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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by anvil

  1. A Santa Fe blacksmith named Russ Sweider took that to an extreme and made dozens of tools for his hand pneumatic hammer. His unforgettable demo was making a dragon out of 1-1/2" square stock in one heat. This included scales, eyes, teeth, ears, the works. Lol, I stayed with Tom Joyce that night and he did the same dragon head in one heat with only his hand tools. His classic remark was "I think power tools running at 1700 rpm just make you think you are working faster!" You can make a saddle to go over your anvil face out of 1/4"x4" or so. Use this when doing any cutting or punching to protect both your tool and your anvil.
  2. I appreciate your input. And sometimes a little nitpicking is necessary. And a thanks. I did think of liquidus as a state, not a temp. Progress. My definition above comes from a 40 year memory. I stress that i make no claim that my memory of its source is valid. So the first thing I did was do a google search for liquidus. Google corrected my spelling and a dropdown said "definitions". I read a few and one basically stated what you say in your definition. Another supported my memory. Both had what appeared to have good references. More confusion. Im going to quote that definition because it does a better job than I can do. Because they focus on glass and liquidus, if you click on the highlighted "alloy", you will see that steel alloys are included. My next step is to find the liquidus temp for an alloy I'm familiar with and see where it lies in the color charts. This isnt a major issue, its just a curiosity for me and thanks, JHCC, for your input. "above" and "co-exist" are the key words here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidus "The liquidus temperature, TL or Tliq, specifies the temperature above which a material is completely liquid,[1] and the maximum temperature at which crystals can co-exist with the melt in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is mostly used for impure substances (mixtures) such as glasses, alloys and rocks." I recognize your humor. My answer to that is my work is architectural in nature, not as a tool smith. I make needed tools for me and my projects. I don't normally sell tools. For this reason when I make a tool, I always review my sources for temps, times, and techniques. My primary sources are a Carpenter Tech manual, Uddaholm Steel spec sheets and my newest, The Heat Treater's Guide Companion. My basic assumption with these sources is that their primary purpose is to give me all the needed data needed to maximize their product. For this reason, if they don't list any special situations, the spec sheets apply. As an example I will use O1 and W1/1095. With O1, in these three sources they do not list any special situations concerning crossection or quench medium. For those who dont know, the O stands for oil quench, and the W stands for water quench. In these three sources, there is no indication that O1 or O2 can be air hardened in any crossection. It doesnt mean you cant, but certainly ought to explain just why " hardening in air has a history of surprising folks". There should be no surprise. You are not hardening it, you are normalizing it. On to W1. two of the three sources state quite clearly that W1 can be oil quenched in small crossections. They indicate that this will aid in preventing warping and stress cracking. Carpenter Tech states "may" and does not define "small". Uddaholm steel basically leaves out may and says "can". The heat Treater's Guide does not state oil at all. However for 1095 they do indicate using oil for .19" crossections. Considering that W1 and 1095 are very similar, an oil quench for small(.19") crossections MAY be used. Because these sources do list these specific conditions for these steels, and they list other specific situations in their specs for other steels, I believe my assumption is valid for any crossection.
  3. You are prolly right. I'll put the foxfire books as arriving later. I'll add Weigers three books and Practical Blacksmithing as other early influence. Still got all of them
  4. I still got you on the logic. And I'll settle for your second one. If A exists at temp x and B exists at temp x, then both A and B can exist at temp x. It cant be either/or for the same material. Beyond this, I agree with your statement. RTB, it definitely depends on what you read. Thats why I brought up Verhoeven. I've discussed the 1" crossection deal ad infinitum. You may find actual steel spec sheets from a steel producer that qualify their stats with anything similar to NOTE: these specs are for crossections 1" or larger, but its not the norm.. I have seen manufacturer/producer specs that give alternatives for both times, temps and quench for such things as "smaller" including 3/8" or 1/2" or 1/4" or 5/16" sizes for the general steels. we all use. All of which fall into the parameters of knifemaking. I have found specs from steel retailers, not manufactures, that support what you are saying. I believe this is a retailer CYA deal so when a guy who knows very little cracks a blade when quenching, they are covered. Also there is plenty on the internet that supports your statement. Its pretty common knowledge, for instance that if you want to be safe when using high carbon steels like 1095/W1, in thin crossections, then quench in oil. However, if you learn how to temper these same steels in water, its not a problem. I believe when doing this there is a tradeoff between hardness and toughness.
  5. They were my two literary start into blacksmithing as well. I think the fox fire books were about the same time. However I got grabbed around that time by "The Gunsmith of Williamsburg" vid and the idea of making a flintlock rifle real bad. Its still on my to do list.
  6. Got me pegged as one who knows how it works in the forge, and trying to learn about the fiddly bits found in books. It took me at least 3 semesters to get thru first year chem. Turley gave a very short but very concise class on metallurgy. He finished it saying if you want more of this,,, RTB(read the book). Basically he gave me the confidence to deal with most any modern steels as long as I had a spec sheet and do it in a coal forge, with water or oil, and a bucket of lime. It's served me well. 4 or 5 years ago when smithing began on facebook I saw "fiddly details" coming from the knife guys that seemed to contradict my experience and very limited book learning. Definitely i got a particular body part buried deeply in the dirt when I presented my traditional oriented views. I also realized it was more due to semantics than anything else. Mine based on that of the traditional smith, they more on contemporary metallurgy. So I decided to follow Turley's advice,,, RTB. Thus Verhoeven enters my life with me fighting chem 101 every step of the way all over again. Dang'd terms! This is just to let all know that my knowledge of this is slim and basically I'm trying to fit what Turley said, And I accept, into this conversation. My conclusion up to now with this post is that what JHCC is saying is what I believe. However we have a semantics and, perhaps, a logic problem. You make this statement and one similar for solidus. I believe I understand where you are going, but, I believe you are using faulty logic. "but the minimum temperature at which ONLY a liquid can exist" If this is true, then a solid cannot exist at this temp because ONLY a liquid can exist at this temp. Your statement(s) are logical if and only if you remove the word "ONLY". If you do this, we are saying the same thing. "Thats my logic, and I'm sticking to it" Lol, a good line for a high tech country western song! I also believe,as you stated above and depending on material, perhaps that there is a single temp where this happens or a temp band where this happens. If its a single temp, then depending on the mass, and keeping temp constant, assuming we are on a rising heat, there will be a time where the solid and the liquid are in equilibrium. If there are differing temps for solidus and liquidus, then depending where you are in the temp zone, will determine the proportions of solid and liquid. If I were a in college and a metallurgist, this would be my hypothesis for an experiment. I also agree with Thomas. In this day and age, Traditional metallurgy got left behind. Thus you can "only forge weld low carbon steel". And thats why there isnt much modern info from the contemporary steel industry on forge welding. I also think that when I was dealing with Carpenter Tech(tool steel producer) as a traditional smith dealing with their product, they asked me questions about heat treating and forge welding as a blacksmith. We came away knowing that the basic principals of the past applied to both of us and that I could successfully deal with their product as a traditional smith. No, I sling, tap, or wire brush all that gradoo off my steel when i leave the fire. Generally there's none of that when I do the FW. I stated earlier that I could still see the swirling look at the anvil, but I will amend that and say I've most likely never looked at that stage of the game. I will say that with a drop the tongs weld, if you dont pay attention and touch the top piece to the bottom piece, they will stick together. So make sure you are where you want to be when they touch. Turn into slush is a poor term, even tho its what I used. When you have a reducing fire and are at a lemon yellow, And your fire color and steel color match, the bar looks and feels solid to the eye. This May be a state called liquidus and this May be a Mix of both solid and liquid. When you strike with a hammer, the liquids flow and bond. Maybe not. Other than scale and perhaps a bit of time I dont think material is wasted until you see sparks.
  7. I created some confusion here. Wrong thread. It would have made far more sense in the thread that was on mechanical twists. I rarely use tubing. For me, I use it on lighting. Its far easier to "upset"(actually drift) the end of the tubing and FW in a piece of upset solid steel that I can forge and taper far easier and quicker. Tubing is easy to gently scroll and makes a great chase to hide wiring in. And yes, thick wall seamless is my go to. Tapering a short bit is doable, but I would not attempt a 30" taper from 1"to 1/4". Nor would I take 2 30" lengths of 1" angle iron, trim 4 flats then weld and grind 2 30" welds. Its far easier and quicker to forge steel, silicon bronze, or naval brass to those dimensions even with a 2-1/2# hammer. Machining is an option, but that is a lot of waste. Seems someone once said,,, " just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
  8. Lol, I noticed this type of strange thangs in all three addy's I posted. Thats not what I found for the definition of liquidus. And thanks for correcting my spelling! I did find conflicting definitions that support you. However, following the golden rule of ask ten and take the consensus, it seems liquidus is the max temp a solid can exist and the minimum temp at which a liquid can exist. I take this to mean both exist at the same time. Call it slush. Thomas, it doesnt appear to be a term found in the phase change charts for ferrous metals, but this "slush" state does exist. Its the transition between two states and, as best I can figure, is the reason for holding our steels at a specific temp for a particular amount of time. First its one, then both states exist, then it becomes the other. So, perhaps a FW at a red heat is a pure solid phase weld and the other a slushy mix where two liquids flow together. And with that fishy statement, 3 daze is all we can stand.
  9. Im running my new shop on a generator. Not much need in my shop for power. Power hammer, drill press, pedestal grinder. Someday Ill replace my stolen mig
  10. Tapering square tubing is a real beech. Even going from square to round and visa versa is a challenge.
  11. Thanks,Thomas. I did some searching last night and found out a FW is in fact one of the types of solid phase welds. https://weldinghubs.com/different-types-of-solid-state-welding/ https://www.substech.com/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=solid_state_welding_ssw#forge_welding_fow http://www.totalmateria.com/Article51.htm I guess an old dog can learn new tricks, And thats a good thing. Im still looking for information on liquidious and steel.
  12. I noticed that the scrolls in the second candelabra pics looks out of balance. They are all the same. There are actually 3 scrolls, and the offness is due to camera angle.
  13. No matter my advice, this is the belief that rules all! Enjoy
  14. I am, and slinging the gradoo gets rid of the liquid flux and whatever is in it. The surface still looks like what you see When doing an ox/acetl weld. Full disclosure here. I'm not a metals engineer and this info came to me from Turley Forge, fall 1979. He may have changed his view after, I do not know. I offer this simply as other "stuff" to consider. Here's a wiki definition of liquidious: "The liquidus temperature, TL or Tliq, specifies the temperature above which a material is completely liquid, and the maximum temperature at which crystals can co-exist with the melt in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is mostly used for impure substances such as glasses, alloys and rocks" the last sentence is critical. When I first read this I thought it didn't apply to iron because of the impure bit. And then it dawned on me wrought contains silicon and other impurities and assuming the added chemicals in modern alloy steels are considered " impurities", then wrought and alloy steels MAY qualify for this definition and fits what Turley said. Perhaps iron crystals in solution at the melting point enables steel to maintain its shape whilst being a liquid throughout at the same time. I've never known Turley's teachings to be off base, but this could have easily been a speculation on his part. The part I have a hard time with wrt solid phase welding, I've always assumed this implies a fair amount of force to make it work. I don't know how much force especially at a forge welding temp. I do know that you can lightly touch two pieces of steel at this temp and they will fuse. I've always assumed this was the two surfaces described above flowing together. Hit it too hard and they bounce apart. I do recognize the problems with any assumption. Thomas, do you by chance have any sources I too know many, including myself, who FW at low temps. Again, an assumption, perhaps early in a liquidious transition, and with a light touch and timing, the weld takes at a lower temp. It seems to me that a solid state weld takes force and the lower the temp, the more force needed. This goes against my experience and what I've observed when others FW at low temps. A light touch seems to be the rule. A further thought, we do know that when steel transitions from one state to another, both states exist for a period of time. That's why time at a specific heat is important.
  15. I'm sure my posts will be combined, but I just did not know a better way to do this. Correct, Thomas Mod Note: anvil's previous comment and the remainder of this comment have been combined into a new post: A quick tutorial on twisting
  16. Ever heard the old saying, "there's a new twist?". Comes right out of the Blacksmiths craft. Fabrication and cold twists are pretty limited to one type of twist. Depending on your power you can twist square bar with very limited number of twists. Doing it hot, the above one liner means the number of twists are nearly unlimited and the types of twists are only limited by your imagination. Here's two examples from a candelabra. Round twists. Can't be done cold. The little duhicky on ch-1 is a shadow. All done with my Lil giant and simple spring fullers made from coil springs. so here is a quick way to do a twist and keep it straight for the least possible cost and time to do. To qualify this, I assume you are here to learn blacksmithing and have, from simple to sublime, a forge, an anvil, a post vice, and a twisting Wrench. The basic tools of a blacksmith plus a twisting Wrench. Hope this works, a picture tutorial is a first for me. Basic twisting Wrench: each wrench is set up for two sizes. In this pic, the material goes in the top opening. Push down on the top handle to lock it in place. Because the openings diverge, you can do tapered stock. A general rule is make each twister for a specific crossection. Use 1/2"-5/8" for 5/8"-3/8". Use 3/4"- 1" etc. Can't beat the cost. How to twist and straighten your twist simply and quickly. No other tools needed than what's mentioned above: This is a test piece, so you can see my center punch marks. Clamp in your post vice on the center punch mark and place your twisting Wrench on the other. Take an even heat in the section between the two center punch marks. You can correct if needed, but if you get an even heat, no twist tightening/loosening needed. In this pic, twist top handle down and do as many twists as your imagination wants. How to straighten your twist: clamp your twist in your post vice ad above. Clamp on the diamond and clamp about half of the non twist to act as a guide. Rotate 180* and clamp again. This section of your twist is now straight and in line with your parent stock.repeat and repeat again til you are the same as last pic. Done. Depending on length of your twist, you can twist and straighten in one heat.Done this way, you will offer your client far more for less time and money, other than my champfered edges, than any fab job with the extra bonus of being hand forged.Quite frankly, we smiths need to share these techniques with the new guys in order to debunk the myth that, purely and simply that We Cant. Admin: please don't delete any of these pics. They represent a step by step process for straightening a twist done hot.
  17. Silicon bronze is forgeable, iron is forgeable. It never ceases to amaze me just how many solutions given here to problems are fabrication oriented instead of smithing oriented, considering this is a blacksmith site,fab solutions are a dime a dozen,,, blacksmithing solutions are worth their weight in gold, literally.
  18. Thanks for that JHCC. I'll stick to practice, clean fire, Neutral/reducing fire makes a good forge weld, and a borax based flux seals, cleans scale and for unknown reasons to me reduces the FW temp, and charcoal does nothing. I believe this applies to all fuel. I'm not sure about a FW being a solid-phase process. Not my area of strength, but when your iron is in a neutral/reducing environment, the surface is actually moving. It looks very similar to the puddle you get with ox/acetl welding. Also i learned that if your iron soaks at this temp for a short bit, it is like this through and throughout. This state is called liquidious(sp) and this is where you want to be when doing a FW. When its solid, there is no liquid look to it. When its a liquid throughout, it slumps or melts. When its liquidious throughout you see this "puddle look" on all surfaces and it maintains its shape. Also, a good way to check your temp is to lightly touch your two pieces and if they stick to each other, you are ready. Beyond that, I dont know much about the solid-phase process
  19. If you want to move out of the realm of the fabricator, or you are here because you just like working hot iron.Then I suggest you learn how easy it is to hot twist. The simplest of hand tools can twist 1" + by yourself without a problem. There is a huge difference in the look of a cold twist vs a hot twist.
  20. Precision shouldnt be a problem for a blacksmith. Use equivalent weights to figure out parent stock, center punch this length, forge end to a bit bigger than 10mm, forge from the center punch mark to the end until you reach your length and final end crossection. A 25# lil giant or a treadle hammer would be nice but, well within the working range for a 2-1/2# crosspeen with a ~5/8" wide crosspeen
  21. A lot to comment on. This is how I generally handle this stuff. However, specific situations call for specific solutions. Both paths are available. I too seek out coil springs that are ~5/8" dia. For me and general hand tool making, 1/2" is a bit undersized. Personal preference. Nearly everything I temper is done using the reserve heat method(differential temper) I quench coil spring in oil and like Thomas, I do not heat either oil or water. lol, living at 9000', this can vary with the seasons. I prefer my hand tools to be either round or, preferably, octagon, not square. Its more comfortable for me. If my parent stock is 1/2" round, i leave it round. Otherwise it just gets too thin for my tastes. As far as using oil or water, this most often depends on the steel. As a general rule quenching in water makes for a harder end product where oil tends to make a tougher end product. Brine(adding salt to water) tends to up the hardness. I'll point out that a W-1 tool steel is usually ~95 points carbon and the W stands for water quench. 1095/W-1 is my go too steel and i follow my advice. I quench hammer faces made from W-1 in oil and about everything else in water. I havent used brine. Concerning microcracks in coil and leaf springs. The cause can be prior use.. However, my belief is when you are a beginner and your steel cracks during the heat treat process the culprit is due to your experience level. I put this far above prior usage.
  22. Congrats! Our discussion has covered a lot of ground and I believe it is worth it and come to a good place. You have now presented a hypotheses. It makes no difference if I or anyone else believe it or not. Its your puppy, It is tangible, and most important, you now have something you can experiment with and, just perhaps, do it in an objective manner. Most important, this now has nothing to do with common sense, its focused completely on the chemistry and physics of the interaction of carbon and iron. I hope you will keep us informed on your results. Your hypothesis: 1: Carbon in solution with iron will affect its physical characteristics. True 2: Will carbon, when applied to iron and not in solution affect its physical characteristics?
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