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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can't be much amiss, 'tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, 'tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship 'tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.'

 Why, if 'tis dancing you would be,
There's brisker pipes than poetry.
Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?
Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.
Ale, man, ale's the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world's not.
And faith, 'tis pleasant till 'tis past:
The mischief is that 'twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I've lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.
A.E.Houseman In "A Shropshire Lad" a book that saw me through many a dark period when I was in College. (and is mentioned in "Strong Poison" a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery by Dorothy Sayers)

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I worked with anthracite coal for the first time, forging a seax from a lawn mower blade. had xxxx with keeping my hot spot right and ended up with only half a rough out. I also managed to raise a fresh crop of blisters from hand cranking the poor forge for 6 hours!

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Edited for inappropriate language
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No electricity where I'm forging, had to move it outside City limits so I'm setting up on a small piece of property I own about 3mi out from my house. Thinking of trying to rig a foot treadle. Don't know if the old beast will survive it though. It's already cracked on the blower's cast iron mount.

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Try a 12v bed inflator from wallmart

 I have a small rivet forge with a crack threw the boss for bolting the blower on. It goes across the pan to the tuyere. Tha castings don't quite line up and some time in the past forcing the tuyere to the pan with the bolts cracked her. After a bit of work with a pipelineers file ad a new grate I am considering forging a clip to shrink cross the bottom side of the boss. After it cools I will drill it and use longer bolts to reattached the blower.

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5 hours ago, Randell Warren said:

No electricity where I'm forging

I wouldn't normally recommend harbor freight but this is a good time for it. They have had little generators on sale the last couple weeks for about $90USD. They aren't rated for much as they are intended for tailgating or some such where you only need a couple things plugged in but it would be more than adequate for an electric blower on the go. 

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There is supposed to be some good smithing coal around the abandoned loading set up where the Carthage coal mines were off of NM 380; need to talk with the rancher out that way.  (I know a rancher that gets is coal there for smithing).  Robb Gunter used to sell smithing coal in Edgewood/Moriarty; but I haven't bought any in quite a while---went to propane and for a special treat I pick up a few bags of sewell seam coal at Quad-State when I go.  

You might try using charcoal; either straight or as a mix to keep a fire going.

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22 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:


Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
Or why was Burton built on Trent?

Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:

A.E.Houseman In "A Shropshire Lad" a book that saw me through many a dark period when I was in College. (and is mentioned in "Strong Poison" a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery by Dorothy Sayers)

All names very familiar to me, I am a native of Birmingham in the British Midlands, Shropshire is the next county over (and a very nice place at that).

Can't hand on heart say I have had Ludlow beer but Burton-on-Trent beer is another matter :blink: many a pint has been quaffed over the years....

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..started building a 1/2 scale speedster (similar to a 32 model A frame with speedster body)  have the engine, rear axle (baby Dana) , most of the drive train and suspension (air bags)  made the front axle by welding together 2 C channels (cant get 1.5" I beam) heated it up in the forge and bent in the offset, welded on kingpins, got it dead on 1/2 degree positive camber, patterned and sawed out the frame horns, cut down rear axle for width, currently fabricating the rack and pinion assembly, lots of modern fabrication and welding/machining, tons of big ideas, salvaged parts of Golf carts and  riding mowers, drawings and plans, eventually the sheetmetal (panel beating), marginal on the amount of normal  smithing here but sure there will be more forge work in this build, gotta credit my base of knowledge being in smithing that I am taking on this project at all (it is the reason I have the other skillsets) and the reason I figured I could do it

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Thanks Mel, keeping in mind when you half scale a frame the size of a A you are about the size of a big  go cart,  so prettty lighweight, I have a briggs 16hp horizontal opposed twin, several reasons, having both heads sticking out the side of the hood is a good look especially for an aircraft themed look, it sounds less like a lawn mower especially with the right exhuast, it is a flat head that helps too, (I think)the configuration fits the size constraints well and the look, down draft carb with proper air filter top and center. I have a comet style torque-a-verter variable pitch centrifigal clutch good for 18hp, having real axles, inline engine, proper drive shaft etc really helps make the build a mini car and not a go cart with a body or modified lawn mower type deal.  Has enough power to lift the front of the tractor mower when you dump the clutch...can be geared for a good speed range. Plan is to metal finish the body work good enough to clear coat with exposed rivets etc, so anyone can tell from a distance that its not a fiberglass body kit that anyone can buy.  I do have experience with this level of sheetmetal (build/restore  cars for a living)  .....and I still want to do this

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I made a "forged check" bottle opener. For the lid lifting prong I punched most of the way through with a 1/4  in drift punch then rather than turning it over to punch out the puck, I used a 1/4 in pin punch ground into a chisel and cut part way into the remaining material in the hole to drive it part way out leaving the prong.

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No, I bent it hot. It's 3/4" rebar; there is no way I'm bending that cold!

There certainly was scale, though; one bit flew off and hit my lower right eyelid about half a millimeter from my eyeball. I think I'll be getting some new safety glasses tomorrow. 

I also forged a section of car axle into a cold-cut hardy,  which is currently in the annealing box and will be ground and heat-treated later.

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 Thanks, Andy. The funny thing is, this is only half of the original forging: I had initially made it with a doubled handle and coils above and below. Unfortunately, the handle cracked in half as I was fitting the wooden head.  A useful reminder of the challenges of working with rebar!

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I really liked the heft and the balance of the original version, so I will probably see about welding the two halves back together at some point.

And here is the rough-forged cold-cut, annealed and ready for grinding:

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  • Mod42 changed the title to What did you do in the shop today?

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