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I Forge Iron


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About mpc

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. This may be a stupid/rookie question but why do people mix in things like coal dust and graphite?
  8. mpc

    The New Vise

    The casters aren’t going to touch the ground unless it is tipped back. I’d love to do a big plywood base but I’m really short on space. Everything I have (forge, anvil, grinder, band saw, tools, drill press, work table...) all has to fit into about 2/3 of my 3rd car garage. On this guy, the base is 1/2” thick and heavy. I’ll wheel it into place and then throw a couple of sand bags I have laying around for this kind of thing (dead weight) across the plate to make sure it doesn’t walk around.
  9. mpc

    The New Vise

    Well, the base is almost done (I’m going to put casters on it). I had to forge a new bracket to hold it in place. That was entertaining and educational. I just need to make a spring and I’m done
  10. This is one of those answers that, upon hearing it, you immediately realize is correct and can’t believe it didn’t occur to you before. Is it just me, or does anybody else get a calm feeling, like the universe makes sense, when the answer to a question is absolutely brilliant in its simplicity.
  11. I have no idea what I’m looking to buy here. Is this just a chunk of actual bees wax or am I looking for a product made from beeswax? I need to make some tools for the hardy hole in my anvil. Before I go banging a hot piece of metal into that hole, I figured I’d check to see what the YouTube had to say about it and, sure enough, it is recommended that you put some lube in there to keep the thing from becoming a permanent part of the anvil. So what should I be looking for here? In light of the current shut down, are there options I might have on hand?
  12. First weld ever (not really, I welded once in 7th grade but I’m not counting it). It’s terrible, it’s awful, but I finally got off my butt and tried. About 3 hours before the Governor decided to close the state for 21 days, I was driving past HF, and decided to stop and buy their cheap welder, so I can teach myself to weld. For fun I was just making sloppy lines (very sloppy) and then wanted to see if I could make 2 pieces stick together. They are stuck and they have not yet fallen apart! It may not be a big deal to you but after almost a decade of school and countless years of intellectual navel gazing it is very nice to be doing things rather than thinking things.
  13. mpc

    The New Vise

    Any tips on forging a new spring? I need to forge a new mounting bracket. I figured I’d just use some 3/8 mild steel I have sitting around for that. Then, I’ve got a big ol’ coil spring in the garage. I was thinking I’d cut off a bit, draw it out to something flat and just do something that will be held in place by the bracket (like the photo). Do I need to use “spring” steel? Do I need to heat treat it?
  14. mpc

    The New Vise

    Plot twist: I am out of degreaser! The Mrs (healthcare provider) says it’s not a good enough excuse to run to the store. Now I have to find something around the house to use to clean it. Coronavirus! Also... I stuck my finger in the screw box and was surprised to find that there are only about 2” of thread in there. I was expecting it to be much longer.
  15. mpc

    The New Vise

    I spent my first day of “social distancing” in the garage working on the new vise. I had to cut it away from the RR track. Then I had to cut away the old bracket (because it had been welded into a large glob of metal). They had welded a coil spring around the screw mechanism and that took some time to finally cut away but now I’m down to just the parts. I took pics of all the markings I could find. Next up, I might degrease and re-grease the screw. Maybe clean up the jaws a little. I need to forge a spring and a new bracket. Then I’ll work on figuring out a base. Any other suggestions from those of you who have done this before?
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