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I Forge Iron


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  1. I"m curious about this "forced" curing. I find plenty of interesting green wood, and always passed it, because thought is was impractical to cure/dry it DIY. Can you elaborate on the method? Is it a known way?
  2. I need to HT a D2 blade (2mm at the thickest) in a coal forge. I read that idealy, it needs to soak at 1020c for 1/2-1 hour. But It seems very hard to maintain steady temp for such a long time, and I assume carbon loss will be significant. How much "performance" (hardness? toughness?) do I lose, if I soak for only few minutes? What do you suggest?
  3. Power grinders and presses are modern tools. But such ridges where commonly forged 2,000 years ago. Note that sometimes the ridges are tappered. If they used swages, this means the entire length of the ridge was formed in a single die (stroke?). Is this possible in that era's technology?
  4. How would you go about forging a rib ("ridge"?) along the middle of a steel strip? Like on this Pugio dagger, or on a feather. There may be different techniques for a rib on one side and on both sides.
  5. It seems common to consider vehicle's spring steel to be 5160. But when I checked with some manufacturers site's, they state a selection of other steels. Even if one of these is just a different coding system for 5160, they cant all be. My question is - would it be "safe" to assume a "mystery" vehicle spring is close enough to 5160, regarding it'a characteristics and heat treating?
  6. Thanks. Thomas - your idea is good. However, I already spent a whole day going through most of the carpentry shops around, and could"nt get any band saw. Eventualy I found a tiny, dark antient shop, with an antient guy, who makes band saws manualy (!). He refused to sell me raw material. But in exchange for an hour of listening to stories of the old times, I received 2 meters. Sadly, It was only enough for 2 failed attempts. Anyway - I can get cars coil springs, per PNUT's advice - do you (or anyone) know if, welding to itself, it's a reasonable simulation?
  7. I experienced several consecutive failures in forge welding knife billets. So I want to take a step back, and do some practice welds. The thing is, that other than blade steels (expensive and very hard to get here), I only have rebars. I know this material is generaly considered "bad" for blacksmithing. How will it do for forge welding?
  8. When I was young, blacksmithing tools were considered junk, and were free. But nobody wanted them. Now these are sold as antiques for decoration, and priced acordingly. No bargains any more. Phats - Assuming you"re only starting, I suggest you limit yourself to the bare necessities. Anvil you already got. Buy cheap cross peen hammer at a hardware store. Perhaps a ball peen too. One per of tongs, and make some more. Quick-and-dirty will do. Make a chisel and your done.
  9. Thank guys. I"m not sure I used the right term. I mean something like this: It's a good point about power control. So I thought to add a spring that pulls down on the hammer (like in the picture), and a pedal that controls the tention of that spring. So I can increase the striking force with that pedal. However, I d not see anyone doing that, so there may be a bug in my logic.
  10. If your goal is to ease the load on your arm, you need to gain some advantage. Mechanical, energetic or ergonomic. And I see none. You need to move the same mass and your arm provides all the energy. The differance is the path, that seems less natural - further from the body, and arched away. Another differance - more force downward and less upward. I have no idea if this is better or worst. I think you can gain advantage by increasing the swing length. Hence, less force/strain (but for a longer time). The device will also enable you to "hammer" with your weak hand. Another point - Any moving mass that is not the hammer itself (the angle iron, the arm ect) , is wasting your energy. You need to accelerate it, and gain very little of it's momentum into the forging itself. Do try to minimize that excess mass and/or it's distance from the pivot point.
  11. I need (want?) a power hammer, and intend to build one. All I could get for it is a 3/4hp motor. My dilema is the configuration: Most power hammers I see, use toggle connection between the hammer and the motor.But a trip mechanism is much simpler and suited to my humble means. Why is the trip hammer so unpopular? Will I be loosing much if I"ll go this way? Is there a simple design that is significantly better?
  12. I asume the problem is COMITING you and the client to the deal. Perhaps there are ways around that comitment. Like: 1. If the grate may fit other clients, you can make it first (or several), and then price it. Let the client decide if he wants it. 2. Make part of it, so you get better estimation of the work ahead. Then price it and see if the client agrees. Worst case - you lost some work. Perhaps it's reusable.
  13. As for kitchen utensils. and specificly knives - over use and time (few weeks), the metal will get a layer of "patina" - sort of oxidation that will protect it from the "bad oxidation" - red rust. At first it looks like dark and unsightly spots. Dont rub them off. Wash the knife gently and oil between uses. the darkness will grow (hehe...) and you"ll get a protective layer, so you dont need the oil any more.
  14. Some AWSOME dragons where presented on the forum, so I wanted to try my hands at one (in other words - got jealous...). In addition, the wife asked for a buissiness cards holder. So the plan was a fierce dragon, with a long sneak like body, coiled to form a cavity for the cards. Never made dragon scales, so I made a scrap test piece. Then made the head (also a first). When a kid thought it was a donkey, I realized change of plan was in order. The test piece was recovered, welded to the head, and a more "lay back" dragon emerged. It does hold cards - on it's feet, against it's calves. However, the wife sais "it's too nice to take to the office". Whatever that means...
  15. lyuv


    Several days ago I mentioned I know Hofi, and was asked to post about his well being. Several months ago one of his legs was amputated, followed by a long hospitalization and rehabilitation. But it's only one leg, and Hofi is only 84 years young. So no biggie and he's back at the anvil. I visited him today, and disturbed him grinding a batch of several dozens hammers. He also plans to renew the classes. BTW - in November he will host a celebration for the 30th anneversary of the smithy (and smiithing). There will be a large log, and each guest is invited to bring a nail he forged, and stick it in the log.
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