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I Forge Iron

Hello from England

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Hello all, I'm Jay from Devon in England. I've been browsing on here for a little while so figured I should introduce myself. 

I had the chance to do a little bit of forge work in metalworking class in my first year of high school, a very long time ago. I forged a fire poker than my mother still uses to this day and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However, like many subjects, I wasn't able to continue it past that first year and so I haven't been at a forge for over 40 years. Recently I was chatting with a couple of friends of mine about hobby crafts, they're a woodworker and potter respectively, and mentioned I used to enjoy hitting hot iron. She said 'oh my dad's got an old anvil sitting in a shed somewhere, I could see if he's still got a use for it'. 

A few weeks later and I have an anvil, which appears to be a Mousehole anvil, pictures below. This morning I hit it with a wire brush on the angle grinder and uncovered some half legible marks, then gave it a coat of boiled linseed oil, which seems to be the thing to do. It rings nicely when you hit it with a hammer which I think is positive. I'm going to try and find a ball bearing and measure the rebound.

As I live in the countryside, I'm luck to have a barn with a workshop at the back and I'm in the process of building a welding table so have space for a small forge. This week I put together a propane forge burner using an Amal injector (amazing what you can learn on the internet :) ) and now I'm reading about building a small forge for it. My friend the potter has some spare kiln bricks and I'm just waiting to hear what type th ey are and whether they would be suitable for a forge. If so, I think all I need st a bit of angle steel and some all-thread and I can put a forge together. 

So, hopefully soon I'll be hitting hot metal again. There's a place not far from me that does two day introduction to forge work courses that I want to get on to reintroduce me to the art but until the current restrictions are lifted, they can't run them. 









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Welcome aboard Jay, glad to have you. If you'll ut your general location in the header you'll have a better chance hooking up with members living within visiting distance. Saying it in your introductory post isn't going to stick in anybody's memory once we open another post.

Nice looking anvil, she's got some weathering on her but the face looks good from here. Looks like it says she's a Mouse Hole alright. 

Soft, Insulating Fire Brick (IFB) usually doesn't last long in a propane forge. However there is a newer product by Morgan Thermal Ceramics, the K-26 IFB is rated for sustained 2,600f working temps and doesn't suffer fro the rapid thermal cycling typical of a propane forge. Propane flame is also very chemically active as is welding temperature forge welding fluxes and the K-26 IFB stands up to those as well. 

Put a coat of kiln wash on the flame contact faces and you have a durable gas forge. If you make it with angle iron and all thread you can reconfigure it later. It was kiln washed with Plistex and comes to high yellow in about 5 minutes. The pic below is shows one with a 1/2" T burner. If your Amal is a 3/4" you'll need to double the volume of the chamber or it will inhibit the burner's performance. Figure 300-350 cu/in for a 3/4" burner tube.

We had a club forge and burner build summer before last and turned out something like 35 for under $100 each. PIcs below.

Frosty The Lucky.



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Welcome to IFI, that MouseHole anvil looks great to me (I would love to have one) Oops my anvil envy is showing. Just wait till JHCC gets a look at it.:) Glad to see your burner hose is ISO 3821 rated for propane, really looks like you have been doing your homework all right.

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Hi all, thanks for the welcome. I've put my location in the section that shows up with each post, hope that's correct and what you meant. Frosty, thanks for the picture of that forge, it's exactly the sort of thing I was thinking about. I've heard today that the firebricks I've been offered are hard and heavy, so I think they might work. I'll be going to collect some later this week/weekend and will report back then. 

Once I have the bricks I can start laying them out and figuring out how to make a suitable volume forge and how much steel I'll need. Really looking forward to this project.

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I agree with the Mousehole (aka The Undisputed King of Anvils) identification. This is the less common "Sheffield pattern", which is like a Birmingham pattern (i.e., with no flat area between the horn and the face), but with a square horn instead of a heel. Sweet find!

And welcome!

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!914---it's a Warbaby!  Any sign of the broad arrow?  (I usually find dates on usually non-dated tools to be associated with the Broad Arrow.)

If it ever needs extensive time in the sun it's welcome to come visit here in the desert!  Ring is a good sign.  It's possible to bootstrap your smithing; just takes a bit longer and you may have some corrections to make when you finally do get to visit other smiths.

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