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I Forge Iron

Dakota Dave

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    South Dakota
  • Interests
    Smiting, welding, Harleys, reading, dogs, and surprisingly Ren Fairs.

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  1. I live in Bridgewater SD. I do not have any local sources that I am aware of. I would have to either drive to Nebraska which is a several hour round trip or order through the closest dealer that I know works with blacksmiths. And the price includes shipping $231 for 250# Moisture: 6.0% Ash: 8.0% Sulfur: .1.5% BTU per lbs: 13,000 Volatile Content: 25% Size: 1-1/4" x 3/8" with maximum 6% minus 3/8 Back east I have no doubt coal is more plentiful as are tools and other folks to learn from. Sad to say out in these parts in my experience of the last 2 years I am a very odd duck to say the least. Which isn't all bad. I managed to make a really horrible snake out of a rather large round file for a neighbor and I kid you not it was like I had performed magic before a village full of people who had never seen fire lol. It really doesn't take much to impress apparently. I really was wishing I had another round file laying around to try to make him another snake I thought it was that bad. I am planning on joining ABANA in January and seeing about reviving a chapter for this area so we have a contact person if nothing else. Lord knows I have no clue what I'm doing other than don't pick up the end that's glowing red lol.
  2. OK I was thinking of getting about #200-250 of bituminous coal from Centaur Forge as they will drop it at my driveway for a cost of $232. I can store it in steel drums with lids outside the shop and only keep one drum inside so I wont take up any extra space. It sounds like it should last me for a while. And I have thought about going with a electric blower to get a more consistent heat. That and I have a destroyed shoulder and it takes enough effort to hammer lol.
  3. Hi all, I have been using a gas forge for several months and enjoying it. I had picked up a coal forge and several hand crank blowers over the last year at farm auctions and I finally have a large forge and champion crank refurbished and ready to go. The only thing stopping me from ordering coal is not having any idea of how much I should expect to burn through how quickly. I'm sure as I get some time in I'll get more efficient with it. But I have no idea how much a #50 bag translates to in forge time. Of course the more you get the cheaper it is. My shop is 14 x 24 so I can store a little bit. Thanks for the replies in advance!
  4. Thanks for the kind words guys. I started writing and I was honestly surprised that all of that came out. Guess I needed to vent lol. I had no doubt I would get support from fellow smiths. Guys and gals who are into smithing are pretty down to earth folks and all of the ones I have met are always more than willing to share advice or lend a hand if needed with no expectation of anything in return other than maybe showing some interest in the craft. Oh and on a lighter note we had almost 2 feet of snow yesterday on the west side of the state and a couple of tornados near me. One hit a town just west of mine and pretty much flattened it but the good news is no lives lost.
  5. I am reintroducing myself to the forum. I had signed up in summer of 2012 when my wife an I had brought our first home and I finally had a place to start trying to blacksmith. I had started collecting a few things including a 132lb Peter Wright anvil. The reason I have been away so long is that on November 27, 2012 my wife and I were in a single car accident on the interstate at 10am. We were going into town to meet her folks and hit black ice and rolled our truck 12 or 14 times. My wife died at at the accident site. I had basically shattered everything on my right side. I broke my spine in 15 places including c1, c2, c4 &5. I had tore my brain in 6 places including a tear in my brain stem. I tore all of the muscles off of the right thigh which caused a massive amount of fluid to build up in my leg. I was in a coma for several weeks due to my brain swelling but I was lucky that it stopped before they had to tap my head. I have had to learn how to do everything over from the basics of talking to tying my shoes to you name it. I lost the house we had because I was unable to pay for it while in the hospital and I simply couldn't live in it without Nell anyhow. I have moved to another small town about 15 miles west. I was able to buy a house outright and I am happy to report I have a 1/4 acre back yard. I have a shop that I have had built by the Mennonites that is 12x28 and I have been slowly getting it stocked with stuff. Nell was always encouraging me to chase after the things I found passion for. She was my most passionate project lol. To be honest there are days I can't even get out of bed because I'm hurting. But some days I'm ok. I have a cole forge and a 2 burner propane forge. I am using the propane forge for now. Tomorrow I am picking up some square and round stock to start making some tools I need that I don't have and I am hoping that in a few weeks I will be able to post a pic or two to share. Everyone thinks I'm nuts talking about blacksmithing. I figure I already died three times and the only thing I kept thinking about once my brain started working again was how me and Nell was going to try smithing and maybe casting or jewelry making or bladesmithing. It kept me going so in a weird way I owe it. Maybe I'm just ranting lol. The pic is my wife Junell. It was taken in August of 2012 we were just out enjoying the day. She was a Math Teacher and a Oncology Nurse, my best friend and the love of my life. Shes the wonderful mother of three sons and daughter.
  6. Way to go! I'm hoping someday to have a good story of how I scored something great like this.
  7. Thanks for the imput guys. I will be doing more checking into this in the next week. There was only one person in the building and I'm not sure she really understood my questions. Some things I know for sure. I must build at least 7 feet back from the property lines. My exterior of the workshop must match the main house. I need clarification on that because I don't know if they are simply talking about color choice or in the leterial sense. This evening my wife and I had came up with a plan B of walling off the two farthest stalls in the garage and using that as my shop. The dividing wall will keep the noise down and I would have no hassel of trying to build a seperate shop. I would still wind up with an area 18 x 24 ish.
  8. Hello all, I am plamimg on building a small shop as the wife does not want to hear me pounding in the garage at 3 am. So I have decided it will be either 16 x 20 or a 20 x 20. I went to the city and I do need a permit which is no big deal. However they did tell me that I will have to secure the building to a foundation. I had planned on setting the floor on block and simply filling the floor with gravel. This wont work because it is not secure. Any ideas on how to do this? Of course I am doing this on the cheap but I want it done right because I will be spending a ton of time in there. And as I am the only "blacksmith" in a 50 mile area I dont wish to appear as some yokel who is going to burn the town down. I will build the shop myself and have fair construction skills but Im stumped on how to handle the floor. I suppose I can always pour cement but I would rather not as here in South Dakota the bucklining of the ground is not good on shed floors.
  9. Thanks for the replies guys. I was getting bummed thinking I would have to wait all winter before I coud try forging. My gargage is a 4 car and I have several windows that give a nice cross breeze when opened. I'm not worried about ventilation but getting a co detector is a good idea. One of my concerns was cracking the anvil from it being cold so heating up some scrap and warming it up is something I will for sure do. It will still be another month or so before I have everything ready to go but Ill post when I have my first day hammering. Till then I have a hugh reading list and I'll keep reading the fourms.
  10. Hello all. I am just starting into blacksmithing and am gathering some tings together to give it a go. Yesterday I picked up an awesome Peter Wright #129 for $350. In theese parts thats a very good price. Last week at an auction I saw a 250# no markings anvil go for $1780 and a 200# no name go for $1625. I had $800 and was sure I was going to get one of them so I passed up on tons of great stuff. Anyhow my question is that my forge will be outside and I live in South Dakota. I wanted to try hammering some steel this winter but I am now thinking that the temps will probably not allow this. It seems to me that when we have a temp of 8 or below and a wind chill on top of that by time I pull the piece from the fire and put it on the anvil it will simply be cooling too fast to work it. I do have a four car garage and will be dedicating a bay to blacksmithing with a gas forge I am not able to do that now. I do not have the space to build another building on the property to have as a forge so the garage is it. Insurance will not let me do a coal based fire inside the building and we have numerous burining restrictions in the summer months which can last for months. However a propane forge inside the garage seems the best way to keep neighbors and council happy. So can forging be done outside in frigid conditions and still wind up with good results? Or should I just concentrate on setting up shop indoors with the propane forge and just try to collect some more basics like a leg vise and a heaver work bench along with more reading material. Dave Please ignore the spelling. I have had 5 hours sleep in the last 3 days. I work overnight weekends in the largest hospitial in our area.
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