philip in china

As the iron heats....

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A sort of philosophical question. So you are forging something big and it goes into the forge. What do you do whilst it is heating up? A genuine question.

You are all sworn to secrecy on this one. As I can 100% rely on my wife not being in the smithy I tend to grab my stash of smokes and have a quick one. Also as my shop is nowhere near finished I go round and tweak stuff

So come on, own up, what do you do?

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Usually, I gather all the tools needed for the job while the forge is first getting going, and then while the iron is heating I try to make sure I have everything needed for the job at hand. Also, I go through the motions in my head as far as the steps involved in doing what I'm triing to accomplish, so that the forging itself goes as planned/needed. - JK

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What Jeremy said, and if the iron is still not ready I'll do some sketching,measuring, cutting on the band saw, grinding,put away tools I don't need for the job, etc...
I do this when I'm working with the gas forge.
With the coal forge, I have a hand cranked blower so it basically comes down to me cranking the blower between heats.

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we usually set biggish jobs in the hearth to soak around midday then whilst we ate our lunch someone was sent out to turn it over two if it was heavy ,after lunch we started to bring it to heat ,as we cleared the decks ,then set about the job ,no standing time .

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Commune with the element of Fire,which is a fancy way of saying I zone out.I have been known to let steel burn while staring at it. :blink:
Who knows where my mind goes sometimes,I know I sure don`t.Time to get a shorter leash as the training collar just ain`t cuttin` it apparently. :D

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What Jeremy said. There has got to be some attention and focus.

I tell my students, a little tong in cheek, that 90% of your work is done while you're taking a heat, because you're trying to figure out what the hell you're going to do when the piece comes out."

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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"position the tools needed for the next heat (lay hammer on anvil, take tongs from rack etc.)"

alec

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When you think 1" is heavy you don't get much time to worry. Just get everything at hand you need and finish off a job you have underway.

As you can see I don't take on the big stuff :)

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Usually when I work larger bars, I organize smaller bars that need to be worked as well. That way I'm not wasting time waiting for the big bar to heat while I do nothing. Usually one large bar and two or three smaller bars at a time. Only works since I use a gasser.

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I crank the blower, too. But that only takes one hand. I usually play with the coal fire with the other, with the poker.

incidentally, I have a technique that's half superstition when welding: I count blower cranks, usually 20, then turn the piece in the fire, 20 more, etc. Helps get an even heat, of course.

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