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I Forge Iron


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    Fond du Lac, Wi

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  1. Per Ridgewayforge's suggestion, I did get some 1"x3/8" steel to make tongs and followed the directions (as best I could remember) for the Dempsey twist Here is what I discovered: Pros Cons xxxx that was fun! xxxx that was a lot of work! I now have tongs! wow....are they ugly Coal was fantastic for heat Without a flue, I had smoke pouring around me. I'm still wheezing Coal fire seemed to burn up quickly, I'm still working out if I built the fire correctly or if the coal on the fire should have been taller Once burned I was left with a "slag" (?) The forge would not heat the steel without newer coal on top Going through coal that fast seems like it would get expensive in a hurry Hot coal looks the same as regular coal (got me twice) Parts of the anvil can be used like a hardy tool Without the hardy tools cutting and fullering were tedious Once heated the metal was easily shaped Although I was working outdoors, it never appeared that I could get the metal to a nice bright yellow. Red and orange I could achieve This is probably due to how I have the coal piled up. Created my own rivet, upsetting the steel THAT...is a B*! without the right tools. Ii need to practice with making nails I have a new found appreciation for the craft Overall it was a great experience.. I can't wait to get back out there and make a couple more tools. Using a brake drum as the fire pit, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the fire hotter? It didn't seem to matter what I did to heat the iron, the only way I could get the heat I needed was to keep adding fresh coal. That just seemed to burn off in a matter on seconds. That's all to report, for now. -Jeff
  2. Wow Awesome feedback, thank you! Yes, the anvil was sold as "hardened steel". So far I have not had any problems with it. (Better than what I was using which was an old vise) and no soft spots that I can tell, yet. and yes, it has a nice ring to it. Price was around 80? I'm not crazy about the color I should rephrase my railroad find. I called it a dumping ground. Most of it was pulled from the ditch and not directly from the track area. I will however check with the locals and make sure I'm not crossing any lines. Thank you again, great information! -Jeff
  3. Ridgewayforge, Thank you for your input. Some very good ideas. I was questioning the Pandrol clip after I looked it up. Sounds like it would be tough to straighten out. I do have 2 coil springs I want to attack. Excellent. There is a dumping ground of the #7's. Any thoughts on #4, #5 and #8? The #4's seem like they might be a shear pin. Plenty of them around all broken at about the same length. I haven't tested #8 for any magnetic characteristics. More than likely it's just garbage So, don't use spikes for hardy tools unless they're stamped HC or weld tool steel to it (thinking out loud). Thanks again, much appreciated. -Jeff
  4. Hi All, Finally able to get back on here to learn and post. The forge I put together with a bunch of spare iron. She's not the prettiest girl in town, but I think it will do what I need It's mobile. Has wiring on the top and bottom for hanging tools. The forge is an old brake drum. Blower is an old hair dryer with the heating element removed. Fan control is an outlet and rheostat that I've wired up with an extended cord Anvil. Around 60 lbs. Granted its small, but I am beginning Lastly, some Railroad junk I picked up. I have no idea what all the parts are. My question about these parts is this. I have very little tools to work with, what can I make out of this junk? Parts and descriptions below 1. Plate, about 3/8" thick. I was thinking of using the center of this as a possible swage block (drill different size holes and different shaped "dimples") 2. J-Shaped, has a groove running along the outside curve about 3/4-1" wide 3. 2 pieces of 3/8" plate welded together on the left side, could be separated 4. Some kind of a pin, the thick end has approximately a 1-1/4" diameter 5. A brake shoe arm? Not sure. The tapered end at the top of the picture has a recessed, threaded hole. The entire piece is solid 6. 3/4" round twisted bar. 7. 3/4" x 1/2"? flat bar 8. This is possibly slag. I weighs about 8 pounds. The slanted cut appears to have machining cuts on it 9. Spike. Other than knives, can these be made into hardy tools? -Jeff
  5. Ahh nice idea JM thanks. I was thinking about how best to disperse the airflow
  6. Hi all, Finally got the time to hit the junkyard and get a few parts for a forge. Here is the brake drum I am using it is 13" across and about 4-1/2" deep () The back of the brake drum has a large hole about 5" across () The backing is the wheel bearing that I cut down () And here are the pieces as I would be assembling them () My question is this, the hole in the bearing that I can use for the tuyere, is only about 1-1/4" across and I plan on using 2" pipe for the rest of the construction, is this hole too small? Will reducing the pipe from 2" to 1-1/4" create too much force in the forge and blow the coal out of the forge? I do not have a very strong blower, the only thing I could get my hands on (for the moment) was a 2 speed hair dryer that I've stripped the heating element out of. Is there another approach to reducing that 5" hole? I figured since I found the wheel bearing that fit I could cut it down and then weld it in place. But the size of the tuyere has me worried. Any and all information is welcome Thanks in advance, -Jeff
  7. Found it, in case anyone else is interested in the information: http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/anvils/selecting.htm
  8. Hi all, I know this question has been asked before, but I am unable to find the topic in the searches here. What is a preferred anvil to hammer ratio? Was it 10:1 100# anvil to 10# hammer? Or shoot me the link, either is preferred Thanks in advance, -Jeff
  9. Ted, I went to the link you suggested (thank you, by the way). The link to Wisconsin blacksmiths is no longer in existence. I did do a little research. I found five, that I will be contacting this week.. Thanks to both of you for the information. I will continue to search this website and the local library and get a better handle on what it is I want to do and how to get started. -J
  10. Greetings All, Complete and utter newbie and not ashamed to wear that crown. I am looking into building my first brake hub forge. I have several of the parts already but have not begun assembly. I have little cash to start so anything I can "MacGuyver" I will. There is plenty of scrap near where I live considering there is a railroad yard and scrapyard near by. I am not looking to do big metal, maybe a few knives and some art pieces to see if this is a hobby for me to dive into. A few questions, I noticed a lot of talk about fuel for the forge. Obviously if I am going with a brake drum setup, wood is out of the question. Can I, however use the regular barbecue briquettes for fuel or will they burn up to quickly? Suggestions? Also, a starter kit for tools. What is a decent hammer for pounding out railroad spikes? What size anvil is good to start on? Can I use a railroad anvil to start? If not, will an anvil in the 25-50# range be suitable? What other types of tools will I need? What tools can I make to keep the cost down? Is there link on this site that discusses getting started and the do's and don'ts? Thanks in advance, you guys really do some fantastic work. -J
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