Hi all, several posts here have said something like "I use X for my metal work since I don't have access to a forge" While any source of heat will work, and why not use an oxy torch if you have one, I thought I would share my forge technology for those who would like to have a go but think it is hard/expensive. My forge is 6 house bricks laid out in a rectangle on the concrete out the back and an old vacuum cleaner that does "blow" as well as suck. My anvil is a piece of railway iron with a point cut into the end, nailed to a stump. Because I know some great scroungers, this set-up cost me nothing but I suspect anyone could manage something similar. All I need to buy is the charcoal and I find that places that supply spit roasting caterers are a good place to get this.
Using this setup I have made decorative flur de lis ends for my chest strapping ends for my box (pictures at http://www.flickr. com/photos/ 36906401@ N00/sets/ 7215761816500229 7/ ) the actual hinge bit is worked cold (requires a hack-saw, and a hammer shaped like a bill, I used nails for the hinge pins). While I admit my forge work is not professional quality, I love that fact that my box is all my own work.
Agite primo recte! Nihil igitur durat tamquam enodatia brevis at satis.
(Do it right the first time, because nothing is so permanent as a temporary solution that works)