WNC Goater

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Everything posted by WNC Goater

  1. I was surprised at how quickly I sold the first batch of folded crosses. I used 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" square bar for three different sizes. You can turn them out fairly quickly. The pigtail steak flippers are good too. I use square stock and twist it.
  2. I would suggest you go to the solid fuel forge section and read Charles Stevens thread, "Just a box of dirt" and start from there. It has been very helpful to me. Here is the link to that thread: Also others will chime in and likely start...well nevermind. Just the more info you can give about the type of forge you have, and it's intended use will be helpful.
  3. In my rather limited experience here, at times the opposite of that seems to be the goal.
  4. +1 on JHCC's recommendation on Charles' JABOD thread. Lots of good info.
  5. Tractor Supply has the 1" brick, if you have one nearby.
  6. You've got to wonder, what in the world did they do when they were "way out yonder" crossing plains and broke a spoke.
  7. Walmart has an inflatable pool/air mattress pump. They are about $12 and come with little nozzles with different size holes which can regulate airflow. Those little nozzles plug nicely into a vacuum hose. The pump has an on-off switch. If you look at one of the first pictures in Charles Stephens' JABOD thread you can see one of those little pumps I'm talking about on the back of his forge. He regulates it with a ball valve. You could probably rig it up with your pvc/valve.
  8. I don't know if you've read it but Charles Stevens has an excellent, EXCELLENT thread, heck a tutorial, on this very thing at the top of this particular forum. I bet I've read it through 6-8 times as I plan my own box of dirt...with a few modifications. Even doing a Google search will lead to this thread & I have yet to find anything on an internet search or YouTube that will have more information on the very thing you are making, than that thread mentioned.
  9. Works REALLY well with coal too! Just recently discovered.
  10. Forgive me for offending you with a simple question. I will indeed move on.
  11. Okay, now I'm confused again. "usually made from coal"...I thought it WAS coal, just coal that had converted to coke by burning. (?) (Burning wood converting to charcoal would be the closest analogy I could think of that would be a similar process.) I'm still pondering using coke, specifically, as forge fuel. Why? Does the coal not convert to coke and THAT is what produces the intense heat we use for forging? Why would one use coke specifically if the coal automatically converts to coke anyway? By that I mean, it seems it would add significantly to the cost if there is a process on a commercial scale to convert the coal to coke for the purpose of selling that instead of coal. And if that is the case and coke is produced and sold as cheap as coal anyway, then why offer coal for sale? Either way, it brings back up the original question of why a heavier fire pot is needed for coke vs coal. After all, starting the fire using coke or converting coal to coke in the same fire pot, what is the difference? Hate to be dense but what am I missing here? I'm going to assume the key word here is "industrial" coke. So what makes THAT different if it is produced from the same bituminous coal? The process?
  12. It was mentioned above but the kens custom iron site sells "quick tongs" and "rapid tongs". They are cheap, like $9.50-$12.50. Cut out with water jet, you forge out the finish and assemble. By the time you draw out the reins you'll have some hammer time in. They work good. Like every other newb at this I have tried forging tongs. I've made about 5 pair now. Some are barely functional, some a little better, all of them butt ugly. :-) Never can get the boss just right. I'm bound and determined to make some nice ones, but it is way more difficult than it looks! But the Kens tongs will get you a decent functional few pair with little investment. Another option is a place local to me, Kayne & Son Blacksmith Depot. They have some discount tongs in the $30 range. Both of those places are top-notch to deal with and get your purchase to you quickly. Looks like that forge is heating up nicely thank you. Good job!
  13. My 2 cents... Harbor Freight is not your friend. That's all. Okay, with the possible exception of consumables like grinding/cutting discs, welding gloves, etc. MAYBE a hammer. But NO to any power tools. Get something name brand.
  14. Okay, so cooking down soft bituminous blacksmithing coal produces coke. Cooking down hard anthracite coal (which isn't typically used for blacksmithing) produces the "industrial coke" which burns and behaves differently. I assume it burns hotter, (?) and using THAT would necessitate a thicker or beefed up firepot & forge components. Is this correct? If so, it all makes sense now.
  15. But these are 24" x 24" "portable" forges. So I would not guess these to be industrial equipment. Again though, there is a difference between coke and the coke that forms from burning coal in a forge? link removed
  16. Curiously looking at Centaur forge site. They have "Coal" forges and "Coke" forges. My question is, why would there be a difference? I'm new to forging with coal but my understanding is as you tend your fire, the coal converts to coke and the coke is actually what produces the "fireball" in the fire pot where we do the actual heating of the metal. I've just recently found a source for coal and in using it I have experienced that transformation from coal to coke (and clinker too). So what would be the necessity of a "coke" forge vs. a "coal" forge? Here's quotes from their site; The coke forge- "The Heavy Duty Firebowl is cast an extra 1/4" thicker than the Centaur Vulcan or Mini firebowls to hold up to the higher heat when you burn coke." The coal forge- "The Centaur Vulcan Firepot is the most popular choice for blacksmithing, made to use with blacksmith Coal. You can burn Coke in this firepot occationally, but if you burn Coke regularly, the bowl will crack sooner." So perhaps there is the answer to my question but still, is the coal not converting to coke and is that not what we are actually producing our forging heat with?
  17. Yes I believe it can be downsized (or upsized) depending on need, just as John McPherson said ^above^. Just depends on what you need. FWIW, and certainly not the most efficient way of producing charcoal, I just built a fire in my firepit and shoveled coals into a bucket of water and then dumped on some 1/4" wire mesh to spread and dry. In no time I had a couple of 5 gallon buckets full. And there is the rub, what do you want it for? A forge can burn through a five gallon bucket of charcoal fairly quickly, like in a couple of hours of continuous forging. So I guess it just depends on volume need.
  18. I plugged a Walmart pool inflator into a sewing machine foot pedal to power my forge. Step on the pedal, motor blows to power the tuyere. Step off when hammering the hot steel. Those little motors are handy too. Years ago I built a small lathe with two little pillow block bearings for turning cork fishing rod handles. Worked great. Could also use one to build a makeshift forge fan.
  19. I've bought from this place before and gotten good service. http://www.hightemptools.com/index.html
  20. That you did! Congratulations in a great deal!
  21. LOL! Well that would help in one instance. It's that pesky hot scale that makes you do "the dance" though!
  22. ...or that firepot.
  23. In the SE USA probably our most famous "collections" of gates, if you will, are in the Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA areas. As mentioned above, many are associated with cemeteries, churches, plantations, universities, and historic homes. https://www.pinterest.com/debbiecalcutt/charleston-gates/?lp=true There is even a line of silver jewelry called Southern Gates that is inspired by the historic wrought iron work in the Charleston area.
  24. And that's about all that needs to be said about that. Trust me on this one.
  25. It works great. The air tank could just be lined with clay and a "V" trench built but I get more depth with the bricks as you can see they extend a bit higher than the sides of the tank, which would be the limit of clay. I'm learning each time better how to manage the fire, keeping a fireball localized and conserving charcoal. I pile charcoal around and to the sides slowly pushing that into the hot spot as needed. Still it's a hungry little devil and you can burn a 5 gallon bucket of charcoal in just a couple hours. I'd like to try it with coal. As Frosty noted, I could have just let it be a side blast instead of having the long pipe across the bottom. Didn't know that at the time I originally built this. It WAS inspired by the Whitlox and thus, the long pipe at the bottom. Removing that long pipe and replacing with a 1" side blast would give me about 2" more depth. As it is I'll leave it but if I ever do it again, I'll consider that usable extra depth. This was mostly an experiment that actually works surprisingly well.