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I Forge Iron

ideas for a beginner ??

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I finally got my granddads blacksmith equip and tools set up at my shop and built a forge( as the old one was made from a barrel and was shot). I made a hat rack from the blueprint section and a fire poker. I want to make some simple but nice things to try and sell. any other suggestions beside those two? I was thinking maybe a pot rack would be o.k. for a newbie. there are so many ideas in the blueprint section its hard to decide. I will try to post some pics.

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Bronc, you can do anything you think you can do, and a lot of stuff you don't think you can do. Choose something you are interested in making, and go for it. Don't expect the first one to turn out, as that is a prototype. The second one will be better and others will improve with practice. Candle holders are nice projects because they can be both simple or complex, and have so many different configurations. Leaves are great practice pieces and when your finished and have a 5 gallon bucket full of the leaves, you are then ready to start using THOSE leaves in your other projects.

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I understand that the railroad spikes marked 'HC' are c.1030.

There is a blueprint on making nutchrackers. The design teaches many skills, they are a great, practical gift/product and you can make your own modifications to the design, e.g. twisted handles. Toasting forks are good too.

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Some good ideas coming out for you. All are good, and teach basic smithing skills. Hooks, candleholders, etc.

I tried one of the blueprints here a while back, and found I really liked making these.

BP0110 Hearts from Horseshoes

They involve some basic skills, and can be used as parts to other projects. The ladies really like them, just to hang on the wall. My significant other wraps them with leather lace, through the holes, making a hanging loop for decorative purposes. If you live in an area that is populated with horse-people, these are great sellers and gifts for friends into the whole horse scene.

The best part is, for most people, is the availability of stock for making them. Find a farrier near you, befriend them, and you will have more than enough stock to work with!

I also use the old horseshoes to make plant hooks for peoples decks. Ever straighten an old horseshoe? Very good practice at hand/eye skills, just to get one straightened out. Then you have a nice flat piece of barstock, with decorative holes already applied! Also, the basic "keg" shoes are really mild steel, easily shaped and forged.

Your mileage may vary, but I really enjoy working with these.

Most of all, have fun with what you are doing.

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American Railway Engineering Association's Specifications for Soft-Steel Track S
pikes. Original document, 1926, revised last in 1968

Page 5-2-3: Specifications for high carbon steel track spikes 1968. Carbon not greater than 0.30%, nor greater than 0.20% copper.

Page 5-2-5 Section 11. Marking: A letter or brand indicating manufacturer and also the letters "HC" indicating high carbon, shall be pressed on the head of each spike while it is being formed. When copper is specified, the letters "CU" shall be added."

So 1030 is the upper bound not the standard.

For *old* spikes they are generally a mild steel and for *really old* spikes you can find some real wrought iron ones. The switch to machine driven spikes required a tougher spike and so the HC ones came into use.

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