Buzzkill

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  1. It's already been pointed out to you that rebar is not a good choice for a knife for several reasons. One of the reasons is that it tends to move a little unpredictably under the hammer compared to known steels. We all had to start somewhere, but I suggest that your two days of working that rebar would have been much better spent trying to set up some face/forge time with a person or group who already knows how to do what you want to learn to do. It's not that we don't understand rebar or what you want to do. Most of us are telling you it's a bad choice specifically because we've already been there and done that. You don't know the carbon content of the steel. It can vary from piece to piece or even within the same bar. Even if you happen to find a good length with carbon content high enough to harden you'd have to use trial and error to determine the proper heat treatment - and that would require breaking some of the pieces you forge. I hope you stick with it, but I also hope you'll take advice from those who have already been down the road you're starting on. You don't have to repeat every mistake we've made in order to learn from them.
  2. In my experience an adjustable 20 psi regulator should be fine. As Frosty said you need to tune and adjust for your specific forge and location, but if you can't get the heat you need with less than 20 psi chances are you don't have the burner tuned correctly or your forge is too big or of poor construction.
  3. It sounds like you are in the typical "it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it" mindset as far as forge interior goes. Been there done that. You already have a very large forge built, so if you are going to build another this might be the time to see how small you can go and still fit your needs. Believe me, there is a big difference in propane consumption to keep the one you have already built at temperature compared to a disposable helium or freon canister forge. If you're mainly interested in forging straight blades, whether knives or swords, it's a good size to work with. A mousehole in the back lets you heat enough material to work by hand without constantly heating portions that you can't work in one session anyway. That size gives you about 5 inches internal diameter to work with, which tends to be more than enough for straight blades. Obviously for war axes or odd shaped blades you'll need the larger forge or other options. One way to make a smaller forge and still allow for larger pieces is a clamshell type of design. Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose to do. I'm looking forward to see your creations.
  4. You need to scroll down. It's there.
  5. I have an old set in a wooden box. I don't know the brand name, but I lost a tap and gambled on the HF set. It was more like trying to rub the threads in with friction rather than to cut them. I believe the individual tap I bought afterwards to replace the missing one in my set was Irwin, and I can't even tell you for sure that it's a great brand. I can tell you it's a heck of a lot better than the HF taps though. I know there are people on here with a lot more experience than I have with quality tools of that sort, so hopefully one or more of them will chime in.
  6. Frosty, you must have read something differently than I did. What I took away from his posts was specifically to listen to the "grey beards," but do your own research. We have a guy here with zero experience with forging or even the use of tools some of us would consider basic, yet he has searched, studied, made mistakes, practiced, and learned from those mistakes. He admits to getting ahead of himself and making a few bad choices in his enthusiasm to get started, but he has slowed down and done some more reading to see where he went wrong. As I see it, the purpose of this thread is to encourage newbies with no experience to take the time to do their homework and listen to the Frosty and Mikey folks out there to end up in a better place. I never got the impression he was encouraging beginners to ignore experienced advice at all. Mitch, assuming I got the tone of your post correct, keep at it. You're making good progress, but as you've already discovered it does pay to do the research and planning before diving in head first. One other minor point. The tap and die sets you can get at HF are absolute junk in my experience. Unless you think you need an entire set you'd be better off buying quality individual taps you need from a reputable source. Believe me, you'll notice the difference when you use them. A good tap makes it much easier to start the threads and keep them centered.
  7. Is the regulator at the tank adjustable? If it is then you can turn the pressure down until it's nearly shut off, light the torch, and bring it up slowly to see how it burns. That will allow you to see the flame characteristics with increasing pressure and also keep any excess flow protection from being triggered - at least at first. If that regulator is set for one pressure only, then it would be best to put a needle valve between the regulator and the torch so that you can accomplish the same thing. The worst likely thing to happen if it's not an adjustable regulator is that you only have one setting and that may dump a lot of propane into the surrounding air quickly. Chances are it's not enough to be a major issue if it's only open for a short time, but obviously a mixture of propane/butane, air, and ignition source can be bad news if very much gas gets out without the torch being lit. If I were messing with it I'd definitely do this outside and have a good flame source at the end of the torch before turning on the propane. If it wouldn't stay lit I'd shut down the gas immediately. One more thought occurred to me as a result of Andres comment. If the LPG you have has a far different ratio of butane to propane than the torch was designed for, then you may not be getting the correct ratio of fuel to air needed to keep the torch lit at some pressures. I don't know enough about the differences between butane and propane combustion to troubleshoot that aspect, but maybe someone else on here does.
  8. I have a 128 PW that was in similar condition when I got it. As others have said it's suitable to use as is. I used mine for a few months and then decided to clean up the edges a little for 2 reasons: 1) There was some chipping and I wanted to decrease the chances of additional damage, and 2) I didn't have any good areas where the edge radius was consistent for more than an inch or so. As I said though, I used it for a few months before doing anything other than using a wire wheel to clean it up. When I did clean up the edges I used a flap disk on a 4.5 inch angle grinder and took off the minimum amount of steel I could to create some smooth edges and lower the risk of future chipping. The face has some pitting in it, but I left that alone and I assume I'll eventually work the pits out of it. To me it was the right thing to do, but if you choose to "improve" your anvil just remember that you can quickly take steel off and reduce the life of your anvil, but putting it back on (correctly) is a big and expensive task.
  9. The other thing you are likely to hear is that most multi-function tools are rarely good at all functions and frequently not very good at any of the functions. What I'm saying is you are probably better off building a forge for forging/forge welding and a furnace/foundry for casting. Most likely you can use the same burner for both, but unless you are using small crucibles a forge will not work well for melting, and a foundry is usually not set up well for forging. Burner placement and orientation tend to be different for starters, but there are a few other crucial differences in construction as well.
  10. That is going to depend on the size of the forge, how well it is insulated, how large the forge chamber openings are, and if you can tune that torch the way you want it. You're definitely going to have to have a fairly small forge in order for that to be sufficient no matter how well the forge is built.
  11. I was going to suggest lowering the pressure as well, but there is another factor to take into account here. If you are planning on using it in a forge, then what's really important is its behavior when inserted into the forge as you intend to use it. Granted, most torches of that style do function well outside a forge body, but what really matters to you is how it performs where you want to use it. Forges tend to create a little back pressure, so in some cases a burner will stay lit in a forge that would blow itself out in open air. Yet another possibility is if that torch was designed to be connected directly to a propane tank with no regulator, then it may actually require higher pressure to function correctly. I hesitate to suggest trying it without the regulator unless you could put a needle valve and a ball valve for quick shut off between the tank and the burner, but that would give you a better idea. That regulator also has excess flow protection with auto shut off. I don't know if that could be part of the problem or not.
  12. Assuming you have low pressure NG to your buildings, the only good option is a forced air burner. That could be either a single port burner tube, a ribbon burner, or possibly other variants. However, all of those I've seen allow you to control the air and the fuel gas independently. Since that is the case you can use the same plans for a forced air (blown) burner for either propane or natural gas. The forge body construction, lining, and coatings can also be the same for propane or natural gas. As long as you can get the appropriate volume (pressure doesn't really matter) of gas and combine it with the proper amount of air for the forge atmosphere you want you should be able to use pretty much any blown burner plans for propane and also use them for natural gas.
  13. Good deal. At the very least if you are posting a picture of work done by someone else make sure you specify that it isn't something you did and give credit to the creator to help avoid confusion. I'm looking forward to seeing your finished blade.
  14. 1776, I saw the pic before it was removed. That blade was made by one of our forum members here - Stormcrow. I can't speak for him, but it would have been better to ask his permission before posting his work. He may be (or may have been) willing to give you some pointers if you were to ask. FWIW you did pick a good blade to try to emulate though. I just hope it's for personal use and not for sale if you're basically copying another smith's work - at least not without his permission.
  15. 1776, it looks like you have a pretty good handle on it, but you can read through Steve Sells' pinned topic for a final review and a little deeper understanding. I don't believe he mentions in there the purpose for heating the oil. The short answer is it quenches faster if it's hot. The longer answer is something like this: the viscosity of oil changes with temperature. When we quench we want as much of the quenchant as possible to be in contact with the blade. If the oil is cold you'll create a vapor pocket next to the blade that the cool oil will take longer to displace. You'll still get a vapor pocket next to the blade with warmer oil, but since it can flow faster when warm it will displace the vapor more quickly and actually bring the steel temperature down faster than if the oil were cool - at least that's my understanding.