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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by wirerabbit

  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.
  14. Paul, take some measurements of the H,W, and D of firepot along with the vertical and horizontal location of your tuyere too. I'm having great success with my set up and we can at least compare. My tuyere is 1" pipe. I'd try that as your first mod. See if that doesn't get some more air into the pot. I have noticed that when I have had trouble getting things hot, I had an obstruction in the tuyere. Softbrick (IFB) will slag and melt into blockages. My 2800s are melting down around the tuyere. Also, lump charcoal from the store does have foreign matter mixed among the charcoal which will melt into blockages. I have pulled out pieces of limestone, melted brick, plastic and a chunk of what I think is a mica-type stone.
  15. Looks great, Frazer. Man, if I wern't 1600 miles I'd bring my 2002 F250 and 18 foot flatbed trailer for a warm bed and several cold pops. Glad you'll be at your own house now. So many possibilities for a shop. Rock on.
  16. Finished shaping with grinder and file my wee hardy. Now to the heat treating. I also finished the last of my first punch set: a ball punch. I need to make something to open up those Topo Chicos at the forge. *wink*wink* I also handled my first hammer, an ebay find. I needed a lighter cross peen. The eye is a round-end-straight-side hole, but not symmetrical. Top (or bottom) of hammer eye differs from opposite side by 1mm side-to-side and about 2.3mm length wise. I thought I could feel a slight waist to the hole but I'm not sure. I picked the smaller side for the bottom of the hammer. Unfortunately when I drove the steel wedge it cocked the hammer head out of square and so you can see the snout up aspect in the picture. I'm 99% sure my handle was a straight fit. I bet I could have foregone adding the steel wedge, but I wanted to do things right. Even forged the wedge from some punch material off cut. First handle, so great practice at any rate. I suspect that perhaps the hammer eye is also not parallel to the hammer face. (It's not quite parallel to the hammer sides, after all.) Does anyone have a suggestion for visually checking that once the hammer handle is out?
  17. Nice looking hardy, MG. So how do you like your charcoal forge these days? I liked seeing how your forge design changed as you got more information. I'm really interested in knowing how the cutouts for a lower hearth seem to be working out for you. My similar forge has the tuyere lower from the hearth than yours seems to. Was wondering if you fight the charcoal to keep it in your firepot. Would you mind telling me the full firepot dimensions including the level of tuyere? You seem to have more room in there for those monster jackhammer bits you have been forging into tools! I get pretty hot temps in mine without having to top with firebricks. Can easily spark carbon steel if I'm not careful. Have not yet tried to forge weld anything at this time. Rock on.
  18. Thanks for the encouragement, Daswulf. Tools, ground, filed, and wire brushed today. It was my reward for tilling in five sacks of goat manure into the new planting bed. Going to be a rose garden with a few native Texas trees. Not sure I'm bothering with heat treating as the sucker rod is 4621, but I did make a test piece I'll oil quench once I find a quenching container. This stuff was very easy to forge. At one time I had three bars in the charcoal fire at one time. Might be why I forged in an index where I didn't need one and left one out of a forging where I needed one! Such is the life of a beginner. slot punch, round punch, square fuller, and hot cut chisel.
  19. Yes, you can bleed off excess air to control your blower. I've seen some great ideas on here. Shutter or gate works great! I decided on a small DC motor and controller for my set up and have had no trouble with its functioning. I have the added ability to blow full blast to clean ash from the gruyere before I start for the day. Do you have enough pressure with your fan to forcefully blow out your tuyere?
  20. I worked on blacksmith tools and among others, finished my first hardy from a sucker rod end. Left my charcoal bed low and was able to work three pieces of round bar stock at a time. Chisel, punches, and fuller cooling in the can as I type.
  21. Congrats on the anniversary (and the big job in Finnland). I finished nothing quite as ambitious as some of what I have seen lately on this thread, but I did get some more time on the forge today. Finished my second set of tongs. Was going for v-bit, but after my first v swage broke apart during the initial creasing of the bits, I realized my next project needed round bits and I didn't have the right square stock to accommodate. Heating up the new swage to try and get it to set down on the anvil more. My firepot isn't large enough in this configuration, but I tried. Rivet up with another bolt. These bolts do have a bright coat of zinc, so I really need to get some round bar stock for rivets soon. Had to trim off the uneven bits, and a small difference in reign length, but there they are. First set on the top, latest on the bottom. Used same starting stock just 1/2 inch longer per half than the first set. Next project will be hot punch, v-fuller, square center punch, and hot chisel from sucker rod.
  22. Nooooooooooo! That'll turn your beard from a heat shield into a fuse! Second day of forging for me. Gotta go soak the beard. T
  23. Another two hours of forging today. Wind was up, so I rolled the forge into the front of the garage. Got me out of the wind and allowed me to see colors much better. Here I'm preheating a tong blank while I heat up two spring steel bars for drawing out. I'm working on a nata for cutting charcoal and v-bit tongs for punches and hardy tools. This forge likes the charcoal a bit bigger than what I starting out forging with. Now I am chopping to about 1.25" to 1" or so. Not fussing about it as much. While I started out having to send the poker down to the tuyere to open up the fire now and again during my first several forging sessions, I have not had to do that nearly as much these last two sessions with larger charcoal. I'm getting great energetic, but not blasting flames from the pile and easily bright yellow on the metal without having to really pile on the charcoals. I have started letting the coals burn down quite a bit before adding more charcoal, and I have not seen any deleterious effects on the steel (mild) or heats. The IFB continues to degrade. I removed a nice glassy green blob before I lit the forge today. Might have to enlarge the firepot and try a different refractory solution earlier than anticipated. Going to be fun. Just a little bit of singed beard today. No worries, it needed a trim.
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