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  1. #26
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Here's more.

    From http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/13373-clinker-breaker/

    I know I am going to get some flak from this post, but here goes anyway.

    So called Clinker Breaker at the bottom of firepots. Is it really a clinker breaker?

    Just look at the one in your own forge, does it stick up into the firepot far enough to actually break up a clinker?

    Probably not. If you stop and think about it and look at some of the information from old publicatios, you will find it referred to as a tuyere, blast gate or ash gate.

    Due to the shape of their construction they were made to be used to control the amount of air entering the bottom of the fire, and could be manipulated to have a small center fire, a large fire with more air, or a fire off to one side.

    The Trinagular ones, with one of the V's corners is pointing down will give you a nice small even fire in the pot. If you rotate it to so that one of the V's is pointing to one side, you will get a little larger fire. If you rotate it so one of the V's is pointing up, you will get a really hot fire.

    The round ones with a slot in the center have the pivot rod offcenter. With the slot pointing up and the highest side up, you will get a nice small condensed firel. Rotate the slot to the side and you get a little larger fire, Rotate it so the highest side is down and you get lots more air around the sides and also up thru the slot for a large fire.

    When you rotate this so called Clinker Breaker during a heat, what are you actually doing?
    You are getting rid of the fine ash and small clinkers at the bottom of the firepot.

    You more than likely have at some time removed a Doughnut Clinker from your firepot, did you happen to notice that the center of the doughnut is open from the air blast shooting up thru it. The clinker material (impurities and residue from burnt iron) forms around the air inlet automatically being pushed to the side by the force of the air. Occassionaly if you are using exceptionally dirty coal when and the clinker has built up sufficient to overpower the air blast (2 to 5 Oz of pressure) the fire wil more or less quit and/or you idle the fire for a bit and the clinker molten ooze flows over the air hole , and upon restarting, you get no air. if you stick a straight poker down into the center and lift you get a good fire for a little bit.

    No matter how much or vigorously you rotate the air gate, so Called clinker breaker it doesn't do any good.

    forges with a plate with slots and no air gate/so called clinker breaker are high suseptible to clinker choke is what I call it when the clinker restricts the air to your fire.

    Side Blown or Back Blown forges do not suffer this problem as the clinker just pools or congregates at the bottom of the fire in front of the tue or Tuyere iron.

    I have been wanting to post this for some time now, finally got it off my chest so to speak.

    Now let the ranting and raving and name calling begin, but before you do just stop and reread this post and think about your own forge and forging experience.

    Respectfully,
    irnsrgn
    I've messed with coal forges since '99 and my experience is similar to this.
    Brian Leonard
    Appalachian Ironworks L.L.C.
    434 Long Branch Rd, Marshall, NC 28753
    828 649 9966
    828 702 0697
    brian@appironworks.com
    www.appironworks.com

  2. #27
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Thanks Brian for that info, it helps me understand what I'm up against. I was thinking I could make a breaker that I step on that shoots sharpened 1 X 1/4" flat bar up through the grate's slots or sharpened 3/8 rod 3" past the top of the grate???. If I use a 5/8" operating rod and weld the breakers to a horizontal bar off the 5/8 operating rod there shouldn't be a trash restriction problem when it's in the down position.

    I just ordered steel to finish the forge and build a burning table, funny thing is they're open tomorrow but closed Friday., guess they want a three day weekend.

    Brian if you think it would be a good Idea to go with the added expense of building the clinker breaker parts out of SS please let me know, I'll pick some up tomorrow when I pick up my steel order. Thanks, tackit.
    Last edited by tackit; 07-03-2013 at 11:46 AM.

  3. #28
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    Nov 2013
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    337

    Re: brake drum forge build

    Hey, good looking. I've built my similar to yours. I used an existing steel table and only lack puting on my wheels. I've put up a mockup of a exhaust ventilator that will lift off if I want to transport the forge somewhere. The only other addition, again a working mockup, is a lazy Susan using the used reel off a mig wire. So far, I'm pleased, but know I'll change something later as I have more experience. This is fun though and I guess after fifty years of working, that's wonderful and blessed.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #29
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Thanks papasmirf. I still need to buy coal and fire it up. Cataract surgery and not being able to find coal around here even though I've called farriers and blacksmith association for leads side tract things for me last summer. A few years ago a man not to far from me sold it but he quit selling it because his three chin supplier raised the price so much he couldn't sell it. The closest coal I can find is a 4 hour round trip, but now it's so cold I'm not interested in messing with it. This spring I'm planning to build a 12 X 12 open shelter for it, I have some steel roofing I can use for the roof, all I need is wood for the framing.

  5. #30
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    I hear you on it being cold out. Every time the weather starts to get semi warm out and I start thinking about going and playing with my forge, I end up with some job that needs to be done while I have the weather window. Right now I'm debating whether to head down to the shore this weekend to finish closing up the shore house and hauling back all my tools out of the shed before we get a storm and it floods, and taking advantage of the warm weather to try and do some more drywall while I'm down there, or firing up the forge and trying to do some small hand forged Christmas presents (really just an excuse to play).
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  6. #31
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    http://www.centaurforge.com/Clinker_...ductinfo/BALL/ You will have to size your pot throat to accommodate this clinker breaker but I have the coke heavy duty pot in my forge and it has worked flawlessly for about fifteen or so years. You can also get your coal here. Another good blacksmithing site is http://www.piehtoolco.com/

  7. #32
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    I have a Centaur Forge 110 volt ac fan with a variable resistor switch I rigged up. That allows the air to be off, real slow, or pretty aggressive. The hood as you can see was someone's old indoor fancy fire place shield.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #33
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    I hear you on it being cold out. Every time the weather starts to get semi warm out and I start thinking about going and playing with my forge, I end up with some job that needs to be done while I have the weather window. Right now I'm debating whether to head down to the shore this weekend to finish closing up the shore house and hauling back all my tools out of the shed before we get a storm and it floods, and taking advantage of the warm weather to try and do some more drywall while I'm down there, or firing up the forge and trying to do some small hand forged Christmas presents (really just an excuse to play).
    It's been really cold, way below normal temps.... I closed the shop for the winter, all my tools are down in the basement until better weather. I hate to shut the shop down but it's no fun listening to the hot dog heater, it drives me nuts after a while. I planned things so I would have a few projects I can do down in the basement over winter, after the holidays I'm going to bend two 22" rims for my welding tank cart and learn how to use my boring bar so the next set of hubs will hold roller bearings instead of bushings.

    I also want to make a set of 22" wheels for our Church auction, we are a 100% farming community, I'm sure a farmer could use them for a project.


    Have a Merry Chrismas and Happy New Year Doug, your posts are some of the most informative on the board, I really appreciate how you share your welding and also your archery knowledge with us. I'm sure I'll have a few archery questions for you after the grandson starts shooting his bow. Jim

  9. #34
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by wroughtn_harv View Post
    I have a Centaur Forge 110 volt ac fan with a variable resistor switch I rigged up. That allows the air to be off, real slow, or pretty aggressive. The hood as you can see was someone's old indoor fancy fire place shield.
    That's really cool wroughtn, What kind of coal are you using? Have you ever tried hard wood charcoal? Can you explain how the clinker breaker works. Thanks

  10. #35
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    I use coke. It's a great alternative to coal where there is concern about the smoke, coke is cooked coal. I have enough coke to last my lifetime, unless they find a way for us to work past a hundred....

    When my fire gets uneven I will look for clinkers and use the clinker breaker to open back up the air channel.

    Clinker comes from the sound a clinker makes when you touch metal with it. What it is impurities in the coal that solidify and make like chunks of iron/glass that impair the airflow which causes an uneven fire. You can poke your fire and feel them, harder'n a bad girls heart.

  11. #36
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by wroughtn_harv View Post
    I use coke. It's a great alternative to coal where there is concern about the smoke, coke is cooked coal. I have enough coke to last my lifetime, unless they find a way for us to work past a hundred....

    When my fire gets uneven I will look for clinkers and use the clinker breaker to open back up the air channel.

    Clinker comes from the sound a clinker makes when you touch metal with it. What it is impurities in the coal that solidify and make like chunks of iron/glass that impair the airflow which causes an uneven fire. You can poke your fire and feel them, harder'n a bad girls heart.
    So the clinker breaker you linked to is used as a hammer? I used to work for a US steel RR in Gary Indiana, I could have brought home a mountain of coke straight from the quenchers. That's why It's so hard for me to believe I can't find coke or coal here in North Central Indiana. Where did you buy your coke from?
    Last edited by tackit; 12-19-2013 at 09:21 AM.

  12. #37
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Here is a link to my forge build, kind a boring to look at though. http://s1298.photobucket.com/user/cy...show/Forge%202

  13. #38
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by tackit View Post
    That's really cool wroughtn, What kind of coal are you using? Have you ever tried hard wood charcoal? Can you explain how the clinker breaker works. Thanks




    So the clinker breaker you linked to is used as a hammer?


    Thanks Jim, any time.


    No the clinker breaker shown isn't used as a hammer. If you look at my post on my forge, you can sort of see the start of my clinker breaker. It's pretty much a home made copy of the Centaur forge one. In the 2nd post you'll see mine attached to the shaft that rotates it in the fire box. Difference is mine is sort of rectangular vs round because I couldn't quite get the fire pot shaped down to a round bottom when I built it. ( If you can't understand and figure it out, I'll pull up the pict and circle it) The only pict I have of the inside is near the very end of the thread when I posted up picts with measurements. It doesn't really "break" them like some designs can. It's mostly a dump that can be operated while burning. If the clinkers get too big, you still have to pull them out with a hook. Good fire maintenance will help alleviate this issue. Keep your cud and ash dumped out of the bottom of the fire regularly by using the "breaker" and they don't build up.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?146321-Coal-forge


    Lump charcoal is supposed to work quite well, but it needs a deeper pile vs coal/coke. You have to really mound it up to get the heat vs coal/coke. If you head over to Iforgeiron, there are plenty of guys there who have done threads on forging with lump charcoal. ( I can't remember if you are on there under a different name or not. I know one guy here is "Arkie", but I forget who right now. ) Many make their own vs buying it. Briquettes are supposed to be junk compared to lump charcoal. A bunch of the guys there in the UK forge with Charcoal. In fact there's a coal vs Charcoal thread running right now. Be aware some of those guys can be a bit cranky about new guys who come in and ask the same old questions over and over and over... Don't be surprised to get a "did you search?" comment. Show you did a bit of research on site 1st, and the vast majority will be more than willing to help, just like here.


    Oh Pieh, Centaur and other online blacksmithing sites sell coke as well as coal.

    Maybe we need to talk to your wife about you getting some coal in your stocking for Christmas. I wonder how much of my Anthracite I can stick in a large flat rate box... It might panic your grandson however... Have you been a bad boy this year?
    Last edited by DSW; 12-19-2013 at 11:06 AM.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  14. #39
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    DSW,

    Shortfuse here (I go by "arkie" on iforge). I've never used charcoal...only coal. Must have gotten me cornfused with another iforge member. No harm done :-):-)

    Iforgeiron is a GREAT site for experienced and novice blacksmiths.

  15. #40
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    Thanks Jim, any time.


    No the clinker breaker shown isn't used as a hammer. If you look at my post on my forge, you can sort of see the start of my clinker breaker. It's pretty much a home made copy of the Centaur forge one. In the 2nd post you'll see mine attached to the shaft that rotates it in the fire box. Difference is mine is sort of rectangular vs round because I couldn't quite get the fire pot shaped down to a round bottom when I built it. ( If you can't understand and figure it out, I'll pull up the pict and circle it) The only pict I have of the inside is near the very end of the thread when I posted up picts with measurements. It doesn't really "break" them like some designs can. It's mostly a dump that can be operated while burning. If the clinkers get too big, you still have to pull them out with a hook. Good fire maintenance will help alleviate this issue. Keep your cud and ash dumped out of the bottom of the fire regularly by using the "breaker" and they don't build up.

    http://weldingweb.com/showthread.php?146321-Coal-forge




    Lump charcoal is supposed to work quite well, but it needs a deeper pile vs coal/coke. You have to really mound it up to get the heat vs coal/coke. If you head over to Iforgeiron, there are plenty of guys there who have done threads on forging with lump charcoal. ( I can't remember if you are on there under a different name or not. I know one guy here is "Arkie", but I forget who right now. ) Many make their own vs buying it. Briquettes are supposed to be junk compared to lump charcoal. A bunch of the guys there in the UK forge with Charcoal. In fact there's a coal vs Charcoal thread running right now. Be aware some of those guys can be a bit cranky about new guys who come in and ask the same old questions over and over and over... Don't be surprised to get a "did you search?" comment. Show you did a bit of research on site 1st, and the vast majority will be more than willing to help, just like here.


    Oh Pieh, Centaur and other online blacksmithing sites sell coke as well as coal.Maybe we need to talk to your wife about you getting some coal in your stocking for Christmas. I wonder how much of my Anthracite I can stick in a large flat rate box... It might panic your grandson however... Have you been a bad boy this year?
    Thanks Doug, your pics made it easy to understand. After viewing your pics I don't know if I can incorporate a breaker in my design. Maybe a I can make a hole with a door on the side of the down tube to hit clinkers with a HF needle scaller? At least I know what's going on now, thanks again for the pics and explanation.


    If the grandson got a stocking full of coal he would have diarrhea attack, me, I would be happy as a lark to receive stockings full of coal, a 50 LB bag would make me very happy.

    I just got back from the doc, over the counter meds and some old antibiotic I had wasn't working. $200 bucks for cold medicine, glad I have insurance to help pay for it, stay warm and keep you hat on, it cost a ton these days for meds.

  16. #41
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Jim don't need to get fancy with clinkers. If you just have a grate, you can hook them with a poker or such and pull them out of the bottom of the fire. If the grate has semi large openings, you can often poke them down thru the grate into the tuyre below the pot while they are small. Clinker feels sort of "sticky" in the fire.

    If nothing else if you pull the coke and clinker out of the bottom of the fire and a bit off to the side on the table, the clinker hardens up and is easy to remove, the coke can stay and go back into the fire.

    If you have the fire going for awhile and see "spaces" and "gaps" near the bottom of the fire, see dark black areas down there and seem to be noticing a drop in air volume that changes when you poke the lower level of the fire, chances are there's clinker in the fire pot. After you work with a fire a few times you'll begin to pick this up pretty quick. If you can find yourself a local blacksmithing group to join, someone can show you what I'm talking about really quick.


    The only issue I've had with my clinker breaker has been when I've gotten distracted and burned big pieces of metal. The molten steel wants to run down to the bottom of the fire pot and can run down around the clinker breaker where it cools and solidifies, jamming the clinker breaker. Then I have to live with it stuck until I tear down the fire completely and work the piece loose. Usually a bit of prying with a pair of pliers and maybe a few whacks with a chisel will knock it loose and free it up no problem. I've learned to start working the clinker breaker as soon as I see the metal burn so it goes all the way thru and doesn't get stuck, or I at least break it up early while it's still in small pieces and don't let it build up.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  17. #42
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    nice job with the forge. kinda smallish though. where is the hammer and tong rack?
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  18. #43
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Doug I am using a 1/4" thick cast iron floor drain cover plate for the grate. Do you think I could use a SS U bolt to lift the cover out of the forge? I'm greener than a ponderosa pine when it comes to running a forge. I have been thinking about hauling the forge to a local hammering and ask a smith to show me how to build a fire and critique the forge while it's running. I always do better when I'm shown how to do something, trial and error frustrates me.

  19. #44
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Don't need to pull the grate. You can work with it down. You just need to be a bit more conscious of tending the fire. If you try and pull it, you'd need to brake down the fire and pull the coke out, then pop the grate... not worth it.

    Yeah having someone show you would be the best way to learn. Even with a bad build up of clinker in the pot it's not that hard to just drag it out with a bent hook and push the rest of the coke back in to get the fire going again. Down side is that you loose the heat a bit when you do this, so it interrupts operations while you wait for the fire to build again.

    With a bit of experience it's easy to start to spot what to look for and how to manage a fire. It's one of the reasons I chose to work with coal vs gas when I took my 1st class. After you let it get bad a few times and learn to spot the signs when things have gone too far, it gets a bit easier to understand the subtle things that start to tell you when to tend the fire. After that i becomes second nature to do this regularly.

    Also note not all coal is created equal. Some is "cleaner" than others and will make less clinker. I got some really nice bituminous coal from a local group that I'm using in my antique pump forge. It makes almost no clinker at all, even after forging 2" x 5/8" all day in their forge. I mostly got it because I can't keep my anthracite burning easily in the manual forge like I can with the one in that thread with an electric blower. My anthracite is fair as far as clinker. Some burns with almost no clinker and some pieces when you break down the fire you can see all the clinker that was "boiling" out. However it came out of a coal bunker in an old basement. If I get into the buckets that came out near the walls or off the bottom where it's got a bunch of dirt and flaky stuff off the walls mixed in, it's very "dirty" as far as clinker. I'm learning really fast how to keep the fire clean with that stuff.

    Talk to the guys in any local clubs about where they get their coal. They can probably tell you where to go to get the best stuff local. Also many times they are willing to split up bigger loads for small guys. The guy I worked with at the last hammer-in in his shop, buys the stuff by the ton bulk. He'll sell quantities to club members. You bring your own sacks or buckets and he just weighs out what you want and you pay him what the going rate is roughly. It's the same way I got the stuff for my small forge. Except with them, they already have some 50 lb bags they load up and sell one or two bags to new members to help them get going. I think one member works at a local stable as all the bags are old feed bags...


    Reminds me. I need to shoot an email to the guy I worked with last month at the hammer-in and see if he's still possibly interested in swapping tig lessons for shop time showing me how to work more with his power hammers. He seemed interested at the time. I'll have to see what his work schedule is. He's almost an hour and a half away, so it needs to be an all day sort of thing or it's not really worth the drive. Even if it works out to one day we do tig and on another we play at the forge I'll be happy.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  20. #45
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    i used pocahontas pea in the forge i had for making black powder gun parts. what are you going to use?
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  21. #46
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    If you are asking me, I'm not sure yet. I'm sitting on close to one ton of anthracite I got free from my buddy when they sold his wife's grandmothers place and they needed to empty the basement before the sale. I've got about 4 55 gallon drums full plus a few misc buckets. As soon as I use all that up, I'll look at getting a ton or so of bituminous. I may take a run up and get some from the guy I was working with last month at his shop and tag mine to his order. Option 2 would be to talk to the college and see if I can't tack my order on to theirs when they get their coal. Last option is to try a couple places down in Lancaster that have been suggested to me. If I do that I may borrow a small dump trailer vs using the back of my pickup. ( It's times like this when I wished I had a small 1 ton dump truck)

    I may try and remember to ask you where you are getting yours when I get to that point. NYC isn't all that much farther than Lancaster, so if your guy is in North Jersey etc it may be another option to think of.
    .



    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

    Ronald Reagan

  22. #47
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    tackit,

    If you can locate a good source of bulk coal say a few hours from you, and own a truck, it might be worth it to rent a trailer capable of carrying up to a ton and driving to pick it up. If you can buy in bulk like that, you should get a good price break.

  23. #48
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    you sound like you're well supplied coal wise. as i had a steady air supply i finally went to coke. if you're going to be forging big i suggest you get a steam/air hammer.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
    queens, ny and sunny fla

  24. #49
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    tackit,

    If you can locate a good source of bulk coal say a few hours from you, and own a truck, it might be worth it to rent a trailer capable of carrying up to a ton and driving to pick it up. If you can buy in bulk like that, you should get a good price break.
    I've called every coal company in Indiana and every association that may use coal to know successful endding. The one and only time I found a coal company who would sell it to me wanted me to travel to Kentucky to pick it up. The four hour drive coal I can buy for $5 for a five gallon bucket..... The seller is an officer in Indiana's blacksmithing association, he lives in the South Bend/Mishawaka area, it's from his own supply. He told me he got his coal from a guy over in Illinois.

    I have three plastic 40 gallon drums I can take with me, that should be enough coal or coke to keep me going for a while. Thanks everyone for your input.

  25. #50
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    Re: brake drum forge build

    For the heck of it try your local heating fuel distributors. Some may still handle coal. I'm paying 16.50/50lb locally from one of ours.
    Brian Leonard
    Appalachian Ironworks L.L.C.
    434 Long Branch Rd, Marshall, NC 28753
    828 649 9966
    828 702 0697
    brian@appironworks.com
    www.appironworks.com

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