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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by DHarris

  1. Bought a blower at the SCABA “Iron in the Hat” auction. Canedy-Otto Western Chief. Works great, but leaks oil about as fast as you pour it in. Needs to be wire brushed and painted. Handle needs to be rebuilt as well. I paid $160. Didn’t need it, but the Iron in the Hat auction is how some of the club’s costs to put on the conference are paid for.
  2. Brent had trouble adjusting to the power hammer supplied. It kept stopping. The hammer he made is pretty rough. He will have to straighten the eye, but he told me not to worry, when it comes back to me I will be pleased with it. He said he doesn’t understand why makers will trash hammers or other tools with mistakes. He said correcting mistakes is easy. This crooked eye for example he will fix with a die grinder.
  3. This weekend was spent at the SCABA conference. Turnout was a little low. 25 fewer men and about 36 fewer females. I was hoping to buy some tailgate sale items, but it was skimpy. I bought two tongs from someone from a group in Missouri who had come down to sell few tongs they had made. Good tongs. They need a couple of tweeks, but work well. Brent Bailey is a great guy. At the auction I bought the hammer he had made during his demo. I paid at least three times over what I could have bought a similar hammer from him online. But there was no bloody way I was leaving without that hammer. I paid $170. He gave me his address so I could mail it to him to finish and dress it up like those from his shop are. I asked if he could hang it with a bois d’arc handle. He said he has some and would do that for me. It’s name will be “Dreaming”. The first photo is of him making the hammer. I knew it was going to be a sweet weekend because of the brindle dog. During the demo, those in attendance were shooing they dog or kicking rocks at it to make it go away. Brent just smiled at the dog and called him over to be petted. After that, the dog decided Brent belonged to him. He is spending a pretty large sum to have the dog crated and shipped to him in California. The axe I made in the workshop is below. It’s name is Rush Creek. It is modeled after Brent’s axe, “Middle of Nowhere”. The workshop would have been cheap at even 5 times the price. Three days of personal instruction from my favorite blacksmith. I had a blast.
  4. Small axe punch fought for me by Brent Bailey. Later he showed me how to make the Drift.
  5. At the SCABA conference in Sulphur, Oklahoma today. First guy was Palmer Robbins. His demo was making a leaf. Demo now is Brent Bailey making a hammer. Cool guy and he really does use just crushed coal as a punch lube as he says in his videos.
  6. Are you quite sure you paid the right people, Thomas?
  7. Firearm? I could use one or two. He isn’t afraid and looks sickly.
  8. I figured I would just use a cutting disc on an angle grinder. I still don’t have a torch. I am going to remove the valves and flood them with water first. I have been wanting to try a project like this for a long time.
  9. Looks cool and perfectly functional. I see what you mean about possible failure at some point, which is not something you would want to happen with that sort of thing while it is in use. I’ve made one, but it was made as a “trade item” for a SCABA meeting a few years ago, so I can’t take a picture of it. I made it without any welds. My inspiration was a Ping Craz-E putter head. They are big and monstrous things, but they will stand upright on their own. I still have the lid-lifter I drew in the trade. I forget the maker’s name, but he is a very good blacksmith. I will take a picture and post it along with his name. Below is Mandell Greteman, our current club president. I don’t know if the lid-lifter he is using was one he made, but it probably is. He has a very well equipped shop. The picture is of him checking on the cobbler he was cooking at a meeting. He cooks pretty good.
  10. I agree. Just take some of that corrugated roofing material you must have stacked around somewhere and some of the posts and 2x4s and do a lean-to. I actually prefer my open space. It isn’t so great in the afternoons in the summer, but in the fall and winter it is shady most days. It is just past the drip line of a huge oak in the back corner of my yard, so it is shady year round until about 1400. In the fall and winter, the afternoon sun is blocked by a line of oaks in my neighbors yard. In the afternoon during the summer, I have to poke what I am working on under the forge to see the color, but that isn’t a problem really, because it is too hot to be out there anyway. What I wish I had was something other than dirt to work on. It is a mud pit after it rains and moving around in the same spot day after day, I wear a hollow where I am working. Some day I plan to brick it. I have a small pile of bricks I have been collecting for it. Once I have a large pile, I will prepare the ground and place them.
  11. I have trouble with my glasses trying to fall off, especially if I am welding at an odd angle, but I can’t see anything up close without them. Someday I will buy a magnifier for the hood. These auto-darkening lenses are a rather new thing. When I learned to weld there were none. MIG is not hard without them, but stick is awkward. I think it would have been much easier for me to learn had they been around back then. I can’t say the less expensive ones are worth having, but I do know that with most tools (and golf clubs) there is a price at which only someone using the tools for hours each day would really benefit or even notice the difference in most cases. Tack welding with stick is the area where I really find auto-darkening lenses to be extremely handy. I had always hated doing it before. Now, not so much. These followed me home yesterday. Two bells and two dishing stumps. The local welding supply shop was tossing them. I said, “You are doing WHAT!!!!” He let me have them. Being CO2 tanks, an explosion while cutting them shouldn’t be an issue to be overly concerned about?
  12. Didn’t forge today. After church and leftover quail from yesterday, I went for a walk around outside to make sure everything which should be secure is secure. Most of the state is in a severe Tornado Watch. It felt spooky out. Not even the barest trace of a breeze. Sun out. Not hardly any clouds. The last time all the meteorologists were freaking like this was the day before the tornado took out an elementary school and our Norman Regional Moore hospital in Moore. It is times like this that I almost wish I had cable. Jeez! Is there anything you do not have? (Prompted by the background objects)
  13. If you don’t have one already, you should look into a hood with an auto-darkening lens and variable shade levels.
  14. Welding is easy. The hard part is pulling the money out of the bank to purchase the welder needed without my wife realizing it is gone. Since I don’t have a welder, I have to drive down to Rush Springs to see my dad or my FIL and use theirs. Which is what I am doing later today. I want to add a few elements to my forge table, so I cleaned it up to load. I want to raise the back and sides some, add a tong rack, and add a slide out extension to the front to support longer pieces. When cleaning it, I noticed a burnt bearing I had picked up from my FIL years ago when he was repairing one of his tractors. I am thinking it might be a good piece to add to my grate. It is at the top in the first pic. I am thinking I can smooth out the inside and slip what I am currently using as a grate down inside it. I am not sure if it will work. It may raise the top of the grate too high, causing it to burn. As it is now, I have had 10-15 fires in the pot and the grate shows no sign of deterioration. On the way down, I plan to stop at a farm and ranch store to see if I can find some flexible tubing which will allow me to hook up my crank blower. I bought it 4 or 5 years ago, but never got around to hooking it up. Hair dryers are just too bloody convenient. But I am doing the Brent Bailey three day workshop at our conference in a couple of weeks. I don’t want to show up with a hair dryer.
  15. That is what I was shooting for, but fullered on both ends. I still have plenty of stock left. Now that I know what I shouldn’t do, my chance of success is greater.
  16. Do they allow you to take cuttings?
  17. I will be bringing my setup to the conference after all. I signed up for the Brent Bailey workshop. Participants are required to supply their own tools and forge. I had mounted my vise to a post which I cemented into the ground. Fortunately I bought a spare vise a few months ago. I will just need to work out a portable mount for it. My anvil is movable with a dolly. I used a huge stump for the base, but not so long It is embedded into the ground. I will need to take the stump to a level spot in the driveway and make the top of the stump level. Currently it is only level where it sits. I need to take my forge to my dad’s and modify it a bit. It needs tong racks and a slide out something to rest longer pieces of stock on while heating it. As it is now I must either hold it or find a stick to rest the stock on. Neither is ideal. I also want to make a removable back and sides so I can pile up coal around the pot without worrying about knocking it off onto the ground. Are you going to the conference? If so, how will I recognize you? I look exactly like my photos. My wife and I will have our trailer parked somewhere there.
  18. Got very near to complete and the face cracked during the quench. Rather than cut it off and weld on another, I will just cut off the steel used for the face and peen and begin again.
  19. That is beautiful, Ferritic. Does it swing as well as spin?
  20. Look for one of those health food/alternative medicine/new age markets. All those I have been in have had them. Natural essential oils too. I don’t pretend to believe all the gibberish about them, but some can be relaxing after a bad day at work. In the interest of complete transparency, it could be the two or three Coors Light I have while relaxing and reading in the tub and not the essential oils.
  21. And what is a knitting bowl used for? Nothing done at the forge for almost 10 days now. My baby brother came down with COVID. I had to pick him up and take him to the ED. They admitted him. I have been keeping my grandniece since then. My brother came very close to needing a ventilator. 10 LPM of O2 by nasal cannula could not beep his O2 sat above 90%, so they put him on High Flow Nasal Oxygen. That worked well and kept his sat above 94%. He was in the hospital for just shy of 9 days. He came home Sunday. I am keeping my little niece till he feels up to keeping her, which, God willing will be tomorrow. She is a great kid, but man she never shuts up. I am work out. My brother was one of those who refused to get the shots.
  22. You are in Europe. Why not WI for the body instead of modern steel? As old as Europe is WI should be more available there than here in Oklahoma. WI is much, much easier to forge weld once you accept as fact what more experienced smiths say. Work it at a near welding heat or it is likely going to split.
  23. This is my “sort of a” bullet grate. This is what it looks like after about 5 sessions. Unlike my first attempt which was too tall and melted, this one looks almost exactly like it did when I first began using it. Not even the small piece of rail anchor I stick in the hole has burned. I think I will slice a thin piece off the bottom of the melted first attempt and use it to make this one slightly taller. If it doesn’t melt, I will add another small slice until I hit the 2” Glenn suggested would be a good height. If it works at that height and doesn’t melt, I will weld the slices to the base.
  24. Beautiful place. Your cat or just passing by?
  25. I’ve always wondered why polydactyly isn’t more common in cats. It seems as if it should be an evolutionary advantage. It helped the Maine Coon and I believe another northern cat walk on snow more easily because it made their paws bigger. I’ve heard some say their cats with extra digits are more adept at turning lights on and off and opening doors and gates. One reason it may not have been (except for cats in snowy areas) is sometimes the extra toes may be pointed wrong and could make walking a little painful on harder ground. (Thank you, Google. I knew about the Maine Coon, but not the others.)
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