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Thread: Blacksmithing tools

  1. #2151
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I shaped some small pieces of flat bar to keep it more or less in one spot, then drilled some holes for a couple of eye bolts.

    That made it easy to fit two bolts and two bits of chain around the waist to hold it down.

    The last thing I will do when I get to it is to weld the eyes of the bolts shut so they don't distort over time with use.
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  2. #2152
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    Yeah, I need to bite the bullet and splurge on some

    Trying to figure out what to make with last 2 pairs of blanks. I'm not sure what I'd use scrolling tongs for at this point. ]
    In regards to scrolling tongs, if you are frugal like I am (cheap). You can grab a set of old needle nose pliers and grind down the jaws into a set of scrolling tongs.
    You might be able to find some cheap.long reach ones at Harbor Freight or the pawn shop.

    That will help to keep your hand away from the heat.







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  4. #2153
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Friends were garage sailing today and left this for me at my shop door....



    perfect for oiling the wheels on Shootr’s new forge!


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  6. #2154
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    Friends were garage sailing today and left this for me at my shop door....



    perfect for oiling the wheels on Shootr’s new forge!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    They must have blown through town.

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  8. #2155
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    [/QUOTE]

    Looks like a Russian anvil. I like it.




    Spent some time forging Bolt jaw tong blanks today
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  9. #2156
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Tool maintenance is one of those things that never ends.

    This time.... I'm maintaining my home-made blacksmith apron!

    I know, sexy stuff, right?!?!

    What started life as a Tillman 48" welder's apron got a lot of improvements made by my own hand. I went into it knowing that the leather Tillman uses is sub-standard, but it was the only economical leather I could access and already came with straps attached. All I did was reinforce the stress points where the straps come in to the body and re-vamp the lower straps so they were actually more functional. Some parachute cord and brass grommets made a world of difference!



    Sadly, the leather has started doing exactly what the leather has always done. I don't know what Tillman is using, but the stuff turns hard and brittle once you've got some sweat into the material. My first Tillman apron died in a year because the stiffened leather started tearing around the stitching for the shoulder straps -- hence why I reinforced those areas. Yesterday, as I went to put it on for show-n-tell, I noted that my improved version was stiff as a board and starting to tear.

    On the lower half were no sweat reaches, the leather is just as soft and supple as when I first bought it. The top half, though, needed some revitalization.

    I tried giving it a little light scrub with some soapy water last night, but after hanging it up to dry overnight, I found it still stiff as a board this morning.

    As the old saying goes, if a little doesn't do it, double down!

    Hopefully, the "degreaser" soap isn't just good for washing dishes.

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    I guess the real question is what kind of oil/dressing to put on the leather. It'll have to either fully saturate the dermis or it'll need to be applied to the inside surface to block the sweat from getting to the leather. If the latter.... will it be rubbing off onto my super-sexy Three Rivers Forge t-shirts? Will the oiled leather transmit the heat straight through like wet leather does?

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  11. #2157
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Those are nice looking tong blanks. Do you make smithing tools such as those tongs and sell them locally? Not asking to buy any, as I smith myself and make my own tongs, just curious.

  12. #2158
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Vaughn, I would suggest you wash or clean your leather with saddle soap, then after it dries rub some boot leather treatment in the areas that tend to stiffen. That often helps keep the leather soft. Also, there are several kinds of boot leather treatments ranging from a silicone-based to oil types. You might give them a try, starting with the lightest like the silicones, then if they don't work, go to heavier stuff like the oils.

    Some of the cheaper, thin leathers will also stiffen with heat. I have one like yours and it does get stiff in a few places. No way I can afford one of the $150-$200 aprons! Besides, the thicker, high quality aprons tend to be too hot to wear, so I like the thin, cheap kinds! LOL

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  14. #2159
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I'm in the same boat. Paid a small fortune for a custom-made apron and the guy made it so thick and heavy that you don't want to wear it in the shop. Plus, it's just so pretty you really don't want to get it dirty!

    I'm thinking about driving down to Tractor Supply to see what they have on hand. I'd like to get the apron done today so it can hang up to dry overnight.

    Over the next few months, I'll have to research more into oil-tanned leathers to see what I can pick up that's light and flexible like the Tillman is. Nobody needs a thick leather apron in the blacksmith's shop, but they do need something that's durable and will last. I think the suede that Tillman uses is actually causing a lot of problems because the fluff tends to wick the sweat and grime deep into the leather rather than repelling it.

    A good apron should last a lifetime, not need to be replaced every year or so.

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  16. #2160
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I don't have much that is leather (mostly canvas) but what I do have I use baseball glove conditioner on it.
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  17. #2161
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Over the next few months, I'll have to research more into oil-tanned leathers to see what I can pick up that's light and flexible like the Tillman is.... I think the suede that Tillman uses is actually causing a lot of problems because the fluff tends to wick the sweat and grime deep into the leather rather than repelling it.
    I agree with you on the probable wicking by the suede wicking. As for checking on other leathers, I don't know where you live, but some larger cities have a leather goods/leather hobby workers stores that will sell full or part skins, Tandy is one of them I believe (or at least they used to sell skins). You could cut out your own custom fitted apron. Entrynet orders for leather is iffy since you can't feel or see the actual leather.

  18. #2162
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Back from a nice long weekend to celebrate our anniversary - before I left I painted the forge frame white with high-temp spray paint. Today I put a blindfold on and laid out a bunch of pinstripe masking tape to "add interest". Then shot it with black high temp paint.

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    Doggo is unimpressed, but what the heck - I always wanted to try it. Next up is plumbing, then the insulation, and should be finished.
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  20. #2163
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    LOL... a guy bet me I couldn't paint a fender blindfolded once when I was doing it full time... he lost the bet. Can't say I ever saw anyone deliberately mask a pattern blindfolded before though.... cool idea.
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  22. #2164
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Tool maintenance is one of those things that never ends.

    This time.... I'm maintaining my home-made blacksmith apron!

    I know, sexy stuff, right?!?!

    What started life as a Tillman 48" welder's apron got a lot of improvements made by my own hand. I went into it knowing that the leather Tillman uses is sub-standard, but it was the only economical leather I could access and already came with straps attached. All I did was reinforce the stress points where the straps come in to the body and re-vamp the lower straps so they were actually more functional. Some parachute cord and brass grommets made a world of difference!

    Sadly, the leather has started doing exactly what the leather has always done. I don't know what Tillman is using, but the stuff turns hard and brittle once you've got some sweat into the material. My first Tillman apron died in a year because the stiffened leather started tearing around the stitching for the shoulder straps -- hence why I reinforced those areas. Yesterday, as I went to put it on for show-n-tell, I noted that my improved version was stiff as a board and starting to tear.

    On the lower half were no sweat reaches, the leather is just as soft and supple as when I first bought it. The top half, though, needed some revitalization.

    I tried giving it a little light scrub with some soapy water last night, but after hanging it up to dry overnight, I found it still stiff as a board this morning.

    As the old saying goes, if a little doesn't do it, double down!

    Hopefully, the "degreaser" soap isn't just good for washing dishes.

    I guess the real question is what kind of oil/dressing to put on the leather. It'll have to either fully saturate the dermis or it'll need to be applied to the inside surface to block the sweat from getting to the leather. If the latter.... will it be rubbing off onto my super-sexy Three Rivers Forge t-shirts? Will the oiled leather transmit the heat straight through like wet leather does?

    Apparently what you might need is a bunch of mink... or fake mink oil from pigs ( I had no idea I had such a precious resource when I had a barn full of pigs). Canola oil or olive oil might be the easy place to start, but they have draw backs as well. https://www.libertyleathergoods.com/leather-oil/

    Here's some home made recipes you might find interesting... https://www.bobvila.com/articles/hom...r-conditioner/
    Last edited by whtbaron; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:46 PM.
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  24. #2165
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    I guess the real question is what kind of oil/dressing to put on the leather.
    Pure neatsfoot oil from Amazon. Cowboys use it on saddles & tack.
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  25. #2166
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I always used a can of mink oil to rub on the leather baseball gloves.
    Lincoln, ESAB, Thermal Dynamics, Victor, Miller, Dewalt, Makita, Kalamzoo. Hand tools, power tools, welding and cutting tools.

  26. #2167
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    Apparently what you might need is a bunch of mink... or fake mink oil from pigs ( I had no idea I had such a precious resource when I had a barn full of pigs). Canola oil or olive oil might be the easy place to start, but they have draw backs as well. https://www.libertyleathergoods.com/leather-oil/

    Here's some home made recipes you might find interesting... https://www.bobvila.com/articles/hom...r-conditioner/
    Fake mink oil, -60 degree weather in a can.....looks like you have all the natural resources in Manitoba. Just need a good marketing guy. LOL


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  28. #2168
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Ended up buying a jar of.....



    It didn't do diddly for the truly hardened parts of the leather bib, but the parts that were still relatively soft are now relatively soft and oily feeling. I also noted that it didn't penetrate all the way through the leather. While I put on gobs, the chrome-tanned middle portion of the dermis seems to act like a barrier. The only option is to put cream on both sides and melt it in with a heat gun.

    The good news is that I'm talking with a rep at Springfield Leather to see about getting some good hide.

    It's a bit aggravating, honestly. While I knew that the Tillman wasn't the best leather you could ask for, all the work I put in to reinforcing the weak points amounted to nothing. The leather it literally tearing right beside the reinforcement patches that I spent all that time sewing on. Now I'm going to have to start all over again.

  29. #2169
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Well, the rep at the leather company isn't being much help.

    He's "made quite a few aprons for blacksmiths, farriers and barbers" and then starts to tell me all about how I need a leather that's exactly the opposite of what I said I loved about the Tillman. There's a big difference between making an apron and having to wear that apron for hours at a time, being slow-roasted by the blasted thing because it's heavy and hotter than the forge itself.

    In all the years I've been using the Tillman aprons, there's never been a single instance where something has penetrated it -- including exploding cut-off disks. No matter what anyone tells you, you simply do not need an apron that's thicker than the Tillman if you're going to be working in a smithy. Yea, sure, you'll have to go a little thicker just because the grain of the hide is still on (compared to the Tillman's cheap suede), but that doesn't mean you need to jump up to some Rhinoceros skin.

    Yokel's going to tell me I need to up my game to a thicker hide like I don't know exactly what I have to deal with when I'm in the shop! So aggravating!!

  30. #2170
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    hmmm.... might have to grow thicker skin. I wonder what baby oil would do? Guys used to use it to protect vinyl dashes from UV.
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  31. #2171
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I wonder if other trades, like a shoe repair shop or saddle maker or something. Someone who works with leather but may also branch out to customer requests. Even if they can't do up an apron, maybe they know enough about leather to help you find what you need.

    We have a Tandy leather here - it is pretty cool to be able to touch and feel the different types and thicknesses of the hides.
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  32. #2172
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    LOL... a guy bet me I couldn't paint a fender blindfolded once when I was doing it full time... he lost the bet. Can't say I ever saw anyone deliberately mask a pattern blindfolded before though.... cool idea.
    Some of it reminds me of damascus patterns...Could be better, could be worse
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  34. #2173
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    I cut and completed the chamber today. The bottom has a layer of the ceramic board with fire bricks on top. The rear has firebricks, but used the board on the inside. The roof and sides are just the board (all 1/2" thick).

    I made a sliding panel with the last bit of the board to close off the opening. Not sure how to cut it to make it the most useful in different configurations. The dotted lines is what I'm leaning towards - if I slide the big panel to the left slightly, and the little one to the right, I'd have a nice 3" x 3" (or whatever a good size would be) opening. If I need larger, just slide the panels apart further.

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  36. #2174
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    That forge is coming along great, Shootr.

    You do need to have an opening of some sort so the pressurized air can escape. I always recommend a rear-facing opening so the dragon's breath coming out the front isn't so bad. Nothing worse than reaching for your work through a foot or more of super-heated flames jetting out!

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  38. #2175
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    Re: Blacksmithing tools

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    That forge is coming along great, Shootr.

    You do need to have an opening of some sort so the pressurized air can escape. I always recommend a rear-facing opening so the dragon's breath coming out the front isn't so bad. Nothing worse than reaching for your work through a foot or more of super-heated flames jetting out!
    Looooooong tongs!!

    The forge is taking on the aura of a work of art! Shootr, you may not want to forge with it and keep it clean, LOL

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