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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by HarvestGapForge

  1. Don't worry about 5/8 being too heavy. Most people consider it standard. I start from 5/8" x 8" blanks to make just about any set of tongs I need. I learned tongs a couple of years ago from Dave Custer at Campbell Folk School.
  2. I'll definitely do that and with the next batch I make. At first for the forge weld at the poker end I was folding over the end, welding, and then splitting. But that made it too time consuming and difficult to position on the horn to get a nice consistent poker end. Now I just forge a taper, make a scarf, tack weld it with electricity, and then put it in the coal for the forge weld. I've sold and given away about 20 or 25 of these since the fall.
  3. Typical wizard. I keep trying to make them and my dragons look fierce but apparently I have the curse of the happy/goofy wizard and dragon face.
  4. I've done very well with fire pokers this past fall and into the winter. I think it has to do a lot with COVID and people are spending more time time relaxing at home and want to do it with style. I'm going to have to try one with a wood handle. How did you fix the handle? Is it glue only or is there a pin that we don't see? Here is what I have been making with variations on the handle and twists, and sometimes if I have the time for it I cut Rubik's twists. I see you are in Lincolnton. I'm located in Weaverville.
  5. I recently made this as a submission for an art scholarship which didn't pan out. Feather pattern 1084/15N20 blade with brass, copper, sambar stag, and curly maple. This is also the knife that taught me to always put a pin through the tang. Frosty, I'm sorry that we never met last summer when I was up in the Big Lakes area. I stayed with friends on Crooked Lake which inspired this knife, which I call "Crooked Lake." It is one of my humble offerings on my newly launched web page. OR
  6. I am Harvest Gap Forge. I wanted a "place" name. I was 14 when I named it and didn't want to name it after an actual place because who knows where I will end up living. I'll be able to move my business anywhere just about - maybe not the plains or the beach - but that's ok. I like the mountains. Harvest Gap. It is a great place that can be anywhere because it exists in my mind.
  7. I've made a set or three of tongs from rebar, and still have one that hangs on my rack that is useful at times. I will say that rebar is far better for bottle tree stands than it is for tong making material.
  8. Great score! I've been sort of looking for a swage block like that - happy to see they can still be found for a reasonable sum. You might onsider connecting up with the state ABANA chapter Phillip Simmon's Artist Blacksmith Guild. There are a lot of active hobby and professional smiths in your area. The next state meeting is Dec 7 in Greenville, SC. Also, the American College of the Building Arts has running classes in basic forging and they have special topic workshops too.
  9. Find a local welding shop. Most have stock to sell and are often willing to get you some bars delivered when they put in their next order.
  10. The tools are clean. I have a grinder and can touch them anytime. I think that I am just not keeping the tool cool enough and it is upsetting just enough to get stuck. I also made my own bee wax linseed oil lubricant. I am using a tire hammer which does hit fast, and I'm realizing there are a few tricks to the technique. I'll play around more with the geometry of the tool too. I have to get a few axes and hammers ready for a craft show ASAP so I am going to get them done and open the eyes with a striker. I will come back to this soon, however. I also think that there is not enough space between my dies, so I am going to think about making a shorter bottom and try to get some space this way. Brent Bailey is great. I met him at SBA Murphreysboro last year where he along with a couple of others helped me make a 3 1/2# rounding hammer which was the second or third time I did something like that.
  11. What I did tn the shop today: I stuck these together and have a specific question about it over in the Slitters/Drifts category.
  12. I have made between 15-20 axes and hammers punching with a striker and a reformed ball peen hammer for the punch and I've never had any trouble. Now I am trying to make top tooling to for power hammer. So far this is my result. The larger piece is made from Hi-Tuff and I realize that I made it too big and I guess I shouldn't be surprised it got stuck, the smaller one is 52100 and I expected that to work. (Actually I expected both to work). Axe material is 4130. What am I doing wrong? Is there a basic technique difference between punching under power, or am I going wrong with the tooling. The tool is stuck pretty good in both pieces.
  13. I got a near new TFS 250# for a price that was too good to pass on. It is basic but and I can't complain. 1" hole to fit my bottom tools so I didn't have to make new ones. That's a consideration. It is my first new anvil and my first shop sized anvil. They are available and if I remember you can get a 300# double horn from them. An anvil that I like a lot is the 220# Perun Artisan Anvil with the drawing table. Blacksmith Depot has them in stock for a reasonable price. Dreaming, I would design one similar to that but with a double horn and weighing a lot more than I think that would be ideal.
  14. Vinne Barbarino, the anvil surfing Boston Terrier. He is a little more comfortable on my new shop sized anvil
  15. I am 16 and have been hammering for a little bit more than 3 years. The more you make, the better you will get. You may or may not make money but you will certainly be learning. If you make a few buck to buy a tool or metal then great. If you don't make money just consider your small loss to be tuition. There are very few hobbies that you stand a chance at making anything back - but smithing is one of them.
  16. I need to get one of those "Caution Air Intake" like you see on jet fighters
  17. I finally got around to building a stand with scrap lying about. I have transported this forge 3 times now and it has around 100 heats on it. No cracking. It was a great learning project.
  18. My summer has been busy with travel but I have finally gotten around to getting my coal forge operational again. Super sucker with 10" pipe is working just fine. 90 degree coming off of the box, 4' horizontal run, open T connector, then 10' of vertical to well above the roof pitch. I still need to secure the top section of pipe and put a small hood or lip on the box. I might mess around with the opening size. The opening is 10 x 10 square, so I might make it smaller or experiment with a smoke shelf or just reducing the volume with bricks to see if I can get it better. But for a first fire on an 80 degree day, I am super happy. Thanks for the advice! Put on your best Doug Marcida accent, "It will suck!"
  19. If you went with the DF burner I'd guess that one medium would be all you need. I used a double small set up in a forge only a little bit smaller and they were overkill. This is your first forge - it won't likely be your last!
  20. That is a great looking cart/frame. Hard bricks .... switch them for soft bricks and coat them with some IR. Regardless what the instructions say, a thick layer of Matrikote is great on soft brick. The Devil Forge burners are great for their price. One problem I noticed is that the burner tips are welded on and they seemed a little flimsy. After some use the flares can flare out so much that if your ports are tight they will get stuck inside of the forge and it becomes a chore to switch them. There are tons of great burners available. I am currently using ones by mathewson metals. They are as good as any and are priced attractively. High temp tools sells all inclusive burner kits as well. I don't know if either shop ships out of the US.
  21. PS. My first propane bottle forge is working great. Door is on and I am welding just fine. I wish I would have built it clam shell style so anyone making a bottle style might consider this. It was a fun learning process and there definitely will be a next time! But with a blown ribbon burner.
  22. Thanks. I'm inclined to try it with a T. I've got a dilemma. I have 10" pipe which was drawing OK enough with a side draft. I'm tempted to use my existing pipe and cut the intake opening smaller, but I do have a large fire pot. I mostly burn coke. So my dilemma is to go with what I have which might or might not be good enough, or spend the money and switch over to 12". The "want to do it quickly and cheaply" side of my brain is fighting with my "spend the money and do it right" side. Arguments please.
  23. A couple of years ago in another thread Frosty said this: Use a T on the outside 90* one arm points downwards the other upwards to the rain cap and the horizontal run from your hood enters the leg. Envision a capital T on it's side coming out of a forge hood. How this works is first it prevents cold air from filling and blocking the stack so your hood will draw as soon as warm air enters it. It's other function is to give down drafts an easy route out, they'll go straight down rather than make the turn and travel horizontally against rising hot air. Lastly it eliminates the need for a rain cap, any that falls in will just keep going very VERY little will make the turn and flow horizontally. I have a sudden need for a new hood (my long term loan side draft was recalled ) I'm going to build a super sucker that will have a 4-5' horizantal run. Can anyone comment/post pictures and in general give advice about using a T at the bend instead of a 90. I like what Frosty says here - going with a T sounds like it would solve a lot of issues for me.
  24. I finally finished my first propane bottle forge. Two 1" layers of wool, home made rigidizer, several layers of satanite built up to 1/4" or maybe a little more, bubble alumina floor about 1/2", and topped with 1/8" of Matrikote. I have some high alumina kiln shelf that I cut to size and will use it on the floor also. It is running with two mathewson burners which I can run from 20psi (but why?) down to about 4psi. It heats quickly running it at 10-12 psi. I think my average forging psi will be between 5-7psi and will back off to one burner for small stock. It looks like it will forge weld running around 12psi or so. I am going to borrow a temperature probe to get a better sense of what is going on. I still need to build a stand and put a front door on it. I went through the curing process patiently and I have run 5 or 6 full heat cycles and have no cracking. I'll see how this holds up and then start planning a ribbon burner. I used wool because I want this to be portable, but I think on the next one I will make it from Kast-O-Lite.
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