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I Forge Iron

Red Shed Forge

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Everything posted by Red Shed Forge

  1. Thomas, there is no telling how often my wife would ring a bell strung up like that just to scare the heck out of me in the shop haha
  2. Thanks, Das. It would be cool to see what you can come up with for the school bell hanger if you end up making one.
  3. For real! I was getting worried. And it truly was a scheduling issue that was preventing them from picking up. Lots of travel for work I guess. They did say it was going to be a surprise for him, yes. Just makes it that much better.. cant wait to see it hung up!
  4. Yesterday the customer was finally able to come pick up the fixed bell and forged hanger. They love it! It will eventually be hung at the family farm in northern Wisconsin and will be given to the family patriarch as a Father's Day gift. Again, I am truly honored to be part of the bell's history; I hope it endures for another century and beyond.
  5. Really cool gator Das, I'm sure it will look great in FL!
  6. Yup! It will be a 30'x30' pole barn with a "barn style" roof. Already made the down payment! The plan is to make the top portion into a loft apartment which we will live in while we save for the house build. A year without $6k in real estate tax payments and no mortgage will be helpful, that's for sure. Most of what we own now will be in storage below us and some in my FIL's 40'x40' if necessary. This will require a separate area for smithing... and I'm eyeing the 80+ year-old wooden barn just a stone's throw away on the other side of the highway!
  7. Gotcha, Glenn. Thanks. Thanks, Frosty. George, thanks for relaying that. If it starts getting close, I will check with each state. And I'll take the congrats! haha. My wife inherited 10 acres of her family's land, and with the way houses are selling right now, we figured this is the best time to make the move. Even with the egregious prices for lumber and metal right now, we might still come out on top after we build. I look forward to eventually having a bigger shop/smithy, having more than a .25 acre of space available to us and not having to worry about annoying neighbors with the sound of my hammer blows. Not to mention all the oak, hickory, maple, pine and elm I could ever need for charcoal. I plan to do a post about leaving Red Shed Forge behind, where I will be setting up my temporary smithy after the move, and plans for a new permanent smithy. I'll also take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this post. Whether you gave advice, encouragement, a word of caution or a verbal pat on the back, I appreciate you. I'll always be grateful for this virtual community and I am excited to see what more I have to learn from it. -Alex
  8. I will set a deadline in writing for sure, but to the curb? I thought about just saying if they don't pick up, it's coming with me to KY and they will have to get it if they're ever in the area. It would look nice on the new shop haha.
  9. Thanks, Frosty. I have not told them we are moving yet; as of yesterday the big pieces of the move (job acquisition & land being cleared for a build) have finally come into place. But yeah, I'm sure the news of us leaving will get them to act so I will be informing them next week when our house is listed if I don't hear from them beforehand. The bell is not mine, they hired me to also fix its cast iron yoke that broke when they were removing it from its original mount.
  10. I've been waiting for the customer to pick up before posting a picture of it completed, with the hopes that the customer will send me a picture of it mounted at the WI farm, but after more than a month of waiting for them to show up, I think it will also be a while before they even get it mounted. We have agreed several times on a pick-up day, but they either have something come up last minute, or they simply do not show and do not give a reason. Not a complaint, as they insisted on paying me without even seeing it, I am just eager to see how they like it. My wife and I, however, will be moving back to KY in the coming months, so I might have to offer a delivery soon. Anyway, I snapped a picture of it mounted to the Red Shed a few weeks ago for my own sake. As you can see, I had yet to paint the bolts and fasten them properly where the yoke meets the hanger, but they are painted now and I touched up where my wrenching removed some paint. I decided to go with the Rustoleum hammered black paint, as recommended.
  11. Alexandr The Great Smith. Beautiful railings. Always stunned with our work, thanks for sharing.
  12. Cool, thanks I'll look into getting that one for sure.
  13. George, If that ain't the truth. Well said. I've tried to keep in mind my personal and familial posterity on this project; the bell itself begets the thought of time passed and generations of users and viewers. It's been a daunting but proud moment in my smithing experience so far. Daswulf, Thanks! I've never used Duplicolor, I'll check it out. Truth is I can't decide if I would go with matte or gloss! Sounds like more tests to run... Goods, I considered round coil spring too. I've got a bunch of it laying around. I thought about wrapping it like you said but with leaves on end. I will be finishing up a project for my wife here soon, so I think I'll attempt it there.
  14. And I've got plenty of Red Shed wall space to cover! Another great tip; I'll be doing that for sure. And thanks for the twist list, I'll have to be attempting those as well.
  15. Forge that nice neighbor a bottle opener or a couple versatile hooks for being so cool and you will surely keep him on your good side. Have fun.
  16. I hear ya, I think everyone should keep a project/hobby to work on. That first grill forge I mentioned, I built and used that on the first floor patio of the apartment complex my (then) fiancé and I lived in. Got away with using store-bought charcoal for a few months with no problems. It wasn't until I used Bituminous coal for the first time that I ran into some issues with other neighbors. At a high enough heat, charcoal does not produce a whole lot of smoke; by the scent, most people just think you're grilling or smoking meat all day when you use charcoal. An anvil's ring tends to give you away though haha.
  17. SinDoc, My first was a coal forge built from my dad's old propane grill. Gutted, lined and hair dryer crudely attached. After that, with no other experience, I built a propane forge from what I learned on YouTube. The propane forge works, but I have since built 2 charcoal forges, the 2nd of which I am very happy with. It has also caused me to look back and ask myself why I didn't just stick with the first coal/charcoal forge I built. I feel safer when using it, I make my own charcoal so my fuel is renewable, and in my limited experience, solid fuel is not only easier to work with as a beginner but it brings about in me that warm primitive attachment to nature we all have. Dig a hole in the ground, fill it with charcoal from last night's bonfire, supply some air and heat some steel and you will see what I mean. All that aside, is a propane forge a project someone like you could undertake? If you avoid the YouTubes and spend some time in the gas forge threads here on IFI, you can certainly make it happen. I wish I had done more research here before I built mine, that's for sure. However, I have read that a scrapped propane tank is not the best object to start with because of its volume. That being said, I have seen a couple very successful ones built from them on here, but they seemed to follow the best instructions to a T. Be safe, patient, stay determined, read as much as you can, and you can make it happen. Red
  18. George, thank you for saying so. I couldn't agree more, being able to hold and use something of your own creation can be a wonderful feeling. He likes to make oil and acrylic paintings and so wanted a pallet knife to use that is truly his own. I hope he wants to forge more next time he visits. Shoot, I meant 3/16" not 3/8" lol. I am concerned about the busyness of the inner collars too, thanks for mentioning it. I did consider a thinner stock, but my thought was that it would stray from the uniformity of the collars. But thinking about it now, the width of the collars is more noticeable than the thickness. Do you think 1/8" would look nicer?
  19. Very nice of you to say, Thomas. I hope you're right! I will certainly bevel the edges of the collars next time. I had wondered if I should have done that with the bracket after my brother commented on how sharp the edges look.
  20. Thanks John, I will consider using that if they choose paint.
  21. Most of the week has been spent forging the wrought iron back bracket and assembling the hanger. My youngest brother has been in town visiting from out of state and has been my "minion" at the forge for a few sessions. He is currently climbing up from a personal rock bottom, so it is a blessing to be able to spend so much time with him. He said he had a great time at the forge, especially when I gave him some time to himself at the anvil forging a pallet knife from some rebar. I've missed him. The hot collars took a good wrastlin' but we got three and a half on before it was time to call it quits due to fuel shortage. The last three will be 1/2"x3/8" as they will be wrapped on close to one another. After that its just down to more refining and finishing. I am leaving it up to the customer to decide whether it should be painted or BLO/turp/waxed; no response yet. Whitaker suggests that outdoor items should be painted. That might be the best route here as I imagine it will be quite the chore for the owner to touch it up in a few years if I go with BLO. We will see what they decide.
  22. I have a few things of smaller diameter that should be helpful. I like the wooden mallet idea too... been meaning to make one of those! I'm sure a small wieldable log will work for now. Thanks, Thomas!
  23. Hit a small checkpoint this weekend: it hangs again! But just a short test hanging. I forged the 2nd yoke (please correct me if it should be addressed with a different term), put the main arm of the hanger in the vise and hung it up. I struggled to achieve the correct arch on the 2nd yoke, but was able to shape it cold around a scrapped air compressor tank of the same diameter I need to meet for the bell's main yoke to fit properly. I used 1" x 3/16" flat stock. In order to orient its hooks properly, I had to twist them. I figured, if I have to twist I might as well try to make them decorative, so I went with 1.5 turns on each side. For the hooks to end up facing the same way, I had to twist each end in opposite directions; one twisting out and one in. This left each twist looking like it is out of line with the arch. Am I doing something wrong here, or do I just need to make more adjustments with my scrolling fork to make them line up with the arch?
  24. Over this passed winter, the owner of the bell informed me that they do not plan to go back up to their WI lake house until this coming summer and not to rush on the hanger. Well, summer is right around the corner, so most of my time at the anvil lately has been forging a mockup hanger. The time and therefore anxiety relief the owner has given me has also allowed me to take a step back a decide the best way to tackle this (or so I hope!). I've decided that instead of 2 hangers mounted to a large connected back bracket, I am going to make one hanger that holds a larger yoke that holds the bell yoke at each end. I am struggling with my description here, but think of a bucket hanging by its handle on a hook. I think this will give the owner more options when deciding where to hang it; it seems they are having difficulty deciding whether to hang it on the side of the house, below a balcony at the aforementioned "T" section, or on a tree. The pictures below are of the mockup scrolls I forged this weekend and last night. On the finished piece, I plan to connect the scrolls to each other and to the mounting bracket (which will be the wrought iron piece) with collars. The stock size is 1 1/2" x 3/8" hot rolled; the collars will be 1" x 3/16". When forging the finished product, I want to focus on refining the fishtail ends of my scrolls. I also hope to refine the general fluidity of the scrolls with a scrolling fork. If anyone with a better eye for ornamental work has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.
  25. Pat, When I was working outside the Red Shed in my yard, I built a stand for a 35lb bench vise that I have. I dug a hole in the ground, buried 4 chunks of 4"x4" cut to the length of the depth of the hole and surrounded it with cement. I made sure not to completely cover the 4x4's with the cement as I would need to access the top of the wood after it dried. As it dried, I welded an 8"x6"(?) steel plate to the top of an old car axel, bracing the plate with supports that were also welded to the axel at an angle. The axel still had its wheel connection (sorry, don't know the proper name) attached to the other end. I then used the lug nut holes in the wheel connector to mark spots on the buried wood, drilled holes and attached the axel to the top of the buried wood with 6"x 3/4" lag bolts. It stood just a bit taller than my bellybutton and I was comfortable with that. The steel plate on top also had holes drilled in it which I used to secure the bench vise. It was nice and sturdy, but I took the advice given to me at the time and I did not beat on it whatsoever as it is still just a bench vise. Still handy for twists and general holds, though. I understand not everyone has a spare axel available, but maybe something else sturdy will work for you. I think you will have trouble with it tipping over if you mount it to an unsecured smaller stump or 6x6 you mention. Hope this helps.
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