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I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?

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My first heartbreak- my friend, who was supposed to be working on this seax (it was almost ready for hammering in the bevels!) got distracted and it burned. 692797F3-F920-450B-9BEF-7EA0775B10A1.thumb.jpeg.db51c16f455b862f0d556d3106f4063a.jpegSecond heartbreak- as we were getting ready to cut off the tip (try to salvage some of it) it fell and snapped.895D42C6-99EA-4076-9EA6-B286831E14D3.thumb.jpeg.efbcb78bedcf98e37777944c3d095138.jpegThird heartbreak- while working on the new replacement seax, he cooled it off in some water. This is 5160. It cracked immediately . I’m not sure where I put that one. This was mostly my fault, since I apparently didn’t stress enough the importance of not water quenching and not burning the steel.

Thankfully, we did manage to pull off a couple of squirrel tails. Mine on the left, his on the right. This is just forged and rough ground. Still lots of refinement to blade shape and getting good bevels.hopefully these will turn out well and we’ll get to do that seax soon.image.thumb.jpg.5ea3f9efa986608823f557a64282b16e.jpg

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On 12/4/2021 at 6:53 PM, TWISTEDWILLOW said:

Man that would get old really quick!

I don’t have alot of electric power out here without blowing breakers, so I ain’t got much experience with electric machines, most all my machines are engine powered, log splitter, air compressor, welder, ect… list goes on, gas an diesel, 

I can’t even plug in a electric chop saw without overloading a breaker in my shop so I just gravitated to engine power over the last 9 years lol, 


Why haven’t you beefed up the circuits? Are you not an Oklahoman?  My dad began showing me how to do plumbing and electrical stuff when I was a little kid. I thought all of us grew up that way.  :D

I assume it is where you do small engine repair work?  If so, you could deduct it as a business expense. 

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JHCC, i am not disappointed, very nice. So, how are the brownies? 

Made a coupe more links to my chain. Not quite round, working on that, but they are thicker. The 2 on the bottom right. Also got this garden rake forged. It will go to my aunt with the trowel  made a couple weeks back. 


Managed to get a cross bar made without breaking off a tenon. 


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nice work everyone. first week at new job down had planned on working all day but way to windy for the forge today little dissapointed but you all keep me motivated with your beautiful work keep it up. maybe tomorrow wont be howling wind. side note my car port is taking the wind like a beast.

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Saturday was the New Mexico Artist Blacksmith Association's Dec meeting just north of Albuquerque; so it made it a pretty full day for me.  Robb Gunther was doing the Demo and showed some neat stuff working C-channel---using a dull chisel to start a trough in the back, Σ,  so you could hammer it to a sq with interesting  lineations.  Also forging angle iron with specialized tooling for the angle iron to curve and and still be flat---he was making Kiva Fireplace screens.  I donated one of my rusty barbwire basket icicles to IITH and ended up with 25 pounds of Pocahontas coal from the raffle.

Sunday was getting read of a day long teaching/making event for the SCA Barony in Albuquerque.  I'll have to load Friday night in the dark---now an option with POWER to the Shop!  But much easier if everything is sorted and staged.

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Hey guys! Just back from my 50th wedding anniversary cruise and trying to catch up.

JHCC - Really like the Blue Rooster sign. I hope the wind doesn't blow too strong in your area, though, a wind load on that rooster with a single curved steel support might add some curves you didn't want. I'm making progress on our church sign that blew away but that made me think of that. Also in working on the church sign I found that powder coat for small items that will fit in my tempering oven is easy to do. 

BillyBones - nice rake - what do you intend to chain?

Thomas - Sooo glad you have power.


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On 12/5/2021 at 11:41 AM, alexandr said:

Месяц назад я отправил люстру в Сибирь. Клиент отправил фотографию.






Смотрится шикарно!

It looks great!

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16 hours ago, DHarris said:

Why haven’t you beefed up the circuits? Are you not an Oklahoman

Lol, your right DHarris, I do all my own wiring and plumbing, 

an yes it’s were my small engine repair shop is,

there are several reasons why I never bothered to run a new power line out here,

one being that sometimes I have to take my machines mobile an thats a lot easier to do do with engine powered machinery, welder generator an air compressors ect, 

Another reason is I do most of my log splitting very far away from any power source,

Another reason is I don’t ever have to shut down my business when the powers out because all I really need it for is lights, battery charging, radio an shop fridge, 

I keep lanterns in here as well as backup lights and I heat with firewood, I have back up batteries, inverters and generators so in the event of outages I can still keep working on my customers machines to keep everyone else operating, 

I usually get slammed with generators and chainsaw repairs as soon as the weather man says foul weather is on the way, 

but your right I could run a new power line out here or I could drop another pole and meter and just write it off as a business expense,

I might get around to it one of these days but for now my operation is working good for me 




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1 hour ago, Purple Bullet said:

a wind load on that rooster with a single curved steel support might add some curves you didn't want.

The scroll has a reasonable amount of flex, plus I think such strong wind would be more likely to bend the rooster!

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3 hours ago, BillyBones said:

Made a couple more links to my chain. Not quite round, working on that, but they are thicker. The 2 on the bottom right.. 

I pity the SCABA member who drew my chain and hook at a meeting. This is my first, and so far, my last attempt. Yours look like factory made links in comparison. :rolleyes:


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Everyone is doing such fine work that I'm embarrassed to show what I've done today. But I'll show anyway.

It seems my first dragon head came out passable:


This is a gas key that I made back in august.  It seems that all the others come out looking like hippos with whiskers:


Or some cartoonish horse looking thing when the whiskers snap off:1191294515_IMG_20211206_151254884(Copy).jpg.0828eb87a95e0fb8d935ab96eee1c79d.jpg

 Anyway, I spent the afternoon, making a slitter, and a punch for the mouth, nose and eyes. Then working on more dragon heads. I'll get it down pat one day.

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4 hours ago, Purple Bullet said:

what do you intend to chain?

Well, if the wife dont settle down... she may use it on me.

Congrats on the anniversary. 

DHarris, at least your first ones welded. Mine ended up a mashed up pile of scrap. 

Blue, i really like that dragon, pretty cool. 


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Made 3 nut snowmen last night and another nail cross like the last I showed for my daughters preK teachers and helpers. 

I realized then that the two snowmen i made before that and for the last show I forgot their copper scarves. I sold one of them and it was honestly bugging me that I forgot the scarf. 

Got a message tonight from the lady that hosted that show asking for another snowman and a nail star she wanted to be turned into a tree topper. 

I asked her if she knew the woman that had bought that snowman and explained the missing scarf. I told her I had made an extra scarf in my last batch for that poor snowman if I could get it to her.  She laughed and explained that the items were for that woman and she was with her right at the moment.  They had a good laugh and we decided on how the topper would be. 

Round 1\8" steel sign wire cold coiled around a tapered punch in the vise. I welded the bottom end and welded the top to the star. Heat colored and clear coated. 20211206_231846.thumb.jpg.4f4f95c4327a489f9cf56b4b74647dbd.jpg




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Good stuff everyone. DHarris that chain looks great to me. I hope mine will be as good.

not a lot if time lately but was able to get a few hours in.

I got 3 1”x8” H-13 rods from the  ebaeys and holy cow!  This is the hardest steel I have ever forged and I wore my arm out after using a 4 hammer, had to go back to my 2.5 favorite. Going to be a hot cut chisel.

I need a power hammer


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It is tough stuff. Work it hot (not too hot) and stop at orange. You'll feel it stiffen up and (if you listen real close) possibly start laughing at your hammer around that temperature. Once you're done forging, heat it up to bright orange and bury in vermiculite. After it's cool then do your grinding. Slowly reheat to ~1900F (bright orange) and air cool.

I was surprised by how hot it's hardening temperature is, but even with the low tech blacksmith method it does work.

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Thanks TW. Its just some cut nails laid out and welded from the back side. I could have heated the spiral holder and fiddled with it a bit more but it looked ok to me and does the job. 20211206_234652.thumb.jpg.6c81fcd40e8441b8e7b568ab645b8199.jpg

That was just testing it out on my tree. Elizabeth said she likes it so will probably be wanting one.... then will want me to put lights on it... then.... lol

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