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I Forge Iron


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    Central Texas
  • Interests
    Smithing, hunting, reloading, bullet casting, lead refining, wood working, books, D&D... it’s a long list lol

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  1. That gives me an idea… I want to be able to lift the assembly up if I need a longer fire. I could split one end of a bar into thirds to form a claw on the bottom and split it in half on the other end to form a “whale tale.” In theory, I should be able to lift the barrel up when needed and then set the “claws” back over the tops of the legs when I’m done.
  2. I finally got a chance to work on the new smithy some this weekend. It is still rough around the edges but it’s finished enough to be functional. The Roof is now mostly on, I flubbed the math on how man panels I was going to need though and wound up needing one more than I had cut. The post vice is set but I need some bigger lag screws for the mount. It wants to twist and walk around a little with the 5/8 lags I have in it. The anvil stand is cut, sanded, and bolted on one side. It is held together with ratchet straps until I can scrounge some more bolts to do the other side. My JBOD 2.0 needs one more bag of cat litter to be flush with the edge of the drum (I added more after the pictures were taken), and I need to figure out how to permanently attach the side draft flue to the forge body. It sits up relatively well on its own but I’d like it to be more stable. I’m leaning towards “L” brackets or something along those lines but I haven’t made up my mind for sure yet. The new fire box is 4” deep instead of the original 2”. From what I’ve read since making the 1.0, you need about 4” of depth with coal to get into a neutral fire. Since the 2.0 is loose fill, it will be much easier to modify and tweak to my changing needs than the original model. The packed dirt of the original was basically baked into rock. It came out in four lumps that I’m going to have to take a sledge hammer to, to break up. The next steps are going to be finishing the roof, installing the chimney, and hanging the lights in their final position. After that, I need to run the electrical, put cross arms and R panel around the building to make a combined railing/half wall, hang the tarps that will make up the rest of the walls (plastic for now but I’ll eventually replace them with canvas), and figure it out organization/storage. Eventually, the wire reel that is serving as a work bench will be replaced with an actual work bench. Is there any reason I can’t use rolled up R panel for the chimney? It’s roughly the same thickness as single wall chimney pipe, can be interlocked, and is free. The chimney will be running straight up through the roof without any bends or deviations.
  3. Got the roof framed in today. I’m picking up the roof material tomorrow morning. Hopefully I’ll have the roof on and a decent start on getting things set up by tomorrow afternoon.
  4. “Do not build a box so you can think outside the box. With no box, everything is either a possibility, or an opportunity.” That’s some solid life advice right there. Reminds me of the story about the physics student who solved an “unsolvable” equation because he didn’t know it couldn’t be solved. As to the rest, I’ve had more problems solved here than I can remember the solutions to; most of them I didn’t know I had.
  5. Probably something like what I’m doing right now; stuffed into 5 gallon buckets or laid in a pile on the ground.
  6. I thought about that. The only wall I can really put it on is the one closest to the other building, if I want to be able to enclose the building in the winter. I’m not sure that there is enough room over there to allow adequate access with brackets mounted on the outside. I’d love to have a display like the one you have. I can get 3” schedule 80 pvc cut offs for free from work though. So, I’ll probably just use those.
  7. And again, something stupid simple that hadn’t even crossed my mind. Thank you.
  8. This level of advice is why I love this site. I have my stock cut into 10’ sections because it is easier to handle and will fit in the truck bed. The poles are ~6ft apart. I was planning on putting the brackets on the first two poles and leaving the back pole bare for a work bench. It wouldn’t be hard to frame in something to add an extra bracket or two. I was already planning to hang a set of brackets for the two diameters I typically use and a third set for oddball sizes. Thinking about it, I may add some more brackets for different types of stock as well (square, flat, etc). Using pipe to store my short pieces hadn’t even crossed my mind though. Right now, I only keep a maximum of 100’ of any given stock on hand at a time. Most of my projects only use a couple feet of steel (steak flippers, grilling tools, bottle openers, etc). I have some ideas for larger projects but I haven’t drawn them up yet, let alone attempted them.
  9. I work with small stock <1” and usually either 3/8” or 1/2” so maybe 300 hundred pounds max over two brackets. The poles should support just about anything I can put on them. They are retired utility poles buried 4ft deep and tied together with 2x4’s. You’re recommending something like this?
  10. What size/alloy steel would you recommend to make hangers to put my long stock on? I’m thinking an “L” shaped bracket of 1/2” A36 round should be ok; but, I can’t seem to find WLL data. They will be bolted to the poles along the right side of the building (one one closest to the neighboring building). Something like this
  11. I’ll definitely do that. Theft isn’t much of a risk but having something solid to keep the wind off would be nice. I’m planning on putting and ember guard on top of the chimney to prevent the odd spark. The risk of starting a grass fire is significantly higher than a fire in the smithy. There is a field next to the smithy that only gets mowed a couple times a year. There just isn’t enough combustible material in the smithy itself to create a large fire even if one manages to start. I don’t keep fuel (with the exception of a metal trash can of coal) or accelerants in my smithy.
  12. I’m not all that concerned about my shop catching fire. There honestly won’t be much in there to burn. It has a dirt floor, no walls, the poles are relatively fire resistant (I’ve seen similarly treated poles barely smolder after being subjected to serious prolonged heat), and the roof is tall enough to not catch without a veritable bone fire under it. My coal is stored in a metal trash can with the lid on unless I need to add another scoop to the fire. The building will only have power when I am there working. I bought a decent sized ABC fire extinguisher to mount in an easy to access location; and, I always keep a 5 gallon bucket full of water handy. Worst case scenario, the fire is still unlikely to spread to the building next to mine. The other building is all metal construction with fiberglass insulation; it would take quite a fire to transfer over. The window unit is rarely used and would not be used at all during the period that I would have the wall tarps rolled down. My brother and I installed it when we were using the “shop” area of the garage as a reloading room. That area is now mostly used for storage.
  13. I’m in the process of building a new smithy. The city shut down the one at my house a few weeks ago. (political content removed) Fortunately, my folks offered for me to build something on their place a few miles outside of town. I’ve decided to go with a lean-to pole barn. It is 10’x12’ with a 10’ roof on the tall side and 9’ on the short side. Once complete, the roof will be salvaged metal R-panels. During the “cold” months (like we have much of that in Texas), I’m planning on tarping the sides to keep the wind off of me but allow me to open things up if it gets too hot. Total cost so far is a little over 100 USD, mostly on lumber (the poles and R-panels were free). I still need to get the stove pipe for my new chimney and the stuff to run plugs on the outside of the existing shop. Poles staked out and rough locations for forge (half barrel), anvil (pool filter), and post vice (broken fireplace). Holes dug using a boom-tip digger borrowed from work (with permission) Poles set and tamped First set of rafters installed. Hopefully, I can get the rest of the rafters up, the R-panel installed, and my stuff moved over tomorrow. I’d like to be up and running again by next Friday.
  14. I need to look into that stuff. The last few weeks have been brutal at work between the humidity and lack of breeze.
  15. Had a pretty good haul from a boat shop and the mechanic at work. I see lots of bottom tools, drifts, tongs, and punches in my future (as soon as this dang rib heals anyway). The auger teeth are going to be turned into plank mounted bottle openers. Ignore the galvanized bolts, they are for my anvil stand (if I ever get around to building it)
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