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I Forge Iron


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About SJS

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Indiana between Ball State and Purdue Univesity
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, history, theology, organic gardening and alternative medicine, autism...

    Formerly known as: Fionnbharr, Finn;-)

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  1. They didn't want to have "as forged finish" with genuine ballpein hammer marks... Thank you Thomas, that is exactly what I was looking for
  2. I took a class with Mark Aspery, and he quoted a traditional saying in the "British" English version, and I can't remember the wording exactly, and I like to be precise... But the quote is: If a blacksmith would an edge make keen, then he must forge it thick, and file it lean/theene??? I just wanted the nice colloquial flavor, of a traditional saying, any help from across any of the ponds, or local for that matter? Thank you Shane
  3. Thomas I thought I remembered that James Nasmyth had done testing that said that even a good weld only had 80% of the strength of the parent material? But of course when I went looking all I found was a Scientific American article where Nasmyth mentioned that eight of ten fractured links were due to "defective" welds where the scoria (oxides) was not ejected properly... Not quite the same thing
  4. When you run across a "unicorn".... Just shut up and cough up... Before you walk away think about how likely you are to see another one, and will you regret this for the rest of your life... Save your pennies and wait for the good stuff.
  5. I like 1045 for making hammers. It's a simple fairly tough, but not harder than my anvil. It's super easy to harden with just a water quench. 4140 is fine for hammers too. 4140 and 5160 for most tooling. I especially like them for tongs, you can forge the reins down pretty light and springy. You need to be careful to not forge too tight a radius in your transitions from boss to bit, and bit to reins. They are stress risers and will fatigue with heavy use. Crisp transitions make for a pretty tong, until it snaps... I like making handled struck tool/top tools out of 4140 & 5160
  6. He is in Kansas, the other Oz, like Dorthy I don't think we are in Kansas anymore... It looks to be a later style Little Giant with plowshare dies if I'm not mistaken...;-) Couldn't read the maker, that pattern was made by several different companies over the years: LG, Moloch, Meyer bros, ECT..
  7. SJS

    Proper tools

    My preference is to use round, I find it easier to get the transitions from bit to boss and reins... I also prefer 5/8" to 3/4" that has sufficient volume if you handle it well... If you get good at slitting, you can use 3/8" x 1" flat forge a jaw on each end and then split the reins apart. Then you can finish drawing out the reins and smooth them out and break corners and such... :-)
  8. Large triangular file... They do long nice, good proportions and you matched the lengths very well.
  9. SJS

    RR Spike Tongs

    You are always chasing the twist, to be honest. Even when you do each step in order, and yes you should try and break the corners, or chamfer the reins in a long run. Finishing each step throughly, even if it takes two or three heats to do that process to the entire length of the reins. If you work in short sections invariably your work gets lumpy when you are starting out, and sometimes after you have been doing it for awhile... ;-) Take a long heat working the reins back and forthe in the fire, and then chase one corner down the entire length, stopping as needed to straighten the stock, a
  10. SJS

    RR Spike Tongs

    Here is a pair I forged out of 1/2" square. I only had the tools I carry on my farrier's rig. So I kinda had to McGuiver these. The rivet was a horse shoe, apparently I should have used another shoe to make a bolster, and forged the rivet head before riveting the tongs together... A little over confident I guess. The reins and the bits look decent though. The boss area is sad... Since I was making scrolling tongs I was hesitant to take a normal bite to set the jaws and the boss like I would with a normal flat jawed tongs. I hate using 1/2" square too, much prefer 5/8-3/4" round, and a power
  11. Years ago I had a lady really want to sell me a beautiful Armitage Mousehole, probably that size exactly, of course she wanted 900-1000$. It was a truely lovely anvil, wonderful crisp lines all the way around, even down through the feet. The thing that made me want to cry, more than the price...;-) was that there was a good size chunk missing from the face, and there was a large section of the steel top plate that went back toward hardie hole that was delaminated. It was fixable, but it wasn't going to be quick or easy. And she was convinced that it was STILL worth atleast 3$ a pound. I t
  12. "Dorthy I don't think we're in Kansas anymore...." 5k is a little high for a 25LG, but if you can swing it, and it is a slick running POLITE hammer, it could easily be worth it to you... A hammer makes a world of difference. A hammer that runs, beats two in the bush...
  13. SJS

    RR Spike Tongs

    A right angle grinder can hide a multitude of sins... And belt grinder can do it quicker... Those look functional, but don't give up too soon... And even though you have already riveted them, that doesn't have to prevent you from working on them more if you want them to look nicer... Tongs work SO MUCH better with good finishing. When you are working down the reins on these kits, chamfer the corners with your hammer, lightly up near the boss where the rivet goes, and more heavily as you reach the end of the reins. Then come back and chamfer the new corners you just produced, again
  14. Bruce's comments on the Sheffield cutlers hammers has always been a favorite of mine. They were working on good sized anvils, Bruce had mentioned that he picked up several 7 hundred weight anvils when he was back in the Sheffield area. They were also doing blade work, and using a long faced heavy cutlers style hammer. At the end of your hammer stroke, where the hammer falls on the anvil face, especially doing a lot of blade bevelling is crucial. Forging the soft face back to where it landed just prefectly, and then dressing it, and hardening it is a brilliant idea... But the face was esse
  15. Experiment!!! Find things that work for you... It doesn't hurt to watch guys who can REALLY move metal... Most blacksmiths can move metal, but some move it better, faster, and smoother than others... Again I recommend looking at Uri Hofi's Eronomic hammer technique, and Brian Brazeal's Why I use a Rounding hammer videos. Both men use a fairly aggressive approach to the anvil, and using the edges of the anvil, and the edges of the hammer. The trick in blacksmithing is to get as much done with each heat, as efficiently as you can. Don't be afraid to make it a bit ugly, before you smooth it
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