Jump to content
I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 18.6k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • ThomasPowers


  • Daswulf


  • JHCC


  • jlpservicesinc


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Started leveling the ground for the shop. Dimensions 6’ X 14’ with stump as base for anvil. Will be equipped with 1 man door and 1 swing up door. Thanks to Thomas Powers for suggesting garage style doors on other threads. I also redressed the rail anvil similar to Charles R Stevens set up. Thanks Charles.




1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

carving hatchet.

Nice! Do you carve? I would like to carve a totem  pole some day. Quick Question: What do you use the side shelf protruding from the anvil for?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

primarily scroll work for the side shelf.  the scroll can work right under the side shelf instead of bumping into the side of the anvil like on a London or anvil with no side shelf.
But it's a great place to use just like the corner of the faces on a normal london or North german pattern anvil and can also be used like a set used in the swage when doing knife work. 

this is a right hand anvil and I have it pointed as if it's a lefty anvil. the shelf should be on the other side away from me with the horn to the left. 

I technically need a left handed one. :) 

i don't carve per say.  but I do make hammer handles and ax handles and such.  The reason why 3 in as nearly many weeks is because they are tough to make vs a sandwiched type like wrapped tomahawk or even a regular ax where the tool steel is merely put in the middle between the sides.  I'm just now starting to feel like I'm starting to get back into forging shape after taking off 13 years. 

Brilliant railroad track anvil construction.   LOVE It.  Your a smart cookie. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After taking a few months break from forging, I've started back, working on a double first. First billet of pattern welded steel, and first knive. 

After heat treat, i've a couple of small delaminations visible on the blade, but they don't look too deep, so fingers crossed they'll grind out... nothing fancy, just a big twist and going for a bold, high contrast pattern.... i'll post a few pics once i've got the final grinding finished, and get it etched (viking style seax).

I had a little offcut from that steel, so decided to make a Mjölnir necklace out of it.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

I'm just now starting to feel like I'm starting to get back into forging shape after taking off 13 years. 

As far as results, I dont see any ring rust. Your skills speak! And its all good! Technique is like riding a bike. Once learned it sticks. Muscle memory usually makes for a speedy comeback unless injured.

After using the rail anvil for a bit and learned a bit more hammer control it was time to make it more useful. 

Lefty?! Me too! It has its advantages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IRing rust: If you had seen me forge before I quit.. You would be shocked how fast metal can move by hand.   I looked through my journal the other day.  A spring lock was 1.5hrs start to finish.  It would take me 3.5hrs now. 

A carving hatchet like shown now I think of as a full 6hr demo.  But back in the day was 2.5-3hrs start to finish including hardening and tempering.  I can forge out to near 90% in 4hrs but it is a struggle for sure. 


I have thought so to about being knowing vs doing, back when I was in my 20's and even into my 30's. ( I only used to forge when I had paying work and if it was once a week i was still ontop of my game)..   I know now that is not the case.  the only way for me to get back into shape and keep it,  is to forge 3 or 4 times a week.  this would have me back to full steam in about 6 months.   I'm 3 years out of retirement and while I see steady improvement across the board I can also see the deficiencies. 

I forge once a month or so now,  if not a longer time in between. . Knowing how to do something and then actually being able to apply it is a different ball game all together.  Many of the earlier "How to".  Videos show this slowness.    its fun to watch videos from last year and even ones older as there is a certain understanding that simply gets missed when one does not practice enough to put it into application.   Saying vs doing.. :) Still good videos and great from a beginner aspect as the forging is slower and more watchable.

As I have gotten older I have found I fully know how to do something and can explain it,  but the ability with "Hand to eye to Hand" is slower.    this slowness is the age related aspect.  Proper lighting is crucial now.  LOL. I can't see details in the metal as clearly though I have pretty good vision. 

So to stay on top of the game  regular forging is what I need.     Again, 3 or 4 days a week is ideal.  During the summer I do a bunch of demos which by the end of the season I'm feeling pretty good.  But then I do very little forging during the winter other than for videos.  which are about 1-1.5hrs of forge time, once a month.  LOL..  Hardly practice. 

I'm a righty but think like a lefty maybe.. :) 

Getting the Blacksmith teaching facility up will change a lot of what is going on.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jennifer, sometimes slower is better. That way, the little (and maybe bigger) mistakes come on not so fast!! LOL. On the other hand, with your smithing skills, I feel that mistakes are small and very few between. Take your time, smell the roses and enjoy every minute of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arkie,  I'm not a journey person. I'm a result person.   it's the end game that is always the prize.  Sooner I am done the better. . LOL.  

Back in the day and even today I look at everything as a time frame.   Sooner it's done the less it costs both me and the person at the other end. . 


For a beginner I feel taking ones time is important. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand the eyesight thing. Just today, we adjusted the lights in my smithy because I don't always catch everything. I bring stuff out into the sunlight now to get a better look, then it comes in the house for inspection. I don't have to wear glasses all the time, but for reading, definitely now. I spent a couple of hours forging today, but I wasn't really feeling it. But looking over what I did do, it looked pretty good. The actual forging part anyway. I work from the right side of the anvil also. It feels more comfortable to me. But if there's an operation that would be better suited, I hop over to the other side. It takes me awhile to forge things, but I'm more concerned with technique and quality right now. Hopefully when I get down what I need to do to for an excellent forging, I'll be able to get it done faster as well. It's amazing that you only forge once a month and you turn out such expert work, Jennifer. All your years of hard work really show in what you do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yesterday’s work. Two steak-turners and one of the three leaf hooks. It is the one that looks nothing like the other three. The three that each look something like the other are things I made months ago to see if I could forge 3 identical hooks. Close, but not close enough. 

All the girly things on the table were made by my oldest daughter. She is trying to raise money for an autism service dog and was given a free booth at a local craft fair. So far she has raised just short of $1400 USD. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was wondering who was gonna step up! I just don't know what the upgrade from the rail anvil will be so I left a little on the top. :) 

Speaking of anvils, I may have a lead on some forklift tines and large axles from a couple of rental and repair shops. Trying not to pay $300 for a 100Lb chunk of 4140 from the steel supply.

As for what i did in my yet to be built shop: a fairy dagger. My Love and I are going to New Orleans for Halloween as Tinkerbell and Rufio from "HOOK". Tink wears a dagger on her leg.

The blade was forged from a coil spring.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This weekend (birthday weekend!) played with the new anvil after setting it up and then finished the Hammer In Demo project taught by Logan Hirsch and Andy Dohner, skulls out of 2 inch square.   Reforged a small cold chisel into a punch to make the nose slits, used a butcher to push the teeth round under the skull and cut the teeth.  Logan was saying these techniques work down as small as 1.25 inch square and he usually does skulls like this in 3 inch material.  Skull1.jpg.b86bd6556160edf1f84370c08589af50.jpgSkull2.jpg.70a4aba7315426a62204218321adafbf.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Mod42 changed the title to What did you do in the shop today?

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...