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I Forge Iron


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About Grizzer

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    Junior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Wausau, FL


  • Location
    Chipley, Florida
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, Historical reenacting

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  1. Mineral oil works well. Down here in hot, humid "sunny" Florida, I use a roughly 50/50 mix of mineral oil and mineral spirits with a good size dash of lanolin mixed in for more rust-prone items. You can leave out the lanolin in a dryer area or more rust resistant tools. Straight mineral oil works too, but I found that thinning it works great to leave a thin coat once the mineral spirits evaporate. Mineral oil also has a nice side benefit of being non-toxic so can also be used on eating utensils if used alone.
  2. Looks like you have the bottom half of a cast stove. "Jewel" was part of the Detroit Stove Works sales line. They made a large number of different sizes and styles, and as I am not a stove collector, I can't pin down the L66 for you. This company made everything from cookstoves to laundry boilers, and everything in between. Given the industrial simplicity of it's design, it might be one of their farm heaters meant to be used in a barn or shed. The height is unusual, as most stove bases are much shorter, so another clue that it may have been a barn stove or boiler base. To my knowledge, DSW/Jewel only did stoves and heaters, not tool or equipment stands. It might make a pretty decent tool or machine stand, maybe even a base for an avil that saw relatively light use, it's up to you. I highly suspect the wood floor is a later replacement, as the style of the door in it's side matches that of an ash box. Many of these old stoves ended up with rusted out (and burned out) firebox/ash box floors, and I have seen some bases converted to tool stands here and there (among other things, including a very sturdy, but heavy, ottoman) over the years, usually with pretty good success. Given the design features of what you have, if I had to hazard a guess as to age, I would be thinking 1920's - 1930's. DSW is better known for their earlier stoves, with nickled cast iron and steel, some of which were quite large and ornate. In later years they switched to sheet steel and began to coat them in enamel.
  3. Came across this on Youtube this morning, and thought this might be interesting to some. A little fancy, but thought it was a decent concept, particularly due to it not requiring slots to be tailored to each hammer handle.
  4. Thanks! I'll definately look into it. Hadn't thought about renting a rig, that may just be the way to go.
  5. I am curious to get the answer to this as well. My wife is after me to use one instead of brushes. If it works that fast and well, without wasting a bunch of stain, I'll let her win this one :)
  6. Yeah, down here it is pretty standard for folks to just put up some sheet metal on the sides and call it done. I prefer not to work inside a solar oven :) When I had the roof put up, I had them install this new-fangled insulating sheet that reflects the heat back out through the metal roof. My original plan was to insulate the walls as well, but I have found that having the the insulating sheet in the roof, and B & B for walls has provided all the insulation I need for the summer heat. The shop does not go much, if at all, above ambient temperature all day, and stays a little cooler in the morning. Having provided for plenty of flow-through ventilation for the forge, I have the side benefit of it not getting stuffy inside either. I can definately recommend wood in regards to insulating properties, and I do think that the ventilation I designed in has helped as well, allowing any heated air to escape through the main roof vent and draw cooler air into the building. For those with an all metal building, I do recommend looking into the insulating sheet, I was pleasantly surprised at how effective it has been with the roof. Of course, all this is for warmer climates, where we are more concerned about insulating against summer heat than winter cold. All I need for winter is a small wood stove to make it more comfortable in the morning for the most part.
  7. After numerous delays, including a 2nd heart attack and two surgeries, among other things, the main building is done. I've had a bit of settling near the front, but a load of dirt is waiting for cooler weather, and probably a helper since I am no longer capable of the heavy work. Given my health, I am still going to put in my forge and make it a blacksmith shop, but I won't be able to do as much as I'd orginally planned. The doctor's all want me to stay as active as I can, and light smithing may let me rebuild my strength over time to what limit it can be. I will just see where it goes. As a hobby smith, time is not a major factor in completing projects, so I will just do what I can do, and not sweat it. The County was pretty generous with me on this build, giving me a long extension and not pressuring me to complete it. It's nice to live in an area that is still small town/rural enough to work with me on something. This build is also likely to have saved my life, causing me to have a minor heart attack and catching the problem (one of my bypasses from years ago has failed) before it bult up to a major or fatal incident. My next step, along with getting the ground levelled out a bit more, is to get it stained. I'll post a pic when that's done, and as I finish it out.
  8. Think he needed the dragon's breath for forging an iron throne? :D One of the things that leaves me dissatisfied with modern times, is that we seem to have lost the sense of asthetics we used to have. Function has triumphed over form, everything is becoming utilitarian. I've seen some signs in the younger generation that I am not alone in this, so maybe there is hope that we can regain some of it before we all end up living in block houses and wearing unisex jumpsuits :P I'd love to visit the site this picture is from, does he have any more pictures/items shown? Edit: Found the link embedded in the picture, doh!
  9. A bird has built a nest in the cubbyhole formed by the gable rafter in my shop build. I am actually worried about what will happen when I finish closing it in. Another big softy here! :)
  10. Closest I have seen in quite a while was in an episode of "The Virginian" though technically not a movie, each episode is roughly 90 minutes. They have been rerunning them on cable so I got to see a couple while travelling last week. Our hero needs information from a horse trader, who happened to be working at the anvil as he approaches. I was rather surprised when instead of the usual horseshoe, the trader pulled a shovel blade out of the forge, placed it properly on the anvil and hammered it on the flat with a localized cherry heat in the area he was repairing. And he didn't quench it as he was approached, but set it aside while he talked! (Didn't the writer get the cliche' manual? :D ) I think it's safe to assume there was no actual heat involved, but it certainly appeared that someone was taking care to be at least somewhat realistic in their depiction of day to day smithing on a small horse ranch. For a '60's TV show it was even more surprising. I am still holding out hope for more realistic smithing in Westerns, but it has taken over 50 years to get them to quit carrying their pistols in a buscadero rig!
  11. Some states/areas require that only UL approved electrical fixtures be installed in a residence. I ran into the same problem while working for a company that made lifts for audio-visual equipment. So far as I know, it was never resolved very well, and we did end up with returned equipment. The owner of the company refused to pay for the UL certification, as in our case it would cost well over $10K. I would imagine that if you used a light kit that had a UL label it would not likely be a problem. The motors we used were UL listed, the problem we had came from the control box which we fabricated in-house, which was not. The determining point seemed to be where the wire from the outlet connected to. If the motor had a direct connection it would have been a non-issue. So with a lamp kit, since the lamp will have a direct connection, if it has a UL marking, it should be ok. There did not seem to be a concern with the rest of the lift mechanism, so they don't seem to care about any of the iron work that would surround a lamp, just the electrical portion of the lamp proper. Due to the variances in local regulations and how they are interpreted by different inspectors, YMMV.
  12. 300 lb Fisher with lugs, 1936, U.S. Navy, marked with "NRA" on the heel (National Recovery Act)
  13. Also the trouble for North American smiths is that anvils are in demand by non-smiths, so the remaining ones get their price driven up. Tool collectors, little old ladies wanting one to decorate their flower beds or fireplaces, etc. Seems the decorators want the pristine anvils too, I wish they'd go for the ones with "character" that are not usable/desireable to smiths. :) Prices can vary quite a bit by region, as some areas held on to their anvils (they were still using them) while others (more urbanized areas generally) donated them to war scrap in droves. Ebay has driven the prices up as well. People see the collector prices on Ebay and assume that theirs must be worth lots of money too. Ebay pretty much crashed the antique car and motorcycle parts market, but drove up the tool market. There are still plenty of anvils to be had at a reasonable price, but it takes some leg work and "networking" to find them.
  14. I prefer leather as it's more flame retardant in my book regardless of how cotton has been treated. But that's just me. I do recommend that you get an apron that has cross straps in the back rather than hangs off your neck, you will likely find it more comfortable, and more comfortable means it's more likely to be worn. I was taught not to use gloves for the most part so can't make any recommendations there, but that's also a personal choice. There are a number of threads on the glove vs no glove debate, a simple search will bring them up. In the end, it's up to you but I recommend reading them and making an informed choice. Hearing protection is pretty straghtforward, basic choice is muffs or plugs. Plugs are more comfortable in hot weather. When I have used them I have personally found the disposable foam plugs to be more comfortable than the rubber plugs. You can also quiet the ring of the anvil easy enough with a length of chain and/or your mounting method. This also helps with the neighbors if you have any near by. Hearing loss is gradual and long term. I didn't have it in my younger days in the machine shops, and though it's not bad yet, I have noticed my hearing starting to go a bit. So I can certainly recommend protecting it. In hand smithing, it's not always so much the volume as the pitch and repetition. So you don't need heavy-duty protection like if you were running a jack hammer, but it's good to have something. If you use a trip hammer I'd advise going heavier though. Sounds like a great buy on the anvil!
  15. Sorry to re-necro this post, but I noticed no one mentioned using a burn barrel. If you live in an area where you can have one, you can't beat it as the place to toss those oily rags. If they catch fire, they are already in a burn barrel! :) I also use the burn barrel for any personal papers, simplest way I know to stop ID thieves. Not hard to find an old 55 gal drum.
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