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Hi everybody. I have been interested in blacksmithing for a few years now, and that interest has grown so much in the past year. I am ready to start.

I just placed my order about 5 minutes ago:

Emerson 200 lb. Traditional Anvil   ,   NC Whisper Momma Atmospheric Forge(Open End Model)   ,   Nordic 2 lb Rounding Hammer   ,   and their 'blacksmith starter kit'.

 

I am freaking out, excited to start this. Some of the things I want to make are candle holders, chandelier, a chess set with 2 different metals for the contrast, and I would like to make my own blower for when I get a coal forge. And knives.

 

About me:

US NAVY SUBMARINE VETERAN

4 kids

Originally from TEXAS

I like guns, I like bacon.

That's about it.

 

 

Hopefully blacksmithing will become my full time job.

I look forward to asking you all for help. :D

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Welcome aboard Nick, glad to have you. Big guns and bacon you are soooo going to fit in here. ;)

Nice anvil and a Whisper Momma is a really nice forge, 2lb is a good size hammer. What's in the starter kit? I'm thinking you're learning to drive in a Cadillac!

Have you contacted a local blacksmith organization? You'll learn more in a day with an experienced smith than weeks figuring it out yourself. PUlling up a comfy chair and picking a topic that interests you here on Iforge is a good way to start developing the jargon and get a handle on how things are done. Bring something to drink and snacks in case you get involved, there are I don't know how many thousand posts archived in sections.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Thanks Frosty. The starter kit has a wire brush, a cross peen, a pair of gloves, one pair of tongs, an apron, some beeswax and a instructional video. I'm in the AABA Facebook group, but I haven't paired up with anyone yet. 

Yeah, I'm fortunate enough to begin my journey with some decent gear. I was considering the railroad track, but I just want the real thing. 

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That's a pretty nice starter kit, I might do it a little differently but that'll do nicely. Is the wire brush round or flat bristle? Flat bristled "butcher block brushes" cut scale a LOT better but don't get into the little spots. I'm more a fan of hard wax finishes my favorite being Trewax pure carnuba paste floor wax. It's the stuff they use on bowling alleys and have to sand to strip it. Bowling Alley Wax is another brand. Johnson's paste wax is another good wax for finishing forged pieces. The problem with bees wax is it doesn't harden and stays tacky for a long time. If you apply it at close to or at smoking temp it hardens up but turns black. I have a piece of bees wax and use it on request but prefer Trewax.

An apron isn't a bad idea, especially beginning. More important though is to NEVER wear synthetics in the hot work area. Synthetics melt on contact with anything hotter than about 300f and the scale that's popping off your work ALL THE TIME is in the 500f + range and will melt into synthetics and deep fry YOU. Natural fibers and material in hot work areas, cotton, linen, wool, hemp, jute, silk, leather, all burn rather than melt and they STINK when burning so you know you have something HOT on you.

Remember you're hitting HOT stuff with a hammer it WILL get away from you, cut and pinch offs especially can fly. They WILL fly into the worst of all possible places I guarantee: shoe/boot tops, sort of the Blacksmith's dance class, over your shoulder down your back and behind any apron made. Do NOT think wearing an apron makes wearing synthetics OKAY, you do NOT want to learn that the hard way.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You're going to want a glove on your tong hand running a Whisper Momma, gas forges send a lot of HOT out the opening and everything in front of them gets hot. I recommend you not wear a glove on your hammer hand the extra grip you need will tire your out faster. Use the apron at least till you get used to the heat, that's a high output forge and you WILL feel it a couple yards away from the door.

That's a pretty darned comprehensive starter kit you even got a nice wooden handle on the brush I like it. Good score. Watch the video a few times and let us know what you think please. Oh, don't skip lighting a fire because you're watching the video, the sooner you start the faster you'll build your skills sets.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,  I don't know if the bristles are round or flat. Looks round in the picture. That starter kit picture is off of their website. 

 

I'm looking into getting a 2 x 72 grinder, but I'm not sure what kind to get. I've heard good things about Beaumont/KMG, but the model that I like is going to be around $2400. I do have that to spend, but I'm fairly new at this and I don't know if I'm at the level of expertise that would warrant a $2400 grinder. 

 

I would value any of yall's opinions on this.  Also looking for advice on what type or brand of welder to get. I've never welded so I don't know what to go for. I plan on running 240V out to my workshop.

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Jumping in with both feet.  Good for you.

What are you planning on welding? How thick?

MIG is the easiest to start with IMO, some folks say stick is.  The thickness you plan on welding is the most important concern.  Figure that out, go to a welding supply place and talk to them.  Then purchase the next size up.  Trust me, something thicker will always come up.

I own Miller and Lincoln both.  IMO you can't go wrong with either.

 

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Well, I don't know what I would end up welding,  I guess that depends on how good I get. I can't imagine I would be welding anything thicker than half an inch. 

Do you need the gas bottle for any type of welding or just MIG? Is wire fed the same as stick? 

I have a friend who just started a welding company.  Maybe I should ask him, huh? 

Thanks Natenaaron

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yes you should ask him.  MIG (wire feed) and TIG require a shielding gas.  Stick does not.  See if he will let you run a few beads.  If I were you I would avoid buying a welder until you know what you will be using it for.

Since you are just starting out IMO you should get a torch.  Oxy/Propane or Oxy Acetylene.  I know nothing about Oxy Propane but there are some good threads on it.  You will use this a lot more with your smithing than you will a welding set up.  Get some popcorn a soda and read the beginning welding forum.

Why don't you focus on one of the activites for a while.  Both welding and smithing have a lot of learning involved.  By focusing on both you rob yourself of practice time.

 

Good luck

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