What I did in my shop? I practiced. First, I had some 5/16 X 3/4 bar stock that I had practiced making a horseshoe . I decided to finish it by making a bar shoe. I hockey sticked the two ends and forged a scarf on both ends. Not a good scarf but I thought it would work. Heated to red and applied the flux, (mountain flux). Gentle taps in the beginning. Three welding passes and when I was working on the inside of the bar, it came apart. I used my one burner NC gas forge and had the forge heating up for 45 min before my attempt. Needless to say, it didn't forge weld. So, I heated up some 5/16 round stock 8 inch long and upset or bumped up the middle for practice. I then flattened the 8 inches just to take out my frustration. It worked. I feel better. It has been around one year since I tried forge welding straight bar stock so I'm not really bummed. I still enjoyed pounding on the metal. The world is good.