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Kit

New guy from Indiana

18 posts in this topic

I'm an EMT for Tippecanoe County, Indiana (the county Purdue University is in), I am also a volunteer firefighter. Blacksmithing has always been intriguing to me, after recently discovering the show Forged in Fire, (I have read mixed reviews by blacksmiths who say it tends to misrepresent the craft and adds flashiness) but either way it piqued my interest to look into the craft. I don't have anything yet to start in the hobby but I am actively researching, reading, watching videos, etc. My initial plan would be to start with a hammer, a fire, and something to hammer on, and work my way through making chisels, punches, cutters, tongs, and eventually my own hammers before moving on to making other pieces. Some of my other hobbies/interests are firearms, I dabble in woodworking, I also enjoy smoking meat, a good cigar with a decent brown colored drink, I have a wonderful wife and she had a nephew that we love to spoil. I look forward to learning all that I can here.

 

-Kit

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welcome from Ft Wayne, I know personally of a few smiths your way so you are on good hands if you hook up with the local groups.

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 Welcome fellow Hoosier.  As Steve said, there a several smiths in the area. I suggest you check out the IBA website. There is a bunch of stuff coming up. Somewhere on this site there are links to Blacksmith videos, that would be worth looking into. For one, check out John Bennett, he was IBA  blacksmith of the year last year. Actually, I will be visiting his group at Rockville fairgrounds in the morning @9:00 AM for their monthly meeting. Abit of a drive for you, bit might be worth checking out. Welcome to the craft...Life is Good.......                       Dave               (not a knife maker):ph34r:

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1 hour ago, Steve Sells said:

welcome from Ft Wayne, I know personally of a few smiths your way so you are on good hands if you hook up with the local groups.

Hey, go komets! My grandparents live right off of liberty mills and homestead. I make my way up there every now and again, they have season tickets. 

58 minutes ago, Dave51B said:

 Welcome fellow Hoosier.  As Steve said, there a several smiths in the area. I suggest you check out the IBA website. There is a bunch of stuff coming up. Somewhere on this site there are links to Blacksmith videos, that would be worth looking into. For one, check out John Bennett, he was IBA  blacksmith of the year last year. 

I will check him out for sure, IBA is Indiana blacksmiths association? I will look that up for sure

 

 

Thank you to both of you for the kind words

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I wasn't sure where to post this so I will just add this here. I am keeping my eyes and ears open for an anvil or something usable as such. Being in farm country in bound to come across something in relatively decent time.

My point to this, I have two semi tractor brake drums (originally destined to be painted orange and put at 100 and 200yds as rifle targets), I know from reading that outright they dont make the best forges due to depth. An idea I had was to cut one in half and then weld it back together in a canoe shape (cutting it vertically if the wheel stud holes are facing up, the welding the two edges that would have been facing back towards the semi) I don't have the exact measurements  (they are out at my parents house, haven't made it out to measure them), by my rough estimate it would put me at about 6 or 7inches deep at the center and probably 20ish inches long. Obviously intending on solid fuel. Not sure if this would be appropriate size wise. 

Another thought would be to bolt a thick piece of steel to the stud holes via welded on studs, then reinforce the hollow with rebar and fill it with concrete. If concrete doesn't have anywhere to go it should withstand the percussive forces. Also of my fellow fireman is a structural engineer specializing in structural concrete and steel, so I could pick his brain on the right mix. 

Obviously my plans are semi-contingent on the drums being steel and not cast which is yet to be determined. 

Another thing I was curious about, has anyone used a 12v computer case fan with a trimpot for air supply to a forge, obviously with enough pipe to keep the fan from melting, most of those fans move about 90ish CFM which should be enough air right?

 

Sorry for the long winded post, just trying to figure things out on the cheap :)

 

Oh, and how does hardwood lump charcoal do as a fuel, I'm talking like royal oak or stubbs style, NOT kingsford brickette style.

 

Thank you for your patience with a newbie.

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Couple of quick replies:

1. Don't overthink your forge. Search the site for the JABOD forge or the 55 forge; either will serve you well and are easy and cheap to construct.

2. For an anvil, you need (a) solid steel and (b) depth below the hammer. A truck axle, a piece of railroad track, a chunk of forklift tine -- all these make great anvils IF you stand them on end. 

3. For your air supply, you don't just need CFM; you also need static pressure. Not sure if a computer fan will have enough, but I admit that I've never tried. However, a flea market hair dryer will work just fine.

A word to the wise: take some time to read over the earlier posts in the forum. You will find a lot of people have tried foolish things as they were starting out; you can save yourself a lot of grief by learning from their mistakes. (For example, I myself initially planned to make concrete-lined forge in a bucket, fired with a weed-burner from Harbor Freight. That was a bad, bad idea.)

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I read the 55 and jabod posts, if I went with one or the other it would be the 55 because there is a place local that sells them for 4 bucks a pop and it's hard to find clay in my neck of the woods. I guess I was just wanting to use those xxxx brake drums lol. I suppose Did that turn out to be steel I can cut them up and make stuff. And your harbor freight idea. I may or may not have gone through that thought process, but in reading I realized that not all fire is the right fire the computer fan I might do some more research on because I have that stuff laying around. Thank you for the reply, I'll head back into reading more again

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Kit, get yer tail over to Tipton for the IBA Conference on June 2, 3rd or 4th. Do what ever you have to do...just get there. You will get yer eyes opened by more smiths than you can shake a stick at.....And if yer lucky like I was, you may get to meet up with IFI's own famous Steve Sells.               Life is Good                Dave

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3 hours ago, Kit said:

I read the 55 and jabod posts, if I went with one or the other it would be the 55 because there is a place local that sells them for 4 bucks a pop and it's hard to find clay in my neck of the woods. 

You don't need clay for a JABOD -- just dirt. Mine is clay, because I live on the glacial till of northern Ohio and that's what we've got. Frankly, I'd much prefer sand.

3 hours ago, Kit said:

I guess I was just wanting to use those xxxx brake drums lol.

Just because you have it doesn't mean you have to use it -- just yet. I have a brake drum that I originally intended to make into a firepot, but then went in a different direction. I hung onto the drum, though, and it ended up making a nice base for my slack tub.

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I like the idea of painting the large brake drums and using them as targets. :D I'll have to try that. 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Dave51B said:

Kit, get yer tail over to Tipton for the IBA Conference on June 2, 3rd or 4th. Do what ever you have to do...just get there. You will get yer eyes opened by more smiths than you can shake a stick at.....And if yer lucky like I was, you may get to meet up with IFI's own famous Steve Sells.               Life is Good                Dave

I detect someone using my name in vain ?

I will try to get there, but work rumors being what they are hard to tell until it gets here.

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Definitely make a push to attend the IBA conference; lots of blacksmithing stuff to tide you over till Quad-State in late September!

As for clay; the cheapest kitty litter is usually clay.  I suggest using it new and not recycling!  Check the bag for contents.

Hardwood lump charcoal is great stuff; especially if you design your forge for it and not try to use it in a forge set up for coal.

All the viking swords were forged using charcoal as it was they only forge fuel from the start of the iron age until the high/late middle ages and has continued in use in parallel with coal from then until now. A lot of the videos of third world smiths show them using charcoal. (Note it takes a lot less blowing than coal does!)

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9 hours ago, Dave51B said:

Kit, get yer tail over to Tipton for the IBA Conference on June 2, 3rd or 4th. Do what ever you have to do...just get there. You will get yer eyes opened by more smiths than you can shake a stick at.....And if yer lucky like I was, you may get to meet up with IFI's own famous Steve Sells.               Life is Good                Dave

I looked at the itinerary I should be able to get someone to cover a shift for me one of those days would Saturday or Sunday be a better day to attend?

5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

As for clay; the cheapest kitty litter is usually clay.  I suggest using it new and not recycling!  Check the bag for contents.

Hardwood lump charcoal is great stuff; especially if you design your forge for it and not try to use it in a forge set up for coal.

I did not realize that that clay would work that stuff is readily available I was thinking of soft Red River clay. And I'm very glad to hear the hardwood lump is a very viable fuel source I always have quite a stock of that on hand for grilling and smoking anyway

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Saturday!     and you might go over the Tim Lively washtub forge info on the web to see one type of forge tweaked for charcoal.

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8 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

I detect someone using my name in vain ?

 Well Steve, I hope not in vain.....but as an inspiration?  Don't worry. I won't say I found you better in person than you seem here on these pages sometimes. ;) Thomas is right, Saturday would be best, but I will probably go Friday. I have a tractor event on Saturday.          Life is Good                     Dave 

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57 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Saturday!     and you might go over the Tim Lively washtub forge info on the web to see one type of forge tweaked for charcoal.

Alright, I have it posted for trade, hopefully someone takes the bait. I looked up that forge. That is right on what I was thinking for a tuyere pipe setup, that's like the perfect size for anything I plan on doing too

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11 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

All the viking swords were forged using charcoal as it was they only forge fuel from the start of the iron age until the high/late middle ages and has continued in use in parallel with coal from then until now. A lot of the videos of third world smiths show them using charcoal. (Note it takes a lot less blowing than coal does!)

Maybe I'm a third world smith! Never used anything but charcoal. :unsure:

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I never said it's restricted to them. Living Treasures of Japan also use it for traditional forging.

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