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I don't get to forge every day.when I do it seams to come in spurts. I went two months without lighting a fire,to six sessions this month? My hamer striking is improving, I've learned you don't have to kill the iron. Solid, deliberate,and well placed is much more effective. Hooed of thunk it. Heat well heat is a hole deferent animal. I can't even count the number of projects I've burned up. I had a small knife hamerd out I had it all the way to heat treat. first two thermal cycles went well the thred wasent even put it back in the fire to even out the heat and lost half the knife. 

 

I said a few chose words then cut and stuck a piece of 5/8 x5/8 in the fire.  what I think I need to do is build a bunch of these. I had to constantly stay on my heat expecaly once I had the tail drawn out. Funny thing I ended up spliting the end from working it to cold ( you just have to laugh) 

 

i did aneal another file and I'm working on another knife. I have it hamer do out and I'm doing the file work. If I get the time I hope to have it heat treated this weakend ? 

image.jpeg.fc026d6e0e787be35d08590df40ee3ab.jpeg

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Still learning? There isn't one of us who isn't.

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Fire management is more than just building a fire and keeping it going. You learn to use YOUR fuel (solid fuels) and add the amount of air needed to achieve the hear you want. The temperature dial is the air dial. Too much air and you get too hot. Not enough air and you do not get hot enough. The fire is NOT a single temperature, it is constantly changing temperature as the fuel burns. You have to continually replace the burnt fuel, and adjust the air to get what you need or want. It is a dance that is easy for some, and frustrating for others. Watching a blacksmith tend his fire is not as exciting as watching him swing a hammer. Working the fire is a much overlooked part of his craft. 

This makes gas forges very attractive to some folks, just set the dial and you get one heat temperature that is constant until you drain the bottle.  Electric induction forges are a little of both if they are set up properly. 

 

Then there is the day you try heating multiple pieces of stock in the same fire in a solid fuel forge (grin). It is actually easy to control and there is always a hot piece of metal ready for the anvil. The fire can overwork you as YOU try to keep up.

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One of my students contends that solid fuel forge fires are "alive" and have to be taken care of like it was an animal.  Why I like to start students on propane so they can concentrate on moving metal and not trying to learn another tricky skill, fire management,  in parallel.

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Still learning?  You  should be learning everyday until  all your friends join together to give you a send off and your fire has died. 

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I agree I will never stop learning I just have to have a title to the thread :)  I don't know anyone around here that dose black smithing. yall are all I got as far as feedback. 

Thank y'all by the way 

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You may want to look the blacksmithing groups in Texas and Louisiana and attend the meetings. 

We can provide you feedback, just ask well thought questions, take the answers to the forge and try out the information. Then come back with more specific questions. Think of the learning as a challenge, whether on the internet, through books, or spending a day or so at a blacksmith meeting. It all counts.

With IForgeIron, you have access to over 45,000 blacksmiths and members from over 150 countries of the world. They demo, they teach, and they also write books. It is a great resource.

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I think I'm ready for the heat treat :) image.jpeg.af65ec0b471e48943c84bab1af4f2d71.jpeg

i built a filing jig, and I may have 30 minuets worth of filing. 

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A little better pick image.jpeg.1fc8907dd6fbed12d599cdaf082cc018.jpegI took the cross in to work today to show it off. And a fellow tried to buy it for his wife. I gave it to him and told him to tell her happy birthday from me. 

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