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I Forge Iron

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So I've posted/commented a few times but never got around to introducing myself. 

I'm new to blacksmithing and think it would be a rewarding hobby and a way to make Christmas presents on the cheap B).  I've built up an anvil out of what I thought was a pig iron slab but according to the sparks and what I read on spark testing is probably wrought iron.  I'm now taking stock of what I have on hand to build a JABOD and at the same time helping my son to build a JAGOD (just a Grill of dirt).  I want to get to hammering on hot metal without spending more than a few bucks.  If it turns out to be as much fun as I think it might be, then I'll spend some cash slowly as I get more into it.

A little about me:  I'm approaching 50 and I have always been an avid sci-fi and fantasy reader.  Often, my favorite characters were the smiths in various stories.  I always liked the guy who would make what he needs and then uses it to great effect.  For some reason, though, this never was my interest as a career.  I went the management and Information Systems for that.  Now that I am older and my twin boys have become interested in working with metal for their careers, those old thoughts of blacksmithing have come back to me, and with the magic of the internet forums and Youtube I have found that things are not as complicated and expensive as you might think.  One of my boys had the idea of using the old slab that I had from my Dad as an anvil.  I had a firepit I made out of a water meter surround.  He bought an old hand crank blower and we decided to just kind of put them together one night and tried to get some metal hot.  after a few beers and several turns on the blower, we got some rebar hot enough to bang on and deform.  

Since then I have been reading, watching a lot of videos (even forged in fire), and trying to learn about as much as I can in an undirected, rabbit hole kind of way.  I stumbled on this forum and got even more excited to get out there and try something.  In the mean time, I've got a lot more direction to my reading on the subject.

I have twin goals.  I would like to be able to make some decorative pieces at first and in a few years time, graduate to bladesmithing.  My other goal is to make Bows and arrows.  It has occurred to me I could forge my own broad-heads in time.  Not in a hurry, but it's a direction to work toward long term.  I know I have a lot to learn.

I'd also like to thank everyone for the great advice I have already gotten and any other bits of wisdom I may receive in the future.  I really am grateful.

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Blacksmithing goes hand in hand with computer work; after a day dealing with intangibles, hitting something repeatedly with a large hammer is very therapeutic!

I'll warn you though; the more you learn about how smithing actually works, the harder it is to find books that get it *right*!

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given my day today, I'm ready for some therapeutic metal abuse.  Unfortunately the JAGOD is on hold because my son really wants to be the one to build it.  He's on third shift, so that's got to wait for the weekend.   So, no fire for me until I see what I have to build a different box of dirt forge.   If nothing else, he can learn from my mistakes.

In the meantime, I have some scrap copper I may play with to see how that moves.  If nothing else I can get a better feel for swinging a hammer and aiming where I hit.  I read the thread on proper hammering technique.  There is so much valuable information here, I can't believe it.  Every time I click on a topic I find 12 more things.  

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Only 12 ?? 

The site tries to have something new available every time you log in.  It may not be exactly what you were looking for but it will be interesting. 

In case you have not found it yet, Words of Wisdom is good reading material.

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4 hours ago, Paul TIKI said:

I have twin goals. 

Keep the twins out of expensive trouble long enough to move out on their own? 

That big block of iron will make a dandy anvil until you find something you like better.

Right now it sounds like you need practice with fire management and how to maintain the fire zones and their accessibility. 

It's not tricky so long as you don't make it so and once you get the knack different fuels are easy to adjust to.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Ah, only one is at home now.  He's itching to get out of the house.  The other lives with his fiance the grandbaby only an hour away.  The one that's still here is looking for a place in the city half an hour away, so they can still come by for little "hammer ins".  The reason the one JAGOD is on hold is that thing 2 will be taking it with when he moves to his own place, hopefully with enough room for him to set up his own shop. 

If you haven't seen the pig iron anvil  thread recentl  https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/66689-pig-iron-anvil/page/2/  Ifyou have any ideas when you see the pics please let me know.  I'm old enough now to listen to experience.  It's much less painful  than making the same mistakes.  I'll make plenty on my own. :wacko:

 

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