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I Forge Iron


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  • Gender
  • Location
    Columbia Kentucky
  • Interests
    Establishing a buisness in smithing, sword play, blacksmithing, sailing!
    ...did I mention blacksmithing?


  • Location
  • Interests
    Reenactor blacksmith
  • Occupation
    Fiery Furnace Forge

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  1. I recently made these. This is a pair of 6-inch billet tongs designed to wrap around and manipulate 6-inch solid material. I took a few process photos showing each major development but not quite every single heat. starting material was 20 inches of 3/4 round 5160 I used 4-inches of material for the loop to the square corner 2-inches from the square corner to the boss. overall finished length is 36-inches. IMG_6732.MOV
  2. This is not really an instructional video….just entertainment. This shows the process of forging a pair of 1/4x1 1/4 offset tongs. Starting material is 5/8 round 5160 steel, cut 8.5 inches long. The tooling used is pretty simple. I have a 100 pound self contained power hammer with a full flat die on top and a “near side/far side” offset die on bottom. The near side / far side die is just like using half-hammer-face-blows on the near side and far side of the anvil. The deep U-jaw is formed in a spring tool I machined for the purpose. Total overall length is trimmed down to about 18 inches after forging. It takes 5 heats to forge a half, 10 to forge both halves and 1 to set the rivet and line them up, so a total of 11 heats. IMG_6414.MOV
  3. I think I am going to try making a hammer today! I think I will try for a cross pin style! wish me luck!
  4. The particular one I got a hold of is .082" thick and about 8 inches wide. I am being told by one of my steel sources that saw-blade 15n20 is only made thicker than .045" and thinner than .125" with the majority being .095".
  5. 14 years smithing and I have never really toyed with pattern welding / damascus. I have decided to start practicing in preparation for a "super secret" project I am working on. While these are tools, I decided to put this post here because the focus isn't on the tools......rather this is a generic here's what I tried, and here's the results, post. So these were three test pieces I did.......the center punch (far left) is 16 layers of 1080 and 5160. Dark pattern, distinct, but does not "pop." The chisel is 16 layers of 1080 with 16-inch circular edger blade material. (I was told it was 15n20 but it does not pop enough for that so the material grade is unknown.) The weld was good except for one small part that delaminated in the third heat of the first stack. However it welded back in and otherwise seemed to weld fine. Whatever the material is, it did crack a bit during hardening and it follows the blade material in a spiral with the pattern. Of course, there are many variables with hardening and I was not using my oven. Very well could have been operator error. The butcher (right hand tool) is 16 layers of 1080 and large band-saw blade material. (According to specs, known 15n20 steel.) The weld is clean, held up good, and the pattern really pops out. All three test billets started as 8 layers. They were welded, forged, cleaned, cut, stacked, welded, forged, and then twisted. The circular and band saw blades were sourced from friends. Each piece was normalized three times prior to rough grind and hardening. Etch was post quench and temper in muriatic acid and then coffee. Commercial link removed
  6. I think that pair ended up about 5 pounds or so. Definitely not your typical, work-at-the-anvil, pair.
  7. I made these today! This is the largest pair of tongs I've ever made to date. They are sized for holding 1 x 3-inch flat bar They are 33-inches long Rivet is 1/2-inch mild steel Tongs are forged from 4140 steel These were a challenge but also surprisingly simple. Basically just all the same steps as small tongs, made big. One thing that helped was I did a rough sketch on my layout table of the box-side of the jaw so I had some target dimensions to shoot for. I also laid out the center line, as on these larger ones you want the jaws to overhang the outside edge of the reigns as apposed to being in line. These were a lot of fun!
  8. I browse occasionally but I've cut down a lot on posting on the web all across the board. Too busy working! haha Things are going fantastic! 'Been married for a year and three-quarter, the wife helps a ton with the business, and we've got a 9 month old son now too. Plugging away at building our house......we moved shops.....doubled the size of our original building......now we are thinking of adding on again. haha
  9. I forged a couple of these out yesterday. They are made from hex 4140 stock, and not heat-treated. It's been a while since I've made any top tools, so I was a bit rusty on process. I used to make handled, hammer-eye-punches with some regularity when I was still punching my hammers by hand. I use the hydraulic press now for that, so I don't do much striker/director type punching. This type of punch is typically used for punching hammer eyes, tomahawks, axes, and top tools, but it can also be used for doing punch and drift work. (Similar to slit and drift.....just slightly different tooling.) Anyway, I decided to pop a few of these out, doing a little bit of striking directing work to make them. On these-type top tools, the eye is a single taper profile. (Larger on bottom, and smaller on top.) The handle is 100% friction fit, instead of using an hour-glass shaped eye and wedge fitting it. This prevents the shock from hitting the tool with a sledge, from transferring directly into the handle, and also helps prevent the handle from snapping due to missed or off-target striking.
  10. My wife and I are headed up on Tuesday! Currently planning on hauling two trailers with two separate trucks. Be sure to stop in and say hi! BTW Quadstate is always the fourth weekend of the month. They didn't bump it up........but this month ended up with five weekends because the 1st was a Saturday. It seems earlier but it's always the fourth weekend. Camping is available onsite........you can still register online or register when you get there. Registration usually doesn't open till like Thursday or Friday morning. People will be arriving much earlier than that though.......Last year it was a chore finding a spot on Tuesday afternoon. Make sure you get registered and your camping spot paid for though.....apparently there were some issues last year of some campers not paying and the fairgrounds got a little antsy or something. It's a great event.......we all have to put in some $$$$$ to make it happen. BTW I am not a part of SOFA staff in any way. Just trying to put info out there so everyone knows what to do! Safe travels!
  11. My anvils found out! Actually she's already helped me make two hammers and 15 pairs of tongs. She's a hard worker with a "jump-in-and-help" attitude. (Yeah, she's pretty awesome.) I appreciate the testimonies and examples of long successful marriages and words of encouragement. I'm a strict toilet seat down after use guy, so we're all good there! lol
  12. Many of you guys have followed and helped my work since day one! So I figured I'd share the big news on here. I'm getting married! I've been looking for a while now and like just about everyone else, have had my ups and downs....happiness and heartbreak. My bride's name is Sarah Grace! She's from North Dakota! We've "known" each other online for several years but I started talking to her this year and we really hit-it-off and things have just gone really well. We are getting married on October 14th of this year. When we get back home, we'll be living in the house I am working on building on my 17 acres. The house still needs lots of work, but she is willing and able to help and is looking forward to being able to set up her kitchen and things like that. We are both greatly blessed and looking forward to starting our lives together. My smithing business is alive and well and fully capable of supporting myself and a family so I will continue to forge and be active in the smithing community to the best of my ability.
  13. Interesting thoughts here! I do not have a secondary air source, but I have just finished a hydraulic press so I can make my press do most of what my air hammer does during the down-time for a repair. If I go that route, I'm almost more inclined to by a new pump and the repair kit so I can get back running faster and later on assemble a second compressor. Now there is a thought!
  14. it has three cylinders...not sure if I am using the correct terminology.
  15. my air compressor is running on it's last leg.....45 minutes to fill the 80 gallon tank to 150 PSI. So the compressor pump is a LeROI Dresser 440A, 7.5 HP. I found a complete rebuild kit from "factory air compressor parts." Price is $425 + shipping I'm also looking at options for replacing the entire pump. It seems the selection is varied. Wholesale tool carries a 7.5 HP, 3 cycle, 2 stage pump which is advertised as a 24 CFM unit, for $689 plus freight. Brand is RDX superior import. Ebay sells a Schulz air, 7.5 HP, 2 cycle, 2 stage pump which is advertised as 30 CFM unit for $782.00 including shipping. Northern sells an Ingersol Rand, 7.5 HP, 2 cycle, 2 stage pump which is advertised as a 24 CFM unit for $1399 including shipping. I can get a new comparable unit for about $1500 - $2000.....plug-n-play. Thoughts about these brands and the price comparisons would be appreciated. Thanks, Dave
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