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I Forge Iron


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About GD85

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  • Location
    Del Rio, TX
  • Interests
    teaching myself how to fabricate/weld/blacksmith. long days bbqing, snowboarding, floating the Frio
  • Occupation
    AF Medic
  1. I hang my angle grinders, die grinder, hand drill, broom, and dust pan on my brick wall from brackets made of used horseshoes welded together. They look and work nice for a 2 minute job each. I have also made several wine racks, a door knocker, a flower sculpture, a steak/pigtail flipper, short bbq forks etc. from these. It is kind of gross when you think where the shoe has been, but you just have to tell yourself that the heat from the forge probably killed anything bad! The wine racks which I have given away and sold are painted. The steak flipper and forks I treated with baked/burnt on vegetable oil and have kept for personal use, I have yet to get sick. Just some ideas, Take care, -Grant
  2. nakedanvil, It would be hypocritical of me to attack your posting. While I still believe your initial posting was arrogant, I do the same thing as you (with a smaller budget). For example, I recently bought a really nice used engine driven arc welder. I have had no training on arc welding but am learning thanks to youtube, weldingweb.com's forum, and trial/error. A few months ago, I bought a small wirefeed MIG welder, and plasma cutter shortly after. Again, had never even seen someone weld/cut in person before. I have a nice old used PW, my first "real" anvil. I wouldn't even begin to call myself a real blacksmith. While I can and have made many nice things with it, you could argue that I do not know how to use it yet (to it's full potential at least). I apologize for attacking your post. After re-reading it, I realized I do the same things. The internet is a free place where anyone can say whatever they feel and I had no right being the forum police when I have not even been a member or an aspiring smith for very long. Please accept my apology and keep on doing what you do, it obviously works. Have a good day Sir, -Grant
  3. That is pretty good Connor! So, from my understanding/googling that is a candlestick. Why is it tapered at the end? Is it to wedge into the sides of a tunnel? Welcome
  4. That's great for you. Tool fever + huge budget = success? I am not jealous by any means. If you have $100k to blow on machines/tools that you do not know how to use then congratulations. You probably earned those funds in some way and you have the right to spend them as you wish. I do not understand the intention of this post. Do you feel accomplished? Do you wish to "educate" IFI members? I love this craft very much. Am pretty new (been forging for only five months when the temperature hasn't been 100+ degrees) but what draws me most to it is creating something useful or good looking from "nothing". I have a decent shop/smithy. When my immovable situation changes 26 September 2010, I will be attending school in Austin to fine tune this craft as well as welding/fabrication and CAD. When I see people like you bragging on the internet It makes me sad. For one, unless anyone here personally knows you and can vouch for your success, it means nothing. Even if there is someone that can back you up, it is sad. Usually, the "rich" do not need to brag on internet forums and seldom have the time for it. Feel free to PM. -Grant
  5. Good evening/Morning. Does anyone else think "cash for clunkers" is a bad idea? Am I crazy for thinking the energy expended on building the "clunker" would all go to waste if it were driven to the scrapyard on a flatbed, broken down, and eventually melted down for scrap worth a few cents/lb? How long does it take for a negligible increase in gas/diesel mileage to be worth it to the average consumer or the environment? I daily drive a "super clunker" (so ancient, it does not even meet the definition of this economic stimulus). It is over 52 years old. It runs, stops, and drives fine. It has turn signals. With the exception of a recent event where it was stolen and tampered with, it has given me no unexpected problems. To clarify, this post is meant to remind others that while the labor and toil of the past is not obvious, it should be accounted for. Please inform me of your opinion. I may be completely off. Thank you, -Grant
  6. Good evening, Just tried very unsuccessfully to melt down the leftover scraps of copper I have as well as a few lengths of wire. Basically, what I did was cut up the copper into short strips and placed into an old iron ladle. I made a coke/coal fire and put the ladle with copper over the center, banking coke and coal around the edges so the flames would go up the sides of the ladle. I then covered my forge (made of a 22" plow disc) with a slightly larger disc. I have 2 passes cut through the forge to insert long stock so the fire had plenty of breathing room. any how, I got small bit to melt, but this was after 45 mins of cranking like a madman on the blower and constantly pushing new coal to the sides and under the ladle. The ladle was turning bright yellow when I decided to stop for fear of melting it. I thought copper melted roughly 2000 degrees? Is there a better way to do this or something I am missing? I was hoping to melt the scraps into copper bars so I could try my hand at cold forging some jewelry... Thank you, -Grant
  7. I think he is talking about ACC. If so, see you there! I will be enrolling Fall 2010 when I seperate from the military. I share the same excitment you do. It will be great to learn the right way to do things the first time and hopefully break bad habits even though and error may have its merits. Looking forward to all day shop time as opposed to the hour here and there I get now. Take care, -Grant
  8. An entire post and beam shop with tools including 243# Peter Wright anvil for $3k... Blacksmith shop tools, contents and building Wish I still lived in New England. I'd be there in a heartbeat with a trailer.. Have a nice weekend, -Grant
  9. Thank you all for the advice. I probably should have been more clear in the original posting, and I apologize if I wasted anybodys time. The real issue I have been having is not to much polishing (so that they shine) but removing the high spots/final shaping. Probably due to my inexperience I am having a hard time with both machine and hand tools (beltsander, files, angle grinder etc w/ flap disc) and tend to take too much off and/or leave high spots. I can get these tools close, and then hit with a wire wheel but there still is usually a line left. As soon as I try to even it out with the belt sander or file I lose it until I have sanded/filed too much and the tool is smaller than intended. The biggest problem I have had is trying to create a half sphere that is smooth and does not have ridges. After typing all this, it really sounds like I need to work on file control. Filing is pretty new to me, but it it slow enough of a process so that there shouldn't be an excuse for taking too much off. I will look into the 3m wheels, and depending on the price may or may not give them a try. The wire wheels (on angle grinder) seems to work pretty well for smoothing without removing too much metal and are reasonably cheap at the flea market here. Thank you again, -Grant
  10. Good morning, One quick question for the experts here... what's the best process to polishing forged repousse/chasing punches? I made a set recently. Am mostly happy with the way they have turned out, but am missing something because no matter what I have tried I cannot get them perfectly rounded. They work alright, I think (just started messing with copper) but I still am leaving a few unwanted marks on the work. I made them by first forging the rough shapes. Second step is wire brushed to see clearly what needs to be filed or sanded. Third step is using the belt sander or file to round off edges. Then aggressive wirebrushing to smooth whats left over. I am thinking its just experience and patience that I am lacking? Does anyone have any process improvement advice? Is there a magic chasing tool polishing widget that I don't know about? Ok... off to the scrapyard. Thank you, -Grant
  11. Thank you Sir. That project caused me more stress than any other yet. It was also my first branding iron. It is very hard to represent the idea of "Thank you Sir, for over twenty years worth of much better than "plain" Honorable Military Service, to the point of rising to the highest possible pay grade, and being in charge of leading all enlisted below you, as well as being the example to which they follow". I put many, many hours into that brand. Looking back, there were a few steps that could have gone a bit quicker (mostly finishing) but it was worth it. It is hard to put a price on a commission like that one, especially when you think of how many YEARS the recipient spent (and his family) busting butt for less than glamorous pay. -Grant
  12. Turtle runs $65-$95. Seems high, however finding the head takes quite a bit of time... usually at MINIMUM an hour and a half of searching which, to me counts the same as shop time. The way I see it is, time is time. As I said before, they were found in a pile of parts at my local scrap yard that appeared to come from a machine shop. In it, there is everything from jacked up truck grill gaurds and bumpers, to massive 1" plate steel sheet with various shapes cut out, to the occasional rattle snake sunning itself (like... the scary reptile that can kill you). Whenever I get a request to build one, or I just feel like making one, I have to play a junkyard version of Jenga to find a piece that is to reasonable scale of a typical differential cover. There are at least a dozen there, out in the open, ripe for the picking (from me digging) that are just way to big. Not even an artistic license could justify one of these suckers welded to a typical differential cover... it would just look plain goofy. Anyway, the reason the price is where it is because of the effort and time expended to find a similar piece and the risk involved. Sure, there are other options to make a turtle's head, one including forging. With the exception of pounding out a shape, I have yet to find a piece of scrap for an alternative as good looking as the "lathe dog".The beauty (to me, and clients) of the piece is that it makes use of scrap "junk" and welds only to create a whimsical representation. In conclusion, that was a long winded (as usual) explanation. It was originally intended to be private but I decided to make it public so it would be open for critique as well. I would like some good, honest opinions on my business practice. It is an age old question of "how much do I charge?" which plagues me every time I get a commission. Is it ethical to charge the same amount for scrounging time as you would forging/shop time? I go back and forth because yes, anyone can pick through and sort a pile of scrap metal to find what they are looking for. However, if the same person could also be forging some beautiful object, or electric welding, grinding, wire brushing etc then he/she needs to be compensated for that time, Regardless of what process or step it is spent doing. Please enlighten me to your opinions. Again, good bad,ugly etc. Thank you, -Grant
  13. Thanks for the comments. I think the heads on the turtles may be lathe parts. I found them in a pile at the scrapyard that had other machine shop looking parts. I just assumed they were some kind of broken clamps. Also, those are rail tie downs. I have found many uses for them. Take care,
  14. Good morning, Managed to post a few pictures of me, my work, and my shop. Looking now there are not too many examples of forged work. I get the camera back Sunday so I will try to gather everything I have at my house that hasn't been given away or sold and take some more photos. Most of these are found junk art type things, but I only had a few minutes the other day at lunch with the camera to snap a few shots. Note that the house is different in a couple shots, this is because we just recently moved to a renovated unit a few streets over. BIG thanks to whoever helped me out and deleted the license plate on the Jeep for me! I had a minor panic attack last night after I noticed I forgot to delete it myself, looked up and down IFI for how to delete the photo so I could submit an edited one. Anyways, here we go... What led me to blacksmithing and all sorts of metal work: First branding iron, and commission: My outdoor, super basic smithy: Turtle#2 . . . people seem to like these Wife has a "brown" thumb, but she can't kill these...sold a bunch like these too. These guys gaurd my shop from thieves while I am away. Vicious, vicious beasts: That's all for until Sunday. I'll get some more forged work up here. Hope you enjoyed taking a look at my primitive setup. I welcome any comments, good bad, ugly. Had to delete a few, check my gallery. There are a few more pictures there. Thanks, -Grant
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