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I Forge Iron

It followed me home


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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

have discovered I much prefer slots to holes for an air grate.

I've been using holes since my first one made. I will be honest and say I've never made one with bar slots, but I have not had a real reason to change it. Maybe I'll make one just to see. 

Between poking it out or scooping out the clinker when it is bad enough, I've never felt the need to try to make a clinker breaker. 

Maybe it's the difference between washing dishes by hand or having a hand crank dish washer. I just wash them by hand. 

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For a long time I have just placed random bits of scrap across the tuyere. 
 

Then I tried making a bullet grate out of something I found in my FIL’s scrap pile. I have no idea what it what it was used for in its earlier life. I cut it flush where the pipe inside it ended. Then I welded a pipe onto the bottom of the remaining piece to sort of hold it in the tuyere. 
 

The opening is larger than I wanted, but it worked fine. I just made sure I had a larger bit of coal over it. Once the fire is going and the coal cokes up, it all lumps together and smaller bits were not a problem. It worked pretty much the way Glenn said it would. The clinker fell down around the bottom of it. 
 

But it stuck up too high in the pot and would melt a bit each time I used it. Last week I took the bottom part I had cut off and began using it. It works even better with no melting. I poked a wedge of steel down inside the hole to keep the coal from falling out. That was necessary because the last coal I bought is much smaller than what I had been buying from the club. A large piece is no bigger than the end of my thumb. I will take a photo of it tomorrow. 

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DHarris, That looks like a high pressure hammer union fitting minus the wing nut. Those size typically come from pressure pumping applications - hydraulic fracturing and things like that. Not really on topic but the #15,000 piping that some time comes with those can be made into tooling for various jigs or “monkey tools”. 

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What works best for a smith tends to be a factor of what coal you are using and what you are doing:  using coal where a day of regular forging makes a couple of tablespoons of loose ashy clinker is very different that forge welding with coal that make a a gooey ring than needs to be pulled every 15 minutes.

A "crank" clinker breaker will clean the fire for the first type and can get clogged with the second type.

 

 

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Mail call: an ex-library hardcover copy of Owen Jones’s The Grammar of Ornament

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Also stopped by the industrial surplus place to pick up some things I'd reserved: a box of 80 grit A/O grinder belts, a heavy metal fixture of some sort (14" dia. x 11" h.), and about fifty pounds of welding rod:

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No idea what I'm going to do with the fixture, but I'm sure I can figure out some use for that heavy cylindrical plate. It also has a couple of nice ball bearings that might come in handy. The grinding belts are 4x90, so I just have to split them down the middle to fit on my 2x90. The rods are 6011 and 6013, and came to about $0.85/pound.

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17 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Twisted, that 3/8" plate would make a good workbench top.

That blue eyed kitty is pretty cute.

   I already have several steel tables ive built and use, I’m afraid if I build another one then it will magically attract more stuff to either set an collect on it or bolt to it! For some reason I can’t just have a clean welding table lol. 

This group of kittens is all polydactyls, which is kinda cool,  I have homes for two of them so far just a couple more to go, meanwhile mom cat is going to the vet to get fixed so we don’t get anymore surprises lol. 
 

sorry JHCC you slipped in there right before I posted, grammar of ornament? 

Edited by TWISTEDWILLOW
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I'm sure you are itching to redecorate you shop using some of Owen's suggestions---perhaps a Greco-Moorish fusion?  Sure to look just right when lit by gas lights; maybe your gas saver can pinch hit for them?

I envy you that copy; looks very nice indeed!

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The only coal I have ever used has all been the kind that sends gooey clinker to the bottom. Cleaning it out was just something I had accepted as being normal until switching to my current grate. 

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If you really want a clinker breaker how about using a piece or solid round bar that almost fills the hole. Drill a hole through the center for the crank and grind a couple flat sides. Or drill the hole off center and the eccentric movement when you turn the crank will break clinker and adjust the size of the air blast.

Love the cat pics. I trust at least one is named Tuyere. "Tuyere kitty kitty, come Tuyere." Hmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, if I end up keeping one of the kittens I’ll definitely name it tuyere lol,

I don’t absolutely have to have a clinker breaker, Ive just never had one on the forges ive built so far, so I thought since the firepot was set up for one, that it would be fun to build one an put back in it and see how I like it, if I don’t like it I can always take it back out an do something else

Thomas, that thought had crossed my mind!

its 96 in the shade here right now and I walked around the side of the shop and found all the cats had melted! a couple different times today lol 4D24A8A6-E309-4FF0-A480-77A946311731.thumb.jpeg.4606a90e19d4c9eb41ffd78302255096.jpegA8B040E7-7572-415A-A216-0A33747FBFDF.thumb.jpeg.19ce562b7302a056ab96831c64302e86.jpeg

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I’ve always wondered why polydactyly isn’t more common in cats. It seems as if it should be an evolutionary advantage. It helped the Maine Coon and I believe another northern cat walk on snow more easily because it made their paws bigger. I’ve heard some say their cats with extra digits are more adept at turning lights on and off and opening doors and gates. 
 

One reason it may not have been (except for cats in snowy areas) is sometimes the extra toes may be pointed wrong and could make walking a little painful on harder ground. (Thank you, Google. I knew about the Maine Coon, but not the others.)

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Ive read online that polydactyl cats were highly favored an sought after by sailors during the square rig days, they believed they were better at climbing and hunting than other cats, and that old port towns in the northeast have a higher concentration of them than out here in Oklahoma. 

I also read that polydactyl cats were hunted down an killed in Europe along time ago because people thought the polydactyl cats had something to do with witchcraft,

There are two of these kittens that have 24 toes! The others just have extra toes on the front  

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Funny enough, just today in a conversation with a workmate I remembered when in elementary school we had a mountain man/trapper come and had a large setup. He had a big teepee and furs and roasted turkeys on a spit on the fire. He talked about mountain man life and indians and stuff from that period. One thing I distinctly remember was that the man had a double tipped thumb.  On asking about it his reply was that it helped him to cock his musket better. Lol. The weird things that stick with you from childhood.  

That was the best tasting chunk of turkey I ever tasted. 

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Daswulf, I would be amazed if that’s not the same individual that demonstrated for us when I was in grade school. (I didn’t get any turkey though…)

Well, now that I think about it, that was back home in Hanover, PA. Not that far from you, and we’re probably in the same age group… it’s a small word.

 

David

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Hey David, yeah we aren't that far. I wouldn't doubt it was the same man.  I'm 42. I can't recall the grade I was in or the year. Just remember the experience and the person.   

 We only got a taste of the turkey but it was excellent and sorry you didn't get that. 

 

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This is my “sort of a” bullet grate. This is what it looks like after about 5 sessions. Unlike my first attempt which was too tall and melted, this one looks almost exactly like it did when I first began using it. Not even the small piece of rail anchor I stick in the hole has burned. I think I will slice a thin piece off the bottom of the melted first attempt and use it to make this one slightly taller. If it doesn’t melt, I will add another small slice until I hit the 2” Glenn suggested would be a good height.  If it works at that height and doesn’t melt, I will weld the slices to the base. 

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Well I had something that (didn’t) follow me home today… 

I had a guy bring a machine by the shop today and he noticed some of the old stuff hanging around the shop and I told him that I’m always looking for old tools and asked if he had any blacksmithing stuff,

I showed him my blowers and anvils an forges an he said no he didn’t have any of that stuff…

then he noticed the swage block and he asked what it was and I told him what it was and what it was used for, 

he said well I did have one of those but I hauled it across the scales!!!! 

I about killed over and I ask how long ago and he said it had been years ago, 

he told me he was cleaning up his old property he found it an threw it on the trailer with everything else, he told me when he went to the scrapyard he asked those guys what it was and none of them knew either 

so there it is the story of the swage block that didn’t follow me home,

now probably lost forever… this is why I ask everyone I come in contact with on planet earth if they have anything because you never know if someone is about to haul something useful off the next weekend…. 

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That is often the way when one person doesn't know the use or value of a tool.  To them it is just a hunk of metal.  The same is true for many old things like paintings, documents, sculptures, coins, etc..  How often on Antiques Roadshow does someone with a valuable item say they got it out of a dumpster/skip or someone was just going to throw it out?

The were a lot of anvils, swage blocks, hammers, forges, tools, and rare old guns that went into scrap drives in WW2 in the name of patriotism.

Too bad and so sad.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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