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I Forge Iron

New-b from WV


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Hello from WV! I'm new to the forum and new to smithing. I have an old coal forge that was my granddads or from someone in the family. I enjoy crafting things out of wood and leather, so I thought this would be a good addition. I'm wanting to learn knife making and whatever else I can learn to do.

As a beginner, is there a suggested place to get the metal to practice with? I'm guessing a local salvage or metal company, but I wanted to ask you all for suggestions.

This site is great. There is a lot of information that I've yet to discover.

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Scrap metal is *everywhere*! Avoid plated or coated metals as burning them off can kill you. As we say "if it's rusting it's good!"

Many small metalworking places will sell metal on the side---either scrap or new (they get a better price the more they buy so if you help them buy more you help their bottom line.) I get mine from a local company that builds and repairs windmills---about 1/3 cheaper than buying it at the local lumber yard and a WHOLE lot cheaper than buying 3' sections at a big box store.

For bladesmithing I like automotive springs---coil and leaf. Coil is particularly good as you can zip down opposite sides with a cutting torch and have a lot of easily worked smaller pieces that you can tune in your working/heat treating on of the same alloy!

Will you be at Quad-State Blacksmiths Round-Up Sept 24-26 in Troy OH? I'll be camping there with a lot of the folks off the net. My tent is a conical canvas one and I'll be wearing the disreputable red hat.

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welcome aboard Tom, glad to have ya. Now, if you'll just put your general location in your header us old farts won't have to try remembering who's in the neighborhood when we're traveling and want a tasty snack. You also might be surprised at who on the list is close enough to visit and maybe learn a trick or two.

Like Thomas says avoid plated steel, especially if it's gold colored! Cad plating can be catastrophically poisonous besides being carcinogenic. Chrome's really BAD for you too.

Bladesmithing is a fine thing to aspire too but it's a tough place to start learning to forge. Building your skill making decorative or utilitarian items that don't require accurate heat treat or involve forging sometimes tricky steels is a LOT less frustrating or expensive.

Just remember, we're all in this together, we're pullin for ya.

Oh yeah, we love pics!

Frosty the Lucky.

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