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I Forge Iron


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  • Gender
  • Location
    Frederick, MD
  • Interests
    Artistic metalwork, stone carving (just beginning), running, kayaking, biking.

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  1. There is a place in Hagerstown called Maryland Metals. New stock is 1/2 the cost of box stores in the area, They have new stock inside a warehouse in 20 foot lengths and will cut for a small fee. Outside the warehouse they have used. A lot of large pieces and the price is even less.
  2. Hi Jacob, if you do have to run new wires you may want to consider running them in conduit instead of direct bury. Since you would already have the trench open, for just a little money you could place two conduits. Use the first for your high voltage and use the second for any future low voltage wants; ethernet, intercom, alarm systems, fiber optic, etc. (You never want to place a low voltage wire along with high voltage). I built a detached garage 100 feet from my house and wanted electric and water. Since I had to go below frost line I placed a two inch conduit for the high voltage wires and 4 inch pvc pipe for my plastic black water pipe, plus still plenty of room for anything else I may need in the future. Also, if anything goes wrong in the future It's a lot easier to just pull and find the problem than to dig. Just a thought.
  3. Hi Chris, That looks great! My son is very artistic and was wondering how you did the horse. You say a little bit of scratching. Would you please elaborate? Did you etch freehand or use a pattern? What tool do you use, do you use black paint or charcoal to highlight, etc. I don't do knives or axes so this may be common knowledge, I'm just not in that world. Thanks. Kent.
  4. Looks nice Drew. I've just started designing mine and like the looks of your table. What are the dimensions of your top? Thanks, Kent.
  5. Thanks John. The blower works fine as is, turns smoothly in both directions and continues to turn after release. There is plenty of air. The only noise seems to be from the bearings directly behind the fan and the fan has a lot of play.
  6. Hi, I was recently lucky enough to purchase a Champion 400 blower and Whirlwind firepot at auction. Both are in great shape, having just the usual rust, dirt, grease, etc. I do however need to make two adjustments to the blower. I've researched everything on the 400 on this site and others but can't seem to figure out the answer. Adjustment 1: I assume since the brass gear is concave on the working part that it should set directly above the worm gear. Mine is off toward the inside so that only the outside of the brass gear is touching. When looking down from the top, I can see a lot of the worm from one side and nothing from the other. I removed the set screw and tried to nudge the gears over but they won't move. There are a lot of warnings about forcing so I decided best to ask. So how do I move this gear over? Adjustment 2: The main shaft the fan is attached to has a lot of play. Everything looks to be fine so I figured I could place a 3/4" socket on the back and 1" socket on the front and tighten them together to snug everything up. They won't budge. And just as above, there are warnings about putting too much force on the shaft, so thought better to ask. So how do I tighten up the bearings? As always, thanks for the help and for IFOREGEIRON! Kent.
  7. Very nice. How did you make the frame and add the texture?
  8. Thanks Frosty and Scrapartoz. I go to a lot of auctions and have started collecting box lots of interesting looking metal items no one else wants, for future use. I never thought to add spoons but will begin. Scrapartoz, I hadn't thought that far ahead on how to display the fish, but I do like your idea. I have a place under my porch ceiling and that will also help protect it. I've been collecting items to make a yard dog and bird. So again, thanks, it really helps those of us just starting out to see the kangaroos, peacocks, monkeys, horses, dragons, etc.
  9. Thanks kustomsteel. I follow your work and of the other artists on this site, looking for anything I can learn. I'm trying to emulate some of the build process, although obviously at a much different level and with my own slant. Sending a pm.
  10. Thanks DSW and vapremac for the interest. I'll start with the coyote since it was easier. I'll also try my best to keep the pictures in order but they seem to have a life of their own. I started with 3/4" square tube to make the frame, mig welded. Then made the bracket for the stone and coyote. The coyote is hand plasma cut with grinder to finish. Regarding the moon, there is a local company, EDCO, that makes construction equipment. They donate their scrap to the college and this was in the bucket. It was leftover from a laser cut, I assume. I included the original project design just to show how much the final changed once I started the project but it did give me the general theme. The fish and I go back 18 months and I have learned a lot from him. The scales are 1 1/8" blanks from the metal shear/punch in class. In looking at other sculptures on this site I knew I needed a sub-structure to build on. Each scale was mig welded to either the frame or another scale. Most have two welds. I started at the back of the fish so the welds would be hidden by the next scale. There are over 200 scales and it took me two classes just to punch them out. Regarding the head, I covered the frame with paper so the duct tape would not stick. Then I duct taped the area that would become the head. I then removed the duct tape and cut and flattened it out. This gave me a 2 dimension layout pattern for the 3 dimension head. Torch cut, heated and dished using the swage pictured. Added copper gills. I wanted to give him some carp-like color so the brazing is mostly for looks except there are a few scales that fell off and I did braze them back on. (He's been dropped a few times). Regarding the heron, I'm almost ashamed to admit on this web site he was cut out using my jig saw. It was the weekend and without access to the plasma in class, I still wanted to get it done. So, 5 hours and 4 blades later the heron was cut, and another 5 hours later of grinding with the dremel and he was ready. Bracket is welded on back to hang. Regarding the classes: I have taken four welding classes through the local community college. The first was a general welding class for the homeowner, NOT for a serious welder getting trade certification. We learned OA torch setup, cutting and heating. Plasma cutting. Stick welding, then MIG, then TIG. Also brazing for those interested, which I am. The second class was the Artistic welding class, followed by an open studio session, and then another art welding class. The art classes are mainly mig, plasma, and OA, although we can use the stick and TIG if wanted. As to what did I learn? The 1st day of each class, regardless of prior experience, is always lecture; safety, gases, metals, etc. The second class is always OA setup and breakdown, again, always required, no allowances for prior experience. I have learned stick welding is a skill all to itself and for now I'm going to place it on the back burner, although I have a lot of respect for those that do it. I'm okay now with the MIG, OA torch, and plasma cutter. I'm still working on my brazing skills and finding this much harder to master, whether on copper or metal. I haven't had a reason to do much TIG, but it is fun. Length of class is 3 hours two nights per week for about 5 weeks, total time 30 hours. The cost for me since I'm over 60 and only have to pay for supplies, is $75. Full payment is $299 tuition plus $75 for supplies. As to class size, the general welding class had 12 men, early 20's to retired, the first art class had two men 2 women, middle age to retired, the open studio was approx 12 men and 2 women (one young woman was training to be an underwater welder!), and the last art welding class 2 retired men and 6 women middle aged to retired.
  11. I recently completed another artistic welding class at the local community college and thought it was time to show the results. I'm still working on the fish, I want to grind the fins to make them more life like. The heron will be an outside lawn art piece and I'm going to try my luck at airbrush painting on it. Thanks for looking. Kent.
  12. Hi Pat, very nice work. I would be interested in some of the details of the process, if you care to share with us. Thanks, Kent.
  13. Hi Ram, I have been playing with copper a little while and my opinion is to just start. Pick a subject you are interested in, flowers, animals, boats, etc. Go online and search "pictures of owls" or whatever. I have not had luck finding copper at hardware stores but have found small pieces at hobby shops. A little 4 x 6 inch piece is plenty to get started. Then stop at the local hardware store and get tin snips. Download and size the picture to match your copper piece. Draw the outline with pencil. Cut using tin snips. Smooth edges with files, sandpaper, etc. Practice adding texture with various punches, screwdrivers, nails, bolts, etc. Practice bending with pliers, hammers, etc. Use pieces of wood as a base. Don't let perfection be the enemy of the good. What you are after is experience and learning and having fun. You will soon learn what works and doesn't, and you will begin thinking of larger projects. As always, think safety. Get a good pair of soft leather gloves and a pair of safety glasses or goggles. Enjoy!
  14. Hi Nick, Don't know if this helps but there is what looks like a nice anvil at a farm sale in Chambersburg PA tomorrow and one in Newville PA Saturday. I bought mine at a farm sale north of Frederick, 168 pounds for $320. I go to a lot of sales and have also seen them go as high as $500 for this size. You can see the pictures on auctionzip.com. Type in your zip and key work anvil. Good luck with your search.
  15. Hi S. Very nice. Wife really liked it. Did a search but everything related to piercing was regarding jewelry. What is the process? Kent.
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