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some general tips for the shop

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Tips for beginners,

1 a clock, keep a big easy to read,clock in the forge , it's easy to loose track of time, when you are concentrating and this helps remind you exactly how long something takes to forge. And it is easy to get lost in what your doing, look up and realise you should of picked the kids up 2 hours ago.

2 a pen and paper, write down EVERYTHING, with little diagrams showing distance betwen points, how long was the taper, what size was that scroll etc. When some one asks you to make something six months after you made your prototype, you don't have to figure it out, just look in your book.

3 paint your punches and chisels a bright colour to make finding them in a dim, messy forge easier.

4 tidy up every day.

5 don't be afraid to work in the colder ranges if you are not sure on something or try to get something dainty just right, it's a lot easier to see what is happening to cherry red stock than bright yellow,(rounding square stock is a good example).

6 warn people visiting your forge, not to hit the anvil, for some reason every non smith who comes in seems to pick up the hammer and smack the anvil.

7 don't be a hero, mind your ears and eyes.


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  • 2 weeks later...

have a surplus of PPE, before I got that idea I often went without PPE because I didn't feel like going back home for the glasses, looking for my hearing protectors and so forth, now that I have a few pairs of glasses and I always leave my hearing protectors on my anvil and usually my glasses too, I've pretty much always had them on, I'm working on getting a jar of ear plugs in case I misplace my hearing protectors

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A lidded stein is great way to have your drinking water/gatorade/lemonade/? in the smithy with you.  It keeps the dust and scale out of it as well as wasps, yellow jackets, flies and the heavy stoneware can be prechilled to help keep it colder longer.  Note that the good ones will also cover the rim to keep insects from where your lips touch as well.

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