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I Forge Iron

Got a Little Forging in...

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I've been having to work out of town a good bit lately and when I've been home on the weekends, all the built up honey-do's have kept my coal forge being a cold forge. I've been carrying a 14" chunk of rail (it weighs right at 43#) in my work van for several months now. So I got fed up and took an angle grinder to one end of it.


I got rid of the mushroomed edges, flattened out a rough cut that was made and added a couple of features.


I started with a miniature horn on one side of the base and rounded the other side into a bottom fuller.


Then I added a hot cut into the end of the web.


I took an old cheap pair of small lineman's pliers someone had buggered the cutting part of, and ground them into a small pair of tongs with v-grooves to hold round or square stock as well as flat (Probably no more than 1/4" stuff).


I cleaned up and freed up a small pair of rusted up snap-ring pliers and repurposed them as scrolling tongs.


The tools aren't real big, that's a quarter between them. But they work for what I want them for.


I bent a short piece of 1/4" round into a stand for my propane torch...


I used a little scrap sheet metal, an old tin can from the side of the road and some kaowool (or something similar) scraps I talked the guys rewrapping the boilers and pipes and such at a NG Power plant out of to make a soup-can-forge.


I fired it up yesterday afternoon in the back corner of the hotel parking lot.


It got the 1/8" round stock up to bright orange easily.


I made this little leaf keychain charm, brushed it with a brass wire brush while it was hot and will spray it with clear-coat soon. It was fun to get some smithing in.












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jacobd: Thanks. I'm still really trying to learn the basics. So I really can't say the results would be more impressive with my brake-drum coal forge and mousehole anvil... larger maybe -grin-


ausfire: Thank you too. Like I typed to jacobd, I'm learning, so I need as much heat and beat time as I can get. So I had to do something. LOL. You know, they say necessity is the mother of invention. (I believe laziness is the father.)


Disclaimer: The use of the term laziness in this posting is meant solely as a jocular comment. It is not the intention of the poster to disrespect or defame any inventors living or dead or both.

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Nice traveling kit LastRonin. It's an excellent example of just how little a skilled smith needs. Big shops and heaps of cool tools and equipment are nice, sometimes necessary but for most projects what you have right there will do the job.


For a bolster / pritchel hole you can simply drill a hole in the flange and flip it flange up to punch holes. Rail will drill or saw easily enough unless you harden it, say by using a cutting torch on it. You can use a high speed drill bits but turn them slow and use oil.


The angles between web, flange and rail made fair swages as well. Not great but fair.


Well done Bro, keep at it.


Frosty The Lucky.

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  • Thanks Frosty. I don't think you can see it in the photos, but it already has two holes probably 1 1/4" diameter through the web. I think I'll take your advice though and drill a smaller one as a pritchel hole. I did grind a couple of swedge shapes into one edge of the base. I used them and the curves on the side of the rail last night when I made my first arrowhead, well, metal one. Have knapped a few.
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Got a little more forging done out in the parking lot of the hotel I'm staying in. Even had a fellow come up and watch for a bit. He complimented me on my setup and said he was surprised to see someone doing that. Anyway... here's the proof, aka pictures:


A version of a Lily (was supposed to be a Calla, but I made the stamen too large), and my first Troll Cross. (It is my first lily too. The little soup can forge got hot enough to weld the leaf to the stem, but I couldn't get a good weld on the stamen into the cone, it's basically just crimped in place. I'll do better next time.



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What stone do you like knapping? Most of my experience has been with obsidian but it's been a few years.


Rather than trying to weld the stamen just file off a little copper or a bitsy clip of wire, a light dusting of borax and forge braze it in. It works a treat and is VERY traditional blacksmith.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Chinobi, chichi and mitch,

Frosty, I've only had chert, flint and scrap glass to work with. Most of my stuff has been glass. And thanks for reminding me of forge brazing. I remember reading about it on here several different times, but just didn't think about it yesterday. I haven't tried it yet at all, and now I'm going to definitely try it.

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Those look pretty darned good, I guess I'll have to see if I can find a couple of  mine, none that nice though. Knapping is one of those skills I perused til I had a handle on the basics, enough so if I were to be stranded somewhere without metal I could teach myself to knap useable knives and points. I probably just read too many post apocalyptic novels as  kid, friends and I used to go dirt biking in the desert and tally our food and water when we got home to see who used the least.


Frosty The Lucky.

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