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I Forge Iron


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About Latticino

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    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, glassblowing, restoring and playing antique flutes. HLG and boomerangs, recumbent bicycles, sea kayaking, white water canoeing, reading SF/Fantasy

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  1. If you are planning on getting into blade making, the most useful tool IMHO is a decent belt grinder. Unfortunately it is also one of those tools where you get what you pay for, and most budget options are significantly less effective. There are certainly work arounds, you can even draw file very effectively with a setup that costs well under $100, but you are trading your time for equipment cost. As far as tongs go, ideally you should work on making your own. For starters I recommend tong kits, like the ones from Ken's Custom Iron Store, but eventually making your own (or at least learning how to modify garage sale finds) will make yo a more versatile smith.
  2. Not a clue, but I kept clear with my big exhaust fan running in the shop when preheating it and now it is encapsulated behind a 1/2" thickness of Kastolite.
  3. Here's mine, in reflection I should add those sweet fuller marks that Jen did. Never finished as I had a crack in heat treatment.
  4. I used concentrated water color painting pigment to color mine the last time I sealed my blanket (because I found some tucked away in my wife's supply rack and didn't have a bottle of food coloring around). Bottle probably was on the order of 25 years old, but it worked quite well for me.
  5. Or the K values, for that matter. The real issue you will run into is that the board has a tendency to sag quite a bit over time, it is friable, and will still give off the same small fibers after being heated up to forging temperatures as the blanket. If I recall the board it quite similar to 8# density ceramic wool. You can certainly build a forge with 1" of either, it just depends on how efficient you want it to be. In either case I would strongly recommend sealing and protecting the surface.
  6. That's a really nice shape for a swede, I made a pretty similar profile a short while back and really like it. Of course mine was smaller and not made from steeled wrought Looking forward to seeing yours etched and finished. I know I would have trouble with a hammer that large and such a small diameter peen, but you have much better hammer control than I do.
  7. Lovely job, glad I was of some small help in the project.
  8. A good trick I learned from Jim Austin for the front of the eye is to use a round nose or half round chisel, like the one pictured below, to cut away the very front of the eye, removing any minor delaminations there. Cut in hot using a post vise to hold the stock works a treat. Of course that is just if the front of the eye is too tight or you have a cold shut to deal with. for an eye that is too wide at the front the easy solution is to forge it down further...
  9. Better is a relative term. Yes it will put out more air at higher pressure. The question is do you need that?
  10. Actually, in addition to the oiling of bearings there can be a couple of other reasons for blower mounting orientation to be specified. Some types of bearing are good for radial loads, but not as good given loading along the shaft by for example an extremely heavy impeller (i.e. roller bearings). The real issue though is if you have a blower that is either just the right size or slightly undersized. If you mount a centrifugal blower incorrectly based on the downstream ductwork configuration you can drastically reduce the air output to your forge. This can be addressed by having enough duct length from the blower outlet to fully develop flow in the duct (say 5-10 duct diameters), or having an oversized blower, but can certainly be a factor. Here is an illustration: There can also be system effects at the blower inlets. For more detail please reference this article: https://www.tcf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Fan-Performance-Troubleshooting-Guide-FE-100.pdf
  11. I'll have to post a better picture that shows them more clearly, but the 5'oclock one is my favorite also.
  12. Some of my hawks. Trying out different profiles for the bearded ones.
  13. Haven't used it myself yet, but I have heard very good things about potassium permanganate solution (get it from the pool supplies shop).
  14. I have used 1045 on a number of smithing hammer builds and been quite happy with the results. I quench in water, large volume and strong agitation. Sometimes I snap temper in a cheap, throw away toaster oven. Other times I have differentially tempered using either a heated eye mandrel or oxy-acetylene torch (work from the eye out to the faces, just like Fraiser mentioned).
  15. I've heard good things about Magna cut from Nick Rossi, but am not sure if he was forging it or using stock removal. For the amount of effort you need to put into making a San Mai billet, I would recommend going with stock that is a little more conventional, at least for the first trial. I have done wrought/1075, wrought/1084, wrought/1095 and mild/1084, and mild/5160. I have experienced the core peel effect only once, but unfortunately don't remember which combination I was using, or whether I quenched more than once (pretty sure it was one of the times I used mild as the casing). I've not been to Andy's shop, but did hang out with him at one of the Ashokan gatherings. He knows his stuff and has a pretty amazing shop from all reports.
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