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I Forge Iron

New from McCall, ID


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Hello all,

My name is Tim and I live in McCall, ID. I have been interested in blacksmithing for a couple years now and have been frequenting this site and others for info; as well as reading a couple of good books (The New Edge of the Anvil and The Art of Blacksmithing) as recommended on Anvilfire. The only experience I have working with metal is a handful high school shop classes which was more than a couple of years ago now.

For the last year or so I have been waiting for the $ to magically appear to buy a real anvil and build/buy a proper forge. That hasn't yet happened so I got fed up a couple of weekends ago and decided I had enough lying around to make a forge. I had wood, bricks, an old vacuum, a cheap metal bunk bed frame and a small wire feed welder. Necessity is the mother of invention as they say. The only things I purchased were a piece of black pipe and flat steel.

As you can see I decided to go with a side blast forge without a water reservoir. I understand the pipe will gradually burn up without water to cool it, so that's why I have such a long section of pipe on the left hand side. I have 2" of black pipe inserted into the larger white pipe that I can slide out as it burns up. I also made a simple air gate that can't be seen in the photo.

I am also in the process of making a small anvil out of a thick piece of leaf spring someone has donated me. It's quite small and I plan on going to a scrapyard soon to acquire some forklift tines to make a more capable anvil.

That's my story thus far. If there is anyone else here from Idaho or even eastern Oregon I'd be open to the sharing of some wisdom!

Any info/advice on my side blast forge or building a leaf spring/forklift tine anvil would be greatly appreciated!



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Thanks, I'm glad I decided to make due with whatever I could find that works, rather than wait around for the money and do nothing.

I hardened and tempered my tiny makeshift anvil this evening. Couldn't quite get it to heat evenly and come up to critical temp all at the same time. Although I probably didn't do the best job I did a before and after file test and it is a bit harder than when I started.

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Don't worry much about hardening it unless you plan on missing and hitting it with the hammer often. You'll be beating HOT steel and that will absorb impact energy not the anvil. Sure a hard face is a good thing but you can run into problems trying to get a good heat treat on salvaged steel and that's a pretty light anvil. Safe is better than a little extra efficiency.

Frosty the Lucky.

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