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I Forge Iron


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About DocsMachine

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    Up yonder and a bit to the left
  • Occupation
    Unrepentant Gadget Freak

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  1. So is that a pretty positive ID? A Hay-Budden? Doc.
  2. Going by this old ABANA post: Too high a serial number and no "A", so would it then be a Trenton? (Trexton?) Also, is there any way to ID this leg vise? Doc.
  3. Better photos, in the sober light of dawn: I took the small wire brush to the sides as well- there's not even a hint of any stamping or marks. The numbers are on the front foot. Hopefully the serial number will help with the age and ID. Thanks. Doc.
  4. In a remarkable stroke of luck, I just picked up this 170-lb farriers'-style anvil for... well, just under sixty cents a pound. The hard face is badly crumbled at the edges, and I think starting to delaminate at the front edge, but I think I can fix it. Even still, it rings like a church bell. Anyway, it was admittedly dark when I looked at it (hence the cruddy picture) but even on a fairly close examination, I couldn't see any trace of any markings. Nothing stamped, nothing cast or forged in, etc. It appears to be wrought iron (there's no way a cast one could ring like that) with a hard face- there's a definite line where the hard face has chipped and crumbled. I didn't look underneath, but there's nothing at all on the sides, and nothing apparent, at least on a cursory glance, on any of the feet. I'll give it a closer inspection in the morning, but can anyone ID it with the info so far? Rough age, make? Thanks. Doc.
  5. Wow, very nice. Lots of good ideas in there, thank you. I'll have to give it a closer look in the morning, but a couple of those show some promise. It helps a bunch to see some of the designs already in an angled stair-rail setting... Doc.
  6. -And in resizing them, you removed them from my control. They started out linked from- and tracked by- my personal hosting, and you took it upon yourself to copy them off of my site and onto this boards' servers without my permission. I notice they're all still there, despite my asking them to be removed no less than three times. -In other words just shifting my photos around, but keeping them on your server. The proper course would have been to inform me that my linked photos were too large, or in some other way violated the rules or general etiquette. I could have altered and resized them all in minutes, with only a few mouse clicks. -Then just how did they get copied off my server and onto yours? -Yessir, and I appreciate that. But this tangent into the legalities wastes their time and mine. Everyone here plays with fire and yellow-hot steel either for a living or a hobby, and I build guns that are designed to shoot other people as my day job. I have a reasonable grasp of what's safe and legal, and if I don't, I can change it. Here, however, I'm simply asking for design ideas. Not legal help, not safety instructions, I don't need anyone to tell me that black iron can still be hot (at least, not again, anyway. ) But now we have seventeen posts in this thread, and just three of them have actually been helpful. Doc.
  7. Is it too much to ask just to get a little design help, and let me worry about the legality? When I built my propane forge, I had people telling me I should skip it and try coal. When I showed photos of my weld-repaired anvil, I had people tell me I'd ruined the "collectors' value". When I said I'd extended and repointed my anvil horn, everyone told me I'd better blunt it or I might get hurt. Every time I post a photo, it gets moved into somebody elses' gallery. Is it any wonder I don't participate here much? So far I've gotten more help with this project from some guys on a webcomic blog. Again, can anyone suggest a few simple ideas to get me started? I like the elk idea, but that might be a little complex, especially considering the time frame. I'd had something in mind vaguely along these lines. This isn't bad, but I'm having a tough time filling trapezoidal panels with it. This is a little too frilly. I like the interspersed sharp bends in this style, but it hasn't proved easy to salt those into a new design. On the other hand, there's the possibility of, as I said before, some Frank Lloyd Wright style geometric patterns. Like this or this. A classic basket weave motif, perhaps. This is classic Wright, but a little too busy, and would be difficult to apply to an angled stair railing. Something like this shows promise, and I tend to wonder if I could pull off replacing the "arrowhead" with perhaps a set of antlers, or a deer or elk profile. Minus the leaves and circular "flowers", this is kind of interesting, but again might be a bit frilly for the location. Doc.
  8. DocsMachine


    This board is just chock full of helpful people, isn't it? Drenched- for a fencing foil, you'd probably be better off buying a rod of the appropriate material, which, I'm assuming, would be somewhere in the 1095 or spring steel range. I'd say start with something around 3/8" round, and shape it gently to a "point" of no less than 3/16". I believe a commercial foil is thinner, but I suspect you'll have difficulty keeping something that thin properly heated. Heat treating will be tricky, hopefully someone with far more expertise than I have, will chime in with some information. Doc.
  9. Great, when the 70-year-old man gets his head stuck in the stair railing and decides to sue family, I'll let you say "I told you so". (Somewhat rude reply removed) Tell you what- if legal conformity is so important to you, why not suggest a design that conforms to your local laws? I'll bet money they're more restrictive than mine, so that should make it safe, okay? Doc.
  10. The railing goes in a private home in a semirural area. There are no restrictions. It's a gift for family, not a commercial job. As I said, I'd rather lean toward classic scrollwork of some sort, but after doing several Google Image Searches, and looking through the galleries here, there's simply an endless variety of shapes and styles. I'm having some difficulty sorting out a design that will look classic and elegant, yet something I can make with materials at hand and with the tools available- and not have it take me six months to do it. I don't ask for much, do I? Doc.
  11. Actually, that's not a bad idea. I might have to fiddle with that a bit, as I kind of have my heart set on having at least some classic-style wrought scrollwork, but I see what you're trying to do there. As for Rage, well, while I did use several hammers and pounded on things, there was no real blacksmithing involved, It was more like clever auto bodywork. For whatever reason- at least in part because I've never done it before- I'm having a hard time visualizing how to fit wrought-ironwork into this railing, and have it look the way I want it to- but then, I'm not even sure how I want it to look. What do you call "classic" wrought scrollwork? IS there even such a thing? Or does it go with whichever age it was created in, like Gothic or Victorian or Elizabethan? Doc.
  12. Well, as I said, the frame is done, the top wood handrail only needs to be trimmed to length and then stained and sealed, and some minor trimwork for the oak base. Technically, I could have the basic handrail installed in a day. All I'm looking for are some ideas for embellishment- some scrollwork to fill the openings. And it doesn't have to be 300 pounds of 2" diameter scrolls, either. The "mass manufactured" way would be just a single twisted picket in the middle of each panel, each with a pair of S-scrolls that form the classic heart-shape. That, however, is cliche and awful. I'd like something a bit more elegant, perhaps even a bit mideval. I've been rooting through the galleries looking for ideas, and while there's some very fine work shown in there, I'm having a hard time translating some of that stuff into this particular setup. I'm also not necessarily looking to go 100% "traditional" here, and use only rivets and forge-welds. I expected to do something like forge a dozen or more separate elements, and then MIG or TIG them into position. I'm hoping everything can be heat-colored more or less uniformly, and then I'll clearcoat everything with some good urethane. (It's an indoor setup.) Doc.
  13. I have a short section of stair railing that I need to embellish. The framework (roughly pictured below) is 1" square tubing, with the uprights on approximately 16" centers. The top rail will have a wraparound oak handrail attached. The lower edge (the top of the short wall to which the railing is bolted to) will be covered with an oak plank. So what I'm looking to do is fill the three panels with some wrought ironwork. Now, there's some limitations: I only have a small propane forge. I can build a larger one if I need to (and I've been planning to) but basically, I'll only be able to heat several inches at a time, of a relatively small bar. (Forge can be opened at both ends, though, so heating the center of a long bar is possible. I also don't have a power hammer, no fullers, no guillotine tools, and precious few punches. Basically, I have an anvil, several hammers, and a couple of hot-cut hardies. I won't mind having to make a few tools, but there is a bit of a time issue on this so I'd rather not spend most of it making fullers and the like. On the plus side, I have- and I'm not joking- about half a ton of semirusty 3/8" rod, a 20 foot stick of 3/8" square, 10' of 1/2" square, and piles and piles of miscellaneous sections of other sizes of rod and bar. Local supplier has plenty more in stock, and I'll buy a few bits if need be. And to assemble it all, I have a MIG and TIG, stick and gas welders, and a stack of machine tools that can do whatever the hammer and forge can't. Last- and worst- I'm very much still the green amateur at the blacksmithing side. So, I'm looking for ideas to fill the panels. Scrollwork, perhaps, or Frank Lloyd Wright style geometric patterns? Wrought roses might be a bit beyond my current ability, but just some simple twisted picket bars might be too simple. The rail is going to be in the entryway of a house- I'd like to see it fancy, but not too overpowering. Owner's a hunter, so I was thinking simple scrollwork in the end panels, and something suggesting a nature scene, or possibly a deer or elk, in the middle panel. Maybe just a stylized elk antler design? Anyway, suggestions and ideas welcome I need to start on this next Monday (frame's done, I just need to add the embellishment) and I have roughly two weeks to finish it, as it'll be a holiday present done and installed while the owner is out. If you'd like to draw something, I have a larger copy of the sketch drawing here. (TIF image, apprx. 85KB.) Thanks. Doc.
  14. Turned out to be a great demo! I was impressed with the setup, and the various guys and ladies made some interesting pieces. I took just short of a thousand photos- gotta love high end digital - and as soon as I have 'em sorted and uploaded, I'll post a link to my gallery here. I'd go ahead and post a couple that I have up already, except Glenn would just repost 'em to his gallery again, even though I've specifically asked him not to in the past. Fun stuff, though. I just wish I'd had the chance to whip up a pattern, and I should have gone over the day before and watched them making the molds as well. They suggested there might- theoretically- be another demo at the State Fair, and if so, I'll definitely be there for that. Doc.
  15. I was hoping you'd post some pics, Frosty. I wanted to attend, but time and finances were against me. I'll be at tomorrow's event in Kenai come xxxx or high water, though. I had lots of ideas for something to mold- a vise for my shaper, an overarm support for the horizontal mill, etc.- but no time to get anything ready. My stuff'd be critical enough we'll have to pay attention to the shrinkage rates, and possibly mold a void core- or whatever they're called. Is this a group of enthusiasts, or a company that can actually pour iron for pay, if I were to come up with a workable mold later in the year? I seem to recall there was a foundry/brassworks in Wasilla, but I lost that contact information about three computers ago. I'll have both my cameras there, so stand by for more pics. Doc.
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