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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Navajo County, Arizona
  • Interests
    Smithing, of course, as well as: Hunting, fishing, trapping, bushcraft, diving, computers, networking, and gaming.

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  1. That looks slick, especially considering that it was a hand-made job. Where is the bone coming from?
  2. I really like the hunter (Not that the other ones aren't good too). Is that dyed maple burl?
  3. I'm getting ready to start making my first sheaths, but I need some tools first. I don't have any background in leather working, so this will be new to me. What tools are recommended for this?
  4. As I begin to toy with the art of blacksmithing, I experience the need for more tools. In this case, it is a hammer. I plan on purchasing from the Pieh Tool Co. When I look at their website, I see a great inconsistency in the prices of the hammers. http://www.piehtoolco.com/contents/en-us/d838.html Peddinghaus being the cheapest. This begs the question, why? What makes one hammer more expensive than another? What qualities set a good hammer apart from a bad one? Would I regret being cheap and buying the peddinghaus?
  5. How does the type or weight of the oil affect the quench? Will lighter oils produce a greater hardness? Does it matter if I quickly submerge the edge all at once, or should I do it slowly? How long should I submerge the steel, until it is cool enough to touch with bare hands? I did multiple searches on the site not yielding the answers I was searching for. If you could suggest some keywords that would produce better results, or provide me with a link to another thread, I would be more than happy to search for my answers there. I try to avoid asking questions on a forum that are asked constantly and answered the same. My homework yielded multiple 5160 heat treat charts, tempering methods, and much else. What I could not find, however, was how it all applied to axes. I appreciate the info given thus far and intend to implement it. I had not heard of the rockwell hardness scale until I started forging, which was less than a month ago. As a result, I do not have any hands on experience with how hard things are in correlation to the scale. I know that 60rc is very hard and is desired in knives, but I have not actually tried to sharpen a 60rc knife. This is why I question what is the desired or targeted hardness for a blade of axe-type implications. It shouldn't be too hard, but also not too soft. If you supply me with ya'lls preferred hardness, I can use online heat treat tables to try and obtain it. According to the tables I have looked at thus far, this will likely yield a hardness of 58rc. Does that sound right?
  6. This is actually my first forge project I've ever done. It is a hatchet made from a 5160 Leaf Spring. With my current tools, I couldn't really obtain a very smooth forge finish, so please excuse its roughness. I also understand that because the blade is not directly center with the eye, that there will be balance issues. Since I have such little experience, I did not want to attempt a forge weld. Feel free to critique. I am very close to being ready to heat treat it, but I have some questions. First, I'll list my currently available quenchants. I have water, brine solution, dish soap solution, 2-stroke motor oil, and chainsaw bar lubricant. My current understanding is to austenitize the steel by heating it to its critical temperature in the forge, which I have read is approximately 800 degrees C. The steel should be the color of unfanned wood coals. I have magnets for checking to make sure. Once having reached critical temp, I am to quench the edge in whatever quenchant I decide to use. This begs the following questions: For how long? Do I rapidly submerge the steel, or slowly? How far up past the edge should I quench for a hatchet? Next, I am to temper it. This is the part I am most unclear on. From what I understand, I can buy a toaster oven from the thrift store, wrap the blade in foil, and heat for however long I need to at whatever temp. I am sure that there are charts online that will aid me in knowing this. This also begs a question: What is the desired hardness for a hatchet or axe? 55 rc? I also wonder how important it is that I relieve the stress in it first. From what I can tell, this is done by annealing. I plan on doing this by lighting a wood fire in my 55 forge, and letting the blade sit in the coals until the fire burns itself out. How many times should I do this?
  7. Using the bottom-draft design stickied at the top, I fabricated myself a bottom-draft 55 forge. For fuel, I used simple Juniper firewood. It got very hot, but it took close to an hour to get it going that way. Even then, my friend's railroad spike was only starting to glow red, and was not hot enough to shape. I'm wondering if I should insulate the interior. I've seen the recipe of portland cement, clay, and sand used here on the forums. I do not have access to (free) cement, and was wondering if an adobe mixture would work, using clay and straw. There also is not an ash buildup. Would this ash buildup insulate it as well? I have never used coal or seen it used, so I do not have a reference to judge the performance of my wood coals. I think my wood coals will work, but I'm wondering if it would be worth my while to buy real coal.
  8. I found this RR track anvil on ebay. $20.00 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Old-Stove-Works-Advertising-Cast-Iron-Anvil-Montreal-Canada-/370583227277?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56487b4b8d#ht_500wt_1104 Think it would be worth bidding on?
  9. My apologies, I did a few searches on this site concerning I-beams and did not find the answer I was looking for.
  10. I am in no position to buy a real anvil. I'm sure there are, however, some alternatives. I noticed a large section of I-beam, about anvil sized, and about 1/4" thick, in a friend's yard the other day. Would this perform like an anvil substitute? Maybe if I welded some support columns in the gap? Other homemade alternatives?
  11. I've been kicking the idea around of making a dagger for my brother for his birthday, and I think I'll model it much like this one. Do you its dimensional specs? Height? Width? Thickness at the base?
  12. I was going to send in some alligator juniper to be commercially stabilized. Any recommendations? River Ridge products has a nice website...but they won't die wood orders under 30lbs. Woodstablizing.com is a little more expensive, but will die small wood orders. Any suggestions? Experiences?
  13. I was looking at the work of some of the master smiths of the ABS, and found this knife. http://www.americanbladesmith.com/index.php?section=users&subsection=user_detail&user_id=252 Cool concept!
  14. Yes, I think that a good book would be worth looking for, and now I have recommendations. Excellent. I did start with too much material. I took a horseshoe rasp and just started pounding on it basically.
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