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I Forge Iron

Newb blacksmith wanting to get my foot in the door. Please assit.


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ok. questoins that you all are probably sick of seeing... sorry. i did as much reserch in the forms as i could but a few questsoins i just couldnt find answers to. yet at least.

Forge: i built my first time forge. its a break rotor forge with a hair dryer as the blower. fuel is charcoal (yet to find a vendor that sells coal in cincinnati area)

Anvil: well probably not the easyest things to get for cheap. i went to the scrap yard and missed getting a avnil for 25 cents a pund just by a few hours. someone beat me to it... so i had to get a substitute. i found a peace of track sistem for a overhead crane system. it fit the bill

metal: im trying to work 1/2 inch rebar.

project: im attpempting to make a hatchet out of it. by folding it to a lolypop type design and flatening one side to make the blade

problem: did just fine curleing it up to 360 degree after that it realy dosnt want to curle anymore this was thu 2 sessions im not familure with how steel works at all. does it become harder to work with over heat cycles? and when i try to flatten it to make a edge it just refuses. i hit the thing as hard as i can to bearly do anything. and i find myself haveing to recurl it becuse it for whatever reason keeps trying to uncirl. i was hopeing by doing this and hammering it togeather would weld or combine the layers to make it a solid chunk. if this is a bad idea what metal should i start forgeing with to get more experace? the fire isnt realy supper. i was lucky to get it to a orage color.

i also recorded a short video showing the peace if you want to see the sloppyest ... "thing" ever made looks like ^^;

Youtube link = YouTube - first forgeing project still in the works

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You lucky dog! You live close to one of the greatest blacksmithing groups in the USA---SOFA which holds their meetings in Troy OH---we used to carpool from Columbus to go to them. They sell coal to members (and membership is dirt cheap!) And most of all they put on the greatest annual blacksmithing conference in the world IMNSHO! It's just a month away and has really great tailgating and a beginner's session at it. PLEASE think of attending it. I'm going from here in New Mexico unless my wife's surgery prevents me!

As to your problem: Forge welding is one of the more advanced techniques and is a lot more involved than just folding it over and hammering on it. I would really suggest you learn the basics before worrying about welding. If you want to learn forge welding one Saturday afternoon being coached by someone who does it a lot will save you about 6+ months of trying it on your own---but you should still know the basics of forging before hand.

Rebar is often not a good alloy for hatchets for something that small you might want to try a HC marked railroad spike and quench it in "super-quench" (Not really a good alloy either but everyone seems to go through that phase---the weird "ampersand" RR clips are actually much better steel.

Now working on a section of track is not usually a good way to go. A big solid lump of steel makes a better anvil. If you can find it a large piece of sq stock mounted *vertically* in a bucket of concrete makes a dandy knifemaker's anvil. The hammer "sees" only the mass directly below it so even a hefty chunk of rail laid sideways has very little metal under the hammer face.

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oooh that actually sounds realty nice. as you can see by my equipment. i have a low budget. if its this troy

just north of Dayton. distance isnt a problem. that is about a quarter tank of gas if that.

how much is membership?

looking forward to this if i can afford it!

PS. nvm found there site. only 10$ a year. i thank i can do that. the price of coal alone may be worth every penny.
also the quad state event mentioned costs an additional $60 for the weekend $30 a day on top of the $10 membership fee. unfortunately that is outside my budget. id probably wind up going to the renaissance fair and watch that blacksmith in action
i am cool with the membership fee. but i do not thank ill make the quad state event


Edited by Danz409
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First off, welcome aboard Dan, glad to have you.

You don't have to attend Quad State to learn some smithing first hand. Attend a meeting, talk to the folk, listen, ask questions, take notes, pictures and say YES if the demonstrator asks if anyone wants to give IT a try.

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 around they can invite you to gatherings, tip you to tool deals and offer hands on help.


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You will waste much more in time and money over the next year than the cost of going to Quad-State and learning a lot *fast*!

You have a month---I could probably mow lawns and make enough to cover costs in that time.

Note that these are some of the top smiths in the world coming to show folks how to do stuff and there is a specific beginner's area. While the smith at the Renaissance fair could be some untrained hack---shoot I demo'd at a renaissance fair when I had been smithing less than a year and often brought my students to the OSU one twenty years later.

Your call; but I bet the cost of getting into the fair would be a good chunk of the $30 to spend a day at Quad-State, especially when you can bring your own food. You'd be welcome to park a cooler in my camp. BTW if only 1 day go for Saturday!

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yea. thats what i was useing. further reserch shows that rebar can be realy iffy. i thank the peace i had was possably a high carbon peace. and found that rebar dosnt like to mold naturaly so i guss ill use it for basic things like hooks an such

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ive found that if you can get your hands on old horseshoeing rasps (i find them at junk/yard sales for like 50 cents to a dollar) they make excellent tomahawk style hatchets. and if your going to buy cooking charcoal, buy the hardwood lump charcoal. i find that works best on the fly when i cant get any good coal or coke in my area. and i know a few guys that run medieval forge demos and thats all they use.

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