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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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I’m away from home and forge for a week, so reading through some back issues of The Anvil’s Ring and The Hammer’s Blow and trying out ideas in plasticine for the 150mm challenge. 

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Also discovered a rather whopping typo in a blacksmithing book at the local bookstore. 

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Ah, so it's an initiation? One of these days I want to cruise Vermont and surroundings during fall. 

Not knowing much about maple syrup taps I was wondering how you'd hang the bucket bail on your tap without the sap running down the bale. So I searched out some images and they all hang the bale above the sap channel and "drain"? 

There are a bunch of different kinds. I might have to try tapping some of our birch for syrup though the ratio is crazy about 100gl sap to 1gl syrup. Nah, reading through the basics makes it sound like too much work, WAY too much work! 

Frosty The Lucky.

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When I was helping with the sugaring as a teen, it was all plastic taps and tubing — no buckets at all, and therefore no having to make the round of all the trees to empty them. 

I had some pretty amazing hickory syrup recently. 

10 minutes ago, Glenn said:

One style of tap

We always called those by their older name of “spile”. When I was little, we tapped our own trees a few times and used the traditional spiles and buckets, and my mom boiled down the sap in her canning kettle on the kitchen stove. 

21 minutes ago, Frosty said:

I might have to try tapping some of our birch for syrup

I had some pretty amazing hickory syrup recently. 

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John enjoy Vermont. My entire family is from New England. Vermont  New Hampshire Maine and Mass.  Visited Vermont and New Hampshire for 20 years straight 3 times a year so beautiful in the fall. Dont mind me asking what city are you in?  Enjoy and those look great.

 

Alexanderx those are beautiful empty and with flowers nice work sir.

Organized my supplies setting up to rigidize sunday morning.

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I'm currently in Bennington, where my wife is teaching at a chamber music conference (basically summer music camp for grown-ups; my daughter is also participating as a musician). I lived in Shrewsbury, VT from 1984 to 1992 and in Sugar Hill, NH from 1968 to 1978.

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Wow been to Bennington many of times. Also had family in both those cities at one point that's crazy. Enjoy its wonderful up there especially if into anything outdoors. Fished like crazy as a kid. Love Sunnape and know many from Burlington VT and Charlsetown NH. 

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Ran to Harbor Freight today and bought 2 of their 2 pound blacksmith hammers and a ball peen.  I put them to the grinder and made 2 diagonal peen hammers, one left handed, and a variation on a swedish cross peen with the smallest ball peen they had.  My brother is coming tomorrow with his kids and we're going to make some marshmallow roasters and maybe a fire poker.  They are between 5 and 10 years old with my niece being the youngest.  I don't expect all three of them to stick with it until we50603.thumb.jpeg.8ac41d77a32e2476afb1657d48edfc61.jpeg finish tomorrow but I'm hoping they'll have some fun and remember it with their hammers made for them by their uncle. I haven't gotten to see them in over 2 years.  

For safety,  obviously I'll be the only one handling hot metal, I won't let my brother handle it either, and to help speed the process they'll be striking and I'll be swinging the hammer to actual do the work.  I'll try and get pictures of the fun. 

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Chad; I ran a cub scout den through making their own marshmallow/hot dog toasters once.  I did it kid by kid using election sign wire, (The sq C signs, no galvanization!).

I had pre straitened the wire hot and cut to length.

Heat the middle and let the kid "bend steel with their bare hands"  against a vertical rod in the hardy hole.  

Heat the bent end and placing the cold end in a low vise use a twisting wrench to allow them to twist a section together. (Leave enough for a handle!)

Repeat until you get close to the open end.  Cool body of the fork

Bend out the two wires at the open end out and let them alternate with you in forging a sq taper. (I like the you hit then I hit method rather than alternate heats.)

Heat and bend the tapered points back to form the fork.  (It helps to have a piece of metal (sq tubing) that can be used to true up the tines so they are parallel.)

I use paraffin wax as a finish on warmed steel as it's food safe---I get the stuff they sell for sealing jelly jars.

The adults can forge a J hook to hang the toasters on...

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Tried to do a squirrel tail, started on some mokume. I think the forge built up a massive clinker, since it slowly just died out. The squirrel tail still needs a ton of work, and the mokume has a delam straight through the center. Too ashamed to post pics now ;). Maybe if I figure out the delam, and when I finish on the knife. Want to try cable Damascus soon, but it sounds like a massive pain, especially with coal.

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I let my grandson and Granddaughter heat 1/4” steel and beat on it. Before that I went over a few basic safety rules. Assume any steel is hot until you know it is not. Keep the hot end pointed in a safe direction when moving and let everyone know you will soon be moving. Safety glasses at all times. No you may not wear those neoprene gloves your mom bought for you to stay warm out here. Same for the fuzzy coat she gave you. You will wear leather gloves and do not get them wet. If you knock a piece of coal on the ground, do not pick it up with your fingers, even if it is not glowing. Always be aware of what others around you are doing and be ready for them to do something incredibly stupid.
 

And no, you cannot make a sword.
 

Really, once they brand their leg once, they are very unlikely to do it again. 
 

I tried working with both at the same time, but it was too much for me to keep track of.  

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My original plan went out the window.   My 5 year old neice ended up needing the smallest ball peen hammer I had to make the bends in a S hook I started for her but she was determined to get then formed.  It was adorable.  My nephews ended up striking on a pair or spike knives.  They and my brother ended up having so much fun that I sent them home with my railroad track aso.  I gotta say I'm jealous though.  He's a yard manager for a couple Schnitzer Steel yards, one of them in Attleboro.

  He can get all the steel he wants and with his handheld he'll know the chemistry.

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