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I Forge Iron


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About dickb

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    Suffern , NY


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  1. Start small and focus on developing skill. A good beginners project would be to practice making short tapers, lots of them. Maybe not very impressive but a lot more satisfying than a lumpy, twisted piece of burned iron that was intended to be a Bowie knife. For example, a two inch long taper on half inch stock. Try mixing it up by using round stock and also square stock and also cone shaped as well as square sided tapers. A claw hammer isn't to useful. Suggest you get a cross peen hammer about 2 or 2 1/2 pounds . Ace Hardware/Home depot. etc. etc. sells them for about thirtee
  2. As a result of a currently popular TV series, blacksmithing has become "all the rage" and everyone and his brother/sister is (or at least in his/her own mind) a budding blacksmith. That and the fact that everyone's great grandfather was a blacksmith. So investors are driving prices through the roof. By way of definition, an investor is a disappointed speculator. May they all lose money.
  3. An overnight soak in household vinegar followed by a wirebrush scrubbing should take care of the scale. Light hammering on a semi hot blade is called planishing. It will remove some, many or all hammer marks left from forging. Planishing is done when the blade has lost it's glow and it turning black. An angle grinder is the fastest and worst way of removing scale and hammer marks, particularly for a beginner. It does nothing to improve your skills/technique and you might get used to using one at the expense of becoming a skilled blacksmith. Have a little patience, you'll get t
  4. Be polite and respectful, but don't get involved with the girlfriend's mom. It's clear the mother is not being honest .
  5. I get a lot of cut offs/drops/ etc from a machine shop They know exactly what kind of steel it is. It's usually color coded or marked with a magic marker. You can ask them. Might not work if you are dumpster diving
  6. If it's a small shop then be polite and ask to speak with the boss or owner. Explain to him that you're an amateur blacksmith and show him two or three pieces that you made and could you have a few pieces of leftover or maybe bent steel that they can't use. Thank him and if it looks like he's interested in what you do then bring back something you made from his steel. If you're not an amateur, then just go out and buy the stuff .
  7. I am using a gas oven to temper fully hardened steel. The oven is about forty yeas old. I am using a type K thermocouple meter to display the oven temperature. From a cold start I bring the oven slowly up to the temperature I am trying to get. It takes 10 or 15 minutes. The type K thermocouple meter show the oven temperature going through wide swings of about plus and minus 30 degrees. I'm thinking of burying the workpiece and the sensing element of the meter in a bed of sand to even out the wide temperature fluctuations. Would welcome any comments.
  8. I needed to put a temporary handle on a tool (wood chisel) so I drilled a 3/8 inch hole in a piece of hickory and heated the tang and burned it in. Not overly hot, but hot enough to char the wood. I used a wet rag to isolate the heated area. Later I had to clamp the tool in a vice and needed to use a hammer to get it off. Would this be sufficient to hold a handle on a hidden tang knife ? I could pin the handle and use boiled linseed oil to finish the wood.
  9. An alternate solution. Turn the blower on and let it run unrestricted. Feel how hot the motor gets every few minutes for the first fifteen minutes. It should reach a stable temperature and not get hot enough to burn your hand . After letting the motor completely cool down, repeat the test choked down to 20%. If you can still touch the motor after fifteen minutes then it's well within it's limitations.
  10. I've made lots of firestrikers. They're fun to make and you can make them plain or works of art . Old used files are an excellent choice and the price is right. I don't usually temper the whole thing. I leave the striking edge completely hard and temper the tight turn where the stem meets the blade shaped portion. That's where it's most likely to break. They seem to work better if you thin the striking edge down to about a sixteenth of an inch or maybe an eighth of an inch . The flints do need to be freshened up occasionally no matter how carefully you strike the ste
  11. I use an inverted U shaped piece of flat stock similar to what you describe, but with a slight addition. I drop the U shaped piece over the stock I'm working on . Then I put the U shaped piece into the hardy hole and drive a long thin wedge along side the U piece. Be sure to flare out the end of the U piece so the wedge pushes against it and forces it to close the U and clamp onto the work piece. Be sure to make the wedge long enough so you can loosen it up by hammering from below. It's helpful to thin out the closed end of the U so it flexes easily.
  12. Made from an eighteen inch jack hammer bit . Not too fancy, but you can hear it a block and a half away.
  13. I suggest you keep the swage block for one main reason. A swage block makes a few forming processes easy that would otherwise be much harder or next to impossible. .
  14. 1/8 stock is much too thin. You will always lose some thickness to scale and to forge welding. 1/4 or 3/8 would be better
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