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I Forge Iron

Hello Everyone


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Figured I should post here first. I'm Damian. I've been lurking around for a while now, but I finally have the means financially, however meager they may be, to get into blacksmithing. So here I am. Tomorrow morning im going to check out a few scrapyards to see if i can't find anything better than the foot long section of I-beam that my uncle gave me for an anvil and throughout the week im going to clear out a section of yard to place it and set up a forge. I suppose that's it for now, I look forward to learning anything i possibly can from all of you.

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Welcome aboard Damian, glad to have you. Do keep looking for a good anvil piece of scrap, I beam is good for a lot of things but is only a desperation anvil for the fellow who doesn't mind going deaf. Keep an eye open for a piece of shafting in the 3"+ range 3' long or better is even better. Axels are good, the flange has all kinds of tasty shapes and the lug holes are good for bottom tools, bending forks, etc.


You want to mount shafting on end for the best available depth of rebound. Depth of rebound is how much solid mass you have directly beneath the blow. The rebound is the shock wave traveling from the impact and returning to the face, pinching the work between the hammer and anvil. The deeper the rebound the more energy is retained and returned to the work. what good is THAT you might ask, well the speed of soud through steel is fast, really REALLY fast so when the shock wave returns to the face the hammer is still compressing the work so the work gets a double hit.


Okay, here's a bit of PR you can do with your Uncle, you want him to keep thinking of you when he sees good stuff. Okay, so the "I" beam isn't much good for an anvil but it can be used for other things. Stood on end with a little creative grinder work you can turn the different edges into handy shapes. For instance, Hot cuts, one double bevel and one butcher. A butcher is a fine tool for isolating a region for things like tenons, etc. a hot cut needs little if any explanation, it won't make a cold cut, you need high carbon steel for that. you can also make different radius ends for fullers.


Different profiles ground into the ends, say half rounds like half a hole drilled in it will make a dandy ball tool, same for a "V" notch . On and on. Sure you may not use them much if at all and if you do, they aren't going to  last a long time but you're Uncle will be happy as all gitout he was able to help and proud to see how innovative you are. It's a win win. <wink>


Frosty The Lucky.

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thanks for the advice frosty, I was able to locate a 2 and 3/4" diameter piece of metal thats 40" long today, surprisingly difficult to find a scrapyard willing to sell anything but i found one good one. Anyway im now working on setting it in a log and then setting that into the ground. Ill hang onto the "I" beam and see if i cant use it like you said in the future when i have more tools and the ability to cut/ shape it. Now i need to work on a forge it would seem, I was thinking something out of brick and clay but what would you suggest as something for a begginer that has little more than a hatchet and a saw as far as tools go? From what i have read so far it seems i could just go for a hole in the ground as long as the fire will have an air source. 


thanks again for the welcome



QHiMv9P.jpg?1 this is what i found by the way.
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My pleasure to say hi to new members Damian. I saw your other post and agree with the general consensus, bury it on end if you don't need it to be portable.


You can certainly use a ground forge but the ground has to be safe to build a fire in. Here the top couple feeet has far too much organics and can burn for a long time, even trhrough the winter before flaring up or going out. Just make sure you're on mineral soil and not close to plants.


If you're going to burn charcoal or coal all you really need is something to hold the fire, it doesn't need to be heavy weight unless you're planning on forging heavy stock. Old BBQs are popular as are brake drums, sometimes truck brake drums. Wash tubs are used by the knife folk and steel wheelbarrows are good if pretty darned large. Stainless steel sinks work nicely, they're already plumbed for a bottom blast and the other side (if a double) can serve for coal storage or a quench tank.


Take a gander around the site at solid fuel forges and see what you like within your resources and tools. the forge itself isn't very complicated or require precision. the most important consideration is fire safety.


Frosty The Lucky.

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