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I Forge Iron

mick maxen

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  1. Just ordinary files, nothing special. Mick.
  2. Steve, from your description it sounds like you ground in the diamonds and then forged the blade out. If you go this way you need the pattern to be very tight as the drawing/forging out stretches the pattern as you have found out. A more controlled way is to forge the blade out to almost the finished size but leave it thick enough and put the pattern in with a chisel that is slightly doomed so it has the profile similar to a 1/4 or 5/16 bar. Hammer the pattern in to a 1/3rd of the thickness of the bar then grind the bar flat. You will get the same effect, just a differant and more controlled way of doing it. When I do Ladder patterns or similar, I will have at least 250 to 300 layers in the bar. Twisting nickel can be tricky as its stretch rate is not the same as carbon steel. Mick.
  3. I shall be there with Basher as we are demonstrating Iron Smelting. Look for two blokes mixing mud and probably covered in charcoal dust. We will be building the furnace on the Wednesday or Thursday and running the smelt on the Friday. See you there Mick.
  4. Benton, As far as I know, the sockets were not welded just rolled round to form the socket. One thing to remember is that most of these were only used once and the design of most war points with the barbs on would prevent removal anyway. Also it was probably a lot better that the arrowhead stayed in the enemy. The smaller swallow tail and broadhead hunting points for game had small holes in the socket so they could be firmly attached to the arrowshaft with a small nail or similar. Hector Cole's name has been mentioned and he is the expert in the UK for anything to do with arrow heads, forging and the history side of it. Do a search for his website and he has a page that shows all the differant styles of points that he makes. Mick.
  5. The hawk is made from a billet of 400 plus layers and is 8" long with a 3" edge. Total length is about 23" with a Curly Maple handle that was made from a 2" block. The mouthpiece is antler and Buffalo horn. The smoke hole stopper is also Buffalo horn and this screws into a fancy piece of my inscription damascus. The blade was forged out and all the shaping has been done by file work. Some photos, Mick.
  6. Frosty, you are right about Nickel. 15N20 does have around 0.4% manganese and would etch a light grey, but the influencing alloy is the 2% Nickel keeping the steel bright and resisting the etch. CS70 has on average 0.7% manganese and etches a dark grey. 20C has about 0.45% manganese and again will etch a light grey. Chromium is another alloy which will influence what colour/shade you get in the etch unless the manganese content is high.. If you know what you are doing and know the alloy make up of various steels you can use this to your advantage and get some interesting patterns that look almost 3d. A low manganese steel next to a high manganese steel in your pattern will give a shadow effect to the darker steel. Mick.
  7. CS70 is UK spec steel and 20C is from Sweden but they are very similar to your 1075 and 1095 carbon steels. I etch all my pattern welding in ferric chloride as its safer and the etch is cleaner in my opinion. It is a general misconception that the carbon content has anything to do with the colour of the etch, I used to think that myself. It is in fact the Manganese that dictatates whether the dark layers are shades of grey to almost black. The photo below shows some pure iron inlaid into a pattern welded bar. The pure iron is almost the same colour as the 15n20. Mick.
  8. Thanks for the kinds words about this piece. Benton, the pattern welded steel is made using 15N20 and either CS70 or 20C. 15N20 has 2% nickel and is the bright part of the pattern. CS70 is a 0.7% carbon steel and 20C is a 1% carbon steel. No pure iron or wrought in this piece at all I'm afraid Frosty. From my experience pure iron etches bright along with wrought which etches a grainy bright, if that makes sense. Mick.
  9. I had fun making this and working out how best to do it. The socket is forged from mild steel and the front section was tapered to about 1mm. The hardest weld is the point of the socket into the pattern welded piece. I decided to jump weld this in before any welding on the sides. Sounds easy but the socket for the arrow shaft is only 10mm diameter on the inside and the wall thickness is under 1mm. So I used a tapered round bar to hold this. It also had the advantage of making the socket cold enough not to buckle or work open as I lightly jump welded the two together, then welded down the sides.   Once the two pieces are welded together there is not really any chance of tweaking the socket back into shape other than bending the tails out of the way, which I didn't want to do. I have a pair of specially adapted tongs for holding the socket after its all welded up which makes life a lot easier. The arrow head is a Swallow Tail head about 110mm long and 45mm across the tails and weighs about an ounce. Mick.
  10. chichi, This was done in the old style of being wrapped around a sleeve and mandrel. So when its all welded up the bore is the size of the mandrel. Mick.
  11. The other option is to spirally wrap it like this pattern welded barrel piece I made a while ago, It looks almost hexagonal in the photo but it is round and about 3/4" in diameter. Mick.
  12. Hello Debbie, It will be worth you keeping an eye on this site as there are a few County Shows in your area that all have blacksmithing competitions, http://www.blacksmithscompetition.co.uk/index.html The dates for this year are not up yet but they are usually around the same time each year. Also have a look at the links to each show on the left hand side for some contact names, most are blacksmiths. Have a look on the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths site under their awards section and there should be a list of medal holders and some contact info. There is also the Blacksmiths Guild down Exeter way. John Bellamy is a member and posts on here in the Blacksmiths UK section. Have a look at the BABA web site as well for some contact info. I can't help in regards to popping round as I am about 3 hrs away, but good luck in your new venture. Everything will fall into place eventually and get tailored to how you work. Have fun, Mick.
  13. Nic, I don't think you will ever stop that from warping by clamping it down. It sounds like you have a bend and a twist, which makes things that bit more difficult. You could try and spot weld on the other side to where you have already welded it, that may pull it back. Or get the hole thing hot and try and knock it back into shape. Failing the above efforts, is there anyway you can fix the 10mm square by using countersunk screws. If the piece is going to be painted afterwards they can be easily hidden by some body filler or make a feature out of the fixings. Mick.
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