Somebody say something in blacksmithing or I will!

Subject says it all. If somebody doesn't post something on topic soon, I may have to post something about making "square" nails!!!
Pete Stanaitis
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Hey, I did my first craft fair today! It went surprisingly well considering I wasn't nearly as prepared for it as I should have. I had intended to spend the last two weeks making product for the show, but only managed about 8 hours of work for the show in that time. I got distracted by a commission piece which I considered more important than the show and by a piece I made to send to Payton for the meeting this weekend.
Here's one of the two brackets I was working on instead of the show stuff:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Curt.Welch/BlacksmithProjects#5405649715561661922
And here's the piece I sent off to Peyton:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Curt.Welch/BlacksmithProjects#5405898873118700194
I ended up making a little money anyhow just by grabbing stuff I've made for the fun of it and selling it. I sold about 20 items and handed out lots of business cards that I hope will generate some future work. I'll certainly do more shows in the future but I'll have to build up a larger inventory and get a little better both set-up _before_ I sign up for the next one. :)
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I guess this is as good a time as any to introduce myself...new guy, been lurking for a while. I'm not a blacksmith, just a want-to-be right now. Trying to come up with ways to get some equipment on a budget. Right now I'm focussing on trying to find some parts to cobble together an anvil and then perhaps to build a small gas forge.
I've spent the last few weeks researching sites online and finding out different suggestions & techniques for the 'Broke Blacksmith', and I've found a good bit of info on it, and fortunately I've been able to locate some railroad track and some steel plating (for an anvil). If anyone has any suggestions for finding things like high-temperature resistant oven paint and/or some refractory material to line the inside of a forge with, I'd be most appreciative. That's gonna be likely the next step in my researches ;).
Thanks!
Taladan
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You can buy Rutoleum high temp paint in spray cans at any Lowes or Home Depot or probably even Wall Mart. Works great for gas forges.
http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid92&sid $9310

I bought mine from Larry Zoeller of zoellerforge.com I spend over $300 buying parts from him to build my single burner forge so it's not exactly cheap. You can buy a pre-built forge for that price on eBay but they aren't as good as the one I ended up with by building it myself. His web site has lots of good info on gas forge designs if you haven't found it yet.
A coal forge is probably better for a low budget if you can justify the fire where you live and if you can get coal. You can build a coal forge by digging a hole in the ground and adding a tube connected to a hair dryer or shop vac to supply air if you want to go dirt cheap. (pun intended).

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Curt Welch http://CurtWelch.Com /
snipped-for-privacy@kcwc.com http://AyrHillForge.Com /
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That is good - and also the ceramic paint sold to paint engine exhaust header pipes. Sold at leading auto parts stores.
Martin
Curt Welch wrote:

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Vermiculite is available in Home Despot's Garden Section -- it's used for potting plants. <grin>
BTW, you can usually get a better price on it at a plant nursery...
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Awesome! Good to know. There's quite a few nurseries around so I'll have to check it out. Thanks!
Tal
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RAM wrote:

Hi Guys,
I actually got my vermiculite at a building construction company.
I buy 10 kg bags at $30 a pop.
10 kg of Vermiculite is a "big" bag.
Regards Charles
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Taladan wrote: If

dig up some clay from your back yard - will be as good as anything to start with.
Hi-temp paint won't last long.
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bigegg

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I'm aware that it will likely burn off, but a can of paint isn't that expensive. Eventually when I get my own place I will be setting up a brick oven outside - and I could then use something like a clay forge I suppose, but right now I'm renting, so I'm looking for something small that isn't a permanent or semi-permanent structure that will cause me to have issues with my landlord.
But that's an excellent suggestion - one that I will keep in mind for the future. Thanks!
Tal
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I have a lot of AR400 water treated steel that I have in my scrap pile. Offered some to a local Abana member - and either was spammed or ignored. So I still have some here up to 1/2" thick. Guess I'll have to get a Anvil and a forge.
I melt bronze and Aluminum but not up to steel. :-)
Martin
spaco wrote:

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Something ;-)
spaco wrote:

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