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Found 75 results

  1. I attended a hammer-in recently at Anvil Academy in Newberg, Oregon. One of the demonstrators (I'm an idiot because I lost his card) made a knife from 1095. He used the tendency of flat bar steel to "mushroom" when struck on edge to his advantage, and crafted an interesting handle for his one piece knife. One thing he mentioned was the ratio of about 1:8 in thickness to width, as being a dimension very prone to mushrooming when struck on edge. My current problem for which I could use some advice: I want to make a rat tail knife from an old file. It seems the dimensions are close to 1:8, and it really wants to mushroom as I try to draw out the handle to square. How do I combat this? So far I've tried correcting the mushroom by striking on the flat side, and knocking in the corners with softer blows. I probably still got some cold shuts. Is there anything else I can do?
  2. Hello IFI, I've been passing through this forum for quite some time and as I just fired my first home built forge I though it time to join. Here's the build out list: Brake Disc, 16x30 metal cart, Buffalo blower, 2 inch piping for tuyere, clay, fire brick, and regular brick. sheet metal. I clayed the entire cart around the disc under the bricks, this leveled things out for the brick mostly, but also added a nice added layer of thermal protection to the cheap cart metal. Fire brick is cut around the disc face, giving me a pot 3.5 inches deep and 7 inches wide. Picked up the blower for a steal on auction, ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside, once I cleaned it out and re-lubed it turns like brand new. Currently I've got a 2x4 and metal straps holding it rigid with the piping but plan to swap that for some metal brackets in the future, it was just all I had laying around at the time. Lastly I added the simple metal surround for wind protection plus the added benefit of being able to pile extra fuel up that back wall in the corners. Fired for the first time Sunday with some nice lump charcoal, wally world was having a sale so why not... As it was over 100 degrees out I mostly just beat up some rebar I had laying around before shutting things down, test firing was a huge success. I noticed a few odd hot spots underneath the cart and decided to clay in the interior of the pot as well which I should have done it to begin with anyways, but that should take care of my errant heat. We'll see in a few days when I have time to light it up again. Outside of heating things up with a torch and beating them until they submit to my will around the homestead I've only ever worked steel on a lathe and that was a few (read 20) years ago. I've done some forging of specialty tools made out of soft metals like copper and bronze in the distant past as well but never what I would call blacksmithing of anything. I've been wanting to get into this side of things for quite awhile so I'm excited about this forge build and can't wait to see how ugly my first projects turn out. Ha ha. Attaching some pics for your pleasure or verbal destruction, whichever your bent.
  3. Hello everyone, I join you having never had the opportunity to actually move metal, but hopefully this weekend I will get to change that. I have been fascinated with the art ever since I was a young child, and I watched the blacksmiths at the Tulsa State Fair back in the early 90s. In the years that followed, I never made the time to learn even when my mother encouraged me to take a class or find a mentor. Now at 30 years old I am finally setting aside the time to learn. I am lucky that I have an active club in my area and on this forum, the Saltfork Craftsmen based here in Oklahoma. This weekend I am joining them for one of their regional meetings and I hope I will get a chance to learn from those that are there. I look forward to learning the craft and being a positive member of the community. Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.
  4. So, I'm waiting for the epoxy to cure on my first ever knife. The two-day class started us off with 1084 flat bar and showed us how to forge a basic kitchen knife. Overall, the class is fantastic, and I've already signed up for the six-session class for Intro to Blacksmithing, later this fall. Class size is usually six people or less (only four in mine) so the instructor has plenty of time to wander around, check progress, give advice etc. Quick notes on things I've learned: untill you really get close to it, no amount of youtube or forged in fire can prepare you for how xxxxx hot the forge really is. Your first projects will not be perfect. Its a ton of fun, but not a perfect finished product. I've seen the advice of "Dont try to make a sword first" and now I completely understand and agree. A 7 inch kitchen knife is a xxxxxx lot of work for an absolute beginner, a three foot blade, no...just, no. Foul language removed
  5. Hey everyone! My name's Josh, and as I'm sure you can guess from me posting here, I'm new! A bit about me? I'm 21 years old active duty Marine (shout out to all my fellow service men and women, retired or not!) currently deployed to Afghanistan. Back home, I'm stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. I've gotten into the scene of blacksmithing due to my wife's (girlfriend at the time) grandfather and I watching Forged in Fire back in high school. From there, I started doing research, watching videos, exploring forums like these, trying to find all the good information I can. That being said, I still have questions! Seeing as how this is just an introductory thread, I'll save them for another time and place. Regardless of all that, I look forward to talking with you all about my newfound (and not yet started) passion! Semper Fidelis ~Josh
  6. Greetings all. I've been reading up on deadening anvils (for the sake of my neighbors) and aside from the standard chains and magnets, people seem to get the best results by adding something soft between anvil and stand. I've read positive things about a layer of cork or rubber underneath your anvil and an interesting youtube video showing a layer of builders silicone. My question is whether that's as effective with much smaller anvils. I am a complete beginner and have a small railroad track anvil. My concern is that the weight of the anvil helps to rebound force into the strikes, and while on a large proper anvil that weight comes from the steel itself, I imagine a firm fixing to a solid stand helps a lot with the solidness of a small, relatively lightweight "anvil" and I'm worried that putting a something soft between the anvil and stand (wooden sleepers in my case) will have a negative effect on the forging. Like I said, I'm a complete beginner, so any advice would be really appreciated.
  7. Hey everyone! I built my first forge ever yesterday out of some bricks in an old grill. I’m using a black iron pipe and a hair dryer with a shop vac attachment as my air source. Charcoal is the fuel. Mid anyone has any suggestions or recommendations please let me know what I need to do to forge properly and safely. Thanks Dallas
  8. Hello, my name is Markus and I'm from Germany. Bavaria, to be more precise. I'm 36 and a complete beginner, in terms of blacksmithing and crafting in general. My father was a metal worker though, so I can fall back on some tools (which most of them I have no idea how to use properly). But even the best tools can't compensate for my lack of basic skills. For now, I have about three days (4 to 6 hours each) of forging under my belt, since I only get to it every other weekend, at best. I built a JABOD forge (with charcoal fuel) and did some small stuff (a curl prototype for a friends garden, a cross for my sisters birthday, a really xxxxxx pair of tongs from rebar) and last weekend I tried to make an updated version of a JABOD, to make it more mobile and smaller. I probably will post it in the solid fuel section, since I'm not sure this one is viable. Other than that, I want to keep going, I aim to take a blacksmithing class the next few months and my next big goal is to make a small box out of wood (another thing I want to learn is a little bit of woodworking) and combine it with some self-made hinges and maybe a decorative front piece. If I reached that goal, I will aim for another project. Also, I want to apologize in advance for my English and the possibly improper use of blacksmithing terms, it's hard to learn that. And inches vs. cm. I will be using a lot of cm and mm. Sorry guys. Here are some pictures, if that is okay: First forge with my (fathers) anvil in the background (hard to spot the little thing) Scroll prototype (couldn't get the egg shape to be round) Cross (burnt an arm) New forge (WIP, have to ask questions in the JABOD sub)
  9. So, I just started blacksmithing about a month ago...mostly teching myself with some help from youtube videos, trial and error, and a video course by Alec Steele. I've posted some pics of my current forge that I've been using and I was hoping for some advice for improvements on either its construction or my technique. Sorry for not having an pics of the forge in use since I normally don't take time to take pictures while crafting. The piping pictured is an idea I had for increasing airflow. My idea was to drill holes along the length of the pipes so that air was sent along the entire brick where my charcoal is normally put. Another idea was the online have one side of that instead of both sides. Currently i use a standard hair dryer with a black iron pipe (2inch diameter i think) going in the gap between those two upright bricks. The charcoal (about to shift to either coke or coal) sits on the single horizontal brick between the two angled vertical bricks. All those bricks are fire bricks. The bricks not on the table are standard bricks meant to hold up longer pieces of steel stock while working.
  10. Howdy everyone! I'm a Las Vegas local who has always been interested in blacksmithing. Besides reading tons of books on the art and watching a blacksmith work in Asheville for a day, I haven't really had any exposure to it. I'm reaching middle age though (and perhaps a midlife crisis as will), and I've decided i NEED to pursue this before it's too late. I live in a trailer park, so my geography may be ultimately prohibitive, but I am determined to find some way to try this. I have signed up for a class this winter which will give me a chance to at least experience it once. Hopefully I will be able to glean knowledge and receive inspiration from this community!
  11. I am a novice blacksmith I know I have to pay attention to the color of the metal bc I have a bad about of wanting to keep hammering even once the metal is to cold. Which brings me to my question. I have watched ALOT of smithing videos(more than 100) and I have noticed even if I heat the steel to a bright yellow the steel loses its heat really fast I mean abnormally fast. Any thoughts of why? I use a coal forge and I take the steel out as soon as I see the yellow I want work the steel I may get 5 swings in and I have to heat it back up.
  12. Hey there everyone! My name is Michael and I’m new to the cute and blacksmithing. Just picked up my first anvil it’s a 150lbs Fisher eagle from the 60’s. I look forward to learning from you all and posting some of my work. Any advice helps. I have a LOT to learn.
  13. Hi there, just got my Fire bricks and refractory cement, going to build my propane fueled forge it shall be a small enough one, big enough for knives and axe heads perhaps but mainly knives for now, I have no fear handling a torch or anything that is required to be done as a black smith/ knife smith, but I am scared of CO poisoning, so my main question is how can I make my forge as safe as possible? I will be using it outside in the open but should I still wear a mask and should I leave the back open? just a few bits like that I would love to have answered! thanks in advance guys. David. edit: also I have a carbon monoxide alarm.
  14. Hello, I am starting to blacksmith. I currently have a hole in the ground that I want to do a side-blast coke forge with. I need coke though. I don't know where I can get some locally here in Utah. I saw that there is a place down in Spanish Fork. Christensen Brothers. They are a little far from me as I live in Tooele. I was wondering if any of you have found suppliers in Salt Lake City or thereabouts. Any help would be much appreciated.
  15. Hey everyone! I am probably the most common sight around this section of the forum - a newbie from Ohio. I have yet to build my setup and get started, but plan to do so this Summer for a specific project. Basic info - I'm 36 and a married homeowner with 4 cats and 2 dogs. My 9-5 is mental health and addictions counseling, and I am a licensed independent clinical counselor in the state of Ohio. I have been buying knives and (mostly decoration) swords most of my life, and enjoy both historical and fantasy weapons. I've wanted to try blacksmithing for as long as I can remember, but up until recently I felt it was too cost prohibitive (starting with 0 tools) and I didn't have a good place to work (was a renter until about three years ago). I've come across this forum a few times, then a couple months ago started lurking pretty regularly trying to soak up ideas and knowledge. The gem of this has been seeing the various JABOD designs and improvised anvils. My main goal this summer with taking a go at Blacksmithing is to make a set of forged marshmallow roasting sticks as a wedding present for my brother-in-law this fall. As a project it will help with what appear to be the most suggested skills to start with - tapers, scrolls, and perhaps - a twist. Slightly broader, and longer, reason to start blacksmithing: I have been fascinated with blades and weapons from a young age, and I mostly blame books, tv and movies. While shows like Xena provided fantasy (unrealistic in both design and abilities), Highlander brought historical blades (with still unrealistic abilities). By age 18 I had roughly 7 swords, an small war axe, and maybe 3 dozen various knives (I like unusual stuff - like a giant bowie-style folding knife.) I had saved up to get a computer to take to college (back in 2000) and had some money left over. I commissioned a blacksmith - Rick Schmidt aka Race Morningstar aka Duncan Alexander Malcolm MacDuibh Kilgour of the Oak and Iron Forge. We co-designed a polearm loosely based on elements from the Ashandarei from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, a glaive, and a naginata. Race was a former Coast Guardsman, an auxiliary member, and a heck of a nice guy. He passed away nearly two years ago, and it rekindled my desire to look into the craft. I had already watched numerous YouTube videos (which I continue to do), and browsed through sites like Anvilfire. But in the past year I started into more practical authors like Lorelei Sims and Alexander Weygers. Being in central Ohio I know I have tons of local resources (metal suppliers, fabrication shops, schools like Columbus Idea Foundry and Southern Ohio School of Blacksmithing, and I'm just a hop-skip-jump from SOFA). I've read, watched, listened and learned, the only thing left is to get off my xxxx and apply it - and then learn some more! TLDR; Another long-winded newbie from Ohio wants to swing a hammer at hot steel.
  16. Hey everyone, As of late, I've been thinking of where I should set up my shop. I would use my garage, but I have my car parked in there at all times to keep it away from the North Carolina sun. My wife has no issues with me starting up my own shop, she just wants to make sure our house isn't set on fire in the process (reasonably so, as it's a rental). So, I figured since I have about another 2 years at the place, I could set up a forge outside in our backyard. We have these paver stones set into the ground, so I figured that would be a good flooring. All I need is to set up walls an a roof. As it's a rental, I don't want it attached to the house for safety reasons. We have a shed already in the back yard and don't use it for really anything, but it's made entirely out of wood and really don't want it to catch fire. Wood walls don't bother me, as I plan on screwing together 2x4s, maybe some 4x4s, and tacking some plywood to it just to keep me out of the elements. My big problem is the floor. I worry the forge, and sparks, could potentially set fire to the floor. Yes, I know that's what extinguishers are for, but I'd rather have one and not need it due to the way my shop is built than vice versa. TL;DR-- I want to build a little shack-like shop in my backyard to forge in so I don't have to use my garage. Anyone have any good ideas, or speculations on the matter? Good things to incorporate in the build? I wanna hear everyone's ideas and opinions!
  17. Hey there, I'm brand new to blacksmithing but gosh darn is it fun! I live in New Braunfels Texas and Smith just for fun when I'm not working overtime. In real life I'm and electician with local 520 for any brothers out there. I have 2 young kids and a great wife that somehow understands that at the end of a long day of running pipe at work I love to come home and hammer hot metal. I've been lurking in this site for a couple of months, learning and buy tools and building the things I need to get started. I do not have a shop, I have a tool bag with a few basic tools, a stand, a homemade mailbox forge and cheap anvil. I didn't want to sink 100s into something I might not like but I will upgrade in a few years if I keep at it. Right now I store everything inside because of the neighborhood I live in and when I have time set up in my driveway and try to stay out of the wind and the sun. It's working out well so far and my neighbors haven't cursed me yet. I would really like to find someone in my area to shoot the stuff, share a 6 pack and help out. Newbie or veteran doesn't matter, I will also help out around the forge and anvil, swing a hammer and maybe trade some electrical work for tips or tools. I know balconies forge is I my area but don't really want to pay money just yet to enter a group and the next meet is months away, but if I continue with this I most definitely will join. Anyways thats a little about me, I'm going to try to stay active on this site and learn as much as I can.
  18. Hey guys, fair warning, this thread will have a lot of rambling and random questions I couldn't seem to find the answer to, or at least want a second opinion on. So I've been looking around here, researching practically everywhere, and I've come up with the same answer. Which, makes sense given what the tools I need are used for; Something hard and solid to shape the metal on Something hard to whack the metal with Something hot to heat the metal to a working temperature I doubt I'll have a single issue with any of these at all, seeing as how I live in NC and I know of several scrap yards in my near area... Now, that being said, I want to know what /else/ I might need for the work that I want to do. (That'll come into play later.) I want to ideally get to the point of making knives, and possibly in the future, swords/medieval style weaponry. With that, I figured I'd need an angle grinder, potentially a welder incase I need to do any sort of pre-forging fabrication. Before I jump right into making a knife, I want to work on the basics of forging and hone my skills (IE tapering, upsetting, beveling the metal prior to grinding, twisting, riveting, etc.) I looked around and couldn't seem to find anyone in my area (or within a two-three hour drive of me) that I could take lessons and such from. That being said, I feel like I'm going to have to self teach myself via youtube and forums like these. While learning those above-mentioned techniques, I figured I may as well use them to make more tools for the future. It'll be a good way to start out, and if I mess up, it won't be that much stock wasted. Coming out of that small monolouge, this is where I want your guys opinions; Should I get a bench grinder, angle grinder, welder, or any other tools beyond those primary 3 you absolutely need to forge with? If so, what do you recommend? (Keeping in mind budget, I want a fairly mid-lower line tool that I can use and abuse as a beginner and not regret when it breaks.) Honestly, where should I start to begin teaching myself those key techniques? I watch a lot of Alec Steele videos, and I was figuring doing some small trinqute work like making leaves and such. (I know the obvious answer is 'Well just go out there and start banging away with a hammer!' but I want a little more elaboration on it than that. Also, if there's any blacksmiths near Jacksonville, NC I'd love to speak with you.) The big question, coal vs gas, which one would you all recommend I use? Honestly, it seems like personal preferance from what I've read as they both do the same thing. Coal is fairly inexpensive, and I feel like it'll teach me heat management as well. I was thinking about taking a page out of everyone elses' books and making one out of a 55 gallon drum. Do any of you guys have any decent schematics or tutorials on that, seeing as how I've honestly never welded anything in my life. I don't want to forge in my garage, simply because I'm in a rental and if I'm working with coal, it could cause a fair bit of damage to the house, with the possibility of those noxious gasses leaking into my house as I work. I don't want to work in my drive way, because from what I've seen it's fairly difficult to judge the heat of the metal in the sun. I was thinking of getting some 4x4s, plywood, and other things of that nature to build myself a rag-tag hutch on the backside of my house to work in. Your thoughts on that? And lastly; any advice for a beginner like me? As I said in my introduction thread, I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan and won't be home for several months so I'm doing a lot of my research and planning now so I can efficiently execute it when I get back and get a good idea on what kinda money I need to set aside for my newfound hobby! Thanks a million everyone! (I know it was a lot, but I would love to hear what everyone has to say!) -Josh
  19. I am new at this and wanted to add forging capabilities to my metal shop so I decided to start small and work my way up from a soup can forge. Any and all recommendations are appreciated and if I am doing something wrong I always like to know. The soup can is lined with some kao-wool I got from a local pottery store, they did not stock any refractories, rigidizers, or products like plistix or itc 100 however the gentleman kindly advised me of a mix of fireclay with sodium silicate and water. My main concern was stopping the degradation of the kaowool which is evidently a heath problem. I don't have a lot of pictures of the building of the first forge because it was actually really quick and I also think I combined multiple plans. I used a short fatter soup can and drilled 2 holes in the side for mounting to a piece of stock that I had bent a 90 degree bend into and a slightly larger hole than the half inch nipple I use to hold the burner at about 2 o'clock when looking into the can. I lined the inside with 1 inch of kaowool on the bottom and sides using the seam of the side to allow the burner to come into the chamber tucked into the cloth. After I had the can bolted to the stand and the liner in place I mixed the clay, sodium silicate and water to a chocolate milk consistency and poured onto the fabric in a very thin layer which was aided by the thin viscosity of the mix. I took my mappro torch and with the lightest flame setting and dried the surface of the clay then put the torch in the burner port and heated it up to essentially what you hopefully see in my picture. To avoid flames coming out the mouth of the can I have to run the torch on its pretty much lowest setting but It still will get a nail glowing hot in a minute or less. My conclusion from this little can forge is I love working with it but I wanted to be able to work larger stock. So I got working on another project the box forge I added some extra features I thought I would like but I didn't know how to account for the difference in volumes of chambers. I made the case out of 20 and 18 gauge sheet, made a door, handmade the crude hinges and made a base with a white firebrick which I later changed to the lighter style. I have problems with losing too much heat and am pretty sure I would need to upgrade to a real burner setup. Any advice on next steps would be greatly appreciated P.s. that hunk of ash will possibly be my anvil stand
  20. Hi im having trouble with the type of steel I need my first knife used home depot steel wouldn't harden. I then bought RR spikes on Ebay they are supposed to be High Carbon HC is punched the head (I have yet to spark test it). What is a good steel to use and good online stores?
  21. Here are my first couple hoof picks I made for some friends, great beginner projects!
  22. What's up fellow smiths! My name is Caleb and I'm a beginning smith from South Carolina. I've only been hitting hot metal with a hammer for about 5 days now. I finally finished my first project after coming home from work and immediately fireing up the forge everyday this week. I've always been interested in smithing and I finnaly got the chance to do it after lots of preparing. Here is a picture of my set up... forge is the shell of an old hvac system shop vac for air and a cheap harbor freight anvil. so on to my first project.. but alittle back story first. Since my girlfriend has had to put up with my constant babbling on about blacksmithing and put up with binge watching forged in fire for the past couple months I decided to make her a gift a my first project. I decided to forge her initials out of some 1/4" round stock (from tractor supply) once I finished the forgeing i painted everything and decided to mount it on a wooden block. Here is what I came up with (its a little girly but she likes cute little things so it works out) 1/4" round bar from TSC forging complete painted glossy white cut a cube out of a 4x4 and drilled a hole for mounting letters painted block finished product!! let me know what you guys think! Has anyone ever done any cursive? Or words out of a single puce with no welds if so I am very curious to hear about it because I couldn't don't any info on the subject so I just had to figure it out as I went along. Im hoping to start forging my first knife soon and get back into some more manly forge work lol ps. Comment if you can read the letters lol I can easily see it but then again I already know what it says so any feedback would be great!!!
  23. IMG_0367.MOVHi all new to Blacksmithing and i have built a gas forge. The dragons breath what colour is it supposed to be? and how far out should it come from the mouth of the forge. My Burners are 3/4 Pipe 8" long with a bell flare 1 1/4 x 3/4, T 3/4 x 1" and using 1/4" nipples with 0.8mm Tip (0.031") i also have some 1.0 mm Tips (0.039") Does the flame look ok. I have also attached a video with it running in the forge. The forge is built from a Propane tank with 2" refractory wool and in the bottom Refractory cement to 1600 degrees Celsius. I also rigidized the wool prior to firing the forge etc. Question i have is how far back in the wool should the burners sit? I also have a coal forge which i built. in this i use smithy breeze coke. Thanks
  24. Slowed down a bit over the holiday timeframe, finally getting some time to share with ya'll my continued journey towards being a bladesmith! Behold knife attempt number 6! Blade is 1084, handle material is inlace acrylester. Used my belt sander up to 1000, then took it by hand up to 2500. Pins are brass. *Note: Still working on the other one....going to try to get better bevels into it.
  25. Hello all, I know I'm probably like the hundredth post about building my first forge, but here I am following suit. Firstly, it was my first time using a mig welder and didn't know that you use it as any other welder, whoops Secondly, I haven't done the most research because I'm on a time crunch for Christmas, but i have done some thanks a lot to your site and Youtube. Thirdly, I'm very close to being broke so hopefully any major adjustments aren't needed. Fourthly, I'm grateful for any and all responses and advice. Alright so, My forge doesn't get hot enough, like not even to where the metal gets a little glowing, just turns them black and kinda blue after 30 minutes. It will get kind of red hot if i hold a piece of steel outside the opening. If i close the opening with that loose fire brick it will snuff the burner out, but i will still get flames that will shoot out of the air holes in the burner (not safe). It's a propane burner from Harbor Freight, I don't have a regulator on it, and i never adjusted any tip or anything like that. They are hard fire bricks from Menards 9 x 4.5 x 1.25. I already had to use some J. B. Weld on the top and sides where a ton of flames were escaping. I also don't have a bottom plate only a bar welded in the middle to hold the bricks in place. I think the problem I had is i tried a few too many different methods and combined them and threw out the hard and/or expensive parts. I'm just trying to heat treat knives that I cut from pieces of weldable steel, yeah i know i cheated. I've seen the posts where everyone suggests those kaowool blankets so that'll be my next step, but should i put them inside or outside or both? tl;dr - I don't know what I'm doing, please help me, I'm broke, too far along, and Christmas is in 13 days.