littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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Billybones, I'm a little confused which doesn't take much.  Did you wash the coal?   I see a bunch of coal still left in the half barrel. Is this coal or stones? 

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Isnt that how we get clean coal?

No seriously though, there was a bunch of dirt, wood, and general debris mixed with that. I used a water bath to slosh out all that would float and the coal being lighter than the rock it settles on top. The larger stuff i picked out dry. Grandpa taught me that trick when i was a wee lad. We had no chute and the coal was left outside and would get all sorts of stuff mixed in with it. 

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IFC. This was what I was looking at.  BB there is still lots of good useable coal in that barrel half.. Well that is unless it's really is mainly stones and they were just colored by the coal washings. 

leaves, twigs, grass really any other carbon source is not a problem..  Small rocks and such really for general forge work need not be a problem as it's a lot easier to clean the stuff out when slag/clinker forms on the bottom of the firepot. 

I would start burning the dirty stuff first thus pooling the rocks and such as clinker in the bottom of the forge and then when I noticed the air throwing up clinker to the metal. Clean the fire and add back in the cleaned coal. This way you are not wasting any coal and the fire now with smaller pieces of coal will be hotter and more intense and clean. :) 

I do this even with soft coal that gets shipped with hard coal in it.. Which does happen from time to time. 

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Irondragon, that was my plan. I have an electric blower so it will just be a matter of turning a switch. Also if i need to fix anything in my vents it will be easier to let the fire die. I know most of the coal in this area is anthracite and it has a shale appearance, which if memory serves is anthracite. 

jlp, that coal has been in my basement for i would bet close to 80 years. There was tile, plastic, styrofoam, insulation and whole bunch of other mean and nasty debris on the bench there next to me,(sorry Arlo Guthrie took over for a second) the water also helped the smaller pieces come to the top. That layer of coal was about an 1 1/2 deep.  Then came the sifting. At least another small bucket full. 

That pile of coal and the barn were the 2 deciding factors when i bought this place. 

 

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Speaking of breaking up the coal. Anyone have a good solid way to break up coal, not one piece at a time? I'm finding it to be a pain to break it up but it's worth it in the end because it cokes up better and I can keep better control of my fire. Since I'm scrounging for coal off the tracks at the moment I'm mainly finding baseball, softball or bigger sized chunks. Their are smaller pieces but it's just quicker to go for the big pieces.

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Pr3ssure  San,

There are several threads that cover the subject of breaking up solid fuel. At least one of them posted within the last 6 or 8 months.

Glenn has posted some salient advice, in those threads.

A Google search will find them out for you,  if you put  "I forge iron"  in the search string with your search terms.

Herr,

SLAG.

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Posted (edited)

Finally got around to forge something! The scroll(and everything else) is pretty bad, but I had a nice even taper going.

I was supposed to make a nail but SQUIRREL! And all of a sudden it's a crummy coathanger...

http://imgur.com/7omItIf

 

Edited by Meadowgrove
Image too big, deleted and switched to imgur(hope the thumbnail works)

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I've seen some of the posts on breaking coal. Most say doing it individually. Going with the grain. I think I'm gonna just stick some in a burlap sack and go at it with a sledge hammer.

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9 hours ago, Pr3ssure said:

Since I'm scrounging for coal off the tracks at the moment....

A track repair foreman said they often leave metal along the track to be collected later, or pile the metal at points in piles to be collected later. This is Rail Road property and when people take it is a theft. Just being ON rail road property, or right of ways, IS trespassing. Depending on who sees you and one phone call can ruin your day or longer.  The mood of rail road authorities depends upon the mood of the offender. Remember they were called out of their office or other work to come and deal with you, so they are NOT in a good mood to begin with. Present an attitude and the rr authorities always win. 

Your choice to take his work or experience it first hand. 

 

  You can break coal by putting a grate off the ground and breaking it up with a tamper. Choose the grate size to match the coal size you want to fall through the holes.

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After 9/11 they also upped the fines and jail time if found on the tracks.  I grew up on the railroad tracks and we had a spur line that went thru the center of town.  I had been told a time or 2 to stay off the tracks though there is no fencing.  On main lines and freight lines there can be some serious security. 

On one of the main lines the train is moving about 70mph it's amazing just how fast that train and 200 cars closes a gap.  this line has patrol people on a regular basis with federal property signs up and no trespassing and such.  Of course the area has a river running back and forth under the tracks so fishermen go there often as do kayakers/canoers. 

Last spring I had time between a job so went down with my camera to catch some shots of the falls and such there are old industrial foundations and such where the old dams were.  15minutes later there were cops blocking in my car and doing the identity check.  Of course, t hey gave me this is private property and if the fed inspectors come through they will indeed give me a hauling off to the hoosegow. 

They haven't used coal on these lines in 70 years yet there are coal deposits and chunks everywhere. 

Got in a bunch of tomahawk handles I ordered the other day.  The next series of videos will be on making tomahawks. Haven't been in the shop for 3 weeks now.  The Series will start with making the mandrel /drift. This is one I banged out yesterday.

  Filed ready for hardening. 

20190523_121354.jpg

20190525_184425.jpg

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I too grew up on the railroad tracks. There is a main line about 100 feet from the front porch of my old house. I played on the tracks everyday. I have a friend with only one arm and I was shot at with rock salt numerous times and hit once. Not pleasant. Jlpservices you are indeed correct that after 911 there's more security and steeper fines/jail terms handed out for criminal trespassing on RR property. Removing something from a right of way can be prosecuted federally nowadays. Keep these things in mind before you go on RR property. I don't have a thousand dollars and or 11 months 29 days to sit in jail. Those are the penalties in numerous states. It's different I'm sure in some states but probably something comparable.  You can't forge in a jail cell.  I also have a bunch of family who does or did work for the railroad and I myself worked for a railroad for a time. Hitting a pedestrian is traumatizing to the person doing the hitting also. 

Pnut (Mike)

 

 

Jlpservices I have had run ins with the police while taking pictures of architecture and engineering projects due to the worry of terrorism. It was much worse for a few years following 911 and has gotten less frequent but I still have the occasional interaction with L.E.O.'s. I understand why they would be curious to see what someone is doing taking photos of infrastructure , but I also have seen it taken way too far. 

Better safe than sorry I guess.

Pnut (Mike)

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We had a coal mine at the head of the hollar. Us kids would go out and pick up the coal that fell off the trucks. 

My grandpa worked the mines when he was younger. He worked with Loretta Lynn's father for a time. 

Fun fact, in the state of Ohio there is a law that says "If 2 trains travelling in opposite directions come to an intersection, both must stop and neither can proceed until the other has cleared the intersection." Whaling is also illegal, not the kind that comes at 2 AM in the bar but actual whaling with harpoons and such. 

So i was cleaning out some more coal yesterday and found this.

20190525_171936.thumb.jpg.7079cf5edbd89a041389019724d1e510.jpg

Just seemed odd thing to find. An old porcelain door knob.  

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Leather workers use the old smooth doorknobs for tampers.

Pr3ssure - sent ya a message about crushing coal.

 

 

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Overdid it yesterday, humidity was high and my water intake was insufficient.  I've got some bigger water cups on the shopping list on account of feeling like poo afterwards.

Made a couple more fishing hook bottle openers, a drift for handled tooling, and an Aspery style chisel that's not pictured since it was still annealing in the forge.  The other pieces top left were just using up the off cuts from the openers. The other ( top right) opener I plan to put scales on for a first try at the process, not sure if i should leave to forge scale on, though.  

20190526_202007.thumb.jpg.4ea0a1709017d231b4e44c514b8ac6eb.jpg

I need to try again with more cord, but a snell knot makes a pretty good grippy area for the hook openers.  Done the right way it doesn't interfere with the operation, either.

20190527_160143.thumb.jpg.3ac80781f61c5ab15083868593a3bc04.jpg

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I find the lidded beer steins to make a great shop fluids store---keeps flies and fly ash out of your drink (and yellowjackets!), and if you prechill the ceramic they will keep a drink cold awhile---if your drink is not staying cold you are not drinking it fast enough!  In hot weather I'm usually drinking gatorade mixed 50:50 with soda water. I'm too much a lightweight to drink beer while I am forging, I like my fingers and toes and other bodily parts! Recently picked up another one at the fleamarket, German US$3.

Of course having a sand/gravel floor makes knocking them over less of a hassle both on clean up and possible damage to the vessel.

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Made my first pair of box jaw tongs:

C6181680-2C30-40E3-A0B3-7365E14D4C6E.jpeg

And just for giggles, I blocked off the openings of the forge to see how hot it would get. 

F7DF6477-70E1-4FE8-AD24-74F219D1DE3A.jpeg

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(Answer: really hot, but I didn’t get it up to burning temps before I decided to shut it down.)

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Nice tongs. And i especially like the movement in the top jaw. Nice touch.

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Thanks. After they were done, I used them to finish up the forging on an uncompleted knife that I'd abandoned (temporarily) a couple of weeks previously. They worked great.

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I ran my forge for a few hours yesterday to see how the ribbon burner did. It worked, though still needs some tweaking. I assembled the tongs that I had started the other day and used them to play with an old rasp to get to know the process for shaping a blade. It is definitely going to take some time to develop the necessary skills. :)

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Oh, you can just barely see how I radiused the edges of the anvil next to the step, for about 5-6" towards the heel.

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On 5/25/2019 at 12:19 PM, BillyBones said:

whole bunch of other mean and nasty debris on the bench there next to me,(sorry Arlo Guthrie took over for a second)

Was it the group "W" bench?

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