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I Forge Iron

New to it all

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I joined this forum awhile ago, made of few new posts and then I couldn't get the materials to build and get started. Now that has changed and I am back on looking for advice, answers, and to be taught. I have a brick forge with a steel pipe laid in the ground for air flow and I have a ten buck foor bellow made for air mattresses that works. My anvil was found, it's a piece of rail road track that seems to be a previous anvil that someone made. I have a 4 lb. (I think) blacksmiths hammer. Thats about it, oh and some heavy duty welding gloves lol. I have 3 different metals sitting there waiting to be heated and folded by the forge, one being a rail road tie, or w/e you may call it. A round bar if steel, and a tire rod. I want to get into sword smithing but also want a all around knowledge of blacksmithing. I am using solid fuel which is basically chunks of Oak and Cedar, along with pieces of bark. I know you can use that wood to make coke but I don't have the slightest clue on how to do that. I fired my forge up a few times and played with a few small pieces of scrap metel, just heating it up and folding it about, flatting it and such but other then that I really don't know what I am doing besides beating on hot metal - which is totally a blast and addictive. Help me feed the need!?

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...I really don't know what I am doing besides beating on hot metal - which is totally a blast and addictive. Help me feed the need!?...

Hooking up with some local smiths and taking a course would help.
North Texas Blacksmith Association for example: http://home.flash.net/~dwwilson/ntba/
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You can use wood to make charcoal but not coke. Have you gone to your local public library and ILL'd a good starter book like "The Complete Modern Blacksmith"? Find the local smithing group spenting some time with someone who knows what they are doing will really speed things up!

(Charcoal is a good fuel; we were forge welding a knife billet with it Saturday---note "real"charcoal and not briquettes!)

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