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I Forge Iron

Greetings from BC, Canada


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Hi All,

I've been a long time reader of iforgeiron forums without a membership as I've been learning to blacksmith.  Forum posts here have helped me build 2 forges, at least 2 propane burners (one venturi and one blown) and I'm hoping to build a new forge this year with a blown ribbon burner.

I'm in north-central British Columbia, Canada.  I started blacksmithing a few years ago after finding Alec Steele on youtube.  I still watch Alec's channel (and Will as he goes his own way) but I quickly found that other creators, like John from Blackbear Forge gave me more information and less "entertainment".  Recently I've been enjoying Trenton's new series on fundamentals at Purgatory Ironworks and this year I'm also hoping to build Roy from Christ Centered Ironworks' wooden mechanical powerhammer.

I've been doing a bunch of scrap metal pieces this year as steel costs have more than doubled where I am, so I'm trying to keep the steel rack as full as I can while I work on other things.  I've been living with one pair of flat bit tongs for 2 years, but I just ordered a set of Rapid Tongs from Ken's Custom Iron and I think that set will give me a more well rounded approach to material holding.  I'm also re-visiting a set of tongs we started a couple years ago and never finished becuase I managed to find a pair that was going to the recycler from a closed highschool. (I work for my local school district in daily life.)

I have a lot of questions. (a lot) that I've been building up over the last couple of years.  We started about 3 years ago with three firebricks and an oxy torch in a friend's shop. Well, actually, first I took the screen off my propane swirl heater used for construction and renovations and tried banging some steel with a claw hammer on a brick - that didn't turn out too successfully.  Then the three firebricks and a torch and I made my first leaf keychain. (I still keep my shop key on that piece of junk. ;) )  

After that reading these forums helped us build a 3/4 black pipe venturi burner which we surrounded with a brick pile forge sqeezed together with some sheet metal and threaded rod.  That worked for a year, but then we wanted to forge weld so we built a 1" black pipe burner and hooked up forced air to it.  I've managed to forge weld a couple times but the forge is too big to properly heat, so I need about 10psi of propane, a closed forge and a lot of luck.  I've only managed about 3 successful forge welds.

Last year the friend who let us use his shop got quite a bit sicker.  He would still come out and visit, but couldn't hammer anymore.  He had beat one cancer with a marrow transplant, but a second cancer eventually hospitalized him, and he passed away last summer.  His wife is still very, very emphatic that we continue to use the shop, so this winter we did some major cleaning and renovations to it in preparation for forge 3.0 and burners 3.0.  My friend and I are helping his teenage daughter learn to forge, she's made some hooks and is working on a hairpiece for school credit, so it's awesome to have that continued tie to his family.  We've all been close since highschool, so even though Ken has passed away I like to think he'd be pretty pumped about what we're doing now.

That's my long introduction, thanks for reading.  I think you'll find I'm usually stuck in verbose mode, I often don't know how to use 5 words when 25 will do.  ;)

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Good Morning J,

welcome to this world. There are a few people getting together, Vanderhoof, Prince George way. They post questions here, every so often. PM them and maybe you can get together.

I have spent quite a bit of time in Quesnel, still have a couple close friends in the area. I use "A Blacksmithing Primer" as a good reference book when I teach Blacksmithing (I like the simple language that is used). There are quite a few good Books and different people have different preferences. Start simple, with simple projects and you will learn from the positive of finishing a project. I like to teach by making Tools, a Tool to make a Tool, to make a Tool, etc.

Don't be in a rush making the Tongs, Use a hot fire and don't work the material below dull red (that is planishing temperature, not Forging). Always straighten the piece up, before going back for more heat. Think when the material is heating, not after you take it out of the fire. S.O.R. Square, Octagonal, Round, is the rule for drawing out anything. Taper and semi-point the end, BEFORE drawing out. This will stop the splitting ends.

Enjoy the Journey,


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