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I Forge Iron

dave in pa.

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    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

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  1. I make mine 10 inch square at the top, 3 inch square at the bottom, 4 inches deep. I use 1/4 inch plate and have the first one that I made 14 years ago. It has been used HARD (everything from 1/4 stock to 3 inch stock) and barely shows it. I have used it with bit. coal, coke, and corn and it works well with all of them. I have made many, given away several, and have extras... but I'm not sure I'll ever need another one the way this one is wearing.
  2. Before you go any further... Check with the customer and find out "exactly" what they want. Every piece identical the next or hand made with the slight deviations that occur. That answer will tell you which way you need to go.
  3. I have had (and used) one like that for about 15 years. I think you'll find that the blower has a flat pulley for a leather belt about 1 inch wide. It had a wooden handle, flywheel, and one way ratchet on the side that the hood is attached to now. With all that is missing, I think it would be a lot easier and cheaper to fit an electric motor and speed control to it. Rough age? Champion made them around the turn of the 1900's.
  4. Hey Steve, Thanks for the offer but this one is set-up in the shop and will begin paying for itself in no time. Keep me in mind if you would ever decide to let one of your small ones go?!? Thanks, Dave
  5. A guy that my wife used to work with called her to say that they were cleaning out his late father's things. They had found about a 100 pound anvil buried in the workshop and I could have it for $100 if I wanted it. I was looking for one about that size to take out for demo and off-site classes. It was 5 miles away and I was there in about 3 minutes. I paid the money, packed it in the Cherokee, and got it home. Got it out of the Jeep and took a wire brush to the ages of dirt and grease and said "xxxx xxxx". Turns out it's a 230 pound Peter Wright with beautiful face and edges. I'm a happy camper (but still looking for a small anvil, lol).
  6. One thing to watch out for... if you get a buildup of burning fuel under your grate, your air supply will will make it hot enough to burn through the grate just as it will for any steel above a grate. With enough air and burning fuel your fire will be hot enough to burn any steel above it, whether it is the grate or the workpiece.
  7. Thanks all. I'll keep searching, the info has to be out there somewhere.
  8. Hi all, I have a friend who has a restored American Civil War travelling forge. We are working on collecting/making the tools that need to go with it. All the reference material that I can find says that it was equipped with 3 tongs, but I have no reference/pics of what type of tongs they would have been. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks, Dave
  9. slanwar, There are closer places with better coal. One in Quarryville and one in Willow Street. PM me if you need directions. Dave
  10. This is how I light my fire... Roll 2 sheets of newspaper into a doughnut. Poke a hole in the middle. Light the center and place in firepot. Add kindling to make a nice little campfire. Slowly add coal or coke around the edges of the paper, keeping a chimney/volcano in the center. Only a little air is needed, too much will cool and/or blow out your fire. When coal/coke starts burning, add more on top and add air to get your forge fire ready. In the blacksmith circles that I move in... all types of lighter fluid and gas torches are a no no. We take pride in starting our fire with only 1 match (or flint and steel). Don't let anyone see it if you have to go for a second match. They will not let you forget it and you will hear about it all day. Here to help, Dave
  11. Take a look at agricultural disc blades. They come in many diameters, thicknesses, dish heights, and center hole dimensions. And a lot cheaper than cooking woks.
  12. On a related note... Not long ago, I took my family to a public event where re-enactors demonstrate to and educate visitors (with a high admission ticket price). We watched a 1/2 hour blacksmith show where the demonstrator, several times, told everyone that the gray stuff coming off of the hot metal is excess carbon that the fire (gas forge) imparts onto the steel (rebar). This was just one of many untruths that he passed out. My head nearly exploded as I watched the young teen boys in the front row hang on every word that this dimwit spewed. One should educate themselves before they attempt to educate others.
  13. https://hansherr.org/mec-calendar/blacksmith-days/?occurrence=2019-06-29 Come out and say "Hi" this Saturday (29 June) at the Hans Herr House Blacksmith Day event. We'll have several coal forges going and waiting to be used. Thanks, Dave
  14. I teach at a couple of shops (under their insurance) and a couple of locations with my portable equipment in addition to doing demos at several locations. To cover me in any event at any location, I got a 2 million dollar liability policy. Piece of mind for $375 a year.
  15. Thanks for the replies. I don't/won't do anything sharp and pointy. I'll keep working on ideas. Thanks, Dave
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