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I Forge Iron

Chris Comtois

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  1. I have a large supply of Naval Lint, but alas, no Naval Brass.
  2. So I know I'm a little late to this thread, but I make dinner triangles like the one you showed and I bend the 1/2 in round stock cold. I made a bending fork out of an old adjustable pipe wrench, and a jig I made up based on somebody else's design somewhere here on the forums (man these forums are big!). It took a little bit of effort to set up, but bending it cold beats having to tear down your forge every time you want to make a dinner bell !!
  3. Brandon I see that Howe, Indiana is only about an hour from Kalamazoo, Michigan. There is a place in Kalamazoo, Tillers International, that has courses in lots of "old-timey" crafts, including a bunch of blacksmithing related subjects. These are usually two-day, weekend classes. It might be something to look into.
  4. Over the last couple of weeks I've finished up some horseshoe critters for some folks, and a couple of candle holders for my cousin.
  5. It was buried in the back of the barn; the barn being open was the only reason I stopped. I've not seen one before, but it looked cool. Didn't work the first time we plugged it in, but I fiddled with some connections and it jerked a bit. The lady had no idea what she wanted for anything, everything was make an offer, so I offered her $50. Neither of us knew if that was a good deal or not. A fellow who was there helping her said, "Well it's a specialty item, only someone who works with metal is going to want it, I offered you 50 for it last week if it didn't sell". No idea if he was doing me a favor or soaking me, but it looks cool and I'm looking forward to adding it to my list of "shop projects". Michael, I haven't researched it yet, but I'm assuming I can get (or easily modify) standard hacksaw blades for it?
  6. Picked this up at an estate sale this weekend. It works, mostly; needs to be stripped down and some gunk cleaned out.
  7. Well, no blacksmithing involved, but I did get an excuse to get a little shop time in when the wife mentioned she wanted a couple of new holiday decorations.
  8. OP says he wire brushes, waxes, then quenches. Would the quenching after waxing do something to the finish? I generally wax my pieces at a black heat and just leave them to cool.
  9. I envy all you guys who get to say, "Whatever you can find at your scrapyard." Scrapyards around my parts don't allow you to buy anything, they only buy from you. They say it's because of liability issues. It really stinks, because every time I take my scrap buckets down there is at least one item I wish I could come home with. I am, however, fortunate enough to have a commercial steel supply shop relatively close by. The stock is cheap, and they don't mind cutting only a couple of sticks at a time for me, which is nice. Reminds me, I've been meaning to bang out a couple bottle openers to take to them.
  10. Wow that's cool! I guess when you have time on your hands, that's the kind of stuff you can do! Missed the first part about annealing it when I made my last comment, so it looks like my propane torch would work OK, thanks! Regarding the firing cap, I need to do some research on the anatomy of these shells. My pal did send a pic of the bottom. I thought I would research taking the cross-type thing out and cleaning it to make sure there was no residue.
  11. Wood block is a great idea, I hadn't thought about that, thanks! Do you think I could anneal it with just my propane torch? I don't know much about working with brass, but I think it has a sharp melting point, right? As in, it gets red, than it goes right to liquid, not much room for error? Google shows people annealing rifle casings with a propane torch, I assume the larger shell casing would be similar.
  12. A buddy has a 5-inch brass shell casing from WWII he wants turned into a trophy for his Veteran's golf league. 5 inch diameter, approximately 24 inches high and I'd guess a couple millimeters thick at most. The open end is a bit dinged up from when it was ejected and hit the deck. He'd like me to see what I can do about fixing the dinged up parts. I've not really worked with brass much. Is it like copper, where it work hardens and I need to heat and quench it to work it? Should I anneal it first before I start banging on it? My current plan is to use a rawhide or Teflon hammer and start on the anvil horn, or get a chunk of pipe slightly smaller than the ID of the casing. Anybody see and flaws with this? Also, I know this isn't a gun group, but what do you all think about the potential for unburned powder? I don't have the casing in hand yet, but my buddy says it's pretty crusty inside. I'm thinking of wetting down the inside and putting a nylon toilet brush on my drill and going to town. Thoughts? Lastly, his group of Veterans being what they are, he fully expects the guys to go all "Stanley Cup" and drink out of the thing. Thoughts or suggestions for a liner or coating on the inside? Thanks all!
  13. Let me revise - Not all prescription glasses are safety glasses! I have prescription safety glasses as well, and when I wear them they work great! When I wear my regular prescriptions, I'm rapidly reminded why I shouldn't and put on the safety specs.
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