After a lot of deliberation on how to accomplish my goal of building a boat and taking veterans fishing I've decided to do the most obvious thing...start a forge at home and begin to create videos and other content.
Ok, it's not the most obvious route for me to take. But it is a route for me to get content out there and to introduce myself and my project to the world. Many short videos can be produced for a small amount of funds. Hopefully it works and I will be able to find some donors to begin building the boat in earnest. It will also allow me learn to create items for the boat itself. I can see myself fashioning door/drawer pulls, tools, and other things for the boat.
I have started my forge on the cheap as money is real tight. Here is a brief run-down on my tooling.
I have a 10lb sledgehammer from Lowe's that I am using as a makeshift anvil. I ground the face flat and radiused the edges closer to what I want. I then created a makeshift stand with some scrap 2x4 I had leftover. I left the handle on the sledge as I'm hoping it's a temporary setup and I would rather not re-handle a brand new sledge.
I purchased a 24oz ball pein and 3lb cross pein hammers from Harbor Freight. I had to clean up the faces, especially on the cross pein. But they work. I also sanded off the finish on my cross pein handle and than burnt the wood and put a coat of paste wax on it. Feels pretty good in the hand now. Will probably do it to the ball pein at some point too
My Mother-in-law used to do ceramics and had a leftover kiln that she offered to me. I was able to take one section apart and use the firebricks in a simple forge. For the flame I use a Benzomatic propane Pencil Torch powered with a standard bbq propane tank. It's not the greatest setup but like the hammers, they work.
Finally, to round out my home forge I purchased a bench vise. I really need a post/leg vise instead, but for now it will help me make twists and hold material while I cut it with either a angle grinder or hacksaw.
I have hopes of upgrading my tooling soon with an actual steel (not a cast iron from Harbor Freight) anvil of 80+lb, a true forge with actual burners, and a full post/leg vise. But even with this setup I have already created a couple hooks and have tried my hand at tongs and a fire poker. I look forward to creating more things and producing content again.