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I Forge Iron

Striving Seattle Smith


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Hello all!

My name is Andrew and i have loved the idea of blacksmithing. I'm always down to learn new things and give new things a try. 

Would love to meet up with local smiths and see how its done. Talked to David Lisch a couple years back when he had his studio in SODO and just found out there was another guy up in The Country Village until he got pushed out due to condo's coming in.

I know i should be starting off with some ASO and maybe a DIY forge of some sort but want to see some forging in person before i purchase.

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First off, welcome to IFI, The  turn  “Anvil Shaped Object” was coined buy a member here to refer to cast iron POS anvils from harbor freight and the like. We see a lot of new guys incorrectly paling it to perfectly good anvils that just didn’t be fine life that way or are not shaped like a London pattern anvil.

here are some examples of perfectly servicible anvils.

as to building a forge, let me step in and cut you off at the pass, or more to the point the brake drum forge bandwagon. Many a smith has started with one, many still use them to forge fine things but they can cost more than $50 in pipe fittings, are more complicated and don’t play well with charcoal (lump not brickets). A simple box of dirt with a scavenged 3/4” schedule 40 pipe tuyer work very well, and with a suitable air supply can be put together for $20. 



one young man even used a pile of bricks and a rather engenius tuyere. 

Now I do expect you to go and buy PPE (personal protective equipment) good leather shoes or boots ( boots with their higher top preferred (hot slag in your loafers is a level of suck you don’t want to experience) all cotton or wool shirts and pants (synthetics melt) and a good pair of safty glasses are a good minimum. 

That should get you started, a couple of 1 1\2 to 2# hammers are a good start, ball peins are easy to find, smaller cross peins not so much. $50 will buy you a servicible Mustad or Diamond rounding hammer from places like Tractor Supply can be had as well. Don’t forget to dress your hammer to avoid marking up your work.. 

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Hi ItsSwanny, I'm in Granite Falls, WA and believe me you are not alone in this area. We have a very active regional blacksmith association, Northwest Blacksmith Association or NWBA and we meet monthly in Longview, WA. I am currently making my third forge similar to a JABOD as Charles mentioned. For mine I'm using a washtub rather than a wooden box but all the same otherwise and I'm out maybe $20 so far. You have Seattle as your location and mention Country Village which is in Bothell, there are classes available in Seattle, Anacortes, and other places around here and you have plenty of resources for tools and materials too. In the Seattle U-district on Roosevelt street is a hardware store like no other with an amazing assortment of tools. In Everett is a steel company that sells drops and shorts for a per lb. price. There is a place in Clearview that sells recycled steel, I have driven by but not stopped there, but by the looks of it you might find a suitable anvil there. And as for London pattern, I just passed on one in Longview last week because i was more interested in a 5 in post vice for $100. Welcome to the addiction, there are lots of people on this forum and in our area ready to help. You can PM me if you want more details.  

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Elements, I would appreciate you sharing your wash tub forge on the JBOD thread or as a stand alone posting. Some folks seem to find it difficult to extrapolate a box of dirt to a tub of dirt. Besides with my spelling and the rabid pack of squirrels that pass for a mind, sometimes it’s hard for folks to understand my posts

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@Charles R. Stevens Ahh yes, that is what i meant was the improvised anvil. I had read through that thread and found it very helpful. I did not read that one on side blast forges, i will read that thank you! I have PPE, do need some more cotton shirts though, worked in many jobs where small bits come flying at your face (learned from my younger self to wear safety glasses).

@4elements Thank you for all the heads up on local places. Yes i am in Kenmore. I will have to look into the place in Clearview, not far from me. I looked into NWBA but the forums don't seem as active as here but i will definitely look into their events more.


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Mr. Dwarf, has stated "Charles, rabid squirrels are not known for spelling but yours is always 'interesting' ...

GADZOOKS man!* Mr. Stevens surely does NOT keep rabid squirrels as pets. If not so I have my suspicions that the squirrels are correcting his orthography for the worse.

Yes that explains the phenomenon. I never thought of that until now.

The cat may be out of the bag. Oklahoma, surely, has city ordinances against keeping said exotic pets.

Charles keep posting your invaluable comments and observations with creative/personalized spelling. 

You have many friends here, including the SLAG.


* I thought that a Victorian expletive was in order.

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I posted "Just a Tub of Dirt" with all the pictures I took in the solid fuel section. The build took about a day and a half, and around $20. I had the sand already, so I didn't include that cost since I don't remember that far back. I haven't built a stand yet, or a fire. I'll post again when there is more to show or tell.

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