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I Forge Iron


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  1. Fred Crist was an inspiration for me.
  2. Now geometry is another story. I really got grabbed by geometry whilst in junior high and high school and it has served me well as a blacksmith. Particularly when figguring out equivalent weights. Yea, pretty tough. Definitely harder than becoming a Blacksmith. I thought that maybe a forged sign might help, but its hard to do much with,,, Philosopher for Hire
  3. what thickness of material where the punched holes are. if its 1/8" thick or 1/4" there are different solutions. basically punch thru from one side but not to your final diameter, then drift with your punch from the other side. With practice, the bulge will be gone when the diameter is what you want. Or under punch the dia then turn it over and lightly hammer the bulge out, then drift to your final hole size. If the bulge you are talking about is the "frogs eye, and you want this, then drill your holes. A frogs eye is the bulge you get on the sides, not the top or bottom.
  4. anvil weight might not keep all away, but it does tend to separate the wheat from the chaff.
  5. Awesome! I have a twyre like that. I believe its water cooled. Mine has a drain plug on it. Thats a guess, its not my area of expertise.
  6. I'm pretty sure the purpose of the class wasnt to have students draw my conclusions. I didnt get a degree, but after the navy i started my farrier business. I went to college at the same time. farrier work is slow fall thru spring, so i kept my family fed via the GI bill. No school in the summer and shoeing was good. 3 years later, the GI bill ran out and I had a working Farrier business. Thats when I started spending all my working time between hammer and anvil, even if, as a primarily cold shoer the iron was cold. For what its worth, thats how I overcame the blacksmiths catch 22 for starting a business.
  7. Lol, I just cant resist. There are two words in common use that imply a very specific emotion that come from the Blacksmiths craft, upsetting and drawing out. Ted Ewert hit it on the head. " It provides that extra material to correct minor mistakes and still have enough left." I'll add this, that extra material most often allows you to do many variations on your tongs As for drawing out the reins, A drop the tongs forge weld answers that. At Turley Forge,'80, After about 20 hours of a 6 week class, we made our first set of tongs, and learned how to do that weld. Lol, it has a high pucker factor! We did our first forge weld the first day of class. He believed in getting rid of the "boogers and traps" early on. I want to say that my posts are all based on one idea. That is I believe that the one thing everybody who gets into blacksmithing have in common is the mystique of being betwixt hammer and anvil, working hot iron. Simply that. Ive pursued that from the beginning. Having said that, anyway you choose is good for you. And thats what matters And yes, i have a strong bias/predjuce/one sided etc etc belief in maximizing my time betwixt hammer and iron. I get the same satisfaction from making a rivet as I do turning a complex scroll,,, and I still get butterflies in my belly when i forge weld. Have fun
  8. I did my two years of engineering at University of Colorado. We had to take a philosophy class to make us well rounded. I took philosophy for the engineer. It was a whole summer semester "proving" that the point existed. Well, there is no proof that the point exists. You have to believe it and accept it. Sheesh, considering science is based on math, and math is based on "Believing" the point exists,,,,, i gave up flying. I got a bit concerned just what would happen if in flight i suddenly doubted the point existed. Im not sure how much that had with me joining the Navy, but they both happened in the same time frame.
  9. if you are starting out as a blacksmith, your 2# hammer is all you need. By the time you figure out how to use it, you will know what else you will need. So first things first. The first thing you need, after one hammer, a forge and an anvil are fire tools so you can start learning fire management. So make a poker, a rake, and a water can. You dont need tongs for these tools. Then make a hand held hot punch and a hand held hot cut. Make these about 14" long so your hand is well away from your hot iron. Make these from a coil spring about 5/8" or 3/4" diameter. Now, go to either the hardware store or the flea market and pick up a cheap hacksaw. Cut a piece about 24" long off the coil. Measure this 24" length with a piece of 24" long string. You can straighten this hot and now you have a "handling" length. This means you can hand hold it, heat the other end and not get burnt because you are 24" away from the hot end and you dont need tongs. Now make the working end of a hot punch on one end and a hot cut chisel on the other. Oh, wait til the first end cools before starting the second end and dont quench it. let it air cool. When done, again use your hack saw and cut in half. Now you have two new hand made tools that are long enough that you can stick the newly cut ends in the fire and dome them hot with your hammer and not burn your hand! Now you have all the tools you need to make a set of tongs and also enough experience to make them! After you make your tongs, your next tools ought to be a center punch and a cold chisel. These are made from coil spring as well and are ~4" long or so. And, guess what? You now have a set of tongs to hold them when you forge them! You also now have a brand new set of hand made tools and experience that will enable you to make just about any dang'd thing you want By Hammer in Hand. Never forget: Proper setup, Proper Tools, Proper job! As far as power tools, well I'm pretty traditional with my work, so they are pretty low on my list,,, even now. And, if you more or less follow the above pathway, you will prolly have a pretty good idea if blacksmithing is your thang.
  10. One of the best reasons to have a big anvil is that its hard to steal!
  11. a pic or drawing would be nice. Its hard for me to understand what you are doing. What does it bisect every inch? Are the 1/4" rods rivets? Are the 1/4" rods tenons on the end of a bar for legs? Whats the thickness and width of the material you've, I assume, punched and drifted? alas, what are you joining together: the ends of the round part, legs, handle or perhaps "stuff" in the middle? Ive made a few trivets: plane round ones, round ones with "stuff" in the middle, round with legs and even some with handles etc.
  12. I have no knowledge of Kens tongs, or the kits. I learned how to make tongs from 3/4" square stock. So, As far as material for making tongs, The weight of parent stock determines the size of material you can comfortably hold and work before the max force on the reins wont securely hold your work. Long winded explanation. When your work isnt held secure, it flops around and is hard to hit. . I've found that tongs made from 3/4" feel pretty good and secure up to about 1" or a bit bigger. Tongs made of lighter material seem to max out for me at about 3/4". And I have even made them from lighter parent stock for specific tasks. Basically use the stock needed to make the tong for the job. 3/4" square is a good place to start. So is 5/8" if its all ya got.
  13. I had a couple years in engineering and had a fair amount of calculus, but boy howdy i certainly missed that! Thats very cool,not to mention mind blowing.
  14. Beautiful lock. I saw a lot of locks when I was in Prague in '87. It strongly impressed me that the insides were as detailed as the front, even tho, when installed, the detail was hidden.
  15. heres how i did it when i was learning forge welding, and it works for most steels. Im using a coal forge, so modify as needed. bring it up on a slow rising heat. rotate your steel to get an even heat throughout. Flux it at a good orange. Watch it close and when you first see any sparks, give it a little soak and you are there. This pushes the limits because the sparks are bad, but not that bad with a few sparks. its a good enough swop-off to gain the needed experience to easily forge weld A36, or anything.
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