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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    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's really helpful, Thank you. I have Anvils in America on my wishlist. Maybe I can sweet talk the Mrs. into letting me get it for Christmas.
  2. I'd be happy with a rough time frame of when they started appearing. I suspect that getting anything more than that is going to be more than I want to bite off right now. My focus is going to be on bottom tools, specifically a hot cut hardie tool. I'm venturing into social media marketing and attempting a "here's this thing, a little history about it, now lets try and make one" format. I'll jump off into other tools as I need to make them.
  3. Can anyone point me in the direction of sources regarding the history of the Hardie Hole, especially when it started being put in anvils and how it got it's name? I'm working on a video about the history of the hot cut hardie and other bottom tools and google is absolutely failing me.
  4. Welcome from Central Texas. I’m going to disagree with Frosty and George a little on the rebar. It isn’t something I would ever use for a product I was going to sell (unless you are going for the post apocalyptic look). However, if you can get it cheap enough (read free or nearly so), it has seemed to be ok for experimentation in my experience. It does seem to be harder to move than A36 though.
  5. I just bought a mr. volcano. The shell and burner come pre-assembled. The insulation an refractory are provided but end user installed. I haven’t been able to put it together yet but the instructions are very clear and should be easy to follow.
  6. Bag Balm works fantastic as well. I just never liked the way it made my hands feel until it wore off or worked in.
  7. I second this. I keep a jar of O’keefes Working Hands on my bedside table and a travel sized tube in my truck. My hands dry out something awful in the winter and O’keefes works like a treat. The paraffin in it seems to help it stick around longer than lotion without making your hands feel greasy like Vaseline does.
  8. I could do that but it would eat up my already limited time. I’m going to keep the coal forge but it will probably serve as a table for my propane forge most of the time. Assuming of course that the propane doesn’t annoy me to the point that I go back to coal.
  9. I ordered a Mr. Volcano single burner and a couple of heavy duty fire bricks (to use as a back stop) last night. I’ll order some plistix (sp?) either sometime in the near future or when I need to replace the liner, depending on how it performs. I’ve heard good things about the volcano forges from several people. It is also open on both ends so I can work longer pieces. I’m just going to have to be more careful about when I do certain bends.
  10. I appreciate it Frosty. I just ordered a Mr. Volcano single burner for now. If I need to do something that the volcano can’t handle, I’ll put it in the coal.
  11. I’ve tried doing it both ways (leaving it burning and turning it down). The clinker build up was definitely worse when I left it hot. I have a rheostat hooked up to the blower that is marked for various temperatures and fire pot conditions. I’ve spent several hours dialing in the marks to get what I need out of it from a long soak to a rapid heat. I keep my coal piled on the edge of the fire pot to coke and then move the partially coked coal on top of the fire to finish coking before it gets down into the fire. I’m careful with how I put my steel in so that I don’t drag a bunch of partially coked coal down into the fire. I seem to get a marginally smaller amount of clinker if I don’t wet the coal down but I go through the coal faster that way. The coal I can get is known for having large amounts of clinker though. I get it from a local school and they have similar issues with it. Unfortunately, I live in an area where coal just isn’t readily available so you are stuck with whatever you can get.
  12. I understand and appreciate your concern. However, I have put a lot of thought into this and believe that the opportunity is there to make this work. I’m not playing the short game here. I’m figuring 3-5 years before I can even think about going full time. I have a BS in economics with a minor in management. I know I am new to the craft and that’s why I’m not jumping in full time right now. The plan is to sell mostly online and at local events. I have next to no overhead outside of web hosting and smithing supplies, negligible risk if it doesn’t work, and the opportunity for significant gain if it does. I am situated in a rural area that both sees a lot of middle class weekend traffic during the summer and has a reasonable population of people with more money than sense. I’m also closely tied with a vastly under server group who enjoys the more… medieval products of our craft. If I start with the simple things (cooking utensils, coat racks, camping equipment, triangles, etc), I should be able to expand my customer base into more high end pieces as my skills and shop expand. I know there are very few wealthy smiths. However, there are quite a few who live comfortably and have a level of flexibility that most people can only dream of. I have reached a point in my life where flexibility is nearly priceless.
  13. Have you been happy with the 100HT? I can get it and a volcano from Amazon vs having to order plistix from somewhere else.
  14. Fire management is undoubtedly part of the problem. Changing both the fire pot and blower at the same time kinda threw me for a loop. However, I’m not the only one who has been having issues with the imported Utah coal. I had the kinks pretty well worked out with my JABOD and was still having issues with significant clinker buildup.
  15. That’s been my experience with the import stuff as well. It burns and gets hot but that’s about all the good I can say about it. I’ve heard rumors of good cheap coal out East but who knows anymore.
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