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I Forge Iron

Mike Romo

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Posts posted by Mike Romo

  1. So, I took a bit of a departure from forging and decided to make some knives for my engine company for Christmas.  It took me a bit longer than expected, but here are the finished products.


    The video doesn't mention that I hardened and tempered, but I did.


    Please share your critique.  I am always ready to learn.


    PS:  They were intentionally worked only to 400 grit to preserve the nature of the rasps.  I wanted them a bit "rough".


  2. I also have a 3x21 hand held Porter Cable that is used for sharpening stuff in the vise ( mower blades etc ) and it excels for wood or stuff too big to tote to the other grinders.  I also use flap wheels of various grits on the side grinders.



    What a great idea.  Never ceases to amaze me the things smiths come up with. 

  3. Are there any botanical gardens or nature parks near you that get a lot of traffic? You could donate a piece or keep a piece on loan and cycle them through.

    Possibly work out a deal for a fundraiser for them via silent auction.

    Be bold. Those things are cool.

  4. Great thread.  I tried to post earlier, but no dice.  Anyway.



    1.  What is your favorite file brand???  Loaded question, but still what and why?



    2.  Is there a good resource for referencing file types, shapes, uses for a new guy? 




  5. I can't help but chime in on this one.  After nearly 20 years as a firefighter and paramedic, I have seen my share of terrible things.  A few years ago I learned I have PTSD.  Many years before then, however, I learned that I enjoyed working with metal--specifically steel. 


    I had a few shop classes under my belt, a father who was a jack of all trades and master of one (Master Barber), and a desire to tinker.  Off and on for many years I played with steel.  A bit of welding here and there, helping friends, etc.  A couple of years ago I began doing much more welding, in earnest, my wife noticed I had become a much more stable personality after a couple of hours in the garage welding, grinding, and drilling.  As it turns out, I have now stumbled into blacksmithing and knifemaking.  Neither of which I am very skilled at, but both bring me peace. 


    Even though I find peace in the garage with my anvil, forge, welder, etc I still have occasion to become frustrated with a piece of work or project.  Just as I have learned to cope with my personality in public and around others, I can now do so in my own smithy.  I will notice I am off kilter and will make a conscious decision to allow the peace of smithing to overcome my emotional response.  Even if things aren't going as well as I had planned, I can say that a bad day blacksmithing is better than a good day working--unless of course something catches fire--in that case, reverse those two (remember, I AM a firefighter--grin).


    Regardless, my wife and kids can see and feel a palpable soothing of my own savage beast when I get some forging or welding done.  It's even become a sort of mantra that she asks me if I am going to do some forging and unless I am either WAAAAAY distracted or exhausted, that is my signal from the love of my life to fire up the forge and heat and beat. 


    There's nothing we can't do as masters of our own lives.  We can heat meal to near molten and beat, bend, twist, split, drift, punch, etc it into whatever shapes we can imagine--well, sort of.....why not find peace when we are doing our thing.


    Ivan, hope you find the strength to level your keel, adjust your sails, feather your throttle, file the rough edges, (insert saying here), and make cool stuff.




  6. First thing I do is heat the tang up to non magnetic and quench half of it (the tang) in water. Put it in a vice (wear safety gear) a inch or so up the tang and see if you can bend it. A clean break means you're probably working with an all high carbon steel file. If it bends or doesn't easily break then it may be case hardened. Case hardened files are for rasp snakes, I wouldn't wast the time making them into knives. Treat the high carbon ones like 1095 and you should be close.

    I just did this and WHAMMO!!! Good steel. Snapped off beautifully.

    Thank you jmc!!! This one goes in the mental file cabinet!!
  7. Wire brush off clean first then you may have to try it at various heats depending on sizes of brass/copper being used, you will probably find still at black heat, possibly up towards the higher range a tad. 


    Trial and error should determine it for your situation, it's not unknown to use the edge of a brass rule when the brass brush was not available.


    One advantage/disadvantage is you just highlight the higher forged areas, where a wire brush can cover most of, if not all of the forging it is used on.



    John B,


    I have some scrap copper tubing of various diameters.  I'd like to start putting a finish on my leaves.  What would you suggest as far as making the copper more friendly?


    Intuition tells me to thin it on the anvil or rough up the edge with a file or rough sandpaper....






  8. So.  After much advice gathered and perusing my materials on hand to build my anvil stand.  Here is my plan. 


    I managed to weld three pieces of 1/2" plate together to form a square 12" x 12" x 1/2" thick.  I beveled the edged, tacked them together, and welded one side.  After seeing how poorly it penetrated, I ground the welds out and re-welded them while still warm from grinding.  Worked pretty well.  I flipped them over and welded the back side.  Judging from the edges, I got near full penetration by going from both side.  The plate is now finished.


    Here is my issue now.


    The legs I have chosen for my anvil stand are 2" x 4" square tubing with 1/4" thick walls.  I need to weld them to the plate to form a three legged stand.


    1.  I was planning to preheat the plate and allow the heat to wick to the legs.  Question is::::::How hot to preheat as far as color of metal?


    2.  I was also planning to weld uphill as my research indicates I will get better penetration using my wire feed on thicker metal..



    Please share your ideas.  I really want this to work and I really want to do this myself.  I never thought I could do most of what I have done so far, but it appears I have.


    First pic is of the plate before grinding the welds and rewelding it.


    Second pic is of the legs laying atop the plate.



  9. I run a Harris oxy/propane setup for cutting and heating.  It works great and the same fuel for my forge and my torch keep me from having one more thing to deal with.


    I used it yesterday to cut some 1/2" plate and it worked like a champ.

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