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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by tjdaggett

  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.
  16. 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, rather than going up the pipe. Is there any kind of heat-proof sealant or epoxy that would form a permanent seal between the pipe and the bucket? I'm not familiar with that stuff yet, just imagining.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 too much heat in transit. Still more than I'd like, but I've got to start somewhere. I also figured out a fun way to get my stump a little higher up (I'm 6"8"). My cousin gave me a semi brake drum to use as a fire pot. I didn't have a good concept of its size when I said yes. It's about 18" across and weighs somewhere in the 125-150 lb. range; WAY too big for my purposes. However, it fits perfectly under my stump, gets it about 1" above ideal height (room to level and fiddle), and has holes in it that will accommodate anchoring bolts to keep the stump from turning. I'll get a picture up before too long. Thanks as always y'all. I think I might have that poker done for my dad's Christmas present after all.
  22. 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?
  23. Salient point that I should have included in the original post: I intend to use this forge during the winter. I garden during the warmer months, so the plan is to make blacksmithing a winter hobby.
  24. Smiths, Good morning! I'm considering solving my chimney problem via avoidance and just moving the forge outside. Anvil, vise, table, bucket, etc. would remain in the shed; just the forge would be a few feet outside the door. I'm thinking either a 55 Forge w Turbocharger or a JABOD w chimney TBD. Thoughts? I know that I'm going to lose some heat and efficiency with the slightly greater distance between the forge and the anvil. The alternative is spending several hundred dollars on chimney materials, which isn't an option right now. I'm primarily thinking about how to make the forge last if it's going to sit outside in the MN winter, as well as how to keep it ready to roll with minimum snow removal. Thanks in advance for your logic and experience.
  25. Got word this weekend that grandma took a pretty sharp downhill turn. Long story short, there's something wrong with her that only surgery or a miracle could correct, and surgery isn't an option given how weak she is. We're still praying, but I'm getting the impression that we're heading for homecoming rather than healing. Grandpa is meeting with doctors to talk through palliative care options today. Main requests: - That she'd be able to get home so she could have visitors. Right now even grandpa can't be in the hospital room with her due to COVID restrictions. - That those who need to would be able to see her before she goes, and then that she'd go quickly. - That grandpa would be provided for in all the ways he needs. They've been married a little over sixty years. Grandpa is 85 and sharp. Thanks y'all.
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