I forged a necklace (2.0)

Had a bit of cut off metal while I was practising drawing down some round stock, and my daughter also asked for a “swirly type necklace”. So I attempted to make another couple necklaces…

I personally really like the simple pendant; it’s a little bit rounded on the top, angular on the sides, and it feels quite nice.

I’d like to practise making some more of these types of things – I saw a beautiful damascus (pattern welded) steel pendant once and would love to attempt something similar… This’ll do for now, though!

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Homemade headphone hook

Sometimes it’s nice to get out from in front of the monitor and coding and make something in the garage.

One thing I really wanted was a headphone stand because I was tired of leaving my headphones on my desk only for the darned things to get in the way. But then it struck me; I am trying to learn a few blacksmithing techniques so why not just make something?!

Oh yeah, that’s right, my homemade forge broke and I haven’t fixed it yet.

But, wait a moment… I have a blow torch, an angle grinder, and some really rusty angle iron from when I tore down my old and knackered garage door. Surely I can do something with that, right?… Right?

Turns out that, yes. Yes, I can!

OK, not the snazziest thing in the world, but it fits my needs absolutely perfectly, has a nice ‘rustic’ look to it, and is ideal for my HyperX headset.

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I forged a necklace

Made this necklace for my better half. It was the first thing I forged on my bbq-forge and it came out not too bad. I had to dress my hammer after as I was leaving too many cuts in the metal (though that has a lot to do with my inexperience!), which worked a treat! Kind of wish I had done that before trying to forge the necklace, but oh well.

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First “proper” thing made with a hammer and anvil

On this past weekend the family and I went camping with a few friends, and a lovely time was had by all (despite a couple bee stings and a bad face-plant by someone into a pavement). While taking down the tent we realised that our tent peg puller was a little weak and we even struggled with it to pull a couple of the tougher pegs.

This seemed like an opportunity for improvement and an excuse to make something in the forge!

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First blacksmithing session

I had my first blacksmithing session last week, and it was probably the most fun I’ve had with a hammer and metal in… well, I’m too old now to remember how long ago things were. But a long time, let me tell you.

At first I learned how to draw down to a square point, and then built on that to make a rounded point. After I did those, I created a square-pointed scroll and then fish-tailed scroll.

OK, so artistically I’m never really going to do wonders (I’ll be the first to admit I’m not exactly talented in the artistic department!) But I could really get to like doing the occasional bit of smithing and can’t wait to get my anvil and forge set up and buy some hammers and metal stock to practise.

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Cleaning up my vice

Along with the anvil I was also given a leg vice. This is a heavy-duty vice with a long pole that goes down into the ground a little way to transfer energy away from the hammer blows or moving the metal making it less likely that the vice will break under use. It was thrown in with the anvil because, well, the guy who sold the equipment to my wife is a super nice guy but also because he could never use it… the thing was rusted all the Hell! Seriously; the pivot arm wouldn’t pivot, the screw arm was locked in place and wouldn’t move, it had a big helping of rust all over… well, I didn’t think I’d even be able to get this:

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Cleaning up my anvil

The anvil I was given for my birthday is wonderful, but was really rusty. Not knowing the best way to clean it up I hit a very popular smithing forum called I Forge Iron. The people on there were nothing but friendly and helpful and gave really good advice about my ol’ girl and how to clean her up.

All it took was an angle grinder and a twisted wire cup. Unfortunately when doing this was the exact time my 4″ grinder decided it no longer wanted to live in this world and span its last disc. Thankfully I also got a 9″ grinder for my birthday (thanks, dad!) and so set about cleaning up the anvil.

I think you’ll see that the results speak for themselves…

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