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I Forge Iron


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About clinkertinker

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    Michigan, USA
  • Interests
    Welding all processes - though I have a particular fondness for Stick, Forging Steel as a means of both Function and Design and lastly, All things Summer Camp. Specifically, my Skilled Trades Area Program and help the Rangers with maintenance and repairs. (I'll admit, I enjoy the little ego boost from being the most experienced welder on camp -aside from the occasional Scout Master who doubles as a journeyman!)

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  1. I'm sorry I disappeared there for a while! It's getting to be crunch time at school, so I've had to put blacksmithing on the back burner. But you all have been extremely helpful! Thank you so, so much. Take care! (And wish me luck on finals ha!)
  2. I want to meet whoever was the first one to be like walking scooping kitty litter and then thinking, "ya know what, this'll do just the trick!" How does it stand up in the heat..? Do clinkers like to cling to it? I have absolutely no idea basis of knowledge about kitty litter, haha ours are all outdoor beasts.
  3. ...this is true. Do you have to grind it up or pulverize it or anything? I watched someone destroy a coffee grinder on youtube the other day for just that purpose. Seemed like there had to be a better way.
  4. Frosty, I am definitely keeping that Naval Jelly trick up my sleeve for future use. Either way, I'm still on the fence. I would like to do a new forge build, especially if it's an eventuality anyways. The only issue is finding the material and the time. During the summer season when I'm teaching classes day in and day out, so I don't have a ton of time to put aside for scouting out the right drum, planning the build..I have a bad habit of being too meticulous about my projects, so they take way longer than they should. Anyways, yeah, I'm in west Michigan, definitely not as cool as the UP though. Charles, thank you for your suggestions, I feel a lot less in the dark now. I think I come across more 'ways to skin a cat' on these forums than any other, Blacksmiths do have a knack for that though. But, anyways, I'm already looking into adobe clay and it seems really promising -and affordable! I'd plan on digging some up, but I don't live in a clay-rich area, there's just sand, lots and lots of dusty sand. Thank you both for your helpfulness. I really appreciate it.
  5. Thanks Frosty! No, it doesn't have any sort of marking that I can tell. And it's so light weight that I'm not surprised that it's meant to be replaced. I'm really just avoiding replacing the pan for sentiments sake, as I inherited it from my grandfather. Kinda like Theseus' paradox, of the Grandfather's ax which has had the head and handle replaced. Anyways, functionally, I know it's a silly argument, but I'd rather at least try to keep the pan alive for as long as possible. I'm on board with your clay and sand idea, what do you mean by burnish? I've only come across that term in leather crafting?
  6. Indeed, I focused on ceramics for a few semesters in art school a few years back, so I'm familiar with clays. But I've never worked with clay in this fashion, so I'm in the dark. I wish I could post a picture of the pans condition, but it's currently in storage, so I can't access it right away. However, I did text my friend who owns the shop where it's kept, and he will hopefully send along a picture shortly. In the mean time, I found a few photos of forges in similar condition with the same type of build. One photo from another forum post: Pancho07 posted this picture: And here's another from a google search: Really my forge is about as rusted out as these pans; the fairly thin walls make me worry about issues with heat. On my pan, there is considerable rust damage where ash grate has been bolted to the pan. I was planning on reinforcing it with some plate. Something like the picture below, but instead of drilling holes, I was thinking I'd use a torch to cut a hole for a Tuyere to sit in. I found a pretty affordable one available by Centaur Forge.
  7. Hi all, I've got a Buffalo rivet forge that's the brink of death; the blower is a little champ but the hearth pan is another story. If I don't do something to line the pan is gonna be a goner for sure. I found a picture of a forge almost identical to my own on ebay. (see picture) When I asked the seller how he went about lining the pan he reported to using tile mortar; which seemed dubious to me. So I delved into the iforge forums and found two promising posts. The fist, complements of Charles R. Stevens: He suggested "...buy powderd clay, (fire clay) and mix it with sand use the waterglass to wet it, then case it (place it in a coverd container and let the moisture even out) if it's to wet leave the lid off till its the right consistancy..." I replied to his comment, but I'm new to posting on here, I'm not sure if it went through. Charles, if you see this, how much of each of these ingredients do you estimate I would need? And what consistency should the mix be for application? It is like pancake batter, putty or play-dough? Does any one else have suggestions on this? Another promising recipe from HWooldridge was posted a couple of years ago. He says: "I recently lined a Buffalo forge that has the lips an inch or so above the iron hearth and it turned out well. The process is based on something I learned years ago when I used to help my grandpa build houses. In addition to carpentry, he did some rock work and one thing we would do occasionally is reline fireplaces. On horizontal areas, he would make up a mix, apply it dry and level, then spray water on top. This would rock up in a day or so without cracking. The mix I used (based on his recipe) was 3 parts mortar, 3 parts clean sand, 1 part fireclay and 1 part dry lime. I mixed it, poured in the hearth to a depth that was flush to the top of the firepot and raked it smooth, then sprayed only enough water on it until the surface was wet. I let sit two days before making a fire and it had hardened nicely with no visible cracks anywhere. I think the minimal amount of water helps eliminate the cracking." I'm assuming he is referring to wetted mortar? But what type would be preferable? Any suggestions on this? I'm kind of lost... I apologize for posting a new topic on a subject that's been posted before; but while scouring these forums, I feel like I'm getting lost in all of the content. Please help! Here is a photo of the restored forge with a tile mortar lining: Thanks you guys, you all are always my first stop when I have a Blacksmithing question or problem to solve. -Kat
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