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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Canterbury, CT
  • Interests
    metalsmithing, casting and blacksmithing


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  • Biography
    i want to be a professional blacksmith
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  1. Whenever i make billets i do it in a stainless steel foil bag with charcoal inside. The billet is compressed between the torque plates as tight as they can go. For copper and bronze i heat to 1625 for ten hours, take the bag out, cut it open, tighten the bolts as far as they will go again and let it cool to room temp. I have always been told to cut the edges off to get rid of delamination and then reduce the billet to 1/3 the original thickness with hot forging while the billet is at a black heat. Then cut into the pieces you want and roll out or forge and pattern to your desired results. And i've always wet sanded them down to 220 and rinsed in distilled water, never with soap or any detergent. The book Mokume Gane in the Small Shop by Steve Midgett is excelent. He actually gives you plans for making a small kiln out of two soft fire bricks that you fire with a torch.
  2. You could make a wooden form for it and do die forming. Figure out the size of the disc you need to form the dome by taking the depth of the finished form and adding the diameter without the flat lip. Then add for the flat lip you want plus a little extra. Take this disc and screw it to the face of your form after you anneal it. Now you can form the dome and the lip at the same time because the lip will stay flat while you sink the center. Its very effective if you need something with a lip.
  3. Great video. I love seeing the shops from other countries and how they have everything set up. The foot he soldered on in the end was actually just a handle for planishing the vessel. And i think that he used brass filings mixed with borax as the solder/flux solution. So really he was just brazing the seams together. As for tinning the pot the solder used would be more than enough to hold together while tinning. Tin melts somewhere around 400 deg. i think so the brazed seam would be fine.
  4. Ya curtain rods are pretty simple to start with. Check out the book Blacksmithing for the Homestead. Its more on homestead stuff but it does have a good deal of projects for the typical house like coat hooks and candle holders.
  5. I would love to be a professional blacksmith but i know that it just isn't the best idea at the time with the given economy. But i also enjoy fine metalworking and silversmithing. So i decided to go to college and become a metal shop teacher. This way i will have the summers off to completely immerse myself in blacksmithing and when i work i will still be working with metal, just with finer projects. I love being in college because i get to take all different classes that will help me out in the future, like economics and business courses. I guess what i am trying to say is to not rule out college completely. You could always just be a part time student and take certain courses that interest you.
  6. Well i don't make a living at my craft, yet. But there are still a few things that i have noticed definitely help out. One of the handiest things i have is a nice mig welder. You will be amazed by how much it helps out in the shop. Within the first 3 months of getting mine i made back more than the cost of the welder doing oddball jobs for friends and family. Not to mention it helps out with fabricating tools, repairing things and making jigs if you are making multiples of a piece. Before i got the welder i picked up an oxy acetylene setup. Its a pretty handy thing to have around for heading up the center of a long bar or cutting a thick section of steel. I don't know if you have an angle grinder or not but that is another tool that will certainly save you time and make back the cost of it within the first few projects.
  7. It looks great. One thing i have learned from brass guards and end caps is that marking out the slot smaller before you cut it tends to help out. I mark the slots smaller so that way i have to file then until everything fits perfectly. Instead of marking out the tang and trying to cut the slot to exact size. Keep up the good work.
  8. So it isn't new but it is new to me. I picked up an arbor press today for 26.50 from a junk shop. The tin plate on it says Phase II Arbor press and then a stock number. The only thing it is missing is a handle. Everything is in great condition. No rust on it and all the parts move freely. Here is a link that has a picture of it. So is it a 2 ton press? And do you guys think it was a good deal?
  9. Those look great. Keep in mind that when you add a grove or notches to the jaws they tend to leave marks on your piece. I like to keep at least one pair of flat jaw tongs without any marks on the jaws for handling fine work or if i'm hot forging some copper.
  10. Looks great. I like that it can hold tongs and hammers. Looks like you have a nice set up for your shop.
  11. CTBlacksmith


    Looks good. I have been casting a bunch of bronze and copper anvils of about the same size. I used them as weights for a gram scale. Keep up the good work.
  12. They look great. Im sure anyone would be proud to carry one on their belt. I know i would. Keep up the great work
  13. I have a few handle blanks of hickory that i have been air drying for a few years. I learned the hard way that i had to wait to use them.I made a few tomahawk handles that dried out on me and let the heads slip. Whenever i make handle blanks i just split the log and continue to split the pieces until they are around the right size for a handle. The biggest concern is just letting them dry long enough so they wont shrink once you shape them to the final size. You could always have the wood sawn into slabs and make something out of it like a nice workbench or table. They have portable sawmills that will com right to your house and cut the logs into whatever size boards you want. i have a big stack of rough sawn oak in my garage waiting to get put in my house parents house in Maine.
  14. Im not sure what it is but i noticed that the same seller had a 25lb little giant for sale and the current bid is 800.
  15. i use one of those or one similar to it in my college metal class and uses a similar one in high school. I love the design of them and they are very rigid and versatile. You can even cut circles out with them if you give have the correct feed rate and cut rate.
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