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I Forge Iron


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About Kozzy

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    Butcher of metal

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    Southern Palouse WA state USA

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  1. Rigidity is the issue. Most smaller bandsaws are not nearly rigid enough, even for wood cutting. They can be a nightmare. If you happen to find something old school and rigid, yes it can work for you to cut metal--but it is far better on sheet goods than thick stock. Thick is quite slow and the high pressures you need to keep on the material make cutting it on a vertical a bit of a work-out. I have a 14" vertical from Boeing surplus and it does work to profile some things but it's not a job I look forward to. Sheet is not bad to work but 1/4" thick plate and a bit above is not fun.
  2. Might be possible. Found a single reference from a USGS publication that mentioned whetstones being made in Woonsocket RI. "Other Rocks Only minor use for dimension stone has been made of such rocks as marble and Pennsylvanian sandstone. Very minor use has been made of soapstone in lenses of the Blackstone Series. The sandstone at Woonsocket was used for making "ten thousand dozen" whetstones in 1840 (Jackson, 1840, p. 71)." From "Bedrock Geology of Rhode Island" https://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/1295/report.pdf
  3. Here's a clue for you: Anything that says plaster of paris and sand mix is appropriate for forge or foundry use hasn't a clue what they are doing and should not only be dismissed...but you should run away so fast your shoes smoke. Same with concrete/cement admixes Same with "cinder blocks", standard bricks, and many hard brick solutions (even hard refractory brick unless used in certain specific ways). Same with "weed burner" type burners in a forge as your heat source Same with small propane blow (plumber's) torches--unless everything you forge is the size of a finish na
  4. I'm seeing galvanized parts--maybe it's just the lighting. That is dangerous. Look up "fume fever". If galvanized was used in any areas that will see high temperatures, correct that before this thing is used by your son. I'm not kidding---it can kill. Even with outdoor use, you never know when a light breeze will send a snootful of toxic fumes at you. I'm not wanting to throw water on your son's enthusiasm but please suggest that for the next try (and I'm betting there will be a second try) absolutely DO NOT get design advice off of youtube. Many of the designs there, including this
  5. It's new to me but with a bazillion posts on this site, may have been mentioned before: In the Greek myth, Procrustes was a son of Poseidon with a stronghold on Mount Korydallos at Erineus, on the sacred way between Athens and Eleusis. There he had a[n iron] bed, in which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and where he set to work on them with his smith's hammer, to stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody ever fitted the bed exactly. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was capture
  6. Wow--that grinder has a lot of potential expletives one could attached to it. Its chief benefit would be in the health category--because you should get plenty of exercise in your quest to run away. There is no great solution that is also "cheap". There are some passable solutions--for instance many get good results using a flat disk in an angle grinder if they work carefully. There are also chinese 1 x 30 machines that are in the $ 120 USD range which, though underpowered and a bit frustrating, can get the job done if you don't push them too hard. (put your money into only high-quality
  7. Box blade on a tractor...Didn't our Italian friend say he had access to a tractor in the past? On a 3 point hitch, you can crank one side to make it skewed out of level with the tractor to take down slopes. Not fast but compared to hand methods, far far better. With the "teeth" in, they work pretty well in even rocky soils. But the image implies a small dozer with a 6 way blade would be more than worth the rental expense.
  8. Exactly. They have the ability to make remarkably good stuff but if you don't have someone over there constantly monitoring the supply chain for you, crap seems to slip through. I've even seen things that were obviously broken/flawed tossed in a crate because they know the return process is onerous so most on this side of the Pacific just skip it and eat the loss or fix it here. One other thing--no matter who you call, they will say "Yes, we make that". There doesn't seem to be a distinction between actually manufacturing something and being willing to go find someone who can make it f
  9. What the esteemed Mr. Powers said above...only louder. The typical simple overhead hood seems like a good idea but in practice, most find them to be rather a failure in terms of handling the smoke and fumes (some, a total failure). Super sucker on the other hand appears to be pretty remarkable when done to spec. I've seen images where you would swear that thing would be useless, but basically sucking every bit of smoke away and even sucking up the forge fire a bit. The only one I've personally seen kept an insulated pole building garage totally smoke free, even with the doors and windo
  10. Drill bits are one of those areas where quality is worth every penny. Skip the cheap chinese offerings. I had one set given to me that were so soft they unwound in use rather than breaking. If at all possible skip the home center bits as they are generally not much better, even if they have a good brand name. Buy some quality bits from a machinists supply source--or online from similar. USA made tend to be quite good--but there are some from offshore that are also great (Poland usually makes some good ones for example) Once you use a top quality bit, it's darned clear why they are worth th
  11. My first thought when seeing the paint was that this might have been a gravestone anvil. That black looks like field applied "japanning" which is usually a linseed oil based goop with carbon black and some other things to thicken and cure the oil. There was a time when anvils were almost worthless so the Smith's own anvil would be used---or an old used anvil acquired. If that sat in one place in the rain for decades, one would expect the underside to collect moisture between the coating and anvil and result in heavy corrosion. Graves rarely get dry weather because the sprinklers keep t
  12. Long soak in citric is the most common these days due to easy disposal requirements and fewer employees at the doctor. But the pickling paste style from the welding store--really nasty stuff--tends to do a quick job of things. Assuming you got the scale off there is electro-polishing also but that's a bit overkill. I prefer mechanical cleaning then removing any surface iron (which will eventually rust) with citric acid. Check out this home brew weld passivation using a 12V batter charger. Cleans up the welds pretty slick. Explanation starts at 1:30 Might work if your proje
  13. My Brother did have a house fire which destroyed virtually all the contents. He now swears by full replacement value insurance...as well as keeping as much of your old crap as possible (that's a joke on his part). In his case, things like an old quilt he used for the dogs was considered a custom craft project at high replacement value--similar for an old piano he was given for free. In reality most items really DO need to be replaced with new equivalents so you aren't actually coming out ahead: But dang, he did come out like a bandit on some of his old "junky" stuff. "New replacement
  14. I would add to Rockstar's post the notion of selling anything out of the home smithy. Magically it becomes a business rather than personal equipment and claims can be denied should they choose to. There are LOTS of games insurance companies play when they want to get out of paying. In the past, they sometimes also played the self-insured game for those who under-insured. Say your stuff is worth $ 100K. You insure it for $ 50K because you underestimated it's replacement value. If it's all lost, insurance companies (*some* used to) only pay out $ 25K: They claimed that you were 50%
  15. I have a master machinist friend who absolutely cannot stand woodworking: It just drives him crazy. He's so fixated on the fact that he can machine things down to .0001" that the fact that wood does what it wants and you need to work with the material's foibles just files in the face of his daily grind. He just can't wrap his head around it. It's kind of weird to see because he's brilliant and very highly skilled--making anything less than perfection a frustrating course in his head.
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