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I Forge Iron


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About Gyrovague

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    Boulder, CO

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  1. My (new) shop has 7.5' ceilings, and my forge stand is fairly high, which means the (drywall) ceiling above the forge will soak up a lot of heat. What should I put above the forge to protect the ceiling from heat? It's not so hot that you can't hold your hand up there, but I would worry about running the forge for hours. Ideas I have: 1) Sheet metal with 1" spacers. This is apparently a common trick to protect walls from woodstoves. 2) A water heater blanket, laid out flat and stapled up there. 3) Refractory? If so, what kind? (I've never built a forge or messed with any of it.) Anything else?
  2. I just replaced my pellet stove, and looking at the old one...enameled cast iron...it occurred to me that it would make a sexy tempering oven. The only problem is I've never built an oven, or even messed much with electronics. Very roughly I figured I'd: 1) Rip out all the guts, basically leaving a cast iron body with a door. I might have to weld on a back plate before I'm done. 2) Put some kind of heating element/coil/flux capacitor in there somewhere, with a steel plate to catch and distribute radiant heat. 3) Add some sort of power switch and controller to the heating element. 4) Hang a thermometer in it, or use a probe and external readout. How hard does this sound? Do I want to add insulation? What kind of heating element would I use? How hard to incorporate something like this to both control and display temperature? What am I totally overlooking?
  3. Thread necromancy! Came across this thread while searching for 'aus-forging' (reading the Hrisoulas book), but all of the above links are 404s. Gone forever? Newer (better?) threads to read?
  4. Yes, I'm looking forward to Brentwood. And it does seem there's a lot going on in New England in general. Just wondering if there's someplace better. Seems like western North Carolina shows up a lot. And, yes, the UK. Sweden?
  5. Oh, great feedback...thanks. I'll edit original post to clarify. EDIT: It seems there's a time limit on editing your posts. So to narrow things down a bit: Definitely not industrial smithing. More small-scale artisan work. I don't personally anticipate doing high-end ornamental work, but I would think that being near a market for that would mean also being near an active community of blacksmiths. No? Likewise, although I also don't anticipate teaching, being in a place that could (or does) support a school would fit into my category of being in a "community" of blacksmiths. Maybe there isn't a good answer to this question. I'm new to blacksmithing, but it seems that for a lot of professions/hobbies/interests there are epicenters with a high concentration of like-minded people. Not true for blacksmithing?
  6. Let's say...theoretically...that you could move anywhere in the country, or even in the world. And your wife is ok with this. What would be the best place in the U.S. to learn and practice black/bladesmithing? Is the answer different if it's the whole world? Criteria I'm thinking of (I may have overlooked some): Smithing Community Density of Smiths (which may not correlate perfectly to community) Courses/Schools (ironically, my hometown is Auburn, ME) Industrial history (For availability of used anvils and heavy equipment like power hammers) Availability of supplies. (Coal, used tools, steel, handle materials, etc.) Proximity to shows/venues/gatherings Local market for products General quality of life vs. cost of living Anything else I'm overlooking
  7. And here I've been refreshing the New England Blacksmith's page every day waiting for an announcement...
  8. Try a hammer. If that doesn't work, find a bigger hammer.
  9. What is a "drop of steel"? A remnant cut off from a large piece? (As in, "the piece that drops off when you cut it"?)
  10. Hunting around also sounds like fun. And save my $$ so that my second anvil can be Refflinghaus, right? Any advice where to look for a piece of rail? MBTA would probably be annoyed if I cut a piece out of their track.
  11. Oh, sweet. My next question was going to be "if I were to buy a new one, other than Refflinghaus what would you recommend?" Thanks!
  12. Thanks for all the input. I'm going to pass on it and keep looking. Not planning to buy anything unless I hear from those who know more that it's a great deal. (I have taken one multi-day class and loved it. I also know from my experience as a furniture maker that good tools == less frustration == more enjoyable experience.)
  13. I just might have to do that! Thanks for all the advice.
  14. Planning on doing that, too. I'm moving to Colorado soon, and looking around at prices it seems like if I wait until after the move I'll be spending far, far more on an anvil. Sticking another 200# on the moving truck will be a minor incremental cost.
  15. Just started looking. Like I said, I know very little. How big of an anvil will I want for making tools, axes, kitchen knifes...things of that scale? Eventually pattern welding. Thanks for quick replies, everyone.
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