Category: Blacksmith

Blacksmiths Gallery

By , May 16, 2007 9:03 pm

Blacksmiths Gallery-Pedal Grinder

This is such a cool idea. Gonna have to make one similar.

Pedal Grinder

Safety first, after the fact

By , March 17, 2007 12:41 pm

Gonna be interesting typing this with one hand, but as the other one is the reason for this post, don’t have any choice.

Had just finished forging out a stainless steel hook and went in to buff it out on the wire wheel. Got the outside done and was thinking about a safety article I had read a few weeks age about not using uncovered wheels and what they could do to the body when I got the tip of one side taken out of my hand and then imbeded in the meat at the base of my thumb about an inch deep. Not stopping to think, I pulled it out, cut the grinder off and then looked to see how bad it was. Not good is putting it mildly. Put pressure on it and came to the house, which as Cat is out with her mom, was locked up. Took pressure off it for the time to find the keys and try to find the proper key showed the bleeding to be rather rapid. As I couldn’t find the key for that door, went to other door and bled all over the stoop while opening it. Washed the wound out with tap water ane used a towel to apply pressure while locating bandages and antiseptic. taped the hole up till the bleeding slowed then put the antiseptic on it and put a couple of bandaids across it. Wrapped the towel over the whole thing and went back down and put water on the fire in the forge. Then walked around a while trying to get a handle on the pain. Back in and wrapped the hand with an ace bandage as the shock was wearing off and the muscles around the entry point were now screaming really loud. Made a couple of phone calls trying to get in touch with a friend who is a nurse and trained as a emt but no joy. Left a message for him and tried laying down but that just made it hurt more. So back down the stairs and added a strap to support the arm at waist height and then sat down to type this. Pain is still quite intense, but abating some. Not feeling like passing out now anyway.

No more wire wheel brushing on this stuff without guards in place for me!

Gonna go and see about some lunch so I can take something for pain.

Hand-forging and Wrought-iron Ornamental Work – Google Book Search

By , March 16, 2007 10:32 am

Hand-forging and Wrought-iron Ornamental Work – Google Book Search

Another blacksmithing book online. Well worth the read, download, and reread.

Modern Blacksmithing: Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making 1901

By , March 16, 2007 10:20 am

Modern Blacksmithing: Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making 1901

Another blacksmithing book at the same site. Haven’t looked at this one but considering the time of publication I suspect it will be worth the time to read also.

Farm Blacksmithing

By , March 16, 2007 10:17 am

Farm Blacksmithing

Good basic info on blacksmithing. Seems that some of the illustrations are missing but could just be I missed them. Worth bookmarking if you are into working metal.

Forge work

By , March 15, 2007 9:53 pm

Worked at the forge most of the day. Finished a candle holder I made last week and made a hook. Other things got done too but that for another post if I have the energy.

Brass brushed candle holder side view

Made from an old 1/4 inch round electric fence post and a 2 inch disk of steel 1/8 of an inch thick. Round rod beat square, shaped, tapered, flattened and bent. Disk flattened, beat into a bowl shape, punched in the center. Frame heated to just red and let cool to black then dipped into beeswax and when cool enough rubbed with a rag to remove the excess. Candle cup was heated to just red and brushed with small brass brush. Inside was brushed then the cup reheated, bottom brushed then top brushed again. Dipped into beeswax and wiped when cool enough to handle. Cup put onto cancle spike, seated and set with monkey tool.

Brass brushed candle holder bottom view

Bottom view showing lighter brass color on cup.

6 inch long twisted hook

Hook is made from an old paint roller handle that was found in the old burn pile. Coated with rust but when beat somewhat clean of rust and heated in the forge there was enough metal left to make a square rod 3/16 inch square and over 2 feet long. Have used over half of it making hardie holders and the rest went to a pipe lighter which is still down at the forge. Since it is still raining will stay there till tomorrow too. Last bit went into this hook. Heated and tapered one end and did the loop on the smaller end. Another heat and did the smaller hook. Heated the middle and into the vice and with the monkey wrench did a couple of turns to get the twist. Another heat and tapered the other end. One more heat and the loop is done. One more and the large hook is done. Bit of straightening and adjusting and into the beeswax. Bit of a wipe off and tis ready to hang whatever.

Thursday – pieces and bits

By , March 9, 2007 9:27 am

Didn’t feel like doing much yesterday (thursday) due to allergys flaring up, so fired up the forge and piddled all day and into the night.

Started off with making hooks to hang a temporary shovel and rake for the forge. Took 1/4 inch rod (old electric fence post) and split it a couple of inches on one end, formed a T out of it, then rounded each half of the T crossbar and hammered them to a point then curled them and bent to catch the handle of the tools. Flattened the other end and bent over to hang in the holes of the forge legs. Then ate lunch and went back to repeat for the second hanger.

Been needing some hammer holders so made 4 large staples and pounded them into the anvil stump and hung hammers.

Had started another pair of tongs several days ago but not finished them so as some of the dizzys had abated at this point decided to try to get them done. A couple of hours and lots of beating, heating, cussing, twisting, bending, and more beating they were done. Or as done as that pair will be. They work and that’s the main thing. Not real pretty (though with opposing twists in the handles) but serviceable.

Supper was eaten right before finishing them so after they were done started on a candle holder just to try them out. Started out with the rest of the electric fence 1/4 inch rod which was about a foot long. Heated one half and hammered to a square. Reversed, heated the other half and hammered it to square. By this time the rod was too small for the new tongs so switched to the old ones and continued to heat and beat till I got a square rod about 16 inches long and about 3/16 in cross section. Then pointed one end and started bending. Got the bends about like I wanted them (at last) and rather than start with the drip dish called it a night. Will try to finish it later today. Still gonna heat and distress the metal a bit more as the square rod turned out too nice and factory looking finish wise. Pinged the edges a bit but needs more roughness. Gotta watch making stuff look too good.

Will try for pix of some of the stuff later today or tomorrow. Airsoft game tomorrow but I ain’t cooking so will see what the weekend brings. First cuppa tea is finished and numb hands/forearms are getting the better of me while trying to type so will close for now.

Shed move, the easy way

By , March 8, 2007 11:17 am

Decided it was time to move the shed that I built nearly a year (or more) ago to where I had planned to put it at the time. Figured on little or no help so got out my trusty MF135, a couple of 12 foot long 2x10s and some rope. Moved the stuff the airsoft crew had left in it and drove the tractor into position and put the boards in place front and back. Front was on the front bumper and back was on the scrape blade.

getting ready to move the shed

Tied everything down.

tying it down

And away we go.

here goes nothing

Worst part is over as I get it turned and make it under the power line without snagging anything.

around the corner and under the wire

Half way there. No hands style… πŸ˜‰

look ma no hands

Almost home.

Almost home.

Now to back and fill a few times to get the tractor out.

Tractor coming out.

Bill, Cat and I each take a leg and after a pivot dance get it into place. New home sweet home.

new home

Since this was the Combat Ranch registration stand I had to put up another one. So I did…

New combat ranch registration tent.

Spent yesterday running wiring and getting lights and power put in. Got to put in a hood and then hope to fire the forge later today. Guess it’s time to get it in gear and do it. That’s all for now…

New Knife

By , March 4, 2007 8:59 pm

Made a new knife today. 1/2 inch coil spring steel. The new forge makes heating stuff a LOT easier. And it’s a controlable heat.

First Knife

One side

First Knife Other Side

The other side.

Does a nice job on the chopping board in the kitchen. Cut up chicken for supper with it and it just cuts. Tis rough except for the edges. Used a camshaft/crankshaft belt sander to polish the edge to a mirro finish. May wap the handle with leather. Not sure yet.

Celtic Cloak Pin

By , March 4, 2007 12:01 am

Another one. This one is a special order for a friend. Main part made from 1/4 inch electric fence post. Pin made from rest of 16 penny nail used for rivet on the ladle. Waste not want not… πŸ˜‰

Celtic Cloak Pin

Celtic Cloak Pin Open


By , March 3, 2007 11:56 pm

Needed a punch to make the holes in the ladle bowl and handle so this is what I made to get the job done. Made from a piece of 1/2 inch steel shafting. Fairly hard stuff.


Ladle for slack tub

By , March 3, 2007 11:54 pm

Made a ladle for watering the coal from the slack tub. Ladle body was a piece of thick walled exhaust pipe. Handle was a piece of 1/4 inch electric fence post. Rivets were 16 penny nails cut off about a quarter inch from the head. Rivets were set hot.


My slack tub ladle, in all it’s glory… πŸ˜‰

Ladle showing the rivets connecting bowl and handle

Back of bowl showing rivets connecting handle.

Scroll at end of ladle handle

And the scroll at the end of the handle. Comfortable to use and easy to control. Over all I am rather pleased with it.

New forge

By , March 3, 2007 11:47 pm

Built a new forge yesterday (friday). Pix and a bit of bs follow.

Barrel I started with

This is the barrel I started with. Tis an old project of my dads from many years ago. Now a forge for me! Removed the brake rotors from each end and cut more out around the existing hole.

Gas heater burner assembly now air supply/venturi sitting on old forge

This is the burner assembly out of a 5 radiant gas heater. A few plumbing fittings and a air line quick connect fitting and it becomes the air blower system for the new forge. I ran this all day long today and the compressor came on 6 or 7 times total. I think this is a very effective air control system.

Close up of air connection

Air hookup. Will change the air quick connect to the other side of the forge and make the connecting line out of copper pipe to prevent hot metal hitting the plastic air line (again)…

Barrel with air system in place

Before legs and clay this is what it looked like.

First fire

First fire. Clay has just been packed in and fire lit.

Red hot metal

A piece of spring heated to working temp. Note firebrick in background. Am now using several of them to contain and shape the fire. Working very well. Over all I am very pleased with this design. I am going to build another one out of strictly hardware store available plumbing parts to do a demo on how to build a compressed air aspirated coal fired 55 gallon drum forge.

Ran this one for 8 hours today and burned about 20 to 25 pounds of coal. Maybe. Need to get the scales out and weigh the coal and see what the consumption is. Compressor came on 6 or 7 times that I remember.

First Tongs

By , March 3, 2007 11:28 pm

First Tongs Side View

First Tongs Open Jaws

These were made out of a bar of steel 3/8 thick x 3/4 wide x 24 inches long. Each jaw is 1/2 half that bar. Hours and hours and hours and lots of beating with a hammer. But they work so nice. So I guess it was all worth it. πŸ˜‰ Now to make another 6 to 8 pair. Gonna use 1/2 inch coil spring for the next few pair.

Night light candle holder

By , March 1, 2007 9:22 pm

This is something I made. I think I have seen something like it before but this is my way. May add a base or make a piece to hang it on but for now here it is.

Candle holder side view

Side view

Candle holder top view

Top view

Candle holder finger grip

Finger holder and top twist close up.

Bottom twist close up

Bottom twist close up.

Celtic Cloak Pins

By , March 1, 2007 9:16 pm

Made a couple of Cloak pins the other day. Here are the pix.

Celtic Cloak Pin Small

Celtic Cloak Pin Small

Celtic Cloak Pin Large

Celtic Cloak Pin Large

And no I have no idea why I faced one one way and the other one the other way for the picture. But thats the way it is… πŸ˜‰

Me at the forge

By , March 1, 2007 8:57 pm

As the title says. Do rag is to keep the locks from igniting from sparks or scale either at the forge or while welding.

Me at the forge

Leg Vise

By , March 1, 2007 8:54 pm

Got some pix of some of the stuff I have been doing. The following are pix of my old leg vise and the new pieces I made for it. The strap and spring are 1/4 inch thick lawnmower blade. The slotting tool, wedge and keeper are pieces of 1/4 inch plate I have had laying around for years. Got a piece of red oak tree trunk about 4 feet long and 30 inches in diameter, dug a hole about a foot deep and put it on end in said hole. Tamped the dirt back around it and mounted the vise on it with 3 lag bolts. Will get pix of it mounted soon.

Leg Vise with new pieces

Leg Vise with new mounting hardware.

New leg vise pieces

New leg vise pieces. Left to right – Slot opening tool I made. Front leg opening spring. Wedge. Slotted strap. Keeper. Mount, which I didn’t make but heated, beat out and repunched the end hole.

Punch used to open holes in end of slots

Prior to bending the strap the punch was used to punch holes on both ends of each slot to keep them from splitting when cut open with the chisel. Punched hot. Punch 3/4s of the way through turn over and punch back through and out. Took me 2 heats on each hole. Hope to get quicker…

Chisel used to cut through the slots

Again prior to bending the strap the chisel was used to punch through the slots between the punched holes. Done hot. Punch almost through and then turn over and back through. Punched into an aluminum billet I made from some old pistons a couple of years ago.

Hardie slot opening tool

After the slots were punched through I made this tool to open the slots and allow me to beat on the edges of the strap to open the slot. Just heated one end of the piece of metal and beat the sides in till it would fit across the corners of the hardie hole. Heated the other end and beat it to a wedge shape then ground it to about a 45 degree angle. And yes hitting it on the sides does bend it a bit but if the strap is red hot it does the job it was made to do. A couple of taps with the hammer on the other side and it’s back straight. Good enough to do the job is fine at times… πŸ˜‰

New Header Pix

By , February 27, 2007 11:14 am

From left to right:
Me taking the mounting hardware I have just finished off the leg vice to take pix of all the pieces.
The first 4 leaf clover (Cat found it) of the season in a 1/4 inch monkey tool.
The Champion blower on my forge.
My anvil shaped object on it’s stump.

Will try to get all the pix of the recent projects resized and up soon.

Smedjan Ramvik – Tor Holmlund

By , February 25, 2007 11:00 am

Smedjan Ramvik – Tor Holmlund

Interesting Swedish blacksmith’s site. Like the bowls and cannon amoung other things….

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