MrVader

New from Mississippi

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Hey, new to the forum. Starting my first forge this weekend using a brake rotor. Any advice on using this forum, techniques to building a forge, any advice in general is greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a great day

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Welcome to IFI!

Couple of pointers:

1. Before asking any question, do your research! There is a HUGE amount of information on IFI, and almost any question you can think of has probably been asked before. Learning how to navigate the forum to find the answers you need is an important skill in its own right. (Pro tip: the pinned posts at the top of each subsection are always informative and helpful.)

(1a. A word of warning: some of the most knowledgeable members of IFI are also some of the crankiest curmudgeons you'll ever hope to meet, and they are sick to death of having to answer the same uninformed basic questions time and time again. Everyone here is a volunteer, and you have the chance to get solid, practical advice from smiths with all manner of experience and skill. Respect their time and expertise.)

2. When you do ask a question, be specific! Pretty much the only real answer to your question in the OP is, "Read everything in IFI!" Informed and specific questions will get you good answers.

3. Read the threads on getting started in blacksmithing, on how to acquire an anvil or improvise one out of scrap, on different kinds of forges, and so on. Think about the kind of work you want to do, and research that. (Warning: many of the older posts lost their illustrations in a software debacle a little while back. The text is still good.) Read about what other people are doing. Think about what tools you have, what tools you need, and what tools you can make. Don't get too fancy too fast. Don't give up. 

Now, go read the thread at http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/23500-what-do-you-need-to-get-started-in-blacksmithing/!

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10/4 I appreciate it. I've done a fair amount of research before gathering materials and actually stumbled across this site looking up a few things. My main immediate question is can I use a shower drain for an air grate in the bottom of my fire pan (metal not plastic of course). I'll browse through the articles on here and see if I can locate an answer. I know that you CAN but not sure if you SHOULD. At the moment I'm severely limited to just a few basic hand tools for construction so major cutting and welding are out of the question at the moment. Thanks again

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Look up the side blast forges. Just a 3/4 or 1 inch pipe horizontal about 1/3 of the way into the fire pot. No welding needed. Put a piece of plate over any of the holes, or bed the drum or rotor down in mud to block the holes.   A drum is deeper and will make a better fire pot in this configuration. 

You did not say what fuel you are using. The type of fuel suggests the depth of the fire and the excess fuel on top of the fire ball.

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All I have at the moment is a brake rotor, I will be going in the morning to acquire pipe for air. Starting out i will be using lump charcoal until I can find a reliable coal supplier. I live in South Mississippi and so coal is scarce around here. Worst case scenario, I'm surrounded my forests on both my land and a friends land, so making charcoal will be very easy

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Take a camera, note pad, several pencils, and enjoy yourself. Usually you can find things to purchase on the tailgate of a truck. LOL

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You can get coal at Gulf Coast Blacksmith meetings. Gulfcoastblacksmith.com for info.  PM me and I can spare a hundred pounds or more till you get hooked up. 

Chuck

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