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I Forge Iron

Instant finish?


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I guess this is a nice problem to have. It seems that when people are watching at demos they often want to buy the piece you're working on. They like to have something still warm off the forge.

I do a lot of bottle openers from rail spikes because they are reasonably quick and visitors like watching the twist and the drifting of the opener end. The one in the photo is pretty much off the forge with a bit of wire brushing. What could I finish this with so that it can be sold straight away? I've tried beeswax and it's gluggy. Spray finishes are fine but they take time to dry.

Do you sell stuff straight off the forge and if so, how do you solve the finish problem??


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Not at official "demos" but in my backyard I've done a few "here, you can have it's" pieces that I just brushed with wax (Johnson's paste wax can ever at the ready) - it imparts a nice finish, give it a quick "polish" on a soft rag if I have one, on my jeans if I don't, and away it goes.  Just takes a few seconds, I'm usually talking to the person while I'm doing it and they're more than happy to watch even the final finish of "their" piece.  'Specially when it's free!  

But then again, Aus, I like the finish as shown in your pic - looks great to me!

Edited by SpankySmith
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WD40 will preserve for a period of time on non-food items - canola oil works on anything used in the kitchen.  Regardless of what you employ, the customer must be educated on care of the item.  When I used to do craft shows, I would always give away a single page handout that described various methods of how to preserve ironware - this practice also helped with repeat business.

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I saw a Smith a while back that had a sticker on the back of his business card that had basic care instructions - nifty, allowed you to attach business cards to items, use the back to note the price AND communicate the care, all in one stroke.  For that matter, business cards can be pre-printed on both sides, so you could order 'em with the care instructions on the back.  

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I have my can of "Trewax," brand carnuba paste wax with a couple cotton rags in it to wipe finished pieces. It likes going on "fresh coffee" warm iron and wicks into all the nooks and crannies and hardens when cooler. "Bowling Ally" wax is another high end carnuba paste wax and tough as a bowling ally.

Johnson's paste wax is an excellent finish as well and finishes hard and non-sticky when cool. I've used it and like it well enough.

I've also used Pledge spray furniture polish on warm steel and it works nicely too though not nearly as tough as carnuba. It is easy to explain care and maintenance to the recipient though. "Every once in a while give it a spray and wipe off the excess."

If you want to finish it at smoking temp a spray of Olive oil Pam cooking spray will work but it has to be smoking hot or it'll be sticky till the oil polymerizes.

I really like the idea of putting "care & maintenance, instructions on the back of your business card." That idea is a keeper for sure!

Frosty The Lucky.

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