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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Most of the photos are camera phone shots and aren't the best quality.

    This is a prototype hook.
    A customer needs two of them to hang two trellis on the side of her stone home for tomato plants.

    photo.JPG

    This is one of several colonial-styled candelholders I had made years ago and had the parts laying around the smithy.
    Sold two of them this Fall.

    photo.JPG

    This next candelholder is a Christmas gift and the future owner is a lord of the rings / medieval fan.
    Not being that creative I had no clue what to do on short notice to measure up to the level of LOTR.

    So I made the center shaft out of 5/8" sq to look like a spike. I roughly upset the head and added a rattail at the bottom.
    The legs are from 1/2" sq and have an upset head on each with quarter-sized feet.
    Curves for the legs were done with a scroll jig.
    The arms are made from 3/8" sq.
    Curves for the arms were made with an old cast iron floor drain.
    1/4" rnd was used for that wrapping also.

    All square stock had the sharp edges hammered down and light hammer marks were added throughout.
    The drip cups were made from squares rather than round.

    A wax finish was applied with a torch.
    It's big but it just didn't look right in a smaller form.

    photo 1.JPGphoto 5.JPGphoto 4.JPGphoto 3.JPGphoto 2.JPGphoto 6.JPG

    I also have a photo studio and it looks much better under the studio lights.

    _MG_7824 resized with copyright.jpg


    First try at an ash shovel with a wall mount hanger.
    Next time I make the finial on the back a shovel, I'll go over it with a brass brush for some contrast.
    A fire poker and handmade broom go with the set.
    All metal given a hot wax finish.

    photo 4-001.jpgphoto.JPG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Very nice! Ironwork looks like fun. Amazing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,358

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Wow, very nice Allen!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,923

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Very nice. I am hoping to put in an iron fence around my front yard. Not sure I will be able to do the work myself. but it would be fun to try. MY son wants to start forging his own knives.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Nice stuff.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Very nice work. Would love to see one big pic of your shop layout.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,743

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Nice Allen. R U a Guild Member? I hear there are Blacksmith Guilds/Associations here and there. R U selftaught or apprenticed? How long have u been smithing? Keep it up. Looks like you enjoy it.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Thanks.

    My smithy layout is hard to photograph in one shot.
    I'll post a few shots of the interior and exterior.

    Mark, I'm a member of the Pa Artists Blacksmiths Assoc and ABANA.
    In America we don't have a formal Guild system like Europe.
    A local blacksmith was kind enough to share the art and mystery of the trade in the early 90's.
    Back then it was a hobby but has grown into a very small business.
    Due to the economy, my portrait business has taken a major hit and I've been creating more ironwork.
    We have a website, www.furnacecreekforge.com but it needs examples of what I do.

    Honeybees started as a hobby but in a short time I've come to see the potential for add-on sales that honey products could provide for us.
    So I plan to sell my raw honey at the artisan shows I attend. Hope it works.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Here is a shot from one of the last major snowstorms in our area back on Feb of 2010.
    The beehives are not in this photo but on the left side of the shot is a tall shrubbery.
    They are lined up just on the other side of it and I get to see them when I'm working at the anvil.

    Btw, my Dad and I built the stone forge and chimney which is used with soft coal and charcoal.
    I also use a 3 burner propane gas forge for the majority of my work.


    IMG_1742.JPG

    Me at work:

    Respirator.jpg

    This is my Little Giant 50lb mechanical hammer.
    Made sometime during WW1.
    There are many like it but this one is mine.
    A #5 flypress sits on the table beside it.

    IMG_2655.JPGIMG_2663.JPGIMG_2677.JPG

    Can't locate my other interior shots and will take some and post after Christmas.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,743

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Have you been to Colonial Williamsburg? Some times they give workshops. At least they used to soon after I left there in 1986.

    Have you been to the old foundrey in SE PA? The one set up as a museum? If not, I bet you would learn something there about how iron was made during the Colonial Era.

    Thanks for showing us your work. Brings back memories for me. Don't claim to be a Smith, but I have swung a hammer a time or two, dbl striking w/ the Master Smith and making nails. Good times.

    "flypress"? What is that used for?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    My wife and I went to CW four times in one year as tourists and then we went another time as Rev-War reenactors. Lots of fun!

    Do you mean Phoenix Iron Works?
    Have not been there.
    The neighborhood I live in had an iron furnace that supplied pig iron for Charming Forge which turned it into wrought iron bar stock for the industry.

    Some history can be found here: www.robesoniafurnace.org

    The Robesonia Furnace, originally called the Reading Furnace, was established in 1794 by George Ege (who also owned nearby Charming Forge) on a tract of land formerly owned by Conrad Weiser.
    Ore for the furnace operation came from the Cornwall Mines, twenty-five miles distant in Lebanon County.
    Furnace Creek is just down the hill from me and is where I took the name for my smithy.


    This person says it better than me about the flypress on this page: http://ronreil.abana.org/flypress.shtml
    Mine is about 500lbs.

    My Little Giant is 1800lbs not including the roughly 9" square timbers that make up the red oak base its attached to.

    First, you might wonder what a fly-press is.
    It is a manually operated screw press which has a massive screw and flywheel, or ball weighted handle, attached to the top of the screw to provide inertia to drive the screw down, which pushes the ram block/tool holder on to the work.
    It creates a tremendous force, and allows the operator to bend, forge, pierce, punch, or texture, metals precisely and easily once the necessary tooling has been made.
    Additionally, it provides tactile feedback to the operator, allowing very delicate work to be done that is pretty much beyond the range of hydraulic presses.
    Further, it only places the tool in contact with the work momentarily, preserving the heat in the work much more effectively than hydraulic presses.
    Besides, it is clean, uses no messy hydraulic oil, has no smell, requires no power supply, and it just works really well
    .
    A flypress can also squoosh cold mild steel.
    By working metal cold instead of hot, you are saving fuel and time by using a flypress.


    I am looking forward to the new year with some new ideas I have for iron work.
    Thank goodness the Mayans were wrong...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,764

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Wow...this is great stuff. I've always wanted to try smith work but never got the chance. What is a "hot wax" finish? Can it be applied to most metal products?
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Thanks Ravenseye.
    Have you heard of these folks? http://www.newenglandblacksmiths.org/
    If they are anything like my state group, you will be given a warm welcome and get to rub elbows with other smiths.
    Not sure what all the wax will work on. It's a paste that gets brushed onto metal that's heated over the fire or with an oxy-acetylene torch.
    Strictly an interior finish.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,764

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Thanks Allen! Interesting stuff. I need more spare time, that's for sure.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Landing, NJ, USA
    Posts
    198

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Allen- like your work, graceful.

    I've done a little, mostly to make tools, sharpen picks etc.

    Ravenseye- remarkably little is needed to experiment, my first firepot was an automobile wheel lined with garden mud, anvil was a piece of railroad track but any reasonably heavy piece of steel would work, fuel was some soft coal I had but hard coal or chunks of wood can be made to work, charcoal is very nice and is the original blacksmith fuel but it burns up kind of fast. Blower came from an old vacuum but most any blower could work, car heater, stove hood come to mind. Tuyere just a piece of pipe buried under the edge of the wheel. Hammer was a hammer. If you work at the end of long pieces you wont need tongs. Once you try it and see how therapeutic it is (for me at least) you'll start looking for better stuff. Have fun.

    Find "The Art of Blacksmithing" by Alex Bealer, good book

    Bill
    Last edited by whiskers; 12-29-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: added book

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Thanks Whiskers.


    I highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/The-Backyard-B.../dp/0785825673
    Lorelei did a great job putting it together.

    Here are some more photos:

    (for some reason I can't delete the first photo of the hammers. The manage attachments button doesn't work)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    439

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Haven't updated this thread for awhile and thought I'd add a couple of images.
    The first image is one of our hanging candeliers and the other shows the first bottle openers I just started making.

    image.jpg image.jpg

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Farmington, New Mexico
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Wanted to share some of my ironwork

    Very nice!
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

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