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I Forge Iron

Basics. Let' get to em.

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Hail, my name is Elijah. I've always wanted to pursue a hobby/life in Blacksmithing, however until very recently. It's been out of the question entirely. I recently stumbled upon this site and was astounded at the wealth of information and generosity of the people.

Now, I've read some of the older posts, and followed some links. Read just a little bit. I have some questions though. That being said, I'm free to mention this. I know about as much of how to build the forge, how the forge works, how to keep the fire clean, how to get good coke, how to essentially. Blacksmith, As an ant knows about bio-chem. So far as I know you have a forge, in this forge you burn Coal (Or you can use gas) You sift the impurities out of the coal, and make "coke" The coke is what is burned in the actual process of the smithing. From there, all I really know is. Put the metal you want to work in the fire till it gets hot. Stick it on the anvil, work it with the hammer, cool it. Rinse and repeat until you've shaped it.

What I'm getting at here, is that I would like to know more about the actual chemical processes happening. Why when you super heat the coal do the impurities sort out. Etc. I would also like the learn the forge, how to build it, how it works. How it might break or be weak.

I'm from Utah, the only Blacksmithing community I have found around here is part of the ABANA. THe Bonneville Forge Council.

Now I know that there have been large amount of people asking these questions, and large amounts of people answering them. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing the research as best I can on my own. Someone howver, that could not only point me in the right direction, but maybe give me a wall of text. (Somewhat what this post is.) Containing what they think is neccesary information.

I am planning on leaving to a six day Blacksmithing camp with This.

I would like to go in knowing whatever I can. I am looking to build my own forge.

Thank you in advance, and I apologize for the wall and the ignorance.


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Hail, my name is Elijah. .....I'm from Utah, the only Blacksmithing community I have found around here is part of the ABANA. THe Bonneville Forge Council. ...

Welcome to the forum.

1. Change your location on your profile to be a little more specific.
2. Join the Bonneville Forge Council [bFC] and attend meetings and activities.
3. Check out the equipment of BFC members.
4. Let local BFC members show you how to manage a coal fire and the difference between various types of forges.
5. Acquire a few books, such as the "New Edge of the Anvil: A Resource Book for the Blacksmith" by Jack Andrews. Because to answer all your questions would require hundreds of pages of information that is already available in books, and much of the information asked is not important to someone just starting out in blacksmithing.
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The coal that most of us burn has few impurities to begin with. Coke is what the coal becomes as it burns... kinda like wood becomes charcoal (charcoal BTW is an excellent forge fuel too). You burn the fresh coal at the fire edges and the coked coal (which burns hotter and cleaner) at the center. You will understand this much better by the time you finish your camp.

Check our blueprints section for info on basic forge construction. The forge section also often has threads about this.

What I would recommend is that you get some basic safety equipment before your class and maybe a good hammer. I like to wear the knit reversible Kevlar gloves (Blacksmith's Depot has em). I find that they are much more heat resistant than leather or even lined leather or cotton either. I usually just wear a kevlar sleeve on my hammer hand. Safety glasses or goggles are a MUST. Leather shoes or steel toed boots. Cotton clothing. A leather apron is good but not necessary.

Hammer wise it is hard to beat the Hofi system. It would be best to get Mr. Hofi's video on the use of his hammers and study that too. Hammer control is one of your first big challenges. If you become good with your hammer you are halfway there.

That should be enough to keep you busy until your camp, have fun!

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