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So I have been forging for about 2 years now and am looking to start moving beyond beginner projects. I have been doing a lot of bottle openers, fire pokers, necklaces, hooks, etc. I am feeling comfortable moving metal (almost always in the direction I plan for!) and finishing projects. However, lately have been feeling a bit stuck, doing the same types of things over and over. Don't get me wrong the practice is great and I am getting much cleaner results...

BUT, I am also looking to move to the next level. I am hoping for some suggestions on some more intermediate (or advanced beginner) projects that would be good to build the next level of skill. I am still trying to learn to forge weld in my forge, so probably not ready for projects that require that yet. Otherwise, I have looked around online, but not finding a good plan for where to head next. 

Thanks!

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Gates and grillworks, the COSIRA books have some good examples.  Tools.  Depends on where you want to go with smithing.  Tools will get you into working different alloy with their forging temps and heat treat. Gates will get you into planning and building to plan and doing multiples and assembly.

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Have you made tongs? How about hardware? Hinges and door latches are a challenge. Garden lamp and Tiki torch stands can be good built up products. This isn't a specific suggestion it's an example. Think of the Space Needle for a model. 3 gracefully tapered legs a top component and stretchers to make it stable. A small large disk one could be a patio side table a taller version would be a bird feeder stand, etc etc. Like I say just an idea of a way to go to make more complex made up products requiring a degree of consistency and precision in the components. 

When I start students on intermediate projects I'll often have them working on consistency. After a while they all are pretty good at making various coat hooks. Now I'll give them an example and they get to make four closely enough matched to make a nice set. Making a number of items the same or reproducing something is much harder than making singletons.

Frosty The Lucky.

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There are a lot of smaller projects that involve, or can involve, processes required for bigger builds such as rivetting and tenons depending on the designs. trivets, candle sticks, rushlight holders, etc. and many different designs to keep you from becoming bored with making them for along time to come. Many of which will also serve to keep the wife happy as they will be most usefull in kitchen or dining room.

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I'm not sure if I can link it here, I get the feeling there is some tension between the websites, but if you Google "blacksmith projects" you might find a long list of different things to try.

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He's probably referring to Anvilfire  and the iforge section on the drop down navigate anvilfire menu.

Jock is against folks linking to his site; but I don't thing anybody is against directing folks there.

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They say no hot links or linking, and you can not copy any of the material from that site. No tension, we just try to respect their wishes.

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Looks pretty good. Nice lines and looks stable. You're working it a little too hot. The scale has the blistery look that says it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Frosty - thanks for the feedback. I was wondering about that blistering. I run a propane forge - do you recommend that I turn down the psi (to run it a bit cooler) or just pull the metal out sooner?

 

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Either one, time or temp. A well tuned propane forge is just like any fire and requires real time fire management.

If it's a new project a person tends to spend a little more time thinking about what to do next so the piece can end up in the fire longer, or more often trying to chase down that LAST bit of just right. We all do it. 

The alloy might have something odd in it from the scrap pile, if so it's a head scratcher. No telling.

Frosty The Lucky.

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There is a good market for door and cabinetry hardware particularly the latter.

This covers from the simple to the sublime.  Door and drawer pulls, hinges, and marrying your estucheon plates and thumbers to come modern locksets like Baldwin for top dollar entryway doors

 

It's a great next step and can make some good money.

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Could be also running too oxidizing.

Yeah, could be but my first reaction was temperature, it's a gut thing.  The more I think about some things the wronger I get.

Frosty The Lucky.

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That was my thought also, or the metal is in the cone of the flame where there is still free oxygen.

Here is the forge I have, the diamondback 2 Burner Blacksmith Forge. They sell a plate that goes over the top of the burner, but are sold out. Can I just put a piece of metal up there to adjust?

 

 

There is a good market for door and cabinetry hardware particularly the latter.

That is a good idea. I will dig around a see what I can find. Also, a good way to practice repetition and consistency. 

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 They sell a plate that goes over the top of the burner, but are sold out. Can I just put a piece of metal up there to adjust?

I don't know the answer to this. My feelings have always been that you don't want to disturb the flame where the chemistry is happening. Can you adjust the flare on the burners? Making it shorter may make the cone of the flame shorter.

 

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On 10/2/2017 at 3:38 PM, Steven Lancaster said:

 

Here is the forge I have, the diamondback 2 Burner Blacksmith Forge. They sell a plate that goes over the top of the burner, but are sold out. Can I just put a piece of metal up there to adjust?

 

That is a good idea. I will dig around a see what I can find. Also, a good way to practice repetition and consistency. 

Very true.

However, when you do a set for one job, the next one gets a new design.

 

Not too different from horse shoeing and kifemaking

Or a railing for that matter.

 

I call it limited production.

 

 

 

 

 

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Objects with moving parts always seem to demand more forethought, but not necessaily more forging skill, so may be a convenient way to step up a difficulty level.

Even a very simple gate latch takes a fair amount of attention to make it counterbalance, ride and fall correctly.

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Yup, ive done quite a bit of cabinetry and door related hardware.  Very fun and marrying say a thumber to a baldwin mortise unit is fun... to say the least.

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Hello, 

I figured that I will add my ideas on intermediate. 

When I moved on to intermediate I started doing projects that require planning, forging to size, and multiple piece projects.  This includes trivets, tongs, signs, sculptures, calipers, Norfolk latch, traditional joinery, and much more. Learn how to make something that interest you. Make it to size and make all the tools for said project including jigs. This should keep you interested for the next few years until you figure out where you want to go with your acquired shaman skills.

Another idea is to advance your ability to create detail and interest in your pieces through techniques like chasing and finishing. This all really depends on what makes you want to continue to get out in your shop everyday. Hope this gives you some idea's. If not then I suggest reading more books on smithing and metal work :).

Thanks for reading my two cents.

Below was a project I did at about two years exp.

0926171050.jpg

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