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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
     near Jeddo, Texas
  • Interests
    Clay, reading, chess, and now *sigh* hot metal

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  1. If you're good a fabricating, you might want to try to modify the design to allow for the inevitable hotface expansion of those bricks. Might reduce cracking. With so few brick, easing up on the nuts might be enough. I'm not sure how the integrated burner holder will be affected, however. Keep on keepin' on. T
  2. I bought a Forney Easy Weld 100ST (stick) and am happy with the welding it has done. It is a light duty, hobby box, but I have already made money with it. You should be able to do all the billet tacking you need with that box. It is a single phase box, so don't expect to weld up one inch plate. I have used it on both a 15 and a 20 amp circuit with no problems so far. Like Frazer, I am NOT a welder. In fact I had just started teaching myself welding before I started teaching myself blacksmithing! You Tubers is a wonderful thing when taken with a few pounds of salt. I too have welded up a hardy tool or two. Still waiting to test out the welds. I'll let you know how well my welding has progressed when I procure more charcoal.
  3. Please do not mischaracterize my safety habits because you refuse to read carefully. I, in no way was suggesting the use of unencapsulated ceramic fiber. I was trying to put DoubleG (unnecessarily) at ease that his lungs were not going to fill up with phlegm after one or two exposures to his kaowool. information is readily available online from more credible sources regarding health risks associated with exposure to ceramic fibers. I do not need to cite sources for such a simple concept like one or two short duration, low level exposures to ceramic fiber is not going to give you cancer. On the other hand, dangers of prolonged exposure to refractory ceramic fibers is fairly understood and the basis of my own praxis as well as my statement: Best advise is if you do not understand it, do not use ceramic fiber. Ever. Safer for everyone. If you are willing to do the work to understand the product, RCFs can be useful tools if used and handled correctly. Know you tools. Be safe. It's your job. Sound good?
  4. Good idea to get rid of the lose fiber blanket, but no worries. Sporadic exposure of a few hours over a few days to the fibers is negligible. Those of us repeatedly exposed, spending long work days over months and years, are the ones who really need to be careful with that stuff. I rarely touch that stuff without wearing my P-100. Although someone just suggested piling more fuel in the firepot, rather than topping with brick or fiber, I have seen solid-fuel forges set up pretty much like what you are doing. You should experiment and let us know which system seems to work for you and what you are doing. I have not really tried the enclosed forge (oven) and have had good luck with a nice deep coal bed, but I'm using charcoal rather than coal.
  5. Harbor Freight in the house! I got the itch too and bought every 2 lb and 3lb hammer HF offered. I ground them to my liking and away I've gone. Whatever it takes to hammer on some hot metal. Looks like you are on your way. Show us what you're making.
  6. I believe the first response told him what he needed to know.
  7. If we assume the temperature in the fore did not greatly exceed 2600 deg, that damage looks like the bricks were fluxed. Can you tell us what exactly you coated the bricks with? What binder did you use with the zirconium silicate? I suspect either something in the brick wash is fluxing the brick or the brick itself is not up to scratch.
  8. Looking great Frazer. Nice find on the forge. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of your work out of that new forge! I don't know about you, Frazer, but I'm getting mighty cold down here in Texas. It has only dropped to 27 deg. once this week and I feel like the world is ending. Forging certainly has for me. T
  9. Fantastic! A poker and a rake were the first things I made as well. I'm still in the making-blacksmith-tooling mode. By the time I've built up a useful number of tools, I believe I should have pretty decent start with respect to forging and fire control. Still so much to learn, but soooooo cold outside right now. Keep up the good work.
  10. Oso, I go to Westbrook Metals for the fresh stuff. They have no problem with small orders and will cut sticks down for you. They usually have whatever mild steel onsite, but some of the alloys might need to be brought from off site. Best to call with your order. Check out their website.
  11. I'd try to find either a clay supplier or industrial supplier that can sell you refractories. I have never found a good deal online compared to my local (1.2 hours away) clay store. At $5.40 a brick at my supplier the K28s are indeed not cheap, but I just saw K23s for $12 each online. OUCH. The spirit of the JABOD is great, though: cheap as dirt. Has let many of us start on our journey with little money down!
  12. You can check out my JABOD thread if your interested, but I'm a potter and had the 2800s on hand. Also, they were much easier to shape than hardbrick for a quick forge build. My tuyere sticks into the firebox approx. 3/4 to 1 inch, so no protecting the steel pipe tuyere there. My next forge build will have a cast tuyere end ala Japanese bladesmith forges. I also chose the IFBs for this build because they have such lower thermal mass than hard firebrick, the forge cools much more quickly after a session. I like that.
  13. How wide of a kerf did you cut in your handles? I made sure the handle on my new (to me) one pound cross peen had a widened kerf. My bandsaw has narrow blade. Perhaps you are crushing your handle rather than just wedging. I feel that was my problem with my steel wedge. Too thick. Show us pics of handle before you hang the hammer.
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