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I Forge Iron

Hello from Ireland


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Stumbled across this section while browsing the threads

I'm Thomas - a newb based in Ireland.

My brother acquired a Devil Forge propane forge and can't fire it up where he lives (or at mine) so we fire it up at a family members house. We don't get out as much as we'd like, but very much enjoying it!

As we can only setup outside, our forging prospects depend on the weather! I'm preparing myself for disappointment over winter when rain buckets down! I picked up some 1/4" copper to do some cold forging at my own home.

For steel stock - we can get black mild steel easily, but tool steel is posing a challenge! The biggest two suppliers don't stock tool steel, and won't order it in unless I want to order thousands. When I found a supplier with some W1 in stock I bought what I could afford since it doesn't sound like they'll order it again

Looking forward to getting to know people here, especially in Ireland!

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Welcome aboard!

For high(er) carbon steels check with a couple auto repair shops. Coil springs, left springs, swing arm, drive shafts will all make good tooling. Test it, some may make good knives. Also see if there are any local machine shops. They may have drops, or they could even add to their orders for you if you get in good with them.
Some manufacturing facilities have outsourced there tool and die repair, so sorting though a die/mold builders scrap bin can be pretty rewarding…(You just need to get a really good feel for more advanced tool steels pretty quick.)

Keep it fun,

David

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You can pass the American Bladesmith Society's Journeyman test with a knife forged from auto leaf spring!  Of course you want one with as few miles on it as possible and NEVER one picked up broken on the side of the road!

When I was weather restricted, -20 degF (29 degC) windchills, I built a "one soft firebrick forge" that ran off a plumber's propane torch and did a winter forging small items in the drafty basement of our house.

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14 hours ago, Goods said:

Welcome aboard!

For high(er) carbon steels check with a couple auto repair shops. Coil springs, left springs, swing arm, drive shafts will all make good tooling. Test it, some may make good knives. Also see if there are any local machine shops. They may have drops, or they could even add to their orders for you if you get in good with them.
Some manufacturing facilities have outsourced there tool and die repair, so sorting though a die/mold builders scrap bin can be pretty rewarding…(You just need to get a really good feel for more advanced tool steels pretty quick.)

Keep it fun,

David

Thanks David, this is wonderful advice. We have a friend in a garage who keeps coil springs now for us. He hasn't had leaf springs in yet. I must call around. Great tip about machine shops and drops / ordering!

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52 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

You can pass the American Bladesmith Society's Journeyman test with a knife forged from auto leaf spring!  Of course you want one with as few miles on it as possible and NEVER one picked up broken on the side of the road!

When I was weather restricted, -20 degF (29 degC) windchills, I built a "one soft firebrick forge" that ran off a plumber's propane torch and did a winter forging small items in the drafty basement of our house.

Nice, that is encouraging :)

That one brick forge sounds cool. I must try something like that. Going to try wedge my anvil in, and have it nice and quiet before starting that :)

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I was sitting on an old kitchen chair with my small, 40kg, anvil between my knees on a stump. I forged all the iron fittings for my version of the Mastermyr Chest using it and then hot forged sterling and fine silver viking era jewelry, hack silver and penannular brooches.

It was a bad winter and I was undergoing forge withdrawal!

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 Welcome Vespdrone.

Forge/Shop withdrawl can be ugly.  I'm learning repousse on a small old stump with a bunch of leather tacked on it until I can get myself set back up.  

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

I was sitting on an old kitchen chair with my small, 40kg, anvil between my knees on a stump. I forged all the iron fittings for my version of the Mastermyr Chest using it and then hot forged sterling and fine silver viking era jewelry, hack silver and penannular brooches.

It was a bad winter and I was undergoing forge withdrawal!

That's a great image! It's amazing what's possible even with a blowtorch, I'll have no excuse not to practice!

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1 hour ago, Nodebt said:

 Welcome Vespdrone.

Forge/Shop withdrawl can be ugly.  I'm learning repousse on a small old stump with a bunch of leather tacked on it until I can get myself set back up.  

Ah cool, that's an interesting technique. Hope you get back up & running soon.

3 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

When I had a 90 day business trip to Germany; I brought along a billet and a "sample box" of borax and was able to find a working forge at an open air museum that would let me forge as a demo.

That was lucky! I'm trying to imagine what the most minimalist holiday forging pack would look like now..

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A hammer, hatchet or saw and matches. Find a boulder, cut wood, light fire, hammer steel on boulder. If you bring a spade you can get fancy by digging hill forge so natural convection creates a draft across the coals. If you carried your kit in a sack you can use the sack as a bellows. A short length of pipe and you've got a proper forge. 

One of my best field expedient forges was built on the Resurrection River with it's prevailing wind down off the ice fields. I used a piece of scrounged pipe and found sheet metal to make a funnel and had a too hot forge burning wood. I adjusted the air blast by blocking as much of the air funnel as necessary. 

I was using a rail anvil and pair of tongs and a couple hammers I've had more primitive smithies but that one was special.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Depends on the length of metal to work Thomas. Might need something to split a wood branch to hold the piece of metal with. 

Guess it would all depend on where and what is available. Well, and what you plan or might need to make. 

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