Spring metalwork

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
Well, I (Zeke) am a hopeless scraphound.  I recently posted an ad for old garden tools on Craigslist and heard from a guy that I already knew.  On Sunday, Lewis showed me what my place would look like 20 years from now if I owned five acres.  
Lewis and his work machine.  He and I share an appreciation of hand-forged hooks, anvils, and mechanical advantage.  I knew better than to ask him about selling me an anvil, but he said ‘well, they’re just beautiful, and every now and then, somebody comes out here wanting to give me $500 bucks for one of them, but if I take his money, I pay a couple of bills, he’s got an anvil, and I ain’t got shit!’  



Lewis and his family have built an oasis on the dry grasslands just North of Chico.  I came with a Skilsaw, one of my new garden diggers, and some heavy power cable for barter, and he was generous in what he swapped me.
He said that they had a saying in Vietnam that ‘when the going gets weird, the weird get going’.  He gets going on a 1,000 lb. front-wheel drive industrial four-wheeler.


Back at our place, been working on this for the last few days.  A small propane-fired forge.  I took a blacksmithing class at Hartnell College in Salinas about 5 years ago, and I have been wanting to build a small forge for a long time.  Finally have the time to do it.  
This is a beta version, all I can say is that the internet is amazing, picking over copper and brass fittings at the ReStore is paying off, the baby isn’t allowed near this, and there is no way to get metal red that is not insanely energy intensive.


Still working on getting the flame to do what I want it to, but once the bricks got red hot, it heats a piece this size in about a minute.



These rake parts are getting reworked into hand cultivators.  Stand by.



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