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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Bantou

  1. I need to look into that stuff. The last few weeks have been brutal at work between the humidity and lack of breeze.
  2. 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)
  3. It was more her mother’s charm I was referring to… Let’s just say there is a reason I’m a single dad.
  4. Thank you Frosty and Anvil. I think I have a can of Meguiars carnuba based wax in my car washing stuff. Frosty, can you explain this mix? I don’t have that book yet.
  5. What do y’all use to finish a dinner bell/triangle? I tried BLO but it developed rust spots after the first rain. I’m debating using a clear coat. My concerns are: 1) The clear coat being damaged/cracking when the bell is rung. 2) The thickness of the clear coat hampering the bell’s sound.
  6. That just means their tartans are set at a “kilt”. Sorry, I know is horrible but it’s the best I could come up with
  7. I will when she gets a little older. I don’t trust her around hot steel yet. She is four and bounces around like she is made of flubber. Knowing my daughter, she will probably walk out without paying a dime. She got her mother’s looks and her father’s charm. She is incredibly fortunate it wasn’t the other way around
  8. With my youngest, I’ll be surprised if I make it to the home. She is all the mischief of a little boy rolled into the cuteness and sass of a little girl… I swear I get a new gray hair at least once a day. The squirrels in my head were having a party when I wrote that. I meant steel yard. Ace is a franchise that fills the gap between big box and mom and pop. They have a better selection than your average mom and pop with better service than a big box store.
  9. The closest steel mill to me is ~45 minutes away. The next closest is over an hour. Ace is about 10 minutes from me and TSC (Tractor Supply Company) is about 15. When I’m doing single pieces, it doesn’t make sense to make the drive. I also don’t have a good place to store large quantities of steel right now. When I start prepping for the city fair in mid-September, I’ll buy in bulk. The opportunity cost of lost time is something else I have to take into consideration. I’m a single dad with custody of two kids. I’m lucky if I get more than a handful of days a month that aren’t consumed by chores or kids. Unless I need large quantities of something, I’d rather pay a little more and spend the saved time at the forge.
  10. The steel I used is sold as “weldable steel.” I haven’t been able to figure out if that is mild or A-36. TSC lists theirs as A-36 but I’m pretty sure that bar came from Ace. Ace does not specify the alloy in their product information. Googling the name brand didn’t help either. Edit to add: since I’m going to have the forge fired up to make a drift anyway, I’ll probably try quenching the corners and see what happens. Worst case, I’ve wasted a couple minutes of my time.
  11. I think they came off a set of trailer ramps. I didn’t realize quenching mild had any effect. I’d rather make them out of mild anyway. Do you quench it in water or oil?
  12. The legs are all different lengths. Starting from the long side and working around they are 12”,9”, and 10.” The original idea was to have the ends cross so that the loops formed a heart on the top (this was made for a lady friend). My jig was giving me fits though and the bends came out uneven. When I got the bends reasonably close, my lengths were off so this is what I wound up with. What is it Bob Ross says, “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents”? The ends aren’t actually touching. I know it looks like it in the photo but there is 1/8-1/4” between them. The decorative loops on the ends do double back onto the bar though. I might make a drift and try driving it through to open them up a little. They are thin enough that it should be relatively easy to do cold.
  13. Well my idea for easy offset tongs was a bust. I was hoping to modify the easy to make tongs blueprint into a functional set of offsets. I figured out pretty quickly that, that was going to be more difficult than just making a set of tongs. On my second attempt, I smashed the boss the wrong direction and gave it up for another day. I wound up making a dinner triangle out of 3/8 round instead. It doesn’t ring as well as I would like but it’s good enough for a backyard BBQ. The ends are close together (~1/4”) but not touching. The next one will be made out of the 1/2” spring steel I have laying around and will have quenched corners. From what I’ve read, that should make it ring better. The hook is made out of 1/4” round. Edit to add: the loops on the ends do touch the bars. I wonder if that would be enough to kill the resonance.
  14. The practice is why I want them to be similar if not matching. I figure it’s a good skill to have for other projects. I squared it out of personal preference mostly. I think the square looks better on something with an integral handle. If I were putting a different handle on it like antler or wood, I would have left it round except for where the twist is.
  15. I haven’t had the chance to test them. They will probably get tested this afternoon at my family’s Father’s Day cookout. I imagine they will work just fine, though. I misjudged the length of the handle for the second one. If I had made it about an inch shorter and made the curl at the end about a 1/2 inch shorter, it would have been a much closer match to the first. I started not to put a handle on them, but it didn’t feel comfortable to use that way. The second one took me less than half the time of the first though. With better measurements and a little more practice, I should be able to turn them out fairly symmetrically in a little over an hour. If I can get some 3/8 square, probably less than a half hour. Most of my time was spent squaring up the round stock.
  16. Made a couple steak flippers today for Father’s Day. The first one actually turned out better than the second. I didn’t get good measurements off the first one and I was trying to streamline the process when I made the second. I’m still planning to work on the crosses. My time has just been very limited lately and this was a higher priority. first Second hanging next to first
  17. It serves as a lesson on leadership. Every leader (be it in politics, military, or civilian) should periodically spend time out in the field actually working with those under them. It is a common theme, at least in my trade, that a leader seems to forget what life in the field is like after a year or two in the office. Spending a month or so every couple of years actually doing the work might help correct the problem.
  18. I did pretty much the same thing to a pair of cheap boots as a teenager. Sat next to a campfire and propped my feet against the metal fire ring. Apparently the fire was closer to the ring than I anticipated. My soles started smoking within a couple minutes.
  19. I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and say a few ohms for meditation.
  20. I don’t have my welder set up yet. I have an old buzz box but I don’t think my meter base or wiring will handle the load. My house is currently only wired for 100 amps. I’m pushing that limit as it sits during the summer. The wiring is also mostly the old cloth insulation stuff. I don’t trust it to handle the kind of load a buzz box can pull. I’m planning on upgrading to a 320 amp service sometime in the near(ish) future. With a 320 meter base, I can run two 200 amp main breakers. One will go into the house, the other will eventually run underground to a shop.
  21. If you will grind the Lodge stuff to a mirror finish, you will get better results out of it (or so I’m told). All the Lodge stuff I’ve seen was still rough from the casting process. Wagner and similar “old” brands had a smooth finish straight out of the factory.
  22. Based on what you have said about the soil composition under your house; we probably need to worry more about those dang B52s y’all call mosquitoes carrying you off than earthquakes.
  23. Who’d a thunk it right? I think you are referring to off-sets/knife-makers tongs. I’ll have to look up a set of plans, but I think you are right. I have some 1x1/4 flat that might do the trick if I round out the neck... hmm, maybe I don’t need plans. Obviously, I don’t mind a puzzle . Every improvement feels like a success. I did pick up some railroad spikes yesterday to make steak flippers for Fathers’ Day. I just need to make a set of tongs or two to work them.
  24. Thank you. I don’t think the bottom set is going to turn out as well. They didn’t get as sharp of a taper as the top set. I’m still getting a feel for what angle to hold the steel at to get the taper I want. As a result, the taper lost a lot of its definition when I split it. It may surprise me when I curl them (I ran out of time today), but I’m not holding out much hope. As an aside, I need to make a set of goose necks before continuing the project. I had to pour water on the “cold” side pretty regularly to keep it cool enough to hold. I doubt I’ll be able to handle the shorter cross piece without a set of tongs.
  25. Finally got a chance to fire the forge back up today. Life has been... complicated the last few weeks. Did some more work on the finials and got it just about where I want it. Tapering to length instead of trying to guess where to start made all the difference in the world. They look a little lopsided because my split wasn’t perfectly down the middle. Other than that, I’m pretty happy with them. Putting a piece of 3/8 round in the vise definitely helped separate the two sides all the way down the split.
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