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I Forge Iron


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Everything posted by Bonnskij

  1. I like that idea Thomas. A set of shipbuilders tools is high on my wishlist. I would particularly like some traditional Norse tools, but some of the axes they used are much too daunting a project for me yet. Will a wrapped eye adze work well? Interesting info Frosty. I can't do much about my anvils at the moment, but it sounds like I have some hammer faces to dress.
  2. That's exactly it. I would even argue that it's probably better to use just blocks of steel, as that would eliminate any uncertainty around anvil shape, composition and manufacturing process of the anvil and other things I may not be thinking of. But also as you say, the results could only be applied in general ways. A spherical anvil in a vacuum sort of situation, although that would be useful to cut through a lot of the confusion. From your anecdotal data I can gather that anvil hardness is in fact quite important for its efficiency in moving metal. How tall are your anvils? I should be able to add my own anecdotes to the list pretty soon with a tall but soft faced block vs a short but hard faced sledge head (although the slightly domed face of the sledghammer will obfuscate things somewhat). As for my forging lately. My axe/ Norse hawk(?) is taking shape. To the surprise of probably nobody (including me) though, the welds aren't great.
  3. Aha. Clearly my Knowledge falls short here. I know nothing of mesquite trees, other than that they're great for smoking pork. Anecdotal evidence can absolutely be useful. I can get a bit too hung up on numbers sometimes. I like the experiment though. Maybe do some analysis of variance and see if there is a significant effect on efficiency from the hardness and mass in combination. That's probably enough for an experiment, but would be interesting to know how much energy is lost if the anvil is not securely mounted. I've seen a lot of youtube videos where the anvil goes for a walk. At least my hammer head does not move an inch from where it's placed.
  4. I can't imagine you'd walk away from an accident like that and be the same as before. At least not after a long time. Took quite a while after my dad had a couple of accidents before he was the same again too, and one of them was without injury. I'm not sure i would like to moved down by a ten foot cactus either though. I've heard New Mexico can get surprsingly chilly winters. A lot of people will start complaining around here when the mercury drops below 20 degrees celcius. I'm quite happy in shorts and a t-shirt year round. Then again everyone will have to deal with my whinging at summer time so... Alright fellas. You have me convinced. I've dressed the cylinder and started drilling holes in a stump i found. Otherwise I'll leave the surface as is. I've been trying to do some research on what rebound, mass, hardness and things mean for an anvil, but it seems to be something to the old adage, that you ask a hundred blacksmiths and get 101 different answers (or however it goes). I wish there was some standardised test or research on what the properties of an anvil means for its efficiency in moving metal (if there is, I cannot find it) though now I'll have the opportunit to do my own test and compare a softer face, but higher mass stake anvil to my harder face, but lower mass sledgehammer head. Seems most smiths agree on mass being the most important, and work hardening is at least a principle I can understand somewhat!
  5. Chris: Surface area wise it is only slightly larger and roughly the same shape as my current ALO, so I know (at least some of) the issue that I will face and can dress it appropriately beforehand. Rebound wise... Well it's quite similar to my current sledge hammer head, despite significantly more mass under the hammer, which is why I am considering hardening the face. Or am I wrong in assuming Rebound is a good indication of force transferred to the workpiece? Frosty: That was a lot more injury than I had imagined. I am glad you were able to walk away from that with your life. I'd imagine most people wouldn't, and the epitaph is certainly fitting. It sounds like your injury was around the end of my service. I'd love to have helped, but I don't know how helpful I would have been. We were taught to drive to avoid trees to make our approach unnoticed (as unnoticed as you could expect from a 1500 HP diesel engine anyway), despite that I earned the nickname "the tree killer", so I guess my driving mightn't have been up to par. I hope your injury bothers you as little as possible. I hope to avoid the club as long as possible. Though perhaps I am already in it. I'm sure I was more reckless at some point, though with less injuries for the effort. A knee that perpetually aches I can't complain too much about. A little older and a little more fatherly, I seem to have grown more worried about everything.
  6. Picked up a few bits and bobs from a garage sale today. A few files and a rasp for 2 dollaridoos each. Biggest one looks to be a 350mm bastard cut. Solid steel cylinder that I'd like to turn into my next anvil somehow and a chain that I might try making some chain Damascus out of. Don't know yet. Also got some brass and a shorter piece of steel cylinder as an anvil for my other half who would like to try her hand at silver smithing.
  7. Here I was having no idea what an Irish stand down was. Am I correct in assuming that's a bare knuckle fight with a tree? Well I'd be happy enough to walk after that too. Here's today's haul bytheway. A bloke was retiring and selling everything in his workshop. Couldn't believe all the people that showed up to the garage sale. Got what I wanted though plus change. A big steel cylinder / my new anvil. I don't know what grade steel it is. I forgot to ask. Might dress it and then try to harden the face of it. If mild, should I try to forge weld a piece of leaf spring to the face? Can my forge even heat that thing up to temp... Any suggestions? No idea what I'm doing with this one, so I'm all ears.
  8. Probably in a very similar environment, but at a distance that would make transporting 55 tons of steel prohibitively expensive. Or perhaps not. I visited Petersburg once. One of the loveliest places I've ever been to. But I digress. Apart from losing control of a tank in the snow and thusly plowing down trees Willy nilly, my run ins with trees have been fairly uneventful. Think my dad have had a couple of close calls with trees (thank god for helmets) and the vengefulness is also well documented in the New Zealand documentary about a ring or something like that. Hope you didn't get broken too badly and made a swift recovery.
  9. Trying my hand on a bit more forge welding this evening. Mild steel body and half the rasp I picked up at the scrapyard. I don't know how good the weld is yet. Feels fairly solid, but there's at least one small gap behind the insert. Bit more forging and grinding to shape and I'll see how it holds up. Definitely should have measured the rasp bit though. Got it wedged inside the forge, so the forging got a bit problematic :/
  10. Thomas: Well that's quite fascinating. Especially the vacuum welding does my head in. My local library doesn't seem to have the book on solid phase welding of metals, but one of the branches of the university library does. I'll have to see if I can borrow the copy. I actually thought I'd have to dig up my backyard and fill the hole with charcoal again to have a shot at succeeding at forge welding. Welshj: Thank you for that! Lucky I'm not personally a huge fan of damscus, (With notable exceptions) so no 100 layers for me! Frosty: Good enough for me. I'll still try making it pretty though! I'd like to try my hand on that steeled wrought chisel now. And I'd say it's one of a soldiers job to break things. Unintentionally or otherwise. Here's my workstation view from more than a decade past: I was fairly good at breaking things. Though mostly trees, and mostly unintentionally.
  11. Thanks Frosty! Yes I could probably have cleaned it up a bit, but yep I might just hang this on my shed wall without further ado. I might even frame it So would the key to a successful weld be both a function of heat and force applied? I remember a MythBusters episode where they welded two steel plates together at room temperature using high explosives. I'm assuming that would be the same concept? Forging at red heat I really didn't think possible by hand though. That is really impressive! I did a lot of research beforehand to give myself the best odds with the equipment I had at hand. It seems it paid off. Thanks again. I'll be aiming to make my next forge welding project my prettiest work to date (admittedly not a terribly high bar ).
  12. Alright. I know this isn't a great achievement for most of the smiths on here, but I am super proud. This is my first attempt at a forge weld. And my first successful forge weld! I don't know how good it is, I turned the forge off about two minutes ago, but it has definitely welded. It is a piece of w2 that I attached to some mild steel with some steel wire. I know it looks like rubbish. It was just an experiment to see if my el cheapo gas forge could do it. From all I had heard I really didn't think it was possible to forge weld in it, but there we go. Definitely more confident to take on the steeled chisel and steeled hawk projects that I've been wanting to do now!
  13. I started out doing them step by step at the same time, and towards the end decided to do the dressing of the anvil and go back to refining a couple of bits on one part, getting it close to finish and then making the other one a copy of the finished one. That might have been a mistake. In any case, it's been good practice and good fun. I'm investing a lot less time in these little blacksmithing projects than the knifesmithing projects so far, so I'll definitely keep it up. I'm making this set out of 16mm square stock and that certainly makes for eh... Chunky nutcrackers. Might try to make the next set out of 12mm stock, and then repeat the process a few times to get it down and get a good collection of Christmas presents ready.
  14. Well I've started my nutcracker project. Clearly forging two exactly equal pieces is not my strong suit. I think I'm alright with a file though, so hopefully that will make up for it in the end. Oh. And I also dressed the side of my sledge-anvil. Much easier to do offsets now.
  15. That's probably a good idea. Ausfire is pretty close by, though probably just outside the my current bubble of travel restrictions at the moment. Modern technology takes care of that problem though.
  16. I wish I had a whole tire. I only have three pieces totalling about a kilo or so. Still big enough pieces for any size chisel bar framing or turning chisels I reckon. Must be a narrow rim, because there is no way it's wide enough for chisel stock on the cross section. I might go ahead and clean up a piece and check it for coarseness next then. Cheers!
  17. That's reassuring. Your video is actually the reason I want to make a chisel in the first place. It's one of my most viewed and favourite forging videos. I probably have to dig up the backyard again and find find the bag of charcoal to have a shot at the forge welding part though. Justin: Haven't got any square stock, but I've got some wagon wheel rim. I reckon that should do the trick.
  18. I have to say I really love that chisel of yours! I've been wanting to make a similar one with a w2 bit for a while and have all the materials picked out. The forge welding part is daunting though.
  19. Aaah... Well bummer. Tested it at different heats and it didn't work. Thought it might be brass coloured steel, but a magnet didn't stick. Oh well. I'll try to find a different brush next.
  20. Thanks Chris. That sounds sensible. Easier to repair a bend than a break. Thanks for the ideas Frosty! I hadn't considered bladed tools for the tire irons. Could be fun to try and make a little hawk. I might hold on trying to make a kukri though. My patang has given me so much grief that I have been a little put off making big blades for a while :/ Did a couple of hours of forging today. Had heaps of fun transforming a couple of the spanners Didn't get that brass look on the cats head that I was going for though. Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong, or if Bunnings sold me a fake brass brush.
  21. So I've decided that at least one tire iron will provide me with some punches and chisels. I'm also making a couple of chisels for wire inlay (the little ones in the photo). Now they're o1 steel, but I read someone's procedure for making inlay chisels somewhere (of similar stock size) included quenching the tip in water and barely tempering. He used high speed steel mind you. Should I just do the normal oil quench and temper for this one, or do I water quench for (presumably) higher hardness since the chisel is made for cutting cold steel?
  22. Thanks! That's a lot of great ideas! I'll definitely make at least one bottle opener, and I love those cat wall hooks that ausfire made. Think I'll give that a crack and hope i don't mess up the face. Some candle holders sounds perfect of those tire irons and I'll try to get a couple of punches out of them as well. Don't know how to go about making snakes from the rasp, but sounds like fun, so I'll look into that. Also just came back from steel shopping on the other end of town. Got a couple of meters each of 16mm square, 10 or 12mm square, 6x25mm and some angle iron for my fuller. A proper steel manufacturer is so much cheaper than the local Bunnings... Thought I'd try making some nutcrackers, tongs and other Christmas present worthy things. I'll just have to wait for the rain to stop.
  23. Nice! That reminds me a bit of a forged halloween decoration by Blackbear forge i watched on youtube last night. Think you could do a ghostly latch?
  24. I guess we aren't quite made for it up north. And I swear it's been getting worse with the years. It was really nice when I used to do a lot of diving, but mid-summer now I'll go outside after the sun has gone down, grab a file and... Immediately not see a thing because my eyes are full of sweat. It's the humdidity that really gets to me though.
  25. Still having a bit of trouble with heat treating my bigger leaf spring blades, so I've been working on a smaller test knife, so I can experiment a bit and see if I can pin down where I'm going wrong. I'm finding it hard to see the decalescence/recalescence points on the leaf spring and as I understand it, it can be very faint on some alloys. I've also been doing a fair bit of reading on heat treating lately as I obviously lack knowledge in the area. Not much forging the past few days as the rain season seems to have hit at the point where it should have been over... Also picked up some scrap metal yesterday for a hefty five dollaridoos. I have a couple of non-blade related projects thought out, but that's from some actual stock once I get that sorted. Does anybody have any ideas as to what I can make with my newly acquired bits and bobs?
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