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What did you do in the shop today?

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Tongs are looking pretty nice so far from what I see. Especially for your first 10 hours of forging! 

Suggestion? Are you wearing a glove on your one hand to increase the amount of time between cooling off the holding end? It might get you a few extra heats before cooling it off. I generally don't like wearing one, but when you need one they are helpful. 

Oh, and when you get there, drawing the reins out over the horn makes it go much faster in my experience. Less time means fewer heats which means less fuel and a happier smith. 

I'm sure others may have more to add, but I would say it was a successful 2 hours.


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If I have problems, I use this old blacksmith glove, made from an used welder's glove that has holes in on the seams and fingers. Left hand or right hand, and quick to remove.





May be of use.


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I like that idea as well. I need to find some scrap leaher.

I do have some very fluffy welder gloves I used for raku back in the day. They are way better than the cheapo pairs I bought at HF for my small DC welder. They might wear out fairly soon.

I need something in between I think for sure. Those bars were sheered at the supplier and they do make a mess of my hand.

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My anvil has been held down to its stand with silicone caulk, which deadens the ring nicely but occasionally comes loose. I added a couple of brackets to hold it down on the ends, having first welded on some thicker pieces to take the threaded holes. 




(Side note: the new (to me) leather welding jacket and auto-darkening helmet were fantastic for this, even when I was lying on the floor and welding overhead. Definitely a good investment!)

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JHCC just run a few gussets on top of the brackets to reinforce the plate.. Straighten the plate just a little bit and once you tighten them down you will never have to worry about ring or calking coming loose again.  Because the caulk won't be needed.  :)

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Forged this twisty stir-wand thingy last night for my wife. She makes our laundry detergent and sometimes the ingredients separate in the container if they have been sitting for a few days. She wanted a way to stir it; I wanted an excuse to get back to the anvil... it had been about 2 weeks as I have been working on a coal forge build and other projects. 

It was a good exercise in scrolling and hammer & tong control after the brief hiatus. I only used the anvil and its horn for the scroll and expanded coil. It is forged from 1/4" coil spring steel. She said it is exactly as she pictured it... but now I'm wondering how wise it was to give her a mace-like object to wield in the house. At least I'm on her good side for the next few days haha.





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Ahhh cannon wormer! I knew I had seen something similar to this thing before; couldn't place it haha. I suggested to her it could be used to beat the door mat we keep in the garage at the house entrance as well. 

Yeah, didn't have any stainless on hand but I did coat it with an oil based concoction she also makes. I do want to invest in some of the carnuba-based floor wax that I have seen Frosty and some others mention before.   

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Now to make a mokume gane rolling pin to go with that framed restraining order...

I don't use a wormer with my little cannon; if there is a misfire I flood the barrel with water for 24 hours and then pull the breech block *not* standing inline with it!

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7 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

A bottom die to hold it as you hammer in the sides of the ridge topside with an appropriate shaped peen, flip it over and do the other side. and of course PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!

Thanks Thomas! That was the first thought that came to mind without using both top and bottom dies, although that would be very convenient. The last couple of weeks have definitely been practice on the basics and I must say it has been very satisfying to get the shapes I want even if they are simple. 

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  • Mod42 changed the title to What did you do in the shop today?
9 hours ago, Red Shed Forge said:

Forged this twisty stir-wand thingy last night

Should work a treat for dipping honey right out of the hive. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Nice hinges.

I had big plans for today. But my back decided that i was to remain on the porch (literally) all day.  Was supposed to take my granddaughter for her first airplane ride. Then fix the car so it would pass emission test and get a tag, then mow the yard, and then fire up the forge.  But didn't happen. :(

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I got quite a lot of things finished today, I hafted my latest axe (longest one)





And I finished this blower with a PWM controller for my forge, used an old tool box to keep the electronics in. Got great control of the air flow now.



And I got started on my solar air heater for the shop:



I also made a hook today but that's the one thing I forgot to take a photo of.




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23 hours ago, DennisCA said:

used an old tool box to keep the electronics in. Got great control of the air flow now....



The controllers are great, aren't they? What kind of blower is that?

I love my set up. I am able to quickly change the air and learn how it changes my heats. I'm learning a lot these days.


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This is what I did in the driveway today:

Another 2 to three hour forging session saw me drawing out the reigns little by little. I had to use the glove a few times but quenching and turning so I had hold of the longest end helped. I also had the wet rag trick help me out.


I also punched and drifted? the bosses. My first ever punch took me three heats and a very very hot glove. I need to practice the blacksmith's third arm move and NOT grab the stock so close to the punching end! I don't have proper punches or drifts, but I used some HF punches for a punch and a drift of sorts to widen the hole.


True to form the HF punch I used to punch began to deform on the first hole. No worries. I tapped it back into sorts. Frequent cooling off kept it operational. I used another tapered punch to drift open the holes and did both sides. Yes, I put a few extra dings in the tongs, but learned quite a bit.

Next will be measure center point between holes, cut in half then finish up and rivet. 

I did straighten out two hex keys for a future punch and drift. I'm guessing they will hold up better than the  HF ones. Might be wrong about that.

Thanks for helping out, everyone.


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Worked on some knives today, shown here with the quench tank. 


And made a hook for my block brush:


Which hangs on a loop in the front of my anvil stand (originally intended as storage for hold-downs, but unused for the last few years):


This means that the brush is always near my right hand when I take a piece from the forge, hopefully encouraging more frequent brushing (although not the type that would make my dentist happy). Note the chevrons on the handle, both for a better grip and to remind me which direction the brush goes in. 

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