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I Forge Iron


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    Pembroke, ON, CANADA
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, blade smithing, making

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  1. Hey Trevor, My next sets of tongs will be attempts at those bolt jaw/v-bit tongs, a stout pair of wolf-jaws and also a pair of scrolling tongs. Your step by step will definitely help get me through the v-bits so thank you for sharing! I was shooting for a Japanese “Petty” style paring knife when I started so I’m stoked that that’s the impression you got, thank you!!! Cheers! J
  2. Thanks Frosty No problem Trevor! Check out the “first tongs” post to see some progress
  3. Thanks !!! I finished out my very first blade last night. A little early birthday gift for the lady I’m over the moon on how it turned out! The blade began as a 3”x2”x1/8” rectangle of O1. Rough shaped on my worksharp. Quenched in canola, tempered at 400f for an hour in the kitchen. Hammered a brass bolster out of a tool tag from a ship. Had sanded to 600, etched in ferric and wet sanded with 3000. Brass pin through a hidden tang in a superglued and buffed block of hard Brazilian Mahogany heartwood. Thanks for following along!!! J
  4. Update. Gents I have to say that this repository and finding local smiths in my area has been extremely helpful in the first few steps of this journey! I’ve been able to find bits of time here and there to fire up a project. Here are a few: Second project; new tongs. A bookmark, my first blade, a tong rack and some other stuff!
  5. Trevor, Update time: The uni-cast seems like pretty dang good stuff (not that I can compare it to anything else as I’m no expert, it’s the first yadda yadda yeah yeah I’m a noob). I’ve casted four 1.5” x 4.5” x 9” bricks so far and they’re pretty tough; I dropped one the other day onto a patio stone and it barely scraped the corner of the brick! The forge has had a couple of small chips flake off where the cement meets the opening of the can; this I expected so not fussing over it. The flame face looks virtually untouched also; no cracking, chipping, discolouration, melting... nothing. As far as the heat factor goes, despite it’s small size it still does take about 10 minutes to get everything nice and hot inside but I can attribute the sluggishness of the forge to my own sluggishness (I have yet to put a proper kiln wash). Once it’s hot, it stays hot! I can get a heat back into a worked piece of 1/2 square in about a minute or so. When I shut the thing off it takes hours to cool off; I tested this by heating up two pieces of hardened 1” round axle shaft to an orange and turning off the forge with doors closed. Almost an hour later I looked and both chunks of steel still had a slight red glow! The pieces would easily skate a file before this, afterwards the file bit in easily and I was able to get a hacksaw through them fairly quick. I’ve gotten the flame tuned in as good as I think I can. Upon lighting, it seems to be running a touch lean and the jet doesn’t form right away (blue flame spreading out on the floor of the forge) but once the forge heats up a little I just choke the airflow with my hand for a second, the jet forms and the air/fuel mix seems good. I’m not getting too much scale or anything so yeah, pretty happy with how it’s running. And yeah definitely try that inflate-a-form trick if you’re feeling frisky, it was kinda fun to do and it worked great! Hope this gives you some insight on what to expect out of that uni-cast. J
  6. pnut, Thomas, Davor Wow, thank you! I’ll likely get a set or two of tong blanks at some point just to try ‘em out. Like you said I’ll be making lots of them They definitely feel long for the size and the bits will definitely get adjusted; I don’t see them holding up like this for long. Just a first try and a stop gap till I make bigger ones! Don’t feel bad, I’ve got a knack for spending too much time trying to perfect things These took me a conservative five hours from start to finish! I do stuff with computers and radios and let’s just say I have access to many many empty ammo cans at work. I DID do some light machine shop work as a kid and I’ve also always been a hobbyist in some capacity(sculpting/painting miniatures for example)so those types of things help I suppose... J
  7. Juicemiser

    First tongs

    My first set of tongs. Scratch that, this is the first thing I’ve ever made with a hammer, anvil(made it out of railroad track)and heat(newly built ammo can forge as some have seen in the refractories section). I practised by knocking down a 1/4” rivet out of the 1/2” bar that was used to make these. 1/2” round was all that I had so they do feel like they got a bit slim right behind the boss. They’ll be used to make a punch and chisel from this piece of axle shaft and then it’s off to find more stock to smash! J
  8. So I slowly ramped up the temperature in the thing throughout the day yesterday. Here is what the burner looks like at ~3 psi currently. This was around 8-10 minutes after lighting it and it took another 5 or so to get a 1/2 round bar of mild steel to orange. Seems slow to heat up and it basically plateaued unless I cranked the gas up more but maybe it’s just me. The unit-cast stayed red for a looong while after shutting down though! My question is, could my flame be tuned better or is the kiln wash going to make this thing get that much hotter with less juice? IMG_7655.MOV
  9. A garbage bag was pulled through the chamber and inflated as a quick ’form’ at the end to keep the walls from caving in. The top of the chamber then cured, upside down tied in a garbage bag with a couple cups of water. I attached the burner, plugged the gaps with a bit of wadded up kaowool and let er rip; the flame seems to be having a hard time staying stable. Not sure if wind, back pressure or the burner needs further tuning. Next post I will take a few more pictures of it running.
  10. The brick came out OK. Some little cavities on the bottom (more tamping required) and I should have made the top look nicer before leaving it to set. Also, petroleum jelly wins for this particular test. A very thin coat and the test piece fell right out of the cup after curing. Not that I know much about them but those ribbon burners look like they’re kickin butt. I waited till last night to do the roof, so as not to get that sagging. Buttered everything up and it went well. I checked just now and it’s looking alright; more pics later!
  11. It did not. I’m combining advice from y’all on here and the URC general mixing instructions from their website. That ribbon burner sure does look involved in the forming department, I hope it’s proving it’s worth in the forge! This aggregate is quite coarse so tamping was required. I ended up going ahead and filling up that cardboard form. I sprayed some PAM on the plastic wrap inner and tamped it in. For science purposes, I threw three little blobs into red solo cups: one with plastic wrap only, one with the PAM and one with petroleum jelly as a release agents experiment. The fire box has now received its floor and about a third of the way up the walls. I buttered the kaowool prior to and it seemed to stick well. All is wrapped and tied in a garbage bag with a couple cups of water sitting in there and there’s a space heater nearby keeping everything warm. Tomorrow night it should be set enough to flip over and pack the roof and rest of the walls in. J
  12. For casting bricks, the plan was to use some readily available materials: thick cardboard form, duct taped together and then plastic wrap laid in/over to release/keep the moisture in. It’s what I’ve got on hand... Not sure what’s going to happen with the plastic wrap but I figured direct contact between the cardboard and the mix would yield negative results. As for lining the fire box, I wasn’t planning on using a form; I don't see any way of getting a form to fit/release effectively inside of that ammo can. Just going to hand bomb it in there; I’m sure there’s some trick I haven’t heard of as of yet hence the sharing! J
  13. I’d be pretty naïve not to listen to the voice of experience here. I did come up with something (or thought I had) however I haven’t altered it thus far; don’t panic! Choke plates on the Frosty T = useless. Check. Thank you. Consider that brainwave crashed. This is why I’m here gents. We’re still locked down in ON here for some reason and it’s been tough NOT to go to YouTube etc. for inspiration/advice. I can’t even go physically visit the one smith I know in my area at the moment so I joined this page. Thank you again for catching this would-be beginners blunder before I made things worse. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t want to hear it. On another note, my refractory came in and it’s time to make a couple bricks before lining the forge! J
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