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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?


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Rojo that is really nice. Where did you source the copper from?

Thomas you always have good ideas that are so simple - at least a handful of times you have made me say “why didn’t I think of that”. Thanks. 
 

LeatherBill are you suggesting I use a small propane burner in place of a torch for the localized heating I’m going after? Maybe I’m confused…

and JHCC did you buy a full new setup or a used rig? Brand?

 

 

 

 

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That's a nice looking swage block John. That's what I am keeping my eye out for. Been tinkering with jewelry here too while waiting on forge set up. Nothing crazy bit has kept me motivated. Getting ready to mix my kastolite and try my hand at Mason work not sure why but this step has me so nervous lol. well enough time to get it done.

that copper flower is gorgeous 

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Thanks all

Pat - scrap pieces from my local supplier. They always have a bin filled with little squares of various thickness from about 3 to 6 inches squares and rectangles. $5.99 per pound currently. Must be cut offs from gutter or some other forming but I really have no idea. I use .032 for the outer petals and .028 for the inners thinking it might add to realism. 

Les - only a couple times with disappointing results. The wife liked the natural annealed look but I plan to practice flame coloring soon

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7 hours ago, Pat Masterson said:

JHCC did you buy a full new setup or a used rig? Brand?

New Victor rig. The entire saga of the decision and purchase is chronicled HERE, and the design and build process of my torch stand is HERE.

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Rojo, experimenting with flame coloring is right lol. Have water on hand to quench immediately as the desired color appears. 

Practice with a piece of sheet so you can learn a bit how it goes and easily clean it and try again. 

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well we will call that a learning expierence and loss of money. 5lbs kastolite wasted had about half the forged covered reposition to do the rest and everything just fell off couldnt get finished before exceeded time recommended by manufacturer after being mixed. so I have learned this wont work without a form of some sort on a cylinder forge. 2 kastolite is not at all sticky like I thought and 3 need to save money and buy more kastolite once I figure out a form.  guess back to the drawing board and more videos that didnt act like I thought it would at all didnt stick to anything lol

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Been sitting here and believe that I will have to do in section top and bottom. think I will buy some cotton backing cut a piece out that would lay across half the pipe. then lay down cotton place wooden half inch blocks around edge press in kastolite pick up cotton backing lay press kastolite into forge press into walls and leave sit.

 Guess being nervous this entire time was an omen haha

Now heres a question will kastolite adhere to cured kastolite so when I go to do second half being the bottom half after top has cured.

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You mixed up all 5lbs. then tried to line it in sections? 

I think you missed the point of lining it in sections in the first place. It won't stay in place in an overhang situation so you apply it so gravity holds it in place UNTIL it sets and hardens for a while.

Kastolite only has about 30 minutes working time and starts to set up, another hour or so and it's hard enough to stay in position against gravity.

If the Kastolite IN the forge is supposed to set in the expected time what did you expect the remainder in the mixing can to do?

Next time mix just enough to cover the section you wish and leave the rest of the dry KOL dry. I keep it in a plastic bucket with the lid on. 

If you aren't sure how much to use cut a piece of paper that covers the area you want to cover with KOL. Lay that piece of paper on a larger piece and carefully cover it with the desired thickness of dry KOL. I'm just grabbing some numbers for an example don't use them.

Say the floor is 4" wide x 10" long. You lay that piece of paper on a piece of newspaper and then cover the cut piece with 1/2" of dry KOL. Transfer the KOL to the mixing can/pot/whatever. When you add water KOL increases in volume a little so you have more than enough. Trowel it in pat it smooth and when it starts to get hard to work, stop and go have a snack, watch TV or something for at least an hour, 2-3 is better. 

Next session figure out how much you can roll the forge and present as much unlined blanket in a position where gravity will keep the KOL in place. Chock the forge so it won't roll and make another paper cutout pattern.

Repeat the above process of covering the paper with the desired thickness of KOL. Mix, apply and leave it right where it is for a couple hours. If the section of hardened KOL appears to want to pull off prop it in place with some cardboard or sticks until the other sections will support it.

Don't mix up 5lbs. when all you need is 1 1/2 per section. You wouldn't buy a 3lb can of coffee and brew it all up the next morning would you? Cook the whole dozen eggs when you want two? 

Hmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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what I thought in my head didnt work out. I thought it would work out where I could slowly roll my forge and the begining part would stick I soon realized immediately I should half mixed half as kastolite did not act as I thought. but nothing I could do then was too late so I tried my hardest to fight that battle but in the end kastolite won that battle but he shall not win the war round 2 will go to me.  should have waited till day off in hindsight probally rushed a little as worked a long RUFF shift and should have rested first gone into with clear head. all  lessons learned and gave my main man Frosty enough ammo to make me realize what a coyote of a move and should have been the road runner use my brain.

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When we did our forge, I figured I could do the bottom half first. I divided the bubble alumina in half and mixed that up, applied it and let it sit overnight. Then turned the forge over and mixed the rest up and applied it, let it sit over night then fired it to finish curing it. It worked for us (YMMV). Of course we put it over cured Satanite but it should work over cured wool too.

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After using it for about a year I picked up more bubble alumina and added a flat floor. Still holding up well.

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On 10/8/2021 at 7:01 PM, Rojo Pedro said:

Les - only a couple times with disappointing results.

Tojo, when heating the copper don’t heat it until you get the color you want, warm a spot up, move to another then go back to the first spot when you get the color you want then cool it 

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On 10/2/2021 at 10:49 AM, Goods said:

Looks great! What was your etching process to get that level of contrast?

Since it was my first one there was a bit of trial & error. I used about a 1:10 ratio of Ferric Acid to bottled spring water. I read somewhere that a more diluted mix will take longer but give a better contrast. Then I left the knife in the solution for 15 minutes at a time. I'd take it out, wipe it down to remove any lose material and allow the acid to begin working on clean metal again. Every fourth or fifth time I'd lightly sand with 1,000 grit &  buff it on the wheel. It took about three hours of the rinse and repeat method until I was happy with it.

If anyone has suggestions on etching Damascus to bring out a high contrast I'd love to learn from your experience.

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So i started the sword i am supposed to make for someone. Never made one, not a bladesmith but i am going to try. I am thinking something along the lines of a falchion style. Going to take a while i see that coming and going to have to dig  trench for heat treating. Anyway got the handle roughed out. Start narrowing down and shaping the blade today. Piece of old leaf spring so i am assuming 5160 or at least something along those lines. 

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While working that down i also notice my hammer head want to walk off the handle. Right now it only moves about 1/8" or so, no wobble, but in time i am guessing it will fly off mid swing at some point. So i grabbed piece of hickory, found the part with the straightest grain on the board and went to town. Have not changed it yet but i got it ready for when i need it soon. Provably tommorrow so i can let it soak in linseed oil over the week while i work 12 hour shifts next week. Aint looking forward to that let me tell ya.

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That’s really nice. Great contrast between the various materials. 

The only thing I did in the shop was to mount my new shop fan on its stand. Even on the lowest speed, this thing is a beast. 

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5 hours and i got some what of a shape. Not a falchion like i was thinking it was called, Spartan? Some help here guys i know it has a name just cant think of it. A bit blade heavy, still a good 1/4" thick... i see why people buy power hammers now for sure. Bit more work. Needs some narrowing and the belly i think needs to a bit shorter, little more drop in the blade, but i think y'all get an idea of what i am going for. then i get to do my favorite part, grind...

JHCC, i had another suggestion as to where you could mount it.:D And no not there, i was thinking the wall in my shop.

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58 minutes ago, BillyBones said:

Not a falchion like i was thinking it was called, Spartan?

Maybe you’re thinking of a kopis?

58 minutes ago, BillyBones said:

i was thinking the wall in my shop.

I think they still have a couple more!

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