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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?

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22 hours ago, Jaegers Forge and Foundry said:

aaamax did you mean scale? or scales

Hi, I meant the scales, as in the business/action part of the file.  

I've made knives leaving them in and some where I go to the trouble of grinding them off first.  Not fun to do but might give a more sound end result.  Maybe...


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Ahh, I've always heard them called "teeth" though I can see how some would call them scales, especially when making rasple snakes. I can't talk for Jaeger, though it looks like he ground them down, but kept enough for the pattern.

Jaeger and Das, great looking knives all around.

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13 hours ago, Pat Masterson said:

Beautiful work.

Ah thanks Pat. For some of the stuff I’m banging out just now it’s just brass brush then wax/polish. I’ve also experimented with wire wool to bring back out the brass brushing finish after BLO applied warm. 

Mostly tips pulled out of the Frosty store in this thread. I’m getting a lot happier with finishes now. If you give me another 20 years I’ll be more able to give an opinion on what’s best;) happy hammering!

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Thomas, thanks for the tip! I could definitely use one of those for tin snips.

I fitted a handle to a corkscrew I botched (it's a lefty tighty). Just a branch I found on the driveway. Other than that just lining the new forge and failing at woodworking. IMG_20201209_215918.jpg.2bf3f6242a27073f5be3cb4384c31e39.jpg

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A few things since my last update.

Making my first go at doing a batch of bottle openers to sell.  After spending way too long slitting and drifting the first, I opted to try drilling and grinding the slot for drifting.  These will be getting wooden scales.  The curved butt-end can be used for prying (like for paint cans and such).


Messing around with arc-welding a claw hammer back together to see if I can make a functional curved top chisel.  Not optimistic, but figured I'd give a shot.

Welded together a very light duty pair of box jaw tongs.  More as an experiment in the method than anything else- could work if I was better at welding (previously only did flux core MIG, which let the magic smoke out).  Got one of the HF titanium multi-process welders secondhand and have both C25 and Pure argon tanks.  Have just been practicing with stick until I have the time to set up and try good MIG or TIG.

Tapered and bent a U into some coil spring, and welded it to a handle.  Got it to red and let it slow cool post welding.  Geometry needs serious tweaking to make it work for a bending fork.

Cobbled together a hoe-style fire tool.

Forged out the bottle openers and drilled holes for pins for wooden scales.


Oh, and welded a plate to a HF 2lb. Hammer to make a flatter.  Head was pulled off the handle and heated to remove the hardness of the striking end before welding.  Stuck the handle back in and Bob's yer uncle.


And just to frustrate my niece, her Christmas gift gets wrapped in a electrical box that requires a screwdriver to open, and got a custom copper tag.


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Nice work Hoj!  I love the Christmas box idea.  would be useful at our house as the cats wouldn't be able to destroy it!

I had an oddball idea last night.  I have seen the various little plastic tool sets for kids, and read here about cut down real tool sets for kids.  I occurred to me that one could get a small hammer, some play dough, and a wooden block as an anvil and give it to a kid as a junior blacksmith kit.  This idea popped in my head as I was hitting play dough with a small hammer on a chunk of 4x4 to see how I was doing leaves wrong.


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There is no difference, aside from me being allowed to light things on fire and not get in trouble :)

And I do consider myself to be a junior blacksmith.  I am acutely aware of how much I don't know, and very grateful that I have an opportunity to learn from the curmudgeons here.

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That is awesome.  Our 6 month old shop helper isn't going to be ready for those for a while yet, but I may have to keep my eyes open for stuff like that.

And I would like to request an addition to the definition of Curmudgeon:  Someone you could learn a lot from if you know to do your research, ask a question, then shut up and actually listen to what they say.

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Mr.  HJPJ,

Years back I and a 'striker friend' had a creative thought concerning snazzying up bottle openers.

We bought some fur scraps from a furrier, (he might have been a milliner,  (i. e. hat maker), my memory fails me, as to which.

He was delighted that he could sell them as they  usually ended up in his trash.

We attached suitable scraps to the handled end of the bottle openers. Which transformed those bottle openers into deluxe, tools with a semi-deluxe enhanced price.  (charge more for them!  Citizens).

They are also good conversation openers!

They sold quickly. Especially those openers with fur enrobed wooden handled 'specials'.

Folks,  give it a try. that is if you can locate a furrier. (furs are currently out of style).

Merry Christmas, upcoming.  (it's sooner than most realize),



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Maybe check with some deer processors.  Here is the thought, ask the processors if they send off the hides to be tanned and if so, where?  Then another phone call to the tanner (or taxidermist) or wherever the hide goes to get a hold of some scraps.

Also, I would imagine that anywhere that produces leather goods, or leather furniture, or other such might have scraps suitable for small projects.

Several years ago, when working at a different aircraft manufacturer, I could have got my hands on a bunch of scrap high quality leather from the upholstery shop.  The place I work now has outsourced that, but I'm thinking similar sources could be closer than you think.  A quick google search has revealed at least 4 auto upholstery shops within an hours drive from me, guys who do custom upholstery work on cars.  I'd be willing to bet a smile and a box of donuts could land you plenty of leather scraps suitable for everything from handle wraps to stacked leather handles. Then you could make all kinds of Deluxe goods :)

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Back when I was a furniture salesman, we got a half-hide in a lovely chocolate brown leather, very heavy, natural finish, that we planned to give snippets of for color samples (so that people could look at it in the lighting of their own homes). Then the tannery cancelled that leather, so the hide hid in the basement for a couple of years until the boss let me have it. A very big chunk of it is now my smithing apron.

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Where I worked we would get in full hides of high dollar leathers.  Beautiful soft leathers in a variety of colors, all conforming to FAA burn tests and whatnot.  the sad thing is that it seemed that we ordered in large quantities to get a minimum order discount in the 70's and 80's, and those 70's and 80's colors stopped selling.  I think over 200 hides got sold at auction when there was that nasty 2008 stock market crash and everybody hated all the private jet owners.  If nobody buys your planes, you don't need a lot of interiors material

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I love and hate the midwest sometimes. Woke up and went to work today- out the door to find frost everywhere, a cold bite in the air... and xxxxxxxx fog! How does that happen? On the road- 100ft visibility,  spotty black ice, and three wrecks in ten miles. Turned around and called off work... back home.

1pm... its warm and bright outside. Tshirt warm. Pond is still frozen. Smh... So- go play in the forge! 

I am extremely happy to say I got my first good forge weld today!! 5 layers each of 1095 and 15n20. 1.5 inches by 2" by 1.25 inch tall. Drawn out by hand, twisted and started to flatten when I froze my tank and lost heat. Swapped to the small tank, and got another 20 mins out of it. Smh.

But, my first blade billet- for a knife for me finally! Lol





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