I wanted to take a moment to show you all my current setup for hot forging. I believe I've mentioned before that I use a big rounder of walnut as a pedestal, and that I was using a rail spike sunk part way into it as a post anvil for very light forging. Well; I began trying heavier and heavier stuff with it, and as a result the spike naturally sank all the way down, but I've discovered that for stock less than around 1/4x1" in section, this is just suitable. I'm even using a 3lb hammer at the moment. This is the largest stock I would ever try to use this for, but for thinner stuff (small to medium knives for instance) It is actually perfectly fine.
The domed shape does not lend itself to a lot of forging techniques, or to finish forging flats, etc, but I thought some of you who would like to try their hand might find this maybe the eisiest setup to get your hands on.
as you see below, i'm actually using this for roughing in the profile and bevels of my larger wakizashi:
these swords and my plans for a parang or two are the reason I'm planning to get the sledge hammer head for my next step up in equipment.
So far, I have a small propane torch and these swords turn out also to be about the largest thing I'd try to heat with it. It'll heat between a 2 and 4" section at a time to forging temps. I think if I build a refractory lined forge with an inner diameter around 3-4" and design it to take both of my little torches, this would be more than adequate for everything I've got in the works at the moment.