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I Forge Iron


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  1. At about 8:20 in this video he pulls the tool out of the heat and presses it into a white powder (Borax?) before quenching. Can someone tell me what is going on here?
  2. Added for posterity? I've already posted these on here in another thread but I didn't see them here.
  3. mpc

    Well hello there…

    This is at a little antique store in a small Idaho town. It’s at a crossroads between the interstate and Sun Valley, ID so they get the wealthy/bored tourist traffic. The seller has dozens of rusty sheet metal art pieces. I’m sure there are dozens of condos in Sun Valley with a Sasquatch or two. I went back today. The screw looked good. I offered $150 but they said they only had authority to go down to $200. The vise (and all other stuff in the photo) don’t belong to the store owner. They’re from a guy who rents space there. From the response I got, I think the guy probably paid more than $150 for it.
  4. mpc

    Well hello there…

    Stumbled upon this today. 5” jaws. $250. I was still in my clothes from court so I didn’t get a chance to take a good look. I think I just found me a new vise.
  5. Thanks for the replies folks! For those who commented on the idea for this use of RR spikes, this wasn’t my original idea. My daughter saw it on Pinterest. I don’t know who came up with the original idea but it’s really clever.
  6. So... My kid saw this online and said she wanted one. It took me a while, but I finally was able to make something I didn’t hate. Question: How would you go about cleaning this thing up? There is weld splatter, forge scale, and all sorts of other “dirty” stuff that probably doesn’t belong in a little girls bedroom or on something kids will handle. I don’t have a sand blasting cabinet and the idea of hand sanding or going over all of the little parts on this with a dremmel does not sound happy. Can you sand blast without a cabinet?
  7. Wait... What? Is that possible? I just kind of assumed it was “done” because... I don’t know why... because it was... cold?
  8. I’m more than a little depressed. This was 5 layers. 1084/15n20/1084/15n20/1084 My next project is going to be one of those knives the samurai used to disembowel themselves.
  9. He’s looking to buy because he doesn’t have the time to build. He’s looking at the Chiliforge and Majestic 3 burner forges. Is the Chiliforge worth 2x the price?
  10. In this way Blacksmithing is like my profession and it drives me crazy. You can’t really learn how to get it right by reading a book or watching YouTube, you’ve got to spend some time with people who know what they’re doing and watch them do it to get that “feel” for how it’s done.
  11. I knew I left something out. This time I did use flux. Just regular Borax out of the box. I cleaned the steel & ground off any scale. Then I tack welded the layers together. Then I stuck it in Kerosene (to keep it from oxidizing while I got the forge ready).Then I got the forge up to temperature and putting out a good reducing flame. Then I put the stack in the forge for a while. Then I pulled the stack out and quickly applied borax to the edges. Then back in the forge until the stack was the same color as the rest of the forge. Then another few minutes longer just to be sure. Out of the forge and on to the anvil for some firm, straight blows (so it didn’t shift). Then - quick scoop of flux and back in the forge.
  12. Propane, 3 burner in an old tank (freon I think). I’m running between 10 & 15 PSI. I’m thinking I need to rip out the old lining and do it again. It wasn’t in great shape when I got the forge and it’s thin in some spots.
  13. Another attempt, another failure (mostly). 15n20 & 1084, I got the surfaces CLEAN, & I let it soak at temp for a LONG time. I started with 10 layers but looking at it closely after I’ve beat it around a while, it looks like there were only 3 or 4 lines that don’t go away no matter how far I grind. I assume that means that some of my welds stuck. I guess that’s an improvement. The learning process is frustrating for a weekend warrior. It takes so long to fail and then you don’t get to try again for a week or two.
  14. I’m a little bummed. I had a failed attempt at a “damascus” billet yesterday and I can’t figure out what went wrong. Here was the process. I cut several pieces of good steel (1084 and 15n20 from AKS) down to about 1 x 3. I cleaned them them with acetone, gave them a quick rough up on the belt grinder, cleaned them again with acetone, then stacked them and then welded the stack to keep everything in place. I stuck the billet in some kerosene (overnight) and then went straight from the kerosene to my forge (the next day). According to my thermocouple probe, the forge was over 2200° when I put the steel in and I kept it there for 10 or so minutes (until everything was all the same color). I took it from the forge to the anvil, gave it several firm smacks with the hammer and then back into the forge. I repeated the process a few times and then started drawing it out. It looked like it was welding but later, after I let it cool and did a little grinding, it became clear that the layers didn’t stick. Everything is still in place but there are clear lines between the layers and the top layer comes up when you grind it at an angle. I can’t think of where I went wrong.
  15. This may be a stupid/rookie question but why do people mix in things like coal dust and graphite?
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