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About ToolSteel

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    Atlanta suburb of Tucker Ga.

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  1. This is the first time I've considered working with tool steel and I was wondering how best to proceed. The other day, I got a very good deal on an 87 pound round of 8620 steel. It measures 4.25" in diameter and is 9.50" tall. I was thinking of using it as a portable pounding/shaping surface. I know this steel is often case hardened, but I don't yet know it it's annealed, hardened, tempered. It's been around for awhile. Just this morning I managed to remove the rust pitting and something that looked like fairly thick millscale. That seems to tell me this has been through some sort of heating process. I can ask the people where I bought it how they sell this type of steel. I can also tap away on it with a hammer and see if it dents. As you can see, I don't really know squat. Almost everything I learn comes from making mistakes and this looks like an opportunity to learn a lot. ToolSteel
  2. Hey Everyone, Thanks for the replies. I feel a bit sheepish but I'm relieved to say the buzzing was caused by some pieces of 1/16" steel sheet metal I used to clad the top of the log I use as an anvil base. Originally, the pieces were seamed, pounded flat and nailed into place, but pounding has a way of loosening things. I put an asphalt shingle (smooth side up) between and anvil and the cladding... and no buzz. The 200 pound anvil used to set on top of a few layers of roofing felt, but I moved it recently and forgot to put and damping material back in place. Anyway, thanks. ToolSteel
  3. John, I get a jarring, buzzing ring when I tap my 200-pound Trenton on the horn. I thought it was because of a small crack in the horn but filling the crack didn't make the buzzing go away. Now I'm wondering if the buzzing is actually caused by the face plate delaminating. Is it possible to detect face plate problems by striking the horn? ToolSteel
  4. I bought a two-burner Diamondback two years ago and it's never failed me. This morning, I took off the shell, slathered the inside with new Sairset and replaced the thin firebrick floor. I figure it's good for another two years or more. Only thing is I go through a LOT of propane. I haven't installed the idler control that came with the forge. I'm sure it would cut down on my fuel.
  5. Last night, I finally fixed the crack in my Trenton horn. I carefully searched for the base of the fissure using a Dremel cut-off disc. Fortunately, it was very shallow. After deepening and widening the cut I made, I welded it with a 1/8" Forney 312-16 Easy All Stainless Steel electrode. I've had very good luck with these. I cleaned away the slag, hammered the weld into the horn a bit, then used a flap disk on a 7" angle grinder to smooth it out. Can't even tell there used to be a crack there. Thanks everyone for the advice. ToolSteel
  6. How dare you insult my weld bead. (If I weren't a 59 year old man, this is where I'd insert a smiley face emoticon.) When I feel confident enough to stick weld the crack, I'll probably use a flap disk to dress the entire horn and the face. I might as well tackle the weld bead too. It sort of looks like an autopsy incision, doesn't it? ToolSteel,
  7. Frozenforge, Thanks for pinpointing the date for me. No way of proving this, but since this anvil was made during WWII, I'm guessing it was being used in a war effort factory of some sort. I can't see the government letting this much steel go to farmers or private citizens. Thanks to everyone who's replied to this post. I have an old Mouse Hole without a heel or a faceplate. I think I'll cut some lines on the underside of the horn and practice my welding. ToolSteel
  8. Thanks for the replies. I need to make a few things clear: it was NEVER my intention to get rid of the Trenton. I was afraid the horn would fail completely, thereby ending my budding relationship with this beast. I posted my concerns in order to get your opinions about the magnitude of the problem. I'm very grateful for the responses and they make me feel as though I can repair this myself. As for the weld, I merely mentioned it because it took up a large part of one photo. From my understanding, it's how some of these Trentons were made at the factory, so that's not a problem at all. Another reason for that particular picture is the raised-welded "signature" beneath the weld. At least that's my gut feeling about the mark. The man who welded the pieces together intentionally put his mark on this anvil. If that's the case, it's very cool indeed.. So... thanks for the comments. Keep them coming because I find them fascinating. One more thing: by looking at the serial number, can someone tell me when this anvil was made? ToolSteel
  9. Hello again. I've added some pictures of the 200 pound Trenton I recently bought. The first image (1156) is of the crack in the horn. It's not large... yet. I scratched both ends to see if it grows. If I can figure out how to add a sound file, I'll try and let you hear what I think I hear when I'm working over the horn. Image 1121 shows the serial number, which is on the right side of the base, beneath the horn. 200 is stamped into the far left of the base. Although I didn't get a picture of the weight stamp, I know the sound I make when I lift 200 pounds of anything. Picture 1134 gives an indication of the size of this anvil. The WD40 is on top of the face to provide a sense of scale. And lastly, 1117 shows the thick weld seam at the waist and a curious mark below it. It looks as though it's been welded there. I'd really appreciate some feedback on the crack. I'm a bit heartsick because I was really starting to develop a nice relationship with this anvil. Now I have fears of the horn snapping off while I'm working. But I'm new enough to blacksmithing to realize I might be making this out to be far worse than it it. I ramble. ToolSteel
  10. Phil, Why such a negative attitude? Do you have a specific problem with electrolysis or do you suspect monomoit is somehow up to no good? ToolSteel
  11. I recently purchased a 200 pound Trenton. Striking the face produces a bright ring. I just noticed that the horn rings with a bit of a buzz to it. I polished the top and discovered a one inch +/- hairline crack. I have plenty of pictures to post but none yet of the crack. I have a few questions. Can I post an audio file so you guys can hear what I think I hear? Is there any way to repair the horn? ToolSteel
  12. FieryFurnace, For the life of me I don't see a thing wrong with these tongs. But on a different topic: you, sir, are an excellent photographer.
  13. Kosher Salt In the past, I've dissolved as much salt as hot water will hold, put it in a crockpot on low and connected the anode/cathode. A few hours later, I got a DEEP sharp etch on copper. In fact, this was stronger than anything else I tried... and I've tried Muriatic Acid and Bisodium Sulfate... separately.
  14. Ciladog, You're probably right. The more I read about A2, the more I see it requires far more knowledge than I currently have. What I may do it saw off a 4"-6" piece, weld it to a shank and drop it into the hardie hole of my anvil. If I don't screw up A2's hardness and temper, it may make a pretty aggressive bottom fuller. Thanks.
  15. I have a 36" piece of A2 tool steel. It came from a drop room so it's an odd size: roughly square and about 44/64". I've been looking for a way to use this and I was thinking it would make a nice spring fuller. To fit this purpose, I'd need to flatten part of the bar to give it the "springiness" I need. I will also need to bend the A2 to give it a hairpin shape. If the bending is doable, I may double a section of the bar first and drive it into my hardie hole. If A2 will work for this application, what impact will heating have on the bar's hardness and temper? I'd appreciate any pointers. ToolSteel