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I Forge Iron

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Easy way to tell if you have cast iron or something else.

Place the weight on 2 pieces of wood(2X scrap laid flat works fine) so that the ends are supported but the center open.
Put your eye protection on.
Take a moderate size hammer and hit the center unsupported area of the weight with enough force to intend to slightly bend it.
If you snap it into 2 or more pieces it`s cast.
If it bends it`s something else.

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Having see numerous wrought iron weights, I have a theory about it. Goes like this: While casting was probably the cheapest way most of the time, there are circumstances where forging could make sense. You got a blacksmith shop and business is slow. Ya got a big mountain of scrap. You can take it to the scrap and get a penny a pound or you can turn it into something you can sell. Sash weights were a "commodity". So ya beat a pile of scrap into something that brings a little more than scrap price and you can buy a bag of groceries!

I'm with Dave, if they're round, cast iron, square, they're wrought iron.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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I saw a guy who used window weights as a hold down on his anvil. He had a piece of chain attached to a weight loop and then to the anvil base. He would put the object to be worked on the anvil then drape the chain and weight over it and the anvil face. Not totally fixed into place but it will stop your work from flying off when its hit or not roll around when you trying to punch holes...

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  • 1 year later...

The best use for them is............. Repairing an old wood sash window, I save them for when I remove a window to install new glass or other repair the cords that hold the weight are often rotted away and the weight falls down inside the wall cavity, they can be a pain to fish out easier to just install another one

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