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I Forge Iron

Greetings to all.

Kain Kelly

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I am a newish blacksmith, I have very wide eyed ideas for projects that are very far beyond my skill set and tools available. Things like building, a cutlers anvil, a replica of my Nepalese Martini Henry with pattern welded steel. (The furthest off by far.) But for now I am sticking to far simpler projects and tool making.

When I am not working at the anvil, I almost exclusively do computer work. I am in school for cyber security and study multiple different aspects of cyber security and computer science. For me forge work and the little wood working I do is a matter of meditation more then anything else.

Still building my shop at the current moment I don't even have a covered area to work. So just and ASO heavy welding table poorly designed forge with a hair dryer blower, and a tool box. Currently moving from a Dutch Oven fire pot to box of dirt forge.

I also have a few questions admittedly I need to do more of my own research on, but I am not sure where to look. Namely I am curious about cold chisels and files in place of a milling machine and what all kinds of tooling aside from file making what was a cutlers anvil used for? Like I said I am not sure where to look really. I have dug around on a few places but didn't find much relevant to the above.

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My suggestion would be to look for a large anvil with extensive damage in places that you could mill out the slots to hold the various "tools".  The damage should lower the price a bit.  Otherwise look for a large die block like a used injection molding on made from something like D2 and have it altered to suit.   You really don't need one to make blades, especially starting out.

Here is a "professional" bladesmith forging a kukri using a sledgehammer head as his anvil: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qol5Ey3sImQ

Don't confuse skill and experience with having fancy tools. YOU need to put in the hours and work to get good!

(I once showed how to weld up a pattern welded blade using a short chunk of RR rail as an anvil, charcoal from old bonfires in the desert as fuel and a clawhammer.  Forge was a firepot welded from light sheet metal but with a decent hand crank blower.)

When you go anvil hunting please pay attention to TPAAAT and 


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I understand, right now my anvil is a cast iron ASO from harbor freight. (Admittedly a mistake made trying by trying to jump in as quickly as possible.) I have a lead on some 6x6 mild steel bar I am thinking that will become my next anvil. May do a bit more digging around for some rail. I have seen 175lb crane rail around on ebay lately may or may not be worth getting. Been going back and forth on that. I do think it may be my best option.

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Welcome aboard... Have you read this yet?   READ THIS FIRST  It will help you get the best out of the forum with tips like how to do the most effective search and how to stay off the moderators radar with tips like using the quote feature etc. :) Sounds like you have grand aspirations, which are good. Remember this  If you shoot for the stars, you may reach the moon. Get it hot, hit it hard and have fun.

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4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Any oilfield stuff out your way?

Yes, will have to dig for where to find some. Not sure of that, but this is very much oil country.

Irondragon Thank you, I have referred to that a few times.

Edited by Mod30
excessive quote
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