JHCC

Read this first

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Welcome! A lot of smiths here on IFI; you're in good company.

A few pointers for making IFI a rewarding experience:

1. Put your location in your profile settings You might be surprised how many other smiths are in your area or how some questions of resource availability are affected by your geographic location. Go to Settings to change this.

2. Respect the old-timers. The self-proclaimed curmudgeons of IFI are some of the most generous folks you will ever meet, ready to help anyone and everyone who asks, BUT have little to no patience with people who won't take advice or who expect to have everything handed to them on a silver platter. This leads me to my next point:

3. DO YOUR RESEARCH. I cannot emphasize this one enough. IFI has a huge amount of information scattered through its hundreds of discussions, and just about every question you can think of has already been addressed. If you have a question, go looking for the answer -- you'll pick up a lot of other good information on the way, and if you can't find the information you need, you will at very least be able to ask a better-informed question.

3a. Pro tip #1: When doing your research, don't bother with the Search box up at the top of the page; it's pretty worthless. Go to google and include "iforgeiron" as one of your search terms. 

3b. Pro tip #2: Take some time to familiarize yourself with the sections and subsections of the forum. Even if you don't read everything right away, it's good to know what's out there and where to find it.

3c. Pro tip #3: A change in the forum software a few years back led to the loss of most of the photos in many of the older threads. Read the threads anyway, and try to puzzle out from the comments what people are talking about. It's frustrating, but there's still a lot of good material; it's also a good mental exercise. Blacksmithing can make you smart.

4. Ask detailed questions. There are very few absolute rules in blacksmithing, and almost every question can be answered in different ways, depending on context and circumstances. It is much better to give too much detail when asking your question than too little. If you give too little, don't be surprised or offended when people ask for more.

5. Post in proper area. For example, posting a heat treating question should be in one of the heat treating areas, not in the tailgating section which is for sales items.

Bonus tip: When using the "Quote" feature, it's a good idea to edit out of the quote everything except what you're commenting on or asking about. Also, make sure to delete all images from the quote, unless there's something extremely specific that you need the image to ask about. Pictures take up a lot of bandwidth, and it's a courtesy to Glenn (forum owner and curmudgeon emeritus) to keep that to a minimum. This is discussed in The Quote Feature.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Thomas Powers: Don't be upset if folks correct your terminology. Blacksmithing has its own jargon and a basic function of jargon it for a group of people to be able to make *precise* descriptions of what they are trying to do and what they are doing it with.  Example: a common mistake is using the term smelting, (making metal from ore), instead of melting, making metal liquid for casting.  We have folks here who do both and there are very different requirements for equipment and techniques!

And a very important one: DON'T GRIND OR MILL THE FACE OF AN ANVIL!  The hardened face is quite thin  and many an anvil has been destroyed by folks trying to improve it *before* they know what makes an anvil good! (Sharp edges are generally a BAD thing for instance).

Glenn: Use your anvil for a year (2000 hours) before you make any changes that can not be undone. That flaw may very well be a feature that you can use. 

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Aw man, going back through threads?  Are you kidding me? !!  j/k   :lol:

Tons of useful information scattered through different posts!  I think some of the members have forgotten more than I'll ever know about forging related subjects.  Googling questions is actually what brought me to this site numerous times.  Good stuff.

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1 hour ago, Jim from central Oklahoma said:

Awesome, Thank you for the tips. Now if I can just remember them lol

Well, you can always refer back to this post....

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I've always found that tattooing the information on your arm with a dull nail; dipped in kerosene works...Or you do have a forge notebook don't you?

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Thank you very much sir, you literally just started my actual learning curve of how to use this site. I'll be referring back again soon!

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I would like to point out that this ^ was ForgingH’s very first post.

That’s how you do it, people!

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ForgingH, Reading references that others suggest puts you directly into the knowledge base of the site. Read what they suggest, take it to the forge and try it out, then come back and tell us how it worked out for you. Give us the details, and then ask specific questions so you can get specific answers. We want you to succeed. 

Welcome to the site. We suggest you pack a lunch and a cold drink when you visit. 

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