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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?

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  • JHCC


  • Daswulf


  • jlpservicesinc


  • ThomasPowers


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20 hours ago, JHCC said:



That looks fun and all JHCC but maybe add an adjustable hard stop so you don't end up squishing your hand. It can save you a broken finger or two. Just a suggestion 

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Trust me, whenever I'm using this thing at full force, I only use tongs and handled tools -- fingers well out of the way! For cold work like this, the head isn't travelling far or fast enough to be a digital danger. 

Concern for my safety appreciated, though.

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Constant vigilance!   My large screwpress cost me around US$100 as I was at a factory auction and nobody wanted the "old tech"  and it was a high tech auction.

A friend of mine uses one that came out of the old Packard plant...guess where?

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Did some work on a 1 1/4” pipe. Ran out of juice before finishing. Middle tentacles need a bit more drawing out to be longer than the sides and then dictating the curl of each one. Gonna try for a snarling expression. I already know what I would do differently and thought about going at it with round stock.



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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Part of a lovely headboard for a kids bed!   (I think there was one in the original Chas Addams cartoons...)

11 Best Home essentials images | Home, Home decor, Charles addams

Daswulf, I would love to see it once its underway again. Especially since your creations are mostly animal from i have seen.

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Kept removing material from the hammer head, now at 1250 grams and I think I will stop here. Made a new shaft for it, haven't made a smithing hammer shaft but I looked at what others prefer and also some videos with smiths talking design, so I made a slimmer handle.







Not yet attached permanently, still want to do more shaping. 

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Dennis, that is turning out very nice indeed. I'm sure it took a belt or two to slim it down 250g..

Today I made some significant progress on a few ongoing projects.

First, the pull handles I made several months ago finally had the doors to mount them on. There is still a third door they haven't been installed on yet. I need to make longer bolts than the ones I provided initially. That door ended up being thicker than the other two. The exterior handle of the third pair isn't curved like these are. 

The handles on the inside had to be low profile to fit in the 3/4" gap between the door and the trim.

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I also made some progress on hammer number 2. A 1.25# rounding hammer made from some RR track. The eye will need to be a bit longer (more of an oval) for the handle I'll be using, along with a few other aesthetic adjustments, but progress is progress. For reference, the tiny hammer is the first hammer I made, weighing in at a staggering 7.375oz (210 grams). The other is a 3# rounding hammer that I did not make.

IMG_2020-08-28_19-08-45.thumb.jpeg.09e2092fafa95b7104ce7d0918aa5160.jpeg IMG_2020-08-28_19-08-27.thumb.jpeg.8b6b3988ade8e4f908e746d7b156cc2e.jpeg


In hopes that some might have stopped reading by now I saved this for last.... I've had a post vice sitting in the corner of the shop since I bought my anvil... ~9 months ago.. I have just been using a bench vise since it was easier to mount at the time and I was lazy. Yes, yes, I know shame on me.  

Well, I cleaned it up last week and the more I saw of it (without the thick layer of rust) the more I liked it. The tang mount and number of pieces that were used in it's construction suggests it is likely pretty old. The screw box and threads are all forge brazed together. When it was made and by who I don't know. She purtied up real nice though.. Shame my flip phone can't show it off well enough for gratuitous before & after shots.

The stand is surprisingly solid as is, but I'm going to be adding some cross bracing. I don't trust that one piece of angle iron in the back. The other chunk of steel attached to the vise was my first improvised anvil. Some piece of RR scrap I acquired when first trying to set up my shop, but it only got used as such twice before I went to the scrapyard and found something better. Now I use it when A.) I need something heavy B.) I need a weird shape or bend somewhere. There are a lot of useful surfaces that... thing? 

 IMG_2020-08-28_18-17-17.thumb.jpeg.648d76c4fe15585009d639dc29761d8d.jpeg IMG_2020-08-28_18-26-27.thumb.jpeg.4193a3a066d10f24e205468c39bdea4d.jpeg


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Just out of curiosity,  maybe it's because I'm a beginner and there's so much to try,  does everybody kind of hop around on projects? I find myself hopping from a blade to bottle openers, to roses, to the next item that catches my interest.  

Anyway, this wasn't recent but it was what got me interested in metal work a bunch of years ago and I thought I'd share.  Made this in a welding class I took.


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26 minutes ago, Chad J. said:

Does everybody kind of hop around on projects?

Just try to make several of each project, each better than the last one, so that you set the process in your mind.  None will be perfect but each will be an improvement.

Whatever strikes your fancy is next. (grin)

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Depends a lot on the situation of the person doing the forging. Someone who is new to the craft and still learning should do lots of the same projects or the same processes to get their skills solidly in their hands and brains. Someone who is doing production work may also do lots of the same piece, but with greater speed and accuracy. Someone with a lot of experience might do lots of one-of pieces as the work requires, but their more advanced skills will allow them to complete each one cleanly and efficiently. 

Then you get someone like me, with okay skill and not a lot of time. I would LOVE to be able to devote substantial chunks of time to smithing and get my basic skills even more solid, but my commitments to work and family don't allow that. Instead, I have to grab bits and pieces of time where I can, and so I usually find myself skipping from one type of project to another. Sometimes they're quick things that I can knock out in a short forging session, and sometimes they stretch out over several. (This goes both for actual forging and for projects to improve my shop organization, tooling, and machinery.) However, I try to make sure that every time I do something, whether large or small, I do it better than I did before, adding to my portfolio of skills or making the ones I already have better.

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1 hour ago, DennisCA said:

... I guess it looks kinda odd though that  it's not black in the middle...



It doesn't look odd. If you don't like it, though, you know how to fix it. Fire, baby, fire!


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