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I Forge Iron


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  1. I have wanted to start making knives since I was about 12, so mostly that. The more I get into it though, the more I would like to make. I find banging steel fascinating and making cool stuff out if just some old metal is fun. The block is working great, much, much better than my ASO. I also upped the weight of the hammer I was using and I am now able to move steel around easily! It might not be doing exactly what I want, but it is now fun, not an aggravation. Thanks for the help guys. I am working on my first set of tongs today.
  2. I took a 1" ball bearing out this morning and tested the hardened piece. On the end that was not hardened as well, I get about 35% rebound. On the end that I hardened, I am getting about 75 - 80% rebound and a nice ring out of it. My 8 year old son has had a lot of fun "helping" me with this project so far. He was amazed by the quench and had a lot of fun with our rebound testing this morning. I have to keep an eye out and make sure that my 1" ball bearing doesn't "disappear" now. :) I asked this question in my other thread on homemade anvil plans, but no one has answered it. Should I weld this hardened piece to another piece of the same, or weld it to like 24" of light rail on end, to make a post anvil? I know I could just sink it into concrete, but would it be worth the extra effort to add some mass to it first? Thanks for all the help. Do not repost the same thing all over the forum, that will only upset the natives. Just wait and it will get answered. I am sory if 11 hours is too long for you to wait for an answer.
  3. Thanks for that link, I had not found that one! That is very similar to the chunk that I got.
  4. I know I have posted a couple times about anvils here, but I feel like not having something decent to work on is holding me back a bit. I hope you guys don't mind, but it seems like this is the best place I have found for info. I stopped at the scrapyard again and came home with a chunk of unknown steel that is about 19"x9"x3" and 125 lbs. I was whacking all the big chunks I was looking through at the scrapyard and this one seemed to have the most rebound and ring to it. There was a lot of A36 and some various tool steels in that area and I really have no idea what it is. The known tool steel in there costs more, but it wasn't marked so I don't know what it is, but a hunk of metal. I previously picked up a couple chunks of 4140 that are 10"x3"x2.5" and about 15 lbs a piece, so I was wondering if I should weld a couple of the 4140 chunks to the top of my new piece or just use it as is? I am ready to hear that I will not get full face contact, but the pieces are only 3" wide. It seems to me that welds all around on a piece that narrow would be sufficient. Am I wrong? I would preheat everything to 400 F before welded and I was thinking of just using 7018 since I have it on hand. I could also add some feet to it, which would add additional mass. I am thinking it should end up in the 175 lbs range the way I envision it. I was debating on adding a small horn of some sort as well, I have a couple small A36 plates laying around that I could use. Is it worth the work or am I wasting my time? Now on to a second question. I have a couple of the above mentioned 4140 chunks that I wanted to make a post anvil out of. I was obviously going to turn one on end and plant it in a cement bucket or pipe, but I was wondering if it would be worth welding a second one to the base, for added mass? As an alternative, I have a 4ft section of light rail. Should I cut a section of it and weld the 4140 brick to it (all running vertically)? I would just use that rail as a post anvil, but I like the idea of a 3"x2.5" target vs just the light rail width. Where would I get the most for my effort?
  5. Ok guys, I know everyone says just use the piece, so I will. The thing is, I have like 4 pieces of it that are all equal size. So I decided to play around with one of the chunks tonight. I heated it in my forge for a couple hours. It was around an orange color and holding there, I don't think I could get it much hotter in my small forge, so I finally quenched one end in used motor oil. It kept trying to set me on fire and it was a big chunk to hang onto with my tongs. I need to replace my home depot bucket with a metal one, I didn't wanna burn through the bottom. :) So after about half of it got quenched, I ran down to the canal in my back yard and plunged it in for the finale. I ran it in my toaster oven for about two hours at 400-F after that. I figured it couldn't hurt to see what happens. If it doesn't work, then oh well. I didn't hear any pinging when it quenched. It was a fun experiment, no matter what happens.
  6. I do have a propane tank converted to a forge that I can fit these pieces in. They are big chunks though, weighing around 15 lbs each. I was thinking of just using one set up on end for now and getting all the mass under the hammer. I was also debating on refacing my HF ASO with one of them. I was reading up last night on welding cast iron to tool steel. They have a few more chunks there and its .85¢ a lbs for those. I was thinking about getting a big hunk of a36 or something like that and facing that with some of these 4140 chunks. Many ideas in my head. I could weld several of the 4140 chunks together ... I also have a 4ft section of light train rail that I could throw into the mix. What if I cut the section of rail and welded a 4140 chunk to it, turned on end, and make a larger post anvil? I could embed that in a concrete base.
  7. I have been anvil hunting with little luck, so I decided to stop by my local scrapyard today. I came home with a couple chunks of 4140 that are 3"x2.5"x10". I would like to harden one's face and sink it in some concrete for a post anvil. Any suggestions on trying to harden it? I don't know how much I should try to harden, like just a few inches, or what? I have a small forge I can heat it in, or I could use my HF weedburner and give that a shot. I don't have anything but old motor oil on hand to quench with at the moment, but I could get some better oil if need be. I was thinking about a 400° temper after hardening. Any thoughts or wisdom to share? I could bang on it as is, but I would rather it be a bit harder first as it is pretty square and flat at the moment. I am planning to dress the edges a bit before the ht.
  8. Hi guys, I figured I should introduce myself. I live in the Central Florida area about half way between Orlando and Daytona. I own a small Landscaping business, but I have wanted to get into knifemaking since I was about 12 years old and have never done it. I am turning 42 next month and I finally decided it was time to follow my dream. I have some downtime in the winter here (yeah, it isn't really much of a winter so I still have some work to do, on and off, I work about every other week in Jan and Feb). I started collecting some tools a few months ago and I am currently looking for an anvil. I bought a HF ASO before I knew any better and it takes way too long to get anything to move on it! I recently finished a propane tank forge build and I am moving up to it from the coffee can forge I have been using. I have really not made too much yet, I have just been moving some steel around, playing with rebar and old edger blades. I have been drawing out some of those edger blades and will try my hand at my first knives sometime soon. I do plan to move on to known steel once I start to get the hang of things, but I have a bunch of old lawnmower blades and edger blades on hand to start with. I recently bought a Dewalt portaband saw and I am making a table for it, so I can cut some stock. I also have a couple drill presses (one floor standing and another bench top) and a couple of cheap belt grinders/sanders (1x30 Delta and 1x42 Dayton). I would love to pickup a good belt grinder in the next year or so. I also have a couple 4-1/2" angle grinders, a 7" angle grinder, and 6" and 5" bench grinders. I would like to turn one of the bench grinders into a buffer, possibly. I will be looking in my area for some groups to get involved with. I did recently buy The Complete Bladesmith: Forging Your Way To Perfection by Jim Hrisoulas and am almost done reading that. Any other suggestions on books would be appreciated. I have done a fair amount of welding over the last 10 years and I have a small lincoln mig and an old lincoln buzz box on hand. I also have an old gas cutting torch outfit. I guess that about sums things up.
  9. Hello everyone, same old story here, I hope you guys are not too sick of these posts. I have been lurking on the forum for a while but just registered recently. I am looking to get into smithing mostly for making knives, which I have wanted to do for about 20 years now. I have been picking up tools this fall and I bought a HF ASO before I knew any better. It sucks and I am looking for something to replace it with. The budget is limited, of course, but I am willing to tighten my belt and spend a little more money if it would help me move forward a lot quicker. With all that said, I am looking at a couple anvil I found locally, but they are both several hours drive from me. I am in Florida north of the Orlando area, closer to Daytona. I have been watching cl for a while and we seem to have some stuff pop up, but not a really rich anvil area from what I have seen in the past 4 or 5 months. The first one is on cl for $3/lbs and looks pretty worn. No marks or maker id on it from what the seller says. I have talked him down to $2.50/lbs but he is holding firm there. I have not seen it in person yet. The second one is in a small second hand sort of store. Guy says he was told it was a forged anvil and somewhere north of 70 lbs. There is a crack in the horn. He is asking about $2.50/lbs as well, but told me to please make him an offer. My third option for now, is heading to my local surplus yard and picking up a piece of 4140 that I saw last time I was there. I was thinking of making a post anvil out of it. Thoughts appreciated ...
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