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I Forge Iron

Weekend projects

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Well, a crummy anvil, and rivet forge can turn out some ok projects. This is my first attempt at both a candle holder and a leaf.



Both are finished with green coal smoke and candle wax

Also, and I'm embarrassed to show this, is a holder bracket for a small plant or a wind chime

This one is painted with BBQ paint as it hangs outside.

As for the "less than ideal" gear:
The guy in the picture is the most "less than ideal" part of the set up!

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Wow, if those are what you call a "crummy anvil and rivet forge", I can't imagine what my home made anvil and forge would be called. They look real good to me thats for sure. You did some nice first work. Took me a long time to learn to make a leaf let alone the hanger, which I like the design of. Keep up the good work.

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I'm with Dennis. My forge is homemade, My first anvil was a RR track, My second was a coupler knuckle and I finally have a real anvil which is not in as good a shape as yours.

Count your blessings. Some people started out with a pit fire and a hammer and a rock.

Never be embarassed by your first anything you make. This is a learning process. I like your leaf, and your plant hanger looks like it works very well. I would be proud to have made that candle holder and display it on my dining room table. As a matter of fact, my wife has the first of everything I've made proudly on display in the living room.

Like Bad Creek said, keep what you make and see how you improve.

Remember! Safety, Safety, Safety. Enjoy yourself.


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First Safety
Wear Safety glasses! I will forge in shorts, flip flops and a holey old tee shirt or no shirt before forging without goggles... and have. I put out a post of a piece of slag that shot off the work piece and into my finger like a piece of shrapnel. Small but hot and metallic + sharp. Did I mention HOT! Not too bad in the finger but in the eye?? A month later I am still getting the last pieces out. You don't want that in your eye.

Hey this stuff looks good. But I'm a newbie myself. I recall some of my first work. That would be trying to make something and ending up with a folded over mess. Then I just made stuff square. Then I made some tapers... etc. So keep going ehh?

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You say "finished with Green coal smoke" what the heck is that, how is it done, or is it painfully self explanitory? I love to hear about unique ideas, and that fits the bill..
It is painfully simple. When you are done forging for the day toss a handful or two of green ( new, un-coked, fresh slightly damp, etc.) on the fire. When it is good and smokey, heat the piece over the over the fire and rub it with a candle stub or plain parifin wax. Beeswax works as well. The wax and the smoke/ soot combine to make a black mess that looks really good. Once the piece is completely covered ( you will need tongs for this ) set it aside to cool. When cool examine what you have done. You may have a wax drip here and there that can be picked of with a fingernail. Sometimes rubbing with a rag will smooth out any ugly spots, but 99% of the time this is not necessary. This coating will work for indoor "decorative" pieces. Anything that gets handled a lot ( wine rack, bottle opener, fire poker, door pulls ) will rub the wax off. For these items a thiner coat of wax works better, say rubbed with a cloth while still warm.

You may need to re-wax to keep rust off, but I have some pieces that I made at a class 3 years ago that still look good ( s-hook and other non used items.)

Ok, that took way longer to type than to do.

BornTooLate - I like that idea, perhaps the Mods could make a section for members work, but less formal than the monsters that you see under "member projects." I feel a little weird sticking my work next to those great works! If people want to add on to this, I'm cool with that.

Oh, and don't worry about the saftey glasses, They were hanging off the back of my coat collar and you can't see them in the picture. That fire was actually just the kindling, with a poker in my hand. I hadn't started doing any work yet.
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Well, this weekend was a total fail on the forge front! I made nothing but kinkers and sinkers ( junk tossed into the quench tub in disgust!) Ever have one of those days where nothing goes right? I couldn't even make an J-hook!

Oh well, there is always next weekend!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Better luck this weekend.

Tried my hand at a twisted cross with melted glass.
I really need to find a better way to make the cuts. The sawsall took forever!

Also mocked up a Drink Stake:



Also got the non-portable forge running. Electic blowers are nice, but they sure burn up the coal! Time to get a speed control on it. I forged with the blower gate closed all the way, and it was still blowing to hard!

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I have a speed controller that I got at harbor freight, I do not use it much. I installed an air gate that I use to slow down the fire. The speed controller is nice when I forge with coke I can turn it on low to keep the fire going when I am getting material or whatever. I have heard that using the speed controller is not good for the motor, but mine seems fine after 10 years its still going. Here is a link to the speed control

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nice job on the cross. How much hassle was the glass? I tried it some years back without much success so I'm more than interested in your technique.

I use my horizontal vertical bandsaw for cutting crosses but the sawzall works fine if necessary.

Frosty the Lucky.

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The glass is easier than the sawsall! I found some "smooshed" marbles, I think that they are for floral arragements, and drop one of them on the open part of the cross. I then hold that over the heat, but not touching the coals, until the glass looks clearer. Hard to explain, but as it gets the the cobalt blue becomes more of a peacock color. At that point I set in on a hunk of clean sheet metal until it cools. I'm looking and coming up with a way to hold them up with touching anything because where the glass touches it becomes smooshed and gets ugly.

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Drewed: Its real good to see another smiths work. The glass in the cross is really difficult for some folk. Mine included, but I think you let the cat out of the bag with the way you heated it! Every time I tried it the metal would cool faster than the glass; and Crack! But you have drilled holes at the ends of the splits, which also stops cold shunts. They might stop the metal from shrinking back. So with the way you headed and shrunk it it Works. Ureka! Or at least my guess. Well done. The plant hanger might be a little easyier to make if you make a round divet with a ball peen then drill your holes for mounting. Theres also a good oppertunity for making a C scroll to hold up the main spar. The bottle opener was exicuted perfectly, the half moon tab is great. Try experimenting with some of Hofi's twists for more handle ideas. Basket twists really spice up a plain piece of work, I did one where I carefully bent one of the spars open enough to slide in a marble then closed it up with a little isolated heat. Its funny how people can't figure how you did that? You are entering a very exciting time dicovering new techniques and surprising yourself as just how far you have come. Hope the fun never ends......Duck

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