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I Forge Iron

Fitchburg Forge In 2019 Videos of competition.

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Well after some debate with myself this is where this thread ended up.. I looked at different title or threads here and if this is in the wrong area move it please.   I also could not find the original post so my bad if there is a post somewhere.. I did look. 

there will be 2 videos as the camera died on the thumblatch build. 

I know people have already commented on the thread on what did you do in the shop today, but for posterity I guess. 

I was to lazy to go and get the herb hook out of the storage container for the video but today I dug it out..  

Session 1 was an Herb Hook with jamb pintel hook.   

Video 1: 


2019 - forgein_sessions3.jpg




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thanks..  I thought the nail color was just right..  One of my buddies asked me about doing tempering colors on one hand and heat colors on the other.. I stopped off at the store to do this but the colors were not all there.  I love the firey safety glasses too.. :) 

it's great to think one is never to old to learn..  Even after all this time I learn stuff constantly.    I keep being hopeful that once the shop goes up, I will be able to dedication more time to actually get out and forge on a regular basis.. 

The competition last year was pretty intense with some really good smiths.. (3 full time pros and one part time pro). This coming year will prove to be even tougher as there will be a few more full time smiths and one of the guys from last year has gone full time..  He's been putting out some really nice work. 

I'm lucky to forge once a month this time a year and it isn't till the middle of August when my demo season opens so have about 4 weeks before the competition with only forging on couple days a week. 

this year I have a few classes end of March, and then in April and then the first week of June..   but, we will see as once the shop is complete things may change fast. 


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  • 3 weeks later...

We watched you the whole time, might have seen my feet a couple times.. Will have to watch the full videos later. 

Can't wait for this years competition.. In the future, I'd like to compete.  My instructor competes, and has won first place a few times.

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Hi Jennifer, I just have a quick question.

How do you break the stock into lengths for the chain links like you did in the beginning of the video on the chain-making session? I don't have a cold-cut or a hardy hole to hold a cold cut, so I tried making the notch with a cold chisel instead. However, when I tried to break it, the bar just bent, and didn't snap off like yours did. I tried it with 5/16 round bar, which looked similar to the stock you used. How deep are you cutting through it before breaking it? Is there a specific technique you need to use when breaking it off? It looked really easy at the competition when you did it, but I just couldn't get it to work right.


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  • 2 weeks later...

JW513,  go for it.. If your instructor is competing it might be a perfect opportunity to get some extra forge time in at a slightly faster pace then you normally do at home..  But, you are also welcome to come watch me forge and talk too..  

Chelonian,   I put a mark on the anvil of the desired length..   I then use the corner of the anvil to mark the bar.    Once i have the desired number of links.. I move to the hardie.. 

I go just under 1/2 thickness and then turn the bar 180 and do it again..  If I am in a speed mode. I will only knick from one side.. This can be a problem becaues when you get to about 1/2 bar thickness the bar can fly off from the pressure created by the cold hardie and the hammer strike.. 

if you use a cold chisel it can be tough..  A handled cold cut is a better option and a plate on the anvil so if the cold cut goes all the way thru you won't damage the anvil or the cold cuts cuttingh edge.. 

the area that is cut or knicked with the chisel or hardie is now work hardened..  It won't bend there very easily unless there is a weakened spot..    I think it shows in the video where I had to turn one of the bars around because it bent instead of snap..  but cutting both sides it just creates a larger knick so the energy of the bend is more focused into the knick. 

3/8" round is what most chain for general purpose use is made from..  

I am cutting less than 1/3rd thru usually from both sides..   If I am only cutting from one side if ine a rush, I am cutting to about 50% of the thickness.    If you do the 1/2 way cut, You keep both notches or cuts on the same side of the bar..  This offset cut is your next weld scarf area all ready added from the notch. 

it is pretty easy when you get all things lined up..  

I had thought I had responded to the questions..   sorry it's taken me so long to get back here.. I guess my other response never posted..   

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It actually takes a little time to get get good at cutting with a hammer and chisel or hammer and hardy. It's trickier than it looks at first glance. Once you get the hang of it it's pretty simple but in the beginning it's usually a toss up between quick or clean. 


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