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I Forge Iron

Deep Forest Tinker

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  1. wow, thanks for the advice. I'll keep trying wtih my O1 stock but what's an 'easier' steel? I have a Grainger supply 1/2 mile from my work so I can get a few options pretty easily.
  2. Yeah, i'm just trying to get a bead on what should be reasonable if it is being done right. So the color of the temperature doesnt matter since I'm only looking for how long when it's being done correctly i.e. yellow hot. That said, the other factors are O1 steel, and a 3lb hammer. I should get involved with an organization, I just don't have much access. I think there's a guild within 30 miles, even one day of watching soemone more experienced work would probably teach me more than i know now.
  3. Yeah, I've seen that one before but I wasn't sure if it applies for charcoal. I wish I could find a diagram of how a charcoal fire is supposed to be built and where the workpiece goes. My forge is quite a bit like this (but i built it for $70) Anybody know how deep I should have the fuel? i usually have about 4 inches with my workpiece laying on top. now i'll try to make it more of a mound with 4 inches under and maybe 2 over and see how that goes. Other newb questions if anyone's willing to keep humoring me: 1) say I want to flatten a rod of 5/8" thats a foot long down to about 1/4" bar. how many heatings should that take? it takes me a LOT so i dont know if thats normal or my technique sucks 2) i guess lots of heatings is bad for the metal, so how many times can something realistically be heated before it's a problem. all I've heard is "too many" is bad, but i have no reference for what's normal or a lot of heatings. any guideline anybody can give me? So do you have to brush all the stuff that gets stuck to it off every time you hammer it? Also
  4. Thomas, that's a very fair point, I was starting from 31F since the stock was sitting in my garage. I'm going to try burying the rod in the charcoal. I'll try coal at some point, but my forge is based on a charcoal design and I want to stick with that for the immediate project.
  5. C-1, thanks for the info. I actually have access to coal from a farrier's shop a town over. Charcoal is just much easier to get. I've read they burn at the same temperature so i can't figure out what the difference would be. is it the density of the heat? I lay my workpiece on the top, should it be stuffed down in? I never know if that ends up making ash stick to it. This stuff seems harder to find in a youtube video, you know?
  6. Hey all, I'm self-teaching so i don't have a great reference point for how heating times should work because i cant really watch anyone do it live I built a charcoal forge of my own design and i think it works pretty well, seems to get plenty hot because it's started melting the firebricks and it can get steel rod up to pretty hot (i'm forging outdoors without a hood so i figure dark orange in daylight is pretty hot?) I -think- my forge works pretty well but I want to know how long metal should take to heat up. i feel like with the 5/8" rod i was trying today, it took about 10 minutes to get to first hammering temp, then it seems like several minutes in between. Is that reasonable? how much time hammering vs. heating do you spend?
  7. I just got the backyard blacksmith for Christmas, it's good but doesnt have a lot of detail about anything but the way she does it. I'd be very interested in that book if it talks about several options, I'll probably just buy a copy of it if it's that good.
  8. Huh, interesting, thanks. I'll dig around the solid fuel forum. google image search for charcoal forge doesnt turn up anything but coal forges :\
  9. Thanks for the comments! I don't use the shop vac anymore, i had been using a toe switch to pulse it, which worked ok. Now I use an air compressor hose with an air gap before it hits the intake to suck more air in. it actually seems to work pretty well, but I run out of air fairly quickly. I'll spend time in the solid fuel forums. How long should it take to heat a piece of 1/2" steel from cold to orange? I still don't have any idea if my forge is working reasonably or not.
  10. Thanks for the reply. So to have a firepot that deep, does it need to be like a foot wide as well? Are there design ideas in the solid fuel forge section? I feel like I'm pretty off the beaten path with charcoal - does it require a different forge design? Thanks, Jim!
  11. Hi everybody, I did a quick search and didnt see anything about this so here goes. I built myself a small forge for working with charcoal. Since the charcoal sparks a lot, i built a hood for it and it seems to work fairly well (it just has a mesh grate at the top of the stack). However, I feel like i'm spending a lot of time heating my material and maybe its not getting hot enough. It seems like it takes several minutes to heat a chunk of 1/2" steel to I'd say about a dull orange. I have a lot of open ended questions and would just like advice. Questions: - main question - how the heck long should it take to heat material? - is it just the design of my forge? - is it that charcoal sucks? - is it my material? (hot rolled steel) - is the blowing I"m doing not good enough? (ive used a shop vac and an air compressor and both seem ok but how would i know?) I attached a picture of my evil little forge. the firepot is about 2.5 inches deep, has about a 2.5 inch perforated section for blowing, and maybe 8 inches across at teh top, 5 at the bottom. I greatly appreciate any advice
  12. Hi everyone, I'm a new to blacksmithing guy from Minnesota. I built my first forge when i got my first welder a few months ago and have been trying to figure this whole thing out. I'm using a 6" chunk of railroad track for an anvil. I finally broke down and decided to join an internet forum when I realized I couldnt find an easy youtube video about managing a charcoal fire correctly. Hopefully I can find some help here and make a few new friends Jordan
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