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I Forge Iron

Newbie from PA


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Hi my name is Marcy from the Philadelphia area. I'm relatively new to forging but from what I have done so far it's awesome. I was wondering if there are any other women on here, particularly near me. So far I've been working on points and weird scrolls and curves. The picture is from my third time forging. I would love some tips on how to best copy a design so I can duplicate it again.


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A few questions:  Do you have your own dedicated forge setup?  Have you had any formal instruction from an experienced smith?   Hammer as much as you can, and realize that your scrap pile of "failures" will often exceed you pile of "successes".  


Making one of anything is sometimes easy, sometimes hard.  Making two or more matching is tough till you get experience, and even then it might not be easy.  Jigs and patterns go a long way for making multiples.

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Welcome aboard Marcy glad to have you. I  know and know of a number of ladysmiths, just not in your neighborhood. Word'll go out here on IFI and you'll get acquainted soon, no worries. Get hooked up with an experienced smith, every hour working with an experienced smith is worth days teaching yourself.


Practice the basics, everything is composed of the basics, worry about duplications later. I'm not saying don't TRY to make multiples, just don't expect close results for a while. It takes muscle memory and experience to become consistent enough to reliably duplicate your work.


Patterns, jigs and careful notes all help. We've all drawn the outline on the bench, floor or whatever's handy to line up a piece to make sure it's right. It's an old trick, sharp stick and dirt old but a goody. Scrolls can be copied by following the original with soft wire and matching the duplicates.


Here's a challenge you might not have run into yet. Someone, "Uncle Bob" hands you something forged and asks you to make two more. YIKES you think, how in the devil do I even know how much stock to start with?


Sure, there are formula you can use to calculate how much x" sq you need to make x" of taper, round, sq. or flat. Same for scrolls, etc. etc. Put it on a scale and weigh it. Steel weighs aprox. 0.28lb/cu/in. a little basic arithmetic and Bob's your Uncle!


Yeah, I know it's poor jokermanship to be my own straight man for such a little joke. But what the hey I couldn't think of something funny. <wink>


Frosty The Lucky.

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For small flattish pieces; photocopy them and keep a notebook of "masters". When you want to do another copy the master and use the second generation as the "try piece". Also on the master sheet keep a record of starting sizes and perhaps order of work.

I do some blades and we tend to trace a blade shape we like on thin sheetmetal with a sharpened awl and then cut it out punch a hole in the end and hang on a nail on a wall.

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Hey Guys, sorry I haven't responded back to anyone I have been having issues with my log in! My boyfriend has a forge and 2 anvils that I get to use. He is still relatively new to smithing, though not as new as I am, so I haven't had an experienced smith show me the ropes. I would like to be able to meet up with some other smiths at sometime but I work most weekends so I understand that makes it difficult. I wish I could go to the PABA meeting 2/7 but I will just be getting back from vacation in MI and won't be able to get off of work that day.

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