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I Forge Iron


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    North of Philly

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  1. DSW

    First pair of tongs.

    Don't be scared to take a file or grinder to the connecting surfaces as well if you can't forge a smooth transition. Smiths regularly filed their work as needed back in the day, so there's nothing wrong with you doing the same.
  2. Oh there's an interesting statement taken out of context...
  3. Maybe he could use an unpaid shop assistant? In many ways that's how I have access to the weld lab at the tech school. I was originally asked by the night school instructor to come in and help teach the class. In return, I had access to the shop in the winter months to practice welding in prep for taking a cert for a job I was looking at. It's sort of morphed into me helping out most of the night instructors teach. If I have a need to use their track torch, iron worker, plasma cutter, or one of the bigger welders, I can as long as it doesn't interrupt the class and no one else is using them. I know the college is sort of similar with their forging studio. Only problem is they already have enough assistants to cover classes. It doesn't stop me from reminding them that I only live 5 minutes down the road, and I'd be happy to help in exchange for the ability to use the facilities.
  4. I'd have to dig thru my library to come up with book titles. Both books listed are on my shelf though. There have been plenty of threads here on books to buy. A bit of google fu may bring those threads up easier than the sites search engine does. That's usually how I search for older threads. I'm not impressed with his quenching the rebar. I've seen too many things made out of rebar and quenched snap like glass. That includes welding as well as forging. To me it's just not worth it for the effort you put into the piece. Mild steel is dirt cheap if you know where to shop. I get mine from a couple of local places ( and I know of at least 10 to 15 more I could probably shop from if I wanted to be bothered going into a new place). I buy a full length for about what you'd pay at Depot/Lowes for a short 4' piece. As with Thomas, I'm always on the look out for hammer heads. On a nice spring weekend, it's easy to find yard sales to browse. I've also figured out where most of the bigger flea markets are and when they are open. Pawn shops are another possibility. There used to be a great used tool shop near me. You never knew what people would bring in and try to sell. Many times he'd buy up whole garages of old tools dirt cheap when people were clearing out houses of deceased family members. He got to know me fairly well as I'd stop in once or twice a week to browse and would set things aside he knew I might like. Because I was in often, I usually didn't need to spend forever in there. I already knew most of what he had and just looked at the new stuff. I usually gloss over framing hammers, but ball peens are moderately common. Old roofing hammers or hatchets make good cheap handled hot cuts.Occasionally you can find wood, leather or brass/lead soft mallets.
  5. If you dislike the weight and feel of a hammer, I'd suggest you either find another, or rehandle what you have. Many times a "bad" hammer may only be due to the handle that's on it that doesn't fit you well. I'm not sure what your experience with a hammer is. When I took my first long week long forging class years ago, I knew right away none of the hammers in class were for me. I swing a hammer daily doing carpentry work, and the fact I was starting a beautiful set of blisters in an odd place on my hand told me right away that those hammers weren't fitting me. I went out to the truck and finished the day out swinging my normal Estwing 3lb sledge. Very next day bright and early I was in the supply house buying new handles for a few hammer heads I'd collected as well as 2 hammers with broken handles the school had. 1st thing in class I was fitting handles on hammers. Now if you aren't familiar with swinging a hammer, you're probably going to need some time to get used to it. Also many people don't swing a hammer well if they are inexperienced. They swing awkwardly and hold the handle in strange ways, both can make a hammer feel "bad". Too many try and take on a hammer that's bigger than they can handle. Many store bought cross peen hammers may be a bit too heavy for a new smith who's not used to swinging a hammer. Fatigue sets in and they get sloppy and that effects their swing. Myself, I'm always looking at hammers, whether in the store, at flea markets/yard sales etc. I'll try as many as I can at the forge or on a job site. If I find one I like a lot, I'll buy it or try and figure out who made it so I can keep my eyes open for one for myself. A good hammer is an investment. You'll use it all the time, so don't skimp if you find one that really feels right to you. As a lot of it's about fit and balance, there's no right or wrong answer. What may be perfect for me won't work for you. As far as tongs, I wouldn't really rate them as beginner projects. They aren't all that hard, but it does take some skill to do more than the most simple ones. Rebar is a poor choice for material for one though. I used to do concrete for a living, I have access to probably 2-3 tons of free rebar in different sizes. I don't use it for much of anything. Again a good pair of tongs can be a good investment. If you usually work one size regularly, say 1/2" bar, it may be worth investing in a really nice set of tongs for that size. Then you can safely work the material. If your tongs don't fit well, you won't be able to hold stock securely. That can be a hazard, and it makes it hard to really learn to forge well if the stock flops all over the place as you try to hit it. Use those as you work to improve your skills to the point where you can make tongs. It also gives you a good benchmark for what to be shooting for.
  6. This book talks all bout their contributions to the war. It's a fascinating read. They made so many discoveries. I believe the book may be out of print, but Amazon showed a number of copies for sale. Also I found a site with the archived text of the book as well. https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Weapons-World-War-Ballantine/dp/B0006WSNTM?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc https://archive.org/stream/secretwar193945007234mbp/secretwar193945007234mbp_djvu.txt
  7. During the second world war, the a group of British Naval scientists who were part of the Department of Miscellaneous Weapons Development, developed a weapon to be used against German dive bombers. When they went to demonstrate it to Winston Churchill, they found no one had provided them with any ammo to shoot from it. Being a smooth bore "mortar" it could fair a variety of different items and the team found that their lunch time beer would fit and could be fired. Impressed after seeing the demonstration using the beer bottles, Winston Churchill ordered it into production. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holman_Projector
  8. I used to shoot with a guy who was a machinist. He bored out a piece of heavy wall "pipe", then machined a plug and heated the "pipe"/ froze the plug, to get an interference fit between the two. He'd also machined both to leave a V groove that he welded to guarantee they wouldn't come apart. I'm sure there were more details to the build, but I can't remember them at this point any longer. Not having the tools or experience at the time I really didn't pay all that close of attention. The result was a "beer can mortar". 2 table spoons of black powder would lob a sand filled beer/soda can a couple hundred yards. I will say everyone enjoyed both shooting it, and emptying out the ammo "containers".
  9. Prayers sent. Oh and tell her she's not supposed to be competing with you in the brain injury thing. You have a monopoly on that and won't allow anyone else to compete with you in that area. She should pick some other area to work on. maybe moose riding or grizzly wrestling.
  10. Issues I've had with sandblasters and moisture are due to compressor issues. I'd treat it like any other air line moisture issue such as a plasma cutter where free moisture in the air destroys consumables or spraying paint where it will wreck the finish.. A refrigerated dryer is one possible option. So is a desiccant filter stack. Motor guard filters are also good right before the plasma/sprayer. Many times the issue is because the compressor isn't being drained frequently enough. Auto drains are one way to deal with this. Others will crack the bleeder some so any moisture the condenses almost immediately is blown out the drain.
  11. I'm not sure whether I should be thankful you also have to deal with the thought police in Oz, or sad that you are in the same boat as us in the US. Give me some more time. I'm still working of a PC name that uses at least 12 words to do the same thing as "blacksmith"
  12. Not bad. Looks like a slightly different take on how to have the swage block stand on end than most I've seen,
  13. Oh come now Frosty, it's obvious that's an all purpose universal trailer hitch adapter. You just plug that into the receiver hitch on the truck and you can use what ever size diameter shank tow ball you have! Now you never have to worry if the shank of the trailer ball you just bought will fit the hitch adapter you have.
  14. My waist just seems to keep getting bigger and bigger as I age unfortunately.
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