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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by will52100

  1. The reason for the folding in the Japanese swords is to over come poor quality iron and to work impurities out, not to develop a pattern. I like damascus and making it because I am infinitely more involved with the blade forging than with a straight carbon blade. Even one I've forged from large stock. Is there a performance advantage? Not that I've found. My best 52100 will out cut my best damascus, and is stronger in flex and bending test as well. Damascus can make an excellent knife, but it's not king of the hill performance wise anymore. But it sure is pretty, and fun to make and look at!
  2. "In industry fabricated hammer frames, no matter how solidly built, have a much shorter service life than a comparible weight cast iron frame. Somthing to do with the way the different materials transmit vibration." Very posible, good cast iron is very ductile, but I have seen several power hammers with cast iron and cracked and broken frames. Of course there 60+ years old as well and have pounded out no telling how much hot steel. Ductile cast iron tends to dampen vibration by it's nature, where as steel is stiffer and transmits more vibration. Anouther issue with a fabbed hammer is that of almost everyone I've seen there are a lot of butt welds and little or no gusseting, where as most cast hammers I've seen flair out to the base and spread the load/vibration out evenly. Even so, my hammer should last my lifetime, and even though I use it hard, as a knifemaker I'm not doing production forging on it. If I was doing production forging I'd have one of the self contained air hammers. As much as I like to forge, I spend a couple hours on the hammer and a week or more on finish work. Also remember that the old mechanicle hammers were made from cast iron because it was cheap and they had mastered casting, not because it was superior to welded steel. At the time hammers were in demand they were casting virtualy anything and everything from cast iron.
  3. You don't have to be a certified welder to do good welding. You need to know what your doing, but you don't have to be able to pass an X-ray test. As long as you get decent penitration with a good rod, or wire, and you don't overheat the weld or suronding metal and crystalize it or undercut it too badly you shouldn't have a problem. My hammer held together for years with some places on the toggle arms only having 1/16" by maybe 1/2" weld penitration. The reason I got so disgusted with the welds is I used to be a welder. The little giant toggle system realy is an elegant design. The only reason I had problems is that I tend to run it flat out reducing thick stock at lower temps than a lot of smiths do and that makes for just a little more vibration and shock. If the welder had done just a little better job, I'd probably never have had a problem. They still would have been extreamly weak, but because of the design would have held. And while wire welders are nice, nothing teaches like stick rods, you learn to lay down decent beads with a 40 year old box and damp rods and you can weld with anything! Would love to see pics of your hammer.
  4. Thanks, will have to give the pipe a try and see if I like it for forging a welding. I like the idea of the pizza oven.
  5. Thanks, never tried the pipe methoud so wasn't sure about it. Kinda surprised it'd get get a blade to criticle. Anyway, thanks for the responces, I think I've got a heat treat plan for it now. Now if I can avoid screwing it up! Sure is a world of more dificulty between a 12" bowie and and 26" sword!
  6. Thanks, I've got a heat treat oven, but it's only 18" deep, and an old kitchen oven I use for larger knives, and a toaster oven I use for hunter sized blades and such. I'll look at the kitchen oven, I might be able to stick the tange out the door for a decent tempering soak. The steel pipe through the forge is suposed to be an indirect heating methoud, never tried it. I have done the soft back draw with a torch, and it works pretty well if you do it 2 or 3 times, that seems to overcome any shallow tempering problems, and it helps to slowly heat the blade. I haven't tried the tempering tongs yet, but it seems a little easier to get consistant results than the torch. Good idea on the boiling water as well, you only have to go around 200-220 deg.F. to do a stress relief, though you won't realy temper at that temp. Anybody got a good idea of the temp required for 5160 in sword form? I don't make many knives out of it, I prefer 52100, but I normaly temper it at 350 and can bend a 5" blade a couple of times 90 deg. before the edge starts to crack. The next step I quess is to gather my courage and heat treat the blamed thing, it's been sitting in my shop for a couple months now waiting on me. Thanks
  7. I'm trying my hand at a sword, so far the largest knife I've done was a 12" blade on a bowie. I've got the blade, a single edged falchon type, basicly an extra extra long bowie, forged, normalized and rough ground. I can bring it up to critcle and quench, not a problem. I plan on doing a clay backing, but what about tempering? It's too long for any of my ovens, I had been thinking of doing by colors and using a steel pipe in my gas forge. Ideas? BTW, the blade is 5160 from john deere load shafts. Thanks
  8. I bought mine already built, I never could get the time to go to a build, I work overseas, and there wern't plans availible at the time. The only real issue is the base plate realy needs to be heavier than 1/2", I'd suggest 1" at least, if not 1 1/2". Also after some use the motor base plate starts to break away from the motor houseing. Not a fault of the hammer, but sideways stress on spot welds, the motor manufacture didn't figure on the kinds of side loads a tire uses for the clutch. It's an easy fix if your a good welder, just run a quick bead and a brace and it's fixed. Just keep the heat down, my motor have been runing fine for years after modifiying. Here's a pic, just use thick steel for the brace and make sure you put most of the heat to the brace, and do it in short sections letting it cool between welding so you don't burn the wires.
  9. The only thing I would add is that I purchased a tire hammer, never could get my schedule worked out to go on a build. It's a nicely made and well ballanced machine with some of the crapiest welding I've ever seen. Time after time I had to re-weld parts that came apart from near zero penitration of the weld. After the last time I went over it and took it apart and fixed all the bad welds. After that I haven't had a problem. The only design flaw I see is that the base was only 1/2" thick. A pit thin for a 50lb. hammer. I welded it to a 1" thick plate that was a little larger and bolted it down to a 10" thick concrete slab and it works like a champ. The bigest issue was the welding, someone used a mig, and if you don't know what your doing it'll look good and have little to no penitration.
  10. That looks awsome! you have every rite to be pumped. The only thing visualy is the aftermarket pocket clip, needs a third screw for the empty hole. I personaly hate bending clips, it's a pain to get them just rite. I did find a source of ti clips, but I still prefere to bend my own. I know damascus would work for the linner, but I still think ti would be better, after it work hardens a bit it doesn't seem to wear anymore and it's somewhat "sticky" to the lock. Your making me want to get off my butt and try a damascus folder out.
  11. will52100

    Build or Buy?

    You've got a good point, I tend to forget there is other metal working than bladesmithing. Mine is used almost completely for damascus and for reducing large stock down and mosaics. It is a 20 ton with a two stage pump. Not the fastest in the world, but pretty quick and plenty of sqish and plenty of controll.
  12. will52100

    Build or Buy?

    Here's the one I built, it's not a hard build, but if you count your time and materials, it's 6 one way, half a dozen the other. If I was going to buy one the Clayborn is the one I'd want. That's an old pic, I did have to use 1/2" flat bar for the guids instead of the 2" channel, it was flexing and bending it. Probably could have used 4" channel iron or heavy angle, but had some flat bar left over. After I replaced it no problems. The oil tank is two freon bottols brazed together. Got the pump, cylinder and fittings from Northern tools. I've heard the argument of press vs. power hammer, I've got both and think they compliment each other nicely.
  13. I've used the graphite platten linner stuff before. It works OK, but wears down pretty quick. I haven't used it in a long time, realy like the ceramic glass linners.
  14. Here's a pic of mine and what I did to the motor housing. This is before I repainted it and moved it to my new shop. The linkage at the back and the base plate I welded it too are from a "Rusty" hammer that I built that never performed to my satisfaction.
  15. I bought one a while back and love it. It was built at a workshop Clay held. The only faults I found with it is that it realy needs 3/4" to 1" thick base plate and the motor mounts are spot welded on and need a little reinforcement. That and a thick concreat slab realy help out. Not a fault of the hammer, but all 1 horse motors I've seen have a thin spot welded base. A piece of flat bar welded to the motor housing and base stiffened it up nicely. Just got to be quick and not burn the motor up. I've had a couple power hammers that use the motor as a clutch and they all wound up needing reinforcement due to the spot welds breaking and the motor peeling back from the force of contacting the tire/belt/whatever.
  16. Never say never indead. I had all kinds of problems till I met anouther knife maker and got a little hands on, and I do mean little. A few pointers and it was like a light clicking on. Awsome pattern, definatly don't see that every day.
  17. Thanks, it's been sold for a while now though. With normal damascus, especialy the higher layer stuff I don't blue, but with mosaics I like to blue sometimes due to the large low number of layers. May experiment some more when I get my shop done.
  18. Looks great, been meaning to try some intergals but haven't had the time yet.
  19. Very nice work! Last time I looked into hot blueing it was in the 400+ deg. range, under 300 deg. would be perfect. Thanks
  20. I've seen a good many damascus art knives hot blued, but from what I understand the temps used to blue causes a little edge holding loss. Not sure how much exactly. I've used Birchwood Casey super blue and like it for some damascus, realy improves the contrast, and no heat.
  21. Good tip, I'm working on one tonight and probably most of tomorrow and will try it. I made a steel one to use for soildering, but like the tube idea as I try for a soilderless fit now.
  22. foiled again, that's rite in the middle of my 14 days on the water. Seems like everytime there's a show or hammerin I'm stuck in the middle of the gulf.:mad: Thanks for the update. At this rate I'm beginning to think I'll be better off waiting on a set of plans.
  23. Thanks, that was what I was needing to hear. I would apreciate the photo's also. Like I said, I was going to one but it got canncelled. I realy like the idea and design, but I work 14 days on and 14 off offshore. It seems everytime there's a class within driving distance I'm on the rig. I want one pretty bad as a rebuilt little giant down here will run 4+ grand, if you can find one that is. I would love to attend a class, like I said, I'm not an engineer. If it came down to it I could make it from detailed plans but would take longer with the minimal welding and cutting tools I have. I have been playing with the press but can see myself going back and forth, some things the press excells at, others a hammer. Is there a class schedule anywhere out there? Thanks, Will
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