Jump to content
Christian Towle

Smithy Location and begginer questions

Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,

 

New to the Bladesmithing thing i've been interested in it for a few years and finally have some funds and a location to setup shop.

1.    First of all I was loking at either seting up shop outside under one of those cheap gazebo things (see picture not mine but for reference) just to keep sun and rain at bay. i would like your input on this as i don't know if the heat comming from the propane forge would end up melting the tarp as it is a vynil like material. If so i was looking at buildin a half open shed something like this see the image below. You will also see in the pics that i also provided the anvil and stand that i'll be using so its a 250~ pounder I'll be using a 3 burner propane forge. I'm wondering if a an 8x10version of this shed would be big enough and if ventilation would be ok im assuming so as its fairly open.

2.    I'm fairly new to this so i'm also looking at the tools i got most of it figured out but tongs are a little confusing to me i'm not sure what the best jaws are for starters i think i'll be mostly using flat stock and railroad spikes. So not sure what kind of mouth that would need i saw there was over 15 different kinds just looking for a few basic pairs. as once i get good a this i'll try to make my own. just looking for a nudge in the right direction.

3. For the anvil i tried to take a decent picture of the face as you can see there is quite a few tiny pitss from usage is it recommende i refinish the top? Would an angle grinder do the job or is it blasphemy. Refinishing faces was one thing i had issues finding info on I've seen quite a few people do it quite a few different ways one used a hand file and then painted it? one angle ground it, one used a cnc router not sure if theres a right way and a wrong way and which way is better.

 

I'm sorry for spaming you guys with all these questions these are all questions ive had for a while and had issues finding answers to. If all goes right i should be geared up these coming months so i thought it might be timed to ask the pros.

prod_12240158012.jpgPallets031409b.jpgimage1.JPGimage1 (1).JPG

Edited by Christian Towle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd go the open faced shed just to shield neighbors from sound. Wrap some chains around base of anvil or magnets. That will leech out some of the ringing. I like the anvil. I'd recommend a look through YouTube at tong making tutorials for what you want. And iv never had to redress an anvil so can't help you there bud. But you should get it done properly not by an angle grinder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest that anvil looks to be in fine shape. Looks better than the bit of rail track I used to use and I churned out some nice blades on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome Christian

I do have a concern about fire inside a wooden box. The flames coming out of the gas forge if you are running it in a reducing environment (dragon's breath) have to be taken into account when positioning it. Make sure you check out the safety section of the forum.

There is a pinned thread on tong making in the tools section. As a first project I made a pair of tongs from reading and YouTube videos but 2 days ago I went to a local blacksmiths to show them what I made. They quickly relit the forge and in about 45 minutes taught me more about technique than the videos ever could. You can make a set of tongs from a relatively long piece of mild steel by forging either end of it and then, once drawn out, saw them off, refine the heads and voila.

I have a coal forge and anvil under barbecue covers in the back garden so am at natures mercy for forge time.... until we buy a home.

Edited by Charles du Preez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the madness!  Setting the anvil in a bed of silicone caulk will prevent any ringing at all.  As for the face, just use it as-is, it will polish up from the abrasive nature of forge scale.  Never use a power tool on an anvil unless you are a pro and know exactly what you're doing.

On the sheds, the gazebo thing might indeed melt.  One of those portable carport things with a high peaked top can work as long as you leave the sides open.  My local smithing guild uses them when we do classes, with coal forges even (!) And we've never had a problem with melting the tarps.  Rising heat dissipates quickly unless it's enclosed.

I like semi-box jaw tongs for flat bar, and rivet/chain tongs for round bar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome thanks for all the info. if i was to build the shed i think i may leave a big enough hole so that the forge does not come near the wood kinda like a window. would having the would protrude through the shed to the outside work as well or is that even more dangerous. So like remove 2-3 board and have the end stick out a bit.

As for caulking the anvil i think the person i bought it from initially had some on it i wasn't sure what the substance was, it was black and rubbery is all that i know. but i will definitely keep that in mind when i'm setup. problem at the moment is the anvil is 250 pounds and the stand is about the same as well. So i'll only do it once its in place as i unfortunately cannot lift 500 pounds on my own.

If any of you use propane forges do you know how much forge time you get with different propane tank sizes. I was looking at getting one or 2 100 pounders as i think i heard a 30 or 40 is only good for a 10ish hours. would u recommend it be in the shed or on the outside?

 

after that just need to start banging some metal woo

Edited by Christian Towle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as tongs go I like chain makers tongs.  I think that most, if not all, the blacksmithing supply houses carry them.  I've found the least useful tongs are the flat ones.

As far as how long a tank of propane will last you depends on how you are using the forge.  I can get several sessions out of a 20 lb tank if I'm just doing regular forging or heat treating.  If I attempt to do any forge welding it doesn't seem to last any time at all.  Of course the main issue will be the design of the forge and how efficient it is.

Doug

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Doug i will keep that in mind might opt to go 1-2 40 pounders to start off with and then go from there i would like to forge weld later on but i'll start by just making things first.

 

I appreciate all the help you will most likely hear from me in the near future

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

are you sure you need a three burner forge?

ive got an atlas 30k burner and a 20 gallon tank and it seems to last about 10-15 hours unless I crank up the heat for big stock or welding, I'm guessing it can get 1x1x3" of steel or maybe more hot enough to forge weld, my forge is not good hence the guess. I did just forge an integral blade out of a crowbar though so I'm not complaining! (But my forging could have been better)

If I were forging 1/4" or thicker stock regularly I would get the atlas 50k burner. Either one is great for a beginner and you can get a regulator from the same place for a good price. 

I have forged a 12" long 2" wide 3/8" thick at the spine blade with my little burner, and I usually forge multiple blades at once, I gotta have something to forge when the piece I was just forging gets too cold! 

I should also add, my anvil is only 60-80 pounds with a 2x3" surface of soft iron so I'm sure the atlas 30k is a very capable burner. 

I'm not one to push products like this but it really has been a great, simple, cheap burner for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just recently switched to gas, single blown burner, but I just finished 4 knives and a 2 pound chunk of 13 layer damascus, and my 20 pound tank still has a bit of juice left. (About 3 2-hour sessions) so I'd say 10 ish hours per tank is around right, give or take a bit. 

Personally, my tank is about 6 ft from my forge, behind a couple buckets full of water. I'd move it further but my hose is only so long. You should keep yours as far away from the fire as you reasonably can, as propane can be somewhat explodey ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steven the reason i'm going 3 burner is i plan on making fairly long blades in the future i have the option of closing some of the valvles so initally i'd just be using the one.

as for placement of the tank if i do built it in a shed i might make a whole through it to pass the hose last thing i want is an explosion in my backyard. if a 20 is about 10ish hours then i'll def want a little bigger i plan on my forging seesion last until my arm gives. since i'm new i'm thinking probably a few days just for a knife. 100pounder would be fun too but i don't see it fit in a Toyota 86 very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only time you need to heat a long blade the full length is during heat treatment, since you can only forge a couple of inches at a time before it cools off too much to forge.  That's why most swordsmiths use a smallish one-burner forge for all forging and have a dedicated HT forge like this one: https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/35402-the-big-green-turd-new-ht-setup/

The natural tendency among new smiths is massive overkill and resulting waste of fuel trying to make a one-size-fits-all work forge.  A moderately sized one-burner can handle HT of a blade up to 18 inches or more just by stroking the blade through said forge.  I know one guy who forged and heat-treated swords in a forge with an 8" hot zone.  That's kind of extreme, but it proves the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

The only time you need to heat a long blade the full length is during heat treatment, since you can only forge a couple of inches at a time before it cools off too much to forge.  That's why most swordsmiths use a smallish one-burner forge for all forging and have a dedicated HT forge like this one: https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/topic/35402-the-big-green-turd-new-ht-setup/

The natural tendency among new smiths is massive overkill and resulting waste of fuel trying to make a one-size-fits-all work forge.  A moderately sized one-burner can handle HT of a blade up to 18 inches or more just by stroking the blade through said forge.  I know one guy who forged and heat-treated swords in a forge with an 8" hot zone.  That's kind of extreme, but it proves the point.

 will keep that in mind it's also gonna be a bit cheaper for me then and thats not a bad thing

 

i had another question about tongs a see chain tongs recomended quite a bit are they called bolt tongs as well? I'm looking at builds for them and there not to many but there is a tone for bolt tongs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Technically they're pretty much the same.  Chain tongs just have a crosswise slot so you can hold round bar straight on or at 90 degrees.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Alan Longmire said:

Technically they're pretty much the same.  Chain tongs just have a crosswise slot so you can hold round bar straight on or at 90 degrees.

Oh nice i'll look into those

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...