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What did you do in the shop today?

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The easiest Wrought Iron to find is the lowest coarsest grades as you can see lineation's in the rust patterns. It is commonly found in A pre 1850's iron work, B some post 1850's ironwork---"Practical Blacksmithing" published 1889, 1890, 1891 has  discussions on how the "new" bessemer steel works differently than the wrought iron and needs a different flux than did wrought iron---so the transition was still in progress. In Ohio I found it old wagon tyres, usually very coarse, *old* RR spikes---smaller than modern ones. I found it dropped in rivers where bridges have been built and replaced for 200 years or so and I once bought several tons of WI plate that was used for the water tank of the old Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus OH which was substantially built pre US Civil War.  (The bars were real WI too but sold as "Antiques", the water tower tank was sold as scrap.) 

It is sold online by the Old Globe co see

and by the Real Wrought Iron Co LTD in the UK both are selling recycled wrought iron.

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On 1/5/2021 at 9:08 AM, ThomasPowers said:

...had a 220 electric blower someone had converted to 110 by sawing the bearing off and hooking a pulley and 110 motor to the 220 motor shaft. (Now replaced.)

When you say they sawed the bearing off, does that mean they left one end of the shaft flapping in the breeze? :D  Sounds legit!

Didn't get a chance to do any more forging the last few days due to lack of space. I finished up my reading on open die forging, learned some good stuff along the way. Got a new switch and power cord in the mail to repair a Bosch worm-drive saw I dumpster-dived out. I swear I need to get rid of tools, not acquire new ones! Argh!

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2 minutes ago, twigg said:

I swear I need to get rid of tools, not acquire new ones! Argh!

You're coming up to speed as a blacksmith nicely. Welcome to the club. B)

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Herr Frosty,

I mentioned that both crazy glue and epoxy resin were resorted to in emergency surgery in the Vietnam war. Cyanoacrylic  (crazy glue), was eventually adopted for common surgical procedures as it is not as corrosive and allergenic as the epoxides.

Epoxides work. I have used it on myself to mend cuts. But crazy glue is preferable.

Crazy glue usually cures in the tube after only a little while which is a real pain, when you need quick). Indeed water vapor drastically speeds up the reaction. So tubes on the shelf usually cured and do not work

Crazy glue in the first formulations was also corrosive. But modern formulations are much less so. the original acrylate chemicals were replaced with longer hydrocarbon chain acrylates such as octyl acrylic acid and 2-octyl acrylic acid etc.



Crazy glue was discovered in 1942, by Dr. H. Coover. while trying to develop plastic gunsights. It rediscovered by his laboratory assistant in 1952 but it was not widely manufactured until the early 1960's


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As wagon tyres can be sold more expensively that regular scrap you sometimes won't find them cheap even at a scrapyard HOWEVER wagon tyre was a common scrap material for smiths to make other things out of and so I have found a lot of bits and pieces of wagon tire in the scrap pile. Once you learn to recognize it's shape you will start seeing it lots of places in old stuff.  Also OLD farm equipment may have real wrought iron in it---an old overgrown fence row with old implements grown into it may provide a trove (and if the farm is being redeveloped into houses the contactor may be happy for you to help "clean it out!"

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Keep your eyes open! I just got four or five wagon tires (tyres) for free: they had been part of someone's home decor and were being given away on FB Marketplace by their kids who were cleaning out their house.

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Learned a few things today. First, don't just willy nilly dump the ash can.  I dumped mine in the slack tub, and salvaged all that floated.  Came up with enough coke for todays forging session. :D  Started out as checking to see why I had the problem that I had on Monday.  Ended up playing with a lug wrench.  Cut the end off with the hot cut, then drew it out square, and tried my hand with a twist.  That was an interesting ordeal. I don't have a vise at the forge. So I came up with a plan.  I took my punch plate, and a welding clamp, clamped the plate tp the heel of the anvil, allowing an inch or so to hang over the edge. Then clamped the hot steel to that with visegrips. And proceeded to twist it.  Worked well.   Drew out the end round, and put a curl to it. Then wondered if I could twist in the opposite direction without disturbing the first twist. So, I did. Cool!!  It came out good.   Then I decided to cut it off at a point that was still round and upset it.   Got it cut easy enough, but now how to hold it for the upset.  (I need different tongs, More tong making in the future)  I used large vise grips, Mole locks for the folks in the UK.  Got the end upset, and started flattening it out.  Once flat I figured I'd punch a hole in it, drift it out, and turn it into a bottle opener. Well the holdfast didn't, and the hole came out off center.  Add to that, my largest drift is really too small for the hole needed.  If my anvil had a horn I'd just work it out on the horn. But it doesn't. No worries though, I've got a bickern!! :D  So  I worked it out as best I could over the bickern, and it's still a bit wonkey, but it works just fine.  Not a bad day at all for a "free fire" in the forge. (salvaged coke)

 Then, after all was done, I set about putting out the fire. In the fire I found an interesting chunk of "clinker".  Apparently there was a chunk of leaf spring on the back of the table, and it got drug into the firepot when I raked the fuel in at some point.  I've no clue how long it was in there, but I thought it strange at one point that the hot spot was a bit off center.   Anyway, another thing, I had been cranking the air to it to get the steel hot a quickly as I could, and at one point I unintentially got it to welding heat. (evidence by little sparklers coming off when it hit the air after I pulled it from the forge)  

  I guess I was managing the fire ok, because the spring never burned. 


IMG_20210106_172042508 (Copy).jpg

IMG_20210106_172209226 (Copy).jpg

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Just finished up a new friction folder with stainless liners and some beautiful curly maple.


And thanks to Daswulf, had the chance to forge something for the first time.  A simple leaf.  





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Worked a bit on a tanto I am making out of an old file, inspired by Crossed Heart Forge's work. Was busy using files on it today, which is working a lot better since it is more "annealed" than last time I was working on it. I need to get a better annealing setup, or perhaps "tool" steel is a lot harder to work with than what I am used to on mild steel.

I also need to work on forging blades straighter... but I guess that will come in time :)

The O-1 tool steel I am making into a saya chisel behaved much better with this second annealing job. The files were actually biting.

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A friend made me some spikes a while ago. 3/16 16 inside threads. Well anyway I was looking at a wood baseball bat and had the urge to make a Maceball bat. The idea for the spikes came from some forged ones I did and he said he would machine some. 



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JHCC, and here I was being all millennial. 

Das, did you put insert nuts in the baseball bat or did your friend cut wood threads onto the spikes? Just curious cause I wouldn't know how to tap something to screw into wood

671jungle, was that a door knob you got the pin stock from? Neat!

Got a little time on the forge, started making a decorative 1018 twig, because I need practice and because I didn't feel like working my larger stock because I've once again broken the handles on every 2lb hammer I own. Seems to be a recurring theme. Got two leaves out, was thinning the stem on #2 and I ran out of gas.

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FPA: what did you mean that "or perhaps "tool" steel is a lot harder to work with than what I am used to on mild steel."  Of course tool steel, even annealed, is harder to work than annealed true mild steel.  You can see it in early ferrous blades where they gradually increased the carbon content but didn't heat treat them.  The edge hardness went up anyway. Of course, when they figured out heat treat then the hardness doubled...

What is your annealing process?  For thin stuff like blades it helps to have a larger chunk of hot steel  to go into the dry sifted wood ashes with the blade to make sure it cools slowly *especially in cold weather*.  If you are letting it coal in a gas forge; make sure the door(s) are preheated and closed up tightly.

Some tool steels basically have to be annealed in a furnace with ramping controls; but as they also have to be hardened in such a furnace they don't get used by most smiths starting out. (Well they shouldn't get used...)  A file should be a nice straight steel like the W series and be heat treatable  with blacksmith methods.

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Made some different kinds of sethammers today.

The big cubic one is for use under my treadlehammer the smaller are more for use at anvil/postvise ect.20210107_163051.thumb.jpg.b9b888baddb321740a6d6f33cf3d8d19.jpg

From left to right (above photography) you can see: straight sethammer with heavily rounded edges 1" square, sharp edges 1 5/8" square, sharp edges 1" straight, sharp edges 1" heeled sethammer...


Now have to search some fine wood handles. Here in Germany the traditional handels for top tool are made from oak or hazelnut branches... don't know where I can find. :)

If you walk into the next forest and cut off some branches you can get in big troubles if anyone noticed...

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Any one know if the body of this saw are hardenable? Don’t want to cut into unless I can use it. The working bit looks welded on, so that for sure is hard. But I’m more interested in the body.



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