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I Forge Iron

Jasen's smithing progression.


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I grabbed these due to how narrow and long the head is. I like my handeled struck tools to have thicker cheeks than the hammers plus they were about $6 each so I bought several. I like the machinist handles for hammers. More of an oval shape

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Well the landlord has turned on me. Wants the smithy gone unless I buy a shed and put it on the worst place possible for safety or convenience.  Can't seem to see eye to eye on anything. Can't hardly wait till this lease is up!  

So im moving the smithy back out to the farm. Will mean less time to forge but my brother is showing interest and wants to setup a metal shop in his shop. So I'll be able to forge out of the weather and not have to call it a day when is too dark to see.  Plus I may have a striker from time to time.  

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Got all of my stuff moved to the farm. This is going to be my lil corner. Got started on my anvil stand today. Little more cutting and a little clean up and it should be ready to weld.  Planning a hood for the forge to help draw out exhaust. Not a sealed shop as it has 3 sides but still like to expel as much as I can

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Got my forge moved to the farm. My brother wanted to strike so we started drifting one of my practice hammers. Almost finished when I ran out of fuel. Was a fun day! Spring steel drift did ok. Took a few bad blows but not too bad

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It's an unknow steel I picked up at the scrap yard.  It does not harden but it dosent forge very easy either. Spark test looks low to med carbon but I could not get it to break on the snap test but it took all I had to bend it.  This is why I call it the practice hammer. 1 3/4" hex bar

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Was able to get my vice mounted today. Used a 5' railroad tie and put it 26" in the ground. Then made a 6"x8"X 1.5"mild steel base for the leg then lagged the bracket to the top with 1/2"x4" lag bolts. Pretty sturdy.  Now I can finish up my anvil stand. 

Also got a coil spring straightened out and did some testing with the hydraulic cylinder I have. 2 3/8" I believe. Deff wants an oil quench as water was just too grainy.  Spark test looked 1050ish imo fwiw

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got some time in the smithy today.  Made a new slitter today from spring steel and fullered a groove this time for the handle. Made a quick spring fuller from coil spring and a bb'q fork from rebar for my b.i.l. who welded up my anvil stand today. 

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8 hours ago, Jasent said:

This followed me home today. Will be my mini ribbon burner forge.

I've got two of those, both of which I originally intended to use to make a gasser. Currently, one of them is my slack tub, and the other is holding sand left over from adobe-ing my JABOD (I keep it next to the forge in case I need it to smother a fire).

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Mostly because the funds for the insulation and refractory did not materialize as expected. The great thing about the JABOD is that it is dirt cheap. If I get any further into knifemaking, though, I will probably go with gas, not least for the ease of dialing in the proper heat with low risk of overheating and burning.

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For me the gas is the most available fuel. Coal is not easy to find around Spokane. Nearest tractor supply is about hour away in Idaho. I use charcoal but that's not as cheap or easy as propane which I can get a block from my house. 

 

No boiler or hvac shops around? Scraps of wool can be found relatively cheap. 

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I can get the wool fairly easily; it's the refractory and IR coating that would be the expense. At the moment, pretty much every spare dollar of the crafting budget is going into the line item for yarn (Lisa and I are a steel wool couple).

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Im working on a refactory recipe I found in the forges 101 thread. 

"

 


High Heat Refractory formula
Zirconium silicate 97%, added to Veegum T 3%, forms a dense mold-able low shrinkage refractory. The Veegum will lower its rated temperature somewhat below zirconium silicate’s 4550 F rating; it has low thermal expansion ( giving terrific thermal shock resistance); it should be excellent for use as thermal tiles, crucibles, burner blocks, and for lining flame nozzles. 

    Zircopax Plus, Superpax, Zircosil, and Excelopax, are brands of zirconium silicate flour (AKA zircon; ZrSio4). Veegum (AKA Veegum T,VGT). Veegum Pro is treated with an amine to allow it to disperse in liquids: In refractory formulas they serve as binders and plasticizers. Veegum is refined from the mineral smectite, in the form of  colloidal magnesium aluminum silicate powder, which becomes adhesive. Veegum swells into a gel, rather than dissolving into the water; thus it becomes a nonmigrating form of binding agent. It is best to mix this powder in boiling water before adding other ingredients. Veegum pro will disperse into water, and can be mixed cooled; it allows less water to be used, reducing shrinkage. When 3 to 4% Veegum is combined with calcined materials like alumina and zirconia (as grog) he resulting refractory can be formed like clay. Above 4%. the refractory will become sticky, and also require too much water (leading to cracks as it dries out).

"

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I'm also looking forward to getting something today: the Theater Department is loaning me their welder (and possibly a drill press and a chop saw) while the scene shop is being renovated, and I'm picking the stuff up in about an hour and a half!

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I had planned to buy one a few months ago, but the expected finances fell through. I sold an instrument I no longer play, but to my great disappointment, it was in worse shape than I thought, the dealer could only use it for parts, and I got less than half of what I expected. With a welder out of the picture, though, I stocked up on coal, bought some new safety gear, acquired a new/used portaband, and a few other things. It's worked out okay.

However, with the TD's welder coming over to my shop, a number of projects that had been on the back burner are back to the fore! Set phasers for WELD, Mr. Sulu! 

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At the moment, the ones I have planned are:

  • Tripod base for RR track/striking anvil
  • Welded legs for work/storage table (currently on sawhorses)
  • Some welded-up swages
  • Some variety of guillotine tool
  • Some artistic ideas currently gurgling half-formed around the back of my brain
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