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I Forge Iron


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About tjdaggett

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    Twin Cities, MN


  • Location
    Twin Cities of Minnesota

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  1. I've been told that the true motto of this site is "Pics or it didn't happen". I apologize for the quality; I had to take these quickly on my phone before wrapping the poker for Christmas. Glenn, this is the one we talked about on Discord one evening. This is my first project. I have never before made anything in the forge, with the exception of one crude fire rake. I know of a few things that need improving next time around, but I would appreciate your feedback. Here's what I see: - There are cracks in the handle, which indicate that I did something wrong with the temperature; I s
  2. Smiths, Good morning! I'm going to do my own reading on this, but I figured I'd get your thoughts as well. Among my gifts this year were a few gift cards, both to our local steel supplier and an online website. Until now I've been forging on found steel and railroad spikes. What would you suggest I buy to start out? I will for sure buy some mild steel in 1/2-3/4" size, just for playing. But I'm also starting to think about tool-making. Which tools do you tend to need first? I'm thinking drifts, punches, and chisels, since I hear tongs aren't a good starter project. I want to make a
  3. I codn't have made it through this day without you guys. You've given my soul a new perch. Without you, I might have paid a visit to the sturgeon.
  4. Chimaera, the mounting direction is about work surface (horizontal) v energy return (vertical). You get more work done per hammer blow when the track is vertical, but you have less space to work on. It also doesn't take up much space to mount a two foot long piece of track in a stump or stand.
  5. It is always inspiring to see things like this. Thank you for sharing.
  6. Frosty, Good afternoon! The surface area of the steel bit makes mathematical sense, yes, as it does for the coal. I think I will take a very simple step first: sizing down my charcoal. Right now it's mostly in chunks slightly smaller than what you'd get in a bag of grill charcoal, some of it larger. I'll break it into something a little closer to a peanut M&M and see how that burns. From there, we'll try the forge modification.
  7. Frosty, I'll take a look and see if the conversion is a possibility for mine. Sounds pretty straightforward. We're finding that if we don't crank with a little oomph the steel heats up sluggishly. This is something I would learn in a good class, which is on my to-do list, but how long should it take to heat up a piece of 3/8" round at full blast? I need to time it. Perhaps YouTube has given me unrealistic expectations!
  8. Smiths, Good morning! I fired up the forge with my brother-in-law last Saturday. We're burning charcoal in an old bottom-blast rivet forge. We were testing the limits on the hand-crank, as it has a bad gear. At full blast there was a fountain of sparks issuing forth that went well over my head, 4-5' up from the forge. We need to reduce that fountain. My plan for right now is to go buy some coal through the Guild as I know a bottom-blast setup produces less sparks and burns less fuel when burning coal instead of charcoal. That should get me through the winter, giving my BIL and I ti
  9. I had not thought of elevating the bucket like that and putting the fire under it. I've been nestling cans down in my fire circle and building a fire over and around them. I think your method would let me use a smaller fire and would lower the amount of hands-on attention it requires. I always intend to do yard work/shop work while I burn, and then I get stuck feeding the fire. Am I right in thinking that, in the absence of a good seal, a decent diameter pipe is important? I'm imagining that too small a pipe would encourage the smoke to find the weaknesses in the design and escape, rathe
  10. Thanks all! Sounds like the BLO/turps/beeswax is good for general applications and should do alright for the poker. Dad visits often, so I can have him bring the poker if it needs a touch-up.
  11. Above it was mentioned that BLO does not stand up well to situations above 90* F. I'm making my father a fire poker for Christmas. Is there something that will keep rust off, not react or deteriorate in fire, and not have him leaving black/greasy handprints on my mother's walls? I'm new to finishes; BLO and pine tar (Torbjorn) are the only two I've seen used. I did see the BLO/turpentine + beeswax combo above, but I'm guessing that would also not stand up to fire.
  12. That's something I never imagined: mesquite as a weed. Because of its density I've always assumed it grows slowly. I grew up with Norway pine, birch, and aspen, so far away from mesquite.
  13. I managed to level out the shed floor to my satisfaction on Saturday and lug all of the gear from the garage on Sunday. I've got the anvil stump where I want it, and my work table. Next steps: adjust the leg assembly on the table so there's space to drill holes to bolt on the post vise, then do that, then level out the top of the stump. Then it's time to get to work on dad's poker for Christmas. And of course I'll be figuring out stock storage along the way.
  14. JPaul, I was working on the forge floor yesterday before I put everything back, and I had to use my sledge to make parts of it workable. That's what I get for using up all the warm months on my garden. Thanks for the knowledge on preheating the anvil. Makes a lot of sense. I've got a piece of metal that will do the trick if I can figure out how to move it with gear on hand. Current plan for the forge: I'm going to keep the rivet forge inside and carry it out when it's time to work. The shed is only 10'x8' and the forge will be about five feet from there, so I shouldn't lose
  15. TP, sometimes I can't tell if you're serious. Is there risk of cracking the anvil if you bring 2000+ degree steel into contact with its -30 degree face?
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