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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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I don't know what it was specifically, Woody was too secretive but a fair shade tree chemist, he used to do field assays regularly. I didn't see magnets that strong until rare earth magnets started showing up. 

Who knows what kind of molecular stew it was, being mildly radioactive didn't surprise anybody, but heck there could've been: rare earth lanthanides or lord knows what. All I was privy to was him changing from gold recovery to something else and being REALLY excited as only the prospect of getting rich got him. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Borderline too hot to forge, but one of my students came over for the first time since the pandemic began. She made some refresher hooks and had a blast. 

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(Please note that when I told her not to put her thumb on top of the hammer handle, she listened!)

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Friday I got this cut out of a piece of crane rail.

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And yes..... I know the benefit of standing it on end to get more mass under the hammer, but didn't care as that is not the most important function.

It did however, pass the extremely important ring test. Right now that is the only thing that matters when working with grandpa.

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As well as getting to pick and sort out the tools you want.

 

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I just need to get it mounted on a block for him. I think we have some flawed oak laminate blocks at work that are about 10 inches square. Should work perfect.

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Very Nice, DHarris. I need to make a flatter soon, as I struggle to get my pieces of mokume gane (and everything else) actually flat. I might just have someone weld a steel plate onto a hand sledge head I've got (don't have any stock thick enough to do a flatter, don't have a welder). So many things I want to do and tell myself I'll do soon, so little time at the forge.

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Not in *my* shop, but took a class today and made some hooks.  Helpful to have an experienced smith looking over the shoulder and giving tips.  Again, highlights how much I have to learn and practice, but I'm enjoying it immensely.  I'll practice plenty more on my own.  My wife already likes these amateur hooks, so I know I'll have at least one customer.

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12 hours ago, Chimaera said:

. I need to make a flatter soon,

I have a quick and dirty flatter that's just piece of plate welded to a rod that's been working fine for me. 

Pnut

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This weekend I made this awful “D” for an old friend of my mother. Not my best work lol. I also took ten minutes and bent up this long thin piece of rusted bar I found on the side of the road and made an adjustable work holding thingamajig…I’ve been fighting with holding my work since I got this forge and all it took was ten minutes of bending this stuff cold with my hands to solve it. And I finally tried out my new flux core welder…I thought I was bad at forging…then I tried welding. Way more difficult than I thought but I did manage to make my first hardy tool. It’s super ugly but I’m excited as it’s going to do the job and well…it’s my first hardy tool. So it was good weekend. 

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That sucks Billy, but have been there. When I first moved into our current house, I did not know the ends and outs of the yard just yet and I caught a root that was a good inch or more thick. That actually broke the blade and the piece was sticking through the deck. Had to replace the blade, bearings and belt since the shock caused it to snap.

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Elizabeth broke our push mower last weekend. She also hit a stump, but a different kind of stump. It was the tail shaft of a transmission I had by the garage. She saw tall grass and lifted the front end to nub it down and bam. Bent the main shaft pretty bad on the mower. 

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Out here to get grass long enough to mow you have to pretty much continuously water it. I feel that we don't have enough water for the people out here much less a green yard!  I'm happy with the sage brush, and try to burn off the weeds and tumbleweeds in the fall.

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A while ago, a belt burned up on the riding mower. Asked the neighbor if I could borrow his mower to finish up the job. He neglected to tell me that the thing's brakes don't work... ended up crashing his mower into a tree because it wouldn't stop. The front was busted up (easily fixed with super glue), but more importantly the drive system wouldn't engage. Over the next week, as I prepared to get him a whole new mower, he ended up pushing it into the wall of his garage, somehow fixing it. I suppose all's well that ends well (the only final damages were a couple little cosmetic flaws in the 20 yr old plastic. I filled up the tank as an apology).

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One of the neighborhood kids threw a chunk of wood onto our lawn a few weeks back that caught the blade on the riding mower and bent it. A few strokes with the treadle hammer straightened it out nicely, though.

51 minutes ago, SinDoc said:

catch my JABOD on fire

We need more context. A forge without a fire really isn't much use anyway.

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Anti-spatter spray is your friend.

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That is a funny story Chimaera that reminds me of the time my neighbor was putting down new gravel in his driveway and had a bob cat. After I was done helping him, I asked if I could borrow it for a moment to move a mount of dirt and some large rocks. He gave the go ahead and said don't damage it. Well I did 3 loads to the back of my yard and I sat there thinking I should quit as the yard was wet and I was starting to sink. I said "one more" and went for it. Well on the way back out, I was thinking to myself I can't go near my new shed, as I had dug a trench for power and the dirt was still soft and I would sink. Thinking about it caused me to spin the bob cat the wrong direction and I went right into it.

The bob cat sunk a good foot and to the point where I just shut it off because I knew it was stuck. the neighbor came over and said "what the *insert the word here* did you do?!". I replied that well, I didn't damage it like you asked, but on a related note, can I borrow your truck? :lol:

I owed him quite a lot of beer after that ordeal and he still gives me grief over it.

 

JHCC, I apparently didn't have enough dirt between the firepot and the plywood and the plywood underneath caught on fire lol. Thankfully I had somewhat anticipated it happening and had the hose on standby next to me.

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Fortunately it was the push mower. I have a huge stump with giant roots that i have hit and not hurt it. Hit a piece of 2" galvinised pipe that was laying in the yard and did not hurt it. Broke the cast iron leg of of my out door table 2x with it. Not to mention the rocks, bricks and bottles. (bottles are from the drunks driving by at night) But this one little stump of an old bush next to the front porch and she was done. 

I got the mower for free a few years back, same with most of my power tools like that after people left them full of gas over the winter. Remember when we were having all the problems with gas deposits building up? I learnt early on that they were actually really easy to get running again but most people would just rather buy new. When i was working in the tranny shop every spring it was my job to get the shops lawn and garden equipment running, except the snow blower that was in the fall. 

I would give anything not to have grass. I loathe mowing. 

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Started work on my drum smoker today.  Nothing really accomplished other than getting a few measurements and sketching out some parts to work on (hinge, handles, charcoal basket, etc).  The drum is bigger than a 55gal drum - it's about 25" diameter.  Was some kind of military aircraft engine container originally.

Then I took the crude hooks I bodged out yesterday in a class and experimented with surface finishes.  I used a mixture of beeswax, BLO and turpentine and got a nice black finish from treatment of black-hot metal after cleaning them up good on the wire wheel.

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Most definitely!  I had it bead blasted before I took delivery of it.  I'll also do a few hard burnouts before trying anything edible in it.  My neighbor made one from the same kind of drum (from Sportsman's Warehouse) a few years ago and it works superbly.  My old smoker is about to fall apart from years of use, so this project is being driven by that to a certain extent.  :) 

 

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