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I Forge Iron


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Posts posted by DHarris

  1. I finally got around to putting the faces on the first body. I attempted the traditional way, but gave up after a couple of tries and resorted to tacking them on with an arc welder. 

    Question: I lost the hammer in the fire at one point and took a little too long finding it. One of the faces was sparking pretty good by the time I managed to scrape it out. Is there a way to tell how much of the face I will need to remove in order to get down past the burnt steel short of trial and error?  The spring steel I used was an inch thick. I wanted to have a large margin for error when grinding, so I can stand to lose quite a bit of it. As it is now it is heavier than I wanted anyway. It is 1.56 kg or 3.44 lb. 

  2. It has been a little over a year since EDL made the above post and EDL hasn’t been back since last December, but it might save time for someone else to know Jeremy said in a video he will not be putting out any plans for modifications to his grinder to take contact wheels larger than 10”.   It is fairly early in this video where he explains why. 


  3. I finally got around to cutting the billet in half. It has a rather significant area in the middle which didn’t weld well. (It doesn’t look that dark. I sanded it and left the grit in to make it show up better. The other half of the billet has the same problem. 

    Do you think I could heat it back up and get rid of it?  It does not run all the way to the other end. 

    The block is 2 & 14/16th of an inch long and each end is 1 & 9/16th of an inch square. 

    The face is from a Ford truck leaf spring. It is 15/16th of an inch thick. I will slice off the red marked areas. 

    Rather than a cross or diagonal peen, I believe I will just weld on another piece like the one shown and try for a rounding hammer. I don’t have one. The other half I will do a more traditional style. 




  4. This is where I have taken it so far. I need to work it some more to remove all the sloppy hammer marks and true it up.


    The flat bar is 3/8” x 1.5 inch I am trying to draw out wider and flatter without increasing the length. Not such a success so far. I will need to practice with JLP’s video’s on directional movement to practice with again. It is tending to split, but that is likely poor heat control.  Eventually it and another piece riveted to it will form a busIness card holder. 

    The second picture is after I cut the end off the hammer blank to remove the tack welds. It appears mostly solid with only a couple of places with a small bit of slag. With the face welded on I don’t think they should hurt it much. 

    The bottom picture is a standard store bought hammer I am going to copy. I figure I may can cut the blank in half and add an inch of 5150 to each end of one face and the same to the other face and make a flat face and a rounding face. Or diagonal peen if I am feeling up to it. Likely not. 

    The copy will get a 1” 5160 face and a 5160 insert in the middle of the peen. I may or may not try to fuller the sides to make it look more like the one JLP did. 

    Question: the hole for the handle. Punch and drift that after or before forge welding the faces on?




  5. I’ve been working slowly.  I now have the blank at 8” long x 1 3/4” wide and 1 1/2” thick  

    My plan now, after I forge weld the last bit of flattened wrought iron to the blank is to use a fuller some what like the Black Bear Forge guy did to make two hammers from one blank.  I hope to be able to fuller it in the middle so the hammers are diagonal peens  

    first I have to fabricate the fullers.  I am thinking angle iron with bits of other steel welded inside the V’s to add mass to them? Would a better method to make the fullers be better?

    Should I fuller the blank with the blank at an angle?  Should I just fuller them as cross peen and twist the peen into position using a vise and a bending tool?

    Would de-lamination be a problem with either method or less with one than the other?




  6. I agree. Silicone layer with anvil tightly secured to the base. Magnet under the heel  and side of cutting step if the anvil has one if needed. Just the silicone and clamping the anvil to the base tightly will eliminate almost all the ring on most anvils. 

    Currently mine has chain wraps. They get in the way and the sound dampening was no better than it was on my prior mount which was just a layer of silicone with bars over the feet and attached to base. Some day I will remove the chains and go back to that. 

  7. I have tried searching but no luck. I know from my search that when using wrought iron or mild steel on the outside carbon will migrate from the high carbon core to the areas of lower carbon. 1095 seemed to be the most commonly used core, but other than the high carbon content and the material being readily available at a very low cost in the form of old files, I couldn’t find much to inform me why it might be preferred over something like 5160. 

    l have many old files to play around with as well as several leaf springs from some sort of large Ford truck and a small pile of leaf springs from small utility trailers (small as in like what you would use to haul a golf cart). I also have 4 or 5 used coil springs from some unknown vehicle types.

    I know from past reading it is best to use known steels, and used springs could have stress fracture, but I have them and am not selling knives. Something which behaves like 1095 or 5160 for my purposes now is just as good as known 1095 or 5160. 

    Does 1095 tend to crack or warp during heat treatment more or less than 5160?  Is one easier to forge weld to WI more than the other.

    Is there a table which shows which cores are best suited for use with WI or other different types of steel?

    Thank you,


  8. I have often wondered if you could weld a coil spring inside. I’ve read that at one time threads were not cut. They were made by welding or brazing a coil spring to serve as threads. 

    Mainly I just posted to make this thread (NPI B)) easier for me to find later. I know threads in the first vises were not cut, but have no real idea how they got the coils attached and functioning. 

  9. This is the profile I prefer. I just wish it were a little thicker. 

    I didn’t make the head. It is just an old and rusty, garage sale find. The handle is bois d’arc. No stain applied. It just darkens naturally from the BLO, bee’s wax, and grime as you use it. 

    The odd knob on the end was once different, but I split it in half when knocking it on concrete to set the head. I smoothed it up and it looked like a phallus (If I can say that.  Please edit if I cannot.). So I worked it some more to try as best as I could to make it not. That was the last time I set a head with concrete. I use a rubber mallet now. 



  10. At one point the club coal was from Texas, but that was a long time ago before I became a member. I believe most Texas coal is lignite, but I could be wrong. Steel was actually once made in Texas. The Lone Star Steel company was/is located in NE Texas near Longview where I once lived for many years. 

    I am down to about half a barrel now. With cooler weather here, I should be out there more now. Hopefully they are still on the same pile, but I expect not. It may be the same clinker producing stuff you guys are getting now. 

  11. Yes. I got a bit carried away with the rasps. The handle is a bit thin at the butt end though, so I won’t be upset when it breaks. I am still looking for a shape I like. 

    I have tried a few different shapes. The first was sort of a backward D shape, kind of like a guitar neck.  It made it easy to tell where the face was without looking. It was Ok, but not great. When this one breaks, I will probably go with something like a U. 

    The one part of the handles I expect to stick with is the type of wood. Bois d’arc is great. A bit heavy, but not excessively so. Rather tough. I haven’t broken one yet. I’ve broken two oak handles, but that may have been because they were made from pallet would. That wood is taken to a very high heat to kill any bugs. It could have made it brittle. Even more so than the physical qualities of bois d’arc, the color is what I really like. At first it is bright yellow, but with use and exposure to light, it turns a very nice golden brown. 

    The handle in this wrought iron hammer will be totally impractical: flame maple. Probably one of the worst choices possible for a hammer handle. Looks great on a Les Paul, tomahawk, or rifle, but is likely going to break if heavily used. 

  12. I usually run my forge for an hour at a time. Clinker is usually not a problem unless I go longer than that. I assume because of the coal the Saltfork Crafters makes available for members to purchase. I believe it comes from a mine near Vinita. It is of pretty good quality.  

    It is only on a weekend when I might run the forge for 3 hours or longer that I have to remove clinker that it is a problem. With a grate like my brake drum forge had it was manageable. Removing the clinker requires I break up the fire, but that is a minor thing. It isn’t so minor with just pieces of scrap placed over the tuyere. The grate in my old pot was removable, but I could still scrape the clinker out with my poker. With just random scrap bits I cannot. All I can do is just poke holes through it. I could fix it by welding the bars to the inside of the tuyere or add a clinker breaker.  Both would require a trip to my Dad’s. When I eventually do that I will go with a clinker breaker. If they weren’t the ideal solution, you wouldn’t see them in every old original pot. 


  13. That is probably why what just the odd scrap bits I normally use seem to las longer. That one covered the entire bottom. The scrap bits are just large enough to sit over the tuyere. At present I am using three small pieces of 3/8” round bar I had used as a drift. 

    They actually seem to function better as a grate than they did as drifts. The holes I was drifting grew progressively larger the more each piece was used. Drifting out the holes seemed to disrupt the 3/8” drifts and they would get thicker with each use. 

    I know how to put a traditional clinker breaker in the pot, but my Dad’s shop where I fabricated the pot is a little over an hour away. It was running a little late on a Sunday and I decided to skip it.

  14. Leaf springs from a truck. Unknown vintage. Needed a nice chunk of spring steel for a hammer I am making. I figure this will do better than the other leaf springs I have which come from smallish utility trailers. They are no more than 1/4 “ thick. 

    Paid the mechanic $10 and he helped me carry it to my truck. Much more than scrap price, but he is a good guy. 


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