Borntoolate

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Posts posted by Borntoolate


  1. Well your forge gets plenty hot that is good!   Unless you were not paying attention I also believe that you very likely could have seen the very distinctive sparks that come from the fire when your piece is burning.   And BTW I have burned stuff too from not paying enough attention so this is not a jab from that comment.  

    But as you say experience should help a lot.  

    One suggestion would be to burn another piece of steel intentionally.   And watch above the fire for the telltale sparks   When you pull it out it is like a sparkler.   You can see those sparks coming from the fire while your piece is in it.    You can see only a few sparks, early, if you pay attention... which tells you that your piece is VERY hot.   But very likely not so hot that there is much damage.    You might consider teaching yourself to recognize those sparks coming from the fire but without being able to see the piece actually beginning to burn.    It is a good thing to be able to recognize in order to prevent burning stuff up but also in order to know right away when you have a very hot piece of metal.   I think if you can learn how to know when you are almost there with your forge that will be a good thing.   And in general I don't think a few sparks, caught early, doesn't do much damage.    Others may know better.   I am still learning.  And different metal chemistry matters here.   I am talking about mild steel.   Others know way more than I about other steels / alloys.

    Not sure how you add air to your forge but you will be able to begin to learn how adding air and at what rate contributes to burning vs just heating.   To have burning you need excess oxygen.   So if you are adding air agressively you may be able to get things heated up but the excess O2 will cause more burning but could also carry some heat away.  But to little air will not give you a hot forge any time soon if ever!.   It will just be warm and burn coal and take a long time and be boring and annoying.   

    So I think the trick is to heat up your coal with enough airflow to get it close to a white heat, in a big enough ball, with enough coal all around your piece, in a reasonable amount of time, to be able to make the coal around your steel very hot, then back off on air flow to zero or nearly so, and let the steel soak in that low excess O2 ball of white hot coal, but only a few seconds should be necessary...   Then pull and hammer!   If you can do that reliably you are in a great place.    I welcome anyone's correction or challenge on the above.   If you have a thicker piece of metal, put in cold, you may have to heat it up slowly, at least initially, in order to get the heat throughout.  So some soak time in some lower heat might be necessary.


  2. biggest for me was the 3+ lb hammer that Brian and I made.   Me being the striker.    Him being the brains and the guys with the tools and expertise...

    After that, by myself, biggest was two ~4 foot leaf springs that I heated in my rarely used, home made... and poorly maintained gas forge.   Basically I just straightened them (took the slight curve out) for a friend knife maker.

    Not biggest but quite annoying.   I have a piece of 347SS that I would like to do something with.   But it is extremely stubborn and does not care all that much about being heated and getting soft.  It tends to want to stay... not very soft!


  3. I forge for personal needs and use first.

    Second for Gifts.

    And mixed in somewhere between zero and second I forge because I can...  and I enjoy doing/trying new things.  And sometimes it just feels good to hit something with a hammer and have your way with metal!   I have never sold anything but a couple or three times I have been rewarded with a gift card for doing replication or special request work.   I have a day job and so don't think too much about selling.   But maybe one day when I retire I might pursue that as one minor source of income.


  4. Twists are just plain fun.   What can u say?    

    Yeah and interesting...  A twist mixed with round... i like it!   

    Just remember the twist happens where the heat is.  If no heat then no twist.  More heat twists more.    less heat twists less or not at all.   You can quench areas you do not want to twist in order to control where it twists.  And of course nothing that is clamped twists...  

    I twist mostly with some channel locks.   That is bad form but I have not made a double handled tool to twist with.   yet!   


  5. Sounds like sparks are an important indicator.

    Maybe with wrought you can get away with lots of sparks.

    But sparks say "I am hot enough to weld"   Maybe...   Too Many sparks is a waste or disaster...  Too few sparks maybe not all is hot enough?

    I am just interpreting. and trying to summarize what I am reading and have seen...   My experience is not great...

    Sparks need to be seen with the the metal in the fire.   You have to see those metal burning sparks coming up from the fire with the metal still in the fire.   You can't just be pulling it out to look all the time...

    Flux is there to prevent O2 from getting to the metal to create burning.   Flux blocks the O2.   It is there to prevent the FIRE triangle.  

    Seems like excess sparking is always bad but maybe with wrought it is not so important because you are not worried about carbon?

     


  6. 23 hours ago, John Galt said:

    Thank you for the kind replies. I am an Engineer (it's a curse) by trade and education so I am pretty anal about anything I put my hand to. But, in my older years I have definitely mellowed.  I was pretty pleased with the results and am glad that you all agree :) I have a crapload of 1/4" and 5/16" round so I will be making a lot more of these. I do not have any square stock in that size range. I will be shopping around for some. But I guess I could put a square to the round stock . .  hmmm.

    Thanks again for the kind remarks for my efforts!!

    USe the round to make square stock...  or...   I love octagon.   THis also provides a fully hand forged product.   Forged 100% over the entire surface.   it's great practice too.   And at 1/4" and 5/16" you are not going to kill your arm.


  7. with just your arm that is going to be a lot of drawing out.   Get a piece of steel closer to what you want.   MUCH closer!!!!

    If you must draw this one out.   Find a sledge and use a striker.   Naturally this creates a whole new list of safety concerns and/or equipment needs / concerns.    And I am no expert.   But my personal rule is i don't make plate with my hammer and anvil.  But it can be done.   Consider the number of heats it will take and how much metal will be lost due to scale.  

    IF you have access to a power hammer that is a different story.


  8. protect your body.  Life is too long to go through it with your body parts screwed up.

    If you are clenching your teeth that is a good sign you have the "death grip".  Let the hammer do all the work.

    Work slow to work fast.  Be accurate and develop a good technigue that makes things happen with out a rushed death grip.    Maybe some tooling to do both????


  9. this is mostly unrelated but I feel for ya.   I recently had a water line fail under my house.  The crawl space gives a little over 12" of room to work.   I found while under the house that nothing went right...    to the point of ridiculous!   Second. I found that once I got under the house that that I apparently became stupid and could do nothing right once I got past all the ridiculous stuff.   Anyway, at least you don't have to crawl in and out 40 times to deal with some new unexpected / stupid mistake while forging.    

    I wish I had been screwing up at my forge.  

    Next time...    A plummer.... maybe

    Maybe its like a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.   Or a bad day at the forge is better than...    And a bad day in general is better than working under a house!


  10. The only things I would add to dickb about punching the hole is that

    you have to go most of the way through.   Hot, with a punch.

    Then you can flip over and give and smack that will help ID the shine spot of the hole on the other side.   Helps you see the center from the back side.

    Then punch out the slug but don't try this too hot or it won't shear out well. 

    And if you can shear the plug into a tool that has a similar sized or slightly larger hole it may work better than into your improvised hardy.   But I guess if its cool enough....

    I am no expert but Brian taught me this and I think punching a hole can be easy or it can be very annoying.    But when I saw it done and was able to do it myself it is quite satisfying.    Punching a hole like this in one heat is probably best.   That is not to be bragatory but rather to say that is about what it should take if done right.   Depends on how thick you are punching perhaps...    Trust me I have screwed this up so often.    I have also done it right and wondered how dense I was to screw it up!   If it is three or more heats you are probably doing it wrong and you are in the annoying realm.     :o(   

    Drifting it from there is another story....      


  11. relevance today???   

    I have been blessed with 60+ year old house with PVC water line failure underneath it (Peer and Beam Construction, poor QC, PVC only pushed in about 1/8" into 1/2 SW fitting, totally just came apart!).  

    I have decided to go back with pex piping.   I purchased a tool that requires a good bit of "Squeeze" to set the collar that seals the pex against the fitting.   My clearance under the house is about 12-14 inches.   I must reach over several other pipe runs that travel willy nilly and my leverage is crap.   Where I need to work seems to be the hub of all water lines under the house, yeah!   

    I have been contemplating a tool that will allow me to easily pull the plier like handles together, on the pex collar. under my house, with minimal clearance, poor access due to stuff in the way and next to no leverage.   So far....   So FAR! no black widows but I know that this is a favorite place for them.    I have plastic down to keep me out of most of the mud and widows!!!   

    Currently I am thinking a tee handle tool with a hole in the far end away from the tee handle.   Add a rope through the hole and hook it to the ends on the tool handles.   Then all I need is leverage to twist the tee handle, which I have.   I expect I can even twist at a bit of an angle if I give enough length beyond the hole.     I will make said tool by blacksmithing.   I will make it to order, to be able to complete this job without over much cursing, under my house, in the mud, with the widows....   etc etc.... I could make it other ways but it would not be as fun or interesting.   But if the tool fails to work I can easily modify it.  

    Or maybe just call the plumber!!!!!

    Oh, it is the guest house and currently not in use or critical.   So no big rush.  Prolly get there this friday when I am off work.   Now it's dark in morning and when coming home.   All the other work is done which was a MAJOR PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Install two PEX runs and clamp!


  12. or do it handcrank at least at first to see how it works.   1440 rpm, if it works, gonna blow your coal outa the firepot.....   Possibly blades with it.   Hand crank lets you put air when you need it too and at the right amount.

    u gonna be able to get that thing in there????


  13. i don't agree with" young" children driving fork lifts, tractors. etc .

    I totally agree .People in the past fought hard to give children the right to a childhood 

    Who says that kids are deprived of a childhood if they are trusted to operate heavy useful equipment, do a productive job, learn life skills and a work ethic?   Most I have seen take huge pride in what they do.   I don't think depriving kids of being useful is depriving them of a childhood.    Letting them operate major destructive equipment via video games is a waste, at best.    Child slavery is another thing.   I don't think anyone is talking about that.   And yes some kids won't fit a certain mold that you might want.   I guess bottom line is I think kids nowadays are too coddled.   But I bet all Grandpas have thought that since forever!

    As a kid I would love to drive a forklift!  That would be awesome!

    Driving forklifts and tractors and doing really cool but effective things are part of why video games appeal.   In a video game you are trusted with multimillion dollar equipment and lives.   IF kids are coddled they are trusted with nothing.  

    And I am not suggesting that Eric is telling us to coddle our kids.   Just my two cents, respectfully.