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Archie Zietman

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Everything posted by Archie Zietman

  1. The best way of using chicken poo in a forge, I've found sincve the gasifier proj. is not to gassify it, but just to use use it like charcoal or coal. It burns very very hot, though it does leave clinker, but so does coal and suchlike. Just start a fire with some charcoal, or dried chicken poo, then bung a few shovelsfull of chicken dropping on, wait for it to coke, and there you have it.
  2. aaaaaah! Today I was doing my first blowing of colored glass, and I had a beautful salmon pink perfectly shaped vase/bottle with a clear cookie foot, and a few folds. It was almost done, and then the end of the four foot long 1/4 inch rod it was balanced on dinked the bench ever so slightly and the piece fell off the pipe and shattered spectacularly on the ground. The thing is, you can't get angry, just have to keep a cool head. The teacher said he had ruined some beautful pieces that way, and it became a bit of a joke afterwards. I picked up my pieces much more carefully afterwards. The other
  3. I started with charcoal because that's what I had. coal is a much more involved process, whereas charcoal/wooddoes not require the coking, de-clinkering etc. Recently I've been using scrap pine chunks, corn cobs and chicken poo, which burns insanely hot! And with the oil line I can get it ridiculously hot with a huge flame coming out of the top, but it can be too hot. If I can get some horse poo, that would be even better, as there is far less nitrogen to be cooked out before the burnables get going. Though poo does leave clinker, which can get very annoying.
  4. Hello. Here are pictures of the best of my work from the past week of glassblowing. I know it's all delicate and fragile, but it's more intense than smithing! The glory hole and furnace may only be 2100 degrees F, but the furnace is taller than a man, and thrice as wide, so firey you can't tell the giant glowing crucible of glass from the walls, and when you gather you have to look for the reflection of the punty or blowpipe in the orange glow. The glory hole is bigger than a 55 gallon drum (those are the huge drums right? The air ripples in front of it like crazy, and you sweat like a hog.
  5. Hello. I have a chunk of ferrous metal which is a decent shape for an anvil horn, but to attach it to my "anvil", I need to forge it down a bit, and I want to know it is forgeable. I spark tested it, and the sparks are red with no visible crackley carbon-sparkeyness. Is this wrought, or cast iron or something else? Thanks, Archie
  6. Hello. Just finished moving my forge-area from the entire 400 square foot area under the deck to the corner into an area maybe 30 square feet and raking the gravel and tidying up and scrubbing the concrete floored part and making it in my mum's words "a bit less of a deathtrap" I took the opportunity to revamp my blower system and add an oil line to the forge so it can run on charcoal/wood, oil or both. Running it on only oil means I need to build a good removable refractory top, which I haven't done yet. Here are a few pics: 1) post anvil with my coldwork gloves, welding gloves and mat
  7. AWESOME!!!! I spent Thursday figurin' out chords and learning tuning for my old 5 string. Today I got new strings and a tune up, it sounds like a new instrument. I asked about a case, but mine, being from the '30s didn't fit their case. It doesn't have a back, or a fixed bridge (it's a real backwoods banjo) so I'm making my own case. Got a Beginning 5 string banjo dvd, watched it several times this evening and can now twnag and twiddle thorugh "she'll be comin' round the mountain" Banjos are awesome! Do any of you play banjo or other folk instruments?
  8. It was one of the best 2 week excursions/trips I have ever been on. It was just an immersion in all of the cool forms of art (the craft forms) It is very true that while pulling weed-bamboo and thorn plants up by the roots, gloves are a good thing.
  9. Hello. I just got back from a 2 week trip to the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. The trip was the last 2 weeks of school, 9 students of different ages and 2 art teachers, one of whom had already lived for 3 years at Penland come back to MA for 2 years and was going to live down there and teach at Penland again. I was the oldest student, everyone knew everyone already (the school is 150 people and covers 6th through 12th grade, so is tiny.) but we got to know each other better living in a cabin for 2 weeks together. For 2 days, groups of 3 went and apprenticed with a local artist,
  10. Hello! I'm back! Penland was awesome, and I became best friends with all 8 other students and the 2 teachers on the trip. I took a 2 day beginner's course with 2 other kids who had never picked up a hammer before. It was an old school stytle apprenticeship with Chris Winterstein who used to run the forge down there but now has his own studio in Bakersville. We cleaned up his yard, he tought us tapers, turns, metal theory (how it moves, demonstrating with clay) and demonstrated forge welding, then just let us have at it at his big coal forge. I forged a small snake and a knife from a railroad
  11. Same price for me. I've not been doing anything with gas recently, but I have been doing a lot with wvo burners which work well in forges it seems and are a lot less bulky than proiducer gas systems. In about 10 hours I'm off to the Penland School of Crafts in NC with 8 other students and 2 art teachers from my school for 2 weeks, I'm going to be apprenticing a few days with a blacksmith down there and others are doing weaving or glassblowing or a number of other things. I did a pre-departure shop cleanup. When I get back, my forge is nice and tidy and I even have the fire set up and waiting
  12. Hello. I have started taking all of the small chips of charcoal from when I make it, or when there is dust at the bottom of charcoal bags or when I chop it up to put it in the forge, and mixing it with vegetable oil (in my case waste vegetable oil) into a kind of paste and burning it in my forge alongside charcoal chunks and wood. It burns longer than the charcoal dust would and doesn't blow away or spark as much. Also, if you buy the charcoal from Whole Foods that is in brown paper bags, they are great for starting the forge with, being both paper, and engrained with charcoal dust. Just th
  13. Hello. I just spent an hour or two or maybe even three (time flies when your actually at the forge or grinding as opposed to fooling around with tools) forging out a small culinary knife from a cold chisel. It was great (I just need to resurface the bloody anvil! I hate pitting and scarring on blades! RRRRR!) but I have this bighuge blister/rubbed raw chunk on the lower side of my right (hammer hand) palm that is not my thumb. Any way to avoid this? Gloves didn't help too much, just got in the way and made my hammer slip. Thanks! Archie
  14. I have not welded a top to it yet, but I used it today (got it over the doorstop with the help of mein fader, then dragged it slowly around the side of my house to the forge area) and it works alright as is, though I am still definately going to put a face of one kind or another on it, the current face is a bit pitted/scarred. I got the rail from a pile of scrap next to the tracks near my school last winter which has since been cleared away (strike while the iron is hot!) but I will see what I can find, and if there is naught else, I will just use my 1 inch flat bar of mild, which I could do
  15. I shall indeed weld it. The thickest I have is 1 inch, so I will have to use that. I tried to move it outside today, but there is a foot high random blocking stone thing in the doorway from my basement to the outside, and I couldn't get it up that high, I'm going to get my brother to help me move it tomorrow.
  16. Hello. Here be some pictures of the start on my new bladesmithing anvil. It is about 2.5 feet of railroad joiner on it's end in a 20 or 30 or something gallon dustbin propped up and filled with a mix of bricks and rocks and that is all held together with cement poured in between it all. It weighs more than I can lift, maybe 150 or 200 pounds. The railroad joiner weighs maybe 60 or 70 pounds, and the rebound off the top is excellent, and it does not ring at all, it's very quiet. I'm going to fill it up to the top of the bin with cement once it's where I want it (outside under the deck) and I h
  17. Hello. I just hosted my second hammerin. 2 girls my age who I kinda know just came over to my house and I tought them a wee bit o' basic smiting o' the hot metals. Soooooo fun! At first it was a bit awkward, I hadn't seen them in a bit, and I was a bit goofy/ still had a few things to do. I needed to secure my anvil onto it's stump, and tajke out the wooden plugs from my blower so that it was at full power, not a 20th of it's power. That was all a bit goofy, but I explained a hole in the ground forge setup, and then let them play around in a little brakedrum forge with some 1/8 inch stock and
  18. zero smoke, faint smell o' french fries. Yellow heat on a wire in 2 seconds. I am definately hooking it up to a gas forge-setup thingy. I didn't fire it again today, though, I used up all my charcoal and charcoal briquettes running two big charcoal forges fopr 3 hours full blast with 2 young ladies who were interested in metal pounding, and also filming me in action for their history class.
  19. Wow! that is awesome! funny, I designed a sword almost exactly like that, down to the lion pommel to do once I get more experience. :You_Rock_Emoticon:
  20. I just fired up my final burner, I've sworn to myself NO MORE TINKERING. It was the first run, which according to some does not yield the best results. It was acombination firing of the refractory cement which was retaining water far too well, and a burn. At first, after lighting a forge style fire in the combustion chamber, I turned on the oil and nothing happened. No flame out of the nozzle. Then I noticed a pool of oil around the blower, which was slightly tiletd down, so I propped it up with a brick so that the air/oil pipe was higher up and oil and air went down into the bottom of the b
  21. I already spend so much time tending the fire that even this was less of a problem, but I want it to be as un-finnicky as possble, so I'm doing an updraft model which for most firey things I've found better. (updraft/sidedraft forges, updraft gasifiers etc.)
  22. Tested it today without a heat recycle tube. it is extremely finnicky, works, but could also make a lot of smoke. I scrapped it and build one which works similarly but from the bottom up. Hard to explain, but it'll be clear when I post pics of the final thing. It's also much better insulated.
  23. That's very cool and useful! :You_Rock_Emoticon:
  24. if it's only a "ring" and not a "mokume ring" out of those bits I can see how.
  25. I modified the burner further to make it more stable, but still have a bit more to do, (I spent most of the day oil painting) and then I will just use it and make no more mods, I do too much tweaking of my forge, anyhow.
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