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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Interests
    Engineering, Blacksmithing, Astrology, Metal Fabrication, Design, writing, Esoteric Philosophy

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  1. bigred

    Mates Gates

    More Fabrication than forging, unbalanced design and a dearth of frills - BUT not a bad earner from the remnants of two prev jobs even if it was a cheapo fav for a good friend.
  2. Just getting started on my first self-build propane forge and I have been doing a truck-load of homework re the design and operation . If I have managed to upload the pic you will see the set of two commercial burner outlets into a large new kiln - notice the shape? I am assuming this shape is so as to avoid 'hotspots' and to introduce a vortex which will more evenly heat the kiln? I now wonder whether there is room to improve home-built small forges incorporating this modification - or do you think that it will only be useful in an upscaled space? if anyone has any techy info in this regard I would be grateful for a heads-up dezfkq5e.bmp
  3. I think that 35k Dollars will buy one more in the US than 35k pounds would buy you in the UK. Given the vast majority of the membership here hails from the US I just wanted to avoid confusion - hence the 'P.S.' distinction.
  4. Hi Dan, Folks here have adequetly covered most of your questions or pointed you in the direction of where to track down the info on IFI. I can offer you some perspective on your last question (how much money etc...on a self-employed basis) because I live in the UK and earn my living from the metalworking trade. First, and most importantly, you will have to cover more than simply Blacksmithing to work in the metalworking industry in the UK. Most traditional smithing is now done by 'fabricators', using mostly machine manufactured components, especially in the areas of railings, gates, security screen etc, etc. It is pointless to try to compete in this area without also developing a wider range of welding and Fabrication skills. The high end of this market where ironwork is still produced or important historical ironwork repaired in the traditional style, is inhabited exclusively by formally trained and experienced specialists who have served a formal apprenticeship (English Heritage and Historic Scotland amongst many others will only commission work from formally trained pro's). HOWEVER, there are a couple of areas where 'pure' blacksmithing is still practised and can be quite lucrative, AND is within the reach of self-taught, informally trained enthusiasts. Some of the best 'artistic' work I have ever seen (and which is beyond my meagre capabilities) has been produced by talented, self-taught individuals, who simply have a god-given talent for beating hot metal into beautiful things - are you perhaps a potential blacksmith artist? The other area is one you mention yourself in your post - that of knife and sword making. This is an area where some quite stunning (and equally lucrative) work is being done by self-taught bladesmiths. I can make 35k in my bread and butter weld/fab/smithing day job and around another 10-12 in the craft/art market. You can put together a basic pro set-up S/H for arond 6k and there is enough work (even in these straightened times) to begin earning straight away. Hope this helps.
  5. NP J, Although i was a fresh-faced (ish) newly qualified tradesman, it was only when I went to SA that I discovered how little I really knew; but, as others have observed, folks are usually only too happy to help you out when they see you making a genuine effort to master their language. Afrikaans is derived from Dutch though there are some differences (except the swearing of course, that seems to be a universal language) Keep us posted on your prog mate.
  6. hi J, I think you will be fine, Blacksmithing being what it is (a practical hand skill) you will get sufficient info from demos to get the basic idea of what you are doing. Your rudimentary conversational dutch will be more than adequate to assimilate some of the basic theory i.e. hardening and tempering, materials technology etc. I left the Uk monolingual in the 80's and went to work on the South African gold mines where Dutch was the first language; right from the get-go my rudimentary understanding of the language along with some universal sign language was sufficient for me to pick up the necessary extra skills the job I had demanded. Best of luck mate
  7. my thx Paul. I'm an old nostalgia freak andI love old catalogues and books.
  8. Congrats Tim - she is beautiful - and your rules made belly laugh out loud :D Spent many happy years in your neck of the woods up in Carletonville working on the Gold mines - happy days
  9. I have found progeCAD (google it, you can get a free to use copy at their site) when designing any kind of ornamental work brilliant. Takes an hour or two of work to learn your way around the software but when you have mastered the basics designing any kind of ornamental work is a breeze. A further search for .dwg ornamental CAD files will turn up loads of scaleable ornamental iron products (i.e. those sold by the likes of Brundles) which you can import directly into progeCAD and scale to fit the frame of any wrought iron artefact. You do not actually need to use the ornamental products, you can simply manufacture them yourself, but it is the flexibility to design ornamental iron work without being some kind of freehand artist, that is the beauty of this method - it may not compare to ornamental pro or fabCAD but it is free while the others range from 300 to 6000 sovs. I may not have explained myself well here but those of you who do a lot of ornamental work will appreciate how difficult basic design work can be in wrought iron - and then to get that across to the customer unambiguously.
  10. Don't presume Dan, you don't know me - No, a plater isn't as you describe but those, THE TONGUE IN CHEEK (you are tryin' to see what is not there,) riposte at the end of the post you refer to was aimed at, will get it B) My position began as 'those who offer a commercial service should have the qualifications to provide that service to a min safe standard and to a min standard of quality of workmanship'. I say again, virtually every person who has read this post, had they to be commissioning a service from some business, would never chose an unqualified practitioner - if they knew the person quoting for the work had no formal qualifications. Can't you see that it is the erosion of the necessity for qualified tradesmen that is leading to the lack of opportunities for those who come after us? (this particularly refs the UK as I now understand the US system of formally training craftsmen is in a worse decline than ours). If the trade is allowed to be fragmented and unqualified (rather than unskilled) 'work trained' (in the sense of being trained up for perhaps one particular skill of the trade, thus obviating the necessity to train an apprentice) people flood our markets, this decline will continue andf the formally trained artisan will disappear - all I am doing is defending the integrity of the trade I love. Yes you are right I was trained as an industrial blacksmith but never a jobsworth - and now, for the last couple of years, no different to you (one man op),Think for a mo what you are all saying - that anyone whol likes can call themselves as they please - what then is the point of any formal training. just make up in your mind what you are and you're it :mellow: .
  11. Ok here it is - I served my apprenticeship at Cameron Iron Works in Livingston in their forged products division from 1972 -1977. I have apprenticeship papers from the company and I have a full Technical Certificate in fabrication engineering (The Old HND Cert). I am quite happy to post these qualifications on this site in a checkable format, if those who have a need to see them do likewise. However to instruct me to ante up to satisfy the hungry mob is unjustified, biased and I, much like most of you, had the tables to be turned - have no immediate intention of doing so. I will add though that, I have nothing to fear re my work and I have little doubt that in the course of interacting on this site, I will be posting examples of what I do and perhaps pix to exemplify points of view which I might contribute.
  12. The topic is about being qualified and i would be more than happy to post my qualifications on this site if you were happy to do likewise? I have been the one maintaining civility here in the face of much trolling but you decide to wade in on the side of the unhappy mob? For a simple assertion that those who work in the public domain should have the formal training to competently do so? And please direct me to the other requests you have made of members to get 'em out?
  13. :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: oh please Stew no - y're not going to pick on me are you - what will I do
  14. Hey coot - you need to stay out of the sun my friend :wub:
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