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I Forge Iron

Sweet home Alabama


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I am just getting into the old way of blacksmithing. I have been taken under the wing of another blacksmith. I love starting the forge with flint and steel. The aroma of the coke burning. I am a novice and have much to learn but I am throughly enjoying the journey.  I am currently building my own blacksmith shop and forge. Any Alabamians out there,  feel free to give a shout. 

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Hi Benjamin. I'm from Monroe County. I too am new to the trade. Been at it for a couple years now. Lost a lot of time due to health issues but am trying to modify my shop and get back to work. Where are you located?

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Jasper area.  I am currently building the base for my forge and the shop around it as well.  Hopefully going today to get a big cedar stump to bury in the ground about a foot for my anvil.  I am sort of brand new, I worked in a tool shop in high school running a gas forge and a power hammer but now i want to do it the old way with a few modern tools like a hand crank blower and a post drill.  

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So burning charcoal?  Coal is a more recent fuel than the use of power hammers by several centuries!  (Earliest power hammer was from the 900's, personal communication at the Medieval Technology conference held about 30 years ago at PennState.) And the use of London Pattern Anvils more recent still!  (I have a Y1K setup I drag out for some SCA events.)

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Ala Foxfire? (Though some of them were using charcoal too.)   For me anything past the Bessemer Kelly process  is "modern times". Most folks consider 19th century smithing as "traditional smithing" but base it more on American Frontier smithing not on the semi industrialized to industrialized smithing done in cities at the same time.  Also the idea of the single smith working alone is not what generally occurred unto the downturn of smithing when older smiths kept working till they dropped and most of the things they used to do were easily bought at the hardware store or by catalogue.  A "typical smithy would have 3-5 people working in it.  The invention of the "small" powerhammer run by line shaft or motor helped make a single smith smithy profitable.

I have an interest in early medieval smithing; but will discuss the ancient Greek "Foundry Vase"  or ancient Egyptian smithing...

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Maybe Foxfire, I don't recall. For a brief time I was getting the how to articles as a subscription and keeping them in a ring binder. I didn't renew my scrip because I didn't see anything that wasn't easy to figure out myself and cheaper. Lots of how tos were pretty obviously written by people who didn't have a clue. 

The charcoal melter was workable, probably written by someone who actually cast aluminum. It was fired with briquettes but that's fine for aluminum. One would've worked with lump charcoal for higher temp melts. 

I had a lot of "hippy" friends but never considered becoming one, it's just too easy to get and hold a job so I don't have to live low on the hog. Most didn't stay hippies once they learned buying seeds doesn't make you a farmer and other silly things like axes need to be sharpened or you have to club your way through trees. Chainsaws:o!? They're evil polluters you know. :angry: 

I don't suppose you missed my combining a charcoal melter and a bloomery. Then again I don't see much difference in the machines. I've melted brass in a camp fire in my field work days. I'd just never use an upblast and grates. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

 

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What I was getting at is that most of our ideas or how things were done are seen though the fuzzy lens of modern popular culture.  Like the lone smith forging knives when we have documented information that Sheffield was selling blades by the barrel full to cutlers in America in the 19th century to be hilted and sold.   A lot of what folks consider to be the "norm" is actually outliers  that people have been told was they way things were by popular culture.

Just  look what was being sold in the 1897 Sears Roebuck catalog!

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