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I Forge Iron

Funny Thing Happened

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I was working in my shop today, and had some small pieces I needed to heat in the forge.
As is my usual habit, I looked for a can, bucket, or something to place them in so they wouldn't get lost in the fire.
I went out to the resource pile and saw a 1 gal. paint bucket.........no paint inside to create toxic fumes........this will be perfect!.......or so I thought.....

I had no more than placed the bucket with the small pieces inside on the hot forge, when I noticed that the bottom of the bucket was MELTING!

Turns out it was plastic!

Anyway, I had to grab the burning bucket with tongs and toss it out the shop door.

I could have sworn it was a metal bucket.......it had a metal lid, and looked just like the ones I've seen all my life.

I usually pay pretty good attention to what's going on, but this one slipped right by me!

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easy to do, I started my fire with one of those butane candle lighters, set it on top of the gas forge and walked away, when I smelled it, I ran over and as I moved it away from the fire, the tank ruptured with a stinky hiss, no ball of flame, just a red faced dufus, welcome to the club!! Maybe we should start a thread called red faced dufus exploits.

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  • 1 month later...

The other day, we had a minor emergency come up, so I had to shut down the forge and leave quickly. Knowing that there are no cast iron parts under this forge, I just dashed a small bucket of water right on the fire. Fire effectively drowned.

Well, the next morning, I started a fire in the 'drowned' forge. Lit some paper, added some kindling, a little coke, and then started cranking the blower.
There didn't seem to be much happening in the way of air blast. The fire was not 'picking up' as it usually does.
I check the ash dump and nothing comes out.
By now I'm scratching my head.
Something was definately restricting the air! But What?

I poked a piece of rod into the bottom of the ash dump, and discovered that the tuyere, the 'T' and the pipe to the ash dump was full of........ice!
The water I had put out the fire with the day before........had frozen........had to use the propane torch and heat the piping to get it out of there.

So....that was another funny thing..........

If that wasn't enough, today I was forging a long taper on an 18 in. rod.......rolling it back and forth on the anvil as I hammered it.........and got the end I was holding in my hand hung up in my coat sleeve. A burr on the metal had gotten entangled in the fabric.
Like to never got the thing loose........lost a heat in the process.

One more incident like these and I think I'll ask Glenn to change the name of this thread to....you guessed it.......RED FACED DUFUS EXPLOITS:)

Edited by jayco
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I was at the Metalsmything Symposium III and I was demoing the first ever ammo can forge. I had just started the forge and set the grill lighter down on the table near the forge.

While I was teaching how to do an S hook the lighter detonated behind me in a huge ball of fire... or so they tell me. I never noticed. I just kept on teaching.

I get ribbed about that to this day.

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I believe you are a candidate for the blacksmiths anonymous posting, when the level of concentration is so high, that even a large ball of exploding gasses near your backside does not even cause a moments hesitation, son you need help!


IForgeIron holds claim and copyright the *Anvils Anonymous* for future use.

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... speaking of exploding fireballs, a few weeks ago I was preparing to light my propane forge with my trusty (ancient) propane torch. As I angled the torch downward to aim it into the forge, it sputtered and nearly went out, then whooosh! I hadn't turned the forge's propane on yet. Somehow, I'm guessing, the torch vented some liquid propane, which rapidly vaporized and caused a 3' diameter fireball at arms length for about a second, singeing my hair. Stunned, I just held the torch for a few seconds, still with 2ft flames streaming from the entire valve/tip. My buddy snapped me out of it, I waved it briefly trying to put the flame out, and ultimately decided to chuck it out into the yard (30ft or so), making a great whooshing sound as it went. I've replaced that torch. But in all the years I've used the things, I've *never* had one do that!

Sometimes it doesn't matter how attentive you are, stupid and crazy things happen. Even so, I more frequently burn myself in the kitchen than at the forge :)

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Not smith related but.....
I was at Brown Lennox in the late 80s, one of the apprentices was told to remove the valve from a 14Lb CO2 cylinder as it had a broken turnkey. So rather than empty it and uscrew the valve, he threw it up in the vice in a gas booth and took a hacksaw to it. It blew him out of the curtain covered in frost, breathless and the talk of the works for a week. But in reality he was lucky to be alive, the original white faced doofus.

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