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I Forge Iron


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About oddtodd

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    Richmond, Indiana USA
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, antique and airguns, cars, woodworking

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  1. You could try the metal folding technique that I am gettin the sruff together for. I can't remember the guy's name but you could look up metal folding on google.
  2. When I was a maintenance mechanic at a factory, I used my lunch breaks and a half hour after work every day to make a youth air rifle for my son. I copied a chinese one my friend had. Well, I didn't copy it, I just used it to figure out how they work. The barrel was off an ancient .22 that I didn't consider safe to shoot anymore. It's 20 years old now and I just rebuilt it for my 12 year old. I purposely made it with a big enough piston and strong enough spring to go hunting with. So my 12 year old has the only youth rifle in the world big enough for rabbits and squirrel. It will punch a hole clear thru 1/2 in ply. and almost thru 3/4 pine. lol It's a little rusty because I had to use cold blue but it's still just as accurate and powerful. The scope dovetails were the hardest part. milling a 3/8 dovetail on a round tube was really difficult! Now I want to get as good with blacksmithing as I used to be with machine tools. I'll get there one day.
  3. I happened to run into a norfolk-southern repairman in a gas station and he gave me a whole bucket of old spikes for nothing! Sometimes you get lucky!
  4. I find a kind of spirituality in anything I do with my hands. If I go without making or repairing something For too long, the voices get a LOT worse. I put a contol arm on a chrysler yesterday and I didn't hear the voices for the rest of the day. My arms are tired and my back is sore, but no voices. THe blacksmith's shop is the best for me though.I don't hear the voices for a day or two. The only problem right now is I am trying to get myself back in shape for the museum. I don't have any tours. All of them are done with for the summer. I found out that just pushing a broom and cleaning display cases make the voices a lot worse. I am going to try to talk the director into doing demonstrations on saturday from 1 to 4 cus that's when the museum is open on the weekends. It would be something at least. They didn't tell me that they would only need me for 2 months out of the year when I started volunteering. Now I am so depressed I'm taking apart my airguns and refinishing them just for something to do. I was supposed to fix a car on tuesday with a power window problem, but they moved it to this tuesday. I just can't find enough to do like this and I am having a really hard time of it. I find my spirituality lacking right now and I am sorely troubled for it.I'm looking forward to a 30 by 40 deck, and it's not just for the money. It's freedom. It's creation. It's what I exist for. These projects come fewer and fewer these days and it scares me. This may sound bad but making things for me is better than anything. It's addictive, like a drug. I even bought a toy robot kit to get me thru my Theresa's dequervain's release, and it actually got me thru it without any anxiety meds. This is how bad I am anymore. If you guys have any suggestions I would be more than happy to hear them. I just wish I could get a job. I want to so bad, but if I can't do two easy days at a museum, I can't do hard work in the real world.This may sound bad, but christianity just doesn't do it for me. I mean I believe in god and I go to church, and I want to go to heaven, and I do my best to live right, but it's not enough. I need my hands doing something to make it all work for me. I'm rambling now so I am going to stop. But Life will get better, right?
  5. Where is Traverse City close to? I might just take you up on that offer if I can scrape the gas money together.
  6. When I work on cars I use both hands equally. When I forge I switch back and forth. My right hand holds the tongs a lot while I pump the bellows with my left hand. I switch hands depending on the hit I have to make. See I used to be left handed till I almost cut off my left thumb with a circular saw. Since the thumb has healed I can switch back and forth pretty much at will. I can't hold a pen to write with my left hand anymore because of my thumb, but I use both hands for bolts and such when I work on my family's cars. I can also switch hands at will when I am woodworking. My handwrititng is sloppy as all getout though and it didn't used to be.
  7. Okay, you guys have given me a great idea for the museum. Unfortunately one of my blood tests were showing liver damage from one of my meds so I am going thru some hard times right now with the PTSD so I am not working for the next week or two till the new meds take effect. I am going to try these as soon as I get back.
  8. All the tongs I have are hand made at the museum. One of the goofy tour guides managed to break a pair somehow. Anybody know how to weld wrought iron? lol
  9. I don't know about all this art stuff, but I consider myself a craftsman. I want to be proud of my work when I am done. When I was a carpenter, my work was precise. No 1/4 inch gaps here and there. Same with my roofing and siding. When I was doing heating and air, I used a tubing bender on the soft copper instead of just soldering in an elbow. Sure the elbow would have been easier, but I wanted it to look as good as I could make it. Same with couplings. I swaged one end of the tubing and soldered tghem together. Now I am trying to learn to be as skillful with my blacksmithing. It will take me a while, but I will get this good in it too. The long and short is, I put my heart into my work. I don't consider it art, but form follows function and I try to make that form as special as possible. If I just did it all the easy way that doesn't look as good or have other problems like more possibilities of leaks or a wall cracking, I don't do it. If this tells you anything about my work, my ex wants me to build her a deck and she is willing to pay me well for it. This is just my definition mind you, but it is a very large part of who I am. If i can't make stuff, fix stuff or create, I literally get depressed.
  10. MEtal from lowes is coated with an anti rust compound. THey may look rusty, but they are not. If you don't get that coating off you will never be able to forge weld it. It doesn't get in the way of arc welding because it burns off because the heat is so much hotter with an arc or mig weld. That and you are paying WWWAAAYYYYY too much. There has to be a local metal sales or welding shop close to you. Welding shops here sell me steel all the time for not much more than they paid for it. It's an idean anyway. I learned on half inch square doing faggot welds. It's worth a shot!
  11. You do some beautiful work! Keep it up and it will be a full time job in and of itself. I want to get to your skill level someday. Oddtodd out
  12. I did my first drifted hole the other day thanks to the miss. forge council. They sent me the drift punch. Mine didn't turn out as nice as yours though. All I had was the pritchel hole and it made it kind of sloppy looking. Yours are beautiful! Oddtodd out
  13. When I need to be that precise I close the big door to my forge. It helps alot. If you are outside forget it. You won't see it until it's real hot.
  14. I don't know what it works out to pound wise, but i can get a 20 foot stick of 3/8 for 10 and change. Is that a good deal?
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