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I Forge Iron

New From Tennessee


Malleus

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New member here from the great state of Tennessee! I’ve been in industrial maintenance for the last 20+ years, so I’m no stranger to working with metal. However, most of my experience lies in welding, cutting, grinding, fabricating, etc… I’ve always wanted to get into blacksmithing, as a hobby, but just haven’t done so until now. I’m now in the process of gathering up some of the necessary tools and equipment. (that I don’t already have) Next, I’ll be trying to carve out a suitable place to do some forging here at the house. I have a decent shop, but I was thinking about adding on to make a specific area for forging. I just purchased 2 anvils yesterday, but they are coming from Europe, and will take quite some time to get here. I’m also in the process of trying to order an induction heater. I would like to have a coal forge as well for the possibility of doing some Damascus work in the future. Well, I didn’t mean to write a book here. Look forward to learning from all of you, and maybe being able to contribute some in the future. Thanks for having me.

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Welcome from the Ozark mountains. We won't remember your location once leaving this thread, hence the suggestion to add it in your profile. A coal or charcoal forge is easy to build and if you are good at scrounging very cheap. Might have a look at the JABOD threads for ideas.

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Malleus, welcome aboard from 7500' in SE Wyoming.  We're glad to have you.  There is a lot of good information here and it is a very interesting group here.  There are master smiths and raw beginners.  Ages range from early teens to late 70s.  Education probably from HS drop outs to advanced degrees.  We don't talk about religion or politics but they are probably as broad ranging.

I hope that you find the craft as rewarding as many of us have. It has been a very rewarding part of my life since 1978.  If you want, it can be a hobby which pays for itself which is something that few avocations can do.

The best things you can do to get started is get metal hot and start hitting it.  Much of the craft is hand/eye coordination and learning how the metal moves under the hammer.  Also, there are good You Tube videos (and some very bad ones)  I suggest ones from Black Bear Forge, JPL Services (our own Jennifer), Christ Centered Ironworks, and Torbjporn Ahman.  Alec Steel can do some interesting ones but I, personally, find his style of presentation kind of irritating.

Also, get involved with the local blacksmith group.  Check the Artist-Blacksmith Association of North American website to find the nearest affiliated group.  There is no better way to learn that under the guidance of someone more experienced.  Many of us are self taught and it is not the optimum way to learn the craft.

Again, welcome to IFI.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Most of the professional bladesmiths I know use propane forges for Damascus work---like Pep who will be demonstrating at the ABANA Conference this year!     I still do my forge welding in coal because it's what I'm used to.  (Some folks will tell you that you can't weld in a propane forge as it doesn't get how enough, that like folks telling you you can't go over 120 mph in a car---usually means that *they* couldn't in *their* car no matter what folks are doing at the Indy 500.  I once accidentally melted steel in my propane forge; so I know it gets hot enough and then some!

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Welcome aboard. I have fond memories of living in Clarksville TN. I think it's probably one of my favorite places. 

Once again welcome aboard be safe and remember it's supposed to be fun. 

Pnut

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16 hours ago, Malleus said:

most of my experience lies in welding, cutting, grinding, fabricating, etc…

  These skills dovetail nicely with blacksmithing.  One complements the other in my humble opinion.  

  Welcome from the outre woods of North Carolinee!

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8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Most of the professional bladesmiths I know use propane forges for Damascus work---like Pep who will be demonstrating at the ABANA Conference this year!     I still do my forge welding in coal because it's what I'm used to.  (Some folks will tell you that you can't weld in a propane forge as it doesn't get how enough, that like folks telling you you can't go over 120 mph in a car---usually means that *they* couldn't in *their* car no matter what folks are doing at the Indy 500.  I once accidentally melted steel in my propane forge; so I know it gets hot enough and then some!

I was kind of wanting to stay with charcoal, but I will definitely read up and consider the propane.  I've noticed in life that there's lots of people that like to tell you what you can't do.  I like to prove those people wrong.

7 hours ago, pnut said:

Welcome aboard. I have fond memories of living in Clarksville TN. I think it's probably one of my favorite places. 

Once again welcome aboard be safe and remember it's supposed to be fun. 

Pnut

Thanks!  Clarksville is a great town.  I heard the other day that it's the fastest growing town in Tennessee.

3 hours ago, Nodebt said:

  These skills dovetail nicely with blacksmithing.  One complements the other in my humble opinion.  

  Welcome from the outre woods of North Carolinee!

That's pretty much what I've always thought.  Thanks for the warm welcome!

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15 hours ago, Malleus said:

was kind of wanting to stay with charcoal, but I will definitely read up and consider the propane.  I've noticed in life that there's lots of people that like to tell you what you can't do.  I like to prove those people wro

i use both but prefer charcoal. Slowly ceanking the blower is soothing to me but for some projects propane is definitely better. In the interest of getting started quickly id build a charcoal JABOD and then a propane forge. Actually thts exactly what i did and it worked out fine for me. you could build a JABOD and be forging today for little or no money. Pnut

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Certainly nothing wrong with a JABOD, especially if one is on a tight budget.  I will probably do that sometime, if for nothing more than the experience of it.  For a more permanent solution, I will probably use some thick steel and weld up a nice firepot.

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