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I Forge Iron

Hello from Hickman, KY

Steven Kirby

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Hi I'm steven. I'm new to the site I have been reading through the old posts for about a week now and have set up a meeting with another member when I make it down to Memphis next week. I have wanted to be a blacksmith for as long as I can remember. When I was a little kid I would heat up whatever scrap metal I could find in a camp fire and beat it with a rock on a rock or any other blunt object I could find. Nothing really ever turned out to be much other then a horse shoe into a hoof pick, but I had fun doing it. Now that I'm older (33) I figure I should continue that dream and try to really learn all there is to know about it and start small and work my way up. I went around today looking for an anvil of some sort. I found an old hay budden in the back of a guy's shop that he wants $300 for. It pretty rough but I've been reading good things on them. But I don't have that kind of cash right now so it's been back there the last 20 years I'll let it stay a little longer. I also found at the local scar yard a section of rail iron that has had a point put on one end to make it look like an anvil for $20 bucks but I didn't have cash and they were closing so I'll go back tomorrow and get that. I got a little carried away on that sorry kind of excited to be getting my first anvil even if it is only a piece of rail iron. So I'm in the military and currently stationed in Hickman, KY. I have not been able to find anyone else around the area that does blacksmithing or a club. If anyone knows of anyone please let me know I'm all the way on the very West Point overlooking the Mississippi River. As for a forge I'm still trying to figure out what I'm making. I have saved two old fire extinguishers that I thought I would make a propane forge with, and I also saved a stainless steel commercial grade hand washing sink on legs that I thought I could line with fire mortar and fire bricks and use charcoal that I could make from all the trees on my property that I'm clearing out. I have locust trees that are huge and all over the property it is some of the most dense wood out there that burns so hot and so long. I still need to find some pliers at least to start with. Well I guess that's enough for now. I'll keep y'all updated as progress. I'm gla to be here and thank you all for all the information you have shared on here. 

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Stupid disappearing post bug again... Please merge with original thread.


When I lived on base back in the early 80's there were all sorts of opportunities available to base personnel and civilian workers. Number one was all the Rec facilities on both our base as well as others in the area. Our base had a fully equipped wood working shop that sadly was seldom used since few knew about it. The nearby Sub base had a ton of different facilities including a completely stocked automotive shop containing metal working and machine tools. Besides the base Rec facilities, there were also all sorts of machine and repair shops on base. Some seldom regularly used as they were there as much for emergency use as for maintenance.   Often those facilities could be used in off hours if you knew who to talk to, usually the NCO or mechanics who ran the shops. Often they'd be happy to help and let you use their gear especially if you showed an interest in something that also interested them. Most of the ships that were assigned to the base all had full machine shops for ship repairs. Many having originally been set up in WWII for service over seas where they had to often make their own parts should something break. Base motor pool was another good possibility that had welders and gear for hot work.

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The base in at is just a little tiny thing with only 18 people on it so we don't have any stuff like that. I'm hoping while we are down in Memphis at the dry dock I might be able to make some friends there in the fabricating area, but I'm not sure how much they actually make now days rather then order off the shelf. 


I did hammer out a little knife Friday night with my daughter that's what she wanted to make. I used a piece of rebar mada a little camper fire in a wheel with a shop vac blowing through a steel pipe under it. It doesn't look like much but it's a start. I tried to punch some holes in the handle to to spread out the handle and give it some finger grips but I don't think the metal was hot enough it started to crack. 


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Welcome to IFI from the desert of Nevada.

Rebar is the chorizo / hotdog of the metal world-you really don't know what is in it. It is OK for some applications, but finicky for others as the composition can vary by the inch at times. It is made to meet just a mechanical spec, nothing else. 

There is plenty of better scrap around for practice pieces, and it is all around you once you get the eye for it.


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