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I Forge Iron

Lou L

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About Lou L

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    Metal Mangler Ph.D

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    West Hartford, CT
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    Too numerous to count.

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  1. Well, it could be the handle but it could be your grip as well. I know that when I’ve had too long a break from slamming steel I tend to grip the handle too tightly and beat up my hands something fierce. Truth is, I looser grip with a little flexibility in the wrist can get you more power and a more comfortable grip. Before you blame the hammer check to see if you aren’t squeezing the handle tightly. I’d suggest you don’t wrap your thumb around the handle and, instead, run it along the length of the handle. I do that and it forces me to keep a loose grip. When my hands start to hurt I al
  2. Another freebie: Don't put a hot piece of metal near where you usually keep your coal rake! (I did this while forging outside at night without good lighting.) In fact, always have a designated space for hot items that is a known "no touch" zone.
  3. I will be getting firebrick tomorrow. I could likely lay one brick on the side in front of the opening and it would be high enough to act like a sill. If not I'll be placing a brick in front anyway in an upright position that will allow it to cover the entire opening if needed (but not needed). I intend to cover the small back opening unless it is needed. I purposely created a shelf for supporting a brick in the back. Would that cause a back pressure issue do you think? I know I will need to do it for welding but I haven't welded in the forge yet. I'm hoping to be able to weld at ridicu
  4. Ok, I took some pictures as prescribed. First I took apart the burner and cleaned out the jet. Of course I ran a tiny piece of wire through it BEFORE holding it to the light and checking for obstruction because I'm not smart. I DID blow through it to see if it was impinged and it may be my imagination but it "seemed" looser after the clean out...but this is one of those feel things where high hopes can change perceptions. I lit the forge up, set it at my usual 7 PSI to get started and whipped out the camera. Here it is: This is the rather ugly forge right after lighting it up
  5. I believe there is a lot of discussion on the topic spread around in a number of threads. I remember a discussion on the topic in the thread on Frosty's NARB and I'm certain it was discussed at length in the Forges 101 thread in the "Gas Forges" section. Mikey is well-versed on the topic along with a number of people. In the end, however, it has turned out that there is no ONE angle to set you burner. There are too many variables to be able to calculate "perfect". The type of burner, the diameter of the forge, the "drag" created by the flame face (kaowool would inhibit a vortex more than
  6. I'll check the easy thing first tomorrow. Sorry for following "unblacksmithy" advice Frosty, but I'm lazy! I'm seriously annoyed by this development and would like to find schmootz in my jet to account for it. I already used it for at least four hours and destroyed four wine glass holders in the process (the neighbors think they just look like weather Fall leaves but they disgust me). I would think that the aforementioned bugs would be ashes already...but the jet is suspect. I will admit that I use the forge without using firebrick to cover the front opening but I've used it that way sinc
  7. Hello all! Apologies for my disappearance (unless, of course, it was a refreshing change for you), but I just gave up on "interneting" for a while to focus on other things. I've still been in the shop but not as much as I want to be until recently. This winter I used my forge a number of times with no problems, but recently I've had an issue. I fired it up to make my annual wine glass holders for my kids' teachers and had a new issue. The stock is seriously oxidizing in the forge. The section that is not red at the opening of the forge gets a black soot on it. The oxidation was so bad o
  8. Love it! I’m glad you had a good time in my “shop”. You picked up little bits of instruction well and had good hammer control. You are on your way. Let’s try to schedule more meet-ups. Nevan was annoyed he missed the best part. Lou
  9. Very cool. I’d love to see the outcome of her grinding and finishing. That’s the real grueling work of bladesmithing.
  10. Sorry, Jennifer, our little hammer-in was missing you. If I invite the young ones over in a couple weeks I’ll be sure to beg your attendance! Seriously, I love watching you teach.
  11. I met a guy who loves post vises and collects them. He has some beauties but this one stood out to me. I want to find out if others have seen this before and if they think it was modified this way. You can see the weld line at the base of the post.
  12. I just find myself impressed when some of you gurus see a picture of a burner someone posts and point out, “..oh, that looks to be running a little rich,” or, “that’s a reducing flame you have right there.” It feels like every gasser here seems to be able to figure it out pretty handily. I know I could put stock in the forge and watch for scale buildup, but that’s the limit of my knowledge. Even then I would be guessing. I guess I’m looking for the fast route toward learning how to tune a burner. If, in the end, it’s just about feel I’m okay with waiting for experience to guide me.
  13. Well, I believe my new ribbon block is adding a lot of color into the flames at the moment, so I can’t be sure what is going on right now. I’ve run it with a .023 and a .030 mig tip and the difference in output at 7 psi is clear. I get the full swirl in the chamber with the larger jet. But the swirling flames appear to be reddish/orangish. I know I had similar colors the last time the ribbon burner was freshly cast. I’m going to wait until I get some time using the burner and then get some comparison photos. I know the color of the dragon’s death is telling. Could I get a little primer
  14. That was as much as I needed to hear, thanks! I just wanted to know if my conceptual framework was accurate enough. I'd like to understand how the additional mixing (and I'll assume slight pressure increase) caused by the plenum and ribbon ports affects the air fuel ratio. Unfortunately, being colorblind AND inexperienced, I'm terrible at judging the qualities of a burn. But I shall try Thanks again, Lou
  15. Okay, so today I test fired the new ribbon block and the burner was fitted with a .023 mig tip. It was super quiet and it did have that feedback resonance whistle thing going on. At lower pressures it burns smoothly but the flames are quite short. At 10 psi the flames engine the entire forge chamber. Here's my point for posting:. I'm wondering about efficiency. If I put the .035 mig tip in would the burner consume the same amount of fuel at lower pressures than the .023 at higher? Furthermore, would it run noticably richer with the wider jet or does the Venturi draw increase in a str
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