Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Success from persistance (New guy)


Recommended Posts


I've come down a long rabbit hole starting with watching YouTube videos of people restoring old tools which led me down a path of buying a few old tools and equipment (vice, drill press, saw, arbor press, etc.) to enhance my shop. Soon after I started looking more into making my own tools to fix the other tools which led me to blacksmithing. That then started me on a journey of knowledge which led me here.

I'm just dipping my toes in. I've purchased most of what I feel will get me started:

  • Anvil (142lb Hay Budden Farrier)
  • Coal forge with hand crank (FREE! just because I brought up blacksmithing in every conversation for months)
  •  Wolf Jaw tongs
  • Kevlar gloves
  • Wire block brush
  • 2 lb Cross-pein Hammer (had this already)
  • bees wax
  • C-Clamp vise grips
  • Books (Backyard Blacksmith 'Lorelei Sims' and The Home blacksmith 'Ryan Ridgway')

Coming from a history of being an automotive mechanic, I have many more tools already on hand as well.

The "only" thing I'm missing is the coal for the forge. (The Streat Fuel Co. in Flint, MI is currently out due to mines being closed down)

Now that that is out the way, I'm planning to soak up as much information as I can, and when the world goes back to normal (post-covid), I'm hoping to seek out a mentor(s) as well.

I will say thanks and I appreciate you ahead of time for all of the guidance and knowledge you are all able to share.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd suggest going to the Indiana Blacksmiths Association Conference if they were still having it; and if you wan to see acres of old blacksmithing equipment for sale Quad-State Blacksmiths Round-Up would top my list.  However I doubt these will go on this year. IBA conference has been cancelled already. Q-S is Sep 18-20 this year---if it isn't cancelled.  Perhaps I can get out there in 2021, it's around a 1500 mile drive for me.

I'd check for Michigan ABANA affiliates and go to some meetings when they start up again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Be cautious with the Kevlar gloves. At the temperatures we work at they won’t do much good, pulling burnt melted plastic from skin is not fun.

I prefer not to use gloves at all while forging. The only time I use them is when hot punching with a hand help punch, and only on the left hand. I will also put them on while forge welding with a lot of flux. (That stuff just seem to find the most uncomfortable places to land.) The gloves I use at the forge are hot work glove that were gifted to me (very thick cotton). I leave the leather ones by the mig welder...

If you do use gloves, make sure you can get them off fast. Often, by the time you can feel the heat through the glove, the glove itself will burn you and may have shrunk tighter (leather gloves).

Forgive me if you are aware of these concerns. It’s hard to judge one’s experience on the web.

Also, I am generally using charcoal in my Buffalo Forge. It’s not very fuel efficient, but I’m out of bituminous coal and it’s not readily available to me right now. I does work though!

Enjoy the new addiction!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point of kevlar, and the reason it is used in garments for aviators and firefighters is that it will NOT melt and stick to the skin.  It gets brittle and powdery when it gets too hot.  A second choice for fabric to use around heat is cotton or most other natural fibers for the sane reason.  The really bad choice is nylon or other synthetics which do melt and stick.  If you are going to be in a situation where fire is a possibility you should avoid all nylon including underwear.  This is particularly true for women who often have to look long and hard for undergarments that are nylon free. 

There is a place called Gohn Brothers in Middlebury, Indiana which caters to the Amish community that has all cotton ladies and girls underwear.  They also have drop front (no fly, like sailors trousers) work pants which wear like iron.  Cool place.  I they finally have their catalog on line.  They also have unusual things like ladies bonnets, red union suits, treadle sewing machine belts, and a really good fabric selection.  They don't any more but all their packages used to be shipped in brown paper tied up with string.  My late wife and I speculated that all orders to them went through a time warp to about 1910.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be careful that it’s heat resistant type, not the cut resistant type. I’ve seen “Kevlar” gloves at work that didn’t hold up to high heat. (Could have been a blend. Historically, we have been much move focused on cut. Lot of stamped parts.)

Either way, stay safe!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the feedback.


I looked into the MABA which is in Michigan. Planning to become a member the soonest. That said, all of this years events have been cancelled for now. 

To clarify, the gloves I purchased are the KVA65285 Hot Mill gloves from Carolina Glove company. The reason I picked those specifically is from a recommendation on Black Bear Forge YouTube channel.

Goods and George, 

The points you made were exactly what he mentioned in his video. It was nice to hear a reaffirming lesson. 

Thanks again. I’ll be lurking through many more posts and eventually, if necessary, starting some of my own threads.

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howell is a bit of a ways up from me... but I'm in wauseon, ohio just about 30 mins west of toledo. There's a locally owned small shop out here in my area that ive heard sells coal, and coke. Mainly for a very few of the old farms, and the very few really old farm houses that still heat with- around here. I'd heard about them awhile back, and could easily find out for you if they're still in business. If you're looking for a fair amount- it might be worth the drive.

Dennis Coal & Stove

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up. Apparently everything is in Wauseon. That is also where I purchased my Anvil from a Bladesmith down there: Delaney Knives.

The company I work for also does business with Wauseon Machine, so I have a few Engineering friends that travel that way often.

I'll look them up just to have a back-up plan. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...