littleblacksmith

What did you do in the shop today?

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Total beginner here. I forged my very first piece yesterday from about 1-1/2 inches of railroad spike. It's more letter opener than actual straight razor. Plenty of issues (cracks in the tang on the other side, grinds are nowhere near slim enough, completely zoned out and misplaced the pin hole, left the tang too skinny, etc etc). Purpose of the project was to have fun and get me excited enough to keep trying. Managed to do that. Learned a bunch along the way. Also, I'm glad to be making these mistakes on bits of railroad spike instead of 1095. 

Also, to be fair, I did a bunch of grinding to get that shape. More or less, all I forged was beating the RR spike to length, forming the tang, and bending the tang. Going to add on forging the bevel next time around. I didn't bother trying to get the proper edge geometry because right now all I've got is a bench grinder. I plan on getting a 2x72 belt grinder in the future, so I'll start the fine grinding then. Plenty to practice in the meantime.IMG_20190809_223754.thumb.jpg.a9d2937c52645db1aac01fa01adb27c3.jpg

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Goods Nice job on the hammer..   

Alexandr  I don't know how you keep the volume of work you are doing up and then the wonderful aspects and finishes you are applying. Lighting, electric, painting.. I"m getting tired just thinking about it.. Wonderful work indeed. 

Rojo Pedro Nice looking work.. Love the curly..  Keeping them even can be tough. 

 

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Made my first Frederick's cross. It's not perfect, but I'm pleased with my first try.

Cross.jpg.12c9a72338db10017aba3834593502d4.jpg

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The secret to a split cross is precision in the splitting! If the elements are out of proportion, there's no way to fix them in the forging.

On 8/8/2019 at 11:58 AM, JHCC said:

The motor I put on [my horizontal bandsaw] doesn’t have much oomph, so it tends to bog down. I’ll have to see about replacing that soon. 

Spotted a nice-looking 1HP 115V single-phase motor on the website of my industrial surplus place for $50 (actually $35, because I placed the order on Sale Saturday). Once I get a chance to pick it up and mount it, I'll let you all know how it works out.

Interestingly, it has an ammeter and an hour counter attached for some reason. I don't know that I'll have any use for that, but it might be fun to see if the amps change as the motor cuts through different shapes.

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Greetings Less,

        You can still fix the look of your cross. Take a heat, cool the left side to the split than tap the right side to correct the bulge. After you make 100 or so it becomes easier. Have fun and make more. 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

CC88D9FE-A1F9-441E-9316-DCEFA4CE95A3.jpeg

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Took my portable forge setup out to Steel City Harley Davidson Saturday to forge and vend at a rib cookoff. Had a great time and completely did not get Any pictures. Ugh. :rolleyes: time flies when you're forging. Pointed a few interested people to iforgeiron to learn more. Made a triangle dinner bell, couple leaf keychains, finished a fire poker, and a horseshoe heart with horse heads on the ends which sold pretty much right after I set it on the table. 

Really need to remind myself to get pictures when I'm out. 

 

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Actually didn't have any Jennifer. There are some of Elizabeths leftovers in the fridge tho. Did have a few cheese fries. I'm weird and don't like to eat when I'm working, It makes me more lethargic and not feel like working. I usually eat dinner late after I'm done for the day and when I do eat earlier I get tired and can barely get motivated. 

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JHCC and Jim,

Thanks for the advice. I will work on correcting it. I hope to be able to make one 1/2 as nice as yours one day, probably after I finish the or so one.

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17 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Most if not all can not for the life of them tell another person why a particular hammer is their favorite

 

16 hours ago, George N. M. said:

I suspect that our favorite hammers are the ones we use most often and for which we have developed a muscle memory of its size and balance.

George, Jennifer,  I like your treatment of this subject.

I was thinning and tuning a bell formed from a hard drive disk, using a ball pein and a mushroom stake. If I have to give the hammer a single thought, then it is likely the wrong hammer. My favorite hammer is that which is an extension of my will, if you will, for the task at hand.  Thirty years as a Hand Finisher, my body parts must find their optimal positions in space.  As it is with splitting wood, I do not 'aim' the axe, rather, I position my body to take advantage of muscle memory.

Each strike alters the voice of the bell. if the hammer does not find its synergistic place in my loose grip, time to pick up a different hammer, or, perhaps, get some sleep.

The work came out all right - my son-in-law the Drummer has asked me to make some custom cymbals - looks like I have set my self up to be, once more, out of my depth :wacko:.

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How's it work GrumpyBiker? I'm thinking of getting another forge. I've been looking at new, but today I thought about looking around for a used one. Couldn't hurt

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CGL, hook up with your local blacksmith group and make one..  Having the ability to make your own gas forge or coal forge can open up possibilities that would be discounted otherwise. 

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Jennifer, I've been thinking on that a lot also. I want to build another Jabod as well. That's not nearly as daunting to me as a gas forge. I've spent a lot of time looking at the forge threads here the last few days. To be honest, the gas forge build scares me a little bit to try to do myself. I'd love to visit a local group. The two closest ABANA affiliates are about 2 and 3 hours from me. That's not really that far, but I barely have time to get my daily life accomplished and even time in my own shop can be hit or miss sometimes. I'm a jack of many trades and master of none as the saying goes. But I'll keep studying on the subject and may get to a point feeling comfortable building my own

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CGL,  I haven't chronicled my forge build, but when I get it finished............up and running.............I'll take detailed pics of it so others can see what I've done.  Building the propane forge isn't all that hard.  It just takes some planning.  If you'd rather, I'm certainly open to a visit.  You are only 2 1/4 hours from my place.  That also means you are the same distance.............less 15 minutes to our Thursday forge group. (ABANA group) Folks start gathering around 4pm and typically stay until 8pm or so.  Haven't been firing up the forges much this Summer............probably due to diminished attendance because of vacations.  (but one can fire up the forges any time they want)  In the Spring when I started attending, there were usually at least 2 forges fired and being used from both ends.................and 4 to 5 anvils being used.  If you'd like to drive up for a visit at either location, PM me and I'll give you destination addresses.

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CGL, If you have built one jabod the next will be easier and work better. The first one I built worked good but the one I have now is much better. I'm about to start on no. 3 made from an outdoor fireplace pan. It looks like a rivet forge but I want to make it a side blast because I mainly use charcoal. I just have to finalize the design. I need to decide if I want to have the tuyere enter above the rim of the pan or cut a hole In the side.

Pnut

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Thanks for the invite Chris. If I can, I'd love to join in the fun. The busiest season for us around the farm is starting to wind down. Maybe I can get some more free time soon

Pnut, we built a jabod in the beginning. wasn't that great. But now that I have a better understanding of what I'm doing, I think this one will be much better. I love a gas forge, but I want to be able to run a coal or charcoal forge also. Much quieter and more relaxing to me

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Each one of My jabods have performed better than the last because like you said you know what makes them function better the more experience you get. 

Pnut

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Pulled the spring out of the ashes this morning.  Cut some pieces to take to the open forge on Thursday.  I'll fire up a forge and see if I can hammer a part of the length into a uniform thickness in preparation for attempting a forge weld.  It will be interesting to see how it "moves" on the anvil.   All the ingredients are either here or on the way for the Glue Steel Flux.  Any suggestions as to how to thoroughly/uniformly mix the four ingredients would be appreciated.

One of the more experienced blacksmiths saw that spring and said he saw a "whole bunch of harden-able blacksmith knives at $40 each right there!"   :D  Maybe he's got a point.  Would be great practice, if nothing else.  The spring is 7 3/4" in diameter, so every revolution produces a 24.347" long piece.  The cross section of the spring is .875"..........................so I've a lot of material to work with.  Anxious to get it in a forge and mash it up some.

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