Hey guys, been lurking around the forum for a while, got around to making a forge, and worked some rebar (only rebar) for a couple hours. I had a lot of questions before I started, but actually heating and hitting metal made some things clearer.
Now let me explain my setup before I ask anything. Sorry to say I don't have any pictures, but hopefully I will be able to get some up tomorrow. I made a brake drum forge about maybe 4 or 5 inches deep, from the brake drum of a truck in some junkyard. I bought a piece of railroad track from some guy on ebay and attached it to a stump/log. My bellows are box bellows I made myself, they move maybe about 1.5 cubic ft of air for every complete push or pull (1.5 on pull and 1.5 on push, so 3 ft^3 on one repetition). I'm using hardwood charcoal for my fuel, and a 2.5 lbs "blacksmith hammer" from the hardware store. Bellows:
First I just hit the metal for a while, flattened it out really thin, then kinda folded it a couple times, getting a feel for the whole process. I noticed the metal became very brittle like after flattening and folding. I had been hitting it for a while, so I'm assuming some part of the rebar composition was lost in the process. I also noticed it had put out little "spikes" or something when I looked at it after it had cooled down, small almost mountains out of the surface. Cut that part off and scrapped it. Any idea what happened, or what the "mounatins" were?
Then I tried forge welding, didnt really know what I was doing, I figured I had to heat the metal a lot and kinda beat it into itself. I took some rebar, made a 180 degree bend and started heating it up. I heated it much more than anything I had heated before that. Funny thing is, when I pulled it out, only the main bar was there, maybe at a bright orange or yellow heat, and the part that I had bent back seemed like it had fallen off maybe. What did I do wrong, and does that happen often?
At the end of the day, I eventually made a banana holder for my mother, it came as a random Idea after I had made a spike of some sort. I fixed it to a wooden base as it wouldn't stand straight without it. :angry: . I attached some pictures, what do you guys think?
Last question, I read on here that charcoal likes deep fires, and I'm thinking that 4 or 5 inches deep won't cut it. I have a small ridge or crevice around the perimeter of the brake drum that I can put a piece of sheet metal into, but I wanted to know what thickness would be necessary to contain the fire? 1/8 might be thickest sheet that would be easily workable when cold, but I don't know if it will be thick enough to contain the actual fire.
attached some relevant pictures. tell me what you guys think. Sorry for the long post! :D