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I Forge Iron


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    Benton, Maine, USA
  • Interests
    Hunting and Fishing, hopefully Heating, Hammering, Repeating...

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  1. I use the 3M worktunes earmuffs at work everyday. they are bluetooth and do not play too loud, but block out more than the insert earplugs and I don't have to put anything IN my ear canal.
  2. To add to the Veteran status: 89-94 USMC K-Bay Hi., Range Control Quantico, Va. My favorite crayon is Grape
  3. Hi, I am a 50 y/o newbie..  Just picked up an old anvil and am starting gather parts to build my own forge out of an air tank. I hope to have a blown forge with a ribbon burner by this time next year.  Time will tell.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Yanni Rockitz

      Yanni Rockitz

      Whussup 207Grunt. How's the forge coming. That's funny -- I'm a 50-year-old newbie too -- also representing the mighty "207" down here in Sanford -- a couple hours south of you. Always been fascinated by blacksmithin' -- it's too cool, right? I had to know, so I found a crappy little 80lb "anvil" at an antique store and started collecting tools. Well -- it looks like an anvil, anyway... no brand name and kinda stubby, so probably on of the knock-off "farmer's anvils". It was a hundred bucks and has a plenty-hard-enough face, a hardy, a pritchel and a horn, so we're in business. Last year I talked an old injured ex-smith into selling me his Champion 400 hand-crank blower and I started to build a gas forge from a propane tank. Got that 90% done now -- just waiting on a welder to attach the stand-offs for the double-burner I rigged up. The "Frosty" T-burner is a good, simple design. Frosty's a known dude here on the forum -- guy has a lot of good insights and ka-nowledge. His burners work sweet. I spent last fall building myself a little 12'x12' forge out back and she's almost ready to go. Now for the coal forge -- just got the chimbly pipes and working on fabbing up a firepot / table / side-draft hood. Post vise is mounted, workbench installed -- 2021 is the year it's all going to come together. What about you, man -- where you at in your journey? - John F.

    3. 207Grunt


      HEY HEY!  I have the forge built and have had some issues connecting the hand blower (on a separate stand) to the fire pot.  My forge has to be mobile until I decide if i am going to build a shed for it.  I have met with a smith in Skowhegan who is willing to put up with me for the moment and let me learn somethings at his forge so I am going to pound my first metal this weekend!!  I am wicked excited!!

    4. Yanni Rockitz

      Yanni Rockitz

      NICE. That's awesome. How'd that smithin' weekend go? I have found that other smiths are generally very friendly and helpful.

      I just scored my first REAL (name brand) anvil yesterday -- a 159lb Trenton -- from a cool guy two towns over. She's old and seriously broken in, but in good condition. The face has a significant amount of 'cupping' in the center, but the old girl fairly big, so the pounded-down 'cup' section in the center is plenty big enough and flat enough to hammer stuff flat on and it's quite smooth. The edges are also in remarkably great shape for an anvil that's most likely the better part of a hundred years old and has obvioulsy seen TONS of use -- which can only mean it was used by someone (or several someones) who knew how treat it right and not blast chips off the edges, or break the horn or tail off with sledge hammers. A lot of newbies like us don't know that you can actually damage an anvil by hitting it too hard. You're only ever supposed to strike the hot (i.e., soft) metal -- not swing at the cold face or horn of the anvil itself -- that can break off chunks and leave big divots, depending on the hardness of the anvil's face. I wish I'd known that before I let my stepson, who's quite strong, take a hard swing at my other 80lb anvil -- left a good mark. WHOOPS. Duh... Live and learn.

      It's also apparently a bad idea to go after cleaning up the face of an anvil with a flap disc or other abrasive, milling machine, etc., unless water cooled, as the heat from the friction can ruin the hardening / temper on the steel face. A lot of this baloney depends on the quality of the anvil -- if it's a real nice old antique, like my new Trenton, it's worth preserving as is. If it's just a cheapo with too much rust and pitting, or big chips busted off it or whatever, it's probably better to repair it so it can be used -- even if it does get a bit softer -- than never to get used again. I had the face of my other one ground flat again by a machinist who has a big stone(?) wheel grinder that has water flowing over the stone, so I think it kept it cool enough while grinding not to ruin the temper, but whatever -- it's still plenty hard and now perfectly flat and smooth. A great little 80 lb no-name starter / travel anvil I can use for shows and rallies and all that other good stuff I hope to do one of these days.

      I've been looking for a good anvil for years and this is the first one I found reasonably close that was a semi-reasonable price. The guy threw in the wooden base and a couple pairs of tongs and a chisel.

      Since I wrote you last time, I took a welding class at the local high school and fabricated up my own coal forge firepot / tuyere out of HEAVY (1/2") steel plate, with a 4" round pipe going down, a proper ash dump and 3.5" round air inlet (see pics.) I also managed to get the round stand-offs welded onto my propane tank gas forge, so now all that's left is to line the gas forge and fabricate up the coal forge table and side-draft chimney and I'm cookin'. You done anything fun since last time?


      John F.

      Sanford, ME




      Tongs from Dave S.jpg


      Trenton 159 Face.jpg

      Trenton 159 Front.jpg

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