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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by EODGunner

  1. Of all the times I've searched for blacksmithing or anvils or books and typed in Northeast Ohio, Youngstown, or Pittsburgh... That's a first I'm seeing of it. Appreciate the Intel. I my have to go check it out sooner rather than later
  2. Before I start to assemble my starting kit, I'm going to definitely link up with someone from the immediate area just to see their layout as well as possibly getting my hands dirty for the first time. This has been a great help all.
  3. Thank you all for the input. Got a few more things to research, luckily I got plenty of time before I start to assemble my... well everything.
  4. I didn't think I'd ever be using overhand swings. Was just giving it as a reference for my skill level. 2# sounds like a good plan. Though for future reference, should I be referring to hammers by # or by oz? Or is it just a preference of the blacksmith? Also, just out of sheer curiosity, how do you step your hammers? Ie, by the pound, 8oz, 24oz, etc?
  5. People ask me about the running a lot... I've suggested that if I'm running, you run in a perpendicular direction to me. That guarantees you're running away. Never know if I'm running to or from the incident ;-). As far as the hardwoods goes, I'm looking for something dark / black or black with darker highlights. Black palm might also be added to my list of "Research and test" Great to hear about the charcoal filters. I'll definitely have to invest in a good set. Though the more I delve into this, the more I feel ill have to kick the wife's vehicle out of the garage so I have enough room! Can't wait to start purchasing stuff in a year and a half.
  6. You're right, wenge looks beautiful. My thought is I like the look of darkor colored wood with metal I've really only worked with the common woods you can find at your local Lowe's/Home Depot. A couple others that I've bought from time to time at a local wood store. But nothing exotic, so it'll be my first time. I'm sure that like with blacksmithing, there will be a "wall of oops!" That I end up making. Where did you find your charcoal filters? Finally, yes, EOD does stand for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Been a tech now for the past... 12 years, and love every bit of it.
  7. SLAG, you have provided numerous help with resources. I've liked the thought of african blackwood,(ABW) and glad to hear someone works with it. I've been thinking of using a band saw to get the general squared shape, then shaving and sanding to make the final adjustments. I figure starting from a 2"x2" blank, I could get a good sized pommel/base and work the neck down to what i want... going that big to start also lets me make a wedge I can use to lock the hammer head onto the ABW handle. I've poured over the posts here for hours and looked at different resources. You guys have been great and helpful. My plan is to make tools that are beautiful and stout so that way when my tools are passed down to my 7th-great-grandchildren, the tools will be aged, but still work as the day I complete them. As far as the respirator, eye shield, etc... I've been exposed to so many chemicals I don't want to get started... honestly, I'm pretty sure they're starting to react and form their own unique compounds inside my body at this point. But I digress... Would I be adequately safe utilizing a good painters respirator and decent set of either mechanix gloves or nitrile gloves?
  8. John and Thomas - thank you for your input. From previous experience in HS working with sledges hammering in tent stakes (and again in the military), I know that overhead with a 2handed sledge, I have decent aim. However, from dealing with cutting kindling for my dad's fireplace, I know my 1handed swing leaves a little to be desired in the way of accuracy. The heaviest I am thinking at this point as far as hammers goes is 8#. However I think I'm going to prefer more in the 2-4# range. I would like to send pictures of the anvil I decide to go with (prior and post purchase) to get input. The sweet spot marking would be a great asset. Also, good to know the weights you use with the hammers and anvils.
  9. I appreciate all the input and knowledge from experience. I also like how you all put in your preferences. To which, you have brought to me a few questions. First off, Frosty - glad someone got a chuckle. I meant for it to be a little silly, as humor is important in this day and age. Some people don't know how to joke, but glad to see it's appreciated here. Also, as far as slab vs rounded or oval shaped, have you noticed a comfort difference? Obviously I don't know how your hands are compared to mine, and that it's all personal preference, but have you noticed a difference in how they hit (similar hammers that is)? What tool(s) do you use to shave them down? Thomas - Can you elaborate on "stinky hammers"? As this is a first I've heard of the term. Also, how would I be able to check to see if the sensitizing chemicals have been used on the exotic woods? Branding iron - You've mentioned Osage Orange. That is probably my #5 option. What are some of the drawbacks and benefits you've noticed? Have you dealt at all with purpleheart or African blackwood? To those that sent pics - beautiful looking hammers. I hope to be able to help out new guys in a few years with pics of similar quality hammers/tools.
  10. Good Day! I've been doing a lot of looking around, and seen some comments here and there on various sites, forums, and books about the handles of the tools blacksmiths use. I've seen hickory, oak, and other common hard woods used in production of the handles. The question I am asking here is multi-fold. 1) Is the handle one of those "the harder the better" or do you want more flex in it? I.E. What would be the highest on the Janka scale would you go? Been contemplating some exotic hardwoods for my handles since not only do I plan on making my own, but figure why stop at just blacksmithing my own tools, why not make the handles as well. 2) What is the thoughts on Purplewood, African Blackwood, and other exotic extremely hard woods? 3) For mallets in the shop, would you suggest a solid hard wood? soft wood? or hard wood with soft wood strike face? Should one cover the strike face with leather? I look forward to you correcting about 15 grammatical errors, 39 terminology errors, and informing me how silly my thoughts are. But seriously, I do look forward to your replies, as the only way to find an answer (or even start the conversation) is ask a question. Thanks! -Matt
  11. Daswulf, if it were your 200# anvil, how heavy would you go maximum on your hammers? Also, as far as forges goes, who would you say is a good source to bounce ideas off of for gas forges?
  12. I wish I could attend. I'll be on orders and there's no chance in me getting those dates changed. Great to hear about that though, and will have to look into getting there for 2019/2020.
  13. Hopefully everyone's day has been as productive as mine. I'll start off with the basics of what I am thinking I should get, then go from there on what I feel I could make. To start off, I am willing to put some good $$ down to get into this. From previous experiences in different hobbies, sometimes it's worth the up front cost to save from having to re-do or re-buy the same thing later on because of damage from used items. I am wanting to make my own gas powered forge. I live in a highly residential area, and don't feel that I could support this as much if I didn't go gas. I don't think I'm going to go too big on the forge (not that I really know what too big is), and still trying to decide on single or multiple burner. Yet another reason why this will be such a great well of knowledge. I'm thinking for dimensions for the forge, I'm looking at an internal depth of 16-18 inches. An internal width of 6-8 inches, and an internal height of 4-6 inches. I'm hoping this should be big enough that I can do whatever it is that I intend on doing. The second item is an anvil. I had thrown around the idea of attempting to cast my own, but decided against it. I may still take this idea and do such an endeavor down the road with a smaller anvil (one for jewelry per say). I have not figured out what size to get. I've seen everywhere from don't go past 1 lb hammer per 40 lbs, and 3 lbs per 100 lbs of anvil, and even some with no limits. Knowing my workspace, and that I plan on going to blades, blunts, axes, jewelry, and tools, I feel that I could handle an anvil up to 300 lbs (space wise) but don't feel it necessary to actually get one that size. I have found a brand new one for $1500, and it's within range for me to go actually pick it up. Considering some of the prices in used ones (terrible shape at that) I am considering that to be an option. My plan is to be able to use up to an 5-8 lb sledge. I'm planning on starting out much lighter until I get used to things and can forge my own though. I think I'll start off with a 1lb, then start to forge my own hammers. I figure this is a good start to discuss things, but please correct me. hahaha -Matt
  14. Thank you gentlemen for the warm welcome! I've been continuing my research in the forums. Tons of great information here. Also, I'm glad to see that there are people in my timezone / local ish to me.
  15. Good Day! Hello World, I'm Matt! So like everyone, I had to find a starting point. Well, that starting point was a few years ago as I started to gather information and collect ideas, lists, and funds to begin this endeavor. I've got lists of materials I want, items I "need", projects to build, and how to's to get a forge underway. The biggest thing I have been missing is: knowledge resource. With this site, there's enough shared knowledge here that not only do I want to be able to pick your brains for more knowledge, but in return, I also want to be able to share any knowledge I get with the group. Ahh yea, more about me... Well, I have been in the military for the past 13 years. Been overseas twice (longer than a month) and looking to be headed over again for yet another fun time. Since I've transferred from active duty to reserves and national guard, I've had a plethora of jobs. Pizza chef, Bartender, Fuel delivery Driver, and RC Car mechanic/salesman to name a few in no specific order. I've gone to school for a number of topics, and love to learn new and challenging things. Speaking of which, as my friend who was in college calculus with me says... "I don't know how you do it, but you know the more difficult topics, but get stumped by basic algebra. Sometimes it's like someone flipped your brain." So please bear with me if I'm asking dumb beginner questions yet seem to have the correct answer for the more experienced tiers of knowledge. Sometimes I wish it was reversed so I could have a more solid base of understanding. I'm pretty open, but will refrain from answering too much in the way of personal life. Since I'm basically starting from scratch as far as equipment, I also plan on making my journey to a novice/amateur blacksmith into a cautionary tale/story. I do plan on taking many photo's (I have a high quality camera) and making as much of the equipment I can myself. I love talking theory, but get distracted in multiple people conversation easily. IE, If i'm talking with one to three maybe four people in a thread, I can usually keep track of where things go. Once a certain number of people start posting and having side conversations, I lose the ability to keep track of who's responding to who, so my apologies in advance, but don't let that hold you back from messaging me! Again, I look forward to talking with and discussing all aspects of blacksmithing with you all! -Matt
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