April 05, 2009
by: jovial_cynic
Last summer, I managed to pick up a 25lb railroad anvil and hammer at a garage sale for just a few bucks. This year, I've upgraded a bit. I picked up a 55lb anvil from Harbor Freight (yes, cheap cast steel, so maybe it's not really an upgrade...) for $39.99, and I found a true blacksmith fuller hammer for just $4. FOUR dollars! I had planned on stopping by a welding shop and picking up a hammer for $20, but now I don't have to.

With my new hammer and anvil, I figured up my forge with some charcoal I picked up from WalMart ($6/10lb bag) and banged on some steel tool to see if I could make something clever.

I quickly ran into a problem, though. I have a set of tongs I found at another garage sale, but they're not really that useful to me. Instead of having a flat section with some reasonable surface area to grab anything, these tongs have two edges that press against each other, as though they were made to slice carrots or something:

As it turns out, these are not actually tongs. They're nippers, used for cutting and removing horseshoes. I'll have to make myself a pair of functional tongs here soon.

Anyhow, I beat on that metal as best I could to see if I could make a knife. It didn't quite work out, on account of me being impatient and seeing how brittle it would be prior to tempering.

First attempt: fail.

Also, hammering takes a lot of work. This is certainly going to build up some arm strength I didn't realize I lacked.
np category: forging


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