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I Forge Iron


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  • Gender
  • Location
    SW Ohio, just outside Dayton
  • Interests
    Quiet evenings, long walks on the beach, poetry, catching snowflakes on my tongue, a nice cup of tea next to the fire place......Yeah right i am a guy. I love fast cars, beer, and killing small furry animals with my muzzle loader.

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  1. When i used propane i ran 3, 20# tanks connected together. Worked quite well to prevent the freezing.
  2. Jennifer much of how people learn is a reflection on the teacher. No matter how open people are to learning if you go to fast or go to slow they will lose interest, if you do not "dumb it down" more for some than others they will loose interest. Looks like they did well.
  3. Here is an old one. I think this is the first pic i posted here. It is supposed to be a bottle opener. Here is also the first and only gas forge i have ever built. And the burner Yes cbbled together plumming and grill parts, the valve and jet are literally the old ones from a gas grill. Hard firebrick in a steel frame. I could get welding temps out of it.
  4. First thing i ever forged? Back then there was no internet and polaroid instant cameras were the thing. I used to go into the barn as a kid and heat nails up, then hammer then into little knives. Fast forward to high school and the first "real" thing i ever forged was a cold chisel then a screw driver in metals shop class.
  5. I have heard just about as many reasons for doing it as i have met smiths i think. I can not say why others do it but i can say why i do it. To start i do not tap the anvil but bounce my hammer. What do i mean by that. As i am hammering my work i am applying force to the hammer. This causes my hammer to rebound making the upswing easier. I will let my hammer fall on the anvil with out force to "dissipate" the energy. It takes less to let it fall and bounce than it does to stop it mid swing.
  6. You can buy refractory at Menards now. Some of this stuff that it seemed hard to get 10 years ago is pretty common now. Like soft fire brick, i searched high and low here for them till i finally ordered a few, now the local hardware store sells them. I have found in my life that when buying something, no matter where it comes from, you get what you pay for. A cheap tool is a cheap tool no matter where it is from.
  7. Dont chisel the slots. Heat up the jaws then use a piece of round bar, for round, or a piece of square bar, for square/diamond. A couple quick whacks with the hammer while holding the bar in the jaws, and they line up nicely.
  8. Tong reigns do not have to be round either, they just have to be comfortable for you to hold. Have you tried adjusting the jaws on your amazon tongs? You can just heat them up and forge them to the shape you need to hold your work.
  9. Almost all of my tongs have welded on reigns. Not only is it easier to make just the jaws, if you go with forge welding it is good practice at forge welding. One thing i do notice is that it seems that you have missed the idea of the boss. It does not bend but is set down from the jaw. Look at the last pic of the flat jaw tongs, see how the top of the boss runs even from the jaw well past the rivet, then the bottom does the same with reigns. Keep at it though, it took me a long time to get tong making down and they are still usually ugly but they work and that is all that matters.
  10. What other equipment do you need to make cable damascus? Forge, hammer, anvil that is all you need, a swage block comes in quite handy but is not necessary. It may not be in your wheel house now but keep at it and it will be in no time. Start by just trying to weld 2 pieces of flat bar together. Once you get the feel of welding, cable will come easy. Like George said as well, there is no magic in knife making. People have been doing it for thousands of years. A bucket of oil, a toaster oven, and you are making knives. If the knife is to big for the toaster oven, wait till the wife aint home and put it in the oven in the kitchen.
  11. Light pollution is XXX*&^%$ (*^$#^^,. And a bunch of other words i am not aloud to say. When i was in the ME the desert was dark, no lights for miles. The night sky was incredible. Then i put on set of night vision goggles and it was absolutely unbelievable what the night sky looked like. I understood exactly what Carl Sagan meant by "billions and billions".
  12. Welcome aboard. If you would fill out the header and let us know where you are at in the great big world it would be helpful. many questions you have or will have are area specific. For example anvil price or like your rail clips what the material is. They may use a different material in Europe than we do here in the states for example. You do not have to be specific just general area, like mine "SW Ohio just outside of Dayton". This will also help with finding local smiths who are more than willing to have you over for a day or come to your forge and work with you. And we love sharing knowledge and tall tales. Your rail clips, i have actually never worked with them but i do know they are pretty tough material. They will make good tooling. As far as straightening them, yes... no... do how ever is easiest for you. For the round ones, i would heat them up. put them in a vice and use a piece of pipe to bend them straight, the square one, same thing with the "U" bend, the rest of it just heat it up and straighten on the anvil. Those RR spikes, if they have "HC" on the head those are "high carbon" i put that in quotes becuase they are not high carbon but higher carbon than a standard rail spike. IIRC they are about .5 or .6 carbon. If i am wrong some one should be along to correct me shortly. There are many threads here about working RR scrap. So yes many people here have worked with RR scrap. Anywho, again welcome aboard, have fun and stay safe while doing it.
  13. Nothing where i am at but my daughter, she lives an hour north of me sent me these pics.
  14. I grew calling them yellow jackets. I think IIRC they are western yellow jackets properly. I was fixing a window on my house once and disturbed a nest of them. Oh, i may mention i was on a ladder also. By the time i got down they got me 5 times then a couple more once i was on the ground.
  15. You actually do not have to even forge the mounting brackets. A piece of flat bar, 2 bolts with nuts and washers, and a large piece of angle iron, at least 3", cut to fit under the screw box. You could also just use a squared off U-bolt through the angle iron as well.
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