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David Einhorn

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Here is the June newsletter. 

 
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pdf a WGSEA June newsletter.pdf (732.32 KB, 1 views)

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Grandadz Forge

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Apologies for not making it to the May 27 meeting. Life got in the way.
Was there any special information I missed?
Thanks
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David Einhorn

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Grandadz, I had to think about your question for a day as to how to answer it.  A lot of discussion took place over three hours about what people thought about how to upgrade the shop, as well as bits of information shared at each meeting about a wide range of things.  So the answer would depend on what you found interesting during the three hours.  One suggestion was that while we are at rebuilding the forge, making it into a double forge may not be that much extra work.  Basically six brick pillars supporting a steel table, with two firepots feeding into the chimney, so that the firepots and cleanouts are accessable.... possibly the steel table lined with brick,,,, possibly doing it as a winter project.  Working with mortar for brickwork in the winter is a bit beyond my knowledge base.  I have worked here and there in the past with brick, but would feel a lot more comfortable doing footers and brickwork before winter so as to avoid trying to work with antifreeze in the mortar mix.  And would it be better to have steel legs surrounded by brick facing, that is one of my thoughts.  I don't remember which member was a professional brick and stone mason, I would like to hear his input and thoughts. We also discussed work triangles, and tool racks, etc etc etc.

For example, here is the double forge at Furnacetown Md.

.....
Double forge at furnacetown.jpg
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David Einhorn

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I have been working on a Beginner Course Class Handout and Syllabus. It is in the early stages and has a great deal of work to be done on it before it is ready to be actually used in a course.

Talking to my wife, who is a retired teacher, she points out how adults now-a-days want to skip practicing the basics and jump immediately into intermediate and advanced skills and projects. I have seen this tendency not only in the wide blacksmithing community, but also when coaching sports. While this is only natural, it can prevent our group from getting to the skill level of other area blacksmithing groups, cause safety issues, damage equipment, and prevent the group from gaining the respect of the general blacksmithing community.

In order to teach this course, we will need at least one or two assistants who are familiar and practiced with all of the safety practices and smithing skills taught in the course, including being really good at maintaining a coal forge fire.

The question then is, how do we bring members of the group, especially members who wish to assist and eventually teach beginner's courses up to a thorough practiced level all the skills. Skills like proper maintenance of a coal fire requires instruction and practice.

 

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Hank Rearden

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This is good. Our next meeting needs to be focused on organization and administration. I believe it's time to create a set of goals abd a pathway to execution of those goals.
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code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
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Grandadz Forge

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I just fear that the intermediate and advanced guys might just say "screw this" and choose not to come at all if a tiny few of us newbies dictate the pace of learning and level of projects.
If you've ever watched Black Bear Forge on YouTube, John Switzer goes back and forth between simple newbie projects and then advanced things while emphasizing that "advanced" steps in the process are nothing more than numerous basic skills in disguise. For example: a window grill has rivets, tenons, scrolls, drifting, mortises, collars, etc. Yet are accomplished using basic techniques over and over.
I'd feel guilty knowing a lot of experience and talent had better things to do and stop coming.
I like the original idea of starting with beginner stuff with the experienced guiding/demonstrating. Then move on more advanced stuff after the first hour or two. That was how we were taught to train in the military. Take a basic skill, demonstrate you can safely do it and then go immediately to the higher challenge.
I can't speak for the rest of us but there is assumed risk in everything. I live to the fullest and love challenges, risks and learning. Life sucks if there is fear about moving forward and upward too fast. I take every chance to get in the Smithy and learn and hone my knowledge and skills. I am smart enough to identify a potential hazard and know when I need to "hold back" and get more practice in a certain area. I also know that the most experienced and knowledgeable blacksmith will always have areas for improvement and areas of weakness. Everyone.
I just hope we keep this fun and interesting and free from uncomfortable regiments. I appreciate the opportunity to learn this awesome world of blacksmithing. It's amazing for you guys willing to teach us. Thanksd
I hope, as a whole, we stay balanced, relevant and highly attractive to any and all folks that would help us grow.
Just a thought.
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David Einhorn

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Grandadz, I had to get out the calculator.... hmmm started blacksmithing as a hobby almost 45 years ago, and was one of the original members of the blacksmithing group at the Carroll County Farm Museum.  So hopefully my input based upon the experience of participating in several blacksmithing groups over the years can be of assistance.

As far as I understand it, the major goals have pretty much been set by the agreement with the Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association (WGHSEA).  Those goals being to work towards having a group big enough and educated enough to 1) provide volunteers whenever the grounds are open 2) provide courses in blacksmithing to the public 3) eventually holding yearly blacksmithing conferences 4) in every way possible to contribute to the educational goals and finances and support of the  Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association. With making trinkets for the souvenir shop a very minor positive indication of our trying to help, compared to the financial and education support efforts that can be provided by offering classes and eventually hosting conferences.  These are basically the same goals set by the Carroll County Farm Museum for the group that meets, supports the historic shop, and provides classes at the blacksmithing school there. 

The question then becomes, how do we achieve these goals. Towards that we have started the process of upgrading and adding bits of tools to the shop.  I have been making/modifying a few hand tools as I can, William Smith has donated an upsetting plate to the shop and says he will be on the look-out for abused but still usable anvils and stuff that we can start collecting to have tools to offer learning experiences and eventually classes. Bob Moyer yesterday said he will see if he can modify two pairs of nippers into usable tongs.

The biggest education and financial support for the group to provide to the WGHSEA is to offer classes, starting with a beginner's class and eventually progressing to intermediate and advanced classes. Normally the instructors are paid, but I am willing to donate my time to teach beginner courses at least for the immediate and foreseeable future. 

Then we have bringing members up to speed so that we have enough members to be able to have assistants for teaching classes.  So in my humble opinion the options are:
Option 1 - Dedicate the monthly meetings at the shop's forge to the skills in the beginner-syllabus that I am writing.  The syllabus basically the same safety, skills and projects as taught by other blacksmthing groups. 
Option 2 - Choose four Sundays in a month and go through and practice the skills in the syllabus. Since the grounds close early, it would take four Sundays to complete what is normally covered in one weekend.  For example two people to each forging station, where people lend equipment for that weekend.  (we would need to be able to lock the equipment up at the end of each day).  I can bring one forging station. The anvil I can bring is a 100 pound absolutely pristine Swedish anvil, but if those using it strictly follow directions they are much less likely to turn the surface into trash. 
Option 3 - Arrange with the Steam Show association to have access to the grounds and lock/unlock shop for a full two day, eight hour a day weekend for current members to learn and practice the skills in the syllabus
Option 4 - Continue to periodically point out stuff at the monthly meetings in the hopes that someday people learn the basics. 

My opinion for success in achieving the goals of the WGHSEA and making the management of the association happy is  Option 3 as the best chance of success in a timely manner ..... then followed in decreasing order by Option 2 and then Option 1.  In my humble opinion, Option 4 is the least likely to achieve success fast enough to make the WGHSEA happy.

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David Einhorn

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And I hope that everyone will accept the notion that if they haven't practiced creating and maintaining a
good three-zone-coal-fire with the central zone being neutral, the top being carbon rich, and the bottom oxygen rich,
then my belief is that they would greatly benefit from starting from the beginning and going through the 
skill sets to make sure that they have all the basic skill sets down, and haven'e skipped some skills by 
jumping straight to the intermediate skills in their blacksmithing practices, without having practiced all the
beginner basic skills. 

And to practice good forge fire control, it would be a really good idea to acquire some blacksmithing grade
Bituminous coal. 
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Grandadz Forge

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Dave, I can bring a bag of Wertz Smithing coal (about 60 pounds?) next meeting. I've been using my ribbon burner quite often and can get more coal later.
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David Einhorn

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Rob, I greatly appreciate the offer of bringing a bad o coal. 

I humbly suggest that we  try to find out what Victor plans on using the brick-forge for that day before bringing a bag of coal.

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David Einhorn

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If anyone with access to welding equipment would like to build one or more firepots and/or semi-portable forge tables, here are plans that I got off the Internet.
Usually what other guilds use for teaching are semi-portable forges that are 2-foot by 2 foot steel tables, basically a piece of 2-foot square steel 1/8" to 3/16" inch thick, with about a 2 to 4 inch lip around the edges, with openings of the lips on two-opposing sides.  If we use 1" pipe-floor-flanges to connect 1" pipe for the legs, then any forges we make can be stacked in a corner until better storage can be arranged.  .... A lip of about 1 or more inches around the top edges of the firepots would allow the firepot to be dropped into the opening in the forge table(s) then easily removed for storage. .... I cleaned up the numbers on the diagram to make it easier to read. ... Naturally these diagrams are only suggestions, use whatever scrap you have. 

Firepot A.jpg    Firepot b.jpg

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David Einhorn

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Here is a rough sketch of a 2ft by 2ft semi-portable forge with screw on legs.  I tried using Sketchup but that didn't work out.

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David Einhorn

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The beginnings of two fire-pots for build of semi-portable forges for Williams Grove classes planned when we have what we need, in Mechanicsburg PA . These are 10"x10". The Buffalo (antique) that I have been using for many years is only 9.5"x8" so this should be large enough. Not sure why people are building larger fire-pots since the fire-pot is only to burn off volatiles not to stick your iron into for heating. Project should enter the fire horizontally across the top of the fire-pot. Sticking the iron into the oxygen rich fire-pot will just burn the metal. The plates were cut from 5" wide plate that is 1/4" thick. Firepot Template resized.jpg  Firepots and template resized image.jpg 
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David Einhorn

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  • List of materials needed for building forges for Williams Grove classes. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated, every piece helps. Please check your scrap piles:

    • Flat stock – five inch wide, between 1/4” to 1/2” thick, from 10” to 12 feet long lengths. This is the main material for making the walls of the firepots.

    • Steel plate – 24 inch square, between 1/8” to 1/4” thick, can cut down to size, whole 4'x8' sheet would be nice. Tables for semi-portable forges are 24” by 24” square.

    • Steel plate – 6” or larger square pieces, 3/16” to 1/2” thick, can cut down to size if larger or longer. This is for bottom of firepots and ash dump cover.

    • Square tubing – 3” to 4” square outside measurement, 3/16” to 1/4” thick walls, from 11” to 12 feet long lengths. This is for 11” to 12” down tubing/pipe for tuyers.

    • Flat stock – 1.5” to 3” wide, 1/4” or more thick, from 12” to 12 foot long lengths. Used for rim of fire-pots and elsewhere (where and when some other materials in list are not available).

    • Angle iron – 1.5” to 2” angle iron, 1/8” to 1/4” thick, 3foot to 12 foot long lengths, (note: need lots and lots of angle iron). Legs for forges and around edges of forge table.

    • Pipe – 3” ID, 6” to 12 foot lengths, schedule 40. Inlet pipe for air to tuyer.

    • Round bar – solid steel round stock 2.5” diameter, one foot long or longer. I will slice up for clinker breakers

    • Round bar – 1/2” solid steel round stock, 18” to 12ft lengths. Will cut to size for clinker breaker handles.

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David Einhorn

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Reply with quote  #15 

Over did it yesterday, my back is out of commission today, possibly as long as a week. I'm no longer young.

The materials that I need most for this project are:

 Flat stock – five inch wide, between 1/4” to 1/2” thick. Need 87-inches per firepot (174” total) for two more firepots. This is the main material for making the walls of the firepots. Any pieces that are at least 10” long would be a big help.

 Steel plate – two..... 24-inch by 24-inch squares, between 1/8” to 1/4” thick. For tables for two more semi-portable forges.

 Angle iron – 1.5” to 2” angle iron, 1/8” to 1/4” thick, 3foot to 12 foot long lengths, (note: need lots and lots of angle iron). Legs and bracing for forges and around edges of forge table.

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That said, not sure what to do about blowers for the forges. I looked at prices and they have gotten ridiculous.

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