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About sfeile

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    North/West PA (near Bradford)

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  1. sfeile

    New Creation: Critique!

    I use a 2 and 1/2 inch thick K26 brick. (2600 degree rating) I got a case of them from amazon. Shipping is what kills you on those, usually as much as the brick itself. Maybe check local pottery places as it's sometimes used as kiln brick also. The only issue I would see with using soft brick in the configuration you currently have, is that is breaks very easily. The continued thermo-cycling of the forge use will cause a lot of cracking as they heat and cool. Mine is enclosed in a metal box, so it isn't as big of an issue to me as it all stays contained and basically in one piece. Your open sides may allow pieces to fall off and become unstable letting it fall apart. You can try coating the brick you currently have with an IR coating. If you shorten it by one section, add a layer of brick to the floor, and coat the entire inside with Plistix or Matrikote, it should get pretty hot fairly quickly. At least enough to get you moving some metal and see what you like or don't like about it with only a $20 or so investment. Then you can use that experience to decide if you want to run that style with better refractory long term, or change it up completely. Being a similar setup, I have my burner roughly an inch back into my top refractory. It may not be the ideal number, but it is working well in my forge.
  2. sfeile

    New Creation: Critique!

    The one thing I see, is that looks like hard fire brick. If it is, it doesn't insulate very well. I learned that the hard way making my own first forge from hard brick. It steals as much heat as it retains. This will use a lot more gas and take a lot more time to heat a piece. It can also cause you a problem with your wooden boards underneath it allowing too much heat through and heating up your plate on the bottom. In the photo where it is lit, you see the pieces in direct contact with the flame glowing brightly, but the rest is not. That's where your heat is going instead of into your work. I'm not sure why the shelf is in the back, but that is going to be another place you lose heat. Just an extra thing to heat up. With the burner towards the front, you can probably lose one brick length in the back to make it more efficient also. If I'm figuring correctly, you are around 448 cubic inches in that configuration (minus a bit for the shelf) which is most likely exceeding the space you can heat effectively with that burner. I'm thinking that burner should be good for about 350 cubic inches. I understand working with what you can get. Try removing the last section of length and doubling your floor. That will reduce your inside dimensions and should heat a little better until you can get better materials. Also, as Glen said, get rid of the flammable straps. And probably the wood underneath as well. Coating the inside with an IR reflective like Plistix may help some also. I'm sure others will be a long soon with more experience than I have though.
  3. sfeile

    It's only fair.

    Thanks Zrognak! Latest one to come out of the shop.
  4. sfeile

    275-layer laddered chef's knife

    Absolutely stunning!
  5. sfeile

    Two of my knives

    Those are very nice! Stunning detail and excellent fit and finish. I'm envious of your leather work as well. Mine is almost up to an amateur level now haha.
  6. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    That's a nice little anvil Zrognak. Would be great for peening straight razor pins. I ripped apart my forge today. I've had the same refractory brick in it for 9 months now. A lot of cracks from thermo-cycling, but it was still together and working. I got my order of Plistix from Wayne the other day though, so I decided to just tear out the whole thing and put new refractory in and coat it. So now I'm in hurry up and wait mode....
  7. sfeile

    Wagon wheel rims

    I could very well be wrong, but I believe those would be iron or at best mild steel, not a high carbon steel you would want for a blade.
  8. sfeile

    It's only fair.

    Couple more finished.
  9. sfeile

    Tongs as my first smithing project

    Your forged pair looks better than the first pair I did. The main thing I see (and I did this myself when I started) is your steel is rolling over itself in places. Looks like you are either not getting enough heat, or working it too long and letting it get too cool. May also be part of why it is going where it wants instead of where you want it to. I'm definitely not a great smith, but that's just something that caught my eye and made me think of my own mistakes.
  10. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    I need to make a trip to Ohio.... You are making some awesome looking hammers.
  11. sfeile

    Looking for an anvil

    That sounds like a plan!
  12. The only thing I can see to even be nit-picky about (and this is probably getting really nit-picky), is that I see a couple wire edges left on the sharpened edges. I shave with straight razors, so the sight of those make me cringe a little, but other than that they look spectacular.
  13. sfeile

    Looking for an anvil

    Could very well be, but not something worth arguing with them over ya know. There is a car parts yard really close to my house that is on the lookout for a few things like springs and axles for me, so that makes up for it I guess. Costs a little more than scrap price, but still reasonable.
  14. sfeile

    What did you do in the shop today?

    No need to be sorry on my end Das. No nerve struck here. I was just agreeing that it will work. A 70 pound and a little beat up, yeah, he will probably want to upgrade at some point, but that should definitely get him started for sure.
  15. sfeile

    Looking for an anvil

    I live in PA, but right on the border of NY. A couple big scrap yards close to me in NY, but they told me the same thing. State law won't allow them to let me in or to even sell anything.