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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by TwistedCustoms

  1. I have a three hundred gallon container that once contained sanitation solution for cleaning chicken houses. There are lots of chicken houses in my area and I see these containers for sale for usually around twenty bucks. They come on a heavy, plastic pallet and have a steel tubing frame on the outside of the plastic container. I cut the top out of mine to make it an open top bin. It holds a thousand pounds so when I buy a ton I fill the bin and then pallet stack the other thousand in 50lb sacks. I use the bagged coal first because the bags do rot pretty quickly. I thought about picking up another bin so I can dump a ton at a time but I like having some coal bagged to travel to events. If you want to spend a lot of money on storage systems, look up U-Line, they have it all. If you want a cheap solution ask a farmer
  2. Spoken like a true Wile E. Coyote. If only you could have found a way to incorporate dynamite! Once you've hammered out the details to include high explosives I'm in, but only if I can ride the lead drone!
  3. Incontrovertibly.....man I've missed this place, I gotta start popping in here again! If that whole wreck turns out to be wrought count me in on the salvage op.
  4. I suppose if you're dead set on getting a working tool from magma you could find a nice pile of it that's already cooled into a formation of obsidian and knap a spear point or blade from it. Hardened and tempered by Nature
  5. Is that a "Hand Hammer"? Also, I would really like to have that fly press!
  6. 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.
  7. I like your choice of handle materials. It looks very nice with that pattern.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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-
  16. I wonder if they will come balance my bathroom scales so I can track my weight loss in micrograms
  17. 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.
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. BeaverNZ, it certainly doesn't upset me! I would call it an homage. Sometimes a production blade is just too cool not to tinker with. One of my favorite Bowie blades is the Cold Steel Trailmaster. Not a particularly high end knife, but in profile the lines are just..."right". You have the makings of something really special there and I look forward to seeing it completed. No one is going to mistake a blade as nice as yours for a Svord! Since you took the steel to a new level, maybe consider adding liners to the scales to further distinguish it as a Custom. Any rate, keep up the good work.
  21. Looks very much like the Svord "Peasant", but with a much nicer blade! I like it.
  22. I have a nice little collection of steel I don't use often, water and oil hardening. I'm sure I can get something to stick to it. I'm mainly interested in how the wrought will etch. It's storming here this morning so I'm off to a slow start but when I get a break in the weather I'll head up to the shop. I have some one foot long sections of W1 drill rod in 1/2" round. That would require a little prep work but the plan is to use the wrought for axe heads with a welded bit so I'll keep the W1 on the short list.
  23. I will do that. Tomorrow I'll polish a small section of a foot and etch. I wouldn't bother harvesting if I don't see some pretty grain structure. I figure it would be fine grained having been forged under power but who knows! If it looks promising I'll post photos.
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