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info for making and supplying a forge


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Hello Everyone,

If you can offer some advise it would be much appreciated.  I inherited my great great grandfathers anvil and hammers.  The hammers are beaten pretty bad but the anvil survived surprisingly well.  no divits and the edges are rounded but not chipped.  I wanted to teach myself, through videos and smiths i meet, to do some basic blade smithing.  I could use some advise in my forging.  I wanted to start the same way great great grandpa did with a coal forge.  What would work best? An old firepit?  What do you think about making my own coal?

also, i don't want to dump too much cash into this to start.(Wife... enuff said) Any suggestions on what type of grinders to invest in?

 

Thanks,

Mike

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4 minutes ago, Michael P. Williamson said:

What do you think about making my own coal?

That would take a long time. ;) charcoal would be way quicker to make. 

Start reading through the solid fuel forge section here. To go on the cheap check out the JABOD( just a box of dirt) forge posts. Those can get you going for very little cash. 

Congrats on getting the family tools. It's a great feeling making stuff with tools your father, grandfather or even great grandfather etc. used. 

Start out reading and researching the basics so you learn the lingo and some of what you should or shouldn't do. 

Dont forget, we love pictures. Anything you could show a 3yo. Since it's a g rated site. 

Welcome to the madness. 

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Even if you plan on building your “perfect” forge, the JABOD forge concept alowes you do experiment with different configurations. 

As to grinders, for knife making a simple jig works well. Slower but cheap to start and you learn a lot from it. One can even use an angle grinder if you tread the guid rod into the exes or you handle hole. 

 

Further note, rounded edges are good.

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Welcome aboard Mike, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance. 

If you'll post pics of your forge including the underside so we can see how the the blower / bellows is connected we'll be able to help you get it working again. Unless it's seriously damaged there is probably no reason to build another. 

We're just funnin you, I'm sure you  know coal is a fossil fuel, not something we make and the above is just a typo. We love a straight line and that's a good one. Without knowing where you are we can't offer an opinion as to availability of good blacksmithing coal or local smoke regs. Charcoal is easy enough to make or it's available as lump charcoal for BBQing. 

Pics of the rest of your tools would be appreciated as well. Many of what you believe to be hammers are probably "Top tools" and being beat up is pretty normal. top tools are held on "top" of the work and struck with a hammer to do specific processes say punching holes. They could well, maybe probably need dressing for safety's sake. 

If the preceding sentence is confusing it's because it contains jargon specific to the blacksmith's craft I included as an example of how doing a little reading on IFI will help. The craft language used by blacksmiths lets us know what one another is saying without having to make long explanations for basic processes. getting a handle on the jargon will let you ask good questions and understand our answers.

Welcome to the addiction, we're happy to help you down the path. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well I was wondering about location as in several different languages they use the same term for coal and charcoal---even in english coal was originally charcoal and the rock stuff was called stone coal or even sea coal. (We still refer to "coals" in a campfire or fireplace).

Since he didn't list a location I was assuming a translation error---after a good laugh   (Back to making diamonds....)

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/1/2018 at 10:57 AM, Frosty said:

The craft language used by blacksmiths lets us know what one another is saying without having to make long explanations for basic processes. getting a handle on the jargon will let you ask good questions and understand our answers.

This is such good advice. I've learned a few different pre-industrial crafts now and this is one of the most important lessons. Jargon is not meant to be a barrier to "outsiders". It is meant to make efficient, precise discussion possible. 

As I think about it, even modern crafts are the same way. Programming and computer trades are jargon heavy for the same reason. 

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7 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

robie1373, I had to laugh at your handle. 1373 was the address number on my childhood home.

 

:D In my case it is associated with an obscure comic book I read when I want young(er). Also, was it Mockingbird Ln.? If so, what's it like to be neighbors with the Munsters? (Go look it up kids)

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