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I Forge Iron

Jon Kerr

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About Jon Kerr

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    - Benfleet, Essex, UK
  • Interests
    Learning more about Blacksmithing!

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  1. Yes but I've heard it rubs off?
  2. Made my bickern yesterday. Hoping to try it out today. Would you heat treat it?
  3. Continuation of the previous post... more pictures... sorry! - I've joined a Facebook group link removed. Its a great idea and there's quite a lot of people joining in each week, from a range of different skill levels. I joined in for the first time this week and the challenge was Bells..... This was my first time forging a bell, and first time forging pipe rather than solid stock. The first one started out well but quickly became a disaster when my attention wavered for a minute or two and it melted horribly. The nerds and wargamers among us may appreciate that I've named it Nurgles Holy (holey?) Bell of anti-Distraction, and hung it above my forge. I'm hoping its magical power prevents me from burning my stock in future but I doubt it somehow. Expletives were uttered. I then realised I could rescue the project by turning the pipe around and using the other end as my new bell... since Id already done the hard work necking it down. The irony? The new, fancy looking bell doesn't ring. The mangled Bell of anti-Distraction rings beautifully. See video. As I type I'm currently working on trying to fix it. I need to isolate the bell from the heavy section of hook above with a much smaller neck. I also want to thin the walls of the bell and thereby make it spread out to a larger diameter. For this I need to forge a bicker because my tiny rail-anvil horn isn't long enough. I'm on it.... - A snail..... which would be a very minor achievement except I SUCCESSFULLY FORGE WELDED THE TAIL. I'm so happy. Bell_Ring_JK.mp4
  4. Its been a while since I've posted but I've been busy on the blacksmithing front. I have to say... despite COVID-19 and the UK lockdown being pretty terrible for the most part.... its done wonders for my ability to make time for forging! While everyone else is going insane with boredom and lonliness, I'm in my absolute element and have managed to get work done on all kinds of projects which have been weighing me down for ages! I'm having major trouble learning to weld.... its a nightmare. I picked up an arc welder but so far all I've managed is to blow a bunch of fuses and make a mess on a steel plate. I havent drawn a single bead. Beginning to wish I'd gone for MIG. I'm constantly blowing 13amp fuses and thinking I need to upgrade to a 16a plug and socket... which my workshop should be set up for in terms of supply/breakers... but I cant get an electrician in till after the lockdown ends. As for projects- huge number of pictures here in one go, so I'll rundown each with a quick description of what I've been up to. - BBQ hook tool for my brother in law. He has a fancy upright oil drum style smoker which has all kinds of hooks and racks inside for different meats... and a tool for simply hooking onto the hooks to take them in and out of the barrel. He lost the tool so I made him a new one..... the original was very basic but I thought I'd embellish this one with a twist and a leaf for a bit of fun. The leaf creates a loop for hanging it on a hook so here's hoping they wont lose it again! - Arm Ring. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me a piece of Damasuc steel for Christmas which they had purchased online. Its essentially ready to be made into a stock remove knife but I figured there is enough material to make a few extra things too. The first thing I wanted to try was an arm ring for a bit of fun. I need to get hold of some suitable acid to etch it and bring the contrast back out in the pattern. You can steel see the pattern a bit though. - Scaffold Board Shelves. These were inspired by some pictures I had seen online by a UK smith called Padgett Ironworks. He has a nice little online store which both inspired me for a few projects and tempted me to spend a fortune...! Fortunately for me (but not Mr Padgett) I managed to resist spending any money but I did shamelessly copy his shelf idea. - Updated picture of my forging area for anyone who's interested in such things. I love seeing pictures of other people's work areas and tools!
  5. This is my favourite video on making tongs. I must have watched it 30 times. 3 different methods- and each time he uses the last set of tongs to make the next ones. The guy has the bare minimum of tools- a simple stake anvil, hammer, punch, and material. Note that he has no tongs to hold the first tongs. You dont need tongs to make tongs. As he does in the video- start making a light-duty set from a long piece of material.... then use the light duty set to draw out the reins on a heavier set.... and so on. I personally love the middle style, "viking style". Less worrying about offsetting the boss etc... and they look cool.
  6. Thanks GuardedDig2.... perhaps once I get my welder working properly my first project should be a guillotine! Welshj, thanks for the kind words! Its great to know people find this thread useful/interesting and hearing that gives me enthusiasm to keep going and keep updating here. I feel like I've made incredible progress so far, from my humble beginnings with a JABOD and hairdryer.... the help and support from this forum has been incredible. Tomorrow is a dedicated forging day! Cant wait.
  7. Thanks very much GuardedDig2! Things have been a little quiet in the forge lately- too many other things going on including decorating most of the house.... I have managed to finish my first little commision. My father in law maintains a very old house for a client. It has shutters and a couple of them had rusted so badly as to fail and drop off. He asked if I could replicate the originals. The piece at the end needed to spin freely and also rest upright, so weight at the bottom. Worked pretty well. Forging a shoulder for a tenon is really difficult. Is this possible to do well withour a guillotine or monkey tool? I made it work in the end.
  8. Thanks everyone! Some great links to follow here. I'm excited to have a go... albeit how "authentic" my methods and results will be will be limited. I'm partially interested from the perspective of..... these "ancient" blacksmiths created incredible items with limited tools and materials, so maybe I can take inspiration from their methods to get things done in my own shop..... particularly given my lack of a london-pattern anvil .... and partially interested just because.... its interesting! JHCC- that book is especially good, thanks.... !
  9. I know some people do rig up controllers.... JHCC did one.... but if I remember rightly the components needed are expensive unless you can find one somewhere. A variac........ whatever that is.
  10. I don't know many (any!) other blacksmiths here except Neal unfortunately. Neal has given me a little forge welding help but on his propane forge which would seem to be a bit different. Maybe Owen / Basher might be able to give me some quick coke forge welding tips during course in April if theres time.
  11. Awesome- thanks for the clarification Frosty, and thanks dickb for the testing method. I'll do exactly as you say. Thanks again!
  12. Thanks all of you! I shouldn't really be attempting a blade yet.... I'm booked onto an Owen Bush (Basher on IFI) course in April which I'm super excited about, during which I'll learn how to do things properly I'm sure. I blame Neal entirely. He gave me the leaf spring, and I couldnt wait to use it for something.
  13. Thanks for the reply Frosty... unfortunately I think I'm being dim so not sure quite what you mean. Wont be tolerant or being restricted? or won't be damaged? I understand both these points but they would seem to contradict each other in terms of what to do- unless I'm misunderstanding? Is overheating the only likely issue that could cause damage? If I compare the temperature of the motor in restricted and air-bleeding setups I might be able to get an idea what effect its having?
  14. Thanks for the offer John! I have a blade course booked with Owen Bush in April so my tuition budget has currently run out.... but if I can scrape some money together for a visit to you in Devon later in the year I will do. In the mean time I'll have to try and bumble through on my own! Cheers,
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