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I Forge Iron

Nobody Special

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  1. Hey, I was way more than seven years old when I wrote that.
  2. Good afternoon, I always save broken pieces of handles whenever possible, and even will pay a buck or so at yard sales. You get a lot of hickory that way. Shovels and axe handles become hammers, broken hammer handles become knife scales, and so on.... I'm not crazy about kiln dried wood, it seems more brittle. Of course that may be because a lot of wood these days isn't "old growth" and doesn't have the same density. Pecan, mentioned above can be tough as nails. Try splitting it green and you'll see what I mean. It laughs at the maul, and I've seen it break a hydraulic splitter. I always waited a minimum of one year, and for preference split it on a day when the temps are well below freezing.
  3. Saw it on Facebook this afternoon, and rang the anvil for him. He helped me a lot when I was getting started.
  4. I've used solutions to plate before, I ran across this when I tossed some harmonicas in a musical instrument sonic cleaning tank, and all the steel bits came out bright pink. I've also got looks similar to the photos above by forging copper plated grounding rods at low temps. Too much heating or beating and you can take the plating off. Not too much, and it just kind of blends them together with a lot of copper on the outer surface and looks cool. I suppose you could forge it close to shape, clean it, do a full plating first with a solution, and then beat the metal enough to take the copper off in places.
  5. Heh heh...haven't played in a while, but still love how many people think of a shield as a strictly defensive weapon. Even if you only bounce one off someone's toes, those things hurt.
  6. Good afternoon, I don't see the characteristic striations, or grain normally associated with wrought iron, especially after long exposure to salt water, although I may not be getting good enough resolution on my screen. And it's not definitive, sufficiently refined wrought iron can be hard to find the grain on. The classic test is to cut a piece most of the way through, bend it over, and then see if the end shows splitting or a grain coming apart a bit. If you like the chain, you may not want to do this, as it's a bit hard on the link in question. If you decide to try this, you may want to look up the test first, to know what it looks like, and how to go about it. And Mr. Powers has beaten me to it...
  7. Jumping it to get the battery going with a stuck key can sometimes set off the anti-theft module in the computer. Then you have to practically recite the Bhagavad Gita backwards while dancing the Tutti Frutti, and balancing a grapefruit on your head before it will turn on. Seriously though, it can be a sequence of actions done over the course of say an hour.
  8. Yardbird Forge. My ex used to keep and sell ungodly numbers of chickens, and occasionally one would get out and do unspeakable things to my anvil. I keep a few now, partly to keep the current wife happy, partly for the eggs, and partly because watching bald eagles bounce off of box wire trying to eat my birds is funny. It doesn't hurt them, but it annoys the heck out of 'em. One actually bent the wire last week trying an assault from above.
  9. Or you could use the ashes to make soap. And that's no lye.
  10. Gadget, have you tried blown air over charcoal? Since the first time I tried it 10 years or so ago, I haven't looked back. I had expected it to take similar times to my propane torch. Instead I melted the steel crucible (which I don't recommend for a number of reasons, this being one of them) and had about five or six lbs of molten aluminum running out of the drain hole less than three minutes after putting the crucible in. Worked a treat for copper and bronze once I slowed things down and used proper crucibles.
  11. I was reading a Roman casting technique just today involving urine. I'll have to look it up and bring it back here. They also had a neat technique I like for separating lead ores from silver, by melting the whole, then deliberately introducing impurities and skimming off the lead oxides. Lots of fun.
  12. Another solution is to counterweight a board on a fulcrum with something that can be removed in parts. When it balances, remove the counterweight a bit at a time, then add up the bits. An alternate to my alternate? Use a BIG board and the counterweight is a water container, or something else you know the weight of. If you measure as you add, you know how much weight you've added. Water is a bit light for big weights, at "a pint a lb", (well, 1.04 lbs), a 400 lb anvil would require 50ish gallons of water to even out. What an enviable problem to have. It's like having so much money that you need help counting it.
  13. Funny looking thing, isn't it? Definitely looks like a "real" anvil, but maybe one that was heavily modified. Honestly, looks like somebody took a Trenton, chopped the bottom inch or so off, welded a couple of feet on either side at the bottom, and drilled the hardy out, stopping only to flap disc the heck out of the horn. I'd take it, but I'm a sucker for abused and mangled anvils.
  14. Also the wild emotional swings, loss of impulse control, easy distraction, aphasia in areas that use to be easy...it's the gift that keeps on giving. My wife is a TBI survivor (kicked in the head by a horse), and goes into a blind rage about five times a week or so. Can be for good reasons or lousy ones, may last 5 minutes or 50 until the circuit breaker resets, thinks it's perfectly logical until it's over, then sometimes doesn't even know remember it. I can't count all the times she threatened divorce, and she actually got to the courthouse and filed papers twice before she came back to herself. Home schooling the kids over COVID ain't helping any. Then there's my military buddies with 'em....Thank God, I only came back with PTSD (and that ain't sarcastic).
  15. I thought about playing with bone meal as a flux or to play with old style case hardening...and then I remembered what it smelled like whenever I heated up bone or antler for burn ins, to drill pin holes, or to cut it down for handles. Smelled like burnt hair run through a full litter box in a crowded chicken coop in August.
  16. Just once, I'd love to see a post that said, "Hey, just wondering guys, if anyone knew if it was possible to get with a reputable foundry and for $30,000 or so and cast a small run of double horn anvils using H-13 or some other air hardening steel. If I could participate in some small way outside of design, that would be fantastic!" Instead, it's always, "Hi guys, I saw a YouTube video, and I was just wondering how to go about melting the souls of my enemies, unicorn tears, and some rebar by buddy Joe gave me into a useable three bladed sword made of Valerian steel using a Balrog and two salamanders. Could you please hurry? The Balrog is getting hungry, and ate one of the salamanders. If that doesn't work, I've got a popcorn tin casting furnace made of cement and as fuel, a mix of fulminated mercury and potassium cyanide. Has anybody else tried this?" Response - "Hi, Welcome to IFI. Thank you for your interest and could you please post your location? What you're doing is illegal and moderately dangerous to the entire state of Nevada, and you may want to take this minor and cheap safety precaution, like approaching Balrogs only in the presence of Gandalf the Grey, or wearing safety goggles." "Nah, I'm good, I've rethought the whole thing. I saw another video by the **** that said you can use plaster of paris and ANFO instead."
  17. What a pretty little Trenton, and in California too. You must have lived a good, clean, wholesome life. My second thought was that somebody didn't love it very much. Too much cold work on it, left all those little rings and wallowed out the hardy hole some. Looks like you cleaned up some mushrooming too, and they got welding spatter on the feet. Poor little guy. Fortunately Trentons will take some abuse if it's not applied wholesale. Keep it warm and feed it lots of hot metal daily until it feels better. Nice find.
  18. Fair enough, what's one more Ancient One? And besides, careers in advanced electric trends towards the mystical, eldritch, and devolved anyways. What was the original question again?
  19. You clean the parts to be joined, very very clean. Then you heat to about cherry red, take a fast pass with the scale brush, and add copper, brass, bronze, or whatever you're joining it with. You can use other non-ferrous metals, but copper or brass works fine is tough, and takes some heat. You will likely want to wire it together before the initial heat so that they're held in place together. Anywho, rambling a bit. Add your non-ferrous metal, a bit of flattened pipe, wire, or brazing rod, and put it back in the fire until it melts and joins the pieces. I've seen it done with brass powder, but never tried it. And you may want borax as a flux, copper oxidizes easily when it's hot and doesn't like to flow. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, or my technique is off, I've done it a few times, but I did more forge welding than brazing, and no brazing in a few years.
  20. I'm not about to complain. If Yog Sothoth and the Goat with a Thousand Young don't insist on GFCIs, then I'm in, regardless of how many dimensions the build is in.
  21. I don't suppose it could be a political token, could it? 1912 was a hotly contested election year. Please, no discussions of politics of less than 100 years ago.
  22. That's why you need the unicorn blood, naturally. Allows for pattern welding of wootz without resolving the carbides into nothingness. The fact that it's glittery and rainbow colored is simply an aesthetic bonus. You could use griffin spoor, but that leads to undesired traces of phosphorus, and a stinky blade. For something a design that complex, I second casting. Although if cast separately and attached, I would have serious concerns about it cracking or becoming damaged upon striking.
  23. Because that would be easy, and make a lot more sense? *slaps forehead* Pnut, you reminded me of when we used to make barkeep's "friends", basically a Louisville slugger with the end cut off, drilled out, and weighted with lead. It was easier to store, conceal, and swing indoors, but ya, it was a total bushwacking weapon, and I think they're illegal in many states. They also tend to break in use if not wrapped in friction tape. Cannot emphasize the no kiln dried wood enough. Part of the reason I'm not allowed to watch forged in fire at home anymore was shouting at the screen every time they take a 4 kazillion layer wootz blade quenched in unicorn blood and the urine of red-headed children (looking at you Theophilus) and attach it to a shaved down shovel handle.
  24. At that kind of weight, aside from the high probability of injury, speed becomes a major issue, and you've got to be beating your hands to death when you hit something, especially if you've been using 3/4". Even with pipe, it's going to hurt. You're also going to be highly restricted on length, and part of the point of a pole arm or staff is that it's used to keep the other person at a distance, and often has to be kept moving. The shorter it is, the more you're moving it. Ever watch someone fighting with a bearded axe? It'll make ya dizzy. For staffs, or any hand combat, I'll be the first to admit, I'm badly out of practice these days, but I used to prefer hard wood, old growth, and no kiln dried, for preference - with iron caps, but I've only used one with caps a couple of times. If you need a bit more weight, you could band it with iron, but if you go overly heavy, at some point you increase the chance of breaking it. Wood flexes, and absorbs more of the recoil. Imagine the difference between hitting a telephone pole with a wooden bat and with an aluminum bat. Incidentally, when I've tried my hand at it, I found out that I suck at forge welding ferrules around a circular disc to make a hollow iron end cap. Anybody got suggestions?
  25. I had a friction folder I used to make by folding half a shoe. It's heavy and clunky as is, but you can file down the inside to about half thickness or so and it works well. Back end works as a hoofpick.
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