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I Forge Iron

Howdy from Texas!


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Hey guys.. long time reader, first time poster. I figured I have lurked long enough.

I'm a 50 year old father of three (26, 24 & 18), husband of one (not telling age for fear of my life) living in Plano, TX (Dallas suburb). 

My wife says I collect hobbies, which is entirely fair. I crave learning and perfecting new skills. I always come back to wood and metal though. I grew up on a small horse ranch in South Texas and was torching and welding at 12 or 13 and we were pretty self sufficient and built/fixed everything ourselves.

I finally took my first blacksmithing class 8 years ago. I made a nail header, some hooks, a heart, a couple of drifts and a pair of tongs. I was hooked. Two years ago I took the two week ABS Intro to Bladesmithing class. The accomplishment of forging, heat treating, tempering, grinding, sharpening and then successfully completing destructive testing without failure on a couple of blades was an amazing feeling! The hook was sunk even deeper. :)

It has been difficult to forge in the middle of a dense suburban area and finding a decent anvil for less than $8/lb was proving fruitless. I finally pulled the trigger on one of the 66lbs anvils from eBay and spent 30 minutes dressing it.  Next up is a stand and a JABOD forge.

Thanks for all of the valuable information and encouragement you have unknowingly provided me! No more excuses.. time to swing the hammer and move metal again! Heat, beat, repeat!




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Hey to you, Clint! Plano is a big place. I'm about 70 miles north of you, right close to the Oklahoma border. Population under 900 and that's still not enough elbow room for me. Welcome to the forum and glad to have another Texan in the gang. I don't know personally, but I've heard good things about those e bay anvils. I hate to call them that, but I'm not sure how you pronounce the name on them. Let us know how you like it and be sure to post lots of pictures of your work!

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Welcome aboard. You sound like you have a pretty good start with the classes and all. That should go a long way to putting you ahead of the learning curve. If you haven't built a jabod before you will find them quite capable of doing pretty much anything you need it to do. I was hooked on them as soon as I built the first one. I went on an experimental tear for a while trying to learn as much as I could about getting the most out of one. That's one of the coolest things about them is how easily you can modify them. After a little experimenting with  the set up I settled on a design a little different than most but didn't get a chance to post anything before I got shut down temporarily. Maybe I'll post about it if I rebuild it. Anyway keep us posted, be safe, and remember it's supposed to be fun. 


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Re: Skills:  I was once doing lab support on a US$30 million computer lab at Bell Labs and was called in by my boss:  A forklift had hit a new computer during shipping and dented it such that the cards wouldn't fit in the case.  He wanted to know if I could take a hammer and get it back to working, (quite expensive case and a long lead time to get another.)  I told him it had had enough impact damage already and then used large C-Clamps and boards across the dent to gently pull it back into alignment.  Cards fit in, system booted up and for some reason when Lucent started laying folks off in the dot com bust I was one of the *last* in the group to go...

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On 2/6/2020 at 4:03 PM, JHCC said:

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

But of course, and pretty standard forum etiquette. Thanks for the welcome! 

On 2/6/2020 at 4:46 PM, CrazyGoatLady said:

Hey to you, Clint! Plano is a big place. I'm about 70 miles north of you, right close to the Oklahoma border. 

Yeah, I definitely feel restricted here after growing up on 30 acres. Someday I'll have land and a dedicated shop! I assumed the eBay anvil was going to be an ASO for the price, but the face is actually decently hard and it cleaned up pretty well. 

On 2/6/2020 at 6:09 PM, pnut said:

Welcome aboard. You sound like you have a pretty good start with the classes and all. 

Thanks! Yeah, I like the idea of something I can experiment with and not be too concerned with messing it up. I'll probably end up with a propane forge someday when I end up with a dedicated shop, but no need to rush things! Like you said, I have to keep it fun!

On 2/6/2020 at 7:16 PM, Frosty said:

Howdy Clint, welcome aboard glad you delurked. Collecting skills is never a bad thing, you never know when one will come in handy. 

Thanks and I will definitely post as soon as I have something (even an anvil stand) to show!

10 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Re: Skills:  I was once doing lab support on a US$30 million computer lab at Bell Labs

That is a great story and agree! Being a jack of all trades gives you the leg up on others in a lot of situations!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Roy over at Christ Centered Ironworks has a series of test videos on that anvil. Seems like it's a pretty decent unit, all things considered.


I miss having land.... 

We're a couple hours south, down in Aggie Land. 

Welcome aboard!

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