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Any blacksmiths here?

  1. Nov 4, 2016 #1
    I am looking at getting into it as a hobby and have been for some time. Anyone else here play at it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2016 #2


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    I'm not a blacksmith myself, but I just recently watched an interesting YouTube video about making a backyard, mini foundry.

  4. Nov 4, 2016 #3


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    I remember a recent new member introduction.
  5. Nov 4, 2016 #4


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  6. Nov 4, 2016 #5


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    Somehow I find it unlikely it will work - perhaps for a moment, but I doubt it is going to survive for long. Plaster of paris is a calcium sulfate hydrate, which is roasted to get rid of water. If memory serves me well it becomes powdery in the process. I don't see how it is going to survive high temperatures present in the furnace.

    Plus, it requires long drying before it can be used. Otherwise plaster will explosively shatter sending pieces in all directions when the water present in the solid (not the hydration water, excess moisture) starts to boil. Been there, done that, trying to pour molten lead into a plaster form to make a copy of some soldier figurine. Didn't work. I wanted to try again, just to wait for few weeks till the form dries, but my Mom asked me not to. No idea why, after all I got just a few blisters.
  7. Nov 4, 2016 #6
    Thanks all.

    Probably not into melting metal unless I wanted to experiment with inventing exotic alloys. More interested in heating metal and beating the crap out of it.

    I like HEMA so prolly make HEMA stuff.
  8. Nov 4, 2016 #7

    jim mcnamara

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    HEMA == Society or creative anachronism in the US I think.

    Random example -- Annealing

    Anyway - there are loads of examples on the basics of smithing:
    Building a basic shop with fire pit, tools, DIY anvil, bench, and quench. You should make some of your own tools BTW. i.e., tongs
    Safety - like eye protection! I once broke off a metal chip and it is still lodged in my forehead. Be warned.
    Fuel types and fire control
    Annealing, Hardening, tempering, punching, bending, forming
    Learn to select and purchase appropriate metal stock

    I made hinges and latches for gates -- for about 20 years . I started to compliment to the wooden gates I made. It was fun once I got the basics. You have youtube which should get you going faster than I was able to do. I got help from another experienced smith. Find one locally if you can.

    Start with a light hammer, less than 1kg. Otherwise you won't be able to move your arm the next day. When you can "hold iron" with a smaller hammer work up.

    "Hold iron" is a really old term, means strike a hot work piece on the anvil with no rebound. One distinct sound, not a blap-blip. You'll see what I mean when you are learning.
  9. Nov 4, 2016 #8

    jim hardy

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    My friend Harry and i built a little propane fired smelting furnace
    we cut an empty Freon tank in half and filled it with refractory cement leaving a 4 inch vertical hole down center for the crucible
    and a 1 inch horizontal tangential hole at the bottom for firing.
    It will melt a pound of brass shavings in just minutes.

    Try a search on amateur forge

  10. Nov 4, 2016 #9
    Great info thank you all much.

    No HEMA as in Historical European Martial Arts.

    The serious and credible academic study of how ancient white people fight.

    Here is a decent hema channel;

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  11. Nov 4, 2016 #10


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    How cool. I had no idea about this. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_European_martial_arts

  12. Nov 4, 2016 #11
    I know right, most people of European descent think martial arts is ninjas and samurai swords or they just like to dress up as princesses.

    Most have no idea of the pre-gunpowder arms race that evolved at hectic speed laying the ground work for what became physics and chemistry plus a lot of other fields.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
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