TwistedCustoms

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About TwistedCustoms

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    Senior Member

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    Male
  • Location
    Ms.
  • Interests
    Primative Tools and Skills

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  1. TwistedCustoms

    Tools to set up shop

    If you don't mind cutting a hole in the side of the corn crib, an exhaust fan mounted just above the height of the pan should be plenty. (I'm talking about a 36" or better fan like you see in the gable of steel buildings, not a bathroom fan!) I don't know what kind of doors a corn crib has but a rivet forge, burning coal, would be ok in the center of a 20' by 30' covered workspace as long as you have some double doors propped open with a fan for circulation. Most of the smoke will come when you first light the forge, before the green coal starts coking. After that you just need enough ventilation to keep the carbon monoxide from building up. Venting depends a lot on how you want the shop layout but seeing as that is a portable rivet forge I would set it up in the center of the space and see how it goes with just the doors open and a fan to vent the space. If you plan on forging with the space buttoned up tight and trying to have some level of climate control, you will need a hood and a smokestack.
  2. TwistedCustoms

    I tried a new stack

    I like your choice of handle materials. It looks very nice with that pattern.
  3. TwistedCustoms

    Home made Anvil

    I have been really interested in the AR plate for a while because I have a good source for 1/2" but I don't know what welding will do to it in terms of changing the hardness. What is your 8"x9"x5" block made of? Even if it's mild I would try forging on it as is for a while. You have a pretty good looking set up. If the block starts to mushroom or sway too much you can just dress it, or roll it and keep on forging. You said rebound is "nice". What is that in terms of percentage when you drop a ball bearing on it from a known distance? If it's over 50% it's better than some! You can put a heavy bead of silicone between the block and plate and cut the sound way down too.
  4. I've dug myself in so deep I'm surrounded by dwarves Sturdy wood blocks are handy to raise shorter smiths on a concrete floor when the anvil height is fixed. I wonder if an old barber chair base would tolerate being hammered on with an anvil sitting atop the cylinder?
  5. TwistedCustoms

    Seax Question

    Some of us find it seaxy
  6. TwistedCustoms

    Treadle vice/shear, help ID

    IFI is home to some talented and knowledgeable farriers, one of them will chime in eventually and solve the mystery one way or the other.
  7. TwistedCustoms

    Seax Question

    As scientifically advanced as Arab culture was at the time of the birth of Islam I wonder why the originator of that tale didn't know that you do not need tongs to make a set of tongs
  8. TwistedCustoms

    Treadle vice/shear, help ID

    Just looking at the photo I would guess the shear would handle 3/4" by 3/8" mild without too much trouble. Now I'm thinking I want to build a foot peddle shear to replace my tail gate shears for cold cutting mild.
  9. TwistedCustoms

    Treadle vice/shear, help ID

    The horizontal vice on the back (opposite the foot pedal) is what made me think it may be farrier related. I've seen plenty of the more robust type like Kozy posted. Centaur Forge sells an anvil stand that includes a foot vise for holding a shoe in the horizontal, like the one posted by BryanL. Not being a farrier I don't know why it's handy for them to have one oriented that way but I could find uses for it! The one made by CF looks like it's made of square tubing and wouldn't stand up to much hammering at all, more of a clamp really, certainly not for heavy forging. File work maybe? Holding a used shoe steady to knock out the old nails? I'm guessing but either way I like it.
  10. TwistedCustoms

    Treadle vice/shear, help ID

    I'm sure I've seen something like it in a shop that made horse shoes but I can't remember where I've seen it. It's a cool vice for sure!
  11. TwistedCustoms

    My first set

    A lot of comments that get posted on open forums are not intended to pick apart the OP, but rather to inform everyone else in the world who may read it at some point. The safety issues that you yourself pointed out, while obvious to you and me, may actually help to inform someone who doesn't know better. These guys aren't making assumptions about what you know about safety, but rather trying to educate anyone reading this who has no experience of these safety issues. I thought the mention of the flip flops was good natured ribbing and the photo of the steel toe thongs was hilarious Since your original post didn't ask a specific question I took it as "here is what I did, so what do you think?" In order to steer the post back towards smithing I'll throw one tip out that helped me early on. I notice your anvil is sitting out in direct light. This can make it very hard to determine the heat of your work by color because direct sunlight washes out the color. When I set up my first forge I didn't have a covered area to work and judging the heat of the steel was impossible. Someone on IFI told me to look for an old 55 gallon drum or a steel bucket of some kind to lay on it's side and use as a shadow box. I ended up making a sheet metal box held together by rivets. Placing the work in the shadow box instantly showed me if it was at forging temp or needed to go back into the fire. You may already know about this trick, maybe even already use it, but everyone who reads this post wont know about it and hopefully someone will find it helpful! Welcome to the madhouse.....keep on forging! -M-
  12. TwistedCustoms

    They redefined the kilogram

    I wonder if they will come balance my bathroom scales so I can track my weight loss in micrograms
  13. TwistedCustoms

    Craft vs. Art

    I love a question with no clearly defined answer! Here are a few things to consider about objects outside the clearly defined categories such as paintings and sculpture. objet de'art - Objects of practical function with the highest level of fit, finish and ornamentation where the overall artistic expression overwhelms any practical application. In the knife and sword world in particular we sometimes say a piece is "too pretty to use" objet de'vertu - Purely decorative pieces of the finest materials, facture, design, construction and finish with no practical application or intended use other than to inspire the beholder. Those two terms are agreed upon and used by museums and collectors around the world. What follows is only my humble opinion! I have seen objects that fit into both of those categories which incorporate forged elements. Very few forged objects, with the exception of sculpture, qualify for those categories without being further refined and embellished with other skills and materials not particular to the blacksmith. Graving, grinding, polishing or any process of reduction whereby the piece is drastically altered from its "as forged state". Plating, gilding, enamel work, the addition of cut and polished stones, painting, filigree and limitless other skills and trades can be incorporated into these pieces. On the other side of that coin is the notion that any hand crafted object, no matter how humble or utilitarian, offers an outlet for artistic expression. I wouldn't consider a swage forged acorn finial to be a work of art in and of itself, but such additions can harmonize and work together to elevate on object as simple as a pair of fire tongs to something more than, "just" fire tongs. I believe that every hand made object has a "soul" of sorts, some small part of it's creator. As to which is better, selling ten items for a set price versus one item for ten times that amount? The markets you sell in will tell you which is more lucrative. If it's even money then the question becomes, which do you prefer to forge? As to whether or not your work is "art". Probably. Does it belong in a gallery or will it do well at an art show? Not necessarily. Spend some time at the art show in question and think about the level of your current work compared to what you see there. Get a feel for the skill level and pricing of the various artists who are offering their work and decide if it's something you want to shoot for the next time around.
  14. TwistedCustoms

    Mini post vise

    The square plates covering the spring/hinge area makes me think German pattern. Not so much a forging vise but great for file work on smaller stuff. A locksmith/gunsmith/clockmaker might clamp tiny pieces in a hand vise, then clamp the hand vise in a small bench vise like that for mill work. I would snatch it for the price mentioned!
  15. TwistedCustoms

    Aspiring blacksmith wishing for personal lessons

    Indeed! Malory was a cad. Who can trust an account penned in a prison cell? I've known my share of watery tarts and none of then ever tossed good steel my way!