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Tempered Warrior

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Well you didn't have to be mean about it. I only ask when i cant find the answer "IN THE FORUMS". I try to find an appropriate location but they just don't fit. And with the moderators they thought my "COAL" forge was a "GAS" forge. So back off!!!!!!!!


You posted it to this thread and to reference material so dont blame us.  http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/43417-building-a-gas-forge-am-i-on-the-right-track/

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I have to ask, against my better judgement, have you lit a fire even once? If so what have you made? I started smithing about 3 years ago because I thought it would be nice to make my own knives and to this day I have yet to forge one that turned out right. Sooner or later you're gonna have to get your hands dirty, light a fire, and dig in with the info you've read and researched and put it to practice. Do like I do, read somethin that answers your general question and go get started. If you know what your steel is (or have a good idea what it isn't) do a quick google search for a data sheet.  For example a five second search for '1095 steel properties' found the following link which shows you all the information you might need to know. http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=6561

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I have edited this post to remove the attitude and name calling.

Depending on the type of steel you are using depends on the specific heat needed to move the metal, and temper that metal. If you are using junk yard steel, you have to make these decisions as a guess, then prove you are right by taking it to the forge and using the metal.

Your set up as shown in another thread needs help. You first must understand that a forge is a container to hold the fire. If you are using only a flat surface, then the solid fuel becomes the container when you pile the fuel deep enough. If you are using propane then you need a container to hold the burning fuel (gas). This is usually a pipe or stack of bricks with internal insulation to hold the heat in.

Sold fuel MUST be available in such a quantity that you have a fire ball of coal about the size of a melon. That is a fire ball of orange to yellow coals (embers). FUEL does not make a fire hot. AIR makes the fire hot. So you will need 2-3 inches of fuel covering the fire ball so it insulates and holds the heat into the fire ball. One of the most common mistakes it too little fuel in the fire ball and too little fuel covering the fire ball.

Will two small bellows or a small compressor work? That you will need to put in gear and try it out. Most likely you will need a blower such as a hair drier, or small squirrel cage fan. You can always vent any excess air before it gets to the forge.

It is ALWAYS suggested that you read the sections of the forum such as solid fuel forges for a base knowledge of what has been ask and answered before. Forges are not that difficult to build. If you have dirt and a shovel you can have a forge. It has been done for centuries and still works today. Do a site search for the 55 forge. It is quick to build, cheap, and works. It will run on wood, charcoal, coal, etc.

The purpose of playing with mild steel is that it is cheap, available in many areas including being discarded in alleys on trash day. You want to play in the fire to gain experience of working with metal and learn how the metal moves under the hammer. I can not type enough to explain what you can learn in a couple of times at the forge. It is the knowledge and experience of working metal that you seek. From there you can start using that knowledge and experience to make things from the metal suck as S hooks, metal roses, and larger projects such as gates. At some point you will be proficient enough to use different metals and understand how they move.

While all this is going on, read and research about what you want to do next. If it is knives, then buy Steve Sells book on introduction to knifemaking sold in the IFI store. Or read the entire knife section on IFI. Once you have that information, take it to the forge and make several knives from mild steel. You are NOT making a finished knife, you ARE practicing with an inexpensive metal to learn how to make a knife. You ARE learning the details that make a knife a working tool with fit and finish rather than a piece of flat bar with a bevel on one side.

All this will take some time. How much time depends upon YOU. Do you have the drive and fire in your belly to dig out the information, take it to the forge and learn? There have been several teenagers on the site that produced fantastic knives in about 4-5 years. They had the fire in their belly and spend hours at the forge learning what they had read and proving it right or wrong. They went to those that make knives and paid them for their knowledge. They went to demos, events, etc. They paid their dues and were rewarded for their efforts by being able to produce wonderful pieces of work.

You should start with the forge, then the blower, then making a fire. Find some scrap metal and practice. Read and take that information to the forge and test it out. Come back, tell us what you did, how it turned out, and politely ask for assistance. Once people see that you are trying they will be glad to assist you.


Edited by Glenn
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I see a fireplace bellows and an airbrush compressor. I don't see myself using them but feel free to try. If I were you I'd take the time and go to Home Depot or lowes or wherever and buy a bathroom exhaust fan or a thrift store and buy an old hair drier. Both will give plenty of air and you won't wear yourself out trying to pump that tiny bellows or blow the fire out of the pot with compressed air. That's just my suggestion and im sure others will agree. What is your current means of air? Will it not work?

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As others have said, and I believe I mentioned in one of your earlier posts (unless the forbidden bug got me that time), compressors are not blowers, or appropriate for either solid fuel forges or gas forges.  The blowers we are looking for have relatively high volumes of air moved at relatively low pressures.  Compressors do the opposite and a small one like that isn't likely to be rated for continuous duty in any event.

The type of bellows you are showing is very likely not to be appropriate either.  If you have seen any "real" blacksmith bellows, they are usually considerably larger and "double action" (pumping air on both the upstroke and downstroke). 

Depending on what kind of solid fuel you plan on using I would be surprised if those will work, and they will almost definitely not work for a blown gas forge.

I strongly suggest you take a class in knife forging if you plan on going that route.  There are several craft schools in your area as well as some smiths that teach knife making.  Getting some direct instruction will cut short your path to making a successful knife by a considerable margin.  If nothing else, you should look into going to Ashokan for the fall knifemakers gathering: http://ashokancenter.org/events/sept-18-20-new-england-bladesmiths-guild-seminar/

As far as a source for knife making steel, you are close enough to go to Aldo:  http://newjerseysteelbaron.com/







Edited by latticino
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