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I Forge Iron

Hello from New Jersey


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Hello from New Jersey! I will start off thanking all of you for the posts that have taught me so much already, it has been a pleasure to read and learn from you all.  I have been beating metal and making it do what i want for over 17 years as my primary job.  I am an autobody technician, so now at the age of almost 35 I decided to have fun with hot metal and a hammer.  In the autobody industry we use cold metal (usually don't heat it) and move it with pulling rams and beat it with big hammers. This will be a fun new hobby and a great change of pace for me and my kids. Reading the info so far had guided me thru building my first coal forge. Having a forge party in my garage with a couple buddies showed me the design had to be tweaked, however by the end of the night that fire was hot.  Obviously nothing a newbie does is perfect and my forge is definitely no exception. I have lots of hammers, just acquired a section of train track and a 50lb anvil,  forging my first piece of metal into probably noting useful is just around the corner. I will try to not ask any questions that I can easily find the answers to, I know how some of guys really enjoy explaining things time and time again.  Thanks for all the info you guys keep supplying, I will keep reading and experimenting. 

Best of luck to everyone,  John

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OK, <grin>, welcome aboard.  Your post may have just gotten buried too quickly for anyone to take notice of immediately.  From reading same it seems like you are well on your way.  Obvious recommendations follow:

  1. Use good PPE
  2. Make sure you have correct ventilation in your garage including a good exhaust hood and code approved exit stack
  3. Try to meet up with some local smiths for direct instruction/training.  This works much better than YouTube, where much of the posts are questionable.
  4. Read, Research, Experiment, be Safe and have Fun.
  5. Post pictures with your requests for forge design improvement and we will be more easily able to assist.
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I have seen autobody guys heat small deep dents to red and cool with a wet rag, after several cycles they had shrunk the stretched metal back to a resemblance of the original (close enugh to cover with glazing putty and sanding primer) newer cars are so thin and use low temp hadening alloys that most work now is straiten the unibody/frame and buy new skin (labor is more expensive than parts). Still a good panel beater is impressive. 

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Many folks don't even recognize the tools used for lead wiping anymore that gave the term "lead sled" to us...

I remember fixing a dent in my old phone company van, ('68 Ford) by climbing in and giving it a good kick with my steel toed boots. It popped right back out.

The little imported pickup that hit me, (bad ice storm in OKC), had the fender bent onto the tire. I was able to do a field expedient fix on it by putting the boot on the axle cap and grabbing the fender with my gloved hands and pulling it up off the tire letting *both* of use get off the roads before someone else hit us!

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Welcome aboard John, glad to have you. I didn't notice your first post either, you might want to make more noise, we're a little deaf you know.  

Believe it or not almost everything you learned about auto body work applies to smithing. Shrinking, dishing, plannishing, etc. all apply it's just a matter of scale and energy. You gotta get less delicate and work hot. Easy Peasy, you already know how you just need to adapt to a "new" material.

We LOVE pic you know: projects, shop, tools, equipment, scrounge, landscape, kids, pets, . . . just about anything you'd show a young child to which you don't want to have to describe an adult thing.

Frosty The Lucky.


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