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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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It's not pretty but it works (too) well.  I now know what it's like to burn up a project in a coal forge,  several times over.   On the other hand I (kinda) got my first successful forge weld... and then promptly overheated the piece.  The blower is off of an exhaust fan from a kitchen and it is hooked up to an adjustable switch.  Nearly perfect amount of air. 

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Thank you Frosty for the advise. And thank you JHCC for posting that visual aid, it makes it real clear what Frosty said. Not having the middle web rounded does cause the item being drawn out to get hung up with each hammer blow.

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We had our club meeting yesterday and our demonstrator was "The Little Blacksmith" and one of his friends. The made a trivet, among other items. We were also doing an iron smelt at the meeting and they helped process the bloom. Great guys, we enjoyed having them at our meeting. I asked why he hasn't been on here lately and he said he just haven't taken the time.

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Before and after of some of this weekend's work. Rail spike steak flipper, rail spike bottle opener, a door handle concept to show to a potential customer, and I also modded an $8.50 HF hammer into a straight peen. I gotta say, drawing a rail spike out to 20" is not an easy thing to do by hand.

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JHCC,

This was Mark’s 3rd visit to our meetings this year , he took a roundabout way way through Tennessee and Kentucky visiting shops on his way to us  this time. I asked about his next road trip and he said Quad State and will be looking for all of you. We didn’t have a lot of time to talk, because around 40 others had questions, but he looking forward to meeting everyone on here that shows up. 

 

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Who is who in the pic?

 

This evening I made a square center punch from a tie rod and welded up a file sandwiched between two pieces of WI.  I am still trying to find the lines. I want it to be a drop point skinner, but I can’t see it in the billet. I painted the tip to see how much I might want to grind to get it where I want, but am still unsure. Top is the blank and bottom is the center point punch. I went with square because I thought it could do double duty as a drift should I ever need a square hole. Quenched it in water after taking it to non magnetic. Not tempered yet. Hard to see the colors run with only the light from the forge. 

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5 hours ago, DHarris said:

Who is who in the pic?

The one in the checkered shirt is Mark Ling, thelittleblacksmith, that started this thread in 2017. 

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20 hours ago, Mothman_c3w said:

 

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did you use a power hammer to reforge the hammer? That also seems like a whole lot of work to do by hand. Really nice though. 

Started cutting out the continents for this globe I’m working on. Still have a lot of filing/grinding to do. I think they’re going to end up being a little too small but it’s ok for this first one. I also think I’ll need to add more sphere rings - maybe 1/8” between the existing 1/4” ones just to have more places to attach the continents too, I think it might just look cool too though. It was tough deciding how much detail to go into…like does Cuba get the boot or not lol. And the 22 gauge stuff I got was a little too much to cut by hand and more than I needed. With a thinner gauge I’ll be able to do more details on the next one. 
 

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Hot and muggy out here; we're used to the heat but higher humidities just kill us; perhaps it will be good training for Quad-State! (Which has ranged from the 90's to having ice in my water bucket when I woke up; dry to torrential thunder storms.)

Saturday went up and had our first in person meetup with our oldest daughter. Saturday night was a gorgeous  Lightening display; not much rain where we are at but multiple simultaneous lightening strikes on the mountains along the edge of the valley.  Our power went out for about 9 hours (9:20 pm to 7:15 am) making for a hot muggy uncomfortable night.

Sunday after church I visited a smithing friend in town to see the pad he put in for his 50# LG and how his shop was doing.  Funny his is stuffed like mine used to be and now mine is getting a lot of clear space inside!   I did open up the shop to help it dry out a bit.  I may enclose the gables more when I can have a barn fan in the peak.

Today, the CoOp and the underground utility marking folk are supposed to get together and mark the connection for my shop power; of course we're in a flash flood watch after lunch...  I captured a good sized (for out here) scorpion in our hall this morning and let it go out in the boonies on my way to work.   Managed to get to it before it became crunchy kitty treats!

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The last two weeks I spend moving to the new place, and I have managed to set up my temporary "workshop".

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As you might see in the picture, not everything is quite done yet. The day after moving was spent on getting running water installed, and the day after on hot water. Living room is a mess currently, but at least the bathroom and bedrooms are done.

I decided to start fabricating a fire pot for my forge, as the flat bed with some firebricks is not quite enough for me. I spent the last 8 months working with it, and it's just not enough to heat hammer sized stock. So expect some pictures of that in the next week. Saturday I'm going to weld it all together at my brother's work.

~Jobtiel

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Tried fiddling with a rail spike over the weekend to make the typical rail spike knife. Everything was going so well until I went to do the twist to finish up. Right as I went to twist, the neighbor yelled at me to tell me something and I didn't stick it in the vise far enough and twisted roughly 70% of the darn thing :lol:

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I had thought about doing that, but in all honestly figured it would not work. I would have thought it would either break, twist in another weird way, or crumble.

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That is very fair. Should have tried since I had nothing to lose! When I get back out there, Ill heat the little bugger back up and see if I can twist it back. If not, ill just turn it into a very large screw :lol:

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1 hour ago, SinDoc said:

I would have thought it would either break, twist in another weird way, or crumble.

It's a RR spike it doesn't have enough carbon in it to quite be medium carbon steel. You could probably untwist and straighten it cold. I wouldn't but you probably "could."

I was going to reply sooner but had to make a couple repairs and just now got back from the shop. I actually heated and did a little beating on the anvil.

The blade twisting when you were twisting the handle to finish points out one of my main reasons for twisting FIRST.

You can heat the entire piece, spike in this cast, as hot as is safe for the steel and not worry about melting or burning a thin section. You don't have to worry about how you clamp it in the vise nor place the twisting wrench so long as the distance is reasonably close. A little too much twist length is perfect. 

Once you have the twist how you wish forge the blade, hook, scroll, giant leaf, whatever. The transition from twist to forged section will be much smoother without the distortion to the twist or bit of distortion in the forged section  you get from twisting after you forge.

If as in a blade you're twisting a 5/8" square spike at or close to the thin wide blade profile, how do you hold the transition? If you hold the blade it's going to twist, if you hold the spike zone you get the warpy transition.

I'm not saying this is THE way I'm just suggesting you think about it and if you have some extra spikes give it a try and see what you think.

I don't make spike blades but I do make things from spikes, gate hardware, recently hooks, etc.

I learned to twist first when I was learning to smith and making boat loads of leaf finial coat hooks. I was having a heck of a time twisting the shank without distorting the leaf and not making the long taper into a helix.

I was sure I was doing something wrong twisting so I started practicing twists and went through a lot of 2" pieces of 3/8" sq. without seeing a lot of change in the twist transitions. I wasn't figuring out what the problem was but had maybe 30 2" long 3/8" sq pieces of stock. What to do with the darned things? Making them wasn't solving my problem so one day I figured what the heck and forged a leaf finial coat hook. 

:o It came out PERFECT! (Yeah, it was THAT long ago, I still thought perfect was doable.) 

I went through the whole pile of twists in a couple hours and ended up with lots of hooks to sell at the next demo. 

In most cases I've been twisting before other processes since. There are exceptions of course, nothing is ever right let along the best. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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