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I Forge Iron


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About Apacheforge

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  • Location
    Puget Sound, State of Washington
  • Interests
    Wooden boats, artillery, live steam, mechanical toys, fishin’, fiddling, antique musical instruments and the machines and tools to play, repair and maintain all of the above.

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  1. I have worked in many of the metal crafts trades and have used a selection of torches. As a native American silversmith i used the Presto-lite acetylene air mix torch usually found in the refrigeration trades. Could handle most soldering or brazing jobs. Don’t know if they still make them. When i switched to fine jewelry work with gold and platinum i used a henrob oxy- natural gas torch and loved it. In another production shop i worked for we used the Mini-torch. That one is just like a full size oxy-acetylene torch but the handle with a tip is only about 5 inches long. Amazing temperature control. Except for the largest tip, the other tips have ruby liners. I remember the demo for this: the sales tech butt welded two tiny steel wires together, within a recessed filter paper of a cigarette without burning the paper. 40 years later i still use one. Stay away from chinese imitations. Those may look like a Mini-torch but they are a walking talking fire hazard. I live in the woods, 50 miles from any weld shop so gasses are precious so i get the largest bottles i can lift into my truck. Also times being what they are i am looking into buying a water torch which generates its own gas. Just needs 120v and distilled water. Both commodities i have in abundance. All the best!
  2. As a young man I worked as a silversmith and in the shop I worked in we used Prestolite acetylene air mix torches. Handpiece to hose, to regulator, to tank. Sweet. Then worked in a hippy jewelry shop that used those handheld tank, propane torches for silver soldering. Gads! How I hated those things! Clumsy heavy and only good for peeling paint. I found a craft supplier that carried a handpiece torch with a selection of tips and a 6 foot hose that mounted to those disposable tanks. I would tape that tank to my bench leg and work all day without near the fatigue hefting that portable torch would cause. I was just getting fussy, I guess as I remember having to use one of those gasoline torches regularly once upon a time. Man jumps from an airplane has problems with his parachute and is fumbling with it. As he falls, a man passes him going up. He hollers to the man, “know anything about parachutes?” “ No!” Says the man, “know anything about Coleman stoves?” This is BP: before propane.
  3. Yes i was. At that time i was working R&D for Airco in their optical coatings department which among other things developed flat screen technology. So if you are using a laptop, iPad or flat screen tv, you’re welcome. When i joined that team, i was transitioning out of a fine arts career into an industrial/ engineering career. Been a fun ride.
  4. So back in the day (even though today is THE DAY) I was a youngish artist metal craftsman before computers. Dial telephones art fairs and campus bulletin boards (real actual cork boards) seemed a good way to get the word out on your craft. Then came online bulletin boards through my old 286 personal computer and the lurker/craftsman Apacheforge came into being. Since those days I have learned a lot unlearned a great deal, and maybe got a little smarter. I have my workshop in the forests of Puget Sound. It’s smallish but contains a basic weld shop, smithy, foundry, wood shop, and machine shop. Here I create things that feed my interests in wooden boats, live steam, artillery, Musical instruments, and thing mechanical. Let’s have some fun!
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