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Let's talk blacksmithing...
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ksgm2
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Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 2

Real Name: Michael Conine

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Let's talk blacksmithing... Reply with quote

Don Abbott wrote:
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


I started blacksmithing back in Nov of '03, volunteered at a local museum, hired on for the fall before I went to bootcamp for the Navy. When I got out I went back to volunteering. The museum is 1860-'80. Our "style" is 1870s. I mostly stay true to that, but honestly I can't forge weld to save my life, so I cheat with a stick welder.

I would like to learn all I can, except for shoes. I've been looking for books on wheels, does anyone have any good ones?

Most of what I have done is repair work for the museum, and things for their giftshop, roses mostly, they're a big seller.
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you're talking about wagon wheels. If so, you might want to check out Foxfire #9.
It is not a comprehensive or "how-to" book by any means, but the chapter on the Jud Nelson wagon is great, with a lot of information on wheels.
He starts with a couple seasoned logs and some iron and ends up with an incredible wagon.

I've heard a couple good smiths say that Mr. Nelson was one of the most proficient forge welders they had ever seen.

Don
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ksgm2
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Joined: 05 Sep 2010
Posts: 2

Real Name: Michael Conine

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go figure, its one of the few Foxfire books I don't have, guess it gives me another reason to go get it.
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Newburghboy
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Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 104
Location: Brooklyn New York
Real Name: Michael Littlejohn

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:05 pm    Post subject: What is a good basic selection of blacksmith's tool? Reply with quote

I tried to teach myself blacksmithing several years ago but it didnt work out very well, might get back into it or take a class somewhere...may I ask folks on the board, what a good basic selection of blacksmith's tools are? Id just like to make basic cabin hardware like nails and hinges and door latches.....thanks..Mike.....
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

You need a fire and an air source. A forge doesn't need to be fancy, but it does need to get your iron hot. Forging heat for mild steel is up near yellow. Too many folks start out with a shallow fire and stock that is too big and end up beating themselves to death with a piece of red steel. You gotta get it hot and then hit it.

You need a hammer and an anvil.

You can get a good cross pien or ball pien at hardware stores, yard sales, flea markets, etc. Don't go with too heavy of a hammer too quick. Too much hammer can cause bad habits and frustration. Also, take time to dress your hammer face for clean work.

An anvil can be any piece of good steel. Stay away from the cast iron junk at Harbor Freight. A large block of scrap steel can make a fine anvil. Some folks use old fork-lift tines. Railroad track has served as a first anvil for many smiths (mine was). I worked a while on the track, then found a 200 year old Mouse Hole, then earned enough to buy a new EuroAnvil.

I would encourage anyone to first learn to get iron hot and make it move. Get some rebar long enough that you won't need tongs. Learn to manage your fire so that you can efficiently and consistently heat it to forging heat. Then just beat it... flatten it, draw it out, cut it, square it, twist it scroll it... whatever. Just learn how to make it move. Worry about the artistic project later; just learn the feel of hot iron. And when you do start working on projects, start simple and work up. My advice is to learn to make the most beautiful S hook in the world, the make 100 like it, then move on to more advanced stuff.

Start simple and grow into it. Let your needs dictate your tools. Don't waste money on tools you will never use. It will be your decision whether to make or buy any particular tool. Theoretically, with fire, anvil, and hammer, you can make anything else you need. However, sometimes it makes more sense to buy tools.

Also, if you get a chance, drop by www.Iforgeiron.com. There's a ton of great information to be had there.

Good luck,

Don
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rhyfelwr
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Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: East Tenessee
Real Name: Ben House

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know, old topic. But I just joined and figured I'd chime in. I am a blacksmith, I prefer to use only hand tools rather than power tools. But I will use modern equipment if needs be.

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

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What part of E. TN are you in?
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rhyfelwr
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Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: East Tenessee
Real Name: Ben House

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chattanooga/Dunlap area.
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. You oughta come up to Ft. Loudoun sometime.

We've got a 2 forge shop and only one smith to work it.




www.fortloudoun.com
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rhyfelwr
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Joined: 18 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: East Tenessee
Real Name: Ben House

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks neat, when do you operate?
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Don Abbott
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Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 113
Location: East Tennessee
Real Name: Don Abbott

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

August 9 & 10, 2014 1760: Cherokee Victory at Fort Loudoun

September 6 & 7, 2014 18th Century Trade Faire

October 4 & 5, 2014 Garrison Weekend at Fort Loudoun

November 1 & 2, 2014 Garrison Weekend at Fort Loudoun

December 6, 2014 18th Century Christmas at Fort Loudoun
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Blade Monkey
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Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 15

Real Name: Scott Lintow

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 3:42 pm    Post subject: what do you carry Reply with quote

As you might have guessed " Blade Monkey " is because I make knives. I forge most of them. I want to know what items you all carry, that are now or would have been made by a blacksmith? Like knives, strikers, etc.

_________________
Sharpen it once, hone it for a life time.
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