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Hi, I'm obviously new here. Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate it. I'm 38, married, kids, the whole nine yards. I live in Southeast Missouri, and my day job is with the Department of Homeland Security. A friend I went to school with is pretty heavy into making knives and selling them, and I thought it looked like something I might like to do (minus the selling part). I'm completely new to forging, I thought this might be a good place to read and learn before I begin spending. Thanks for having me, I'm already learning quite a bit.

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Welcome aboard Patrick, glad to have you. We have a number of top shelf bladesmiths and published authors on Iforge. Every once in a while they'll get drool all over our keyboards by posting pics of their work. The knife making section will probably be of interest to you more than others. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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On the note of spending.  I've managed to get going by spending almost nothing except on fuel, and lump charcoal is pretty darn cheap.  To give you an idea on what I am currently using:

Forge, the shell is an old propane grill my son scavenged.  ripped out the guts, covered the holes.  used some bricks to make a firepot and filled the rest with sand.  It's a version of something called a JABOD (Just a box of dirt).  There is a whole thread on those here https://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/267-jabod-just-a-box-of-dirt/ .  The air supply is a chunk of pipe (if galvanized clean the zinc off first!) then to a length of steel tubing that came from a dead treadmill.  the blower is an exhaust fan you would find in a bathroom.  All of this was junk lying around the house, leftovers from improvement projects, and so on.  You can pretty much MacGuyver it.  Plenty of people use Mattress pumps, old hair driers, on a you tube video, I saw a guy using an old vacuum.  This is for a solid fuel forge, and I use Charcoal.

For my Anvil, I have a simple chunk of unknown metal that dad called "pig Iron" that he had in his garage when he passed.  Lots of other folks use chunks of Railroad Track, sections of forklift tines, counterweights for various things.  There is a huge thread on Improvised anvils here https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/52308-a-collection-of-improvised-anvils/ .  I didn't need to, but a lot of really good stuff can be found at local scrapyards. 

Until I found this site, I was hesitating because I was thinking I would either have to find a source for coal, or spend a couple hundred on a propane forge and then shell out big bucks for an anvil.  All of that was not true.  I'm still very new to all of this but I have been able to get going for pocket change.  A small bit of ingenuity is all it takes.  I got wrapped around the axle about spending and I shouldn't have, otherwise I would have started doing this a few years ago.

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