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Common Basic Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid


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On 8/20/2020 at 10:35 AM, ThomasPowers said:

And don't forget the rebar that JvdS is using is a different standard than the rebar we get here in the USA at a big box store!   

Yes absolutely.... it’s ALL different..... Chinese make crap, Euros tend to have better access and more consistent rebar.

On 8/20/2020 at 11:02 AM, JHCC said:

Remember as well that Joey and Jennifer are both tremendously skilled smiths. What they can do with substandard materials should not be taken as a guide for what beginners should be doing. 

I’ve learned just about everything I know from Van der Steeg, Switzer(black bear forge) and Steele. Sounds like a Law firm, lol....

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  • 4 months later...

New here and I have read this and have duly noted the do's and do nots.  I am from South Louisiana and have been a woodworker for 20+years and have dabbled in every other aspect of home repair, design, and so much more.  I recently picked up a cheap MIG welder and been playing around with different projects and really just playing around the shop.  I look forward to learning new skills and fabricate new tools.  Not to mention find something to do with all the brass hinges and various other hardware that have accumulated in a corner collecting dust.

Not much of a computer guy, (i don't care to look at screens) so not sure as of yet how to resize the pictures.

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IMG_0014.JPG

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well thank you ladys & gentlemen " I'm not sure if there is ladys so covering my butt lol" for the the useful info ! I'm a beginner even though I have been a metal worker & welder my whole life this is different and I do not pretend to know anything yet . I figured I would start by learning from everyone's mistakes before I even really start. I'm still building my forge so it will be a little longer before I heat any metal which gives me more time to read ! I am a proponent of doing along with reading it's how I learned to weld some 45 years ago and how I tought my apprentices to weld . I gave them the safety and the how to and put a stinger in their hands and let them go " very few do well first time out me included" but it gives them a taste to make sure it's what they want to do , no sense wasting a lot of time on someone who doesn't really want to do it . Of course I am talking younger people 18 - 25 yr olds on average but not always. I am now a apprentice again it seems and will learn at my own pace which is slow " I'm retired what do you expect lol" . But as soon as the forge is done I will heat up some steal & be swinging a hammer again just to get the feel of it with no visions of grandeur that I will make anything of quality soon ! You gotta crawl before you walk right ! But I would like to thank you all for sharing your knowledge in this forum " I've got a lot of reading to do " !  I will say in ending I will be following all your safety ideas . I've seen lots of stupid in my time in the trades and tried to tell apprentices how fast injury can happen " some from self learning the hard way" and can honestly say I have saved a few's lives . Not bragging just proving you need to listen to those who know and not from those who don't ! 

Take care 

Dennis

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

I may be a noob but I wasn't born yesterday. Those who have gone before are telling me how to avoid mistakes they made. I'm grateful, and it would be foolish not to pay attention to them.

This said, I respectfully ask for some more opinions on rebar. So far, all I've done with rebar is make a forge fire poker, and it works just fine. If it gets stolen I won't care; I'll make another. And I have collected some free pieces that are lying about waiting to be turned into something else.

If you recommend not using rebar, what are its drawbacks?

If you like rebar for some kinds of projects, what are they? (Besides pokers.)

Rebar is abundant and often free, so whatever I can (safely and effectively) use it for is a win. Opinions requested.

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I use rebar all the time, just not for projects that require holding an edge like knives, (although I've used it for guards) punches, chisels, struck tools. With rebar it is pretty much a roll of the dice, you never know the composition or alloy. I have used it for legs on forges, tables, bracing, hooks, yard ornaments like bottle trees, plant hangers, the list is just about endless. Others will avoid rebar like the plague, it's pretty much a matter of choice. It's probably not the best for learning on due to the frustration factor when it fails while forging and generally it moves a little different under the hammer than mild steel so techniques learned using it will be different, just like there is a difference between low carbon and high carbon steel.

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As Irondragon says, rebar is a crap shoot for consistency and quality.  It may vary from foot to foot in any given piece.  Because of modern manufacturing processes there is less variance in older pieces.  Some very old rebar may even be wrought iron.  Also, I have never cared for the surface texture which is designed to grab the surrounding concrete but, IMO, looks kind of crappy on hand forged items unless you are specifically wanting to say visually, "this was made from rebar."  If you find a piece or section that is high enough carbon to harden and temper you could make a blade with an un-forged rebar texture handle which could be cool.  The trick would be finding the suitable piece to start with.

So, over the years I have rarely picked up or used rebar for forging stock.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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When I first started I used rebar and I won't rehash what has already been said above. The only thing I will add is that the larger sizes, in my experience, seem to be of better quality than the smaller ones. 

I picked up a 10-15' piece of 1" rebar from the scrap pile at a local ski resort (with permission) and I have found that the whole bar is hardenable. I wouldn't use it for a knife, but it makes for nice tooling. 

It's very possible that the piece I found just so happened to be higher carbon so my experience is anecdotal at best. However, I'm not the first person to notice this. 

Regardless, whenever you're using a mystery material you should always test it first. If you have a welder, having some rebar around can be handy for non-forging uses too.

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When you say "rebar" it's like saying "Mushrooms" and asking what are the pros and cons of using some mushrooms I found in the woods for cooking?  Well it varies from having a delicious meal to dying horribly in searing pain!

Rebar used for major projects: interstate bridges, sky scrapers, dams, nuclear containment vessels; is very good stuff indeed and the main drawback it that this is often really large and so hard to work down into usable stock---you get into the "I got this metal for free and only had to spend 40 hours making it usable!" deal  where 1 hour at you standard rate of pay would had covered buying stock in the size you need...

Rebar in Europe is often good stuff as it is much more regulated than here in the USA.

Rebar in the USA ranges from excellent stuff to the really cheap stuff that may be heavily contaminated---do a search on:     radioactive rebar 1984       for a true horror story of how bad it can get!

Stuff sold as cheaply as possible here is generally "garbage can stew" rebar and the alloy can change in a piece along it's length as it's continuously cast from whatever was in the scrap pile when the claw grabbed a bunch and dropped it into the melter...

I don't like spending the time forging the markings down on it and they are rough on the hand if left in place and used for tooling.  I have some on hand for making cheap tent stakes.

Doing ornamental work; getting true mild steel not A-36,---can be a revelation on how much easier and faster it works under the hammer!

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  • 1 month later...

I had never heard of that radioactive incident before, crazy stuff. Seems like they are still dealing with the “fallout” in some areas. 

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Using rebar is a personal/esthetics choice. Use it if you like it. I don't and have none in my scrap pile, altho I do have rebar in my rebar stack for when I'm doing concrete/stone work.

A long time ago I got the idea to make a set of tongs and forge weld on rebar reins. I thought it would look cool! A friend gave me his famous deadpan look and asked: "you know what you will have when you are done, don't you?" I bit and asked "what?" His response was classic: " a set of tongs with rebar reins". I thought for a minute and decided that a rebar finish was not what I wanted for my iron work. A purely personal esthetic choice. 

Now, as the local devil's advocate, here's my thoughts on why to/not to use rebar.

Cost: all steel is cheap and all flavors are easy to come by for free. So cost is not an issue, it's an improper justification.

Quality: no matter it's inconsistencies, it will harden and make a " good enough"workable  tool. At it's worst, it beats mild steel. On the other hand mild steel will hold a better edge than wrought iron. Basically the quality you want to use or sell to your clients is based on your own morality and just what you decide is " good enough". 

What can I make with it?: What you can make with it is only limited by your imagination. But never forget,,, when you are done, all you will have is your imagination with a rebar finish.

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With your projects, your choices are your to make.  You can always use it as a learning tool when you make the next one.

With a clients project, you want it to be the best you are able to make, starting with materials, form, function, and appearance.  It has your name on it and is advertisement of you and your work for all to see. 

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Yeah... these mistake we should avoid actually.
But I have one question like is it necessary to wear Safety Vest while Hiking or on snowing mountains for enjoy beauty and nature.
I shared one of the picture so you can easily got my idea.

safetyvest.jpg

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Will you need to be seen or identified?

Folks got along without cell phones for many years.  Now days people can not imagine not having one until the battery dies or you loose cell service.

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You never know what might go wrong in the wilderness. While not necessary it's not a bad idea. Personally I have spent quite a bit of time in both the desert and the mountains without one but if things would have went terribly wrong it could have made rescue or recovery easier. 

Pnut

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IMO, about the only time you need high visibility in the wilderness or general outside is during hunting season and then blaze/florescent orange is the preferred color and for firearm  hunters is usually legally required.

One item which I have been considering is a satellite beacon which, if you activate it, will send your location and summon search and rescue folk.  Some of the more elaborate ones allow you to send text messages via satellite.  They are kind of pricey, IIRC, about $400.  There is a woman who has a hiking you tube channel who has discussed them at length.  Look for "Homemade Wanderlust."

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I'm with George. High visibility in the wilderness is generally undesireable unless it's hunting season or you need rescue.

The personal satellite beacons are good - they'll summon help quickly. I carry one on my person when I fly myself over wilderness terrain or ocean as the beacons in planes are notoriously unreliable.

The ones that let you send texts require a subscription. Target market for those are people who want to send home an "I'm still OK" message when on a multi-day trip. Or just want to tell the home front when to get dinner ready. They can still summon help.

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The lady on Homemade Wanderlust is a through hiker (has done the Appalachian, Continental Divide, and the Pacific Crest Trails) and has used the text function to make motel reservations in towns near the trails when she has wanted to take a "zero day" for rest and a shower.  Here in Wyoming I can see it having a use if your vehicle breaks down on a remote road with no cell signal (much of the remote parts of the state).

Interesting modern wilderness factoid:  If an older person gets lost they tend to go down hill because that is what we have been taught, follow water to civilization/rescue.  If a younger person gets lost they tend to climb to try to get a cell signal.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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7 hours ago, George N. M. said:

I have been considering is a satellite beacon

My wife uses one when on a trip, hiking or out in the kayak. A little pricey for the subscription, but what peace of mind, when I can track her GPS location  on the map and she can hit a panic button for help if needed.

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4 hours ago, George N. M. said:

Interesting modern wilderness factoid:  If an older person gets lost they tend to go down hill because that is what we have been taught, follow water to civilization/rescue.  If a younger person gets lost they tend to climb to try to get a cell signal.

My plan is to hit the "Rescue Me" button, lay down horizontal and take a nap.

:D

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One good aspect of a retroreflective vest as in the pic is they reflect light directly back to the source. You've seen how bright they are in the headlights. International orange is just bright orange. Good for hunting season and if you get the orange yellow and red camouflage pattern dear, elk, etc. can't see you so well but humans can. 

Anyway, it's dark out you broke your leg someone went for high ground, got cell and called 911. Out come the rescuers and you're sitting against a rock wearing orange. You'll be visible in ATV headlights at a couple hundred feet, maybe farther. Wearing a retroreflective vest a flashlight beam at a mile will reflect flash back. In ATV headlights at a couple miles it will make a bright reflection and you're easy to home in on.

So, in case of emergency carry a strip of retroreflective tape and wrap it around a stick a couple few feet off the ground. Any light beam will reflect directly back at it. 

A while back, year or so maybe a gal was lost, either got turned around or took a fall and was in a deep canyon in the trees. Aerial searchers were hunting hard for IIRC a week at least without luck. IIRC 28 days later a pilot noticed something orange hanging in a tree. She carries surveyor's tape, tied lengths around rocks and threw them into the trees where one or two got caught and were spotted. They carried her out alive. 

CD discs are somewhat retroreflective and make good signal mirrors. 

If you go out in the bush it's good to be easily visible. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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A roll of surveyor's plastic flagging tape (1 inch x 150 feet) takes up very little space in the glove box of a car or backpack.   Tied between two points it be easily noticed as a warning or a locator signal.

Surveyor's Plastic Flagging Tape 1 3/16" x 300' Pack of 12 - First  Responders/Crossing Guards/Military/Construction

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Raises a question about lasers pointed at aircraft.  If lost or injured could you rely on FFA coming to investigate if an aircraft was flashed with laser?  Surely they would come running if more than a couple of planes reported laser strikes. Next question.  What percent of people would recconize SOS code transmited by light or sound?  I expect very few boaters,hickers and motorest would catch on if casually incountered. 

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