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I Forge Iron


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    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Interests
    Straight razors, cigars, rum, smithing

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  1. Hi all, this my first axe/hatchet project. It is mild steel with a W2 bit. My forge welding skills are crap (especially in my gas forge) so I TIG welded the bit on after a failed attempt, thus the marks (I'm pretty new to that too). I kind of like it rustic anyway. I normalized once in ash and quenched once in warm water, then let the colour run back up the piece and cooled it again. Seems to work (no immediate chipping yet).
  2. Those are awesome. I can't recall what steel rail is made from... is it something like 1018 with just a hint of alloy?
  3. Try a san mai billet first... three layers. Use the one that will be your cutting edge in the middle. In fact, why not try mild steel around a core of 1070 to start. Grind them clean, stick them together with small MIG or tacks or wrap the billet tight with iron wire. Heat to dull red, sprinkle with borax on all sides until it looks wet, and heat to welding heat and quickly/gently/firmly hammer the layers together from the middle outward. Because it's so thin, it will cool quickly. Do a few hits, then back in the fire. Repeat. You'll have an idea when it's welded because it will cool evenly (can't tell the layers apart by colour) and will sound firm under the hammer. The sides may look ratty. Either forge them back in at a welding heat or cut them off (better for the first try). An alternative would be say 5 layers... a bit thinner than a square bar. Don't make a 2" thick bar at the beginning unless you want to risk that much material... it's up to you. I've made a couple of usable san mai knives with O1 and mild steel, and hoping to get better with billets of 15N20 and 1084 or W2. And ferric chloride isn't the only etchant... it's the one with the strongest contrast, but that's not always the best.
  4. Nice job! My first was not as nice... I still use it.
  5. And on a slightly different topic (different machine, also made by me)...
  6. Ok, thanks. Please PM me with your website. Also, I just unhooked the pneumatic actuator I had made for the jack's pressure release, and sure enough, when closed right I get more pressure. I think your cautions still apply though. I made a stripping bottom die and I'll make a few different top punching dies but I'll have to be careful and maybe not use this for more than some lighter work.
  7. Hmmm. Good to know. Do you sell yours? Can't find a website etc. Even if you do, could you get something like that across a border? I could look at making one myself, but the point of this thread is that I'd rather get back to forging! Also, I think that power pack has an internal bypass, so it uses the fast flow/low pressure to get the ram moving, and then the slow flow/high pressure once it hits resistance. I was going to use electric foot pedals for up and down, and maybe interrupt the signal with roller switches for the top of the travel.
  8. Thanks, I have looked at your press. Maybe I should have done something like that, but I tried to start simple (avoid hydraulics). I have been thinking of replacing my jack with a single or two small cylinders and a power pack like this: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/2-stage-12v-dc-multifunction-hydraulic-power-unit/A-p8541666e I think the width of my frame is a bit excessive, and there's only the two 2.5 x 0.25" wall tubes for structure, so I'm a bit nervous of putting a hydraulic load on there, even if it's only a single 2" or 2.5" cylinder, or two 1"-1.5" cylinders. Any comments? Sorry, I meant this power pack: https://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/2-hp-ac-2-stage-multifunction-hydraulic-power-unit/A-p8677239e
  9. I won't try to overpressure anything... I was just thinking that there might be air in the hydraulic cylinder inside the jack or something. If it sucks, it sucks!
  10. Hi all, Any suggestions on how to get an air/hydraulic jack to pack some punch? This seems gutless!
  11. This might not be the place for it, but here's a quick clip of what I was using the hammer on yesterday. To keep this somewhat related to this forum, I'll mention that I think I neglected to normalize the razor before heat treating. Next time I'll follow the rules.
  12. Yep, I'm liking it. Hope I can make more down the line.
  13. So far so good! I'll upload a video soon, but as I suspected, the 1045 appears to be plenty hard, even with the aggressive tempering I did. Man, it feels good to use a hammer you've made! Next one is going to be a Japanese-style (dogleg) hammer with a stainless working surface (309).
  14. I officially can't wait to get a new welder. I tacked on a couple of bits with my 6011 yesterday and it was painful.
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