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Hey everyone I'm just recently started my adventure into blacksmithing and am looking to upgrade my "old" forge (about 2 weeks old). The old forge was plaster of paris/sand molded around a steel pipe with holes drilled in it and surrounded by bricks. A hairdryer and hose was connected to the pipe for airflow. It was a great little forge for my first experiments into blacksmithing but I was looking to make something a little more portable and longer lasting as the plaster has started to crack. (old forge) My idea is to follow the same general shape of the old one but I am using firebrick instead. I was thinking of carving out the base of the firebrick so that the airflow pipe (tuyere?) sits recessed into the base (and also to carve a hole at the back of the forge for the pipe to stick out). I also have some high temperature refractory mortar (up to 1600c or 2912f), can I use this to line the entire inside of the forge (including the base around the pipe) so that it will last longer? I imagine placing metal and charcoal into the forge on just the firebrick alone will erode it quite quickly as they are very fragile. The entrance of the forge will likely be covered by another fire brick / regular brick on its side so that it creates a lip / barrier so charcoal doesn't fall out. In terms of airflow I am using the same hairdryer. Previously the hairdryer would sit loosely inside a funnel with a hose taped to the smaller opening, the hose is then attached to a very thin aluminium pipe which then went inside the steel pipe in the forge. The reason I did all this was due to the hose originally melting on the forge side and the hairdryer becoming so hot it melted the hose on the other side too. For what ever reason, having it sit loosely in the funnel and adding the aluminium pipe on the other end prevented it from overheating / melting. The new design is a little cleaner, with the hair dryer sitting inside a PVC 90degree bend connected to a PVC pipe. the hose is now sitting in a brass hose fitting that has electrical tape around it so it fits snugly in the PVC pipe. on forge end, I now have a bigger steel pipe (I removed zinc plating from both pipes) and the hose just sits directly in it. I am hoping the the longer pipe, which will extend further out the back of the forge than the old one (shown in photo above the new pipe), will not get hot enough to melt the hose. However the hairdryer now gets extremely hot, even on it's cold setting. I don't want to go back to using the funnel as a lot of air escaped but it might have to do for now. The old pipe just had holes drilled in random areas along and around the pipe (although only half the pipe was above the plaster of paris). Instead of drilling holes all over the pipe, my plan is to use an angle grinder to cut a straight line down the middle of the pipe so the airflow is more consistent along the pipe. Apologies for such a big post, I didn't think I had this much to ask! But I would love any constructive criticism or even advice on what I could do better, what I am over complicating and any better design for my forge. I'm building it in a small form factor just so I can move it around more easily and as I don't have a lot of space in the area where I use it. I would also love any recommendations for a good / cheap option for my airflow! Thanks in advance
Hey everyone, As I'm in lockdown here down under for another month I recently decided to give blacksmithing a crack! Something I've always wanted to do but never had the time to. I've run into a lot of setbacks in my first 2 weeks or so and was hoping to get some advice on what I could do better / how to do things. I tried forging a knife from a billet of 1075 steel I purchased (dimensions 3.2 x 38 x 200mm (0.125 x 1.5 x 8″)). It is quite a thin piece and the idea was that I try draw out a tang and then go on to shape the rest of the blade (was aiming for a Tanto style blade). I'll provide pictures of what it ended up like but I initially began by just hitting a hammer directly downwards onto the metal and I believe that I created 'cold shuts' as the sides folded onto itself. I removed as much as I could with a file and read that to draw out metal, the hammer should hit the metal at an angle, so I started doing that (hitting the edge and then switching to the flat of the metal to prevent cold shuts). While I managed to draw the blade out a bit for the tang, the end is now completely destroyed. The edge of the bar where I worked it is quite thick but tapers to an extremely thin edge and an even thinner mid section (about 0.5mm /0.019685 inches or less). It was so thin I actually lost about 3cm of the bar as it was so thin I just snapped it off as it kept warping and folding whenever I struck the bar. I heated the bar up until orange however it would become a dull red in about 3-4 hits and I would have to put it back in the forge. Is the bar too thin to work with at 3.2mm or 0.125 inches? I currently am using a 3lbs machinist hammer / cross-peen hammer and my anvil is currently a flat mild steel bar attached securely to a roughly 20-25 kilo (44-55lbs) tree stump (proper anvil coming soon). I tried using both the flat face of the hammer and the cross-peen but it felt quite awkward to use the cross-peen, probably due to me doing it wrong. I'm guessing this bar is now a right off and I've got one more bar left and don't even want to touch it without having a bit more knowledge and practice. I would love any tips, advice or even how ya'll would work with the bar. Thanks in advance!
Hello, I live in lake Charles Louisiana which is on the south western side of the state. I am interested in blacksmithing and just need advice on pretty much everything. I need an anvil, forge ect. Does anyone recommend any particular brand for a beginner such as myself. I plan on using a coal forge with a hand crank blower. Anyway, I'll check back later any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advace Semper Fi Eric