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I Forge Iron

Greetings from Finland!


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Hello everybody! 

And greeting from Finland! I'm a metalworks/welding/machining teacher and beginner blacksmith from southern Finland. I have been interested in blacksmithing for a very long time, but really haven't had time to do it, because of life. Three years ago I built a small workshop in our old barn, but since then the forge has been mainly cold, again because of life. Now lately tho I have been there more and I'm super excited about learning as much as I can! 

Also excited to be here and meet all of you!

Joakim Laine  

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Welcome aboard Joakim, glad to have you. Do you have anything in general you'd like to make like: tools, blades, hardware, architectural, etc? or is your interest in learning a new craft? Or maybe you have your own purposes. 

Blacksmithing is a soul satisfying, fun and addictive craft. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard Joakim, glad to have you. Do you have anything in general you'd like to make like: tools, blades, hardware, architectural, etc? or is your interest in learning a new craft? Or maybe you have your own purposes. 

Blacksmithing is a soul satisfying, fun and addictive craft. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Hey Frosty! 

And thank you!
Mostly I'm interested in tools. Maybe some blade here and there. At this point anything and everything goes! But first I need to learn this. Learning a new craft is also always so interesting. 

Joakim

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You're going to fit right in here Joakim, you even sign your posts so I don't have to kick myself for not remembering your name! I like you already! :)

Making some tools are good learning projects. Not knowing what you have for smithing tools you might get to make some of your first and most necessary ones. Punches and a hot chisel are used often at the anvil and good starter projects. I don't know what you have in Finland for used stuff sales. We have yard, garage and rummage sales where private citizens try to recoup some cash while getting rid of things they don't need. We have second hand shops and pawn shops, usually more expensive but still cheaper than buying new. 

Anyway, old chisels and punches are common at yard, sales here as are old hex (Allan) wrenches. These are easy to identify and are good for making basic things like punches and chisels. Of course you can just sharpen the find and use it but if you wanted to buy tools you wouldn't be thinking about picking up blacksmithing would you? ;)

Coil spring is good tool stock as well and requires a little less skill to forge than leaf spring. Coil comes in a huge variety of wire diameter. ONE roll up garage door spring will yield maybe 40m of useable stock. Auto spring is generally a good diameter for making punches and modest size chisels. There are some frighteningly large coil springs though I came by one a couple years ago with a wire diameter of 2 5/8" and coil diameter of roughly 12 7/8" center to center. 

Smaller coil spring is good for things like hinge pins or weeding forks,  etc.

It's good to have on your stock pile for things that need to be tough even though it can be hardened enough to be suitable blade steel. The thing to be aware of though is used springs have suffered maybe millions of compression cycles and can have micro fractures that don't show up until they can wreck a lot of hard work. To avoid used spring stock shop round suspension shops, some will sell new stock to the public, others that specialize in custom spring work on vehicles often have brand new springs taken off vehicles they can't sell as new or maybe even use. Those might let you have them for scrap price or give away.

I need to stop now, I tend to get carried away I'm just finishing my morning pot of coffee. :wacko:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good Morning Joakim,

Welcome from the very West Coast of Canada.

I was in Helsinki a few years ago for a family wedding. The brides family lived in Helsinki.

As Frosty was talking about, finding useful material is often as hard as looking at the ground, where you are standing. Often we walk on scrap Steel or kick it out of the way. Yes, to be sure what kind of Steel you have, you are best to buy new material. If you are a Welding and Machining Teacher, you probably already understand the differences in Steel.

There are many different area's to Blacksmithing, but they all need to have Tools made. Making Tools is a great way to learn and understand how metal moves, when it is hot. I teach Blacksmithing and the first day, I give every student a container of Play-Doh (modeling Clay, Plasticene or anything soft and pliable. even cookie dough works). The magic is, it works the same way as hot metal, except you can hold it in your hands and work it with your fingers. That is the easiest way to see what you can make and how to make it.

There is a process called "Repousse'", sometimes called 'Raised Relief'. You still need to make Tools, but this process you are working from both sides of sheet metal (generally). Some people go to the extreme and use hand held Jack Hammers to do Repousse' on thicker material (steel plate).

Enjoy the Journey. There is a beginning, there is no end.

Neil Gustafson

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Thank you very much guys!

It seems like old and used blacksmithing stuff turns into gold very quickly here in Finland. Everything is super expensive! That's why I kinda figured out, I'm going to make all the tools I need. Already familiarized myself to these old, used coil springs and like you said, they are full of microfractures. They snap really easily. I might do something about that stuff, but need to be careful with them

I know something about something in metal working, but this is a whole new world. Still lots of learning to do about forging, heat treating, forge welding (that's interesting) and everything. 

Frosty I have been hoarding stuff like material and some basic tools. Now all I need is time. And that I have been taking also lately. Thank you for all the info! 

Swedefiddle my cousin used to live over there pretty near you, in Vancouver. Repusse is a completely new term. I'm immediately learning new stuff in here! Thank you ^^

Joakim Laine

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