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I Forge Iron

Joshua Taylor

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  1. UPDATE; I bought an angle grinder from HF and cut out these holes. The brake rotor fits nicely, though my only problem is I'm not sure how I'm going to fit the exhaust pipe for my air to the brake rotor... I don't have a welder and cant afford one. Any ideas?
  2. Thanks for the information everyone! I appreciate it! Arkie, Thank you! And thanks for the ideas. I was thinking of doing the same thing with the small door at the bottom. If not, I may just cut and deburr a rectangular opening so I can fit in my piping for the air supply. Daswulf, Thanks for the warm welcome! And thanks for the dimensions. It should give me a better idea on exactly what I am going to need. My tools are a bit sparse right now, so I'm going to have to find out if my dinky little B&D drill can even drill through the drum lol. Glenn, As always you're a wealth of knowledge, thank you!
  3. Good evening everyone! Not sure if y'all remember me, but I just got back from my deployment about a month ago, and I'm starting my adventure into blacksmithing finally after two years of researching! That being said, I wanted to show you guys what I found! I got this baby for free, gonna make a 55 drum forge out of it. Just need the brake drum. (I plan on going to the scrapyard this weekend to look if y'all have any tips for me!) The barrel was previously used for poly spray foam, which means if I'm correct I shouldn't have to worry about blowing the darn thing up when I go to chop away with an angle grinder. (I read the labels and didn't see anything about flammable). If you guys have any advice, tips, or tricks feel free to let me know! Just wanted to share this with ya. Semper Fidelis
  4. Good to see you again Frosty. I hope it is too, as does my wife. Thankfully the only damage to our house was a shattered window so thank god for that. Let's just hope the scrap metal from our local scrap yards wasn't washed away! I'll keep my head down, look forward to showing you all my setup when I get back at it!
  5. Hey, not sure if any of you remember me from several months ago. I'm coming up on the tail end of my deployment out here in the Middle East and just wanted to get back into the swing of things here and see how everyone was doing. I'm excited to dive into blacksmithing once I get home!
  6. Sweet, sounds like I'm gonna shoot for about a 100 pound anvil. May not be a top of the line one, but I sure as heck don't need one seeing as how I'm going to ding the ever loving... You know what, out of it. George, thank you for serving brother. It's men like you that the Corps likes to idolize, as do I. And I feel the same way about Memorial Day... My family posts all about me, though I always politely correct them that I'm active duty. I'm still alive, I'm one of the lucky ones. Memorial Day is about those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty for our beautiful God-given country. I'll be sure to keep my head down, seeing as how I look forward to meeting as many of you lovely people as I can face-to-face. I'll leave you all with a few words of wisdom; "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." -John F. Kennedy Semper Fidelis, Josh
  7. This is why I ask you guys! You guys have far more knowledge on the matter than I do. Right, I'll use a 3/4" tuyere made out of schedule 40 pipe. Side blast, with the backstop made out of firebricks. Would you guys use cat litter or sand for the filler? Or just straight up dirt?
  8. Well, thankfully I get paid a little extra for my time over here in Afghanistan. I should have a fairly decent chunk of change to invest in a hobby. My wife is all for it, as she's a huge fan of Forged in Fire just like me. So I'm sure I could get away with spending a few extra bucks for some decent equipment without her getting angry. (Happy wife, happy life, right?) I'm probably just going to shoot for a smaller sized anvil, nothing to major, and probably drop a few hundred on it. In my opinion, having a decent anvil is one of the more important bits. You can make, upgrade, and change a forge fairly easily without spending too much money, same thing for most tools. An anvil is really the only thing that if you wanna upgrade, you're going to have to invest quite a bit.
  9. Call me a perfectionist, or elitest, whatever have you, but I want to make quality. I want to make a hardy tool by hammering it out by hand, being able to look at it every time I use it and say "Yeah, I made that out of a solid piece of steel." I don't like welding, I want to learn old techniques and keep the spirit of blacksmithing alive as long as I can. Me making a hardy the hard way (heh), will teach me so much more than just making a wedge and welding it to a piece of square pipe. It'll introduce me to making shoulders the correct way. It'll teach me how best to taper, or to square off an end to fit in my hardy hole. I don't wanna make something quick, easy, and effective. I'm getting into blacksmithing to learn the trade, and be able to have something tangible and useful and creative to pass onto my kids. Don't mistake me for getting frustrated, or holier than thou. I really do appreciate the advice! I just wanted you to know my thought on the matter is all. So thank you! I'll be honest, I've read up on all the different types of steel, and I'm still lacking in knowledge when it comes to anything in relation to types of stock... Which is really important. But hey, all I can do is read, read, read, repeat, until I finally get it through my thick Marine skull. Jackhammer bits also sound like a good idea... Just gotta find a place that'll have them in a scrap heap! Never heard of sucker rod knuckles, but truck axles sound like a good idea! Thanks for the input as always Charles!
  10. Hey everyone, Josh again! I had an idea for my first forge. Originally, I had planned on using JABOD, with sand as it's 'dirt'. I got to researching a little bit, and read up on Charles' Anatomy and a brief history of side blast forges. Linked here; I got looking and saw the Viking-style side blast and figured "Hey, I could incorporate this into my JABOD by making the backstop that the Tuyere runs through out of firebrick!" Then, I thought a bit more. "Well, why not just make a dirt base, pack it down, and form a bowl bigger than what I want, and make the entire forging pot out of firebrick with refractory cement between the bricks." The only real issue I see here is the fact that clinker might stick to those bricks and cement between them like flies to... Well, you know the saying. I could easily chisel them off, but I feel like it would give that forge a bit of aesthetics, as well as not having to worry about replacing cracked clay, etc... Cleaning would be fairly simple, and hey, it could be fun to play with firebrick and refractory cement just to see how it'll react inside a coal forge. I plan on running a length of 2 1/2" schedule 40 piping through the side, about 6 inches from the brim of the firepot, leaving about 2-3" beneath that. I could find some way to shrink the size of that pipe down to 1 3/8" at the tuyere. My plan is to be able to work between 2" and 4" stock. As a beginner, that covers most all the variety of tooling I would like to make, as well as any other smaller sized stock I wanted. Questions, comments, concerns? I'd love to hear them. -Josh Semper Fi
  11. Hey everyone! I've done so looking around, and the same person that I'm going to buy my coal and possibly anvil from, also has S7 stock, up to 1 1/4". I heard that S7 is good for punches, as it's durable and hard. I figured why not turn it into a hot cut? I was curious about your thoughts seeing as how I don't know a whole lot about different metal types. Should I run it through normalizing and tempering cycles, or should I just let it air harden? -Josh Semper Fi
  12. Thank you! I love what I do. Your information was really helpful! Nice to see you again JHCC. Thanks for the reply, and yeah it seems like from all the videos, pictures, and diagrams I've seen it's relatively easier to slap a tube over a hole in some sand surrounded by some firebrick than it is to weld cross beams inside a tuyere. I didn't think about how useful a reliable set of tongs would be, and didn't know much about the different types. I'll definitely check out some v-bit tongs, or maybe some wolf jaw tongs. I walked into that one. Well, imagine that, I just so happen to have some Cammie-netting poles that raise cammie-netting about 8 feet off the ground that I... Ahem... 'Tactically aquired' as we say in the Marine Corps. Thank you! You all seem like pretty good people, so I'm sure I'll stick around for a while. And I do my best, we just got a couple of angry fans that like to throw mortars at our base and shoot at us... Nothing a little return fire won't help though! I haven't! I've been looking around for some association in my area but no dice. I appreciate the effort, it seems like a pretty good source for classes, demos, and a group to just hang out with and learn new skills! Link removed! Dangit! If you could point me where you found whatever that link was, It'd be appreciated! As for spending my times overseas well? You bet, at least I like to believe. When I'm not working, I'm in the gym, and you can only spend so much time in the gym before you go crazy... So why not put my brain to the books and the internet and learn a thing or two about my perspective hobby. Thanks Lou, it's my pleasure to serve this great country. It's the least I can do with the upbringing it gifted me. I appreciate the concern, but spending several years around loud guns, artillery, and jet after-burners, my hearing has been put to the test fairly well. If those didn't ruin it without hearing protection, I doubt a hairdryer would. Amen on that one brother. If it's stupid, and it works, then it's not stupid.
  13. Hey everyone, Josh here. So, I've been doing a fair bit of research in regards to what I'm going to do for my initial journey into Blacksmithing once I return from Afghanistan. I just wanted to lay everything out as far as I have it, and let you all pick it apart, and give some pointers and tips into anything I may have overlooked. Forge: More than likely going to be a bottom blast BOD coal forge with a hairdryer for the air source. I'm going to somehow incorporate an air gate into it's build for that little bit of extra control. I may vouch going for sand over dirt or clay seeing as how it solves my clinker problem, and it's more easily accessible for me in North Carolina. I've got a blacksmith tooling supplier here in NC that I plan on buying my 50 lb bags of coal from, found at [commercial link removed]. It's a bit of a drive, though I plan on buying a truck and using that to put all my steel stock, coal, etc in. (The wife probably wouldn't like me filling our 2017 Honda Civic with bags of coal and rusted steel... Just a thought, though.) Tools: As far as tools go, I'm going to probably purchase a 2.2 pound (1000 gram) hammer from the same place as the coal, found [commercial link removed]. If I'm already there, I figured I'd buy a quality hammer to start off with, instead of the Harbor Freight special... I'm more than likely going to invest in a pair of tongs from them as well (link [commercial link removed], though what specific tongs I should get to start with is another thing I'm looking for help with, as there are many different kinds. Ideally, I'd want something that I can make tools with, as well as hold up to 3/4" stock with to make other tongs.) I'm also going to find some mid-low line angle grinder for cutting my stock if needed, and to finish up edges on pieces that I make. (Hot cuts, etc). A vise, I'm not sure yet. I may invest in a low-line vise for now, though I'm not fully committed on that one yet seeing as how I'm not so sure how important it is. Anvil: This is where I hit a bit of a block. I was thinking of going to a nearby scrapyard and finding a length of railroad track to use as an avil, but I also thought of spending a bit of extra money on one of the anvils found [commercial link removed]. It's not too much, and having the extra money from my deployment, I'd be able to fit it into my startup budget. My question to you guys is; is it worth it in your opinion? I know they all get the job done, but having the luxury of a hardy hole seems invaluable to me as I don't have torches or anything to fabricate one with currently. Shop: I'm probably just going to throw up a tarp on some poles that I have laying around the house to make an overhang to keep me out of the shade while I work, and to allow for me to accurately gauge the temperature of the steel. I wanted to make a walled in shop out of some 2x4s and T111, but I decided that money is best invested elsewhere during my beginning adventure. And that's it! I know it's a bit lengthy of a post, but I just wanted to let you all in on at least a small portion of my wild brain and see what I had planned. Seeing as how I've never done this before, I want to ensure all of my ducks are in a row prior to me getting home so I don't have to think, just execute (guess the Marine Corps did teach me something worthwhile, eh?). What do you guys think is good, bad, and ugly about my plan? You all have FAR more experience than I do, and I want to pick your brains as a whole in a single thread. Thanks for the time! -Josh Semper Fi.
  14. Nice forge! I don't know a lot about forge building, but as stated above I was curious about how big of an issue you had with your coal mixing in and getting buried in the sand. Aside from that, I can only see benefits like you said with Clinker. The sand being so loose you could practically pick it free with a poker or some tongs. Now question time; Do you think this would be a good forge to start out with? I've been looking around for forge ideas, and seeing as how sand would be fairly easy to come by, as would scrap steel. I've got a MIG welder, so I could probably fabricate something (that isn't beautiful, but functional) similar to this. Rather than using a variac, do you think I could get away with some conventional blower like a bed inflator, hair dryer, etc? Also; roughly how hot does your forge get?
  15. Interesting. I never thought of using cardboard. I want to ideally make my shack disassemble-able, being a Marine I tend to move from house to house. If it comes around to it, I wanna be able to separate it between walls, floor, and roof so I can pack it away and take it with me. It'll be a bit more work in order to make it work, but in my mind if I spend the time on doing it right now it'll pay out in the long run.
  16. I was just curious about whether or not having a plywood floor in my smithy is a good idea. Yes, I know wood + sparks = fire, but in all honesty how big of a hazard is it? Should I just use a dirt floor like I have planned?
  17. Honestly man, I'm in the same boat as you. If I were you, I would use what you have available. Self-tapping hex head screws, with some T-111 siding sounds like your best bet with that greenhouse. It'll weigh it down so you may not even have to anchor it as you might with lighter aluminum/metal siding. That, and it'll dampen the sounds of your anvil seeing as how metal siding will just amplify and louden the hammer strikes. The wood will absorb it. Now, if you don't wanna use your greenhouse for whatever reason, you can always rig up a shack like I plan on doing. Dirt floor, some 2x4 structural walls, T-111 for the siding, slanted roof with gaps at the top of the walls for ventilation. (I'm also going to run my flue out the top, don't worry.) In all I think in the US it's gonna run me around 200-300 dollars. (That's roughly 148-222 quid if I got my conversions right.) Like Glenn said, there's lots of possibilities. It may be a hassle, take a lot of your time, possibly all of your weekend, but in the end you can look at it with confidence and say that you built it with your own hands. As far as tools go? Hammer if you're using regular nails, or a drill with a hex head bit if you're using any type of screws. You don't need a circular saw or a scroll saw. It can all be done with a hand saw (The former would just be a LOT easier on you). And lastly the materials, which are the most expensive part. Happy building!
  18. Much too late, haha. All the crayons and glue really have done a number on it. Glad to see a prior servicemember here. I'll be sure to insulate and ventilate if I do decide to close it in.
  19. I thought about renovating a trailer, and turning it into a portable forge. That way, when I get good enough, I can demo for people who were interested at craft fairs and such. But until then, it would just be nice to have something to hook up to a truck and haul across the country for my next duty station, or wherever I decide to settle down at. For now, I think it would be most beneficial for me to just string a tarp up to keep me out of the weather, and set up a few plywood/2x4 constructed walls to give me just a bit more shade. It'll be cost efficient, and I can focus my money more around the actual forging equipment rather than having a threadbare shack because I dumped all my money into this elaborate building. In your guys' opinion, would you rather have an open walled shop, exposed to the wind and such, or add in three walls to protect yourself from those things? How will it affect my work, working in less light? I know it would be easier to gauge the steel's temperature in the dark.
  20. I appreciate the insight from everyone! I definitely will need to make a working list at some point, and go on a shopping spree at Lowes, or glance around flea markets as they pop up. I posted another thread deeper in the forums about making my own forging hut... I think that would be the best place to start, as having a dedicated space for working will make a huge difference as I'll know what tools to dedicate to which spots. Keep the info coming, it's definitely a help!
  21. I like the carport idea, but I don't have quite that much space. Maybe I could make something a bit smaller? What do you guys think about using 4x4's as the structural beams, then using sheet metal rather than plywood as the walls? I want something that I could take down for when I move, then rebuild when I get to my next destination. I also like the tarp idea, it's relatively cheap and easy to make. I want to be able to forge year round, so maybe some tin roof, wood beams, and three walls with an open face for ventilation? I could leave gaps where the roof meets the walls to allow for more if need be as well.
  22. Hey everyone, As of late, I've been thinking of where I should set up my shop. I would use my garage, but I have my car parked in there at all times to keep it away from the North Carolina sun. My wife has no issues with me starting up my own shop, she just wants to make sure our house isn't set on fire in the process (reasonably so, as it's a rental). So, I figured since I have about another 2 years at the place, I could set up a forge outside in our backyard. We have these paver stones set into the ground, so I figured that would be a good flooring. All I need is to set up walls an a roof. As it's a rental, I don't want it attached to the house for safety reasons. We have a shed already in the back yard and don't use it for really anything, but it's made entirely out of wood and really don't want it to catch fire. Wood walls don't bother me, as I plan on screwing together 2x4s, maybe some 4x4s, and tacking some plywood to it just to keep me out of the elements. My big problem is the floor. I worry the forge, and sparks, could potentially set fire to the floor. Yes, I know that's what extinguishers are for, but I'd rather have one and not need it due to the way my shop is built than vice versa. TL;DR-- I want to build a little shack-like shop in my backyard to forge in so I don't have to use my garage. Anyone have any good ideas, or speculations on the matter? Good things to incorporate in the build? I wanna hear everyone's ideas and opinions!
  23. Thanks, I'll absolutely check out those threads! I like to learn as much as I can so I know what I'm heading into before I jump in the deep end. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll probably stick to a charcoal forge seeing as how I'm a newbie. Less things to go wrong.
  24. Hey guys, fair warning, this thread will have a lot of rambling and random questions I couldn't seem to find the answer to, or at least want a second opinion on. So I've been looking around here, researching practically everywhere, and I've come up with the same answer. Which, makes sense given what the tools I need are used for; Something hard and solid to shape the metal on Something hard to whack the metal with Something hot to heat the metal to a working temperature I doubt I'll have a single issue with any of these at all, seeing as how I live in NC and I know of several scrap yards in my near area... Now, that being said, I want to know what /else/ I might need for the work that I want to do. (That'll come into play later.) I want to ideally get to the point of making knives, and possibly in the future, swords/medieval style weaponry. With that, I figured I'd need an angle grinder, potentially a welder incase I need to do any sort of pre-forging fabrication. Before I jump right into making a knife, I want to work on the basics of forging and hone my skills (IE tapering, upsetting, beveling the metal prior to grinding, twisting, riveting, etc.) I looked around and couldn't seem to find anyone in my area (or within a two-three hour drive of me) that I could take lessons and such from. That being said, I feel like I'm going to have to self teach myself via youtube and forums like these. While learning those above-mentioned techniques, I figured I may as well use them to make more tools for the future. It'll be a good way to start out, and if I mess up, it won't be that much stock wasted. Coming out of that small monolouge, this is where I want your guys opinions; Should I get a bench grinder, angle grinder, welder, or any other tools beyond those primary 3 you absolutely need to forge with? If so, what do you recommend? (Keeping in mind budget, I want a fairly mid-lower line tool that I can use and abuse as a beginner and not regret when it breaks.) Honestly, where should I start to begin teaching myself those key techniques? I watch a lot of Alec Steele videos, and I was figuring doing some small trinqute work like making leaves and such. (I know the obvious answer is 'Well just go out there and start banging away with a hammer!' but I want a little more elaboration on it than that. Also, if there's any blacksmiths near Jacksonville, NC I'd love to speak with you.) The big question, coal vs gas, which one would you all recommend I use? Honestly, it seems like personal preferance from what I've read as they both do the same thing. Coal is fairly inexpensive, and I feel like it'll teach me heat management as well. I was thinking about taking a page out of everyone elses' books and making one out of a 55 gallon drum. Do any of you guys have any decent schematics or tutorials on that, seeing as how I've honestly never welded anything in my life. I don't want to forge in my garage, simply because I'm in a rental and if I'm working with coal, it could cause a fair bit of damage to the house, with the possibility of those noxious gasses leaking into my house as I work. I don't want to work in my drive way, because from what I've seen it's fairly difficult to judge the heat of the metal in the sun. I was thinking of getting some 4x4s, plywood, and other things of that nature to build myself a rag-tag hutch on the backside of my house to work in. Your thoughts on that? And lastly; any advice for a beginner like me? As I said in my introduction thread, I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan and won't be home for several months so I'm doing a lot of my research and planning now so I can efficiently execute it when I get back and get a good idea on what kinda money I need to set aside for my newfound hobby! Thanks a million everyone! (I know it was a lot, but I would love to hear what everyone has to say!) -Josh
  25. Hey everyone! My name's Josh, and as I'm sure you can guess from me posting here, I'm new! A bit about me? I'm 21 years old active duty Marine (shout out to all my fellow service men and women, retired or not!) currently deployed to Afghanistan. Back home, I'm stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I've gotten into the scene of blacksmithing due to my wife's (girlfriend at the time) grandfather and I watching Forged in Fire back in high school. From there, I started doing research, watching videos, exploring forums like these, trying to find all the good information I can. That being said, I still have questions! Seeing as how this is just an introductory thread, I'll save them for another time and place. Regardless of all that, I look forward to talking with you all about my newfound (and not yet started) passion! Semper Fidelis ~Josh
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