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I Forge Iron

First Fires (five photos)

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Disclaimer: if this is too many photos, or if they are too large, let me know and I will size them down further. I don't have a good idea yet of the resolution/KB that is too much.


Hello, smiths. 

I was recently given a good birthday gift: the time and space to assemble a make-shift forge, light it, and forge. My sister and brother-in-law brought dinner, allowing my wife space to take care of Little Bean and take pictures, and my brother-in-law manned the blower so I could do less first-timer multitasking. 

The setup was put together in about twenty minutes. The metal bucket is full of dirt to make an adjustable-height, fire-resistant stand. The white bucket holds the charcoal. My BIL and I alternately used my hammer and a scoop to work the fire. Note: my long-term setup will be in the white shed, but it needs to be moved out from under the maple tree, and the pandemic has diminished my labor pool (D&D brothers).

Things Learned: 
- My anvil is much quieter than I anticipated. 
- My homemade charcoal produced almost no smoke once it was up and running (smoke picture was in the first five minutes).
- The face of the anvil and the top of the forge both need to be elevated; I'm thinking 8". 
- The stump--not my first pick--is too wide. It kept me farther from the anvil, straining my back.
- My little blower is not only capable of creating welding temperatures, it can burn steel. 
- My daughter, who watched from a distance, is hypnotized by forging. 
- My wife is a natural at taking forging pictures. 

Final note: I know I should not learn forging on rebar. My stock needs organizing badly. 

I would value your thoughts, opinions, commentary, and glowing compliments on my lady's photographic skills. 

Whole Setup.jpg

Initial Smoke.jpg

Too Hot.jpg



Edited by tjdaggett
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Yeah, your anvil is WAY low. Try elevating it to about wrist height. Being in the bucket means you can move it close to the edge of the stand and just turn it to the position you need.

Pretty darned good pics and that's a pleasant change. They'll get better if she pays a little more attention to lighting. Fortunately there's enough reflected light to avoid serious back lit effects. The human face looks well with light coming from just forward of and above side on. It makes pleasing shadows bringing our facial features.

These aren't portrait shots of course but the rules hold true and standing with the light directly behind the camera tends to result in glare. 

Her eye for framing is excellent and timing is catching the action beautifully. 

All in all a really nice set of photos. She could go pro with a couple classes.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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Bring the top of the forge up to knuckle height and your back will thank you.  

Fill the bucket 2/3 with sand and it will raise the anvil up and away from the edge of the bucket and out of a pinch zone.  Top of the anvil still at wrist height.

Your lady takes nice photos. Have her use flash to fill in the shadows just a bit more.

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