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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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Kerbal Space Program was released to the public on June 24 2011. It's a continuous game in which the player builds rockets and space planes to accomplish certain missions or just mess around. The game is half serious (some of the people at NASA use it for very early stage testing) and half the most unserious thing you can imagine. You use Kerbals as your rocket crew. Here is an image of Jebediah Kerman, the most famous Kerbal, testing a jetpack.File:Jeb Selection-Process.png

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Michael- I think it could be pretty cool to intentionally make a kerbal- convex eyes would be difficult, but blank face or manic grin, disproportionately big head... Could be a fun project.

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The rivets were net peened to a uniform size. I got them way offline. The handle is slightly twisted, not straight, and a little too thin. I should have let the wrought iron sit in the vinegar/H2O2 solution for at least another 24 hours. The bowl feels like it is just a tad bit too large.  But all in all, it turned out to be a serviceable coffee scoop. 
 

The wrought iron is from Petersburg, Virginia and was manufactured in Richmond some time in the 1870’s. The copper is just a scrap copper pipe that I split and flattened into a plate. The rivets are just ground wire I drew out until the fit the holes.  I finished it with BLO that I applied while the metal was hot enough to burn the BLO. I then hand sanded it with 500 grit to remove the burnt BLO from all but the low areas. After that I rubbed it down with beeswax, heated it with a torch to melt the wax, and buffed it with a T-shirt until it no longer had a waxy feel. 

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Well I was going to the scrapyard this morning but when I got there my blood sugar was crashing; so I went home and dealt with that *before* it became an emergency...  Really depressed me. 

After lunch I fired up the forge and made a hot coals rake for our woodstove to separate live coals to rebuild the fire from the ashes to clean out.  Small 6 tooth garden rake with a piece of old shovel handle end for the handle. Riveted together.  (I have some shovel rivets...) 

I also cut the oak board from my coat rack by the back door and started to work on the prototype hook. 1/2"  sq stock  simple dragon heads and a coiled "tail" to put the coats on.  I need to make 5 of them and I figure I should make more and pick the best ones out.  (I used to make a lot of them back 20+ years and several concussions ago...)

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It's just a long rivet that's not too fat used to hold a shovel handle in a shovel.  Usually as rivets get longer they get fatter as well, these could be approximated by using a 16 penny nail as a rivet and trim to length; but I had these and haven't used them for a long while; so...

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16 penny nail, thats what i always used! stick it in and bend it over. 

Got to work on my doors today. Did get some forge time but got frustrated, so i switched gears. Took off the hardware, at least 3 of them, the 4th is going to take some work. once cleaned up they will be pretty nice i think. They are stamped 1840 on the back. Dont know if that is a date or not but with the age of the house it could very well be. 

Started stripping the old paint and finish off of them. Man, they used some tough stuff back in the day. I am pretty sure the doors are maple, pretty common around here, also becuase the floors and the other trim in the house are maple it would make sense. 

So here are the brass plates, 2 have been cleaned with soap and water. And the one side of the door stripped, washed and somewhat dried.

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BB: The design doesn't look pre American Civil War to me.

I went out to the smithy around 2 and worked till 4:45 on the prototype coat hook for my wife to "redesign"...

(She wants more space between snout and tail curl...Straightening it under the mounting section should do that. It can project back a bit as I can align it with the bottom edge of the board.)

Not cleaned up and finished as it's the prototype. Made from 22" of 1/2" sq stock.  Did the spiral curling with a light rawhide mallet.

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I was losing the light and my phone has problems taking pictures when that happens.

Next weekend I tweak it and when I get SWMBO approval I get to make 5 of them. Prototype will probably get mounted in the shop.

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my 1 inch square stock was delivered yesterday, so I qas making hardie tools.  3/4 in rod next to 3 in sched 40 pipe, a 5160 thin hot cutter for splitting forks, and most of a new articulated fuller for 1/2, 3/8, Nd 1/4.

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I did not thinks so either Thomas. The house does not date that far back either. The doors them selves are not that old of a design i do not think either. (Gonna say "either" just a few more times:)) A lot of homes have that same style door here that were built around 1880-1910 or so. But this is also the only hardware of this style i have seen. Most are just a simple metal plate with no décor. The more i cleaned them my plates are looking more like bronze, not copper.  Also if you look at the detail there is enough inconsistency form one to the other to lead me to believe they were hand made, or at least partially and not just stamped out on a machine. 

I do have some door locks that design does date to the civil war i know for sure, but just cuase the design goes back that far does not mean they were made in the 1860's. They are the box style that goes on the outside of the door rather than being set into the door. 

Pretty cool this old house. I have push button and rotary light switches and some old knob and tube wiring still. The house was moved to its current location in 1900. 

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My house in Columbus Ohio had *1* original lighting fixture up in the attic. It was a combination Electric & Gas light; they only made those for a few years when they were not sure that electricity would catch on and the supply wasn't very stable. I NEVER cracked the gas valve---it wasn't leaking and if I did try to open it I'd bet it would never be gas tight again.

Our electrical system had knob&tube, BX and Romex in an incestuous mess as the house had been built as a single family home, converted into apartments around WWII and converted back into a single family home in the 1960's.  So glad to be out of it before the basic systems completely failed! (One rule for our next house was that it needed no major maintenance for at least 5 years!)

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I only have about a 10' run of knob and tube. The knobs are still there but the wiring has been updated to Romex. All the windows were replaced in the last 10 years so they are all triple pane and modern. And of course one of my first questions, how old is the roof? 5 years, so i got time to save my pennies for a metal roof. 

Having done some research the door plates seem to have been popular from late 1800's to around the 19-teens or so. 

Thanks to the mods for editing my post. 

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My roof was 100 years old; but the cheapskates had used 110 year slate on it and we paid an annual toll to durable slate for repairs.  The *good* slate they don't know how long it will last some has been up for 250 years so far...

(The new owner replaced it and put up regular shingles.  We had been restoring the house; he remuddled it. His house his right.)

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I have been living with the joys of a 100 year old house, though over the years it has been updated.  It has modern wiring, but has a 100 amp box, so adding any new circuits will require upgrades which I'm not qualified to do.  Lot of plumbing work, with more to do as well on that front.  Thank god for Sharkbite connectors and PEX.  And lots of cosmetic stuff.  On the other hand, paid for!  so I really shouldn't gripe too much.

Got a chance to forge with the twins this weekend, but didn't turn out anything neat.  The Mk 2 grill forge is just not performing as well as I had hoped.  Controlling the airflow is tricky, and I'm not getting a large enough fireball.  on this one the tuye is quite a bit larger and I'm using the same fan.  I just turn the fan a bit so it is not blowing directly into the pipe and that reduces the air.  If I have it pointing directly into the pipe I get way too much air and I burn through fuel at a very high rate.  Next time I'm going to move some of the bricks around and see if it works better.

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Since my old house had been converted into apartments during WWII and converted back; the wiring and plumbing was a mess.  The upstairs Bathroom was two stories above the water heater in the basement, but it took 20 minutes to run a tepid tub as the pipe came out of the water heater, went all the across the basement, converted to a smaller gauge and did a 90 and another 90 2' over and converted back to the large gauge and ran back to just over the water heater and up.

I pulled out over 40' of unneeded pipe and made it a straight shot up to the bathroom and there was great rejoicing.

When we bought the place I went out and bought 2 of every size and type of plumbing cap or plug; because the plumbing *never fails* on a Saturday after noon when the stores are open!   Funny thing one night around midnight I got a call from my old college roommate who had also bought an old house in the same town---"Did I have a plug for a ruptured pipe so they could turn the water back on and go back to bed?"  Of course I did!

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