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Old 06-09-2019, 06:01 PM   #1
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Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


OK, since I have nothing but time on my hand since my forced retirement, I have been watching all sorts of strange shows on TV. Anything from Hallmark movies to true crime drama.

One thing that I came across was forged in fire. (and similar shows) The idea of taking a lump of something and through the process of heat and pressure, turning it into something of beautiful functionality had really sparked my interest.

I came across a channel on You Tube about a kid from the UK named Alec Steele who knew from a young age that he wanted to be a blacksmith. The stuff he learned to make was incredible.

So, since I am over 60. And in relatively adequate health. (if you consider overweight, asthmatic, and forgetful adequate that is) Should I build a forge and try my hand at making nothing into something?

I have welded before, a long time ago, and it was stick welding. None of this fancy mig or tig suff. Should I learn to do that first?

I really want to learn to damascus and make my own chef's knife.

Do you think I have a shot or should I just go back to TV and YouTube?

Thanks for your insights, Ktown
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


I would start with a club first and try to learn a little so you get a better feel for equipment you need or want for what you want to do.

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Old 06-09-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


I have watched that show and it is interesting. There is another similar (don't know what network-might be HGTV) that involves glass blowing, which absolutely fascinates me.


I tend to agree with Neal in perhaps finding a club, or even a farrier or smithy who might let you hang around. true forge work involves a lot of heavy tools in a high heat environment, so I think it would helpful if you could handle it before you go all in.


I'm similar; over 60, reasonable health (not over weight or asthmatic) and I don't think my body would be thrilled pounding a couple of pound hammer on a repeated basis, certainly not without working up to it.
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:33 PM   #4
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Every one wants to be just like Burt Reynolds.

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Old 07-12-2019, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Best advice given is to go find a club or a blacksmith that will allow you to observe. You may find that you will need power equipment for pounding & shaping in addition to grinding & belt sanding tools. Forging is dangerous work. It's intense physical activity, heavy & hot. That's not to say you can't do it. But if you have zero experience with it, I would try to find a club or as said earlier, someone with a shop willing to let you hang out & watch. Good luck.
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:43 PM   #6
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


I think you should shelve that idea...itís much too strenuous a hobby
to start at your age.

If you are looking for a hobby, I would think about leather tanning.
I visited the Tanny Leather Goods store ( I think thatís the name)
in Texas on time, and was fascinated at all the beautiful things there.
Then I met a guy at a party who was a leather tanner. His stuff was
beautiful...a belt, wallet, key chain, and his wife had a pocketbook.
It always fascinated me.

Wood carving and turning is another good hobby.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:42 PM   #7
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Alec Steel has a great YouTube channel but he also has a large collection of tools. In particular, he uses a pneumatic hammer a lot. If you don't have one, you will have to strike the hot steel with a big hammer a lot! Might be good exercise or you might tear a rotator cuff.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:27 PM   #8
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Knots View Post
I think you should shelve that idea...itís much too strenuous a hobby
to start at your age.

If you are looking for a hobby, I would think about leather tanning.
I visited the Tanny Leather Goods store ( I think thatís the name)
in Texas on time, and was fascinated at all the beautiful things there.
Then I met a guy at a party who was a leather tanner. His stuff was
beautiful...a belt, wallet, key chain, and his wife had a pocketbook.
It always fascinated me.

Wood carving and turning is another good hobby.

You certain you mean leather "tanning" or leather crafting. Tanning hide is a pretty involved process. Although there is a natural method usually involving bark, most is done these days using some fairly nasty chemicals.
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Old 07-14-2019, 06:50 PM   #9
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Google "Stephen Kings Fence" His house on W Broadway here in Bangor has a rather fancy fence. Not sure who forged it but I remember a story about it many years ago. But that is an example of the unique nature of the blacksmith profession. It isn't like you are hammering out 100 of the same items every day.

Jump to the increase in crime we have today and envision the homes that might want some added security or just unique decorations.

60 is young and you will stay that way longer if you don't spend a lot of time on your backside. I went downhill for many years riding a desk and driving place to place. When I finally went to work, physical work, I darn near died but a year later I felt like a new person and I will never stop working again. Or at least until they plant me.

Bud
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:10 PM   #10
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


My husband's planning to get into forging soon too, he's always wanted to make knives. He bought some forging hammers, grinders, sanders, a medium sized anvil, and a "propane tank" forge which is big enough for like kitchen sized knives and shortish daggers some time ago (too see how he likes it, without spending too much of a fortune):

Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?-20190715_093829.jpg

He hasn't had time to mess with it yet (works 16-20 hours a day,) but he eventually wants one of these (to make me swords <3): https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Prop...ateway&sr=8-29


My husband's 56, but he's always been pretty strong in the arm/chest department (wrestler, West Point, special forces.) He's planning to "get back into shape" by chopping wood (something we both enjoy doing - though I just like to watch )

Maybe chopping wood would give you an idea where you stand [physically] with getting into it?

As an FYI, the power hammer's are kinda spendy, the one my husband wants is 18 grand o.O
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:10 PM   #11
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


With the fainting, dizziness, low BP, and the dehydration mentioned in your other thread, I’d say that starting forging now is a bad idea.

It’s hot, dehydrating work. Fainting or reaching out to catch your balance, can result in horrible burns. If you are not increasing your water intake while forging, it will cause dehydration.

If you get your current health issues under control, you can revisit the idea in the future.

Best wishes to you.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:16 PM   #12
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lenaitch View Post
You certain you mean leather "tanning" or leather crafting. Tanning hide is a pretty involved process. Although there is a natural method usually involving bark, most is done these days using some fairly nasty chemicals.
Yes, leather crafting. I got mixed up, happens a lot lately.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:27 PM   #13
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


My 77 year old neighbor is a blacksmith and does incredible work with his home forge. He also has a portable rig and teaches classes around the country. The blacksmiths are a tight community and you should have no problem getting help.
I would start with taking a class so you know what to get. There are a couple of good books on the subject as well.
Welding and blacksmithing have only their use of metal in common. No reason to waste time learning to welding if what you want to do is forge things out of steel.

Important to have good air ventilation wherever you operate a forge and that is true for both arc and gas welding.


https://diyblacksmith.blogspot.com/p...h-schools.html

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Old Today, 11:22 AM   #14
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Re: Wanting to learn how to forge at my age?


I'm always late to the party. I'm 61 and started forging about a year and a half ago. just be aware of the heat. these forges give off a lot of heat. I made a small coal forge and if you can swing a small sledge hammer repetitively you should be ok.
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