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What did you do in the shop today?

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Unmolded and mounted the doors. 



Took the sides off the ribbon burner mold as well, but I decided to let it cure a while longer before trying to pull out the skewers. Back in the bag for another day or two. 

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I fired it up last weekend to cure the Kastolite in the main body of the forge. Low power for the most part, so it never got up to full forging heat.


There was enough of a hot spot to do some work on a bowl:


This is from before the lining went on the doors, and you can see how much flame is escaping around the edges. 


I'm curious to see it there's going to be a problem with backpressure, now that that gap is largely closed.

54 minutes ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Will you have a smaller opening door? Or will you just leave the door kinda ajar? 

I designed this forge primarily for short, wide pieces, like the bowl in the photo above. I still have my other gasser for longer, narrower pieces, so I've got a lot of flexibility (at least, I will once I reline the old one; it was my first go at Kastolite and is currently falling apart). The new one has built-in stops on the hinges at fully closed, half open, and fully open, but there's enough slop that I've been able to crack the opening enough to sneak in a long, thin piece (although this was before I added the Kastolite to the doors, so that gap may no longer exist.


I just had an idea to make a block of Kastolite that would fit inside the forge and cover half of the opening, but with a cutout in the lower corner for longer stock. That way, I could work thinner pieces without losing too much heat out of the door. It would be pretty easy to make the mold, and I'm getting pretty good at mixing and casting the refractory. Hmmmm.....

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Re bright line on axe: I ran my guess that the bright line at the forge weld on the axe was due to Chromium enrichment of the surface past a metallurgy Prof at the University, (who has done patternwelding as a hobby BTW), and he agreed that that was likely the cause of the bright line.

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Bored today so I fired up the forge. We have a squirrel problem raiding the bird feeders so I made a prototype of squirrel proof feeder hanger. The pvc pipe should rotate dumping the little tree rats off. If it works I'll paint the pvc black and I may make another out of heavier round stock because the 3/8 is a little bouncy. It took all of about an hour to make this one drawing out the end the feeder hangs from and the hinges.


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Nice work IFC, 

Rojo Pedro that should work nicely. 

JHCC love the yarn bowl.. Looks like you have them figured out nicely now.. Very clean. 

Kycats nice and clean..

Me, I cleaned up the last of the original borax I had from 1986..  I was given 80lbs  and it lasted this long. I've used more borax in the last 4 years then the 30 before it..  This 5 gallon bucket was full 3 years ago. 




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Made my first hook today. I had a small piece of quarter inch bar stock and beat it into a hook. Used my brand new cross peen hammer to do it. Reckon I'll be able to learn this hobby if the wife would quit complaining about me forging things. I

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coil spring widdler, i was gonna do a traditional wooden carving knife handle but this little antler guy came together pretty effortlessly, the antler is dense down to the core so no problems there. also discovered you can get a cool surface pattern on the right copper with a wire wheel, kinda a wrinkley flowy type business



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Saturday; went to the scrapyard; had to wear a mask now even though nobody closer than 100' to me.  Got a nice sturdy pedestal base to mount my slow speed wire wheel on, some nuts and bolts, a moderately sized allen wrench, etc.

Got the final forge brazing done on my wall mount drinking horn holder.

Sunday did a little forging on garden rake heads to make tool holders: forged the place to put the screws to hold it too the wall and curled the tines a bit more up to hold better.  Also worked on a 6 tine rakelet to make a key holder from it.  Bent the coils of my bud vase to hold the oryx horns in a better alignment with the wall.  Now to source some appropriate flowers and it's done.  Also wire wheeled two metal flowers I had made for my wife and the drinking horn holder and waxed the holder.

Did some shop cleaning as the local Electrical CoOp guy is supposed to make the "site visit" today at 5:50pm.  Electricity in the shop is still a possibility!

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Nothing to do with blacksmithing this time, but there is still a lot of heat involved. Last Saturday I finally fiered a load of clay that my girls have molded in the last two months under lock-down conditions from various types of Raku clay, which have now dried well and are ready for the biscuit fire. That is what we did at 1750 ℉ last Saturday (8h with conventional burner). On Sunday the ladies provided the whole with Raku glaze and the whole gang was burned again at 1950 ℉ (3h with the F&F forced air burner). The result is impressive (at least for the girls) and we only had to miss a sculpture because the glaze had melted into the surface. The ladies have now enriched our interior with numerous accessories and I again have a pool of promotional gifts for sponsors of F&F Tumulus. I am also happy with the classic Raku-Krakelee, which is typical for this old method of Jappanese firing, where a very special surface is created by reducing oxygen and breaking up the glaze and penetrating the black smoke. The use of some oxidizing glazes enhances the effect of the works to, but it is always a matter of waiting to see what the result is to reduce and deter. Cheers, Hans

Raku 5.jpg

Raku 4.jpg

Raku 3.jpg

Raku 2.jpg

Raku 1.jpg

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Hi Thomas, that is indeed what I already do with my bronze heel axes and now with the scarebees. This and also the dragonfly etc. are mystical subjects that bring me closer to my spiritual self. Have the silent hope that this humble respect at the root of our blacksmith life and society will preserve myself and my family for any adversity.

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