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I Forge Iron

Hello from Philadelphia!


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I look forward to checking out the forums here. My daughter and I took a Blacksmithing course at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, VA back in October and I'm hooked.

I've been a jeweler for many years and would now like to work in some heavy metal. Problem is I live in a row house in NE Philadelphia with only a small space under the back deck and of course the whole issue of where to start with tool purchases without going into debt.

I've been improvising a little bit by heating up metal on some bricks and a magnesium block and banging on a baby anvil I have screwed down to a sawhorse. I've been using some scrap I got when the political season ended...former lawn sign frames and I've been having fun making some hooks.:D

Where to go from here...well..
that's why I joined. I'm going to start reading about what you guys have done.


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well.....where to start.......you could just sell yourselves into slavery at any blacksmith shop and get all the heavy metal working you could stand, which might be cheaper in the long run as this is an addictive sport...umm.....hobby....errrr........occupation.....oh whatever.... Welcome to IFI and feel free to jump in on the chat or forums and ask away. Tools can be had real reasonable hereabouts.

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Welcome to IFI Barb! There are a bunch of characters here to be sure. Pretty much anything you want to know about the art can be answered here. As you know, if you've worked with molten metal making jewelry , sometimes hearing the process isn't the same as doing the process. The guys here are more than happy to help.

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Welcome aboard Barb, glad to have ya.

Smithing doesn't take fancy tools, equipment or the like. the aspects I love best about it are the improvisational ones. Figuring out how to do things with tools or objects that were never meant to do anything like . . . THAT!

While you're looking for a proper anvil, a length of RR rail or other heavy piece of steel makes a fine field expedient anvil. By heavy I don't mean just weight, I mean thick in a couple dimensions. For instance a piece of 4" dia. steel shaft or the like.

Hammers can be had at garage sales, flea markets, etc. Look for ball piens, cross piens and such.

A bean can forge is really easy to make and can be used in very limited space.

Fun, fun, fun.


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Thanks for the encouragement. This is a fun place with lots of info, I'm very glad I found it. Now I just need hours of time to read it all.....

It's taken me about 25 years to gather my jewelry tools and I guess I'm thinking that I'm not getting any younger....LOL!

I'll have to look into the bean can forge, I'm mostly working small anyway at the moment, it's just the proportions I'm used to.

Where does one find a piece of RR rail?


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