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I Forge Iron

Greetings from the Bay Area


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Well hello all! I feel as though I have already come to know some of you already reading through all the old posts. I found IFI about a year ago and I've read as much as I could. Amazing. The only way I can describe the information and collective knowledge you all have accumulated here. So first off I'm Pete. 30 year old from the central coast of California. Former marine turned union carpenter. I grew up in a cabinet shop and spent plenty of time in machine shops and sheet metal manufacturering shops. My family are mostly all in the trades or started companies that cater to the construction industry. I've been welding (stick/mug/tig) since 16. I have a passion for building and creating. The more complex the project the better. Infatuated with "the old ways". My mom always says I was born 100 years to late. I tend to agree. Avid outdoorsman. More to say than I can think of right now so I'll get to the point. I've wanted to try my hand at the forge for longer than I can remember. IFI was the kick in the pants I needed to get started. So about six months ago I found some 3/8" plate and some 5" tube steel 1/4" thick and began cutting and welding. The result is a 18x18 overall pan style forge. Pictures to follow. Next came air. Blowers, electric and hand crank were either to expensive or just to far gone for me to mess with. Being a carpenter the idea of box bellows intrigued me and I found myself researching the Japanese fuigo. Well one thing you won't find is any type of instructions or blueprints for one but a little cutting here a little glue there and some slight modifications and boom! Fuigo is ready to rock. Again pictures to follow. Now the anvil was the real trick. Not a lot of blacksmithing going on out here and certainly no shops catering to the trade. Auctions estate sales and classifieds turned up a lot of junk, not blacksmithing junk unfortunately. Prices for new as you all know are out of this world but hey you get what you pay for. I wanted drop forged. It was a bit of a deal breaker for me. So, and I already know I'm gonna catch crap for it, I bought a brand new kanca 44lb from an online dealer. I personally love it. Small enough for me to move easily and big enough for the work I'm trying to do. Mostly I've just been working on the basics. Drawing out, loops and forge welding. So far I feel I'm progressing but there's a hole new world for me to engulf myself in. My excitement, like my curiosity, knows no bounds. So that's about it for now. Feel free to ask me anything. I look forward to our future conversations.



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Good Morning, Pete

First off, the Anvil, Forge and Tools you have, are WAY more gooder than the ones you don't have!! LOL  There seems to be a lot of opinions of what this should be and how that should work. Take it with a grain of salt, DON'T be afraid to walk the road less travelled. You will figure out what works for you in your own situation, That then becomes YOUR best way. Start with a container of Plasticene or Play-Doh. They work in your hands and fingers, identical to how Steel moves when it is in it's 'Plastic State' (Red Hot). Play with the soft stuff and put a container in your 'Tool Bag', it won't go bad.

Welcome to our World!! Just because you live where you do doesn't mean you can't sometimes 'Poke the Bear'. Sometimes it is good to hear some of the CURRRRmidgeon's  squeak. There is a lot of talent available here, ask informed questions and you will get the real goods.

Enjoy the Journey, there is no Rule Book or Examination. There also is no end of Learning!!!!


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