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I Forge Iron

JL Riffe

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About JL Riffe

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    South Central Kentucky

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  1. Great Ideas all. Thanks. The circumference of the dies have a half-round inset to receive a set screw (or several) This would make for easy change-outs of the tooling. .....maybe press out some sterling silver coinage..... for alternative currency some day...
  2. A representative sample of the punches and dies, both D & B sized tooling for tablet presses.
  3. Honestly, the D3 dies I am at a complete loss as to what to do with. There is not enough metal, per die, to get more than a small throwing hawk out of..... so they are just sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike or for me to build a small smelter to do some back-yard foundry work. ....but that's on the back, back burner. Power hammer, or in my case treadle hammer tooling is a definite possibility however.
  4. I had planned on reworking them as ideas spring to life, whether I put them in the forge or grind out a shape. Just want some softened up before hand and ready to go when inspiration strikes.
  5. Thanks guys, I appreciate the positive input. I've never built anything like this in my life and I did it without prints or anything. Just my tape measures, calculator and squares. Honestly I am grateful it is still standing.... oh and as you can see, my shop floor needs mowing....
  6. Ok... trades might be a thing I just need to parse this a bit. I won't sell the stuff for scrap. Charlotte, thank you for an excellent idea and I believe it might be a workable alternative to what I had in mind. Just to elaborate on the original premise. My thought was to use fire brick as a surround for x number of punches.... literally like packing a kiln but using oak as the fuel source or more importantly the coals which would yield a higher thermal output than the wood itself. With the punches surrounded by fire brick they are protected from oxidation that would result from supplying air to the coal bed, hence keeping them in a reducing atmosphere as opposed to oxidative and the resultant growth of scale and loss of mass to burned metal. Granted, heating the entire mass of brick and steel will take a longer pre-heat period. With the addition of the IR thermometer that Charlotte mentioned one could monitor the temp of the entire mass and it might (might) be possible to bring the metal up to the critical soak temp and hold it there. The fire brick will add thermal inertia which should prevent or minimize a critical loss of heat to the metal and thus allow a sustainable maintenance of the spec'd soak temperature. But..... it could equally be a doomed experiment...... but that is the work-around I mostly had in mind.
  7. The problem is that is has been shaped, hardened and heat treated, then used in production for years. My experience with other hardened and tempered steels tells me that to rework the metal into new forms you have to relieve all the stress otherwise you have a mess full of fractures. I have also found that S7 crumbles like a dry biscuit when forged outside of 2k deg +. There is a lot of steel bound up in the 1 1/2" x 6'' punches which I would love to make use out of in some form or fashion. Ok... there is one other thing to consider. These punches have literally undergone millions of compression cycles on a rotary tablet press at 3 to 5 tons per cycle. Fracturing is undoubtedly an issue with an unknown quantity of this metal.
  8. Ok, I can accept that Frosty. Thanks. I suspect the better solution is to scrap the material for salvage price and work with more forge friendly mats. I just hate letting go of steel but if it is outside of one's ability to work properly its only taking up space and time trying to save it. Thanks again. ...and I apologize for the "snark" comment Steve. I could have framed my question in better context.... and not gotten my back up as a result.
  9. I have read up on the steels. I have a crapload of this steel to deal with and in lacking a suitable furnace/kiln or oven to achieve my objective, I need a work around. One or two burns being preferable to deal with the lot of it. I am not talking about a weenie roast campfire. Think of a wood fired kiln burn. enough steel with enough hardwood charcoal in a reduction environment to achieve a suitable annealed state with these steels. If this is simply not possible without very precise temperature and cool down controls then I will simply scrap it or maybe experiment with a small scale foundry to melt this down... with some low carbon and see what happens. Suggestions would be nice, snark not so much.
  10. A couple of update pics. I've made some progress. Still lots of stuff to do tho.
  11. So.... in the process collecting all my steel to move it over to my new shop..... I figure I have nearly 200lbs of S7 and D3 (punches and dies for tablet presses) I've been collecting this stuff for years and have never used any of it, I need to either learn this steel or scrap it. My question is; rather than annealing this stuff a few pieces at a time anyone reckon I can just build a large hardwood bonfire and cook the steel for x number of hours and achieve a suitable anneal?
  12. I'll be xxxxxx, talk about turning the concept of a rail-anvil on its head. Great job, thanks for posting. now I know what to do with my old chunk of rail.
  13. Honestly..... the auger is my favorite implement. I vowed never again to dig another post hole by hand.... we are overly blessed with rock strategically located in the exact places I have to sink a post. The bush hog is nice too.
  14. Thanks... I could have built a killer shop for what I am paying for the Kubota but I can't take care of the horse paddocks with a forge.
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