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I Forge Iron


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  • Location
    Cypress, TX
  • Interests
    Smithing, woodcarving, collecting and repairing classic camp stoves, leatherwork, Historical Interpreter.

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  1. RMartin2, check into joining Houston Area Blacksmith Association. We have a chapter that meets at Armand Bayou once a month and a chapter that meets in Magnolia once a month. Go to WWW.Haba-iron.org, or look for us on Facebook. It's the best $20 you will spend.
  2. For the carbon added through a surface application to have any effect, you must allow time for it to diffuse through the steel. Carbon will move through the steel at about .010" per hour at 1650F. As others have said, this is a pretty thin case at best and would likely be ground off if you did any grinding on the blade after hardening. RR spike knives are great projects and can yield an interesting knife but they are not generally good carry knives because they are heavy and do not hold a good edge. Buy some O1 or W1 and make a real knife.
  3. March 5 and 6 will be celebrated at Texas Independence Days at the Washington on the Brazos State Historical Site. Several members of the Houston Area Blacksmith Association will be volunteering to demonstrate traditional smithing to the visitors. The park opens at 10:00 AM and closes at 4:30PM. This is a premier family event with many traditional crafts being presented. The Army of the Republic of Texas is usually there in full regalia and canons are part of the show. If you are anywhere near Washington Texas (near Brenham) please come out and enjoy a great day!
  4. Welcome Robin! A good anvil may not look like an anvil. Mass is the deciding factor: more is better. You might weld the horn not but you can work around it for now.
  5. Welcome, lulabeast! Those are the biggest sugar tongs I have ever seen!
  6. As of Jan. 8, 2016, I have retired.  I still work with HABA, volunteer at Washinton-on-the-Brazos State Historical Park as a Historical Interpreter, and still consult for 2 companies.  When I have time, I also work at my forges.

  7. I am still here and kicking!


  8. Houston Area Blacksmith Association will open our Magnolia Smithy on the LAST Saturday of every month for open forging and for training in basic hand forging, metallurgy, heat treating, safety and other appropriate topics. To forge, you must be a HABA member and can join immediately at the meetings. The smithy is located in the Magnolia Depot facility at Buddy Riley Blvd. and 1774. The meetings open at 9:00 AM and usually end by 3:00 PM.
  9. My prayers are with you! I had a spinal fusion on my lower back 7 years ago. The pain relief was amazing! Have faith, your life will be much better!
  10. Well, some of you may remember me from many years ago. I contributed some of the Blueprints that were on the original site. I have been away for various reasons but now that I am retired, I am getting more active in blacksmithing again and will try to be a good neighbor. Before retirement, I worked as a metallurgical engineer and hope I can contribute a few things along the way. Best Regards, Quenchcrack
  11. Regrettably, I learned of Junior's passing a few days too late to communicate with him directly. I'm sure my birthday card arrived too late. My heart-felt sympathies to his family and close friends. I have three hammers Junior made for me, one of which (a 1lb cross peen) he took from Baby Anvil to send to me. Sorry Baby Anvil, I know he planned to replace it. I still use those hammers frequently. Junior was a humble but truly remarkable man who forgot more about blacksmithing than most of us know. God bless you Junior, He likely has great plans for you!
  12. Thanks, Patrick. I was about to break out my hip waders. Does steel stretch as much as credulity? ;-)
  13. Untempered martensite has a maximum theoretical hardness of about Rc 65.
  14. The variability within a 4140 steel from one heat to the next is sufficient to cause variations in hardness if the same procedure is used every time. Variations from the top of the ingot to the bottom can do the same. This is due to the natural segregation of the alloys during solidification. Heat treaters usually demand the mill test reports on steel when large tonnages are involved. They generally make subtle adjustments to their process based on the actual chemistry. Even then, not every piece will be the exact same hardness. When I hear that someone has a process that works, I say stick with it. You have the major variables under control and small variations, while having a predictable effect, are not affecting the performance of the product. That's what good engineering, and smithing is all about.
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