L0RDR4G3

Thought Introductions were in Order

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Hello fellow Metallurgists, Bladesmiths, Blacksmiths, Farriers, Artisans, Armourers, Hammer wielders and those who are Generally Eccentric.

 

 

I being of unsound body and Mind am a Long haired, bearded Scruffy Scotsman who has decided a couple of years ago to set up my own home forge and pound some steel

Yeah so I have been wasting away in a call centre job for the last 2 years and 9 (going on 10) months.

I was getting so annoyed at the way the populace in general has evolved into such a disposable throw away culture.

Plus my job brings me no joy whatsoever, I was always really good with my hands and have always felt this burning urge to create. 

the urge was un-specific in what to create just this need to create and make things (everything anything as long as it was made by my hand)

I thought long and hard about things I could do, and as I had some experience with working steel, I settled on Bladesmithing ( I mean who wouldn't want a hand forged Sword or battleaxe made by a scotsman)

So I set about gathering materials (at as little cost as possible) and learning and trying to get time to put it all together. 

(it has been a long...... slow......... annoying....... road so far having one thing after another happen and money having to be used else where and time to do my own thing being few and far between due to having a full time job that and other health stuff)

 

Currently I have a forge ( made from a 55 Galon Oil barrel Split length ways) a 50Kg anvil (bought from a mechanics supply store on ebay) A nice set of hand forged tongs (not by my hand :-( ) a few Hammers and  a bunch of scrap steel but have hit another wall that can only be solved with money and a bit more time. 

(2 months ago after managing to get a week of holidays from work and the weather not ruining 2 days of that week i managed to get the forge fired, but alas my forge requires some refractory materials to reach welding temperature)

 

So yeah that is where I'm at 

 

I have been reading the forums for a while, mostly directed here via some google searches so I decided to join.

So yeah a big how do ya do to all :-)

 

 

A few random photos attached.
 

 

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IMG-20170501-WA0006.jpg

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so what are you going to use for fuel?

your steel tube will not last long, how many holes and how are they spaced out on it ( cant see on this little laptop )

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They aren't drilled yet in those photo's so your eyesight isn't that bad. 
there's 4 either side of the T junction around 12mm wide. evenly spaced. gets plenty of airflow and that was without the blower i built and just a little 1200W hairdryer.
next phase to get heat is to get some fire bricks and build a channel down the side and also put some refractory cement around the pipe.
I've got a grating that sits about and inch and a half above the airflow pipe that keeps the heat off it. 
it barely heats it at all when its going, and thats was with the old grating that actually melted and brought the fire onto it.
I'm using smokeless coal ovoids branded as Superheat (claims to burn up to 1400°C)
but don't qoute me on that.

 

Also Still need to build a clamp for keeping the anvil in place while working as the vibrations cause it to shift.

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my forges use a single 11mm hole in the middle, and not through steel but 20mm thick cast iron and I can get a fire from 2" TO 12" diameter easily with that, what are you working that you need such a huge fire?

you will find fuel goes very fast that way ( I can get 3 days of 8 hours forging from one 20kg bag of coke )

you will prob soon see stephen jones on here, he is IIRC between edinbourgh and glasgow, dont know how far that is from you but he is closer than I am

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nothing.... yet 
but it's there if the need arises. 
I've kept all the fire to one end and above only the single vent so far.

excellent, depending on how far between Glasgow and Edinburgh he is, we may well be practically neighbours.

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And as if by magic or nurning ears.

Hi L0RDR4G3  as Mr Dwarf has pointed out. I'm located between Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you are close I'm more than willing to pop round and offer limited advice ( I say limited because I dont know everything). If not Im sure a phone call can help if you ever need advice.

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If i run into anymore problems once I've got my Refractory into it you'll be first point of call then.

I'm in Coatbridge BTW  where are you?

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Currently in West Calder. Though I lived in Airdrie for a bit. 

Like Id said thats a mighty big forge and remember your only going to be working a few inches at a time. If you read the forums here you'll find plans for 55 forges. 

Ill pm you my phone number.

 

 

 

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Welcome aboard. If you are working on keeping it inexpensive just use dirt or clay to line it. It's just some shoveling away and free. No need for fancy expensive refractory on a solid fuel forge. And especially when you don't have a proven design yet. Look up JABOD ( just a box of dirt forge.) simple and works. There are many other simple designs in the solid fuel section of this forum. If you just want to get started learning I really suggest you set that forge aside and start with something smaller that is proven to work. 

Also as far as that fuel, are those charcoal briquettes? If so find lump charcoal or even make your own. Charcoal briquettes are terrible to forge with where lump charcoal is great to use. 

Good luck, welcome, and happy reading. There is a lot of info here. 

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yeah i seen those builds previously. 
but as i said its quite versatile and I don't need to use the whole length all the time. 
but if needed i do have the space to expand the fire.
say for a long blade needing hardened. 

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Okay, now let's talk about that ASO. Cast iron, I assume? Strongly recommend that you get a chunk of decent steel instead. It doesn't have to look like an anvil: Japanese swords were made on a basic steel block, and lots of folks have had good luck with a chunk of railroad rail or a truck axle stood on end. Even a big sledgehammer head set in concrete would be okay.

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thanks for the welcome Daswulf, 

no the fuel Is a smokeless coal. i.e anthracitic coal with less than 2% sulphur content.
 

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have made them for swords with only 6 holes of 6mm each with the holes at an angle with pairs at opposit angles so you dont get hot spots but a continuous fire

will your mesh stand 1500c for a long time in an oxidizing enviroment ( my simple forge gets to well over 2000c ) and I agree a bit of rail or a cube of steel would be better for an anvil

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2 minutes ago, L0RDR4G3 said:

thanks for the welcome Daswulf, 

no the fuel Is a smokeless coal. i.e anthracitic coal with less than 2% sulphur content.
 

Ah ok. You need a good stronger and constant air blast for anthracite coal. One issue you may be having is not enough air supply to where you need it. Do you block off the other holes when only using one section? 

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6 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Okay, now let's talk about that ASO. Cast iron, I assume? Strongly recommend that you get a chunk of decent steel instead. It doesn't have to look like an anvil: Japanese swords were made on a basic steel block, and lots of folks have had good luck with a chunk of railroad rail or a truck axle stood on end. Even a big sledgehammer head set in concrete would be okay.

Nope it is in fact Steel

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Also as Thomas Powers often mentions look up the Tim Lively washtub forge. May help out. 

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Just now, L0RDR4G3 said:

Nope it is in fact Steel

Good. How's the rebound?

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Welcome; I've made caltrops and arrowheads before, which is interesting as to "use them" you throw them away...medieval disposable culture?

You may want to look up my descriptions of the forge I started with around 1981, I put a ramrod in the tuyere pipe to control the length of fire to match what I needed for the current project.

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12 minutes ago, Daswulf said:

Ah ok. You need a good stronger and constant air blast for anthracite coal. One issue you may be having is not enough air supply to where you need it. Do you block off the other holes when only using one section? 

yeah it has been modified since that photo, since then has a shutter system to block them off when not in use and the blower is a vacuum cleaner motor that i fabricated a casing for so it sucks in the same end it always has but all the air is directed into a hose attached to the spray bar now. 
the air flow can then bee reduced by covering the intake to diffrent degrees if required

 

9 minutes ago, JHCC said:

Good. How's the rebound?

when striking it directly it has enough to make adjustments to my grip comfortably. not done alot of forging on it as stated but it should be good. 
 

 

9 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

Welcome; I've made caltrops and arrowheads before, which is interesting as to "use them" you throw them away...medieval disposable culture?

You may want to look up my descriptions of the forge I started with around 1981, I put a ramrod in the tuyere pipe to control the length of fire to match what I needed for the current project.

lol yeah i guess you could say they were disposable then, but it is mainly how when i was younger you had alot more electronic repair stores now if something breaks very few people concider how it can be fixed they just dispose and purchase.
like TV's where only a few capacitors were blown and literally the parts cost £3 quid at most but people would rather dump stuff and spend £300
 

I concidered fitting in some disks on steel rods that could be turned in the pipe as the points between the holes so you could block off the air getting to them from middle out but decided i wanted to be able to use the ends if i wasent using it all rather tha

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I burn anthracite in a JABOD with a vacuum cleaner blower myself, and a single 3/4" tuyere gives me all the fire I need and more. Good that you have a way to control the blast, although some vacuum cleaner motors require airflow through them to keep cool and you may find it burning out. Some way to alter the airflow between the blower and the forge is a good option; check out the pallet wood gate valve I made a little while back.

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with mesh to keep the coals off the tue it wont matter about your shutter, the whole area will be the fire just with less heat as the air can go anywhere under the mesh whilst the mesh keeps the hot coals up, when it collapses it will be more controllable till your pipe melts.

so you need a fire nearly the size of that barrel?

if you turn it up to get enough heat it will use bags of fuel per hour?

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The standard test for rebound is to drop a ball bearing from a known height and measure how far back up it bounces. To quote @Frosty, "Use a ruler if you're not good at eyeball guesstimating that sort of thing. The higher the % rebound the better, below 65% is pretty poor. 90% and up is outstanding. In between is decent to good." 

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4 minutes ago, JHCC said:

I burn anthracite in a JABOD with a vacuum cleaner blower myself, and a single 3/4" tuyere gives me all the fire I need and more. Good that you have a way to control the blast, although some vacuum cleaner motors require airflow through them to keep cool and you may find it burning out. Some way to alter the airflow between the blower and the forge is a good option; check out the pallet wood gate valve I made a little while back.

I had concidered the possibility of it burning out but ive got a few laying around so wasent too worried but i will check that out. 

 

4 minutes ago, the iron dwarf said:

with mesh to keep the coals off the tue it wont matter about your shutter, the whole area will be the fire just with less heat as the air can go anywhere under the mesh whilst the mesh keeps the hot coals up, when it collapses it will be more controllable till your pipe melts.

so you need a fire nearly the size of that barrel?

if you turn it up to get enough heat it will use bags of fuel per hour?

no i dont require the full barrel as fire.
when its completed  from top down itll look something like this.

==============================

 

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

 

==============================

 

where B equals Bar, R equals Firebricks , and = is the barrel edge, the firebricks will be stacked just short of level with the top rim, so in this Gulley there will be seporations almost like its broken into sections lengthways.

so that the fire (and air) can be contained to whatever size is required. 

 

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Remember when forging swords you only want the length of metal you can forge before it cools off hot.  Heating excess length degrades the steel by decarburization, grain growth and scale losses.  Only time you need the whole length is when heat treating so way lower than 1% of the heats need to be full length.

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