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I Forge Iron

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Hey y’all my name is James im 17 and Im located in Flowermound, Texas. I have been on the forums lurking as y’all call it for about 4 months and am just now taking the time to introduce myself. Ive been interested in blacksmithing since I was about 12 but only got into it about 2 years ago and built myself a little forge from the ground up. Though lots and lots of learning experiences aka failures I’ve finally settled. However im still hungry to learn and im so thankful that I found this amazing craft early in my life, so I have plenty of time to do so. I very excited to be able to continue to soak in the knowledge from those of y’all who have so much more knowledge then me. Im also very excited to make the most of this vast treasure trove of information and continue to grow my skills. Thanks y’all to everyone who share their experiences! 

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Welcome aboard from 7500' is SE Wyoming.  Glad to have you.

A lot of us have learned the craft by ourselves.  It is somewhat easier now than when I started in the '70s because of the internet.  Some You Tube blacksmithing videos are very good and some are bad enough to be dangerous.  I like Black Bear Forge, JPL Services (our own Jennifer), Torbjorn Ahman (from Sweden), and Christ Centered Ironworks.  Some folk like Alec Steele but I find his presentation style to be a bit annoying.  Also, there are good hard copy books that you would be advised to get.  Let us know if you want recommendations.

And there are some folk here close to your age.  We aren't all a bunch of old crusty guys (well, yes, some of us).

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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JSR, hello and welcome! We are neighbors. I'm up north I believe from you close to Gainesville. Good to have you here. What do you like to forge? What's your set up look like? Photos please if you can or would want to :D

 

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Welcome from the Ozark Mountains.

I was 41 when I met my mentor, and started this journey. If you are near one of the many Blacksmith organizations it would help to attend some meetings. I'm sure you have read about how many questions are hard to give good answers without knowing your general location, hence the suggestion to add it in your profile, that way it shows with each post and us old timers won't aggravate you for it.

Oops I just noticed you have added it...my bad.

I can't control the wind, all I can do is adjust my sail’s.
Semper Paratus

 

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I was 43 I think when I took up blacksmithing. I had actually wanted to be a farrier, but I injured my knee at work and took a long time to heal. I was thinking maybe that wasn't a good choice for me so then I gravitated toward blacksmithing. I'm also a woman. So a strapping lad of 17 such as yourself should be great at it in no time :D

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Welcome! Glad you found and started it in your youth. It is a great hobby to "keep you out of trouble". It certainly is no easy one but very rewarding in making beautiful and or useful things from standard metal. 

I hope you learn and do well, and remember, safety first so that you can continue doing it for a long time and eventually carry the flame to others. 

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Thanks y’all and i am thinking about signing up to join the NTxBA but i am a little hesitant because their calendar isn’t really updated so I don’t really know when or more importantly where the meetings would be happening. And if y’all could recommend me some good reading material that would be very well appreciated! Also CrazyGoatLady the thing that i love forging the most right now is hooks, i really like the creative freedom that they offer! And here’s a picture of my little forge! (The forge itself is a propane forge and is hiding behind the bush, he’s a little shy, my grinder is also a little shy hiding under the grill cover) 

IMG_1935.jpeg

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Thank you for posting pictures! I really like your smithy. It looks like a place I'd love to hang out. 

I also love making hooks. I lean towards artistic pieces. I have in the past ventured out to make tools and even knives, but the artsy pieces come easier to me. 

Again, you're space looks great!

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There is a lot of good material in this sub-forum.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/174-reference-materials/

Also there are free books to download at the BAM (Blacksmiths Association Missouri) web site.

BAM, Blacksmiths Association of Missouri

I have a lot of free books downloaded or bookmarked in my computer. One of my favorites is this one.

BLACKSMITHS-MANUAL-ILLUSTRATED.pdf

Your forge set up looks really good. I guess the propane forge is moveable to get it closer to the anvil.

 

I can't control the wind, all I can do is adjust my sail’s.
Semper Paratus

 

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Welcome aboard James, glad to have you. You've set yourself up well, the shop is open enough for good ventilation but closed enough to make a dim place to judge steel temp colors. Tools and equipment are close enough to be handy but not so close as to trip over. I could go right to work there.

I like hooks too, hooks are cool. What stock size do you favor? I like 3/8" square, there is plenty of meat to hold heat while I draw the hook and stem. Being square makes it easier to keep things aligned and minimize twisting. I can get a little involved twisting the shanks but oh well, we all have our vises.:rolleyes:

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hey frosty, 3/8” square is my favorite as well it gives plenty of material to work with if I’m making some more complicated stuff.

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