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I Forge Iron

Bad Blacksmithing Information On The Net.


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While searching on something I ran across FeltMagnet   a site for crafters they had a post on smithing that said:

"Coal is the most historically accurate forging fuel, and creating a forge that uses coal is very easy, but requires a bit of creativity. Coal is smoky, especially when first lighting, but will clear up a bit as it gains temperature.

Anthracite coal is considered the best, but bituminous coal will work very well too, and is more commonly available (also less expensive)."

Lets break that down:

"Coal is the most historically accurate forging fuel":   Coal has been used for smithing since the High to Late Middle Ages; (Gies & Gies "Cathedral Forge and Waterwheel"), Charcoal has been used since the beginning of the Iron Ange up to today; so about 3 times longer.  Here in the USA charcoal was the most common forge fuel on the frontier and "remote" places till current times.

"Anthracite coal is considered the best":   Good coking low sulfur bituminous coal is considered the best!

I couldn't find a way to contact the site owners to ask for a correction.  I also didn't read the rest of the post as any information would be suspect after those massive errors.

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Charles R Stevens has already let them know about the inaccuracies. There's a comment section at the bottom of the article. 

Pnut

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But but, "EVERYBODY knows!" Everybody  knows is like a blinking sign saying, "I don't actually know anything, I'm embellishing what I've heard." This lack of accuracy is the norm across the web and can be found everywhere.

One of my favorite channels is "The Smithsonian" channel it's largely educational though you need to check your facts. I was watching "Arial America" yesterday the episode was, "Alaska Fire and Ice." One of the topics was general aviation in Alaska, the average suburb in LA county Cal. has more miles of roads than Alaska. They repeatedly talked about having to fly over "Hundreds of square miles" of "Pine" forests.

Uh, did the Smithsonian Institution look in an encyclopedia before saying THAT? Maybe if they'd said hundreds of THOUSANDS of square miles WIKI says 663,268 sq. miles total. We have so may lakes they take a bite larger than most states. Unless you plant and cultivate it there aren't any pine trees either. 

It's irritating that an educational channel doesn't include basic fact checks in their production budget but I've stopped being outraged since the "Learning Channel" is mostly soap opera level "learning" and Fridays are UFOs and Ancient Aliens all day on the History channel. 

It's becoming so common I'm thinking knowing how or why something happened or works is just too much for modern man.

Frosty The Lucky.

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1 hour ago, Frosty said:

Learning Channel" is mostly soap opera level "learning" and Fridays are UFOs and Ancient Aliens all day on the History channel. 

I get a kick out of the ancient aliens guy. The Von Danniken protege. I think his name is George Tsoukilas or something similar. They will grab any scrap and turn it into "irrefutable" evidence. His enthusiasm and crazy hair is endlessly entertaining to me. I haven't seen it in a few years though since I got rid of cable. 

Pnut

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William Shatner is cohosting some of the tinfoil hat programming now. I can't watch crazy hair guy, it's too much like the conspiracy guys in the back room of the coffee shop discussing all the alien technology making modern life possible. 

I LOVE science fiction, it's my favorite genre but crazy hair guy doesn't even approach fantasy, there isn't an inkling of suspension of disbelief when he gets THAT look.

Frosty The Lucky.

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No learning on the Learning Channel, no discovery on the Discovery Channel, no history on the History Channel, and no music on MTV.

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Since I don't have cable anymore I watch PBS channels almost exclusively. I'm fortunate that I live in a place that overlaps a few different markets. I get PBS channels from Lexington, Louisville, and Covington KY along with Cincinnati and Dayton. I think I get about 25 or 30 different PBS channels. It's on now since I haven't been able to do anything more than sit because of my back. 

Pnut

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Not very often. I have watched those programs in the past though but the storage show especially wasn't my cup of tea. I'm not an anti television person by any means. I usually have it or music on twenty four hours a day. I'm not a fan of most reality shows but I used to watch Forged in Fire. It was a weekly tradition that I would watch it with my mother who was in her seventies. Nothing funnier than hearing a tiny little old lady say, "I'm nearly blind and can see that cold shut or that surface looks awfully dirty to try to forge weld it to anything." I would give anything to watch it with her again. She passed away just as I was getting things together to start Blacksmithing. I'd have liked to seen her make something. I'm fully confident she could have.  I stopped watching it after she passed away so I guess that means I was watching it just to spend time with her. 

Pnut

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Discovery Plus is refreshingly content oriented and you can watch some old series start to finish.

Pawn Stars is getting too predictable I expect it'll fade away before long. Popularity caused too many pawn shop spin offs and like everything killed it.

Nope, I'm not into auction shows, I've been to a couple storage auctions but the auction company has shills in the audience running bids up to stupid. It pretty much guarantees no good scores. If you read the fine print when you buy a number it says in plain leagalese the company reserves the right to raise bids to meet their margins. They'll raise the bid AFTER the gavel, even when you're paying to pick up the item. I was standing behind someone when it happened he'd won the bid at x and the company upped it a good 50% when he was paying out. I was in line to buy a number and sign up. I crumpled my number after tearing my name and signature off and told everybody in line behind me what they'd done and LOUDLY. 

And guess who doesn't get much from auctioning their stuff? Turns out you release your interest in the property for whatever the auction company says it's worth after the auction. It just stinks of grand theft and fraud to my lay eyes.

Sorry, auctions are too crooked anymore, here anyway; I find it almost impossible not to rant about my experiences. There's nothing entertaining in an auction, TV show. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Many of the TV shows are scripted and the items that are found are inserted per the script.  Experts are actors, the extras have to sign a release, prices set before the show starts, etc.  Same faces in the background too many times.  If you dig deep enough you can find the truth.

 

 

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I liked watching the mountain monster guys. They hooked me when they were going after moth man and to catch him they built a giant bug zapper. But as with most of these shows they went off the deep end too. 

What i really like is bad movies. I recently discovered an app on my tv that has free movies but they have all kinds of those old 70's kung fu movies. Those and the B sword and sorcerer movies, old sci-fi, etc. I am a big fan of Ed Wood movies. 

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I lost my interest in tv when I had to sit trough 5 minutes of commercials 4 times an hour. Never cared about pawn shops, auctions or shows where 3 dudes try to build a motorcycle while shouting at each other. And when discovery channel started with its "never shown before footage about (insert ancient thing here)" and I clearly remember seeing it 5, 10 and 15 years ago I just threw it all out. I want things scrapheap challenge!

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Mr. Frosty,

The auction anecdote that you described is a sure case of fraud.

And it is not allowed because the bidder signed a piece of paper that disclaimed liability for that fraud.

Individuals and companies cannot blithely walk away after committing that criminal act.

SLAG.

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Next time you watch TV, dissect the camera angles and count the number of cameras used.  Watch for inconsistencies, such as drink from a glass and the glass later refilling on its own, or things moving around such as items on a desk, clothing over a chair, etc.  The continuity person has a tough time keeping up because it is right when the scene is shot but different takes do not match when edited together.

The standard lately in camera angles has been over the shoulder of one actor and into the face of another. Then the next take is the same, only reversed.  If you draw a line on the visual camera axis of the scene, you can figure out where the cameras are located.  Look again and there is usually room behind the person whose face you see for the camera in the next take.  You can catch the edits if you carefully listen to the words being spoken. They act out the same scene two or more times, record and then edit (splice) it all back together. 

Pay attention to the stunt scenes and notice the switch from the actor to the stunt men, and then back.  They can not afford to get an actor injured, and halt production while they recover.  Another giveaway is lipstick on make actors.  No one wears lipstick that color, it is not natural.  Look at the lighting on the actors faces and calculate where the main light is located. The sun does not move so why is the lighting on the other actor coming from another direction?

Tear it apart, look for the little differences, and it will change the way you watch entertainment on TV. 

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  I'd rather watch Grandpa Munster inventing bizzare stuff down in his dungeon lab than 99% of the junk, "educational" or not, coming through the wires and air.  I personally think it's a race to the bottom.  I crack open a book, more times than not, before using the remote.

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I was doing some chores in the yard, shoveling snow out of the pickup in preparation to load the trash for a dump run, loaded the cans and came in for a cool drink and break before tarping and tying it down. I'm looking at Iforge and Mountain Men comes on the FYI channel. I don't know what I'd been watching before but this was on now. I look up and there's a guy lighting up a home made coal forge so I figure I'll watch the toob a while.

The back story being, he'd agreed to make a couple knives in trade for a couple mules. Okey dokey I'll watch for a while. The first thing the "smith" does is select some salvaged steel he THINKS might be high carbon and tests it. Brings it up to bright orange according to the camera lens and water quenches it. The narrator was doing a hero's job describing the whats and whys of the test process but didn't understand what was going on. Didn't do a bad job though, no glaring mistakes, mostly little things. The smith explains what he's doing briefly and darned clearly, as quenched it breaks easily on the anvil of his bench vise and he shows the grain and why it'll make a good blade. I couldn't disagree, with his explanation nor his not wanting to break a piece of unknown high carbon steel on his anvil. 

He heats and cuts a length and proceeds to forge the blade with a little talking while the narrator tries to explain things he barely remembers. Once forged the smith hardens it in oil, checks with a file and explains tempering as a softening process to produce a knife that holds an edge but isn't brittle. 

He finished the blade with files and emery cloth, a copper or bronze bolster and horn handle. He left some hammer marks in the blade because the fellow he was making it for wanted them. 

All in all for a reality show I enjoyed watching a fellow smith produce a nice, if not to my taste, Bowie, hunting knife and a skinner. I didn't see one mistake as far as metallurgy, smithing and good tradecraft are concerned. And not one electron was abused in the making of the blades.

Will surprises never end? I might have to watch a few more episodes of Mountain Men. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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We were never big TV watchers; often not owning one. Our kids kept giving us one, including a HUGE CRT TV that I nicknamed "The Eye of Sauron".  Finally managed to get rid of that one and have a reasonable sized flattish TV  when one of the kids upgraded to a bigger one.  (BTW that old joke about getting them a TV doesn't work they have 4 boys...)  Anyway as TV seemed to be heading toward an asymptote; we just didn't get a digital converter box.  Now all it's good for is DVD's and we watch the programs we like a season at a time, 3 "half hour" episodes in 1 hour! (News I get from the BBC online.)

I have really gotten ticked off re-watching shows I watched in the 60s and still remember the scenes they CUT to provide more commercial time nowadays!

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I don't really miss all the inappropriate, time worn, laugh tracks they're using, since I mostly stopped watching television.

It's  commercial studded junk.

SLAG. 

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funny Mr. Powers; an internet smart tv is literally the "eye of sauron".  My smart tv has an eye on it that stays on even when it is off.  Some, I think, samsung tvs actually warn that it is recording everything in the house.  I think all information is fed into a central AI that probably has gone rougue, that is why the world is in the state it is now, aka technological singularity or eye of sauron.

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I'd cover that thing up with some electrical tape. Does it actually serve some purpose? Face ID to turn it on or access HBO? (That last part is only sort of a joke...).

Everyone at my work covers the forward facing camera on their laptops because who knows who might be on the other side of that thing. I don't want IT watching me eat my PB&J at my desk..

Side note: anyone with an Amazon Alexa is a crazy person.. Speaking of crazy, I'm going back into the corner with my aluminum foil hat :ph34r:

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Ahh you did read the MIT study that showed that tinfoil hats have exactly the opposite effect?

Now we have a LOT of abandoned Mine Shafts out here, cheap!

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:blink: I thought the voices were were getting louder as I added more layers. I may have to try the method that has been falsely attributed to the ostrich..

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