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I Forge Iron

My JABOD forge build


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On 11/30/2020 at 9:16 PM, swedefiddle said:

When drawing out (stretching) your material, whether you have flat, square or round, forge it Square, forge it Octagonal, forge it round. The reason for this is, our wrists will turn a quarter turn, a quarter turn equals a flat on the top from the Hammer and a flat on the bottom from the Anvil.

Ah,  okay, I've gone and done some reading now, and I understand better why to take the round shape square first then taper. Thanks for that! I will be sure to try that when I make the ring on the end of my rake!

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38 minutes ago, Deimos said:

warm the anvil

I use a clothes iron. Sometimes laying a towel over the top and then the iron, sometimes just the iron. I'll move it around occasionally while the forge is lighting up.

The IR heater would be better at heating whole anvil, the iron is okay for just the surface.

 

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For a 400# anvil we used to hang empty paint buckets with holes punched in the base on the horn and heel and build a fire of kindling in them and work on other things till the face was warm---then we would squabble over who got to sit on the nice warm anvil while the steel was heating in the forge!

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Well, I went back out today. Didn't have anything to really heat the anvil with yet, so it was cold, which stole the heat from my piece really quickly, but I managed to bend my first ring/loop on the end of my rake!

I tried making it square first, as advised, before tapering. It was surprisingly difficult to hold the round stock straight while doing this lol. Still had a bit of difficulty keeping it even and forgot to go octogonal and then round before I began my curl, so that's something for next time. I also didn't quite bend the section just below the tip enough before beginning the larger bend, so it didn't quite finish as gracefully as I would have liked, but overall I'm pleased for a first attempt. 

New anvil worked great. Only one missed hammer strike in 2 hours, and it only left a slight discoloration on the surface. Looks like there are some irregularities in the horn that I may have to smooth out, but it worked well for hammering in the loop. 

Feel that I learned a lot today, and finished my rake, so it was a good day :)

 

finished rake.jpg

curl 1.jpg

taper 1.jpg

taper 2.jpg

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Good work. On the next one you make you might want to make the ring with a recurve. I bend them the opposite way the scroll will go so they're centered over the shaft of the tool when the scroll is finished.

That's just what I find pleasing. You may differ. Keep it up. 

Pnut

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*adds 'pig tail' to mental lexicon*

I actually did do the pig tail first, and then discovered the crack, before I moved on to the main curve. I did not dip in water at all though (I actually don't yet have a slack tub)
Stuff was cooling off very fast, and I think I pushed it one (or two) many hits past temp - unless there's something else that you can think of?

mostly straight.jpg

that looks like a crack.jpg

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No slack tub needed, just a container (metal can) holding water.  You can punch or drill a hole in the cap of a water bottle and use that to apply a stream of water to the area needing cooled. A condiment bottle (50 cents or so each) will work also if you want to spend the money. (grin)

Look for a pair of needle nose pliers to use as scrolling tongs for the pig tails, and other small pieces of metal. 

 You can push the end of the metal over the edge of the anvil and using a light hammer or light hits, start the bend of the pig tail.  Once started, flip the metal over and hit TOWARD you while the pig tail rests on the face / edge of the anvil.Takes longer to type it than to do it. Keep the metal HOT so it bends easily.

As to your pig tail as shown, heat it up, cut it off with a hot cut hardie, and retaper and make another one.  You may want to straighten out the loop to make things easier, and then reform the loop later.  No reason to waste good metal.  To finish the project you can flatten the non-pig tail end and punch or drill a hole in it for a nail.  Or taper the end and bend about 1 inch to 90 degrees so you can drive it into a post or beam.  Lots of way to do things.

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I use the term "counter bend" for those as we use "pig-tails" refer to helixes (like cork screws use).  My first project for students is an S hook. I have them do the first counter bend using a light cross peen hammer and then show them how to do the second using a set of needle nose pliers dedicated to hot work...(Surprisingly some do better with the hammer than the pliers.) It's part of trying to teach them that there can be many ways to achieve the same result and the *right* way is the one that gives *YOU* the best result!

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Thanks guys, that's good advice on coming at a project in different ways. Got to make what I have work for *me*! I will definitely give the pliers a try, that sounds like a great idea.

Also need to find some cans so I can 'light a fire under my anvil' so to speak - I mean hang on the horn and heel to heat 'er up, of course ;) I am picking up a little garage heater and heavy duty extension cord (shop doesn't have its own power) so I can try and warm things up in there and maybe get to keep working in the winter a bit. The space is only about 8 x 10, but it's not entirely enclosed, so it'll be interesting lol

I decided I'm going to leave my hook as it is, crack and all, just as a reminder and as something to look back on as my first ever one ;) It'll still be functional, and I'll put it on the wall in my shop somewhere to hold ... something LOL

Dressed the faces of my hammers the other night as well, so hopefully next time there won't be as many ugly marks in my work! 

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Ugly marks on a project usually means you quit before you were finished.

No one ever said that you could not put a project back in the fire the next day or even a week later and work on it some more.  Ok, you put a bit of finish coat of wax or something on it.  A couple of minutes in the fire and it will be gone so you can start working on it again. (grin)

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Very true Glenn!!! But, I wanna keep my first ugly one to look back on ;) But I'll keep that in mind for future projects!

HojPoj, you're not wrong - the space heater did keep my feet warm though, which is generally my biggest issue in winter, my feet are always cold. But planning now to build a side draft chimney/super sucker so that I can enclose things a bit more to retain some heat, while not poisoning myself with smoke and CO inhalation - I also picked up a CO detector to be sure of that! So next up is re configuring the shop a bit and figuring out how I'm going to build my chimney and from what... 

But, in the meantime, I did play a little bit on the weekend, practicing my tapers a bit, and my bends. I experimented with a wood fire on saturday since I had used up my one leftover bag of charcoal, but it was much more time consuming, took a lot longer to get it going and heat, and i ended up having trouble working the steel (I belatedly realized I wasn't getting it hot enough, too impatient) so the day was mostly a bust, but still a lesson learned. 
Sunday was much better, dug out another bag of charcoal and had fun again, made a flat taper and bent it and flattened it back on itself - no forge welding attempt yet, but it's on the schedule ;) I think my hammer marks have definitely improved since I dressed the faces, so it looks a little less rough. Progress is slow, but I'm having fun!

 

image1.jpeg

image2.jpeg

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Put down a piece of plywood to stand on.  It keeps the ground from sucking all the heat out of your shoes or books.  Well at least slows it down.  Double socks work in some cases.

With wood fires in the forge, you need to have the fuel deeper so the wood turns to charcoal and charcoal turns to embers so you can heat metal.  The radiant heat from a deeper fire will help warm the body. 

The big thing about cold is to slow down or stop the wind.  You do not build a barn for the animals and try to heat it.  You build it to get them out of the wind.  Tarps can slow down a lot of wind.  When the temperatures get cold in your location, really cold, it is time to go inside and practice forging with modeling clay in front of the fire.  A hot drink helps.  The clay moves just like metal  and you can solve a lot of problems before you get to the forge.

 

Next 10 days Eugene ON calls for mid 30s to 40s F.  Wear several loose layers of clothing, a pair of long johns, and double socks, and head gear such as a toboggan.  Work fast enough to generate some body heat, but not break a sweat.  As your body heats up, take off one layer at a time until you get comfortable.  As soon as you stop, immediately start putting the layers of clothes back on.

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Yeah, I certainly found the wood fire pit off a lot more heat than just the charcoal did, which was nice. 

It was warm today, and I’m off for the holidays, so went out for a little while. Forgot the plywood for under my feet though!!! Fortunately it wasn’t too bad. I heated a 1/4 inch thick piece of steel plate I have and placed that on my anvil face periodically to give it some heat which seemed to work a bit better. Was going to attempt to make the poker end of a fire poker today, including my first attempt at a forge weld, and learned a whole bunch in the attempt. While I did not end up with a poker, I did make my first successful forge weld I think!! However, I made my taper too small, and boy does metal move at welding temps!! so things went a little too long and thin, but the tip welded!!! 

48CD2673-EF7E-4DCD-AD7E-41C4E2AD57B7.jpeg

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It was really interesting, watching the fire, there was a definite different quality to it as I got it up to hitter temperatures. And the first time I hit metal at forge temperature and blew off some big chunks of scale, that was pretty cool lol. 

I ended up breaking off the too long, too thin hook and attempted to bend and forge weld the tip again.... wasn’t entirely successful the second time tho, maybe too much flux?? 

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445281F3-B8A3-4801-90AE-43A7087E389C.jpeg

Will go back and do some more reading. Should have done that before going out probably, lol, but it was still fun. 

 

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Hi Pnut, Yeah, I have noticed it move, especially when I have used the horn. I plan to router out a space for the feet to fit in to hold it snugly. Or i might be making a different stand, one that is lower so that it is at the right height to use when I am sitting (I have knee issues) that will have a lip and some blocks to hold it in place. My problem is, now that I've gotten to the 'actually hitting metal' stage, I don't want to 'waste' my forging time by doing more shop improvements, I want to bang on metal LOL but I hope to get a bit done over the next week and a half to make some things better.

Also, bemused laugh at 'little anvil' since this 110lbs one was a huge upgrade from my 25lbs piece of track and my 25lbs cast iron anvil - No, I get it, it is still a little anvil, but it is my 'big' one for now!!! heheheh! But you're right, it will move around and I have to watch it until I get it better secured, thank you for the warning and advice! :) 

 

Irondragon, omg it is so much fun!!!! :D

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Hahahaha, no I have the little one. It's 30kg.  I thought the face looked larger than the 66lb one.  I also have a piece of vertical rail that's over a hundred pounds. It's about 29 1/2 or 30 inches long. If I really have to wail on something I use the rail. 

Anyway I wrapped a length of chain under the front foot and connected it with a long screw to an eye bolt. Did the same on the back feet and it works pretty good. I'm going to work something out that's a little better but this was the same type of situation you mentioned. Didn't want to cut into the forging time too much. It took about ten minutes. I would hate for an anvil to drop off the stand and hit my legs or the ground. 

Pnut

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