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I Forge Iron

Hello from Wisconsin! - The land of Beer and Cheese


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Hello Everybody,

Thank you to all for the great community that you have created. I have been lurking for a while around here and finally have a start to post about. I've been intrigued by blacksmithing as long as I can remember, which probably has influenced my career so far. I am a metallurgist and work for a small failure analysis and test lab.

Last October, I was fortunate enough to get into the beginning blacksmith class at Old World Wisconsin. It was a great experience and solidified the fact that I want to play around as a blacksmith. My instructor for the class was Darold Rinedollar. He was a great instructor and we had a blast. Hopefully we picked up some good habits along the way. I have a couple pictures of the forges at old world wisconsin attached. We made an S hook, a wall hook, practiced a hey penny scroll, made a door stop and even got a chance to practice forge welding on some scrap.

Prior to the class I got a small Vulcan anvil (it was free) and a 4" post vise (also free) so I had some basic equipment. I put together propane forge over the past month or so. Its not 100% complete, I have ITC on order to coat the Kaowoal (don't want silicosis of course), and I need some soft fire brick for the front. This past weekend, however, I finally was ready to test my burner so I fired it up and decided to do some simple forging to give it a try. It took a couple minutes and quickly brought up my stock to orange heat. I will need to tweak it to get hotter, but coating it should help with that.

Anyway, I banged out a pair of tongs and bent a quick cutting plate for the anvil (not that the face of the anvil needs to be saved, its gouged to crap, but I want to be in the habit). The tongs are a little rough and I didn't get the hinge geometry quite right, but good practice for next time. I may re-heat the tongs and shape the jaws for round or square stock, but for now I just left them flat. I also broke the edges and polished up the reigns. All in all, it was a very educational and relatively productive test of the forge.

Lots of tools to make and fun to be had...

Thanks again!

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