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I Forge Iron

Texan with a cold forge and silent anvil here to lurk and learn


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Rotator cuff injury and impending surgury has me sidlined a few months so I will be hanging around to hear what others are doing.  I injoy reading how some of you save one another from your addiction and help newbies become hooked.   IDK whether it belong's to one of you Canadians or Great Lakes fellers but some of your weather is in my neighborhood drunk and I wish you would come get it.    

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Welcome aboard Leather Bill, love the name.

I think it was 2009 for us in the Ozark mountains. This morning it was 6° F. When I woke up. Found out our furnace had gone cold over night. Tried to light the pilot... no luck. Called the HVAC guy's and within an hour they were here, replaced the thermal coupling and the heat was back on whoopee. The cold is supposed to be with us all next week with snow & ice mixed in.

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Best of luck and prayers  with the surgery and recovery Bill. Don't worry, this site will keep you busy with the new posts let alone the old ones. 

Can't help with the weather. We always get a wild mix of everything here in southwest Pa. 

CGL, I feel for you on keeping the animals watered in the cold. At least for my chickens I use one of those therapeutic  heat mats (without auto shutoff) under the waterer and a heat lamp above it when it's really cold. On bigger waterers you'll need the floating or non floating heaters. Depends on size of the trough. If you can't run electric out then it's a bear. 

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Irondragon, ya'll were colder than us. It was 17° when I got out this morning. Sure glad you got your heat fixed. Daswulf, it's good you can keep your chicken water heated. We are on the learning curve for the new place and just scratched the surface for infrastructure. No heated anything. We have been spoiled with a very mild winter. It's gets into the 60s and 70s on a regular basis. Was not prepared because for us by this time in February, the real cold stuff is usually gone by now. Just an occasional cold few days. Maybe a late snow. 

Leather Bill, what kind of smithing are you into? I do mostly artistic pieces and some useful things. Nothing real technical. The coolest thing I've ever done was my first forge welds on chain links. Not pretty, but they were solid!

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Thanks to all for welcomes and I appreciate your wishes and prayers Daswulf.  I don't consider myself a smith,just a gearhead that use's anything from a campfire to a rosebud for heat and whatever is handy to move it while it's hot.  When I was a child there were many full time smiths but I paid little attention.  With what I pick up here I will fabricate a safer forge for my grandsons.  CGL,goats were incidental on our farm but if you have questions about land, cattle,farm structures or pre-2000 year model tractors,I might be helpful.  

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On 2/13/2021 at 10:44 PM, Leather Bill said:

  CGL,goats were incidental on our farm but if you have questions about land, cattle,farm structures or pre-2000 year model tractors,I might be helpful.  

Thanks! I might pick your brain. I'm always up for a conversation about any of that. 

 

On 2/13/2021 at 11:35 PM, Daswulf said:

Unless you like fords. Lol just kidding. Kind of.

I drive a Ford....haha:P

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Haha I got you. Heck I'm not a Ford enthusiast anyway. My brothers make fun of me cause I don't drive a Chevy. I'm actually a Dodge gal, but I couldn't afford a Dodge and the Ford was a good deal and a nice truck. Low miles and the price was right. I do like Chevys though. I learned to drive in my brothers '76 Chevy Silverado

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I've always liked dodge best. Chevy is fine in my book too.  It was more fun when they were their own animals. Now it seems they are all getting to be a hodge podge of everything out there. 

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Yeah it's getting hard to tell them apart. My nephew drives a metallic red '77 Chevy short bed Silverado with all black interior and beastly tires on it. It's got those old school rims that I can't recall what they are called for some reason. Anyway, sharp looking truck

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Welcome aboard Bill, glad to have you.

Sounds like you already have some experience in this addictive craft. I used to forge what I could find on what I could find with the camp fire, on field jobs. In the shop I had oxy accet torches I didn't have to pay the gas bill so did a lot of smithing for the drills and equipment. I stopped getting static when I demonstrated I could forge, forge weld and install 3-4 steel rings on the safety hammers faster than I could get a PO #, drive to the dealer, take the receipt to the office and get back to the shop. With, might I add, shackles that were proven short lived connecting the safety hammers to the cathead rope. 

Anyway, we can maybe swap tips and tricks if you do expedient forging often. I also have a knack for naturally aspirated propane burners and forge construction if you go that route.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Chellie: 

Are you packing warm water to the goats? Hot bath water temp will go along ways to keeping them comfortable in cold weather. Use plastic water jugs, they won't slosh and get you wet like buckets. Add about 1/4 c of apple cider vinegar to 3-4 gal of water, I'll get into why it's good for them in a bit. Double the water buckets if you don't have power or can't getting heated stock buckets. The trapped, dead air space between buckets really helps keep the water warm and thawed longer. You can cut a disk of plywood and float it on the water to keep it thawed longer too but it takes the goats longer getting used to pushing it down to drink. It works though. Hopefully it won't be this cold long enough to go this far. 

They need to drink or they won't eat and they need the calories to keep warm. They'll drink more warm water which will make them hungry and when they eat it makes them thirsty so you end up with well fed and hydrated stock. Plump is better for winter but well fed will do. Apple cider vinegar helps prevent urinary calculi and those can be a health problem for does and deadly in bucks. Bucks have that long narrow horizontal urethra which calculi restrict and block easily. Vinegar goes a long way towards keeping their urine acidic so calculi don't form. 

Another thing vinegar does is make any water with apple cider vinegar in it familiar so they'll drink. You know how goats hate change and you REALLY need to keep them drinking. A splash of apple cider vinegar makes new water familiar so they'll drink and if they drink they'll eat. They adapt quickly, in a week the new water and feed will be THE feed to them. This is a good trick to remember when you sell goats, we used to give a gallon of  apple cider vinegar and a 1/4c measuring cup to new goat folk buyers, with the pages long instruction for good goat care.  

As a final bit of cold weather lore for you southerner friends. Wear layers, they'll keep you warmer and drier than one thick coat. If you have to drive leave really early, half an hour isn't too much extra time. Take survival gear, extra coats and a sleeping bag isn't unreasonable, a jacket won't cut it if you're stuck somewhere it takes a while to get you out. Snacks are a good thing, blood sugar keeps you warmer a couple candy bars per person don't take up much room. NO sudden moves when driving, use the pedals like you have an egg between your foot and the pedal. Turning quickly will put you into a skid as will the brakes though modern cars have good anti skid systems they can be defeated with a wrong move say braking and turning. If something happens, stay off the brakes and just roll around the obstructions, if letting off the gas makes you skid shift to neutral and just let it roll around and to a stop if you have to stop. If there is no way around and collision is unavoidable drive into the ditch in a straight line. If you try to avoid the ditch your vehicle is likely to skid, go in sideways and really increase the probability it rolls over. Nest on the badness of hitting the ditch sideways is being T boned by the vehicles following you in from behind. Your vehicle is designed to take impacts front and rear, not so much to the sides. Make sense?

Leave lots of following distance, it'll take more room to stop at 30mph and it does at 70mph and you can turn about as sharply too. Leave LOTS of room and keep an eye on the road as far ahead as you can see. The farther ahead you see trouble the better all round, I do that all the time but bad road conditions it's really a good tactic. Make sense?

If it's snowing STAY HOME! If you MUST drive, LOW BEAMS! High beams will blind you with light reflected from falling snow! You haven't had a scary bad day like having vehicles flying past you in a white out. I hope you don't have to I don't know how they're legal stupid bright headlights, even the fog lamps will blind not only you but vehicles coming towards you. 

If you turn on your emergency flashers they disable your brake lights so following traffic won't know if you're braking. The can also fool following traffic into thinking you're a disabled vehicle and try passing you in oncoming lanes which can be a bad thing. Yes?

As a last tip. Do NOT lick metal posts!:o It's a trick, don't fall for it!

Be careful, stay home and safe.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Without doubt the forge I build will be propane.  I have used propane for various perpouses my intire life (not quit yet actually):huh: but not for a real forge.  What the jury is out with is wheter it should be na, blown,ribbon or other style.  Unless I do better with one arm and left handed than I expect to,all i can do is try and convince others here to test my ideas until I can use both hands.  All the grandsons are competive so I don't think they would injoy building,altering then altering some more without assurance of success.  Once I have a working forge,they will be onboard for doing the heavy lifting on projects.   Dr told me unless I surpass his expectations for recovery,my slinging heavy hammer days are over. At 76 years old,I have no fantasies of returning to good as new but that doesn't discourage me.  I'm thankful to be here and able to do more than a number of less fortunate folks.    

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Hey Frosty, I have posted a little to the Show Me Your Goats thread. I don't guess anyone has seen it or haven't commented yet. Thanks for the advice on water. This polar vortex type weather is a rarity for us so I don't usually have a lot of problems with water. I usually just have to break the top a few times a day and it's good. Now, it's freezing within 10 or 15 minutes. We installed a frost free pump in the pasture and that is one of the best things we've ever done. I would have to figure how to get hot water down there and keeping it hot. The pasture is a ways from the house. I've never heard of putting a ply wood disc in the water. Great information and great information for driving. Most people around here probably don't know how to drive in this stuff because we don't get much experience with it. 15° and its been snowing all morning. Real snow too. No sleet or frozen rain mixed up in it

16 minutes ago, Leather Bill said:

  I'm thankful to be here and able to do more than a number of less fortunate folks.    

I feel the same way when I start complaining or feel sorry for myself. I hope your surgery goes well and I will keep you in prayer. Then you and all those grand boys can get to forging!

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I'll be saying a few words with higher for you too Bill. Modern medicine is getting better all the time, there's no telling what they'll be able to do for you when you go in. 

Chellie: A closed 5 gal jug will stay hot for a long time in -30 weather, warm for hour or two believe it or not. Your goats will do a LOT better with warm water to drink. 

The predicted low for this morning was single digits, 3 IIRC, it just lost another degree, -4 as the sun first strikes the house. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you Frosty. I'll get together with Tommie and we'll figure a way to get them some warm water. You reckon for the chickens too? I don't want to speak this evil out loud, but we are forecasted two or three mornings of below zero temperatures. I don't think I've ever seen that cold in my life

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I read a few days ago (I do believe right here at IFI) about a policeman that ran kids off a parking lot but told them of another outside city limits where the could continue "drifting".  Common sense if I ever saw it.  30 minutes on an icy surface where there's nothing to collide with can teach drivers more than all the words and pictures in the world.   The best way I know to explain it is that you gain confidence that staying off brakes and steering toward the light pole comeing your way is the right thing to do.  If there was a way to take lawyers out of the mix,I believe slick surface driver's ed could serve us well.  I feel so strongly about it that I believe ins companies would pay for their inshured's training.  From watching videos of pile ups on the IHs this week,drivers have ample oppertunity to steer off the pavement into the ditch before colliding with stalled cars ahead.  

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I don't know about the chickens but I don't think it could hurt. We had a couple geese and one turkey but they were in the same pen with the goats so all they had was warm water. 

You nailed that one Bill. I used to teach people slick roads skills on Wasilla lake when the ice was thick enough. If you make a game of driving sideways it doesn't take long to make slick roads a minor issue. I love frozen lakes, you can get completely out of shape, spin out 3-4 circles at 30mph and nothing within striking range. Drift your car in a straight line for miles, funnest driving I know. :wub: My reactions since the accident make me more cautious on slick roads but I still love ice.

Learning skid control is a hands on skill, reading watching and lecturing is better than nothing but . . .

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, CrazyGoatLady said:

I don't guess anyone has seen it or haven't commented yet.

I saw it and was trying to come up with a comment about the rooster standing on the goats back. Everything I came up with would probably get me moderated.:lol:

46 minutes ago, Leather Bill said:

about a policeman that ran kids off a parking lot but told them of another outside city limits where the could continue "drifting".  Common sense if I ever saw it.

I believe that was I at the Walmart parking lot and when leaving I did a couple of doughnuts.:)

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47 minutes ago, CrazyGoatLady said:

SNIP. We installed a frost free pump in the pasture and that is one of the best things we've ever done. I would have to figure how to get hot water down there and keeping it hot. SNIP

What is this frost free pump?  As for keeping water available during freezing weather,solar heat is simple and effective.  As a cost cutting/energy saving plan for home heating,solar is about as good as it get's.  For diyers and tight wads,I highly reccomend "Build it Solar" site.  You will find more than one plan for heating water.  Here's what I invision for a livestock water trough.  Insulated trough with as little water surface exposed to air as # of animals alow.  Using a water heating plan,make it closed loop with NON TOXIC antifreeze.  The heated water simply circulate's through submurged lines in trough then retrn to collector for more heat.  For domestic hot water,the loop is open to a 30-50 gallon "pre-heater" in series with and upstream of regular heater.  On good days,100% of water used will be heated without regular heater coming on.   In weather like now,there's still plenty solar available in Tx to preheat water to 90f saving alot of energy bringing it from 90f to 110-120f.  There's some simple space heating plans adaptable to home,workshop or animal shelter.

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