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I Forge Iron

February 2006


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You are challanged to visit at least two new locations in order to make contacts and acquire scrap or discarded metal for projects.

This can be any location, business, machine shop, garage, junk yard, etc that has or generates scrap metal or items that can be used in blacksmithing. Not your old relieable sources, but brand new sources for metal that have not been contacted before. You may visit more than one location, and may collect as much metal, as many times as you wish.

Then use your new found materials to make a project. There is no limit on size or shape other than a major portion of the project should be from your new found materials. Do let us know the best sources and what scrap or discarded materials you were able to acquire. Take photos and submit it for a Blueprint if you like.

You may want to return a finished product to the folks that have been kind enough to provide you with thier scrap or discarded materials.

Edit: time limit removed

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Garages that actually repair cars usually have left over parts. There was a garage in town that usually had several older cars parked beside the building for a couple of days. I stopped in and explained that I was looking for solid metal parts that had not been hauled off. He ask if I was a junker and I said no, a blacksmith, I acutally use the stuff. He didn't have much but I was welcome to the following.

Bent steering linkage from a Chevy truck, brake drum and a section of 3/4 round bar.

Feeling good from the first find, I stopped at another garage on the way home. It had changed managment several weeks earlier, and I had no idea who owned the place. Met the new owner and he just enjoys working on cars, turning wrenches, and does custom work. Said he did not have much but I was welcome to the following:

Car jack, U bolts, bearing race, tow bar with a trailer ball, idler pulley, wheel hup, broken crescent wrench, and another steering linkage. Then he said he had one heavy chunk of metal over in the corner of the garage. I should take it to get it out of his way.

One 2" or larger bearing block.

So, it can be done, but now I have to come up with an idea where I can use the stuff.

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For the large pillow block:

Cut through the sides a few inches above the mounting holes. Now you have a bending hardy (bottom half), a ball swage in the making (if steel, flatten top half, cut in two, weld to spring and hardy shank), a dishing swage (weld inner race to shank on outside), and a bunch of honking big ball bearings. :)

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OK, I am underway with this one. Have the materials, scrounged from two different places, and have started building.

So, a couple of questions.

What's the form with regard to posting? Work-in-progress reports, or wait until the end of the month and present the finished item?

Also, there will be a bit more gas cutting and arc welding than actual blacksmithing on the project I have in mind, is that ok?


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As long as the major part of the project is from the parts list specified, you can fold staple bend, or mutilate as you wish, ox/ac included.

IF you take in progress photos, email them to me and I will work it up into a blueprint. Otherwise under the proper month's thresd, post photos of the finished product with some text.

You may want to post the original treasures found just to show others that there is metal out there and where you located what. :idea:

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The bearing is shown above has a 2-1/2" diameter hole.

I stopped at an equiptment repair facility today (never been there before) and ask to raid their dumpster.

There were two bearing races 5-1/2" diameter and 11" diameter that looked like they needed a new home.

Just could not pass up the 30 feet of metal band saw blade.

The total list from one stop today was 30 feet of band saw blade, a 5-1/2" diameter bearing race, a 11" diameter bearing race, a gear, a piece of 1/2" plate steel 6x16" and a dome shape with a 2" threaded end.

All this material is from places I have never visited before. The stuff is out there, you just need to stop and ask.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I drive a truck on a regular route and have been scrounging for years now. I come up with power tools that still work but are just"in the way".Anytime i want steel or anything i just look in the route or the store as i call it. I have never paid for anything, they just figure the good service the company supplies is a good trade for the STUFF i pick up.Making something out of nothing has always been fun and easy. Just look and ask. Most times the folks are glad to get shed of the stuff.

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i do plenty of the same.....'dumpsterdiving' scrounging, ect. anyway you look at it, you are being enviornmentaly friendly by saving the stuff from cluttering the landfill. in the end, you get something usefull or decorative from the treasures you bring home. im sure there are many significant others who feel you just 'collect junk'...until you make something for them or fix something they have broken.
my favorite stopping points are a tractor supply and an atv business. both are on my way home from work at 7am. i also get a few bits from work (factory) as they throw a lot of usable tool steel away when something goes wrong with a machine.

many factories dont see the 'potential' of there scraps, so ask around...the worse they can say is 'no', (in some cases it depends on who you ask as well) so try somewhere (or someone?)else.


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Here in Englands damp and chilly north, summer evenings get cool very early. So some form of outdoor heater is nice to huddle around when enjoying a late evening barbeque or evening on the patio.

You could just buy one, but where's the fun in that?

So first, the gathering;

Just down the road from where I work is a place that repairs portable heating equipment. They have a mountain of these things at the back of the building, waiting for disposal.


The fellow who runs the place seemed quite dissapointed when I only asked for one. He has to pay to get rid, so would have liked it if I had taken a truck full off his hands.

A week later I won a nice pair of tongs on ebay. They were only a few miles away so I went to collect them. The seller was a charming lady who was selling off the contents of her late fathers workshop. There was not much else left but some pieces of scrap metal in the corner caught my eye.

"How much do you want for that stuff?"
"What that junk? Take it, I was going to throw it away."
Well, you don't need to be asked twice do you?


A piece of heavy steel mesh, some 4" steel pipe, three pieces of 20mm round bar, a piece of 12mm square bar, a turned steel ring, and a short piece of 6" x 3" RHS.

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