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I Forge Iron


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About bluerooster

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    N GA

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  1. Back to hammering technique, I managed to do something pretty stupid the other day, (knowing better the whole time). Driving 5 foot 2x4 stakes with my 8 pound. (I guess you can see where this is going) I was standing on the very hard ground, so the blows were landing just below chin height. needless to say I'll be off from swinging a hammer until my shoulder gets better.
  2. Nothing special about the head, but as a whole it's well balanced, and can be swung accurately all day with little effort. Just the handle causes blisters. I'd thought about replacing the handle, but I'm afraid of upsetting the balance. So I'll continue to wear my glove I guess.
  3. This past winter I'd thought about braiding mine. Then spring came, and I trimmed it. May braid it next winter.
  4. The grip is pretty "grippy" not very slick. I don't know about my grip technique, it's the same grip I use on a daily basis at work. I'll probably change to a wooden handle one day.
  5. I think it has more to do with being right handed for the hammer, and left hand for the fire. I dunno. But it works for me. I may tend my fire a bit differently than most. Of course I've always been an oddball. :D
  6. I had the forge to go "poop" twice today. Nothing major, just a little "poop" .
  7. Tried a leaf shaped one. Made from a chunk of re-bar. Now I need to go get a bottle, to open.
  8. But, it's my "go to" 2lb ball peen. It's well balanced, and performs beautifully. But that rubber grip tears my hand up something fierce. So I wear a fingerless golf glove on my hammer hand. Anyone else have this problem, or am I an oddball?
  9. Spent the past couple of hours just mucking about. Finished up the leaf bottle opener, flattened out a bearing race for a future blade project, and started a punch from the "mystery metal" that I retrieved from the road, Mud flap still attached. Fooled around, and let my fire get out of hand a time or two, but that's what happens when you build the fire taller than the fire pot, and don't keep the wet coal piled around it. Anyway, I made good progress on the punch for a minute, then it sort of de-laminated. I thought that to be a strange thing. I was drawing it down to about 5/16" round, the round part being mabe 1 1/2" long, and at the base of the square/octagon it developed a crack, I opened up to see what was going on. It acted kinda like a cold shut it a weld. But this is a solid chunk of square stock of some sort of spring steel. Well, I went ahead and broke it off, took a couple pics, then set about the task of making a punch from the rest of the stock. It went well. I have a punch of about 11/32" with no "cold shut". (I dunno what the problem was at the start). I'll grind it to 5/16" which is what I wanted to begin with. First pic is the end broken off, second is the parent stock. What could this be?
  10. I started the day doing everything except working at the forge. But come about 5:30 I found that I had about 3 hours to try to beat some hot steel into submission. Having no plan, or idea what I was going to make, I decided to just use up what little fuel that was left in the forge from yesterday. With no intention of making anything, and just wanting to heat some metal and allow it to become what it wants to be, I grabbed a 6 foot stick of 3/4" rebar. Now 6 feet being too long, I put it in the forge and heated an area about 18" from the end and cut it off there. (wish I'd added about 4" to that, but hindsight....) As the piece I'd cut off was heating, I was trying to think of something to make. While it's heating, let me tell you why I chose rebar, instead of a "known" steel; That reason is because I have a limited supply of good material, and a whole lot of rebar. So rather than waste my good steel on something that's likely to end up on the "wall of shame" I chose to use the rebar. Anyway, I started by heating about 2" of the end, and flattening it. As I was flattening it, I started drawing it back into it's self thus creating a wide spot at the "handle" with a narrow, but thicker spot toward the end. I decided that I wanted the wide spot to get wider, and the narrow end to get thinner. I narrowed my fire so that I could heat the wide spot, and then upset to make the wide spot wider, then I heated the whole thing to move metal from the fat narrow end to the wide spot. It worked ok, but in hindsight, I should have upset prior to drawing. But as I said before, I have no idea what I'm doing, or what is going to come of it. Just "winging it"', "playing by ear". Moving metal for the sake of moving metal, nothing more. It started taking the basic shape of an African spear point. At this stage, it was thick enough to draw out the edges, and have a nice spear point. But It decided that it wanted to become a leaf of some sort. So I thinned it out some more, and narrowed the "handle" some to make a sort of stem, then set about the task of adding the veining. By this time fuel in the forge is getting low, and is pretty much all coked, so I can keep going with no smoke. After veins, I decided it needs some curvature, for a natural (ish) look. so I set about the task of compound curve. While doing that it said: "I wanna be a bottle opener". So, The point of the leaf got rolled under to catch the lid, and then the body of the leaf got rolled up to give a fulcrum. It was about 3 hours for this beginner to forge a leaf bottle opener. And time well spent. I learned that this particular chunk of rebar likes to be hot, very hot, to be worked. The instant it goes red, get it back in the forge. It really likes bright orange to work cleanly. It quits moving at red. And working thin metal at that heat one must be ready with the hammer. About 3-5 licks is all you get, so make them count.
  11. Jennifer, so far this has been a most excellent read. I really enjoy your story so far. Good show on going with barefoot horses. I love that folks are coming to realize that horses are barefoot kind of animals. We kept our horses barefoot, but for long rides over rocky terrain they would wear "tennis shoes".
  12. My uncle allways wore a bow tie, never a long tie. I never knew why until recently. It seems that all employees where he worked were required to wear white shirt and neck tie. Typical business attire of the 50's-60's. But due to working around moving machinery, he and his entire crew all wore bow ties.
  13. Went to the store. Came back with a bottled beverage. As wonky as it is, the opener works just fine. :D
  14. How does it come to pass that when I want to make some sort of nifty widget, I end up spending all my time at the forge making the tooling to make said widget. I made a beak, as I have no horn on my anvil, and the need for something of that ilk presented it's self today. While I was forming the square to fit the hardy hole, I went ahead and made it long enough to cut off a chunk for future use. Then forged the beak. after that, I made my first bottle opener. It's a mess, and I have nothing to try it out on.
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