Archive for January, 2012

Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Leg Vise

Another arsenal in your blacksmith supplies is a blacksmith leg vise.  When buying a vise you should buy a leg vise instead of a bench vise.  A blacksmith leg vise has a “leg” that can be extended and anchored to the floor to give it strength and stability.  Most leg vises are steel (not cast iron) and are made to take the abuse of heavy hammering of metalwork while being held in the vise.  You should be able to find a blacksmith leg vise at your local flea market.  Most modern leg vises are very expensive.  When choosing a leg vise make sure that the jaws are at least 4-5 inches wide and that the jaws are not damaged and line up evenly. Because the vise has a leg it can be mounted to more locations than a regular bench vise.  You can mount a blacksmith leg vise to a tree stump, a post or a workbench. The leg vise can be used to bend iron at 90 degree angles, twisting and as a third helping hand.

Below is a short video of a Columbian blacksmith leg vise:

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Anvil Stand

Another major component to your blacksmith supplies is an anvil stand.  It is vital that you place an anvil on a stand that is the correct height.  If the anvil is not at the correct height, the faster you will become fatigued when hammering metal into shape.  The height of the anvil stand is different for every blacksmith.  Many blacksmiths use the knuckle rule which means that when the anvil is placed on the anvil stand it will reach your knuckles when you loosely ball your fists with your arms at your side.  This usually enables a blacksmith to get maximum swing and velocity  of the hammer without straining your back.  Of course the knuckle technique is no magic bullet and you should adjust the height of the anvil stand to fit your body and needs.

Blacksmiths use various materials to make an anvil stand or you could just buy a stand.  Some anvil stands are just a big piece of oak from a fallen tree or if you are in your backyard you can cut down a tree and place the anvil on the stump.  Whatever type of anvil stand you use, it must be secure and level.  If the stand is not sturdy enough it will just bounce around all over your blacksmith shop.  The anvil stand must also be able to secure the anvil from moving around when hammering.  If the anvil stand or the anvil itself moves around when you are hammering you will lose efficiency and it will take more time and energy to create the metalwork.

Below is a good video I found on how to make an anvil stand:

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Blacksmith Supplies – Blacksmith Gas Forge Fundamentals

To supplement my previous post about gas forges, below is an article providing the fundamentals of a blacksmith gas forge:

Blacksmith Gas Forge Fundamentals

Author: David

Blacksmith Gas Forges are an Economical and Clean Alternative to Coal Forges

The basic flame for a blacksmith is the forge. Traditionally the forge used charcoal or coal as the fuel. These are generally still used today and are referred to as solid fuel forges or most often coal forges.

In recent times with the availability of propane gas, an alternate form of heat source developed. The blacksmith gas forge is really a small convenient tool that allows similar temperatures while not quite as hot as a coal forge but with out the mess or even the smoke, and it is quite portable.

A gas forge has many advantages and some disadvantages as a heat source for a blacksmith. The main disadvantage is the fact that it usually has a lower heat than coal forge. Another disadvantage is that no matter what you\’re heating, it needs to easily fit in the box. Large complex shapes become very difficult to work with.

The blacksmith gas forge is ideal for knife makers and many artistic blacksmiths use it too. Knife makers are often working long straight bars for their knives. they can also employ the gas forge for heat treating many alloys of steel. It typically has a longer more uniform heat
than the usual coal forge. This means you are able to heat treat a longer blade in a gas forge than the usual standard coal forge.

In several parts of the world propane is easily available and it is cost effective in comparison with coal or charcoal. The bottom price of a blacksmith gas forge is greater than a coal forge as there are many parts that have to be synchronized as well as some exact tolerances.

It is a fact that a coal forge is more versatile and cheaper to construct however it does require a supply of coal and isn\’t very portable. What this means is you need a dedicated spot to do your blacksmithing. This location needs to be within an area where smoke isn\’t an issue.

Gas forges and solid fuel forges consume oxygen and produce both deadly carbon monoxide (poisonous) and carbon dioxide. Smoke is a major by product of the coal forge. Proper ventilation is essential for both. The propane forge can be vented just with keeping the windows open and doors or with a collector and vent above the forge.

A coal forge needs a chimney to draw the smoke from the building. A well constructed chimney will remove all the smoke easily. Look for plans for any side draft forge for just one of the best options. For chimneys which have under optimum draw you can also add a fan
within the stack so that it will be a power exhaust for that smoke. This is effective.

Although a coal forge reaches higher temperatures, the heat is more concentrated. A properly constructed fire radiates hardly any heat into the room. A gas forge radiates a great deal of heat into a work shop. This is fine during the cold months but can be horrible in the summer time.

Many blacksmiths love the tradition of the coal forge. Lots of other blacksmiths have discovered the simplicity with the propane forge, and it is a great place to start or a versatile supplemental tool. Some blacksmiths utilize it as his or her main heat source for all their work.

Article Source:

About the Author

It is possible to build a gas forge and save money as well as being able to customize it for individual blacksmith needs. For details on building your own gas forge visit Blacksmith Gas Forge Plans.

Many blacksmiths wish to buy a ready made gas forges which can be found at Blacksmith Gas Forges

Technorati Tags: ,