Rev. ... 2002-12-15, ... 2010-03-01 (divide forge & stems), -11-29 (edits), 2011-06-28
I became interested in forging out of my glass work in part because of wanting to make some metal shapes to blow into. (Also, Foundry work.)
A required catalog is from Centaur Forge http://www.centaurforge.com/ which has blacksmith, tinners, and farrier tools as well as equipment, books, videos, and coal (if you can afford the shipping.)
A major source of information on the web is
anvilfire.com - Blacksmithing and Metalworkers Reference
In the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, most of the resources are near Ft. Worth. Texas Farrier Supply 603 S New Hope Rd Kennedale, TX 76060 (817) 478-6105 has tools and coal has anvils. Verified 2006-08-14
Basic Forging Stuff
Back in the distant past (1998?), I started collecting stuff so I could do some forging. I found a place over in Ft. Worth that sells actual hard coal for blacksmith work, bought a couple of tools, read several books, built a flat tray on legs to hold coal and take in air and attended a couple of meetings of the blacksmiths and bought a small anvil. After a bit of fooling around that is about as far as it went. More details below.
Here is the anvil newly mounted on its 5' pecan post after the previous 5 foot whatever wood post turned to punk. I had to take a tree down in my backyard and carefully cut the longest section of trunk for this purpose. The top of the anvil is about 26" off the ground, so about 3 feet of the post are in the ground. The anvil is held to the post with a thickish steel strap across the feet with drilled holes and long (6-8") 3/8" lag screws into the stump. The top of the stump is treated with boiled linseed oil. Since the anvil is outside, to the right is the rough sheet metal cover that protects it when not in use. 2004?
This is only a 65# anvil, but it seems enough for me, especially when fastened to the post instead of loose. The post was carefully positioned and the top trimmed with a router to make sure it was level. The worst thing about the anvil is the 3/4" hardie [square] hole for which no one makes fittings so I am forging my own.
This fall (2008) the
pecan had turned to punk, so I contacted a
tree firm and asked if I could put in a request for a bois d'arc log 8-10" in
diameter and 5-6' long, which I could. Only a few days later they reported they
had one. They showed me a 9 foot long log and I pointed out where I wanted
it cut to my length and they loaded it. Very, very heavy and hard to move
with a hand truck over dirt. I dug out the old pecan remains. I considered taking off 6" of the log with long
branch blade on recip saw, but after trimming one end flatter, quickly decided to dig hole deeper.
Installed, the log is shown at right with an insert showing the roughly shaped
sheet metal that covers it when not in use.
From design process here
This is the spiral shaft after forging. The 1/4" rod is threaded into a tapped hole in the end of the 1/2" shaft of the fan blades. Forging was about as much of a challenge than I expected, getting the twist in place and working it smooth, and getting the balance was a challenge. Even cold, I had to jigger for several minutes of bending to get it centered.
Many blacksmiths and most farriers (horseshoers) use propane forges more or less all the time. I have built a cylinder for use as a propane forge and gloryhole, but have also done some coal work. I hope to do more.