JHCC

Common Basic Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid

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Mistake #31 not following all of the above. I just wish I read the stuff on this site a few months ago....

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We all tend to want to jump in and then go "read the manual" when we run into problems.  It can be amazing how much faster/easier/less painful  things go if we reverse that process...

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Got my new insulin pump today; only cost twice as much as my pickup did.  I'm reading the manual over the weekend to be ready for training on it Monday.

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On 12/18/2018 at 7:32 PM, Marc1 said:

Underestimate the space required and the noise and smoke pollution you will invariably create ... and ... overestimate the support from friends and family. 

Mate!!!! this is the most accurate mistake description EVER!!!

I just started blacksmithing 1 month ago and have only made 10 simple nails so far to 'nail' some basic techniques lol but every single friend and family member i have offers me ZERO support and all of them discourage me from pursuing this craft and thats how i found this community :)

Happy forging

Cinder (Dan)

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I am a newbie.  So wet behind the ears I have tadpoles growing in the pond.  

   Biggest mistake I am seeing?  Trying to keep up with the smiths.

   Seriously.  Do NOT expect to do something in the same number of heats that the experienced smiths do.  Not even close.  They may be able to make that bottle opener in four heats or less, (saw that and just said not even.).  So... be ready to realize that they do it in four or five, ,you are probably going to need two to three times as many.

   This is a marathon, not a sprint.  So take your time and follow all the excellent tips in this topic.

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Excellent point Ben

To quote Denzel Washington in The Equalizer: 'Progression not perfection'

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May i offer 2.

1) Do not stare into the forge, you will damage your eyes.

2) Put down the hammer and pick up a broom. In other words clean up every once in a while. Don't need clutter under your feet. Your mama dont work in your shop, aint nobody gonna pick up after you, but you. 

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16 minutes ago, BillyBones said:

Put down the hammer and pick up a broom. In other words clean up every once in a while. Don't need clutter under your feet.

This is true in every facet of life, but so much more in crafting.

I used to work in a bakery, and it was extremely easy to collect bowls, spatulas, spoons, piping bags and tips, sheet trays, cookie cutters, etc. all on that shelf under the table. Of course when you need something it's got a 3/4" thick buttercream stucco in it and it just breaks the rhythm you develop. You know what they say: An organized workspace is an organized mind.

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Another "They" say, "An organized work space is the sign of a lack of imagination." :ph34r:

Frosty The Lucky.

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I think the title of this thread should be modified to a more honest one: " Mistakes I make myself all the time and wish you can learn to avoid" 

And a few quotes to go with that thought

"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time"

"There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory."

and there is nothing wasted in the next one ... :)

Why Older People Have Always Trashed Young People:

It’s partly fear, partly self-flattery, and partly delusion, and it’s been happening for thousands of years

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Mistake # 32 using too much oil on your coals. Makes a huge black cloud and then having to give a demonstration on forge welding because the cops and fire department had nothing better to do...

Awwwwwkward.

(yes learning is from mistakes.)

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9 hours ago, Sly said:

Mistake # 32 using too much oil on your coals.

If you're talking about putting oil or ANY accelerant on burning coals it's a very dangerous mistake. Visualize engulfed in a fireball, dropping the oil can and becoming one with the fire that burns down the: shop, home, Chicago, kind of mistake.

Yeah I know it's a stretch but legend has it Mrs. Leary's cow kicked over a kerosene lantern and started the Chicago fire. 

If you watch the home shot video crazy antics show you see people squirting charcoal lighter fluid in a BBQ that isn't hot enough, the guy pouring gas on a burn pile to speed it up, etc. see the fireball and the fool dancing around, sometimes on fire. Throwing any flammable liquid on any flame is a very B-A-D idea.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Not exactly that dramatic. 

I use the oil primarily to kick up the flames before adding fresh coals to the top, helps suck the oxygen from underneath as well. in this case I tried to add coals add a little oil add coals and got fifteen minutes of smoke and no so called fireball, even then iv never had anything that dramatic like you describe happen in my forging experience... ever.

Its basically like... cooking oil or fat dripping off the meat onto the coals only the flame is sustained.

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I've always considered such flames to be cooler than the ones generated from the primary fuel.  Save on your face.  Energy going into vapourization and the burn taking place above the working zone.

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Sounds like poor fire management to me. Don't wait till the fire is too small to add coal, rake it in and pack it around the fire before you need it so it can coke up in advance. It shouldn't take 15 minutes for coal added to a fire to get going. I don't need that much time to get a fresh fire ready to work and I'm not primarily a coal forge guy.

Frosty The Lucky.

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 the forge is also just a channel made from two very thick brick walls about 6 inches apart from each other and 16 inches deep, maybe two feet wide. It gets about 2900 degrees internally hot enough to liquidize iron but it does require a few tricks in managing the stack, being it gets piled higher then what will light. Pro is charcoal lasts forever and I can forge 8 hours on 20lbs with a garenteed reducing flame (which means 10$ for a day, vaguely cheaper then propane) downside is it doesnt reheat the coals as fast and traps alot of ash, thus the added oil for penetrating flames when I add the stack I turn the air up get it all lit and pack it back down then tamp the air. Good for welding and forging, but it's also needy on getting conditions just right.

Problem was the oil on dry coals just fumes and doesnt light, it took a good 15 minutes to smoke out before lighting because it was choked. 

As for gas ignition fluids... I watched some of those videos for kicks and no thank you.

Still #32 oil on dry charcoal fumes and does not work the way you would think it would.

 

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I was recently having trouble keeping a fire going. As a rookie I assumed it was poor fire building or management nope the, the tyre had clogged up with small  pieces and dust. Simple solution to knock out but caused frustration for several attempts. 

A little oil on newspaper will help start a fire, started doing this for charcoal in a chimney.  

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:20 PM, Glenn said:

Use the back of your hand to sense if something is hot. Much more sensitive than the front of the hand that does all the work. 

Not only this but the instance of heat to the fingertips causes the brain to clinch and pull the hand away. If the piece sticks or you actually "succeed" in grabbing it, you're in for a bad burn not just on the fingertips. The back of the hand pulls away with no clinch.

These are all such great pieces of information. Thanks guys and gals!!

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