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I Forge Iron


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    California, USA

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  1. Hey all, This isn't technically an axe making question since coldsteel made the Tomahawk already and I'm mainly just looking to customize it. I've seen many custom coldsteel tomahawks but none that have been heat anodized and I'm wondering why. Has anyone here tried this or have any knowledge as to whether it's worth trying? Not sure if maybe the metal coldsteel uses doesn't take the coloring well or what. I'm considering trying to do this and going for for a nice even bronze color on the norse hawk axe head if this is a viable method. Thanks in advance!
  2. Hi all, New blacksmith here again. So, I've been working on my brake drum forge now for about..probably two months. Still a newb but I'm learning. The brake drum forge that I built works fine for heating steel but it's burning my coal faster than I think it needs to. What I'm considering, is using some fire cement around the inside and shaping it so that it slopes from the rim to the center where the air blows in. What I'm really wanting to know is if this will help to more efficiently burn my coal and if the fire cement is a viable option for what I'm trying to achieve. I'll attach a picture of my forge also....aaaand it uploaded sideways again for some reason.
  3. Hey everyone. So in the attached pic are the first two sets of tongs that I've made. One was made from some long handle pliers from harbor freight and the other was made from some farrier nippers. I'm using a coal forge and was attempting to shape the mouth of both tongs to suit the shape of a railroad spike by heating the mouth of the tongs and placing a spike in the jaws then shaping the jaws around the spike. For some reason I don't understand, the jaws off the nippers started to twist from my hammer blows and the mouth didn't shape around the spike as I had intended. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong here, if just like to know what exactly.
  4. Being new to blacksmithing (but not to common sense) I read all the stickies that I could when I first joined and still refer back to them. Not sure why so many don't do the same but my guess is that they have initial misconceptions about the complexity of blacksmithing to begin with due to movies and video games. As for myself, I could have never forged that last set of dragon scale armor of impending sarcasm nor my +5 mithril longsword of unavoidable mockery without doing some homework first.
  5. It took me almost two years to get a good quality anvil. Everyone recommended a piece of track just to get started but I was stubbornly patient and waited till I got my hands on a real steel anvil. If you aren't so patient I recommend rail track. I'd recommend looking for other blacksmiths and metal workers in your area first. If they don't have something laying around I'd be amazed. Someone recommended Looking for a farrier which would be a good idea assuming you have horses in the L.A.area. If you were nearer to me I could actually give you a piece of track.
  6. Wow that's great work. He needs a little picnic basket next to him and he'll be all set.
  7. Love that pattern. I favor the first grip with the second pommel. Seeing you hold that sword in medical scrubs... Priceless.
  8. I just learned about the notifications yesterday so I should be more caught up from now on. I've also initiated the forum stalking feature for Ric's profile now that I'm aware of it.
  9. Omg Ric Furrer is on this site! LOL you're the whole reason I began blacksmithing. Sorry, that's off topic. Anyways, love your work Ric.
  10. I just found this show yesterday and have been watching it. It's pretty good for a beginner like myself because I've already picked up a few "do's" and "don'ts" from watching the participants and the judge's reactions. It's also brought up some good questions for me that I intend to research deeper such as one episode where the smiths had to include a hamon in their blade. Overall, very entertaining for a new smithing addict.
  11. I'm in Fresno (central valley). Looking to move in the next few years possibly. It's too hot here for me. Might be looking at northern Washington or possibly Maine.
  12. I'm as green as a leprechaun when it comes to blacksmithing so take this with a grain of salt. What has attracted me to blacksmithing is in a way, getting in touch with the past and history as a whole. Not just seeing but feeling what it was like for our ancestors to work metal into something useful. I see mig welding as not being traditional blacksmithing since that technology is relatively new when you take into account how long mankind has been working with metal. Heck..when I built my forge I grudgingly set it up with an electric blower which I intend to replace eventually even considering the loss of convenience. TLDR: for myself, I guess this is probably a little extreme but I consider tools such as power hammers and mig welders as modern and not something that in my opinion would fit in with "traditional" blacksmithing. Sure more convenient and time saving though.
  13. So it's been about a month now since I got my forge setup and I've been practicing with my hammers and anvil and thought I'd share what I've learned so far. 1. Don't wear shorts 2. Wear pants (leg hair doesn't count, see #1) 3. It's not as easy as it looks. 4. Coal seems to burn faster when people are talking. 5. Post vices are hard to find in California. (And harbor freight vices are terrible) 6. It is as fun as it looks. 7. Wives and neighbors are not as excited about the sound of hammer on anvil as you might be.
  14. Made a simple coal rake for my first project. Sorry not sure why they're uploading sideways lol
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