One thing I have been working on lately is coppersmithing- getting up there to make some nice copper hinges to go with the cherry box. Making sure to save scraps and copper dust for future pit firing experiments.
First piece was learning basic forming operations with copper and torch colors.
Stick the guitar pick upright in a crack, heat up the tip to almost melting- it needs to be as soft and thin as possible.
Second object was a copper bracelet.
Copper is fortunately soft enough that raising and sinking procedures can be done on wood, such as this maple branch I used to create the bracelet. For anticlastic forging, the serpent beaker can be metal, wood or plastic; metal hammers are used on wood/plastic, wooden/plastic hammers on metal beakers.
I also chopped up a tree I found in the woods, and sawed it up. Soft wood, I believe it is poplar.
Sadly the sawing revealed beatles larvae. I will cut off the beatle tunnel sections and hope there will be enough wholesome wood to use for a forge stand.
Yep, I have some welding goggles now and hope to take another swing at forging; hoping to make great bellows soon.
Oh, and I found a great video on PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/secrets-viking-sword.html
Got some good info there, shows making good crucible steel, not the inferior steel made in Europe and Japan, and pretty much everywhere until the Industrial Revolution. Would've loved seeing more forging and less mock-battles/ swordplay.
. It's fun seeing a smith with such a mix of traditions: Viking sword, Viking forge, staple vise, waterstones, dog head hammer and sledgehammer- although knowing the world, the staple vise probably is not a pure Japanese thing- the 'Japanese saw vise' is identical to Viking clamps, the 'Japanese box bellows' was introduced to them from China.
I think it is quite silly to separate oneself into either all-hand tools, all Western tools, or all Japanese. There isn't a single 'perfect' way of doing things, just what you like. I hope to one day soon be working with a nice workbench, even if I'm using Japanese saws.
Now, can I use a 3/4" bolt for a shoulder vise?
Edit: a user on reddit has been answering my questions on bellows. While bellows are easy to build, especially Viking bellows, if the fabric/seams aren't done right and the bellows burst, severe hearing damage will occur...maybe I should give box bellows another shot.