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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by JHCC

  1. You could do that, but you would be much better served by practice, practice, practice until you get it right. A jig and a punch will do one thing only, but hand/eye coordination and hammer control will benefit every part of your smithing.
  2. Not all materials go through such a state when either melting or freezing. Salt water does, but pure water (where the liquidus and the solidus are both 32°F/0°C) does not. It is possible to have both solid and liquid water together at 32°F/0°C, but that only happens when there's either too little energy present to melt all the ice or too much to freeze the liquid water.
  3. The term may not be there, but the iron-carbon phase diagram does show such "slushes". In the example above, this is within the area usually labeled "γ + L", where "L" is short for Liquid and "γ" (the Greek letter gamma) stands for austenite (as opposed to "α" (alpha), which stands for ferrite).
  4. This is not correct. Liquidus IS the maximum temperature at which a solid can exist, but the minimum temperature at which ONLY a liquid can exist. Solidus is the maximum temperature at which ONLY a solid can exist, and the minimum temperature at which a liquid can exist. In between (when they are different) is the "freezing range" -- i.e., slush. For example, consider steel with 1% carbon. Up to about 2550°F, the iron is completely solid, composed entirely of austenite (face-centered cubic crystals). Above that temperature, it changes to a mixture of austenite and liquid iron. Above about 2720°F, all the remaining austenite melts, and all of the iron is completely liquid. In this example, 2550°F is the solidus, 2720°F is the liquidus, and in between is the freezing range. (These figures are approximate, but close enough to demonstrate the point.)
  5. Yes, if there are any sharp corners on your hammer, the resulting sharp dents can create cold shuts.
  6. As I understand it, the "liquidus" (not "liquidious") of a material is the temperature above which the material melts. The "solidus" is the point below which the material crystalizes. The area in between is known as the "freezing range", and in this range, the material exists as a mixture of solid and liquid, like a slush. In other words, when a solid is heated, it starts to melt when it reaches the solidus temperature and is completely melted when it reaches the liquidus temperature; when a liquid is cooled, it starts to solidify when it reaches the liquidus temperature and is completely solid when it reaches the solidus temperature. When the solidus and liquidus are the same, the material is called "eutectic". Most pure metals are eutectic (such as pure iron, at 2800°F), as are some alloys (such as iron with 4.3% carbon, at 2066°F). The liquidus and solidus for steels vary somewhat, depending on the content of carbon and other alloying elements. However, even the lowest solidus temperature (~2400°F) for forgeable steel is higher than the 2300°F usually cited as the highest white heat for welding. There is a common impression that the surface of a piece to be welded becomes liquid, but I suspect that this derives from the shimmering effect of the heated air between the workpiece and the viewer's eye. That is, the refraction of the image changes as it passes through eddying air currents at different temperatures, much as the heated layer of air just above a road reflects the light to make it appear that there is water on the road.
  7. You might be getting an excessively oxidizing fire. That can cause a heavy scale buildup, which in turn can lead to surface cracks if it gets hammered back into the steel.
  8. The Stegosaurus is objectively the coolest of dinosaurs.
  9. As I note in one of the comments on that thread:
  10. Marian Paroo: "I've never met a man who sells anvils before." Charlie Cowell: "Takes a real salesman, I can tell you that. Anvils have a limited appeal, you know.""
  11. Hmm. I'd been thinking of cutting the bolt ends off and welding on a piece of squared-up 1" schedule 40 pipe (which fits my ~7/8" hardy hole rather nicely), but that's certainly worth a thought.
  12. Did you see my video about drawing logarithmic spirals?
  13. One trick that I have not yet tried myself is using the mandrel on the diagonal for long curves. There's a good photo of this in "The Art and Craft of the Blacksmith" by Robert Thomas, but I can't find my copy at the moment.
  14. If you make the platform round, then you can roll it to different locations as you try out different layouts.
  15. There's a genre of YouTube videos of people relating how they play scammers, including some where they keep the scammers talking while they track their location and even hack back into their webcams.
  16. Very nice! I don't remember seeing one with tabs for bolting it down; interesting detail.
  17. Mark Aspery commented on that page: ”I have the parts from John West to photograph and will pen a short article on John's behalf regarding the veining tool [in the] CBA Magazine. “In essence, its 1-inch sq tubing constraining 3/4-inch tooling. “There is a spring attached to keep a gentle but constant pressure of the tool onto the project piece - this stops the "bounce of the tool" and aids accuracy. “The business end of the upper tooling is tapered - with a larger gap at the front to allow for a smoother feed of the stock (from the front so you can see what is happening). “The staple holding everything together is a factor of the length of leaf (or Dragon) that you intend to vein. “The handle allows the tooling to be lifted as you position the project. It is fitted into a drill hole in the upper tooling. This requires a slot to be cut in the upper sq tubing - drill and zip disc.... “Bottom side of the tooling is crowned to allow for rotation of the project (curved lines). More crown tighter curves... “The tool was fitted to be used in the vise - but is perhaps better suited to be used at the anvil - note Victoria's shoulder position during use. But, as hardy holes vary at these type of events, fitting for the vise made sense in the short term.”
  18. A Facebook Marketplace listing and five bucks led me to a bucket of interesting bolts, including a few that should make some nice little dishing forms.
  19. Any scale that gets hammered back into the hot steel will leave pitting. Wire brushing when the piece comes out of the forge and keeping the anvil clean between heats and during forging will definitely help.
  20. Bad for the sharpeners, good for the blacksmiths looking for cheap tool material!
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