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I Forge Iron

Glad I've found you


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Hi group!
I've been kicking around blacksmithing for years now.
I first got interested in it when I saw a demonstration at a fair
many years ago and remember thinking to myself "that's cool and I'd love to try it".
Well....that's as far as I got.
Then I starting to think about how cool it would be to make my OWN knife
for camping. I did a lot of searching and read a ton on the internet. I even started work on my first knife! Just a file knife, but I'm pretty proud of it even though its no where near being done!
I annealed the file in my wood burning stove, shaped it at work ( I do tool & die) and finally drilled the holes in the handle for the scale pins.
I still need to grind the bevel, harden the blade, stress relief the blade and attach the scales! Phew....a lot of work and I'm taking my time with it and am pleased with my progress.

Anyway....I've been thinking a lot about forges! I don't have much money to spend on it, but I do have lots of room for one.
I figure I'll have to make my first one so that I can "play", while I try to learn some basics. I know I need some kind of anvil, but being in tool & die, I'm sure my boss will part with some scrapes to get me started.

Anyway....sorry for ranting....but i am very excited I found this site! Looks like a TON of information is here. Please feel free to give me instruction and rebuke, but be gentile :-)

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Welcome aboard Mark, glad to have ya.

Try the search function and look for forges in the BPs. There are lots of different versions, some small, some large. There have been plenty of discussions about forges on the fora too so searching there will supply plenty of reading.

Take a lunch and beverages when you go though, exploring is hungry thirsty work.


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Howdy Mark,
Smithing will probably be good for you, it is for me. I'm trained as a machinist, with a welding backer, and have a small rural job shop. The better I got at machining, I realized I was spending the better part of the day worrying about a thousandth or less, and how to narrow it down into something more manageable. One day I discovered I was living in this paranoid box, always worried about how true the milling machine head was dialed in, how true was the tailstock on the lathe running today, etc. When I first saw some one working at the forge and anvil, it was quite liberating. The guy was using his eyeballs to get perspective, had a brass rule that went all the way down to 1/16 inch, but didn't use anything but the 1/4 inch marks. And he made beautiful, functional stuff. I cut some1/2-13 threads on my 1924 south bend lathe the other day, they came out great, but I had to heat and beat on some steel later to get all that precision out of my head..
Anyway, welcome, feel free to ask questions, answers cost nothing. My first smithing teacher told me, "I'll teach you everything I know, as long as you promise to keep nothing secret". The smithing world has proven to be the tightest bunch of folks I've met, and, with luck, this philosophy will migrate to the rest of the trades..

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