so just humor me for a second. I'm writing a story with a blacksmith protagonist who fails at tempering, so all his products end up brittle. I've heard of this brittleness happening as a result of bad tempering, but I have no clue as to how one does it--and just HOW brittle can the metal get? Thanks!
  14. Hi fellow iron-mongers! Well, it's been a few months since I made this, but here's my first knife. I made it out of a rusty steel rod laying in the yard. I forged it by first hammering the length to square stock instead of circular. Then I beat it to a certain thinness, and hit it diagonally so that one side was thicker than the single edge. I made a mistake when I tried to hammer the tip from the top--I had to repair the resulting split-crack three times before I finally got it how I wanted it. Anyway, once I had just beat it into the desired shape all around, I cut it from the rest of the steel rod, and quenched it. Once it was cold as ice, I took it to the electric grinder and ground a sharp edge and shiny look onto it. There were still forge marks left, but recently I remedied that by more grinding and some sanding on the blade area. So, that being said, here it is! :) The handle turned out a bit shorter than I had thought, but at least the blade cuts, and that's all I expected for my first knife! :)
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