ColinHeath

Total Beginner to Forging Ready to Learn

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Hello All,

I run a fabrication and engineering company that does mainly stainless steel for food and drink but have a big interest in learning to forge.

I am In the U.K. and keen to learn but also know this will need lots of practice.

I have a super cheap 20kg anvil and today picked up a big beast which is probably around 40-50kg which I would like to identify.

Looking forward to learning and sharing as I go.

heres a picture of the anvil I picked up today and it has an extra hole close to the step which I have no idea on it’s purpose.

the anvil has handling holes but no markings I can find as yet, I will start a thread.

I have also put a picture of my first attempt at a leaf, lots more to learn and patience thinning down the stem etc.

8BF0CA16-08EA-4175-AA28-B98116EFD732.jpeg

0860FFD5-E921-4F4B-94A5-84BEC00AD492.jpeg

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Good Morning, Colin

Welcome to whatever it is that we do, take something and make it into something else, except gooder.

The hardest part is the beginning. There are almost no wrong way's to do something. What works for me, may not work for you. So what!! When I am teaching a new Class, I give everyone a small container of Play-Doh, Plasticene or modeling Clay. Steel/metal works identical when it is in it's plastic state, HOT. Play-Doh (etc) works the same, almost to the Hammer Stroke or manipulating with your fingers. The difference is, you don't burn your fingers.

Stay safe, don't work a propane Forge inside without excellent circulation (creates deadly Carbon MonOxide fumes that start at the floor and work up). I probably don't have to remind about your PPE.

Enjoy,

Neil

 

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Thanks for the welcome and advice Neil.

Yes I use forge with big workshop door open and always wear glasses.

I will be looking for a course before I drive in too many bad habits 

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A big open warehouse door does not mean you can not accumulate CO somewhere. Several feet outside the door would be better.  A CO detector inside the building will alert you to CO. 

The second hole is there so you can figure out ways to make use of it. 

Begin by firing up the forge and just beating on some metal. 2 pound hammer is plenty and hold it like you would a tennis racket, thumb wrapped around toward the fingers. Anvil height has been discussed in other threads. Make the anvil height fit YOU. If the metal (mild steel) is high orange to yellow, hit it. If it cools to medium red, warm it back up. You can feel when the metal moves, starts to get stiff, and needs more heat. Listen to the hammer hitting the metal with a good solid blow. 

Modeling clay is your friend. Use the same hammer and watch the clay move when it is hit. Now hit it again with the intention to move it in a specific direction.  Get a short piece of say 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 pipe and use it as a fuller. Watch the clay move.  Classes are good but you should already know which end of the hammer to hold before you get to class. LOL

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On 12/1/2018 at 7:55 PM, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Nice find, if I recall French anvils have a hardy hole that exits on the side like the front one on your anvil. Have you read about not grinding, milling or welding on the hardened face plate?

 

20 hours ago, Glenn said:

A big open warehouse door does not mean you can not accumulate CO somewhere. Several feet outside the door would be better.  A CO detector inside the building will alert you to CO. 

The second hole is there so you can figure out ways to make use of it. 

Begin by firing up the forge and just beating on some metal. 2 pound hammer is plenty and hold it like you would a tennis racket, thumb wrapped around toward the fingers. Anvil height has been discussed in other threads. Make the anvil height fit YOU. If the metal (mild steel) is high orange to yellow, hit it. If it cools to medium red, warm it back up. You can feel when the metal moves, starts to get stiff, and needs more heat. Listen to the hammer hitting the metal with a good solid blow. 

Modeling clay is your friend. Use the same hammer and watch the clay move when it is hit. Now hit it again with the intention to move it in a specific direction.  Get a short piece of say 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 pipe and use it as a fuller. Watch the clay move.  Classes are good but you should already know which end of the hammer to hold before you get to class. LOL

Haha I think I’m ok with the hammer holding, it’s my favourite tool, I even have a left handed one

that said I totally understand that stretching and shrinking sheet metal is very different to forging.

18 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

Also which end of the steel to hold.:)

I would like to say that’s stupid but have picked up way to many freshly welded parts to claim it

7 hours ago, JHCC said:

Welcome to IFI! If you haven’t yet, please READ THIS FIRST!!!

Thanks for the welcome, yes I’ve read it

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52 minutes ago, ColinHeath said:

that said I totally understand that stretching and shrinking sheet metal is very different to forging.

What makes you think that? I'd laugh if I weren't in a good mood. Stretching is drawing out and shrinking is upsetting. Same same. Exactly the same effect sometimes different methods.

If you grab freshly welded parts then you're really going to have to learn what end to grasp. Honest we all have our techniques for not accidentally grabbing the hot end Glenn uses a separate table to hay hot work on till he verifies it's cool enough to handle, I habitually lay the hot end pointing away from me and let things cool on their own shelf under the forge. 

I use other tricks too but the ONE that keeps the blisters at bay the best is to never, Never, NEVER just grab anything in a hot shop. Lots of guys hold the back of their hands close to feel the IR of hot stock, I just hesitate an inch or so from contact to feel if it's radiating. 

A piece of red hot or hotter steel will burn but you drop it faster than you realize you're being burnt. Black hot is a whole different world of hurt, 400 f. steel will stick to you like a steak in a dry frying pan and cook you a goodly bit before you can get it torn loose.

We may joke about serious topics but we're just lightening the mood not taking them lightly. For example the ancient saying I made up a few years ago. "Carpe Terminus frigis."

Frosty The Lucky.

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Buy one of Glen's shirts that says Hold the Cold end, Hit the Hot end, Get it right next time! The fill your shop with highly polished pieces of SS so the reflections are a constant reminder!

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It makes you stop and think while you're reading of course. <SHEESH>

Frosty The Lucky. 

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While your steel goes cold. LOL

I've heard somewhere it's a good mental exercise to read backwards text, so I guess you'd get something out of it.

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