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Topic: Recycling Iron

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Subject: Recycling Iron
Date Posted: 12/20/2008 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 6
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If you have iron, in moderate or large amounts, you can save the energy normally used to melt it down and reroll it by giving it to your local artist-blacksmith or artist-blacksmithing club.  Blacksmiths have been hard-core recyclers since the beginning of the iron age.  By recycling the iron directly through a blacksmith, the angle iron (bed frames, etc) or bars (iron fences, bands around silos, iron bridges, iron towers, etc) are directly made into new iron products without first going though an iron mill's smelter.  Imagine how much energy and pollution is saved by not having to put the scrap iron through a iron mill's furnace!

Old iron fences, bands around silos, iron bridges and old iron towers are especially prized by blacksmithing clubs associated with museums because older iron has properties that can make historical restorations easier and much more authentic.

One way to find your local blacksmithing club is to look at the list of clubs (affiliates) on the website of the Artist Blacksmith Association of North America: http://www.abana.org/affiliates/affiliate_list.shtml

Another way to find a club is to ask if your local farm museum or industrial museum has people who demonstrate blacksmithing and talk to them. Or you could Google on the word "blacksmith" and your state and/or county name and see what pops up.

Thank you very much for recycling.



Last Edited on: 12/20/08 7:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/21/2008 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 12:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/22/2008 7:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/16/2008
Posts: 6
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Actually older iron is much easier to "forge-weld" together than modern iron.  You just heat it till it turns the appropriate color and tap tap it together.  Iron bars such as come off of old grain silos and fencing can be reforged into new shapes without welding together small pieces.  Most pieces of old iron that are over a foot long can be made into something else without melting or joining them.  Bars from old fences tend to be at least 3 feet long, and bars from old silos and bridges are over 30 feet long.

Think of what it is like working with modeling clay.   You can squish and reshape modeling clay into lots of decorative things, even Christmas ornaments.  When iron is heated, especially high quality old iron, the iron becomes like modeling clay and can be shaped and even sculpted into everything from decorative fences and wall hangings, and even sculpted into animal heads to decorate fireplace tools.   Modeling clay comes in blocks and bars, and can be worked into shapes and objects without joining to other blocks and bars, if the project is small enough.  The same is true for iron bars.


Last Edited on: 12/22/08 7:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/23/2008 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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What a great post! Additionally, if there is anyone with iron they want to recycle in the Twin Cities or surrounding area, I know of a Living History Museum that would love to use it in their blacksmithing demonstrations.