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I Forge Iron

modeling clay


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Use light hammers and forge it just like you plan on with steel. It'll tell you a lot about how your plans will work out in the rel world and it's a LOT cheaper than burning gas, coal, etc. and steel learning the same things.

I'll use clay to determine what sequence to use if I can't see it up front. If I did it a lot I'd make some light weight wooden hammers that mimic my regular hammers.

Frosty

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I watched a youtube video recently. The bloke was demostrating how he forged a sword from a block. He used clay on the anvil with a hammer and is was a great way to demonstrate the process, because he had to hit in the same way but it was much quicker and easier to understand without the pauses for reheats etc.

I imagine it would also be a good way to pratice or experiment with how to make something. I did notice that the clay was sticking to the anvil and hammer, so maybe a light dusting occasionaly would help, like rolling pasty.

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The modeling clay allows you to use all the same tools you would use with steel to get the same or similar results. You must remember that clay moves a lot easier than steel so much less effort is needed to get the same result.

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I pulled my achilles tendon pretty bad last November, and couldn't be in the shop for a couple weeks. After a few days I was gnashing my teeth wanting to create something, I had a block of soft plasticine from an art supply outfit that I was going to use someday...I stumbled to the shop, got the clay, some punches and chisels, and a small hammer in a bucket and tripped my way back into the house. I entertained myself for a couple days forging the clay into 1/4 x 1-1/2 flatbar on the coffee table, and then making decorative hinges out of the clay flatbar. The thing i noticed is, with clay you can pinch,pull, and twist in one motion. You have to break those down into individual steps to be able to replicate the moves with steel. Once I got healed up enough to light the forge again, my first project was to replicate a goofy bird head I made in clay, to steel. It turned out very close to the clay mock-up. I think it's a great way to block out steps of a project fast, and also allow yourself to push the creative envelope, if you don't like it, just squish it back into a piece of faux-flatbar and try again.

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these art supply clays come in many different colors and are very useful in an unusual way, and what i mean is that i use it to do layering experiments, so that i can determine how a damascus billet will look when it is folded in different ways. this of course makes it disposable in the end, but it takes all the guess work out of the process and is a great way to see the end results.

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I do it all the time. If I'm trying ot work out how to make a shape that I've never made before, or I really don't know if I can do something from the stock I have.

I use the same hammers and tools that I will use with the tools so that I can be more sure that the steel will move as the clay does. If I used my light hammers then the face is a different shape and I could ends up coming apart when I move onto the steel.

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If you get the Sunday paper the coupon/comic section usually has an ad for the big box craft stores here in MD that's Michaels and AC Moore. Typically it's 40% off. You can get a big ole brick of basic modeling clay for less than $5 that way. I found out you really only need a play dough containers worth to figure out most stuff.

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Try oil clay. I used to get mine from farwestmaterials.com as you can get oil clay in very very firm grades. You can also get it in very pliable grades that mold easily in you hands. But get the very firm oil clay and then place it in the freezer, it will become extremely firm, you won't be able to manipulate it by hand it but will have excellent control with hammer and an anvil and it will also NOT stick to your anvil or tools easily.

I don't reccomend water clay, paperclay, or the like as they will stick to most things especailly if they get saturated with water. A firm oil clay cooled down in the fridge of freezer will give you exactly the right firmness and control your looking for.

Because of it's range you can get high detail with oil clay and it will hold indefinitely and not crack or shrink like water based clays

16.jpg

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  • 7 months later...

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