Your Skill in Mining Has Increased!

Not really, but I did get some nice 9- and 12-inch nails for blacksmithing. Was at a friend’s house and the landlord was having some work done that involved pulling these big railroad tie-looking things out of the ground. They were held in place by some pretty rusty nails, and we managed to get 24 of them out.

We spent some time getting the rust off. At first we used a simple angle grinder but found that we were wasting time cutting into the metal. Then we went to Home Depot and got a wire bristled wheel that should have fit, but ended up being the wrong type.

Right now I’m just looking for ways to get the rust off so we can have some nice metal to work with. I’m doing something I am surprised I had never done before, and that is using Coke and vinegar (separately) to clean them. I have a little experiment set up that I am going to check in a few minutes (exactly 4 hours in each solution). I’ve heard arguments for and against these methods, so I figured some good old-fashioned scientific method would be best here.

In other news, my friend and I managed to get a railroad spike hot enough to make the tip somewhat rounded, and we turned one of the cleaned nails into a hot punch for later use. We’re also planning on turning two of the 12-inchers into a pair of tongs, and possibly welding two 9-inchers together for a longer pair.

We’re looking at various selections of fuel. We used up all of our charcoal but plan on making more soon. In the coal versus coke wars (coke in this sense meaning refined coal) we’re going with coke for a cleaner, hotter burn. The extra cost is well worth it I would imagine. I don’t think the neighbors would appreciate a large plume of yellow smoke.

Pretty excited about tomorrow, which is when the anvil should be here. Forge still is not built, but we are planning on taking some time to do it later in the week. Tongs are going to be an issue. I have some things that sorta work (long pliers and cooking tongs) but can’t handle metal with enough dexterity. Still a relatively long way to go, but the journey is part of the fun.

Not sure what else to say, really. Just lots of excitement.

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