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  1. Hey guys, I don't know whether this exists already but I figured I'd just go ahead and start one. Anyways, I have a couple questions. Around 6ish years ago (I'm 18 now) when I first tried blacksmithing, my dad was running a "Build Camp" for kids. We have a large shop and almost all the tools you could ever need including many machines. For this camp, we decided to try blacksmithing, building a forge and trying to make something. My dad had done a little bit when he was a teen, but still, he didn't really know what he was doing, he just had a basic knowledge of it. It was still fun, everyo
  2. Hello all, I had my second try at forging a simple leaf today and (after copious study at the University of YouTube.. WHAT UP ALEC STEELE). I made vast improvements over last time and I'm still figuring out how to handle a hammer and shop setup to maximize efficiency (and by shop I mean a gas forge on a roller table and a broken railroad track bolted to a log), but what I'm finding is that my metal is cooling way faster than it seems to do in the videos. As I watch the various YouTube videos, the crafters are able to calmly speak and work for several minutes while the steel is till g
  3. I made charcoal. On Tuesday night my lady and I made a little fire while we had our video call with the Community Group crew. I filled a green bean can with some thicker sticks, then pressed it into the fire open side down. We built the fire around it. When we were ready to go inside for the evening, I spread the fire out, but left the can in place. This morning, I dumped the contents of the can onto this old pan. The result is black, glassy, and sounds crispy. There is no un-pyrolized wood in the center of the sticks. Success! Next step: try this again, but with a piece of s
  4. I use a oooold coal forge which is supplied with air from a foot driven blower. I think I might have a problem with the coal I use. The coal burns pretty quickly, and goes from pieces around 30x30 mm to 5x10 mm. So within 45 min of the start of forge session I need to clean out the small pieces, since it seems like they dont burn. Are this the case, and I need to treat them as ash. Or is it just not enough air to heat the coal?
  5. Smiths, I was given an angle grinder for my birthday. I was vague with my birthday list, never having used an angle grinder before. I have not had time to research them, nor to test this one out. My father-in-law is a very handy person and did the research on this one, so I'm guessing it will do what I need it to. There is a limited window on returns, so I was hoping you might be able to lend me the benefit of your experience and confirm: will this do the job as a general-purpose angle grinder in a hobby shop? The details of the grinder are in the pictures below. Little Bean for sc
  6. Hello all! My name is Vincenzo and I’ve recently been looking for an upgrade to my smithing setup. As of now I’ve been using a chunk of I-beam which seems sufficient enough, but leaves much to be desired. On EBay I noticed an anvil for sale that seems to be in my price range if the auction doesn’t fluctuate too much. The description states that it weighs 115lbs and is currently going for $325 so roughly $2.82 a pound. I can’t see any markings to tell what brand it is and the seller stated that they don’t know either. It also looks to be pretty rusted, but from what I’ve read that might not be
  7. Hi all! I've just joined IFI and thought I'd introduce myself. I was luck enough to go to a secondary school (ages 11-18 for people using different school systems!) that had a propane chip forge and a decent set of metal working tools. I've always liked buidling things, but I got fairly hooked on metal working. That was 12 years ago and since then I've done bits and pieces of metal working (currently lucky enough to work somewhere with a reasonable set of mills and lathes, and a company that doesn't mind you using them for personal projects at lunch), but hadn't been near a forg
  8. Disclaimer: if this is too many photos, or if they are too large, let me know and I will size them down further. I don't have a good idea yet of the resolution/KB that is too much. Hello, smiths. I was recently given a good birthday gift: the time and space to assemble a make-shift forge, light it, and forge. My sister and brother-in-law brought dinner, allowing my wife space to take care of Little Bean and take pictures, and my brother-in-law manned the blower so I could do less first-timer multitasking. The setup was put together in about twenty minutes. The metal buc
  9. Heyo! Not sure how many people are reading this, or how far I’ll get with this considering the COVID-19 crisis happening, but I thought I’d introduce myself and get started somewhere. So I’m Tyler Savage, aka black raptor, I’m 23 and I live in the ghost lake area of Alberta, Canada. I am beginning blacksmithing and leatherworking, and I am also starting out my own (temporary) shop, which I’m hoping to upgrade it and turn it into a business, I have some cool things for the business aspect. I’m also on a budget ($50 to be exact, and whatever I get from my GST check) and I’ll probably be recyclin
  10. Recently bought a house and will eventually be putting my blacksmith shop in the old chicken coop. My plan is to remove the screened portion to make the interior dimensions 140 inches wide x 280 inches long x 83 inches to the lone “rafter”. The back wall measures 58 inches high. The coop has a laid rock foundation with concrete poured inside. How would you guys/ gals arrange things? I currently have a solid fuel forge, but I am almost done with my dabbling at a propane forge and will likely transition to that since my access to solid fuels is not what i thought it would be. I have a post
  11. I was cleaning my workspace earlier this week and I found a piece of rebar under my anvil stand from my failed attempt at making tongs. I needed to get my friend a Christmas present and I know he likes knives so what happened next is obvious. Took about an hour or two (not counting the time in the oven for tempering) total of work to do. This is my third knife and I think it’s better than my first and failed second attempts. The reason the blade looks cracked is it wasn’t cleaned off completely in the photo. I wish I had an anvil with a hardy hole and some hardy tools; it would have made bendi
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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 Okl
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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, a
  18. 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
  19. 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 frien
  20. 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 enti
  21. 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 onc
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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