Adventures in Blacksmithing

My classes involve working on a coal forge with a hand-turned blower.  This is a fabulous thing for weird shaped pieces, big things that might not fit into a propane forge.  This is something of a disaster for seeing the metal that’s heating, which is fairly critical for a total noob like me.  My first day at class, I turned my pair of tongs into two sparklers, just like on the fourth of July.  Steel burns, and as the carbon comes out in brilliant sparks, it is almost worth the failure, just for the fireworks.

They didn’t tell us before the first class that the bits of coal that come up with all the smoke are sharp enough to cut hair.  Or that it burrows into the skin of your neck.

I had to finish my homework at home, where propane gives me a better view to know how hot my metal is.  The results were much better.

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That Tong ta Tong Tong Tong