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RottenMango

Hello from Willows Ca

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Hello everyone, i have been lurking around and reading the forums for a while now. Though it was time to say hello.

I have a break drum forge i build for myself in college that i have set up in my dads backyard, it was mostly used for blacksmithing and general knife shaping (in mild steel) exercises.

but i finally just moved from the city to my new house in willows Ca! And will be building a small shop and a better knife making forge in the backyard so here I am. I will probably put something in the shop building threads as i start building my shop and have all my tools and supplies moved up north to me. For now I  thought i would start on here and see if there are any bladesmiths near my location.

so hello again and thanks for all the wisdom you guys have spread throughout this site for us beginners to use

PS: Names Kelly, RottenMango is my handle on most my internet stuff, came from my days of computer gaming and i just stuck with it. Someday i will change it to a smithy name when i come up with a good one (and the shop is built and being used haha)

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Welcome to the realm of delurkage Kelly, glad to have you. I don't know, I think "Rotten Mango Bango Blacksmiting" has a nice ring and catchy cadence to it. B)

I trust you've been lurking long enough to know we LOVE pics, anything you'd show young children you didn't want to explain . . . . things to.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty,  I think it is fair to ask for clarification on your standards of "anything you'd show to young children you didn't want to explain....things to".  Mainly, do those children have unfettered access to the internet?  Because, if they do (because so many parents don't know how to filter Internet access), those kids don't need much explained to them anymore....

    So, basically, are we talking about a child from 1952 or 2017?  You see, I have these questionable baubles I've made at the forge..... (not really)

 

But seriously, welcome aboard Kelly.  I fully understand the problem of the old internet handle.  My good friend is still somehow burdened with the name "Deadcow" and I have lived with "Dubra" for years since it became my bartending nickname.

 

Enjoy setting up and, more importantly, outfitting your new shop.  I'm sure there must be people near your area on IFI.  Start looking for the local swap meets and scrap yards!

 

Lou

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Thanks for the welcome Frosty!

Im jealous of Ur location in AK, I was stationed at Ft Richardson in Anchorage for three years before i moved back to Cali to take care of my father. ( wish i was still there to this day... but family has to come first)

and yes i know PICS are a good thing around here... still sad about all the missing pics from the old days. but right now all i got is an empty back yard with a section marked out with stakes and cardboard ( to kill the grass) but as i get my new shop started (still working on designs for my new lil 8 x 15 shop, it will be nice to not be a good weather smith) and the anvil, tools and everything else brought up from the city i will post some pics of my progress.

"Rotten Mango Bango Blacksmiting" is an interesting name haha, though from the other threads iv read on IFI i dont know if i want the word rotten in my smithy name, but either way im still a ways away from needing a name at this time.

Thanks Lou,

Handles used to be sooo important lol... and i am already enjoying designing the shop! though i dont know how much more outfitting i will be doing, i already have three anvils and most the tools i need,

The exciting part now is having my own home so i can build what i want! So its time for the box bellows and "Japanese style charcoal sword forge i will be building. Iv always been into the "Older methods" (no power) for my smithing, woodworking, stone carving endeavors. It might have something to do with my day job being in electrical controls and automation

21 minutes ago, Lou L said:

 I'm sure there must be people near your area on IFI.

I was hoping there were some other local smiths but over my months of lurking i havent seen much around my parts... though i will keep my eyes peeled!

 

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Don't forget that "older methods" expected typically 3 to 5 workers besides the smith in the shop!  Having a smithy with just the smith in it dates to MODERN times!

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Very true Thomas, but i cant afford workers or power tools at this point, maybe a 2x72 grinder someday but other than that im a one man/hand tool operation.

Not to mention at 31 i just spent about every dollar i make for the next 30 years on my new/first house. So building the smithy will be a scroung and salvage operation in it self, but thats half the fun right!

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I don't know when you were here but things are changing fast, Ft Rich is no more, they combined Rich and Elmendorf and it's called JBER for Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. 

I had to do a map search for Willows Ca. Boy, you didn't move far from the big cities did you? I grew up in The Valley but not the Big Valley. Get hooked up with the CBA, there are lots of blacksmiths within easy visiting distance, I expect to see them start chiming in. CBA is a large and very active blacksmith organization they always seem to have something cool going on. 

Heck meet up, get some names, put out the word, fire up the BBQ and you're likely to have a few guys come over to help get your shop put up. No doubt there's plenty of materials available for salvage or cheap to build it with too, you just need to get in the loop. Is there a reason you're planning on 8' X 15'? Better to plan  dimensional if possible, 8' x 16' makes materials, measurements, everything easier and more available. If you have a space problem oh well. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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So "Older Methods" but not "Older Methods".  I'd suggest just saying you enjoy doing things by hand with hand tools.

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Fair enough Thomas.

Frosty, I got out of the army in 08 so its been a few years now. And local laws say i can put a structure in my backyard up to 120 sq ft without a permit so thats what im allowed and the girlfriend says i cant use the whole yard too haha so along the back fence its gotta be 8' x 15' or 10' x 12'

I moved north out of the citys haha but work kept me in driving distance. 

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Yeah, California isn't the kind of place to let anybody live without restrictive building codes. My folks used to live on Lake Davis at 6,200' and Plumas County building code told them within something like 20sq/ft how much window they had to have on each side. Heck you probably can't get away with post and beam either, let alone a tip up shed roof "awning."

I take a vacation in Cal every once in a while to remind me why I don't live there and I'm not that thrilled with the other places I've visited either.

Frosty The Lucky.

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haha your telling me... and yea i cant get away with much.. but as long as i can get the sun off my head and stop the wind ill be happy. 

And i dont blame you i would still be in AK myself if i had a say in the matter

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30 minutes ago, RottenMango said:

haha your telling me... and yea i cant get away with much.. but as long as i can get the sun off my head and stop the wind ill be happy. 

And i dont blame you i would still be in AK myself if i had a say in the matter

Oh that PESKY life, it gets in the way of plans all the time. 

Code in my area is only fed and state mostly regarding structure height and warning lights and septic and well separation. Other than that it's the insurance company,  elec and gas utilitiy regs you have to pay attention to. Now the guy who bought the 15 acres just down the hill from us wrote up some serious home owner regs so they have restrictions to obsserve. I can step out any door and have at it with fire arms so long as I'm not endangering anybody else. Heck there's a trucking and small gravel pit up the hill and one of the employees does some shooting some weekends. The automatic rifles get your attention but it's the exploding targets that really get you. One phone call to the owner of the property got the shooter to be more considerate. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hey, don't let the size of the shop limit the greatness of the projects. Mine is 10'X10', I do just fine, now, I'm not making 40 foot railings... But, dynamite comes in a small package, great things don't have to be big.

                                                                                                             Littleblacksmith

welcome to the forum!

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LittleBlacksmith' please show me the results of putting 5 gallons of water in a pint jar.

Working past the limitations of your set up increases greatly the chances of you damaging yourself or your equipment. (I have personal evidence of this; but luckily few scars...)

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You don't need 5 gallons to quench your thirst. He sounded disappointed that he only had 120 square feet of workspace. I was telling him that he may not need more than that, and that not all "great" "cool" things are 40 foot railings, and that small things are good too. I wasn't trying to tell him, "work past the limitations of your shop so you can get yourself killed", so thank you Thomas though, because if you thought that was what I meant, then there must have been others, thank you for giving the chance to clarify.

At this point it sounds like this is still a hobby, and that he will be doing knives,  so, he doesn't need a 6,000 square foot shop, and this is what he has, he cant make it bigger, so he HAS to use the space, and work with what he's got.

                                                                                                                          Littleblacksmith

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I find that with experience I tend to engineer my projects to fit the tools, skills and space available. It's much more enjoyable to do something fast and easily than to be trying to exceed the limitations of my setup.  (Now there are ways and means of doing so for some things I'll admit.)

10'x12' can be a great shop for knifemaking---or bottle openers---or a lot of historical reenactment items. If I wanted to do a gate though I would probably drag my equipment outside where I had swing room. (Actually my next planned shop improvement is to sink a 4"  piece of square tubing in the driveway to the shop that I can slip another piece of sq tubing in and have a good sized postvise mounted to it so I can work a full 20' stick of steel as my Mother wants a gate... Now I would like to have a roof over that area as the sun is deadly out here; but that is a more involved project to add a "carport" to the end of the shop...

It's a pain to be bending a piece hot only to run into something before you can complete the bend, as I tell my students the First rule of bending is that the piece *MUST* fit back into the forge if you can't complete the bend in one go.  Yes there are ways to get around that but in a class I don't want to resort to them.

Or to put it another way: don't design yourself to fail!

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5 hours ago, littleblacksmith said:

At this point it sounds like this is still a hobby, and that he will be doing knives,  so, he doesn't need a 6,000 square foot shop, and this is what he has, he cant make it bigger, so he HAS to use the space, and work with what he's got.

Thanks for the welcome littleblacksmith, Bladesmithing will definitely be a hobby as i have a full time field service job.

 I think the 120 sq ft will be plenty of space and as i told frosty im just happy i will finally have a roof over my head and out of the elements so as not to have to be a good weather smith and my equipment will stay dry and in one place (anything beats dragging all my tools in and out of my shed every time i want to forge. I was more disappointed that local regulations have limited my size and design without permits than anything.

I dont plan on going any bigger than blades that can legally be carried on your person in California for the most part, But the goal i have set for myself (when i have the skills) is to be able to create Mat Cauthons ashandarei from the wheel of time series by Robert Jordan. Its very similar to a naginata and if my memory is correct its a 1 foot blade on the ashandarei. It will be some time before im ready to attack this job as i still have multiple skills to learn/perfect before i make this weapon

 

Thanks again for the welcome and words of encouragement!

-Kelly

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