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I Forge Iron


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    Twin Cities, MN


  • Location
    Twin Cities of Minnesota

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  1. Got to go to our first guild meeting since 02/20 last night. Wasn't sure where we were meeting at the site, but I hopped out of the car and heard the anvil ringing. Hammer-In coming up weekend after next. Anyone willing to drive just north of the Twin Cities, come on and join us. Nowthen Threshing Show Grounds, Nowthen, MN, 7:30 pmFriday 6/18/21 through 3:00pm 6/20/21.
  2. "Unlimited long distance" got me good. Morning brightened.
  3. No, but that's not a bad idea. I think there are places were you can get them free, or at least for next to nothing. I have a month-and-a-half, seems like I could make that happen.
  4. Frosty, I'll take a notebook and my wife! I often see events and family moments from a completely different perspective when I look at her pictures afterwards. Thank you both. I did reach out to a particular guild member and our guild email reflector to just say, "Hey, I'm new, here are a few questions, can't wait to meet you all." I'm more excited about this than I've been about anything in a while.
  5. Well, this is the best and most unexpected thing I'm going to read all day. I'm in my smithing off-season right now (otherwise known as gardening season), but I'm working on getting myself and my BiL to the upcoming Hammer-In. Other than that, just grinning every time a new sprout comes up. My favorite Discworld books are all focused on either Sam Vimes or Moist, though Mort was pretty great too. I love Thud! and Making Money/Going Postal. The idea of Sam going back in time and needing to find a pair of boots with really thin soles so as to feel the city under his feet is just marvelous to me.
  6. Smiths, Happy Monday! I just learned that the local guild is moving back to limited in-person meetings and, even better, is planning to host a Hammer-In this June. I am still dripping wet behind the ears and have never been to a Hammer-In. I'm kind of like my daughter, come to think of it: my smithing life started during COVID, so it's been a little weird. Anyways, I'm just wondering what to expect. I know that Hammer-Ins are probably different in different parts of the country/world. This one will be just north of the Twin Cities in Minnesota and is scheduled over a whole weekend, if that narrows it down. I'm not looking so much for logistical stuff (food, coal, etc.), more trying to get an idea of what goes on. Do we just forge all day? Is it closer to a rendezvous or a quilting bee? Is there anything I should be sure to bring? If all else fails and my question is clear as mud, just tell me stories. I'd absolutely love to hear Hammer-In stories. I'll be asking someone from the guild the same question, but I figured I'd open it up to you wonderful folks as well since I haven't been around much lately. --SDG, Timothy
  7. Thank you for the inspiration! I'll keep an eye on this thread. This is a project I plan to tackle in the next couple of forging seasons.
  8. 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 suspect the steel got too hot. - There is too little material at the point of the hook. I haven't solved that problem yet. - The piece overall is not quite straight. - The twist is not centered. - There is a large divot where the handle bends off of the main piece; that is a defect in the stock, which is found. Overall, I'm pretty pleased. This piece involved twisting, tapering, bending, and making and applying finish. I used the deadline of Christmas to force myself to get the forge up to minimum working order, and problems with my air source motivated me to find the local farrier school and figure out my coal supply. Looking forward to the next one.
  9. 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 few hammers for sure, but I know I'll need drifts and fullers first. Thoughts?
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. It is always inspiring to see things like this. Thank you for sharing.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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 time to put together a side-blast to use with charcoal. Good excuse to take a day off and visit the farrier school too. Any other thoughts? I'm looking for tricks I could use to make the current setup less of a fire hazard/hair burner.
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