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I Forge Iron

Selph

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About Selph

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    Ann Arbor, Michigan

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  1. Wikipedia isn't that bad of a reference. It's great as a first pass and a place to get additional sources. Also, on any page that sees a lot of disinformation or editing from large numbers of non-experts (generally politically controversial topics), they tend to lock it down. Not everyone can edit it, and you need a certain amount of positive work within Wikipedia itself to attempt a change.
  2. That's an awesome memory. I love it.
  3. Don't worry, I'm in the same boat. Just starting to blacksmith, and just starting to weld. To be fair, I've wanted to do both for a long while. And I have a list of welding projects already that's surprisingly long. We've got to start somewhere, right? Sometimes knowing that you need to ask a few questions of people who know infinitely more than you is the best way through.
  4. Oh, okay, great information then. I may have put in too much kitty litter., but I could always add more sand. I just checked on the mixture I currently have and it's definitely a bit dry. It doesn't compact at all when I grab and squeeze it, just kind of crumples apart. I think I'll add maybe another 2 cups of water, mix it in, and wait another day to check on it again. Right now I've got half a 5-gallon-bucket half full of my mixture, so 2 cups shouldn't be too much. I can't really do much with it right now anyway, we're getting our routine April snows right now and it's only 20 out.
  5. Haha, nope! If I'm going to do something, I tend to really commit. Thanks for the compliment on the box bellows. I actually milled all of that maple myself from a tree that died at my dad's place. Then I resawed it, flattened it, did all of that good woodworking stuff with a combination of hand and power tools. At some point, woodworking tools is something I'd like to really get into making, though I plan to start much more simply than jumping straight into forge welding tool/high carbon steel bits into mild steel bodies for tools. And yes, those are IFBs, but I'm already trying to m
  6. With my bellows and forge dimension test run through, I'm ready to get going on a better setup that isn't just insulating bricks. A few questions though: The adobe mix I've seen is roughly 20-30% clay, with the rest sand. We've got pretty sandy soil, so I'll just dig up some of that for my sand and use kitty litter for the clay. The sand will probably be a little wet since it rained a couple nights ago and has been cold, so from other places in this thread I should probably only add 1-2% of the total weight as water, right? Then let it sit overnight and check in on it in the morning? For
  7. Yeah, very. I was a bit worried about the wooden valves, as I've never done anything like that before. No reason to worry though, it works so well. I could blow the charcoal out of the makeshift trench if I tried to. If anything, I actually think I made the bellows a bit too tight. I've got two bags of sand under the bellows there because it does take a bit of force to pump right now and I wanted to be absolutely sure the hot coals didn't get tipped over. I'm a bit tempted to go in there and take some shavings off the internal piston, but I don't want to take the fabric off and go through all
  8. For what it's worth, I'm finally symptom-free. In 72 hours I'll be legally able to leave my house again and follow the less strict shelter-in-place. Which is good, because the grocery situation is getting a bit challenging. I also felt well enough yesterday to finally test my box bellows with a very temporary forge. Moving my anvil and stand with some castors made me less out of breath than just walking up a tiny hill a week and a half ago. Pretty crazy.
  9. Out of the gate, I know this looks a bit sketchy. I wanted to test out my newly-made box bellows, so I made a temporary set up to try things out. If I just so happened to move my anvil out there too so that I could move some metal for the first time on my own, well, these things happen. This next picture is after I let it burn down a bit. I really didn't have anything I wanted to work on this time around. I just wanted to see how well I could heat up the metal. I basically just tapered a piece of 3/8 square bar. And a bonus shot of the type of anvil. I found t
  10. Is there an agreement around here about which types of charcoal retorts work well? I saw the Hookway thread, and there's a few others around that I looked at. I've got a lot of wood scraps from milling up logs and taking care of the woods at my parent's place (and our own baby woods). Not looking to make a ton at once, more along the lines of medium-sized batches.
  11. I'm definitely a bad negotiator. I have no idea how to do it. I ultimately just set the price for something I'm buying or selling before the transaction, with like a 5% wiggle room. If the other party and I don't match up, I'll just walk. I'm not an outgoing person anyway, doing anything more than that is too stressful.
  12. Yeah, this is absolutely true. I talked to a public health nurse after my test came back, and they think I got it from my father-in-law. He's had some health issues and last year we moved to a new house so he could have his own space but live with us. Anyway, he had pneumonia back in February and was in the hospital for a week. He came home literally the day before we started isolating, which was 3 weeks ago at this point. But he had a terrible cough and probably gave it to my wife. She finally got a cough and some mild cold symptoms almost two weeks ago on Wednesday. Then I came down with my
  13. I know I'm new here, but felt like jumping in. I'm only 36, but I ended up in the ER for 3-4 hours back on Thursday. Got the test while I was there, and came back the next day as positive. I'm in great shape (I'm a bike commuter year round 10 miles every day), but I have a long history of lung problems that were eventually fixed with surgery. Anyway, back on Thursday evening I walked up a small 10 foot hill in our driveway and from just walking up that hill I got so out-of-breath that I almost passed out. I continued to be light headed and needed to take 2-3 breaths in the middle of ever
  14. What the two of you are describing is exactly how I got interested in blacksmithing. I couldn't justify buying some of the more unusual woodworking tools I wanted, but I could always learn how to make them... and a new hobby was born. Being able to make my own hooks, hinges, and the like is just the icing on the cake. I finished my box bellows today, and tomorrow I'm going to build my JABOD forge. Hope to be making my first things on my own this weekend.
  15. I saw this thread and felt like jumping in. Not metal, but related to blacksmithing and it is what I was working on in the shop a day or two ago. Almost done with the box bellows at this point, then a quick JABOD forge build and I should be able to try out my first couple of things on my own. Looking forward to it!
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