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I Forge Iron


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About Frazer

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  • Location
     Rochester, NY
  • Interests
    Optics, matlab, target shooting (bow, trap & rifle), Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, hammering hot steel.
    Tool (Band)

    "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is."

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  1. I don't brush the steel every time it comes out of the fire, but as it gets closer to it's finished form brushing becomes more and more important. The flat bristle brushes are called butcher block brushes and are worth the small investment. Making your own handle for it can be a fun project for you as well.
  2. I decided to give the 1/2" sq x 10.25" challenge a shot today. Starting from cold I was able draw it out to 22.75" in 10 minutes... 26" is seriously impressive. Looking back I probably would do it a little differently if I tried it again, but I'm not going to claim I would have hit that number. Hat's off to you Jennifer.
  3. Agreed. Still, if you already have some heat in there then using the punch to make your mark lets you put the same tool back where it was with very little thought. Either way works.
  4. A good way to make sure your hole is going to be in the right place is to use your punch to mark where you're centered at a low (red) heat. Use the residual heat from the previous step to make your mark that way very little time is wasted. Then back in the forge, find your mark and punch your hole. To risk stating the obvious, you make your mark at a low heat so the impression is shallow. This allows you to move it around easier if you're slightly off center. JHCC, I couldn't agree more.
  5. You don't have to heat steel up to the maximum temperature it can exist (melting temperature) in order for it it weld. Hence, I submit that IMO there is no slush and no liquidus-ness; a solid state weld pure and simple. The only liquid on/around the weld should be the flux. If you start to melt the steel or "turn it into a slush" that is too hot and you're just wasting material.
  6. It might be worthwhile dressing your hammer way back. Not quite the point where it becomes a rounding hammer, but, say, half way there. The center will still be flat, but the edges are relieved significantly. That way if you don't hit squarely you'll end up with a little dish rather than a small, deep, impression. You may find you can move material with less effort too. Here's a picture from JLPservicesinc that shows the face of one of her recent hammers. Note the rather large radius on the edges that blend into the center (and ignore the dings, they aren't from her). You could even dress them back a little further if you need to. It's your hammer, make it work for you.
  7. Hondo, I can't see any cracks so that's good! As an aside, it might be a good idea to dress your hammer.
  8. Any idea what kind of steel it was? What a your quench medium? If you left deep (sharp) hammer marks those can be sites where cracks can propagate from during the quench. There are quite a few factors.
  9. I met a guy like this as well. Granted he didn't claim to have done a million of them... At least not literally. He said that business tapered off over the years as new bits became cheaper than bringing them in to be repaired. Anyway, he said the same thing with respect to the alloy.
  10. My recommendation would be to make the body out of mild steel and use the leaf spring for the bit. It will make the weld easier. Nice mokume! You don't have any oil? Most people have some sort of oil or other in the pantry. If not it's pretty inexpensive to pick up at the store. I'd hate to see something crack on you when it could have easily been avoided.
  11. I can't stand ads... Some websites make you disable you adblocker to view their content.... I just move on to another site. Adblockers are great, they get rid of a good 95% of ads and in most cases they're free.
  12. I run two adblocking extensions on Firefox. AdBlock Plus and AdBlocker Ultimate. Either one would work fine. Those extensions are also available with other bowers (Chrome, DuckDuckGo, etc.)
  13. Frosty, nor am I to be honest.. I was asked to make something unique, but I may have gone a little too far. Hopefully, I didn't sacrifice functionality in that effort. I did let them know that if they don't work out I'll make another pair that's more conventional.
  14. While I'm perfectly content using the 20 mule team borax off the shelf, I'd be open to tossing a little charcoal powder in there just for giggles. I have noticed that welding spring steel to itself is tricky and while I don't need to do that very often I'm open to play around with flux additives.... I have plenty of charcoal dust... At the end of the day I am in neither the "flux is magic and adding some proportion of something or other is going to make it stick every time" nor the "I don't need flux" camp (for the sake of clarity I'm not saying any of you guys are either). I rather like flux and I'm... frugal... so I buy the cheap stuff at the grocery store and that's all I've ever used. The foaming of hydrous borax never really bothered me much because I learned from M. Aspery's "Scarf Theory" video to bring the material up to a welding heat (or just under), brush, flux, back in the fire briefly, then weld. That's all I've ever done (excluding damascus) and there is very little time for the borax to foam everywhere when applied at a welding heat. It's already been said, but you really don't need to have even a basic understanding of science to understand how to forge weld. What you need to do is practice. I try to do at least one weld of one type or another every day I'm in the shop. Sometimes that means taking two pieces out of the scrap bin, welding them together and tossing them back where they came from.
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