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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by Crunch

  1. Hello, all, I did a search and didn't find my answer.


    I'm always scrounging for steel for my welding/blacksmithing/woodworking projects, and in a pile of refuse from (apparently) a barn that burned down, I found a carbide-tipped 10" circular saw blade. The plate of the blade was warped from the heat, so I'm assuming that any heat treating that the plate had is no longer there – but the carbide teeth were all still on the blade, so apparently it didn't get hot enough to melt the bronze used to attach the teeth – so I'm assuming it didn't get hot enough to ruin the steel.


    I'm considering using the steel plate to make a scraper for woodworking and/or possibly a plane iron blade – if the steel would be suitable for this, and if I can successfully reharden and temper the steel. (For a cabinet scraper, generally, you file a 45° bevel on the edge, then hone it on 1500 grit until you get a burr, then roll over the burr with a HSS burnisher, and this creates the "hook" that does the cutting when scraping. For a plane iron, typically you might grind it on waterstones up to 4000 grit on a 30° or 35° bevel.)


    For whatever it's worth, a Google search turned up this page:


    Which said that (at least for their own blades): "For tungsten carbide tipped saws a high chrome, high carbon steel is used (1075 Cr1). "


    Anyway, does anyone have any idea what type of steel I might have, and/or how I might quench and temper it for my purposes?


    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. Thanks for the replies, guys.

    Steve, sorry for the terrible terminology. I guess I should have said "temper" rather than retemper, but since the spring was (I assume) quenched and tempered once already, I was calling it a "retemper" but I guess since by then I would have quenched it again (re-quenched?), it would be a "temper" – not a "retemper." Again, my apologies.  

    JNewman, thanks, air hardening is probably the best bet. Thanks for the tips.

    Biggundoctor, I didn't know about that spring temper wire. Unfortunately, no good suppliers around here, and shipping from online (if I could even find what I want online, and I can't) would be prohibitively expensive.

    Frosty, thanks. Hadn't thought of the valve spring. I'll look around in my junk pile. FWIW, it's not an issue of "pulling the rope all the way out to the stop" – the issue is, it's a Stihl 660 with a 7hp motor, and sometimes it pops and wants to rip your hand off...which I guess is why Stihl makes "Elastostart" handles that absorb some of that shock...but I'd rather make something than buy it...

    Thanks again. 





  3. Hello, all,

    I'm sure this has been discussed at length, but searching doesn't find much. I need a compression coil spring about 1/2" OD x 1-3/4" long which compresses closed with a load of about 35-50# for a chainsaw pull-start shock absorber. (I know they sell them but I want to make one with a spring.) 

    Was thinking of using the steel from a larger-diameter spring for spring stock, heating until I could form it around a suitable sized rod mandrel, then quench and retemper.

    Is there a down and dirty way of doing this, especially the retemper? I've heard of using molten lead as a temp regulator but would like something easier. Does a kitchen oven get hot enough to retemper your typical small coil spring?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  4. Hey, all, I'm just a fount of questions this week.

    I just bought a caliper on ebay like the one shown below, and the rivet is tight...way TOO tight to use the caliper the way you're supposed to use these kinds of calipers.

    Does anyone know how to loosen the rivet so that it's not so hard to pivot the joint? I was thinking that heating the rivet, while keeping the steel that surrounds the rivet cool, would force the steel rivet to be smaller after it expanded and then contracted, but that doesn't seem to have worked (I tried it just now with an O/A torch, but maybe I didn't get it hot enough)...

    I tried penetrating oil, working it loose by forcing it back and forth a few hundred times, and nothing seems to work. Please help!



  5. Hmmm...now ya got me thinking SmoothBore...many thanks! I'm not at the backhoe now, so I can't put a magnet on it, but will report back. (It doesn't "look" like SS...)

    Though I like your idea on the hydraulic motor for the bandmill, I'll need the backhoe/loader to drag sawlogs to, and load them onto, the mill. So right now, I'm thinking of using one of those ChiCom 22 hp Chonda motors they sell at HFT for about $600 for the saw's power.

  6. Hello, all,

    I just bought an old Case backhoe from the late 60s / early 70s and I may need to replace one or more of the hydraulic rams / cylinders because they are pitted and are likely to tear up the seals.

    It occurred to me that the chromed steel in those hydraulic rams might be useful for blacksmithing. Does anyone know what type of steel would be typical to make them out of?

    Also, might this type of steel be good for shafting on something with a lot of radial load? I may try to fabricate a bandsaw mill in a year or two, and will need something for shafts on the band wheels...and those bandsaw bands are under some God-awful tension.

    Thanks for any information.

  7. I would think annealing/normalizing it would soften it up, though I'm certainly far from an expert.

    Portaband is an essential tool, IMHO. You'll probably be getting one eventually, anyway. Milwaukee is the way to go. I use mine constantly.

    Absent that, a 4-1/2" angle grinder with a cutoff wheel should go through it fairly fast, whether or not it's too hard for a hacksaw. Angle grinder's another essential tool, and you can get cheap ones at HFT for about $12 ... and they last a lot longer than 1/8 as long as one of the name brands that cost 8X as much (they even include replacement brushes!)

  8. Hey, all, I recently made an anvil hold-down dog out of some 1/2" round bar I'd gotten from the steel yard. I used it a few times and it seemed to work OK, but then for some reason it stopped working because when I hammered it down, it didn't "stick." I guess it got bent out and had less curve in it. 

    My question is, should I use high-carbon (or even medium-carbon) steel for a hold-down dog, rather than mild steel, so that it can be hardened and tempered to have some "springiness" so that it will "stay put" after I dog it down? Or is mild steel OK for this?

    I've never really forged any HC or MC steel yet, as I am afraid of overheating it and burning out the carbon. 

    Thank you in advance. 

  9. You guys have probably gotten tired of me talking up Carnuba paste wax for an iron finish but it's the stuff they wax bowling alleys with and it requires a drum sanding to strip it to rewax. They rewax IIRC because it starts chipping, the stuff is really REALLY hard when cool. We have steel plant, etc. hangers outside that have been there since we built the place, about 17 years now and no rust, zero.

    Yep, my father was a mech engineer and worked as a plant engineer running factories for various heavy industries, and he researched waxes because they wanted a food-safe wax to use on bone gelatine handling equipment. He told me that carnauba wax is the hardest, toughest wax known. I also use it, specifically Butcher's Bowling Alley Paste Wax. Works great.

  10. I've got a pretty nice 207# PW. It has very good rebound and rings like a bell, even though I wrapped chain around the base and then bolted the chain down to my steel anvil stand with grade 8 bolts. I may try gluing some rubber bits to it underneath to try to quiet it down some...has anyone ever done that? Does it work?

    Will try to post up some pics soon.

  11. Hello, all, I'm a very novice "blacksmith" and had a few questions that I'm sure have been answered before but I'm not sure how to search up the answers.

    1. Is it OK to work cold mild steel that's maybe no more than 1/8" thick (and never on edge) on my Peter Wright 207# anvil? I know I've read that you shouldn't hammer on cold steel on an anvil, but sometimes I need to shape some sheet metal cold and wanted to make sure this is OK. I would not be pounding on it too hard, of course, since it's just sheet metal/mild steel.


    2. I need to make some "C" shaped brackets out of 1/4" MS (this would be heated before shaping, of course) to hold 2x4 lumber. I plan to arc weld the "C" shaped pieces to longer vertical pieces that would be pounded into the ground and used to hold 2x4 lumber to keep dogs from going under the house.

    I had planned to use the corner of the anvil's top to make the first 90° bend, but I'm not sure how to make the second 90° bend since my anvil is wider than the 3.5" height of a 2x4. Should I put something into the hardie hole to hammer against after I start the bend on the edge of the anvil?


    3. Is it OK to work metal on the "tail" of a Peter Wright anvil like mine? The tool steel top looks like it is a half-inch or more thick...


    I apologize for these really basic questions, but I have no one to learn from around here.






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