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Let's talk blacksmithing...
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject: Let's talk blacksmithing... Reply with quote

Well, Jason has given us a Skills & Crafts forum; let's use it a little bit.

Are there any other blacksmiths on-board? (I know there's at least one)

I want to hear about your period persona; site, set-up, etc., but I am also interested in your home shop.

What type of forge do you use? Do you stay "period" at home, or do you embrace the modern conveniences (welder, torch, etc)?

Just the typical BS conversations (blacksmithing, that is).

Don
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Rich Pierce
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 218
Location: St. Louis, MO
Real Name: Richard Pierce

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a hopeful blacksmith to be. I have a great old anvil, a post vise, a swage block, some tongs, flatters, cut off tools, etc. I have a home-made coal forge in the back yard but don't have much time to fire it up. I do want to improve my skills and the range and quality of things I can produce.
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Ironbear
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been known to pound iron and steel.I was fortunate to be able to buy the anvil that the smith used to do work for my grandfather 110lb also got a 220lb Peter Wright I think that's the name can't remember the make of the 110lb one
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J.D.
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Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 38
Location: East MO
Real Name: John Dearing

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:00 pm    Post subject: blacksmithing Reply with quote

I don't do a lot of smithing these days, and I don't set up as a smith at events. I just clunk around at home using whatever heat source and tooling that is most appropriate for the job at hand.

I recently heat treated a coupla folding knife blades and backsprings using an acetylene torch directed into a "forge" of four or five firebrick to contain the heat. The blade was tempered in the wife's oven, and the backsprings tempered in the lead pot.

So, yes, I mix and match modern and historical techniques to get the job done.
J.D.
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Ironbear
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I plan on making a bellows for my forge soon and make some charcoal.I use coal now but would not charcoal bemore historical?
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I plan on making a bellows for my forge soon and make some charcoal.I use coal now but would not charcoal bemore historical?


Charcoal is going to be the way to go with anything that is pre-Civil War.

Coal was known, and probably used on a limited basis, but bulk extraction would have been the problem in N. America from the time of settlement through the Industrial Revolution.

Charcoal is great; hot, clean, and smoke-free. You just seem to go through a lot more (by volume) in a day's time.

BTW, you can get good charcoal (hardwood charcoal; absolutely NOT briquetes) at Lowes for $5/ bag. A lot cheaper to make your own, but good to know in a pinch.

Quote:
I'm a hopeful blacksmith to be. I have a great old anvil, a post vise, a swage block, some tongs, flatters, cut off tools, etc. I have a home-made coal forge in the back yard but don't have much time to fire it up. I do want to improve my skills and the range and quality of things I can produce.


Rich,

You need to get over to www.Iforgeiron.com

Check out the Blueprint section and the forum. There is a ton of excellent information there.

Don
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Steven Johnson
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:55 am    Post subject: Blacksmithing Reply with quote

I tinker around with it from time to time. Have not done much lately. if you are new to blacksmithing get a copy of The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer. Loads of info in thier. I have lost count of how many times i have read it front to back. Also get a copy of the Machineries Hand Book.
it is a technical manual but worth getting.


Heat it and beat it
Steven
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Beowulf65
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have made a knife from time to time, no anvil but I use an 22 inch piece of railroad trackrail, I made a fire pit or oven using rock and mortor and have made several nice knives that hold a fine edge. Pounding the metal using a small sledge and ball ping hammer, filing down and shaving then buff out and sharpen, fine tune with a leather strap. Have made knives from thick files, leaf springs, and scrap metal, handles from Deer Antler or nice woods.
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Mr.Westover
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Joined: 21 Sep 2007
Posts: 40
Location: Salt Lake City
Real Name: Brian Westover

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: my obsession Reply with quote

Like a lot of you here, the first time I saw blacksmithing being done I was mesmerised. I had an old home made anvil kicking around, and I was in the kitchen trying to heat up an old file on the gas stove to make a striker when my wife came in and caught me. That was the last ime I tried it in the house. :) . I found a local club, took lessons from a master, and read everything I could find and did it every chance I got, moved outside and slowly buillt up a little shop. Then about four years ago I was lucky enough to land a full time job as the blacksmtih in a living history museum here in Salt Lake City working in a recreated 1850's shop. My skills have radically improved since then, doing it all day every day will tend to do that! I have a big brick forge that I can run with charcoal and a bellows when I am demonstrating, and in "Production Time" I work with an electric blower and coke. I make tools and harware for the park, as well as merchandsie that our guests can buy.
When I am not at work in the 1850's I return to my first love of Lewis and Clark, portraying their principle blacksmith John Shields.

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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian,

Good to hear from you.

Have you got any pics of your L&C rig?

Would also like to see some of your 1850's set-up.

Here's a picture of my "home away from home"; Ft. Loudoun, TN




You need to sign on over at www.iforgeiron.com and talk some serious blacksmithing with a realy diverse and tallented group.

Don
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Stumblin Wolf
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Joined: 29 Feb 2008
Posts: 111
Location: old northwest territory
Real Name: Matt Blosser

PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My story is about the same as Mr Westover, I started collecting blacksmith tools about 7 years ago and a fellow saw my anvil (100lb Trenton) sitting in the backyard and came over to talk and mentioned that a local campground was looking for a blacksmith. I went and talked to the owner of the campground and he had a very small 16x16 foot shop next to the camp office, with a few practically worthless tools and a lot of junk. Well I got the job inexperienced as I was and just started about the task of giving myself an education, going to SOFA and buying tools to make what I thought would sell to modern campers. Last fall I moved out of the camp and got a huge shop a few miles away, mostly so I could get back on the rendezvous trail and also I was tired of dealing with flatlanders.
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Hawkeye
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Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 473
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Real Name: Darylee Foertsch

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm just starting out too.
At the Eastern Primitive in 2005, a blacksmith had a Women's hammer in so to speak. He had each of us make an S hook...of course I had to do something a little different with mine...I already had plenty of S hooks, right?

A farrier friend of mine in Finland, known as Axe Man - Kari Salonious , gave me a pair of tongs and a round face farrier's hammer last year.
He also handed me one of his rasps that I'm to make a knife from before this years Eastern...gulp. who me?
Axe man has a wonderful artful style...do a basic search to find his website. Neat stuff.

I have a cheap cross pein and several of my grandads ball pien hammers.
I also joined Sothern Ohio Forge and Anvil Association (SOFA) last fall.
Everyone there is great. It's a four hour drive round trip that is well worth it to me.

Made a gutter Adz head 2 weeks ago there. If I can get it mounted by then, I'll bring it to this Sat's meeting. Otherwise, it'll have to wait to July. I'm searching for a limb crook from an osage or such....decided against the glued up walnut.

This month I don't have to go 'visit' as much to get anyting done.
I finally got a small forge and blower.
I need to work on the blower a little though..(buffalo handcrank)
I was given a bit of rail track for an anvil and purchased a cheep $30 china cast anvil till I can afford better.(found I needed a bit of a horn)
These are mounted on sand filled 1x flat top pyrmid style bases.

I'm using coal..found charcoal doesn't get hot enough and makes too many sparks for as close as our houses are.
I can't immagine using it in a camp...but then with my back, I'll likely not have one in camp anyway.

Any Ideas on ligtening up a camp rig?
There are really only a few basic things you need anyway.

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skunkkiller
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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 113
Location: monroe 53566City or ZIP/Postal Code
Real Name: duane stanke

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

did any of you guys or gals see retemperring mainspring if? is so any ideas? skunkkiller

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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
does anyone know if you can retemper a mian spring ? I have a weak mianspring in my pistol the spring is still good but is weak can I heat and spread a little and retemper? skunkkiller


Tempering is the final stage of heat-treating. Steel must be hardened before it is tempered.

If you heat your spring enough to bend it easily, you will have destroyed the original temper, therefore, you will have to first re-harden, then re-temper.

Your biggest worry with springs is to go too hard (not enough temper). Too hard = too brittle = broken spring.

If you go too far, you get a soft spring, so you have to start from scratch on your heat-treat.

Here's some links that might help:

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/GunTech/NewsletterArchive.aspx?p=0&t=2&i=623

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_experiments/tempering/tempering.html

http://www.muzzleloadermag.com/HINTS%20%28stoves%29/Other%20Suggestions.htm
(see "Tempering Springs")

Hope this helps,

Don
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Spike
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Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Roanoke, VA
Real Name: E. Carroll Hale III

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do blacksmithing, too... Mostly bladesmithing, really--anything with an edge on it.

I've done some online tutorials on making knives, axes, forks, and stamps, if anybody is interested in checking them out.

Here's one on knifemaking:

http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1951

Here's one on making a small spike axe from an HC railroad spike:

http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1956

Here's one on making a small fork:

http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1964

Here's one on making an intaglio stamp to mark your work:

http://primalfires.yuku.com/topic/1962

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