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I Forge Iron


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About Vinlander

  • Rank
    Junior Member

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  • Location
    Illinois, USA
  • Biography
    Woodwright and Blacksmith
  • Interests
    Woodworking, Blacksmithing, leatherworking, metal fabrication, artistic design and build.
  • Occupation
    Self employed wright/smith
  1. I think a master and an apprentice must both make sacrifices in the modern age. Obviously an apprentice must want to learn and put forth the effort to do so. That means alot of sweating fruitless hours. And the same goes for the smith. Alot of it has to do with discipline. In the time of apprenticeships things were alot different. The apprentice lived with the smith and worked with him from dawn til dusk. Today we don't have those kinds of arrangements. I think most apprenticeships happen at schools and colleges today. I teach alot of kids and adults alike, usually just short sessions where they make some small item and are pleased with their results. Once in awhile it catches on and that person starts seeking. Forge, anvil, hammer, tongs, file, grinder, etc.. That is how smithing is moving ahead around me. Slow but sure the traditional arts are preserved and grow. Only because all of us, newbee or old coot alike, put forth our efforts. I just joined this site tonight and I am very pleased with the discussions here. Vinlander
  2. My first anvil was made from an old piece of railroad my grandpa had lying in his shop. Had an inch of soot and dirt on it. Some cutting, welding, and grinding and it was done. Grandpa really had it together. I like the post anvil. It is much easier to dress down if needed. I have one that I have welded all kinds of fixtures on, drilled holes in it, etc.. Still functions just the same as my other manufactured anvils. Very nice Mike. Vinlander
  3. Looks like my first chicken spear. You going chicken huntin' with that thang? Nice work! Vinlander
  4. Big scruffy hillbilly city slicker who needs a shower and smells of burnt coal. That's me. But what makes a blacksmith a blacksmith? Is it a certain look? The ability to heat metal and forge it into something workable? I do shows and teach scouts with a portable ferrier forge I have. My youngest to make a horseshoe (albeit it a basic one from some 3/8 flat stock heated and bent around the horn and hammered flat) is 5 years old. Cute little blond girl with thick glasses who used a 10 oz hammer to do forge while I turned the work. Now she is a blacksmith too Vinlander [email protected]
  5. Fullering a blade was done with three tools. First (tool no. 1) is a round topped hardy or similar tool that would form one side of the blade groove. It is affixed to the anvil or vise with the round side up. A half to three quarter inch rod would suffice for the round. The other two tools are a good hammer and a fullering tool that is identical to the tool that forms the bottom groove. Contrary to popular belief, nearly all old day blacksmiths had apprentices and assistants to help them. The assistant would run the forge bellows and draw the blade out of the fire when called by the blacksmith. The smith would then operate the fullering hammer and tool as the assistant drew the blade across tool no. 1 and alternately flipped the blade to assure symmetry in grooving both sides. This was usually the final step in blade forging and occurred after the blade was forged and edged. Keep in mind that there are some forging techniques that simply take two people. You can beat yourself all day trying to do something that can usually be done in a few minutes when you have a helper. And most neighborhoods are full of kids that want to learn exciting new things and who can be taught to hold tongs still while you strike the work piece. With some practice you can do it and teach a traditional skill to someone else. A bit of trivia for all of you. The groove we are discussing is called a "blood groove." Does anyone know why such a groove was used in swords and daggers with wide blades? Good luck. Vinlander [email protected]
  6. The key to welding cast with stainless steel is overcoming "expansion," wherein the weld filler cracks laterally across the bead. While the weld is still hot, peen it with a small hammer. This peening with cause the weldment to "compact" slightly, kind of like forging, and will defeat the expansion/cracking. Weld an inch and then peen it. It is also important to oscillate with an arc welder rod so you can effect maximum burn in, rather than simply filling the void between the cast and the steel. Good luck. Vinlander [email protected]
  7. When I make bodkins I start with a 3/8 steel rod and upset the bottom inch or so of it. I flatten it out and then heat and curl it around the tip of a small horn I made for the hardy hole. I keep heating and curling until the cone is shaped, and then the final lapforging of the cone seals it. They come out pretty easy. The bottom of the cone is usually odd shaped so it is cut or filed down until it is symetrical. I think the key to the whole thing is upsetting enough metal to form your cone without getting it to thin that the heat burns it up. Good luck on the forging. Post some pics for us. Vinlander [email protected]
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