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Thread: Blacksmithing and forging

  1. #1326
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    My other objection to using internet "brokers" is the commission they charge for being the middle man. To make any money off most things, you have to price them in the stratosphere!

    Good tongs, the OC ones. I have two or three and really like them. Andy Blakeney over at Quick and Dirty Tools, Centaur Forge and Pieh Tools' Billy tongs (USA models) are all excellent tongs. I make most all of my tongs, but years ago just starting out, it was easier to buy tongs to make tongs...LOL
    Last edited by shortfuse; 10-05-2020 at 10:15 PM.

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  3. #1327
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Paying those fees does suck, especially since it seems like everyone wants their cut!


    On another note, I just got an inquiry to see if I could make these hooks out of brass rather than good iron.

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    I've never worked with brass before. I'm curious about the project, but have no idea what to look for. Normally, I'd start out with a length of 1/4x1/2" mild steel and forge the end to a taper, then drive in a ball punch to make the countersinks. With brass, though, I have no clue what alloy to buy, if I can buy it in dimensional stock or only round bar, etc.

  4. #1328
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I'm not sure either, but I think it's going to be more prone to cracking and breaking than what you are used to... and far more temperature sensitive.
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  6. #1329
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Now here is a man sized forge!!! It has two high pressure 6 million BTU full length burners and it's portable!!!!

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    Well ok... it only looks like a forge

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  8. #1330
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    You got a dash cam for all these cool photos or using your phone ??


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  10. #1331
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    You got a dash cam for all these cool photos or using your phone ??


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I do run a pretty decent cheepy cashcam... but these are from my phone sometimes they get a bit blurry if I'm trying to eat while taking the pic and drive with my knee....
    here's the newest overpass in Fife... they started it a few months ago.
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  12. #1332
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Paying those fees does suck, especially since it seems like everyone wants their cut!


    On another note, I just got an inquiry to see if I could make these hooks out of brass rather than good iron.

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    I've never worked with brass before. I'm curious about the project, but have no idea what to look for. Normally, I'd start out with a length of 1/4x1/2" mild steel and forge the end to a taper, then drive in a ball punch to make the countersinks. With brass, though, I have no clue what alloy to buy, if I can buy it in dimensional stock or only round bar, etc.
    Have you thought about stopping by a local thrift store and grabbing some brass decorations or items?
    You can practice with that for only a couple dollars. Kind of like practicing with clay before using steel.
    It might be a cheap source of materials that can be reforged into something useful


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  14. #1333
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    Have you thought about....

    All this talk about brass has got me thinking about it pretty hard, but I don't know that I'd find anything at the flea markets and such.

    I did look online to see what was available and Online Metals has 1/4x1/2 on sale for half off. If I remember right, it was only $12 plus shipping for a 48" bar of the stuff and they tell you the alloy and applications it's suitable for. Almost bought the wrong alloy because I wasn't paying attention!

    The customer balked at the price, though, so I won't have to worry about it for the time being. I might buy a bar or two for myself because it's not really expensive even at full price, and it would be fun to make up a couple hooks just so I could say I did. It certainly wouldn't be something feasible for market, I don't think. The cost of the metal, including the shipping, is very high and prices something like simple hooks right out of anyone's budget! :O

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  16. #1334
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    That might be a good thing. Anything used in brass that I've seen tends to get lumped in as an automatic "antique" and the prices go up as well. I can see where you'd want to know the alloy, rather than taking a chance on something made in China 10 yrs ago that was made to look old. I can see where you might be tempted to experiment though...
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  18. #1335
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I have some 5/8" brass rod here that I tried forging since... why not. It just crumbled under the hammer even at a low heat. Two or three hits with the hammer and it shattered.

    Apparently alloy matters!

    I might be able to find something at the junk stores, but would it be forgeable or would it be a machining alloy? I've since repurposed that rod into non-marring punches to drive out stuck things.

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  20. #1336
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    I have some 5/8" brass rod here that I tried forging since... why not. It just crumbled under the hammer even at a low heat. Two or three hits with the hammer and it shattered.

    Apparently alloy matters!

    I might be able to find something at the junk stores, but would it be forgeable or would it be a machining alloy? I've since repurposed that rod into non-marring punches to drive out stuck things.
    Yep.... depends on just how much zinc and how much copper is in the mix.... and if it's chinese how much lead??? Will be a fine line between enough heat to make it putty or water

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  22. #1337
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    That was what I was thinking when you first mentioned working in brass.... says the guy with no real experience other than fishing out busted parts...
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  24. #1338
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    I have some 5/8" brass rod here that I tried forging since... why not. It just crumbled under the hammer even at a low heat. Two or three hits with the hammer and it shattered.
    It sounds like what you had was Bronze maybe? And yes, alloy matters.

    As far as "shattering". In my tool box I have an assortment of BRASS punches that I made myself many years ago. They are various diameters and profiles, but they do not shatter. They are very soft, as was the intention when I made them, so they readily deform when hammered and are easily hammered into various shapes, even without heat.

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  26. #1339
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Now that you mention it.... could be bronze.

    No idea, really, what's going on with those fancy-pants metals. Gimme good solid American iron any day of the week. That weird French stuff....


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  28. #1340
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Some of this is blacksmithing, some scrap metal stuff.

    Over the last month or so, I have had several customers ask for hooks for bells they have purchased. I decided to make several styles. Some are made to go horizontal like on a post, others hanging straight down from a beam. These are in the unfinished form so they need cleaning and treatment of some kind. I may leave them as they are for now until asked for a specific finish.



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  30. #1341
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    Some of this is blacksmithing, some scrap metal stuff.

    Over the last month or so, I have had several customers ask for hooks for bells they have purchased. I decided to make several styles. Some are made to go horizontal like on a post, others hanging straight down from a beam. These are in the unfinished form so they need cleaning and treatment of some kind. I may leave them as they are for now until asked for a specific finish.



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    Nice!!! I'm curious how you shrunk the end of the bottom right rebar hook while keeping the 'look' of rebar... did you somehow stretch it or just really careful striking? or am I just thinking it is tapered smaller for the last inch or two on the tip??

  31. #1342
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Nice!!! I'm curious how you shrunk the end of the bottom right rebar hook while keeping the 'look' of rebar... did you somehow stretch it or just really careful striking? or am I just thinking it is tapered smaller for the last inch or two on the tip??
    you are correct, careful striking of the last inch or so.
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  33. #1343
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Those heavy ones look like the clips from the railroad... I have a few laying around and didn't know what I was going to do with them. Thanks for the ideas!
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  35. #1344
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Those heavy ones look like the clips from the railroad... I have a few laying around and didn't know what I was going to do with them. Thanks for the ideas!
    Thats exactly what they are.

    The one on the left is to be attached to a post and is horizontal.

    I opened up the fat one of them so it can be hung on a wall. Then the bell or item hangs from where the rail is held.

    The narrow one on the right was made to be overheard like from an awning or horizontal beam. The item hangs straight down.

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  37. #1345
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    Thats exactly what they are.

    The one on the left is to be attached to a post and is horizontal.

    I opened up the fat one of them so it can be hung on a wall. Then the bell or item hangs from where the rail is held.

    The narrow one on the right was made to be overheard like from an awning or horizontal beam. The item hangs straight down.

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    Pat are you able to do any “showings” or are most of your sales commissioned by word of mouth and previous clients?


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  39. #1346
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Terry,
    I normally do 12 to 15 shows each year. This year I have only attended two of them, and both were one day (Saturday) events this month. About 60 to 70 percent of my sales are from shows in a normal year.
    Almost all of my sales this year have been online or at galleries.
    Despite that, this year has been very good and actually looks to easily beat last year.
    I have a few more shows I may attend this year so they should easily push me over last year.

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  41. #1347
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Some hooks, candy canes and accessory "S" hooks for the items I made a little while ago.
    I didn't like the way the finish turned out on the braided/twisted one so sand blasted it.

    Some items were formed hot, some cold worked.




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  43. #1348
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quit while you're ahead, right!?!?

    Had a customer ask about some railroad spike hooks with a 2-5/8" gap to hold a wagon wheel. Well, I've been putting it off and off and off, but finally decided that sitting around doing nothing wasn't working. Just knowing that they needed forging was niggling at the back of my brain and wouldn't let me rest

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    Thought I'd try something new and it was going okay. Then I bent the hooks around and decided I hated the crumpled corner look. A good thing, too, since when I measured them I apparently mis-marked the spikes to begin with because I'm a far cry from 2-5/8" gap on them.

    Maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Thankfully I have about 400 spikes to practice on. Eventually I'll get something that I like. Eventually.

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  45. #1349
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Good thing you stopped on that pair. The thinnest and weakest part of the hooks are in the bend...not a good idea. I could just see that folding down with much weight on it. I suggest drawing the whole spike out to about 1/2" or just a tad less and then bending. That might get you the gap you need and not be as weak.

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  47. #1350
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    While it's "technically" weak, it's still 1/4x5/8, more than enough steel to take a serious load! I think the last time I tried measuring, one of my standard hooks, made from 1/2x1/4 mild steel, held 150# without a hint of deflection in anything.

    The customer wants them to hold a wagon wheel which might weigh something like 50#.

    Personally, I really don't like the look of the spike hooks at all. I thought it would be better, but what I was envisioning wasn't what came to reality. Now I'm gonna have to tweak things somehow.

    Maybe draw out the area right behind the head so it'll give me the length and flow more smoothly. That's the part that'll be hidden by the wagon wheel, so I can pretty much do whatever I want. It's a fun experiment.

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