Lonny

Alaska Blacksmithing groups

22 posts in this topic

Hello

I am a newbie to the site and to the craft. After many years i have recently decided to quit day dreaming and procrastinating about blacksmithing and give it an honest try. I have secured a little 70 pound anvil and should hopfully have a forge in place by December. In the meantime i figure it would be wise to reach out and try and meet some other folks who also have interest and possibly experence blacksmithing. I enjoy carving and wood working, so i figure a good place to start would be to make my own chisels and gouges,work my way up to knifes, maybe an Axe one day.  If anybody can point me to local groups or indiviguals who dont mind giving a new guy a few pointers once in a while, i would deffinately appreciate it. I live in Kenai Alaska.

Thanks, and take care

Lonny

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Hey Lonnie, good to hear from you. 

We have a fairly active group in Anchorage/Matsu area. I don't know of one down in the Kenai area. Maybe one of the smiths down there will pipe up and let us know otherwise. Would make me happy if they had one.

Our next meeting is November 12th in Anchorage. You are more than welcome to stop in if you can make it. There is some very helpful people in our group and I am sure you would come away with some good tips. We typically have a fire going so you can have some forge time as well. 

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Hello Teeny

I am very interested in attending on the 12th. What is the address and time of the meeting?

Lonny

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I'll be bringing my new forge. I'm pretty excited about the new burners and am happy to help if you want to make naturally aspirated propane burner fired forge.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you Frosty, I appreciate the offer and will definitely take you up on any help your willing to lend. I was (some what grudgingly) planning on purchasing my own. I was looking at the 3 burner blacksmith forge built by Diamondback  Iron works. It looks like a fine forge however at a cost upwards of  $600  not including shipping  from NC it was definitely a jagged pill to swallow. I recently found your paper on the T-burner, it definitely got be thinking about building my own. I don't own a welder or really have the proper skill to fab up my own forge body quite yet. I suspect I could gather up and prep all the parts  myself, have a weld shop put it together and still come in way under $600.

I realize a 3 burner forge may be  a bit overkill for a rookie building a chisel, Kind of like killing a fly with a sledge hammer!  My thoughts were I would  eventually grow into it. If one burner is good three's got to be better right? Do you suggest I keep it simple and build a single burner to fit my skill level or proceed with my original plan?

Take care Frosty

Lonny

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This is the forge I use the most. Without a power hammer you will only be able to work a small area at a time. You can build a brick type forge and a T burner with minimal tooling and no welding. 

IMG_0116.JPG

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That is a great idea! Is that standard cinder block, or fire brick?

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The light insulating brick, used 6. Easily cut with a hand saw. I coated the interior with ITC 100 and blocked the rear opening just leaving a 1"x1.5" pass thru hole. I came across the turbo torch at a garage sale for cheap but a T burner would work fine.

Lots of good information available at the meetings. 

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Hey Frosty

You have definitely enlightened me with the brick forge. I have been rolling  around the possibilities in my  head all day. Looking forward to attending the upcoming meeting (weather permitting) I think in the meantime I will buy the required parts and start tinkering around in the garage with the T-burner.. Maybe build a couple just to get the hang of I. Looking forward to checking out your new forge

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

Lonny

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Ooh I like an enthusiastic new guy!! Getting carried away with your first forge is pretty much traditional we all have forges we thought would be the ONE sitting somewhere collecting dust most are way too big. My new forge is to replace my too big shop forge.

You don't need a welder to frame or build a shell for a forge you aren't going to be heating something that weighs hundreds of lbs. you know. Nuts and bolts, sheet metal screws SS pop rivets and various combinations all work fine.

The thing to keep in mind when building a forge and burners is the volume or flame chamber volume, that and it's shape are what determine what size and how many burners it will need. Tristan, Teenylittlemetalguy makes a dynamite 2 brick forge over powered by a 1/2" T burner in an upward orientation. His burner fires straight up against one side of the chamber and it's a screaming HOT little forge. I'm sure he'll bring it to the meeting.

Just don't get in a hurry, I make some of my best mistakes when I'm rushing you know. :(

I look forward to meeting you. I finally remembered to buy name tags! Maybe that way I'll start to put names to faces and remember them! Woo Hoo, we're moving uptown now!

Frosty The Lucky.

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You bet I will be bringing the two brick forge. I am a big fan as you can do way more in it than you may think. I have made tomahawks, hammers and knives as well as large swooping items like curtain rods, and it is excellent for forge welding. I have a large forge and it sits idle about 90% of the time (saving me fuel $$$). Especially for a first forge I would recommend a two brick or just a brick pile forge till you know what you really need. If you can delay the build till after the meeting I think you will have a lot of new ideas. 

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Hey Tristan

That is exactly my plan to hold off on the forge build until after the meeting. I realize due to my inexperience I am very susceptible of falling victim to building/buying what I think I need VS knowing what I actually need. I am going to focus on reading up on and researching all I can on metal work, forging, and gas burners. Plus I am going to tinker around with building some T-burners.  I have a woodworking project I need to complete also before I jump on the forge/ blacksmithing band wagon.

Another bonus is that I have my wife all mentally prepared and received approval to drop several hundred dollars on a forge. You gentlemen have now shown me a more realistic cheaper way, in regards to forges. However I need to capitalize on this rare occasion and strike while the iron is hot on this approval. …I am thinking a good ol leg vise would prove useful:D. Even if it turns out I absolutely hate blacksmithing (which I highly doubt will happen) I can always use a good solid vise in the shop. If you know on any lying around someplace for sale, let me know.

Looking forward to meeting you guys

Take care

Lonny

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that is a good position to be in! 

I love my leg vise. they are incredibly handy. you can beat on lots of things so as to make do without an anvil but to hold it and beat on it is another beast entirely. Upsetting stock is much nicer if you have one. 

 

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Had to stop by and say hi.  Finally got on board with this site.  Lots of good info available. See your guys on the 12th.

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Greeting to all,

Im a recent addition to this site and pretty much without experience in blacksmithing. Are there regular meetings with this group or a schedule for such? Im in Anchorage. 

Thanks/Robin

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Welcome aboard Robin, glad to have you. Yes we have regular meetings, bi-monthly. I can't find my book or I'd post the next meeting date it's in January. <sigh> A few of the guys are in Anchorage so there's a good chance of hooking up between meetings. Every hour of tie spent with an experienced smith is worth days of trying to figure it out yourself.

Frosty The Lucky.

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9 hours ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard Robin, glad to have you. Yes we have regular meetings, bi-monthly. I can't find my book or I'd post the next meeting date it's in January. <sigh> A few of the guys are in Anchorage so there's a good chance of hooking up between meetings. Every hour of tie spent with an experienced smith is worth days of trying to figure it out yourself.

Frosty The Lucky.

January 21st at Pats in Palmer. 

 

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Anyone north of Denali?

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Their are people up there they have not really organized, I think Brian is still in North Pole. Frosty likely knows. I will PM you some other names.

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