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I’ve been interested in blacksmithing since I was 9 or 10 years old. Around a month ago, I finally finished my forge. I’ve had my anvil stand done for around 2 months now. I mostly just use a 3 pound sledge I picked up at a flee market for $5. I don’t normally have the stand this close to my forge, I was just doing this so you could see it a bit better. I weighed my “anvil” and it’s around 50 pounds. The thing on the side of the stand is a railroad spike hammer head. I use it to round metal. The forge is a sink lined with firebricks and sand. I usually put a cookie sheet on top to trap the heat in a bit better. I use a hairdryer as a bellows. Thankfully, this setup is pretty cheap, even unemployed 14 year old me can afford it!

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Suggest you run your fire deeper, maybe to 1/2 way up the top brick, and use less air.  Fuel does not make the fire hot, air makes the fire hot. The flame does not make the metal hot, the embers touching the metal make it hot. Metal goes in 1/2 or 2/3 of the way up the fireball. 

Look for a 2 pound hammer. Your body will thank you for the difference.

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If I may, 1/2 fire bricks arnt cheep unless they are scrounged and you may verywell melt them (have done this to full size ones) adobe is much cheaper (for your future reference) as are old red bricks that hold up neir as well. 

Second I woul make my fire pit 1/2 a brick wide (4” or so) 1/2 a brick deep (below the hearth) and a brick long (8”) with a schedual 3/4” schedual 40 black pipe tuyere at the bottom center of the long side. Next atleast one long side, if not both should have a 1/2 brick high wall to contain fuel. I would recomend atlest 12” long. This gives you a 4” wide buy 8” long and deal fuel pile that will heat 1” stock 6” long. I recomend seting the bricks on the long sides on end thus it is easer to chip off the corners for the tuyere and they don’t shift. 

Remember that the 1/2 thickness bricks arnt thick enugh to protect the wood so I recomend a cuple of inches of dirt, sand catlitter etc as insulation on the bottom and sides. 

 

 

To add to Glenn’s advice about hammers, the Viking era smiths used 1-1/2 to 2# hand hammers so you don’t need a 4# hammer to start. 

 

Further make your trench so you can run stock all the way threw it, thus in effect your working from one end of the trench with the tuyere to either your left or right ( I am right handed so my tuyere is to the left). 

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On the Other Hand:  You are actually trying to do something and not agonizing on and on about needing it to be *perfect* before you get started!  Blacksmithing is all about iteratively changing things till you get what you want.  This refers to your equipment as well as your workpiece!

So the trough fire often works better for charcoal and as mentioned charcoal needs very little air.  The trough design also means you can put the workpiece in horizontally as putting it in at an angle increases the chances of burning up your work. (If you haven't accidentally done that by now you are sure luckier than I was when I started!

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This Is my low budget set up. It works fine for me.     Like Thomas said at least you're doing something.                                                            Pnut

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Listen to those old guys, they have provably forgot more about forges than i will ever know. But all in all i would say good job. Some improvements could be made, yes, but like Thomas says  your using what you got and not looking for that perfect something. (By the way, you will never find the perfect anything) 

So cheers to you. 

That anvil stand i would put some more support under it. That top may seem pretty sturdy but it will flex. Flexing is bad. Just a couple 2 x 4's stood on end under your anvil will help tremendously. If you look through the anvil stand thread you will notice that all the wooden stands are solid and most have the boards turned on end rather than side.  

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On 10/30/2019 at 12:06 AM, Glenn said:

Look for a 2 pound hammer. Your body will thank you for the difference.

Thanks for the advice! I’m looking for a good 2 pounder currently, any recommendations?

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Flea markets, boot sales, etc.  Do not overlook ball peen hammers.

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On 10/30/2019 at 4:56 PM, BillyBones said:

That anvil stand i would put some more support under it. That top may seem pretty sturdy but it will flex. Flexing is bad. Just a couple 2 x 4's stood on end under your anvil will help tremendously. If you look through the anvil stand thread you will notice that all the wooden stands are solid and most have the boards turned on end rather than side.  

Ok, I’ve got an old pallet and I’ll put some more reinforcements in tomorrow, never noticed any bending but I guess it could happen over time.

2 minutes ago, Glenn said:

Flea markets, boot sales, etc.  Do not overlook ball peen hammers.

How heavy should my ball peen hammer be? I’ve been using a 12 oz one right now.

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24-32oz

tractor supply sells a descent rounding hammer over by the horse shoes for about $50, but that’s not cheep. 2# duble jacks from HF can be ground to shape as well. 

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They quit selling those rounding hammers at the 2 TSCs closest to us. All they have in the cases are farrier tongs now. I thought I'd get one while I was there one day. Same thing when we went to the other one

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I don't know why they quit. There's a place called D&L and they have a big selection of shoes and nails. Several tongs. But no hammers. I guess they figure we don't need no stinkin' hammers around here! 

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47 minutes ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

tractor supply sells a descent rounding hammer over by the horse shoes for about $50

They don't stock em at the one by me. That's good to know. I might get one ordered in the future. I'm surprised they don't have them here. I'm right on the edge of the bluegrass region. Only about fourty five minutes from Kentucky Horse Park and Churchill Downs.

Pnut

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Most major cities have a horseshoing supply, prices range from reasnable to ”redonckulus”. Nature Farms in Norman Ok for example, lists rounding hammers from $70-150. For that money you can buy a duble jack hammer, a 4’ grinder and abrasives from HF and grind your own. I infact have 4. One just dressed, one a full radius cross pein, one a full radius strait pein and one a full radius ball pein. I have also takes a 4# duble jack hand sledge and rehandled it with a long handle (about 1/2 a sledge hammer) for my light framed thralls. It gets used a lot for stake and spike driving as well. 

Older 24-32oz. Ball pein heads show up a lot (some even with good handles) in junk shops and swapmeets, they can be re forged and heat treated. Add a new handle and your off to the races. 2# cross peins show up in the same places, they seem to me popular with masons and concreat gues around here, dress and rehandle. I have a demo set that consists of a 32oz. Ball pein, 2# cross pein and a ground down duble jack to make a strait pein, all rehandled with a used shovel handle. This gets with my rail iron anvil ad the mark III JABOD forge to show off cheap kit. 

 

 

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About all my hammers are cheapos. I have one that I paid $52 for. It's my main forging hammer. Only because I wanted a German pattern cross peen and I couldn't find one that weighed less than 3 lbs. This one is 2.2 lbs.

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