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I Forge Iron

Hi ya'll from SW Ohio


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New here but been reading yall's posts for a while. I would like to say first and foremost thank you old guys for the wisdom you put forth here. 

I just started my journey of the smith. I am an Army vet and my therapist says that a good hobby will keep my mental problems at bay. I grew up on a farm in KY and we had a small forge in the barn that my grandpa would repair tools and the like with. I have been around a forge but never learned to work steel. Until now. I have made a few stakes, tongs and 1 knife (just to see if i could). But just mostly am working on bending, shaping, twisting and of course my techniques. 

I use an old cast iron grill with a blower attached for a coal/charcoal forge. And an old vice that the jaws broke off of but the anvil side is still intact for my anvil. Yeah i know not ideal but i didnt want to shell out a bunch of money just to find out i either dont like it or aint no good at it. I am pushing 50 and have lived through the age of bullheaded stubbornness. Which means i will now own up to my mistakes, take criticism  well, and have learned to follow direction. 

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Welcome to Glenn’s international block party.

i used a hibatchy and vice as a kid, let’s see if we can’t get you on the road to a low $ kit that is a bit better,

first I have been experimenting with low $ side blast forges 

This is the second rendition, or mark II forge, my research and experiments have led to a better understanding of charcoal specific side blasts. Tho for the most part coal works just fine.

This will help you either build a more efferent forge or modify your grill to be more efferent.

And lastly some ideas on an improved anvil. 

Honestly a 10# sledge from the tool shed will be better than your vice. Even if you have to buy new a $100 investment will get you a very low $ kit.

as always thanks for your service, many of us have served, and many vets or not have turned to the bashing of hot steel for our mental health.

on a side note, 50 as of October, lol.

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Welcome aboard BillyBones. And Thank you for your service. 

Sure that old vise as an anvil is Far from ideal, if it gets you pounding that's fine but just know there are far better cheap non anvil anvils out there to try with. Just know that using something that functions poorly can cause frustration in forging. Look up some non traditional anvils to see what might function better. Chunks of steel can be found places for little to no cash.

I saw your post vise in another thread. While I can't say who made it it looks like it will work. Just get something under that leg for support  otherwise the mount could break and it won't be sturdy .

There is a ton of info here so enjoy the reading.  Don't forget we love pictures.  :) 


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Try to get to some of the SOFA meetings. When I lived in Columbus OH we would carpool to get to them!

Also; if you edit your profile to put SW Ohio as your location it will stick around and help with a lot of questions; as funny thing a lot of blacksmithing questions end up having a location aspect to them.

For example this improvised anvil was made/used in Columbus Ohio: http://www.marco-borromei.com/fork.html      I'm the Thomas mentioned and I drug the other piece out to NM with me.

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Thank yall for the warm welcome.

I started my profile, but couldnt figure out how to put in a profile pic and forgot to hit the save for just the info. (i am not very computer savvy)

I have also been reading Charles's post on the side blast charcoal forge for improvements. Thanks for the charts and info above.

My vice anvil is getting me started yes, but i need something better. I am off work today so if i want to brave the cold maybe a trip to the scrap yard. 

My old vice that i showed in the other post, well it is mounted on a bench in my basement by 2 small bolts. I really dont use it much and had just hung it there this past summer as a 3rd hand to hold the input drum of my cousins TH350 so i could stack the clutches. But looks as if i will try and clean it up and get some new life into it. Oh and properly mount it. 

I did however learn a very important lesson on my very first time out. Like i said i am a mechanic by trade and being a mechanic guess what i have gallons of just sitting around, and heating the shop. Thats right used motor oil. Stinks to high heaven and way to flammable. 

Sorry i took a minute to respond back but like  i say i am not really a computer guy. Just use it to look up info from time to time. 

Ok off to put profile info in and find information. 



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