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I Forge Iron

Chris the Chicken Smith

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About Chris the Chicken Smith

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  • Location
    : New Brunswick, Canada
  • Interests
    Hobby farming, iron and copper working, fire, and history. I like learning.

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  1. Mmm... those marshmallows are the best. What were we talking about, again? That sounds tricky but doable. Thanks! Chris
  2. Haha. Thanks, Charles. I was just wondering if YOUR forge in particular could forge weld, but I suppose the answer would be yes.
  3. Okay, so a bantee rooster who weighs 10 lbs. I just chased one [bantee roo] around for my neighbour a little while ago because he was getting a bit too frisky with the hens. He’s staying outside for the night so the hens can have some peace. My neighbour had geese after the ducks, and his gander, Homer, would chase him around all the time. Kind of put me off getting a goose for a while, even though I wanted one as a guard. That’s also why I wanted a peacock. I had read that they make nice guards - not quite as good as a goose, but still adequate - but they also looked pretty.
  4. I suppose they do. I don’t know if I’m just used to it, or enjoy it. Then again, (like the rest of Gen Z,) I’m a masochist. I probabaly enjoy it.
  5. Are you telling me I won’t be alone forever?! Wow, that’s better than I thought! I haven’t eaten a peahen egg, no. But there are two towns, each about 45 minutes from here, and they are the definition of niche. And they have WAY too much money that they feel they need to get rid of. And buying random things is better than feeding starving children in Africa, isn’t it? >:( Anyway... Duck eggs are best used in baking, due to their high protein content. You *can* eat them, but my neighbour, when he had his ducks, (a raccoon came and ate them all,) would market them as eggs for baking. There are so many people who sell chicken eggs, even duck eggs, that there really isn’t a market. Peafowl eggs, however, are unique and “rare,” so people will be more likely to go “ooh, shiny!” and buy some. Then, they will take their prejudice of them being special, and they will psych themselves up for a great flavour, which they will mentally taste, and, ideally, decide they love. Marketing is mostly psychology, which is one of my talents. Peafowl are “dangerously aggressive? Have you ever seen a goose? (I know you have. Are they really worse than geese?) The idea with boiling the water is that I would already have a fire going. I’ll be cooking outside when it’s hot, and inside when the weather is bad. Over a wood fire, not an electric range top. I’m just like that. Another note: local law states that (basically) as long as you aren’t selling your [food] product to stores, you don’t have to have a licensed kitchen. You can sell to a farmers’ market all you want with no permits or restrictions, as long as it’s not moonshine or weed, (which is now legal to buy now,) or I suppose any other drugs. There might be other restrictions, like illegal guns and things, but as far as I can tell I can sell my pickles, sweets, salt, ironwork. And besides, my neighbour is working on saving up for a licensed kitchen, anyway. I’m going to pitch in, so I’ll be able to use it. (Sidetracked again,) yes, those evaporating pans sound like a good idea, too. Those “ideas” all have plans. I just get sore fingers from typing too much. If you would like me to go over every detailed plan, I could, however we both have better things to do. (Sorry, I’m a bit cranky.) Also, most of my ideas aren’t actually mine. They come from that same homesteading neighbour. We have discussed the logistics in length many times over, picking apart each other’s ideas until we got to something workable. Then we assessed the difficulty and reward, and decided what would be worthwhile. Blacksmithing was one we didn’t agree on. He doesn’t think there will be anyone who will spend $15 on a fire poker, or $10 on a lopsided key ring with a leaf on it. I digress. Yes, Frosty, nothing is easy. It had only clicked a month or so ago, though, when I tried to turn the soil in my neighbour’s garden that’s been fallowing for five years. “Oh, that should only take a couple of days,” I told myself. Two weeks later, I was FINALLY tilling up rows to plant in. We also already went over the peacocks’ “screaming,” George. But thanks for the warning. Chris
  6. I guess Canadians take that for granted, Thomas... I’ve never really thought of that. I plan to be a butcher by trade until I get to be as self sufficient as possible. That way I can work with my hands and still have something useful and unique that I can use. I’ve cut up a few animals, and so far I haven’t gagged once, which is apparently rare. My plans for income are growing the usual best-selling crops around here, (peas, potatoes, beans, carrots, pumpkins, lettuce, and lots of strawberries. Southern NB is known for their blueberries and strawberries.) Since I live on saltwater, I can boil it down and, if marketed properly, sell the salt for $4-8 per shaker. There’s a small factory about 30 minutes away from my property that sells salt for $6 per shaker, marketed as “local Bay of Fundy salt.” I guess it comes from an underground cave or something. 5 gallons of water turns into 1 shaker of salt, and I could probably boil off 25 gallons in a day, since I would have a campfire or wood stove going, anyway. I also can take some sea lettuce from the salt water and dry it, crush it, and bag it, and sell it as a spice similar to how you would sell basil or oregano, for example. (Sea lettuce is the kind of stuff sushi is made out of, in case you didn’t know.) The goal is to make at least $40 000 per year to pay for bills and things you can’t make yourself. So that’s 40 different things that make you about $1000 each per year. Blacksmithing is going to be one of my big staples in that regard. Sorry for rambling, I do that a lot. Chris
  7. People get pretty ticked off with me when I try to teach them things. I just read a lot, and I am very logically driven, so I can usually cobble something together from what I know, if I know enough about something. The problem is that I love teaching, but I usually don’t know all that much about what I’m trying to teach. I’ve heard that peahen eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, but smaller than goose eggs. I live near a very “touristy” area, so I could probably sell them to someone for $6 or more per dozen, for people to have the novelty of eating a “peacock” egg. I’m hoping to make enough money from these tourists to be self-sufficient on my farm. But if I do that, there will be no more chocolate... I suppose self sufficient, with a little bit of sweetness from the outside world. I have VERY kind neighbours, and sound doesn’t really travel to any of their houses, other than the fellow homesteader’s place. He has enough roosters to deafen you, so I doubt he would even notice the screams anyway. And he has a “pet” pig. (His wife wanted a more “exotic” pet... he still wants bacon.) You could hear that pig squeal from miles away, anyway. I’m also relying on the screams to hopefully ward off predators. Not that I expect it to work. Also, as blacksmiths, we’re ones to talk about noise. I found a picture of my horse friend, Tucker. It’s from about a week ago, and it’s no really a great picture, but you can sort of see how big he is. Three feet; I believe that is nine hands. Chris
  8. All right, I’ll try that. I have clay ground, so I should be able to plaster together a makeshift firepot until I can tack one together. I’m sorry to hear about your horse. I have a friend who runs a farm with 22 horses, and I take care of a miniature horse there named Tucker. If I can find a picture I’ll put it up here. If my math is right, and he stops eating so many horse cookies, he should live until I’m in my fifties... he’s about to turn 20, I think. when u think about it most people my age that i know type like this and oh my gosh its so annoying (It hurts considerably to type like that.) I’m very impressed with your skill. I’m specifically impressed with how you read my age from my typing, since I’ve been told I don’t type like my generation... speaking of my generation, you say there are actually other people who aren’t completely sucked into computers? I need to meet some of them! All of my friends are curmudgeons, as it turns out, and it seems as though I fit into every category except for “the age.” I forgot what else I was going to type... oh, well... Thanks, Frosty. Chris
  9. Thanks, Frosty. That doesn’t look too hard to build. Instead of the elbow, could I use some dryer duct, do you think? I just found some lying around. Not much, but enough. Then I could just duct tape it to my tuyere. I’m planning on welding a little bracket onto the side of the stand to hold the blower, instead of attaching it to the piping. I was lazy and never attached the ash dump or a flange to bolt the blower to. From the blower, I can run the duct to the tuyere, which will probably be some 3/4” steel pipe I just found yesterday. Then I can still plug the blower into the wiring I did. (Blueprint) Also, on a completely unrelated note, I don’t really have a homestead yet, but I do have 5 acres of forest and my imagination available. I have plans for chicken and duck coops, I might get a goose and some peafowl (just for decoration ) as well. I have a neighbour who has a small homestead, and he’s going to have pigs, goats, chickens, turkeys and ducks of his own. I might get some sheep, just to round off “the herd.” We can trade back and forth. Right now, I have six chickens, (one rooster, 5 hens;) I’ve had them for almost two years now. I have a small garden planted at my neighbour’s place, since he wasn’t using his full garden this year, and I didn’t get enough land cleared. We live near a saltwater creek, which is an invaluable resource. No one else in my family really cares about my farming “hobby,” which is a bummer, but I suppose they appreciate the fresh eggs. (Just for a bit more background.) Give your horse(s) a pat for me, Frosty. Also, how do you know about me? It doesn’t say anyone’s looked at my profile. Just curious. Chris
  10. Thanks Thomas, Charles. The fact that ash wouldn’t build up all that quickly completely skipped my mind, so thanks for reminding me of that, Charles. Perhaps I won’t bother with an ash dump. Thanks Thomas, I kind of learned the “redesigning” the hard way, far too many times. Now I’m just used to it. I’m hoping to be a Jack-of-all-trades, (I’ll need to be if I want to have a successful homestead, as Frosty will probably concur,) and that will transfer into my smithing, as well, (hopefully.) I’m hoping to make a forge that is useful for anything. I don’t plan to “specialize” in any one thing. I do plan to make tools, including blades, but I also want to make decorative things to sell, as well as other useful things, like wall hooks, fire pokers, etc. Additionally, I would like to occasionally do some copper work; making watering cans, buckets, and other things. (I suppose that would be tinsmithing, though, not coppersmithing... and it would be much cheaper to use thin steel plate... more planning needed there, too.) I've included some pics of my current forge. 30” tall, and the table is 18x18”. 2” deep, 8”^2 firepot. There are plates in holes so long bars can fit through the sides. I’m planning on just using flat bar laid across the firepot hole to support the new firepot, so the size isn’t an issue. I think I even have enough 1/4” plate to make the firepot, if I do decide to build it. (Now y’all have me confused! ) I might just build another wooden box, fill it with dirt, and try the measurements of Charles’ forge out first, with the modifications we’ve decided. But I’m not sure. (Like I said, I’m confused.) Chris
  11. It makes enough sense. I’ll send some pictures tomorrow of what I have to work with. I already have a forge stand that accepts a firepot built, and my idea was to pit flanges around the outside, then flat bar to support that. (The old firepot is 8x8”.) The only variables changed were the flat bottom, and holes drilled in that bottom on either side of the tuyere. I was just wondering if the holes would work or not. The point of using a firepot in the first place is so I can use the stand I built less than a year ago, and not just use it as scrap metal. I spent more time designing it than I’ve used it so far. The other point is that I don’t want to have a big box of dirt sitting in the corner. My eventual plan is to build a brick structure, where the firepot sits in the mouth of the chimney. If it works, I plan to use and just repair this pot for the rest of my life. Also, keep in mind I just turned 15 ten days ago, and I don’t really have that much money or “power,” if you will. I can’t jut hop in the car and run somewhere. Thanks, again, for the help. If you could do a rough sketch, Frosty, so I could better understand what you’ve thought up, it will probably still be better than anything I could think of. That whole post sounded much harsher than I meant for it to, and I apologize for it. Chris
  12. Thanks, Frosty. All that I did to modify my coal forge to use charcoal was tack a plate with holes drilled into in on to the grate made for coal. I think I used a 1/4” bit. That was much too small, so I used a small punch and widened the holes a bit, cold, but that still didn’t work... perhaps Frosty’s idea of a flat bottomed pot, but with a few small holes, maybe 3/8”, on either side of the tuyere, (so the air doesn’t just blow out of the bottom.*) Does anyone think that could work? I’ve included a rough sketch of my idea. *If the tuyere is pointed downwards, (I can’t remember to the exact degree,) and there are holes there, all of the air would blow out of the bottom, so if the holes were on the sides, perhaps the air would do its thing, while the ash fell through the holes? Other ideas?
  13. I’m guessing the reason for a side-blast Forge is so the air only contacts a small part of the bed of coals at a time. The charcoal will burn faster with direct air pressure, (and I tell you, charcoal burns FAST) but heat still rises, so in essence you’re only “eating away” (as an analogy) at the coal in the bottom, where the air pressure is, but the actual forging heat will radiate through and be insulated by the rest of the charcoal. You still get the right amount of heat, but you’re only burning stuff in the bottom. With a bottom draft forge, the air will keep pushing up,through, “eating away” at the charcoal all the way to the top. Someone else should correct this; I just wanted to make a guess.
  14. I like the firepot. It doesn’t look too hard to build. Do you think there could be a way to build an ash dump into the bottom? Perhaps drilling 1/4-3/8” holes along the bottom? The only problem I had with my original forge was it filling with ash. I think I’ll try building a firepot like Charles’, with some way to remove ash. A note on my retort design: I was going to drill small (<1/4”) holes) near the bottom of a 6” pipe that was going to be used as a chimney for the bottom where heat could travel through and more evenly bake the charcoal. The holes would let wood gas escape, and that would hopefully provide the last 1/4 of the heat needed, saving wood. Sorry about any grammar/spelling errors; my auto correct has been screwy lately... I think this thread should be re-named to “A kid asking questions about whatever he thinks of at the moment to people who actually know what they’re doing, while he sits back in amazement.” You guys here, rock! Thanks, Chris
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