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I Forge Iron



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I just found this place today and I'm thrilled.

Ever since I was a child I've longed to be a blacksmith. Seriously. As a kid I would stand by the fire place and put the fire poker in the coals waiting for it to start to glow. On a few occasions, I even got out a blow dryer to make the fire hotter. I tried to 'play blacksmith' by getting a hammer and smacking the glowing fire poker. I only succeeded in breaking it. Fortunately, I didn't burn down the house.

Now I'm far from a child but I'm still fascinated by forges and blacksmiths. Ultimately, I'd like to try and forge some blades. I've seen some home made forges and it seems like something I might just take a stab at.

One thing that has held me back from trying this is that I am colorblind. Not severely, but I am red/green colorblind. It seems much of the art of being a blacksmith is in being able to know the state of the steel by it's color. I have the nagging fear that the inability to distinguish some tones may prevent me from being able to actually create my own blades.

Ah well. I don't know if I'll ever actually break down and try it but it's still fun to dream about it.

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you.

Sounds like we annoyed our parents in similar ways. My folks were always chasing me out of the fire place where I was trying to forge something any time there was a fire.

I'd sure like to be able to work with you judging the temps of steel by color. It isn't so much a particular color as the amount of radiant light your eye picks up. I'd be willing to bet you can see the light difference just fine and all you need is someone with you to tell you what a particular light level means. It wouldn't matter one bit that I see bright red and you see bright whatever, all that does matter is you recognize it as the temp you want.

If you'll click "User CP" at the top of the page and edit your profile to show your location it can make a big difference. IFI is represented by members from more than 50 countries and a lot of info is location specific. If local folk know you're there they can tip you to get togethers, tool deals and offer hands on help.


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I'm in Eastern PA, near the NJ border.

I've looked at a site for PA Blacksmiths, but there does not appear to be much happening there. Does anyone know of good places near the Lehigh Valley to get blacksmith supplies?

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Hey, Welcome! If you really want to forge we will help you get started. Since youve been wanting to forge for years it would take a big load of your back just doing it and knowing whats its all about.

This is all you need http://www.iforgeiron.com/Blueprints-100-200/bp0133.html

Plus a piece of railroad track or some big chunk of metal 50-100 pounds and a hammer. For thongs you can use vise grips until you find or make thongs for what you want to hold. Always wear safety glasses and ear plugs and wear clothes that dont burn. This is minimum safety tip. The more complete bp is here,LB0002 Safety | Lessons in Blacksmithing

Lessons in Blacksmithing | articles


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I wouldn't sweat the color-blind thing. Once you start messing with hot steel, I think you will be able to differentiate temps by the intensity / iridescence of the metal rather than the actual shade of red within the color spectrum. You might have to ruin a few pieces to get it figured out, but hey, we all did (still do, on occasion).

And don't forget you magnet. It's gonna tell you a lot about what's going on with your steel.

So go ahead... get something hot and hit it.


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Thanks for the encouragement. I going to start to gather the materials to make a forge. I know of at least one scrap yard and one steel vendor in the area. I'm going to see if either of them can hook me up with something to serve as an anvil.

I picked up Wayne Goddard's $50 Dollar Knife Shop book and that coupled with this site has inspired me to give it a go.

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