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I Forge Iron

First project!

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Hey all, I'm about as "new guy" as new guys get, but I finally got most of the tools and materials together to start a project. First thing I tried was a pair of tongs(since I dont have any), but with much cursing and lots of propane wasted, I gave up and did an easier first project. I made a nail! It's a big ass nail, but a nail.
Skills I learned: drawing, rounding, upsetting the head, making a point.
Now I need another (very) simple project to start expanding my skill base, hopefully one that educates me on how to build more needed tools (hot cut hardy, will mild steel work?), tongs ( without a bending fork, I don't have that either) , etc. any guidance would be very helpful.

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well done for doing the nail legg - i think its got to be a good place to start - i started trying to make all many of ridiculous over ambitious things, and it has taken me some years to realise that its best to start by PROPERLY learning the basics! i dont think i knew what the basics were - had i had this forum to babysit me, i would have learned faster :) how about a hold fast for your anvil if you have one? i keep meaning to make one of those things... bet it would be really useful... :)

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Follow http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/yhst-17797617870419/twistjawtongs.pdf and get any size flat, not just the one mentioned and 2 pairs of vise grips, when you come to the twist, use the two pairs of vise grips right next to each other to make the twist, as long as you pay attention to the alignments, it doesn't really matter how bad they look. :)

You can also use round stock with little modification.

Since you've made a nail, maybe you can make ... a nail header - it's fairly easy to do with a railroad spike or a large grade 8 bolt. (The bolt will probably be plated, but this is easily removed in vinegar overnight.)

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