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What did you do in the shop today?

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MacLeod, looks good to me. The only suggestion I have is to completely roll the foot turn up so no edge to catch a bare foot.

Hoof Picks: we do simple cheap ones here and then fancier ones with a horse head on the handle end.  Looks like those could be punched and drifted into a bottle opener on the handle in make a dual use tool for the paddock.

Thomas, who has broken toes moving around a crowded house in the dark.

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Thanks Thomas, glad you’re keeping well despite the odd toe fracture.  As usual  I reckon you’re right and it would look better too. 

Mind you.... 

This is a gift for my sister, when my Nieces stub a toe in years to come, on what I hope will become a family heirloom they will surely not forget their uncle! :rolleyes:

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Well, I had to go to the bank today, and on the way home stopped by the local farrier supply. They were open, so I picked up 100 pounds of coal.  "Fresh coal", as the guy who delivered it was still there. :D   Anyway, I had some other errands to run, and couldn't fire the forge until about 3:00.  Got the forge fired up, and put the back scratcher on "the back burner" because I need a draw knife.  Don't need it until next week, but I don't know how long it will take my noobie self to make a satisfactory one, so I'd best start now.  Sure, I could go buy one, (probably made in a foreign country, from foreign material) Or I can make one here in the U.S.of A, out of material made here in the U.S.of A.   I opted for the latter, and on the upside I get an education.   I took the second to main leaf from a Model A Ford leaf spring, and started the process.   Fired up the forge, and heated it up, got a good hot spot on the leaf, and cut it off at about 9.5".  Never having made a drawknife before, I figured I'd draw out the tangs first, then work on the blade. I manged to get it all roughed in before I ran out of time.  I still have work to do with it, but it's starting to take shape.   Today was one of those days where the stars aligned themselves, and things went swimmingly.  I'd never had what I would consider the perfect fire in the forge, but today, I got as close as I'd ever seen. And no camera. :rolleyes:   Well, I had the opportunity between heats, banked the fire, and got a beverage, and my cellphone.   The fire was never the same after.  Oh well.

IMG_20200427_192821034_HDR (Copy).jpg

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On 4/26/2020 at 10:28 PM, jlpservicesinc said:

Mcleod, cool stool. 

Thank you! (And thank you also for teaching me how to bend flat bar the hard way the easy way!) did you know your tutelage reaches the Outer Hebrides of Scotland?:D

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Far better to USE the perfect fire than take pictures of it.

Been a few years since I messed up a toe. Funny that we put on sandals to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night... Last time I shattered a toe, went to the Doc got an Xray and a walking boot and a prescription for heavy duty pain killers. Came back in a week and was asked if I need the prescription renewed.  I had only taken 2 of them as they interfered with life too much; but I understood why we have the opioid crisis in the USA.

In the shop I am pretty good about getting out of the way of hot or heavy items---blacksmithing is good training that way! I tell my students: "If the ground/floor wants to look at your piece it's VERY RUDE to get in the way of it doing so!" I have noticed that students seem to remember things better if you make them laugh about it.  I never tried the "beating the boundaries" methods as many of them are larger and far younger than I am and I don't want to teach them that "old age and treachery will triumph over youth and skill."


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As far as projects go; I'm in the final stages of my bud vase project: consists of a heavily corroded back plate, two small tentacles and two Oryx horns I picked up out by the river the first day I was in this town, exploring after having accepted a job here  16+ years ago.

My wife said I could mount it in the living room as long as I polished up the horns.  Not having power for the grinder or buffer; I decided to use old fashioned shoe polish on them, doing multiple coats spaced out over several days to dry well and buffing with a flannel cloth.  I asked my wife which of the colours I had in the shop she would prefer: Black or Oxblood Red.  She chose the Oxblood which is coming out a rather dark purple on the horns.  As we have a Gargoyle and a skull mounted in speaker recesses that the original builder/owner has in the upper walls the bud vase will not look out of place.

I've also decided to make a holder for a carved drinking horn that was a gift in much the same manner. I have the back plate and tentacles forged and need to rivet them together, wirebrush and wax.  The drinking horn doesn't need polishing.

I also lowered the shades for the summer in the clerestory windows of our passive solar house so we will have a restful gloom in the room as the aggressive sun starts pounding down outside.

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3 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

As we have a Gargoyle and a skull mounted in speaker recesses that the original builder/owner has in the upper walls the bud vase will not look out of place.

That's a picture I wanna see. I've always loved gargoyles... and cant get my wife to let me carve one for the roof of my one story house... you know, like six feet tall, right on the top peak, with spread wings....:D

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3 hours ago, Welshj said:

I've always loved gargoyles... and cant get my wife to let me carve one for the roof of my one story house... you know, like six feet tall, right on the top peak, with spread wings....:D

Strictly speaking, it’s only a gargoyle if it contains a downspout for rainwater. Otherwise, it’s a grotesque.

 Meanwhile, I’ve insulated and rigidized the new forge:


The green on the right is the food coloring in the rigidizer. 


The doors have an inch of ceramic wool as well, to be covered with Kastolite eventually, so I rigidized those as well.

I'm working on a mold for the arch, and once I finish that, it will be time to cast and cure. 

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My first ever blade, a kiridashi, and a prototype.  Not yet sharpened but happy with my first attempt fastening wooden handle scales. I need to take more care with getting the epoxy to the edges, but other than that it’ll do.  I’m using some Persian Ironwood . Sounds exotic but I have three small trees in my garden and took a few limbs off to dry a few years ago.  It’s hard as bone, and has an interesting mottled effect to it. First coat of linseed oil applied. 


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Our living room is narrow and long and I can't do one picture and get both grotesques in.  Perhaps when I get the bud vase finished and put up I'll do a 3 shot series. (It's also very dusty and crammed with books and spinning storage).   (Happier John?)


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It's been a long time since I had some spare time to do some blacksmithing... For me, spring comes with many obligations regarding forestry and agricultural work. I've spent some time in the workshop, but no blacksmithing work, just welding and fabrication...
Today, I finally managed to put my hammering hand to work, and it was a fair bit of work.
Here are some pictures of slotted jaw tongs I've made.


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Thank you JHCC.

CrazyGoatLady, I'm not sure that I understand what do you mean... I'll try to explain how they were made, and I hope there will be an answer to your question.
I've started with a piece of 8mm thick steel plate and cut 2 strips out of it (30mm wide and 250mm long). Then I've set 2 opposite notches (40mm apart from each other) on the sharp edge of the anvil, at 45 degrees, to define the boss area. Next, I drew out the reins. After that, I've twisted the jaws 90 degrees counter-clockwise. I wasn't very happy with the way it looked, so I've ground the sharp edges of the twist, and filled the gaps with the welder and ground and filed it so it looks nice. Then I've drilled two 8.5mm holes on the jaw part and cut the slot with the angle grinder. The last thing I did was the bend on the nose part of the jaws. I hope it all makes sense :)

Thanks jlpservice 

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