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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Brasilikilt

  1. Hey there! I did actually line the forge with a single layer of insulation from the pottery supply shop, and covered it with a thick coating of high heat furnace cement from Lowes. In retrospect, it probably was not the best choice (even though it's rated up to 3,000F) because after running the forge for a while, I noticed the cement starting to melt where the flame hits the bottom! http://www.lowes.com/pd_15879-138-35515_0__?productId=3572462 I measured the inside of my forge, and the chamber is 3X7", which calculates out to 49.49" cubic inches. I got the instructions from this site: http://w
  2. Hello everyone A few months ago I built a little coffee can forge and mini side-arm burner. After having used it several times, I am wondering what it is I could have done better, and learn anything I can in regards to optimizing it's performance. Here is a short video showing it running around 15-20 p.s.i (I think) http://s21.photobucket.com/user/Brasilikilt/media/11739874_10204234029952802_437786060_n_zps2ecbwy7p.mp4.html With all the orange flames shooting out, my first thought is that the burner is too large for the forge, and/or my gas pressure is up too high. I still get the dragons brea
  3. Hey Daniel, thanks so much for chiming in with your suggestions! To answer your questions.: I was testing the burner outside the forge and didn't have the tip assembly fixed in any set position---to allow me to slide it in and out while observing what the placement did to the flame.....So far the results sound similar to what you describe-a rather weak, puny jet flame at 30+ psi. Usually when the tip is near-ish to the middle of the air intake hole. I also stuck a magnet over the intake and tried choking off the air supply to varying degrees, which didn't help matters much. I applied a coat of
  4. Hey all! With the recent acquisition of a propane regulator, I have been able to broaden my options in terms of what burners I am able to build. I liked the simplicity and size of the Zoeller mini side arm burner, and picked up the parts to build it yesterday. http://www.zoellerforge.com/miniburner.pdf The only problem is that after assembly, my initial tests produce mediocre results....Just a very weak flame and nothing like the mini jet engines I see others using First off, the plumbing supply house only had the 1"X3/4"x1" reducing tee. I had seen other smiths building this same burner use
  5. I put the word out, and was able to get one of these 0-60 psi regulators. It seems to work OK, and is able to cut the gas off completely, or flow with enough pressure to blow the flame out. I'm guessing that's what it's supposed to do....Right? After hooking it up to my burner, the flame isn't as good as it was when connected through the torch valve.... Any idea why that might be? Also, I need to complete the body of the forge itself by coating the insulating wool with the appropriate clay or cement. Testing the forge out right now blows a lot of particles in the air (which according to the m
  6. Hello everyone.....Your explanations are most appreciated, thank you for taking the time to type them out for me! TimGunn Are you anywhere near Baccup/Haslingden by any chance? What started out as a very small forge heated by a plumber's torch has evolved into something a bit bigger. All I set out to do with this project was to come up with something to work temporarily, while learning and familiarizing myself with the basics of gas forges while hopefully improving my equipment as knowledge and money allows. I always knew the need to acquire a regulator. The guys at my neighborhood used tool a
  7. #1 After researching different burner types, the main thing preventing me from building those is that they all require an f-ing regulator! That's all fine and dandy if you already have all that at hand, but I don't, and am mostly forced to work with what I have available to me....Which is time, a #20 propane tank and a box of brass pipe/torch fittings. A little constructive criticism would have been helpful, but I still am able to tinker and experiment on my own.
  8. Hello everyone! I tried the regular plumber's torch and found the results to be much less than what I think I'll need to get blades up to temperature. I was cruising the net and found what information I needed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uuTqCsoOLE This tutorial was especially appealing since I have a box of random copper tubes, discarded torch parts and brass pipe fittings that I have accumulated over the years, and would not need to run out to purchase a lot of stuff to make something usable. Since a lot of these parts were the type needed for the burner build, but the wrong size, it
  9. Hello! Life's circumstances and challenges (both large and small), have prevented me from doing any blacksmithing for a very long time. One of the main reasons for that is the only coal available is either very expensive, or too far away. Recently I started entertaining the possibilities of building a propane forge, and have been thinking that one of those mini forges made from a coffee can or a couple fire bricks would be a simple and relatively inexpensive place to start. My short-term goal is to (at the very least) build something sufficient for heat treating the several small blades I have
  10. Hey all, thanks for the responses! The reason that was given for using softer steel/Annealed HC is that softer steel could be sharpened more easily in the field, and that the billhook would be only used for chopping green wood. Tougher, more expensive HC steel didn't need to be used. I suppose this *used* to make more sense back in pre-industrial revolution days when good steel was harder to come by. I hear that getting the distal tapering correct is tricky, and important....This is where having a well made used antique billhook available to reverse engineer would come in handy. John
  11. Hello everyone! I've always liked these tools. To me they seem extremely useful for camping, help with yardwork and feed the fireplace at home. I want one, but have never handled one in real life. Unfortunately buying a used, high quality example from the UK or Italy would be prohibitively expensive. There is not a lot of information about how to forge them online, and even then, some of the information is contradictory....Some say that annealed high carbon or mild steel is suitable to make a hook, but others say properly tempered high carbon is the only way to go.
  12. Hey there Central Fuel in Centralia sells bulk coal. The last time I checked it was 12 cents a lb, or $13 for a big 60lb sack. Admittedly it's not the best stuff, but it's cheap and better than nothing :-) I know it is a long drive, so I would suggest buying as much as you can to make the trip worthwhile.
  13. Watching this certainly gave me some ideas if ever I decide to forge during a campout or something.
  14. Hey all, thanks for getting back to me. The story behind the sword-like-object is that a very good family friend commissioned it some years ago from someone who could talk the talk, but certainly couldn't walk the walk. After I got into forging and making knives, he asked if there was anything I could do with it. I simply made another seax for him and kept the original. He recently showed me a type of Roman Gladius that he likes, and asked if I could hammer one out for him. I've made big knives, but never a double edged sword...I figure it'll be challenging, but a good way to impove upon ex
  15. I have a *really* poorly made clunky sword like object made from a leaf spring. The hack who made it used a section of leaf spring with the bolt hole in the middle!?!?!?! I don't have my welder set up yet, but I still want to utilize this material. My thoughts are to flare out/counter sink the hole on either side with a die grinder, heat the section of leaf spring up, and then drive a length of cold coil spring into the hole and hammer the coil spring as I would with a rivet My understanding is that if I let the spring cool off it will shrink around the bit of coil spring and hold it firml
  16. I just recently purchased a swage block that is 15x15 and 4" thick for $300. I would go there with 3 $100 bills and another hundred in change and see what he says....If he asks too much, be prepared to walk
  17. I was gifted Mark Aspery's first book over the holidays and just bought a 4' shaft of the same 1.25 stock. Looking at it, the task of hand hammering on stock that size seemed daunting, but seeing this and knowing it was done by one person in one heat inspires me to light up the forge and have a go at it. I bought the stock with specific projects in mind, so I probably won't use it up practicing tapers, but rather slitting and drifting.
  18. Hey Clinton....I don't have any 4x8's, but have plenty of 2x4 and some 4x4's I got for smithy building purposes. I should have enough scrap left over to knock something together that'll work until I get some angle and I-beam..... The stuff they had at work was thrown out, but I suspect that bringing doughnuts to one of the local welding/fab shops would result in me coming back home with more than enough scrap to work with. Thomas...Yes, I already am quite happy with it, even though I haven't actually used it yet! I've looked at this link at least 800 times already. http://www.swageblocks.c
  19. I know, I know...I've seriously been dragging butt, and procrastinating putting pics up here, but in my defense, I've had "other things" going on. But....I was able to take some pics the other day, mess with our *blankety blank* camera today and figure out how to upload the pics properly, but ended up doing it the hard way again. Here is the swage block, sitting in my humble shed waiting for the weather to improve, me to build a roof over the smithy or both! The pics aren't great and in random order, so please forgive me as I am not a photographer :-) And just for the heck o
  20. Hey Phil,,,, My wife is rather sensitive about such things. According to the research conducted by my male, cro-magnon brain, I have come up with a few basic guidelines that will likely benefit many of us. As long as our activities do not: Result in any kind of danger (actual or imagined by her) to the kids.... This is a highly sensitive matter because she can imagine many things involving the children that we never would anticipate. Cause any detectable level of untidyness that we are not able to eradicate before she notices.... Us guys are usually content as long as there is nothing
  21. I was in the same boat as you....I read all I could about making tongs, and thought it would be a cinch. But as we both found out, they're trickier than they seem. One problem I had was getting both halves to match evenly, and had only mangled metal and wasted effort as a result. My "Tong Cheater Technique" may be of some help to you in saving you time and fuel. Start by clamping 2 peices of square/flat stock together side by side, (a stout pair of vise grips worked great for this) and forge the same as you would with an individual half. It worked very well for me during the intitial form
  22. Hey all I did a search, and didn't find any info on the site answering my question, so my apologies if this question has been answered in the past. I've seen a traditional technique for tempering/drawing colors by placing the spine of a single-edged knife upon a large piece of iron heated in the forge. I have some longer blades forged from 5160 which need to be hardened and tempered, and can't think of any reason why I wouldn't be able to achieve the same results using the burner plate on my kitchen stove top. I'm thinking that it might work better since the burner plate stays hot and doe
  23. Hey all....... You all talked me into it! Colleen especially with her comment:"Thing about swage blocks is, that you can get along fine without them, but once you have one you wouldn't be without it, if you know what I mean!!" Thanks for that! It's one of the comments that influnced the purchase the most. (Btw. Dorset is the home town of one of my favorite bands ever....Electric Wizard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWHplp10kQM&feature=fvwrel The much-used block is sitting in the back of my truck right now. Unfortunately I wasn't able to talk him into including the stand because he's u
  24. I was just recently reading about the patron saints of blacksmithing St Brigid, St. Alar, St Eligius....But one story struck me a bit odd, and is now making more sense. St Dunstan, as the story goes, Once pull'd the devil by the nose With red-hot tongs, which made him roar, That he was heard three miles or more. I think St. Dunstan is quite happy with his new pair of OCP tongs
  25. I know it sounds crazy, but Grant told me the same thing :-)
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