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Posts posted by Desert-Owl-Forge

  1. Hi Joshua, I  make my hot working tools out of W1 tool steel. The key is to use water hardening steel because you have to cool them down as they get hot during use. If you use anything other than water hardening steel you can cause the chisel or punch to develop crack as you cool them down. Also if you use something too high carbon you'll have harder time forging it. W1 is easy to forge. I normally fully harden them after forging (just dip them in water until they totally cooled) then temper that to blue. You can buy W1 at places like MC Master and Hudson Steel. They are pretty inexpensive and ship to your door. I just bought 2 pieces of W1 3/4" round x 3' long. They cost me $44 + change. I hope this helps. 

  2. Hey BTL, I am a new member to the forum so I don't know if this is appropriate but: welcome back!

    I used to think like that: being born in the wrong era, but not any more. I am a blacksmith here and now. Payment sucks, stress is high and retirement will never happen, but I enjoy what I am doing. I am not sure I would enjoy being a blacksmith 200 years ago. I also had a glance to the petrochemical industry ( worked for a company who fabricates oil rig and refinery equipment) and it is not rosy.

    I hope you find the way to get back to forging again.