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What did you do in the shop today?

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Thanks Kuja. 

Olydemon, that's a wild looking octopus! Like the pendants too. 

Aus, love the lizard and yeah, that snake looks like it means business. 

John, that ribboned piece could even be a stand-alone,(or hang-alone). Curious what your plan is for it. 

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21 hours ago, Eventlessbox said:

I prefer running to the shop. Screaming with joy to have found some free time to forge.

:lol: OH STOP :lol: STOP :lol: STOP You're KILLING ME!!! You're reminding me of a driller I used to work with when they needed a substitute or extra hand, from before I transferred as a crew member of a different crew. He had this delightful habit of freezing in panic or making exactly the worst possible decision any time something went wrong. That's pretty much every time you drill a test hole, especially using auger with a small drill rig. Ah, that's more back story than I should inflict on you guys. On with it.

His most common saying talking about problems was, "When in doubt, scream and shout flap your arms and run about." I'd put a smiley on that but that's exactly how he dealt with problems.

 So, okay the mark1,  home made forge floor in a bag needs some refinement. :o STUNNING NEWS!  In my opinion, It should be flatter and smoother. The edges should feather into the cylinder more smoothly. The thickness looks good and Kastolite is already a: water setting, 3,000 f., high alumina, castable, insulating refractory. According to the material I found it behaves so much like Portland cement concrete, that is THE way to use and cure it. Keeping it sealed in a plastic container works just fine, it doesn't dry it sets by chemical reaction between the calcite binder and water. Saran wrap would work a treat too.

Smooth and feathered. Seems to me a rolling pin between stops (think kiss blocks) would take care of that. Say lay some 1/2" bar on a smooth surface spaced to your intended floor insert plastic bag with refractory lump and roll it till it fills the cavity completely. All that remains would be feathering the edge so you don't have square lips. :blink: Maybe remove the kiss blocks and roll a little more with the pin angled so the edges are thinner than the middle.

Could roll it in a form that matches the ID radius of the forge floor. Could make kiss blocks that match the curve. Or could call it good enough being smooth.

I also thought about using a board and a steel bar to "ram" it into shape in the forge. Use the board as a flatter and a bar long enough to hold it outside both ends of the forge as the hammer. Holding it at both ends makes it (here comes one of my FAVORITE work descriptions) EASIER to keep even pressure and a smooth flat floor. The refractory would  match the existing curve, texture and feather automatically.

If you want to prevent the new floor fusing to the forge a couple sheets of news paper or one of my favorites "Parchment paper" from the kitchen gadgets section of your super market. it's reasonably water proof and won't burn quite as fast as plain paper.

Years ago before I discovered there were really GOOD refractories available locally I played with the old kiln making  trick of mixing saw dust with fire clay and sand to produce light insulating fire brick. I played with different size wood particles from dust to the chips from a local saw mill running about 3mm. +/- 1mm. The more flaky chips made by a good sharp chainsaw worked well too. I found soaking the wood chips then mixing with the fire clay and sand worked really well, the clay sucked it's moisture from the wood and made a good shell around the particles. 

My experiments using styrofoam Bean bag chair beads weren't as successful for ease of accomplishment. Made pretty decent insulating refractory that was also stronger (I THINK) for the voids being spherical.

Unfortunately buying commercial refractory trumps all my attempts at home made and Kastolite 30 li. is my (so far) favorite even if it's a little more work than others.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Between work, side hustle and the homestead/tiny house I haven't gotten to fire up the forge since my poor attempt at tongs. So wanting some forge time is like an itch on the back of my neck right now. Lol.

On a happy note the side hustle has helped put together a nice little anvil fund, which I'm praying I get to exhaust next week. :)

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More practice scrolling/trivet making. 


Also finished my first friction folder/higonokami. Not perfect (and still needs some finish sanding and sharpening), but lots of lessons learned. 




1080 blade, some random scrap for the handle.

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On 2/23/2019 at 1:15 PM, Daswulf said:

Olydemon, that's a wild looking octopus! Like the pendants too. 

Thanks! Made some more tentacle pendants posted below.....

On 2/23/2019 at 3:35 PM, Cincinnatus said:

Das, Olydemon, Aus, John - great looking pieces!  Guess I need to get off my rear and finish some pieces.


Today I made tentacles, a leaf, a tiny troll cross and a bear claw... and finished the gas lines to my double burner forge...








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28 minutes ago, Kevin Olson said:

Hey olydemon. Those tentacles are very interesting. Could you explain how you made them and possibly show the tools?  Thankyou

JHCC posted the exact video I would have. Only things I can add are...

1. After I weld the beads I heat the piece up again and flatten them down. It helps to create a nice spot to start the punch.

2. A helper when punching really helps makes the job easier. I have a jig I can use for the larger tentacles, like on the octopus I posted. But for these little pendant ones,. they are too samll for the jig so I get my oldest kid to help.

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