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I Forge Iron


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    Middletown, MD

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  1. What sad news. Thanks for sharing so much wisdom, Grant, and rest in peace.
  2. My shop is way too crowded with tools and machines, so I spend a lot of time organizing just to be able to get anything done. I also have a 20' shipping container outside for overflow storage, which I try to go through once a year or so, but that's a job I truly dread. I generally clean up after finishing a project, but as far as thoroughly cleaning the shop, that happens whenever I get really frustrated after a half hour of looking for something that I need. At that point I try to just stop and take the time to put everything where it belongs, sweep the floor, etc.
  3. Yes, a weekend gig could work out well, especially if you need to keep your day job. Sounds like a great opportunity where there may be room for creative options... it sounds like the owners have a historic shop which is a potential visitor/customer attraction, but they aren't making it work. I wonder if you could find a win-win business solution, where you could take advantage of the history draw and turn it into a metal arts "destination" that would bring customers to the owners' other businesses, while bringing them to your door. I don't think lack of experience is a problem, but it might mean it would be a good idea to find more experienced partners to work with you. Don't know if any of these ideas would make sense, without knowing your situation and the owners' motivation.... but just brainstorming: 1. Could you find a more experienced smith (or smiths) interested in coming in now and then and working with you as you gain experience? 2. If the shop has the space and power, etc. to be a good light industrial workspace and the owners are flexible, there might be a small guy ornamental ironworker around who's ready to move out of his garage for a low enough lease. Having some metalworking activity in the shop during the week might be attractive to the owners for the sake of visibility & public interest, even if its not 100% forging... and you could still do the traditional demo stuff on weekends. You might be able to set up a partnership and win-win deal for everyone. 3. If you have a local blacksmith guild in the area, you could look at establishing a home shop for them; you could be the shop manager and go-between with the landlords, the guild could have a permanent space... maybe host open forge nights and business meetings on weekday evenings and do open-to-the-public meetings/demos on weekends. 4. You might be able to establish a collaborative arrangement with several artist-blacksmiths... give everyone their own work area and everyone share "community" tools (power hammer, drill press, saws, etc.)... demo/exhibit/sell your stuff on weekends...
  4. Somewhere around $200 (as I recall... sorry, I'm a victim of CRS).. and worth every penny!
  5. Guy Lautard wrote up a good piece on Cole drills in The Machinist's Third Bedside Reader. I ran across the company's website several years ago and they were still selling both the Cole drill and vise. My foggy memory is that they were both going for around $250. Link to a brochure: http://www.rustyiron.com/literature/ColeDrill.pdf
  6. Thanks for the comments. This was a present for my mom. Need to make something for the wife now, soon!
  7. Dogwood flower Brooch made from 1018 and 10N20. Built up mosaic star pattern for the flower and chevron pattern for the inlaid heart. Deep etch and then buffed. Pin back was silver soldered onto the back.
  8. Rasp asps are cool. A big bolt or a piece of allthread will also forge down into interesting scales.
  9. One thing to keep in the back of your mind if you go the reinforced route is the possibility of escalation of force from the vandals. My dad put up a fabricated steel mailbox several years ago after having the same problem at his home in CT. The punks evidently got mad after they hit it (hopefully someone broke a wrist). My folks were awakened by bricks smashing through their living room and bedroom windows. VERY upsetting as you can imagine. I still think all the bash-proof box ideas are great- and if you ask my dad, he'd probably say go for it, but make sure your shotgun is loaded and handy...
  10. Really nice, Lyle. I looked through your Picasa albums... is there a step-by-step somewhere that shows how you make the flower head on the aluminum flower bangle? I tried to copy it back when it came out on the cover of Anvil's Ring, but never got one looking that good...
  11. Cortland Machine & Tool Co. has put up some Bradley hammer catalogs on eBay. No idea if they're worth the price... only 18 pages, according to the auction description. http://cgi.ebay.com/Bradley-Hammer-Forging-Catalog-/170622574195?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b9e5de73#ht_499wt_1159 In case the link doesn't work, its auction #170622574195.
  12. I don't think what you want to do is a bad idea, as long as you are smart about safety and design. A hanging, swinging target is probably the safest place to start, as long as you don't use too-heavy plate. Remember that the closer you hit to the "hinge" end, the less the target will swing and deflect the round. If you are going to be making multiple targets for competition (the real fun), then you'll want something that gets knocked down or moves to another position, like a dueling tree, pepper poppers or headplates. My favorite is a stand with a row of 6 round headplates @ 8" diameter. This is a common design and you might be able to find one to copy. It has a lever hanging down from the back that resets all the plates when you pull it forward with a rope. I've shot quite a bit with these; mainly 9mm, and guys did get dinged now and then by pieces of copper jacket. The only serious injury I saw was when a piece of jacket went through a guy's pants and into one of his nuts... they cut it off at the hospital; the docs decided it wasn't worth trying to save it since he still had another one. Besides normal range safety precautions, I'd recommend: 1. Use unjacketed ammo 2. Like VaughnT said, don't make them too heavy for what you're shooting. Also, inspect the plates frequently and scrap them when they get deformed. 3. Don't make them from unknown scrap; not just the plates, but everything in the line of fire... this is where I'm ignorant... I always thought mild steel was best, but I googled steel plates and it looks like the major manufacturers use hardened plate to resist deformation. If that's what they use, I suppose its the way to go. I think the worst material would be a soft steel that work-hardens- then you get deformation plus hardness. We got some targets like that once and they started shooting back at us... scrapped them before anyone got hurt.
  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7sbkyWQrnY&feature=player_embedded#at=12 Great video from a Polish rolling mill...
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