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  1. I just got my Toauto 12 KG forge today, Commercial links removed and I have a two main questions It came with a bit of cotton-like material on the underside of the lid, and it is completely blocking the exhaust hole in the top. Is this just shipping protection, or is it supposed to be here? Should I do seasoning of the crucible or the mold to make them last longer or anything? If this has already been answered, sorry. I am a bit new here. Thanks for your help in advance!
  2. Hi I’m new to the forum and to smithing, I am excited and hungry for knowledge, since I was a kid I always loved knights armor knives axes swords etc, but was more fascinated by the men who made these tools of utility, warfare, and beauty and I’ve wanted to be one of them my whole life. So I’ve built a small foundry before out of an old steel bucket and some homemade refractory cement(plaster of Paris and play sand) that was coal powered and worked like a champ for melting aluminum and softer metals to be cast, even managed to burn through a steel crucible once. Now I’ve recently built my first forge out of an old propane tank and a similar refractory mix and it took forever to dry not sure what I did wrong there, But she did work and worked well even made 2 file knives and began drawing out an attempt at a Khukri ( ive always wanted one) but couldn’t get up to welding temperature when I attempted to make a small amount of Damascus, currently I use only a greenwood torch fro. Harbor freight on a homemade stand as a burner, but to test its durability I purposefully ran her long hours probably 30 hours in 3 days if not more before the refractory began to fail. Currently she is hollowed out and waiting for me to reinsulate and set back up. My questions to experienced smiths are, is that a good lifespan for a refractory mix 50/50 plaster to sand? Is there a better ratio or anything I could add to the mix to insulate better maintain more heat? I’ve read articles about wood ash, sodium silica (water glass) , adding borax you the mix and even just plain old clay. would a custom built burner be more fuel efficient? thank you ahead of time guys any information , tips tricks or encouragement is much appreciated and welcomed. I suppose it will be awhile before I earn the title of smith but it is a road I look forward to walking,
  3. Hey everyone, new guy here. Looking to get started soon and just wanted to say Hi! Located in central Illinois. Always been interested, finally starting to work on collecting some equipment to get started and super excited to be here!
  4. Hello, this is my first post, just want to say hi from N. Ireland. I[m retired now but have a wide interest in wood, iron, leather, canoeing, flintlock era and my dog. Also married with 3 adult kids. Like most people reading this, we are in lock down here from COVID 19. My wife is American and our daughter is current living in N. Jersey so we have concerns about that but nothing anyone can do. So keep safe and make the most of this time to be creative and enjoy those who really matter.
  5. Just fired it up for the first time. Noticed burner getting hot may need to insulate port better. Only one burner of two on and barely gased.
  6. Hello, I'm 23 and signed up maybe 3 min ago. I have 0 "experience" in blacksmithing but I've previously been a welder and metal worker. I grew up on a farm by round hill Alberta for 3/4 of my life and recently dug out an old fire pot forge table from the Bush. Ive simply restored it and have the basics of what I need to start; hammers/ cross and ball peen, 2 sets of tongs, an anvil and coal. I have a general idea of what to do but am lost as to where to start, I've watched alot of videos but they quickly transitioned from basic education to watching masters work with no direction and just fantasy. Once I start looking at the more technical side I realise making as sword is more dangerous then anticipated, I can beat out a rough shape and am skilled with a grinder but as for the heat cycles, the temps, the stresses and everything else you can't see its beyond me. I'm looking for direction and a mentor in a sense, someone to task me and give me a direction and to report back to almost. I was a cadet for 7 years and have heavily wanted to pursue a military of police career, i take order and direction like gospel. I also read alot of forms and this seems to be the "realest" place. No joking or belittling, to the point, informative and kind, I'm very excited to get involved and grow with this community and hobby with hopes to guide and teach newbies of my own. Thanks for reading I'm eager and waiting for your response lol.
  7. Hey Guys, I'm quite new here and wanted to share my finally working DIY burner design (input is always welcome) and want to share my lengthy learning experience with a lot of pictures and examples, so others can learn from my mistake. Where I am located in the Netherlands, where this sort of plumbing for smaller sizes is quite hard to get, which is the reason I built a 1 inch burner. Background information I started my burner with parts-information stated in the description of a YouTube video. I can hear the experienced members thinking, what an idiot, because Indeed I did this without a proper read-up (hindsight: definitely not the best idea). To get this burner working I had to go through a few learning moments, which I see as a great learning experience. To prevent others from making the same mistakes I made I started this post. As it turns out, the dimensions mentioned in the description were completely wrong. The dimensions also differed from what the person was actually using. To get my burner working I needed to do a bit of research and found a lot of information here on I Forge Iron, so thank you all for sharing information and helping others. My learning curve - Burner Version 0.1 I had created the burner to the specs of the video, apart from the air intake and jet mount (more on this later). The video was using a tuna can lid to close the air intake, which I didn't deem safe. My design seemed to work fine, I had the air valve closed off and the flame resembled a big closed Bunsen burner. Opening the air supply turned it to a blue flame. I saw the blue flaming going up and at first thought this required some tuning of the propane pressure or air valve. Reading up I found out that this is best performed inside the forge, due to backpressure and using the forge as a flare.Below are the first images of the version 0.1 burner sizes, air valve, still threaded intake and jet mount + position. At this point I found out that the dimensions of the flare were completely wrong, it was the wrong way around. Needless to say I called myself very stupid that I didn't see this, even though I followed the instruction from the youtube description (hindsight: this should have been the first hint the dimensions could be wrong). After ordering a new end piece and widening the hole in the brick wall I ran some new tests. After the testrun with the new flare and afterwards also with the opened up brick, I achieved a blue jet-like flame, with little distortion. However it was making an air-sucking sound louder than the flame. Shutting of the burner I noticed the flame not shutting of completely, meaning the ballvalve was possibly leaking and turned out to be incorrect. This lead to quite the change in connection as you can see below: Burner Version 0.2 Using a wrong connection on the valve side (one that was advised in the hardware store), the connection was causing a leak, which lead to using a different connector. So after adjusting it and running it again, this time in the forge, I got a blue dragon's breath not too far out of the forge and there was a small sense of accomplishment. The next day however, it turned out this feeling misplaced. The day after, I tried to get the forge to warm up, which turned to a red flame and tube. Obviously something was wrong and this wasn't at all running like any burners I could compare it to. My burner made a loud air-sucking-sound instead of just a jetburner sound and the flame and mixing tube turned red. - continued on next post -
  8. Hey everyone my name is Dallas. I am from Southeast Texas and no I am not named after the Cowboys. Yesterday I built my first forge out of an old grill a roommate said I could have and some bricks from Home Depot. I have been wanting do do this craft for several years and didn’t know how or where to start. So I thought the best way to learn is to fail so don’t hold back when correcting me. Thank you for your time and I look forward to any input so that I can forge properly and safely. Thanks Dallas
  9. Hey all! So I got some awesome advice regarding side blast forges ans have settled on a design for that (will post pics and updates later) but now I'm looking at bellows. I don't want to use a blower and would prefer a traditional bellows but havent really found any good info online about materials for making them. What are some alternatives to leather that I can use to make some large bellows for my furnace?
  10. So I've just started blacksmithing. Currently I've been practicing hammer control on making miniature swords out of old nails using a blowtorch for heating but I'm really looking to get an actual coal fire going. I've seen a lot of posts, videos. etc about ways to go about this but they all have varying concerns for me and so I decided to make my own post so you guys can help me decide how to go about this. I'd prefer to go "old school " where possible as a large part of learning to Smith is the medieval history aspect so I want to do coal and manual bellows. I'd seen some stuff that i can use clay? I live in an area that red clay is abundant. Could I form and shape an "oven" forge out of red clay? Any suggestions are welcome and I'll reply with my concerns if any so you can help me decide. Thanks!
  11. Hi all! I am just getting into the trade. Like, I have had a couple basic lessons and have made a bad leaf and helped make a bottle opener. Really new! I am working on setting up a little shop. I have an ASO (8 inch rail section that I need to mount) and a small forge (Whitlox Mini-Forge), a few hammers and one set of tongs. If there are any smiths that I can meet in the Beaverton/Forest Grove area, I would love to make some connections. I am in the mode of consuming as much media and watching blacksmithing as much as I can while I get a space setup to actually forge in. Looking forward to learning from and hopefully meeting some of you! **also, looking for an anvil.....**
  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. I'm a newbe to the hobby, 65 years old with time and a friend who want to try banging steel. I'm a retired graphite machinist with access to the material. Having looked at what's out there I thought of a kind of new approach. My ex employer gave me a couple of crucibles 15" od x 14" Id 9"h made from electronic grade graphite (very strong and heat resistant). We put a 3 " hole in the side and blow air from a dog hair dryer from the junk yard.we put 4 3"x3"blocks in the bottom and rest what I call a hearthplate 13.9" of x1" thick with 16 half inch holes in the center area. Crucible is contained in a chop saw floor stand. Our first fire went beyond expectation. Paper and kindling to start, with coal added in about 5 minutes. With blower going mostly restricted.we had enough heat to get a 3/8 rod to temp and flattened in a minute or 2. Has anyone else tryed this approach? Does anyone have an interest? I'll keep my eye on this site. If interested I'll send pictures to visualize the project. Iforgeiron has been a great help so far, so thanks and keep forging.Hammahead
  14. Hi, I've made a couple of knives via stock removal, and I want to try my hand at forging one. I'm planning on building a wood forge using a gas grill lid. I'm using wood because I have an unlimited, free supply of it, and coal is hard to get cheaply in my area. I know that wood has a number of drawbacks, like it has to burn a while to get the coals burnt down to forge with, but I'm still going for it. My question is this, do I need to line the inside of the grill lid with firebricks? I'm 90% sure the lid is stainless steel, and I'm using black iron pipe with holes drilled in it for the air supply. Most of the coal forges I've seen don't have firebricks or insulation, but there's also usually a huge bed of coals which I'm assuming provides insulation. Will the forge get hot enough without firebricks to forge with? Or will the stainless steel get too hot and deform causing the whole thing to fall apart? I know Whitlox's wood forge uses kaowool and firebrick for insulation, which makes me wonder why wood needs insulation, but coal doesn't. On a side note, I know coal forges need a hole in the bottom to push the burnt ashes through, should I cut a hole in the bottom beneath the air supply pipe for the wood ashes to fall through? I'll probably have more questions coming. Thanks for the help, Luke
  15. Well here is my first post... I'm about to start the journey of iron working and I feel like my head might be to high up in the sky too think about the negative impacts of this new hobby. I would like some advice that will keep me rooted in the real world. But let me tell you where I am now: I helped a friend work some steel a few years ago and I could never shake off the longing to do it again. I've moved twice since then and will likely be off to the other side of the world before to long. I've read tons of books and watched hours of videos. I picked up a railroad track anvil for $20 and plan on making a trashcan forge (gas) this weekend. I plan on making small things first (arrow heads, small knives, etc.) to start and use that experience to learn the trade. I would like to keep my smithy as mobile as possible as moving is still in the cards for at least the next 6 years. Do any of y'all have advice for a novice metal worker? First projects? Ways to develop basic skills? Is this railroad track going to be enough? Should I even bother? Thanks for the help. Big Jim
  16. Hello everyone! Dave here from South East Pennsylvania. I have been using this sight frequently as it is arguably the best consolidated reference point on the web. I appreciate all of the input and shared expertise that this forum has to offer, and all of the people who have taken time away from forge and family to share it. I hope to some day be able to contribute to the community as well. About 3 months ago my friend and I decided we were done talking about blacksmithing and decided to dive in head first. We sourced an old 14" Champion blower and a decent 70lbs anvil of indistinguishable origin, bought some cheap paving stones and made a very basic and amateur forge from it. We designed, built, and fired our forge up and were heating steel to an orange glow in an afternoon. Shortly thereafter however, we realized that we had only made a forge capable of heating small projects (predominantly 1/2" rebar). We made a few changes based on information I read here and managed to get our forge to be more powerful. We are now confident that our proof of concept forge was a success, and are trying to get deeper into the wonderful world of smithing. Now down to the brass tax. We would very much like to find the best design for a simple coal forge for bit or anthracite coal. We are seeking good advice for where exactly to go from here. I can upload some pictures of where we are at now shortly but in the meantime I would really love some guidance to a good forge design that will keep us heating and beating. I look forward to hearing anything you guys have to offer. Thanks in advanced!
  17. Hello all, new to this forum and I was hoping I could get some advice. I am really interested in Smithing and I would like to pick up this hobby, and I have some questions. I am going to start building my forge. I was thinking about welding two 20 pound propane tanks together. I plan on making knives and small swords/machetes and the likes. I plan on lining it with 2 inches of kaowool with firebrick on the bottom and adding a door and all that. It is going to be a propane forge. My first question is will this forge need 2 burners? Or just one? I know there are different kinds of burners. Am I going overkill on size? Should I just use one 20 pound tank? What size anvil should I be looking for? And I am aware that a belt grinder is the best tool for grinding the blades, but I'm trying to save money because I'm buying a pistol soon. Would a bench grinder suffice if I use a softer stone? Sorry for all of the questions I just want to do things right.
  18. Purpose of New Thread: Documenting my failures and successess while attempting to build my first propane forge. Very detailed for anyone who is super new like me. There is no reason to read or follow this thread any further if you are an expert at building forges and blacksmithing. This thread should be beneficial for those who have very minimal skill and knowledge related to blacksmithing, like me, but are now falling in love with the craft. When I say minimal, I mean limited tools, limited knowledge of how to use certain tools, and your wife will not allow you to even unclog the toilet BC she fears what may follow! If that describes you, then you and I can relate with one another. After spending several days reading through multiple threads on this site, I learned a few things. First, there are a TON of EGOs in the blacksmithing community. Do not let the keyboard warriors scare you from the valubale resources this site has to offer. Two, do not expect someone to be nice to you because you just now learned about blacksmithing and want to build katana swords BC you binge watched 3 seasons of Forged in Fire. Three, don't ask questions unless you have researched the problem thoroughly and are still lost. You will get an answer, but it probably won't be what you were expecting. (If someone retorts what I write about that, then go read a few threads because you obviously haven't read any.) Four, spend time putting your bio together so people know where you are from. I've already had some local reach out to me and I'm looking forward to working together with him some day. Again, I'm still learning all the "unwritten rules" as I go along, but I learned most of them by reading through several threads. I would recommend you do the same. Soooooo, let me begin by saying I love watching Forged in Fire. I've read a few posts in here and we may be in the minority by admitting we like the show. Because of some of the comments I've read, I have embraced the idea of being called a "Forged in Fire" TV smith. If we survive not blowing everyone up, we may one day pound some metal into an object! However, my son and I love the show and are eager to learn more. So that's how I ended up here. Along with this site, I watch a ton of YouTube videos for building forges and blacksmithing. Some are better than others, but I learned more by reading the Forge 101 posts here. Which brings me to the forge build... Before I learned about this site I started building a forge out of a propane tank. (See pic) Be super careful cutting these bad boys up. Again, we are not expected to survive long, so don't give us TV Smith's a bad name. Just make sure to bleed the propane out of the bottle, clean it, and "air it out" for a few days before hacking away. I cut away both ends of the tank and was left with 12 inches in total length . I used a handsaw BC I didn't want to risk the sparks and propane having a party together in my garage. I then researched forge liners on google and found kawool was an option. I bought some on amazon and thought this was super easy. I then quickly found out you need to wear a good mask while working with this stuff. No, the little white mask that old people wear will not work. Drop the coin on a nice mask because you will use it A LOT! Do not go cheap on this. Sell a kidney if you must, but save your lungs with a proper mask. Your kids will need one at all times too. The liner was actually really easy to put on. As you can see in the picture, I thought I had it all figured out....... then I stumbled onto this website and quickly realized I'm really unprepared to make a forge, let alone an efficient forge for my needs. So hopefully you learn from my mistakes and read through all of this before you start a build. Now I'm going to finish the build I started because I want to see this through. After reading a few posts, I learned that you need to do some math and learn how to measure in cubic inches. If you are like me, I have no clue what that is, but I dare not ask here, so I went back and asked my friend Google. I like Google because it doesn't judge my stupidly. Long story short, it's how big the inside of my forge is. The reason this is important is because there is a guy who goes by the name Frosty, who posts all kinds of information on this site. He even has a burner that he created and gives very detailed plans of it under the forge tab. (Forge > Frosty "T" Burner) He basically tells you how big the forge needs to be, in order for his burner to efficiently heat the forge. In my case, I need to make the measurements and find out because I don't know. Being stupid, I just rushed into building the burner because I assume it's a one size fits all kinda deal. Now I know the forge needs to be somewhere in the ranges of 300 - 350 cubic inches. If I'm saying that wrong, don't worry, I will be corrected within hours. Point being, check out the post related to the Frosty T Burner
  19. Hi my name is Nathan. I recently moved to Anaconda MT and I am interested in blacksmithing. I recently had the opportunity to work with a farrier for a few days. I currently have some spare time and was wondering if there is a smith in town that may be looking for someone to sweep the shop. Thank you.
  20. Hello, I just wanted to post on here about myself as a greenhorn blacksmith. Im 20 with a desire to forge metal since I was a boy. I've surrounded myself with as much knowledge about the trade as I can. From videos to books and actually getting my hands on a nice 80lb anvil and buffalo blower. I love the art and I hope to make a nice shop someday! Just wanted to say hello on this forum and put myself out there. Mitch
  21. First of all, I will be honest and say that I copied this from my profile after writing it in the "about me" section. I have visited this site quite often and finally decided to become a part of it. May I start by thanking anyone who takes the time to read information about myself. So as to hopefully avoid the inclusion of being associated with many of the people of my generation, please allow me to define some of my backstory. Should you not care about that, you could simply skip to the paragraph following. I have always been ambitious; sated more by knowledge and finding resolute purpose behind it; resorting to logic over emotion; and having been often referred to as a "machine" for the amusement of others. I don't quite mind though. I actually pride myself in my obsession with having to make sense of the unknown and my superfluous knowledge of both the inconsequential and the more relevant. I was projected to graduate high school two years early, but my parents insisted I stay another year for the "high school experience". I appreciate their intentions, but I would have much more appreciated one less year in the social cliques and fallacy that such a place truly prepared you for the "outside world". So I was only able to graduate one year early. Fair enough... At least I had that. Some weren't so fortunate to even graduate after four years. After high school I intended on going to college. The key word is intended. My parents, again following their view of what was best for me, wanted me to attend a local college after seeing my older brother fail out of college due to being consumed with "college life". They wanted to be able to help me keep true to my intentions and not deviate from what a proper, self-respecting student should do. *Sigh* Again, I appreciate their intentions, however misplaced I felt they were. Having decided to postpone my enrollment in college until I was eighteen, not realizing that the state would consider me an emancipated minor at the time, I enrolled in cosmetology school. Odd for someone like myself yes, but that is another story entirely. Interestingly enough, as the school covered aesthetics, there was a remarkable amount of chemistry involved which helped me retain my sanity. During the end of my time in cosmetology school I met the woman that I would end marrying. She had a two year-old at the time whom I am the father of now and always will be. We met, married, had our second child, moved in together and bought a house all in our first year together. Needless to say, it was a stressful start for the both of us. She helped me become more emotional and not quite so daft when it came to social queues and sarcasm. I was a bit like Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory After two and a half years of dating, we decided to get married and found out we were once again expecting. At the same time I decided to join the U.S. Navy. I was anxious to escape Ohio and pursue a structured career that would allow my family and me to travel. To sum up the introduction to myself, I am a U.S. Navy sailor, I am married to the most amazing woman and we have three children together. I am twenty four years old (as of 26DEC91) and my wife is less than a year older than myself. I have worked as a machinist, mechanic, manager and more. My true passion is starting with a problem, contemplating a resolution, drafting a design and then making that creation come to life. I am more than willing to pass on the knowledge I have on any matter to anyone who is willing to learn. However, should someone display that they lack a certain interest, that willingness quickly diminishes. I appreciate those people on forums who are here not because they themselves need questions answered, but enjoy answering the questions of those junior to them and I hope to learn as much as I can from those such people.
  22. Hello, I just started working in a small blacksmith shop in Cisco, TX. I am an Air Force veteran, aircraft mechanic, separated in early 2015. Working at this shop will be my second job since is separated, hoping to make it into a career.
  23. Hey there, I'm new to blacksmithing (started about three days ago) I am in Shreveport Louisiana and was wondering if anyone know where I could get some coal. I can order it online for $20/50#'s but I was wondering if I could find a place I could drive too. I am willing to drive a few hours and am looking to get a couple hundred pounds. I saw some other posts from people in LA but they were in baton rouge and I don't plan on going that far, I've got smithing to do haha. Well thanks for the help, I'll probably be needing lots of it as I go down this path
  24. Hello, I am brand new to smithing and I am excited to start the craft. I have a makeshift forge and i am in the process of building a anvil stand. (Pics of the forge below) I am looking for any tips/tricks that you guys/girls would be wiling to provide. I will post update pictures as I progress.
  25. Hi guys, Blacksmithing has always been an Interest of mine but Its not up until recently that I caved In built myself a forge, bought a cheap basic anvil, some basic tools etc I also managed to find a few pieces of scrap steel, mainly rebar, flat stock and square stock. I plan on booting the forge up and giving It a try on the weekend and I was wondering If anyone had any suggestions of something I could try to make first? I was thinking of making some punches and chisels. Any suggestions are welcome! David H
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