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I Forge Iron


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  1. Sounds like fun! Not sure I can take the time this weekend to head out to Wasilla, but I will try to stop by if I have the time! I'd love to see a coal forge in action. Daniel
  2. I posted pics in the mailing list but I figured I'd post it here too. I was able to pick up my great grandfathers anvil this weekend. Here are some pictures (sticky note for scale) http://imgur.com/a/nKdsv I think it weighs somewhere between 40-60 pounds as a rough guess. The edges are chipped and it looks like my great grandfather never bothered to round the corners. The horn also seems to be mushroomed. I'm not sure how much "restoration" I should attempt. My first goal is to get it mounted to something, and then I'll try to work out how much I want to try and clean it up. I'll post later with what a ball bearing test reveals.
  3. Maybe I'll bring it by at the end of the tong workshop. Because of this trip, I wont be able to make it to the workshop, which is kinda bumming me out. But I'll probably stop by in the afternoon when I get back if you guys are all still there.
  4. Just got the call yesterday that they do have the anvil. I'm going down to homer to pick it up this weekend. I have no idea of the size or what shape it is in but I'll be sure to post pictures when I get my hands on it!
  5. Its a 3/4 inch pipe nipple and its about 5" long. I am using a .025 mig tip but have opted for a very slight change in your design. I'll maybe post it in more detail sometime this week if I get a chance. I think that currently its not getting quite enough air and that I need to move the mig tip further back in the T. Quick question for frosty: With the current volume of the forge, should I up the burner to a 1" or do you think 3/4 should be fine. (I don't think its big enough to warrant any increase in size but I'm not the expert around here ) I added that refractory brick and now the forge gets a LOT hotter. While I now get a dull yellow its still not enough to forge weld I'm planning on being there at the tong workshop! I also learned that one of my relatives down in homer might have an anvil that was my great grandparents. Hopefully they still have it around! Daniel
  6. That was an old cutting torch table we had around. It works great for such things because you don't really end up cutting through the table. You can cut plenty of material while it lays directly on the table and the torch wont really touch the table even though you are cutting the metal laying on it. In this situation, since its made up of a lot of thin pieces it hardly gets hot enough to burn you, even right next to the forge bricks (although I haven't really tried setting my hand there because the heat off the bricks about 2-4 inches away is enough to almost burn me). The majority of the table gets a little warm but never really very hot. Its also super handy to hang my tongs from!
  7. Well I think the next Alaska Blacksmith Association meeting is scheduled for July. I was at the same point you were just a few months ago and the best thing that ever happened to my Forging dreams was to go to this last month's meeting. Just being able to hang out with people who have been doing this for years, and being helped in the process of making some stuff was a HUGE help. Anyone can come to the meetings, you just have to be a paying member to vote when they get into club business. There is a more beginner class that is coming up earlier though in Palmer. On Saturday, May 23rd they are doing a Tong workshop for $50. It should be a very basic beginner course and you will be able to leave with a pair of tongs which you made yourself, as well as meet and talk with some of the best blacksmiths here in the Anchorage/Valley area. Frosty is kinda the local guru though. He would say hi but he has had some issues with his account on the forum. I'm sure he'll have some sage advice once he gets that resolved though.
  8. That could work nicely. I'm not sure how kaowool would be incorporated into the existing design, but maybe I can go get some sheet metal and make something that would fit the kaowool better, and retain the heat better. ​My arm is doing great today btw. It was just a little sore from swinging a hammer for longer than I think I ever have in a single day. I'll definitely check out the hofi technique though.
  9. Hey everyone, I just got my forge and anvil up and running. I have had some issue getting my forge hot enough, but I will tweak the burner a bit to try and optimize results. I plan on making a real nozzle for the end of it to try and optimize the flame. Its possible that it is still burning slightly rich and needs some work on the air intake, but it still gets the metal to a very bright orange which is just hot enough to make it workable for now. Do note that in the pictures below, the forge wasn't running at full heat. I had shut it off for 20 minutes or so, and then re-lit it for the purpose of taking pictures. It gets the bricks glowing a bit more than what you see in the picture but not a whole lot more. They were pretty warmed up from the 4 or so hours I was running it today. Here is a set of pictures of my current setup. Excuse the mess as we are doing some spring cleaning around the material yard there. http://imgur.com/a/u3KCe I used a cutting torch to notch out my section of rail road rail, and welded in a nice diameter chunk of round steel I found lying around in my father's shop. It seems to do the job of a round edge nicely. I also took the time to grind down a nice curved edge and a nice square edge into the side of the rail. This really helped in making the tang of the razor I show in that last picture. I think the next project for that anvil will be to weld a wedge on there somewhere for cutting, as well as adding a Pritchel Hole. The only thing I'm really missing is a vice of some kind. I was thinking of trying to build one into the anvil using some all thread and a nut welded in the narrow part of the anvil. I mostly need something to try and hold the work while I twist it or cut it etc. I might one day take on building my own leg vice, but for now I have been getting creative with ways to use a C clamp and Crescent wrenches to achieve what I need. In that last picture you can see how my first real project went. I made that straight razor shape starting with a piece of 3/8" rebar. Im quite pleased with how it turned out for a first try. The only thing I don't particularly care for is just how sore my hammer arm is tonight. One other thing I should note, The stump I found was a little on the tall side for my hammer swing, so I threw a pallet down in front of it and it has made a nice difference. At some point I'll have to take a chainsaw to the bottom of it and lop off about 3-4 inches of it.
  10. Awesome, was wondering when the meeting was going to be! I live just down the road so I'll definitely be there! I got a piece of railroad rail from a buddy of mine. I'll probably clean it up and bring it with me.
  11. How exactly does one "Get their own coal?" I assume that this is actual coal and not making charcoal from wood?
  12. I have a CNC mill as well as a precision grinder which should be good for making the rail flat. Who should I call about getting some rail? I sent an email to someone I found on the AKRR website but any contacts you guys have could be useful.
  13. Wow, thanks for the warm welcome. I had heard of using railroad rail but wasn't sure how you would go about flattening it out. I'll do some research! one other question: where do you suggest finding fire brick? I checked with SBS and they only stock it in their Palmer store I'll probably have to grab some from there the next time I'm out that way, but would like to buy some in anchorage if someplace else stocks it.
  14. Hello everyone I am a 4th generation Alaskan living in Anchorage(although some of my early life was spent in AZ). I have been interested in blacksmithing and metal work for quite some time but am wanting to actually get my hands dirty. My father was a tool and die maker for the first half of his career, and so I have learned quite a bit when it comes to lathing and milling and the like but have never really had the tools or chance to get into blacksmithing. Currently, I have purchased the stuff to build a small propane forge (yet to build it) and my shop has a lot of the standard metal working tools but I am missing some of the key elements like an anvil and pliers. So with the backstory out of the way, I am looking for some suggestions on a cheap(ish) way to get an anvil in Alaska. I was thinking about making a post anvil kinda like the one shown in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZQy-NU_TTc I have a lot of scrap metal around, although I have no idea what most of it is. I have some hydraulic cylinders lying around and thought that might work as a starting post anvil, but i'm not really sure what type of steel I should be using for something like that (I should probably just google it). Thoughts?
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