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I Forge Iron

What did you make this weekend?

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Title says it, what did you make this weekend?

I made a slot punch, a bob punch, an eye punch, narrow fuller, and a drift. I was inspired by Jason@MacTalis Ironworks and one-heat horse heads. However I did not make any horse heads today because it got dark and I cleaned up.

I also cut up another brake drum to make my brake drum much deeper. I will be making this modification permanent because it works so well. I just stacked the drums together, but I will strap them to the bottom of the table and clay them together so I don't get unremovable clinker (I did today, rather fun, really, taking apart a hot forge to clean the clinker out)

I should have taken a picture of the fire rake Jason and I made a couple weeks ago, but I forgot.

Apologies for the lousy camera phone pictures.









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Saturday I volunteered as a blacksmith demonstrator at Curran Homestead (a living history museum). I mostly talked with a lot of curious folks and did manage to make a few drive hooks. It was a good time and they fed me (although I'd rather eat at Wesley Chambers house; meatballs and chile relleno, yum).
Sunday I worked in my own shop and worked on my repousse skills; designed and produced a couple bookmarks with a nice maple leaf at the top.

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My son and I with my limited hammer time made a letter opener. He said it's his first cool thing so he's keeping it. I think it's ok but know it will get better with more tries. I wire wheeled it and used a grinder to round the blade side a little. Started with about 5 inches of 1/2 inch mild steel rod.

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Saturday I demonstrated at the local farmers market and made a copper ring, a copper calla lilly, several bottle openers, a key finder key ring with a leaf on it that hangs over a pocket or purse so you do not have to search for keys, and a key finder with a flower on it. Sunday afternoon I went to the Craftsmens Guild and made some small copper calla lillies, a feather key finder, another copper ring with a leaf on it, and a steak turner with a bottle opener on the end of it. Had a fun relaxed weekend overall and looking forward to going to Shreveport with Brian and Karen next weekend.

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Got to try out the new coal forge and blower. Haven't worked with coal in a while, nice not having to shovel so much charcoal all afternoon. Tried a couple of dragon flys for a windchime I'm working on, don't quite have the sequence of steps down. Heat treated a couple of tools I modified. A small chisel reshaped to a curve for cutting dragon ears/horns and a punch reshaped to round.

Made a bottle opener out of 1/4 by 3/4 stock.

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Well Saturday I took the trash to the transfer station and picked up some steel for free there and then wandered over to the scrap yard next door and bought some steel I could use.

When I got home I had a student from the local college waiting for me---he wanted to make a set of wedding rings. I convinced him that copper was not appropriate even if he was broke and I would spot him the silver to do them in sterling.

So I cleaned out a tub of stuff I had bought from a silversmith at the fleamarket---kept the sheet, High and Low silver solder, bezel material, etc and dumped all the cut out's mis-heated pieces (I think he must have been learning as there were a number of pieces that had slumped instead of soldered, dumped it all into a stainless steel creamer and squashed it down with my screwpress.

Added a sifting of borax/boric acid flux to it and melted it in my coal forge. mean while he had cleaned up a small piece of pipe and imprinted it into a chile can of petrobond sand. I made him pour the blank, then saw out two undersized rings. Made him clean them up and then took a long thin tapered round stake that I had polished and put a strip of electrical tape around it to mark where a known good ring of his fiancee fit and had him forge the blank out to fit annealing as necessary.

I could have worked with him to pour a ring nearly to size but I wanted him to have the work in it and the pride in it to be able to supply his own wedding rings. I was married in a sterling silver ring and still wear one as I'm rough on rings---never lost one (I'm on my fourth), but I wear through them.

Sunday after church I disassembled a couple of bed frames to make uprights for some shelves I had and wanted to put up in the shop extension, also did some clean up and planning for my wattle in.

Looks like I had over an oz of scrap sterling in that tub, besides the 4 sq inches of Hige and another 4 sq inches of Low solder and the 18 and 22 gauge silver sheet and ... Not a bad deal for $15 at the fleamarket!

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Well, spoke too soon in my earlier post. Sunday morning I got up before the kiddos and me wife, and fired up the coal forge. I was able to make a second leaf key fob, so the twins wouldn't fight over the one already done (why three year old crumb-monkies would want a leaf key fob is beyond me). I was then able to move on to drawing out the reigns on my first set of tongs, and also made a couple of hooks for hanging my fire rake, and poker off of the forge hearth. Later that afternoon, I worked on another hook for the forge hearth, and a drive hook, for the wall, to hang my coal shovel on. It was a good day! ;)

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I took the family to....Las Vegas and took in a Jimmy Buffett concert! Much celebrating and people watching, but the forge was cold all weekend.

Gotta raise the kids the right way. Singing Margaritaville and a Pirate Looks at Forty word for word. It was a proud day for me!

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