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I Forge Iron


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About Dabbsterinn

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    Senior Member

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    Mainly blacksmithing with some jewelry making and bladesmithing in it now and then, i also am looking into traditional archery and viking re-enactment fighting
    i also do a lot of fishing, lake and sea


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  1. have a surplus of PPE, before I got that idea I often went without PPE because I didn't feel like going back home for the glasses, looking for my hearing protectors and so forth, now that I have a few pairs of glasses and I always leave my hearing protectors on my anvil and usually my glasses too, I've pretty much always had them on, I'm working on getting a jar of ear plugs in case I misplace my hearing protectors
  2. I've seen similar looking anvils here but they did look a lot worse and were as soft as mud, most likely not the same manufacturer but you might want to take a look down the hardy hole, the one I saw had a lot of stuff in it, not sure what it was but it looked like flashing to me
  3. that would be a fun one but I'm still struggling with just getting a billet welded together, maybe I'll practice pattern welding more, I'll make it my 10 year milestone
  4. So a memory just popped up on my facebook feed showing my first complete project, I figured I should celebrate my 5 year milestone so are there any suggestions on what I should make or do in the shop?
  5. finished 3 out of 4 tongs that I've been working on for the past few days, I would have finished the fourth one too but I broke the rivet when I was trying to get the reins to move just a little bit so that I could have a better grip on them once I heated them up again. I would have just driven the rivet out but I used the last piece of 8mm round to make that rivet and I didn't feel like scrounging through the small stuff pile in hope of finding something close enough so I just called it a day there. I made them all at the same time, in the beginning I just took one heat on each blank and before I pulled the hot one out of the fire I put the next one in and so forth, that made for a really nice pace with enough time between heats to take a sip of water and give myself a short little rest I also compared my first bolt jaw tongs to my latest, all in all I've finished 6 bolt jaw tongs to this day
  6. standing properly at the anvil, I learned that one just today. before I was just standing at the anvil like you'd normally stand, feet side by side about a shoulder width apart and bending at the knees but finally my friend pointed out that I should try moving my right foot (I'm right handed so it most likely goes opposite for you lefties) a bit back and to the right, something akin to most martial art basic stances and stand 30-45 degrees to the anvil. I felt how it engages the Latissimus dorsi (the muscle just under your arm) in my side a lot better, therefore relieving the bicep and triceps of some strain, it also brought me down just enough so the anvil was at a perfect height for working with smaller diameter stuff and I personally find it easier to lift myself up on my toes a little bit to get that slight extra swing and power which makes the work a little bit easier for me and in turn makes a big difference at the end of the day for me at least
  7. they're actually not tight, also all of the layers are rather thin, they go something like this: wool undershirt> long sleeved shirt>flannel shirt>fire retardant shirt>sweater they're all loose except the undershirt and in my experience I don't sweat unless the forge is running on full power and I'm striking but then I just take the sweater off and I'm good. I have a feeling that the reason I'm not sweating is because my feet are always cold-ish, not enough to bother me but I'll give this technique a try next time it gets that cold here thank you for the advice Mr. SLAG
  8. I'm subscribed to 131 youtube channels, that's usually how I handle cabin fever, that or I put on 5 layers of clothes and just deal with the cold when it hits -14C (6F)
  9. Ever since I moved and joined my friend in his smithy, I've found that I really enjoy striking and in the process learned a different way to strike than what I had always done, the one I learned first I believe is called the european method, that's atleast the word I saw in one article I read ages ago where you hold the sledge with your strong hand nearer the head and the opposite foot infront of the other, not far from most martial art basic stances. The method I picked up from my friend has me standing straight with a shoulders width between my legs and standing up on my toes as I bring the sledgehammer up and slide the hand down the shaft on the downswing, a good example of that technique is most of Alec Steele's videos where he's striking. The difference that I notice between those two techniques is mostly the force generated, the sledgehammer travels further and I feel like can bring it down with more speed with the latter technique however I find it less accurate and more time passes between blows so most of the time I use this "european technique" since we almost always are using top tools and I'm both more experienced with that technique and I feel more accurate. Now to the point of this post, regardless of technique used after 4-5 heats my arms are practically exhausted so I believe I might be doing something wrong (a video is coming shortly of me striking with both techniques) but does anyone have any tips on how to strike longer and maybe even better? are there any techniques that I don't know about that might be useful? also the sledgehammer I'm using is 16 lbs I believe for fun, lets also see your sledgehammers and if you have any fun stories regarding striking I'd love to hear them
  10. I just stumbled upon this topic while browsing through my old content and as far as I can recall that's a Skoda anvil, I saw another one for sale on facebook not so long ago with a more crisp logo and that's without a doubt the skoda logo, just in case anyone should find their way to this thread at some point in the future and would want to know the answer
  11. here's a nice little habit I'm trying to get myself into that I believe will be nothing but beneficial, I aim to always carry a notebook, or just a small notepad on me and a pencil to sketch out or write down ideas, I know there are a lot of ideas that are amazing that I've forgotten simply because I didn't write them down, have a designated pocket for it and the moment you get an idea, write it or sketch it, I think keeping it in as few words as possible might make it either easier to remember or improve on since you wouldn't be constricting yourself to a certain idea, unless that's what you'd want. Also another good use for a notebook is writing down goals and when you want to have them accomplished, I learned that one from a speech I heard some years ago, I think the coach for the Icelandic handball team uses this and in 2005 or something he simply drew a medal and wrote 2008 on it, that year during the olympic games we won silver so I believe it works
  12. after some thinking and feedback, I think splitting this over 2 weekends or more would be a good idea
  13. So at some point in the future, most likely soon, a friend of mine is getting himself a nice little forge and I thought I'd teach him a thing or two (actually 20 so far) and I thought I'd actually plan a little bit ahead for once and write down a list of the things I'll walk him through in order and I think sharing that list here might be a good idea so that others might either use it or help me add to it or modify it Safety will be lesson 0, proper PPE, hearing protectors, gloves when appropriate, when gloves are appropriate, for example when punching or chiseling, and safety glasses at all times fire management, since we'll be using coke first we'll most likely sit down and have a chat about fire management, how to do it and why it's very important to manage the fire, he'll of course need a coal rake, I'll use that project to get him warmed up and give him a quick introduction into tapering, flattening and making an eye round to square and back again, maybe I'll incorporate that into the rake itself make a punch, punches are one of the most useful tools in my opinion and are relatively easy to make, this is also a good point to discuss the metallurgy of steel, why we need this steel for that and not for this and so forth how to punch, doesn't make much sense to teach him how to make a punch but not how to use it chisel. another simple project that leaves you with a really useful tool twisting. I might incorporate that with the chisel, rake or something else drawing out. I'm leaving that as a specific lesson since I'll be teaching him to draw out over the edge of the anvil, the punch, chisel and rake are mostly done on the face of the anvil since the materials we'll be using are already pretty close to the final dimensions flattening. if he'll be having the same issues that I've been having with that drawing out technique, he'll have not exactly a flat finish, so next part would of course be teaching him to make it flat using the face of the hammer bending, that one describes itself, doesn't it? I'll show him how to use the edge, the horn and a bending fork to do this, main focus will be on 90 degree bends, eyes and such scrolls will just be a continuation of the last lesson, both on the anvil and with scrolling tongs now to finally make something cute and give him a small break from the tool making and practices, a nice little J hook for him to hang his apron on or something, of course incorporating all the previous steps such as punching, twisting, tapering, flattening and all that upsetting, depending on how well the J hook goes, he already might be a bit upset but once he has a nice J hook, I'll teach him the other meaning of upset, both by dropping the stock on the anvil and hitting the end of the bar on the anvil forge welding? I'm not entirely sure about that one, It's still not a very easy task for me but I know I can do it with a fair amount of certainty rivet and nail header, If my friend is anything like me he'll want more tongs sooner than later, so I'll start off by teaching him how to make a rivet and nail header, he also has a use for nails and IMO they're a great warm up project how to make nails (read above) how to make rivets (read above) Lady knife, not entirely sure if there's another word for them but that's just a translation of what we call them in Iceland, I'm pretty sure the other nordic countries have a similar name for it, the handle is just a long taper that's bent back usually with a small scroll on the end Mjölnir pendant, we're both in the Viking re-enactment group and we're really fond of jewelry so that's a given project bolt jaw tongs, by the time we've reached this lesson he should hopefull have enough hammer control and an understanding of the craft to be able to make bolt jaw tongs with my guidance I'm estimating that this should be about one weekends worth of work, starting after lunch and quitting sometime just before 10 or so in the evening, but that's a very rough estimate
  14. made my prettiest tongs yet from a coil spring, my friend and I are thinking about finally making that rounding hammer later today that I was promised nearly a year ago, after I weld some high carbon steel for my hot cut and make a handled hot cut
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