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I Forge Iron

Origins of Iron

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Posts posted by Origins of Iron

  1. I'm coming to you all with a question that's needing a veteran answer: Simply, which class should I chose - Turleys toolsmithing or his blacksmithing class?

    Not so simply -

    I'm a year into this craft, and not only am i hooked, but according to some of my buddy's in the custom metal fab industry, " i have the eye". Ive invested in many books that I've been learning/working from (Asperys series is almost my bible), have been making my own tools to make more tools to make more things. I have both gas and coal/coke forges to learn on/work with, restored a couple post vices (sold one, kept the other), and worked my way into a nice anvil from a hand-me-down that started this whole thing. In short, i have found my passion. I'd like to get to a place where i can fabricate and sell custom mortise and tenon and/or key items. As i learn this craft I'm understanding that the ability to make ones own tooling for a specific job is (or seems to the greenhorn) to be a paramount function.

    But first, i need some real life training. The only school close to me it Frank Turleys, and given his reputation, im excited about the opportunity to learn from a dyed in the wool master.

    That said, here's my conundrum: I have limited resources, and limited time to take a class. Either of the above mentioned classes are doable, and interest me, but i cant do both. The Toolsmithing course seems like a good direction, so i can enhance my knowledge on the metalurgical aspects of the craft. Making lasting tooling properly is an important skill to have. Heck, maybe i could even make and sell some tooling to help fund this adventure. However, the Blacksmithing course seems like the logical direction, as it provides a broader scope of learning the craft in full.

    Hence, im stuck.

    And yes, ive reached out to Frank, but im not going to fidget about no reply. I'm sure hes a very busy man and email probably isnt high on his list. no worries there, i get it.

    Ive been lurking here for about a year, and have just recently come out of the shadows. I respect the knowledge pool this forum provides, and I appreciate any and all input provided.


    My thanks in advance.


  2. On 1/11/2018 at 2:43 AM, Winegums said:

    The best part about being a smith is that you can make your own tools, with only an anvil, hammer and fire.

    For the sake of conversation, i'm going to second (or third) this comment. Not only is it a great learning experience, but there's also something satisfying using tools you've made.

  3. I did my research well before even purchasing the WI, and yes, high yellow heat it works like clay, anything less is damaging to the grain structure. So much fun to work with!

    1 minute ago, ThomasPowers said:

    those little voices in the back of my head start chorusing "you're going to burn it!' in 16 part harmony with descant and contrabass accompaniment. (It's really annoying when they start doing the Gregorian chant in Klingon...)

    odd, i was hearing something similar. or maybe it was the "viking metal" radio station streaming through the shop. same difference.

  4. After a productive weekend ive decided to forgo, for the time being, crafting tongs from wrought iron, and save that material for more decorative items. 

    I'll probably give it a go at a later date once i get more comfortable with how W-I heats and moves.


    Thanks for the info guys. the knowledge well is deep.


  5. 12 hours ago, Ranchmanben said:

     I would assume that you’d be able to let them get them really hot and be able to quench them without worry of harming them. 

    Thats my thought at well - not that i make a habit of water quenching my tongs.


    11 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

    Test First as high carbon wrought iron does exist!

    I'm going to have to see if i can find a spark test guide that shows me the pattern if HCWI. Thanks for the heads up on that.

  6. So I recently picked up some 5/8 round wrought iron scrap from Old Globe, and its great stuff! Such a fun material to work with! 

    I'm considering using some of this material for tongs, however i am reluctant due to the rare nature of wrought iron these days. I've got plenty of mild steel to work with, and have been perfecting my tong making with this, but a nice set of wrought box jaws would be a cool tool to possess.

    Can i get some feedback as to the benefits vs drawbacks (if any) of using Wrought for tongs?



  7. On 12/23/2017 at 2:08 PM, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

      anvilbrand.com has JHM's which are nice anvils. 

    I just picked up a brand new JHM Legend (215 #) for under a grand from a farrier company here in Colorado.

    I've seen "boat anchor" anvils in antique stores that are being sold for what i paid for new. Ridiculous.

  8. 9 hours ago, Marc1 said:

    Dressing the edge of your anvil is personal preference and relates to the work you do and the size of the anvil. So in other words you first get started with whatever you do and then you customize your anvil. 

    That actually makes a ton of sense. The anvil I stared with was an 83# Trenton that had seen some abuse, so i had to really clean up the face. It was (and is) usable, but i had to be really choosy as to where i did any specific offset. 

    My new anvil is a 215# JHM Legend, and its almost as pretty and sharp as they come. I have already, like you mentioned, taken the edge down just a  hair to see how I like it. It's going to take some getting used to, but the past week owning it ive not had to do any offsets...only tooling so far. 

    2 hours ago, Ranchmanben said:

    I radius the face opposite of Charles, larger radius closer to the horn. 

    I've seen this in older anvils. I was considering going that route. 


    Im beginning to get  the feeling that, like so much in blacksmithing, its up to the smith - to each  their own , and no bad way if it works for you. 

  9. 11 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

     My anvils are acualy graduated, from 1/8”at the front to 1/2” at the heel

    An 1/8”-1/4” on the hardy hole and pritchel are my recomandations as well.

    I do believe this was the only comment i came across in the forums. I appreciate the repeated info. 

    My understanding is that its preferable to use a flap disc to achieve these radius dimensions as opposed to using a solid disc, because the latter has a tendency to heat the treated steel. I also recall reading that its good to check the steel temp "by wrist" as to ensure its staying plenty cool. 

    Am i on the correct path? 

    2 hours ago, Tubalcain2 said:

    When on a G-rated forum, all anvils should be fully dressed.

    Ya know, i was going to put something snarky in my post about dressing anvils. But that would actually create a whole new post about how to identify an anvils gender. 

  10. First off I'll l apologize if im starting a discussion thats been beaten to death already. I did some "site research" and didn't find what I had expected to find on this subject. So moderators; please feel free to nuke this if im out of order. 

    That subject being: what is the preferred/standard dressing for a new anvil (as most, like my JHM Legend, arrive to "crisp"), and what's an acceptable clean-up for a vintage anvil? Namely - how much "grinding" do/should I do to those sharp face edges, and or, just how much cleanup is too much for this rust bucket I just acquired? 

    Knowing that sharp edges are the devil - hence the need to dress new; and rotten/chipped/worn edges are the devils sidekick. I'd really like to generate some solid discussion as to proper or correct (or the assumption of) ways to get that spanking new investment ready for prime time, and or, taking the old crusty barn find and doing the same. 

    I personally have my ideas as to what to do, buy id like to hear form the mob. 

  11. Thanks for the warm (ahem) welcome guys!

    @ThomasPowers I'm right up the street from the VTH and my SO works there. This is quiet the location for animal lovers, to be sure!

    Your quote couldn't be closer to the truth, as winter showed up yesterday - we'll not break above freezing for at least a week, making the after work hours in the garage forging rather brisk.

    @TimberBull Main reason i decided to join is because ive been lurking for about a year, and now with a garage full of tools, iron, and coal, it seemed time to make myself visible. 

    I was just up in Estes Park. Beautiful country indeed!

    @Frosty I appreciate the advice, truly i do. Its not easy here finding a person to apprentice under, or even just go share ideas or space with thats not an hour drive away - and in a 1984 ford f350 that gets $$$. But to your point, thats why i decided to come out of the shadows and attempt to connect with folks - because im taking this seriously, and WANT to learn.

    As for the sunshine...meh, we get average of 300 days of sun here. It's the sub zero evening temps that make the afterhours in the Smith "interesting" as im sure you can relate.

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