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I Forge Iron

First Big Commission


Red Shed Forge

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Red, I have always thought that if more folk made tangible things, cooking, sewing, blacksmithing, painting, woodworking, etc. that counselors and psychiatrists would have much less work.  I know blacksmithing has helped me through some rough patches in my life.  It is very good therapy after the world has been particularly frustrating and stressful to come home and hit hot iron for awhile.

Ironwork in particular is a minor form of immortality.  The things we make are likely to be around long after we are gone.

As Thomas says, try doing some samples and see what works best.  There is a combination of tightness of the curls, width of the collar, and thickness of the collar that can be pleasing to the eye.  However, if one or more variable is "off" there is an aesthetic clang.  And there are times when the better way of joining elements is a rivet or a weld.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Nice work Red Shed. 

As for paint for outside I really like the duplicolor engine or exhaust spraycan paint. You could go with a matte or flat black then if you like go with a matte clear after that. On scrap art pieces I like just the matte clear. Plus pieces can be touched up fairly easily if needed. Other brands have let me down on sprayability and longevity of the can and lasting effects in the past. 

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One thing I just thought of that may look good with scrolls like that could be to wrap it with 6 coils of 1/8” diameter wire. I have a huge amount of old tension garage door springs that would certainly be up for the task, but it would probably work best with a torch for heat. A torch, if I had one...

David

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George,

If that ain't the truth. Well said. I've tried to keep in mind my personal and familial posterity on this project; the bell itself begets the thought of time passed and generations of users and viewers. It's been a daunting but proud moment in my smithing experience so far. 

Daswulf,

Thanks! I've never used Duplicolor, I'll check it out. Truth is I can't decide if I would go with matte or gloss! Sounds like more tests to run...

Goods, 

I considered round coil spring too. I've got a bunch of it laying around. I thought about wrapping it like you said but with leaves on end. I will be finishing up a project for my wife here soon, so I think I'll attempt it there. 

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On 4/23/2021 at 5:51 PM, George N. M. said:

There is a combination of tightness of the curls, width of the collar, and thickness of the collar that can be pleasing to the eye.  However, if one or more variable is "off" there is an aesthetic clang. 

The book "By Hand and Eye" is a great resource for understanding the role of good proportions in aesthetics and -- perhaps more importantly -- how to construct them with simple tools.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been waiting for the customer to pick up before posting a picture of it completed, with the hopes that the customer will send me a picture of it mounted at the WI farm, but after more than a month of waiting for them to show up, I think it will also be a while before they even get it mounted. We have agreed several times on a pick-up day, but they either have something come up last minute, or they simply do not show and do not give a reason. Not a complaint, as they insisted on paying me without even seeing it, I am just eager to see how they like it.

My wife and I, however, will be moving back to KY in the coming months, so I might have to offer a delivery soon. Anyway, I snapped a picture of it mounted to the Red Shed a few weeks ago for my own sake. As you can see, I had yet to paint the bolts and fasten them properly where the yoke meets the hanger, but they are painted now and I touched up where my wrenching removed some paint. I decided to go with the Rustoleum hammered black paint, as recommended.  

20210426_182958.jpg

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It came out very  nice. Have you told them you're moving? I know they paid in advance but suggesting they need to pick it up or it'll be considered abandoned should get action. Is that your bell or theirs?

I had something similar happen a long time ago, I'd inherited a 4 spd. Chevy truck transmission and had to get it out of the garage and put it up for sale. The first person gave me 50% to hold it for a few days, a month later the guy I was renting a room from said get rid of it. . . AGAIN. 

So, back in the penny saver it went and viola! the same guy comes by pays the balance and says he'll be back in a few days. Bill was present that time.

About 3 months later Bill sells his house and we hold a garage sale. Who comes by? You got it and he pays the asking $100 but this time Bill tells him if he doesn't pick it up it's going to the dump with the rest in 2 days. The guy picked it up later that day. 

Bill and I used to joke about the pot of gold tranny.

Sometimes I wonder if it ever got put in a pickup or it's sitting in someone else's garage. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks, Frosty. I have not told them we are moving yet; as of yesterday the big pieces of the move (job acquisition & land being cleared for a build) have finally come into place. But yeah, I'm sure the news of us leaving will get them to act so I will be informing them next week when our house is listed if I don't hear from them beforehand. The bell is not mine, they hired me to also fix its cast iron yoke that broke when they were removing it from its original mount. 

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Set a deadline, say a week to 10 days, for it being gone.  After that it is to the curb, bell, bracket, and all.  Send it to them in writing.

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I will set a deadline in writing for sure, but to the curb? I thought about just saying if they don't pick up, it's coming with me to KY and they will have to get it if they're ever in the area. It would look nice on the new shop haha.

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I'm pretty sure you have to give them a reasonable amount to time to claim it after you tell them in writing it will be considered abandoned past a deadline. 30 days is I believe a reasonable time to hold it after final notice.

After which it's yours to do with as you please. If the bell is theirs, it'll be yours after the deadline. Once you put it on your new place I'd make them buy it again, probably a token payment but aggravation may not be compensable in court but it'll be hanging from your new house, post etc.

I wouldn't be wanting to punish them but they're obviously lost interest. 

I just finished watching People's Court and Harvey said once again. Include "Time is of the essence," to your deadline, date. That's it for wiggle room on their part, if they don't make it it's a done deal.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Today must be my day for IFI legal issues.  

When you have the property of another in your possession it is said to be "bailed" to you.  Each state has its own laws on bailments including time limits and notice requirements.  You can probably research that on line.  I don't know the details for IL.  If you meet the legal requirements and the customer does not reclaim his or her property it would be considered abandoned and you can keep it yourself, sell it, or set it on the curb.

I don't know whether to congratulate you or commiserate for moving from IL to KY.  Whichever is appropriate.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Gotcha, Glenn. Thanks. 

Thanks, Frosty. 

George, thanks for relaying that. If it starts getting close, I will check with each state. And I'll take the congrats! haha. My wife inherited 10 acres of her family's land, and with the way houses are selling right now, we figured this is the best time to make the move. Even with the egregious prices for lumber and metal right now, we might still come out on top after we build.

I look forward to eventually having a bigger shop/smithy, having more than a .25 acre of space available to us and not having to worry about annoying neighbors with the sound of my hammer blows. Not to mention all the oak, hickory, maple, pine and elm I could ever need for charcoal. I plan to do a post about leaving Red Shed Forge behind, where I will be setting up my temporary smithy after the move, and plans for a new permanent smithy. 

I'll also take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this post. Whether you gave advice, encouragement, a word of caution or a verbal pat on the back, I appreciate you. I'll always be grateful for this virtual community and I am excited to see what more I have to learn from it. 

-Alex

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I like the free standing metal carports. They make them in all shapes and sizes, with and without sides. The snow load rated ones with square tubing frames will take R11 insulation (steel building supplies carry it on n 4x100’ bats with a white colored Mylar face. Cuts on condensation in the winter and radiant heat in the summer. Faster and price competitive with pole barns. 

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Yup! It will be a 30'x30' pole barn with a "barn style" roof. Already made the down payment! The plan is to make the top portion into a loft apartment which we will live in while we save for the house build. A year without $6k in real estate tax payments and no mortgage will be helpful, that's for sure.

Most of what we own now will be in storage below us and some in my FIL's 40'x40' if necessary. This will require a separate area for smithing... and I'm eyeing the 80+ year-old wooden barn just a stone's throw away on the other side of the highway! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yesterday the customer was finally able to come pick up the fixed bell and forged hanger. They love it! It will eventually be hung at the family farm in northern Wisconsin and will be given to the family patriarch as a Father's Day gift. Again, I am truly honored to be part of the bell's history; I hope it endures for another century and beyond. 

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YAY! Did they tell you they wanted you to hide it till Father's Day? Glad it's going where it's supposed to, that's so much better than the alternative.

Frosty The Lucky.

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For real! I was getting worried. And it truly was a scheduling issue that was preventing them from picking up. Lots of travel for work I guess. They did say it was going to be a surprise for him, yes. Just makes it that much better.. cant wait to see it hung up!

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Nice work Red. I actually have a bell that my grandmother got from her long closed school and ever since her passing years ago my mother always wanted to have it hung up. A few years back I made a clapper for it and have yet to make a holder. This is a bit of different inspiration from how I thought I might do it. 

Good luck in the move and house build. 

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