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I Forge Iron

William’s Keep


Will-I-am

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I have decided to start an area dedicated to all my projects.  The new 136lb anvil was originally quite loud in my shop,  so I deadened it down with a tow chain.  I have an old busted guitar amp that I could scavenge a magnet from to deaden further.  The chinese steel held up well for first two hammering sessions. Angle grinded leaded edges and spark test revealed high carbon steel pattern. Swung hammers my whole life and never used ball peen until recently.  Ambidextrous hammering helps me balance bodily stresses and hammer fatigue.

 

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  Awesome artwork and anvil there.  I saw it on another thread but can't find it now.  You should take up the airbrush, you would be good....  Maybe there's a market for customized anvils!  :)

Scott

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"Anvils in Bondage"   The chain works well with it.  A loud piercing ring is typical of cast STEEL anvils and HC just makes it more so!

Blacksmithing stuff usually requires 2N space where N is the amount you have planned for it. Start thinking about how to store stuff from the start!  Out here in my "forever home"  I started with a 20'x30' building, then added another 20'x30' building mainly of scrounged materials, (Yes there are 4 colours of pro-panel on it---but they are all shades of blue!) I'm now thinking of adding a carport off the front, perhaps 20'x20'...

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I built a shop 10 years ago on lower bench of my property.  This "agricultural building" was an experiment in primitive construction.  Drilled 12 holes equal distant on 20' diameter circle and inserted treated poles.  Leveled pole tops and connected with lodgepole pine half notching and drilling with rebar pinning, like stonehenge.  Cut 14' lodgepole from forest loading each piece on my back to truck.  Created reciprocal roof connecting to rebar pin, which left cone with open circle in center.  Rock firepit added under center smoke hole.  Over the years added some cement walls and cedar walls and metal roof.  Recently converted firepit to forge by adding tuyere 1" pipe with electric variable speed hvac booster fan.  Lined firepit with large flagstones.

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Stonehenge used rebar?????? (It's Friday...)

I've actually visited one of the thatched round house reproductions at St Fagans Museum in Wales.  It was a cold wet day and even with the open door the inside was warm and pleasant with a small fire in it:  *IF* you sat down, no chimney or smoke hole!  Sitting on the ground took you below the smoke zone. I wouldn't have minded staying there for several days instead of the hour or so while my wife discussed fiber arts with the Docent---who was also sitting down...The visitors who kept standing were quickly "smoked out".

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Call it lodgepolehenge.  Not all the firepit smoke exits the center cone hole.  So I decided to cover the firepit with a hood for the sake of healthy lungs.  I took a 9' diameter 1/4" perforated aluminum satellite dish and cut it in half.  Annealed it and bent it in cone shape with body weight.  Plan is to take other dish half and roll into 15" diameter to 12" diameter pipe and connect to standard 12"(2x6") stove pipe.  All perforated pores will be smeared with refractory cement and then covered with rock.  Yesterday I decided to rebuild the whole firepit so I have a passthrough to forge longer objects.  I have more large flagstones to use as a footing for the hood since it will support considerable weight covered in rock.  Will also have removable access doors so the hood can be used as firepit for entertaining (drumming) or forging.   Have been chainsaw carving a djembe drum from 21" sycamore cut from property, nearly finished, in pic.  Have to sweep the shop after every forging session because of the woodchips generated from rechargable chainsaw could be fire hazard.  Spent all day trying to draw out the reigns on tongs, seen in pic.  Progress is slow but building dexterity with ball peen.   I need a lot of fine tuning to get more yellow/white colors instead of bright orange.

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Did you put a little role of Bondo in the hole when you drove the rebar pins? It not only locks it pretty much permanently it goes a long way to preventing the rebar from rusting.  

I wonder if I start piling things I scrounge in a circle and call it scroungehenge Deb will stop talking about having it hauled off? 

I was going to mention Falki our happily rehomed Icelandic Sheep dog used to turn around as he pooped but I'd been calling that poophenge for years. Maybe Falki was actually an Icelandic Sheep Druid?:blink:

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Too late now, pins have been in for 10 years.  Fortunately, there is a desert climate here in eastern washington, so not a lot of rust, but lots of wind and dust.  My wife thinks everything I build is an "eyesore" aka scroungehenge.  When Jim Morrison faked his death and changed this name to Rush Limbaugh, he said scroungehenges are a natural form of art.  Long live "riders on the storm".

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Fire pit rebuild plan.  Previously, i can only heat 6” of material end to forging temperatures; so need a pass through ground forge.  Will use perforated aluminum as form for hood.  Cover holes with refractory cement then rock. Removable doors.

 

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Day off from work; forged last half of day.  More progress on aluminum fire pit hood.  Took solid aluminum center flange that I removed from satellite dish and cut with reciprocal saw to fill in void in hood cone; drilled and bolted this down.  For transition from hood to 14” pipe, repurposed old stainless steel smoker and bolted to hood.  Cut 2 openings with angle grinder, difficult.  Smoothed sharp surfaces too.  Buddy will bring over free stainless steel roll to cover perforated aluminum hood in future.  Worked more on drawing out reins on tongs.  Love larger ball peen hammer ambidextrous.  Hood makes hotter fire and less smoke.  14” x5’ pipe will finish project when arrives in a few days.  Also sanded djembe drum and played drum.  Transferred hot coals to smoker for pork loin.  A good day, time for a beer.

 

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Day off so spent time polishing up hood.  Sealed up leaks with high temp silicon after adding 14” pipe a few days ago.  Added Thor’s hammer accent to cover hole.  Wrapped aluminum flashing and screwed to shroud.  Cut harder aluminum and screwed down.  Cut another arch.  Grinded face accent.  Finished ugly greenhorn tongs but they work for thick material.  Pounded 1” diameter screw to make hardy hole cutoff.  Pounded flat railroad spike.  Need to improve hotness to yellow; bright orange is hard day.image.thumb.jpeg.332d9c9d129283b59d441ce3982913b7.jpeg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Substituted new 9” diameter centrifugal tuyere fan for old 4” fan.  Twice cfm, 4xwatts and way more push and only 50 decibels quiet.  On high the fan cools material but on low it is perfect but gobbles up wood.  Cut 30lb spring steel found on hike; still sore from hauling on back 4 miles.  New jigsaw blades didn’t dent steel and reciprocal saw was similar, so had to angle grind.  Used grinding oil but was a chore.  Originally wanted to make Bowie but would need more disks so now a machete.  Spent all day trying to draw out handle using ball peen and edge of anvil.  Fan made fire a little hotter, hot enough to see first black chunks of scale over yellow.  Hands sore. A good day.

 

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Mr. Powers, I do not think I can get the temp hot enough to hot cut yet.  I would love to hot cut, but still working on temperature refinements.  I would have to cut on edge of anvil since I do not have a hardy hole cutter or good chisels yet.  Holding the hot metal steady while using chisel is more advanced for my current level.  No vice either just vice grips and first tongs that only hold larger round stock comfortably.  I am still learning to draw out metal.  I like the way the ball peen hammer works on the anvil edge, very fulfilling.  I will continue to draw out the machete handle until it is round and I can hold it comfortably.  Then I will heat the blade side and start drawing out the blade on both sides and then final sharpen with angle grinder.  I want to shape the whole blade by heating, just for the experience.  Originally, I tried to cut the stock closer to a bowie knife size but the leaf spring was way harder than any steel I have ever tried to cut with jigsaw or reciprocal saw.  These saws literally bounced off the metal, so I used angle grinder which was very difficult even with cooling oil.  Almost burned up grinder and used 1/2 disk for 3 cuts through spring steel, one point and one heel.  I want to hammer the blade angle instead of grinding it to shape.  Hot cutting intimidates me for now.  Holding a luminous piece of metal and hammering is enough for me right now.  Safety is important; some of that hot hammered scale flew off and landed on my feet and legs but luckily I was barefoot and instantly moved, similar to hammering without gloves.    

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The scale landed on your feet but luckily you were barefoot??? :blink: You my good sir. Are a madman. ;)

I find the thin zip discs (~0.040") cut a little faster. I too generally prefer a hot cut, but an angle grinder is actually a little faster if you're starting with cold stock.

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If you can't get it hot enough to cut; IT'S NOT HOT ENOUGH TO FORGE!   Blade alloys have a restricted forging temp range. Not being able to judge and work it in those ranges can result in destroying a blade *after* you have spent a lot of time and fuel on it.

You can use a commonly found cold chisel to cut with until you can take a piece of auto coil spring, cut off a section with your grinder and straighten it hot and forge one end into a chisel---I suggest a rocker edge so you can cut out tangs with it following a line with the rocker edge.

I seldom use tongs when cutting.  I use a hold down to hold the piece stable on my anvil.  Mine is a piece of bike chain fastened on one side of the anvil stand, thrown over the anvil and with a bar I forged an end to fit through the chain and curled it over. I step on the bar to hold the workpiece while I chisel it.  Use a cutting plate if you are not skilled in chisel use! 

While the use of oil is common for coldwork cutting operations: drilling, sawing, machining, etc.; I have never heard of it's use with angle grinders!  Anyone else?

If making the basic easy tools of smithing is a difficult thing for you---are you sure you are ready to make a Blade that requires a lot more skills than basic smithing?  Sounds like "I've never driven a car before and I'm entering a race as my first go at it...which pedal is the clutch and which is the brake?"  I find it very frustrating to have to throw away a bunch of projects I've worked days on because I haven't learned the skills making things I can succeed with and then moving on to more difficult projects. YMMV

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Will: From what you said in your last post you're frightening me. Nothing you said indicate you know enough to be remotely safe in a hot shop. You are skipping the learn to blacksmith part to make a blade the wrong way. 

The pic you posted clearly shows you're working too cool with the wrong side of the hammer and if that's supposed to turn into the tang the wrong edge and wrong place on the stock. 

The list of dangerously bad shop practices is too long to go into in depth but there are a couple I can't let lay. BARE FOOT!:o you are WORKING BARE FOOT? A little scale is nothing, what'd happen if you dropped that hot snaggle ended bar you're mangling on a foot? Pull your head out where the sun shines will ya!?:angry:

Now for the stupid trick that could cost the whole family more than just hospital bills. OILING a CUTTING DISK! Are you aware of the 3 legs of the combustion stool? Fuel (oil) Oxygen (air) and ignition source (sparks from a GRINDER) I'm at a loss for words that won't get me moderated. You are LUCKY you didn't start a fire and maybe burn the family home down or light the countryside up. 

Just stop playing with fire and hammers until you take some classes, at a MINIMUM attend a meeting or hook up with an experienced blacksmith for some SUPERVISED hands on experience. Right now the most likely thing you're going to do is hurt yourself and damage things. Reading your last post makes me think of some kid calling me to as questions about the pistol s/he found in the parent's closet. 

I have to stop or I'll go into serious rant mode. You're too young to know what it's like to attend friends funerals who did something stupid or have a couple with missing: digits, limbs, eye, etc. Hopefully if you smarten up you'll get old enough to know how hard it is to attend that kind of funeral. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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