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Spring is for Iron

Scott A. Roush

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When the snow melts and before the brush fills in.. that's the time to go hunting for iron in the Northwoods.


I just hauled this runner from an old horse drawn logging sled (at least that's what I think it is) out of a creek valley with a piece of rope. Thank goodness it was a sled runner so it slid pretty well behind me. It must weigh over 100 pounds...I might not recover!


I just spark tested it and the entire thing is wrought. I also found a bunch of 1/8" thick wrought banding straps too.... perfect for my 1095 shim stock to make high density pattern weld stock.


I found morels too. Life is good.




Here is a close up of the polished and gouged runner. I was sure it would be steel.. so was pleasantly surprised when it sparked as iron. Must be pretty slaggy as I found an inclusion with the angle grinder almost immediately.



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Cool find! I do the same in the winter around western Minnesota. I go snooping(with permission of course)through groves and old farmsteads. The summer fills them up with poison ivy and weeds. I've founds some pretty neat old metal.

Troy Allen Christianson is NOT a "Licensed Bladesmith" so you may treat his posts with the contempt they deserve.

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Awesome score! Ah, the joy of dragging 100lbs of iron through the woods... :)


And thanks for reminding me, I need to hit some of the local creek-beds again this year... there were a lot of mills around here back in the day.

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."

view some of my work

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I think I underestimated the weight of that thing.. I was moving it around trying to find a place in my shop for it well after the adrenalin wore off after finding it and landing it and man is it a slug. Uggh... My whole body hurts. That was an epic drag. The funny thing is that I'm actually more excited about those banding straps which weighed nothing draped around my neck while that mass dragged behind me getting stuck under logs.

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