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Here's the slitter I made from that jack hammer bit. The grind isn't the best but I think it will work just fine for now. I watched the colors and grinder any areas away that got too hot so I got some nice steel with a heat treat which will probably not last very long becuase I am learning. This weekend I plan on making my first opener from a railroad spike after I make myself a drift so I can fit it on the horn. I only have mild around for right now but I know that guys say mild is good for learning with. Just need to figure a quick way to hold the stuff. Maybe I can make a trip to the welder tommorow. Well here's the slitter. Feel free to comment. I haven't posted this comment yet and I would bet that at least one pictured will be turned the wrong way.

 

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Ooh yay I jinksed it! I should do that more often and maybe I will get my pictures turned the right way!

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On September 17, 2015 at 6:57:10 PM, ausfire said:

Well, it's not exactly straight off the forge - I have a wire wheel handy to get rid of scale and such. I was just looking for a quick way to permanently protect the bare metal, apart from applying preparations which take time to dry. Frosty's Carnauba wax seems like the best solution. Now that I have some, I'll give it a try with the next spike openers.

So how do you forge the spike down to be able to punch it? A gradual taper or just start hammering a particular length at the end down until it is the thickness you want? Thanks

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I have been want to try heat painting/coloring for awhile.
This afternoon I ran a test stick using 1/4 x 3/4 flat, forging just the business end of the bottle opener. I use a gas forge so I heated the project in the dragons breath then quick to the quench bucket. Next time I will pull the piece from the flame just as it is reaching dark straw in color.

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I made my first opener today! I found them to be lots of fun to make! My first one I accidently burn the top part which I am guessing was because I made it too thin. I showed a guy from my carving class and he absolutely loved it! For some reason he is infatuated with stuff forged from railroad spikes like knives, so he asked if this was made from a spike. I plan on making some railroad spike tongs and start making openers from spikes becuase as it was mentioned before in this thread, people like to see something they know of forged into something else. Tell me what you think and any ways I can improve the next one and how to forge them cleaner. Thanks

 

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Smaller, thinner things heat/burn faster than thicker stock. You have to watch what you are doing when you have thin and thick parts.Keep the tin part up if need be to keep it cooler, or quench occasionally the thinner end if you have to while heating the thick end.

 

Distractions are usually what gets me. I put it back in the fire to heat, then suddenly I can't find the drift/punch I just had my hand on. A quick glance away and it's burning... GRRRR!

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1 hour ago, Forging Carver said:

I made my first opener today!

[...]

Tell me what you think and any ways I can improve the next one and how to forge them cleaner. Thanks

Very nice! Remember, it's critically with those first few openers to do extensive product testing, to make sure they function correctly. Depending on the beverage, you might want to be careful about forging immediately afterwards.

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Lol yeah well the only caps I lift are those to my root beer! Can you guys give any tips to forging the curved part at the end of the opener handle. It gave me the most trouble because I can't hit the opener portion or else it would bend. Also, I used a craftsman chisel my dad gave me kind of like a slot punch except it gave me a hard time taking out the piece of steel. I am thinking that all I need to do is grind away the edge to make it work better? Thanks

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Keep the part you don't want to damage off the anvil. In the event that is not possible, think thru your order of operations. If You do A before B, will you mess up A working on B? If so, maybe you don't do all of A right away. You rough it out, then go on to the next step, and then come back later and dress up A. A lot of times things that seem complicated only are if you do them in a certain order. If you have the order right, things can be a lot easier.

 

geometry of a slot punch is a bit more than just flattening the tip. You need to at least round the corners so the shape is an "oval" rather than a rectangle. It's a bit more complicated than that, but I don't have a good way to explain the grind right now.

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On October 6, 2015 at 12:27:38 PM, Frosty said:

Why cant I delete the quote part!!! Grrr

Ok so I will get around to making a legit slitter once I start making some tongs after the holiday. Tommorow I really wanna make a opener from a railroad spike either like a traditional one or a wall hanger one that I saw posted on here. Thanks for the help everyone.

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To keep a cleaner surface don't get it super hot, wire brush the scale off before hammering, and don't leave it in the fire for a long time. The longer it is in the fire at high temps oxygen has more time to form scale.

Do all of the handle work first, then do the loop.

Coldironkilz, if you want an even color you can use an oven. Just put it in, and bump the temp up slowly until you get the color you want. Straw will be around 300-350°F To keep the colors you will need to apply some sort of finish, as they are not that tough and will wear off where it is handled.

Nice job on the opener.

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5 hours ago, Forging Carver said:

Ok so I will get around to making a legit slitter once I start making some tongs after the holiday. Tommorow I really wanna make a opener from a railroad spike either like a traditional one or a wall hanger one that I saw posted on here. Thanks for the help everyone.

Check out Brian Brazeal's slitting punch they work wonderfully well.

Remember Thin will heat faster and burn sooner than Thick. Forge the thick to finish first and as much as possible leave the thin till last.

Brush aggressively but don't get it really hot first, even dull red will oxidize rapidly. If you're work is scaling IN the forge the fire is running lean. Place your work higher in a coal or charcoal fire and reduce the air. If a gas forge choke it down a little even a bit of tape if necessary. OR an old gas forge trick is to toss a piece or two of charcoal in to scavenge free oxy.

If it's really critical and you just can't keep it from scaling, put on your apron and flux it. A layer of flux will keep the oxy off the work but it WILL splash around if your still doing hammer work. Borax is water soluble and is easily removed by soaking the piece in water with a couple drops of Dawn or similar dish soap.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Alright thanks. I really wanna make some tongs so I can hold railroad spikes and other various sizes of short stock, but they look too complicated and take too much time to do. I have a piece laying around that looks like it could make a good slitter and another that could make a good drift, but they both are too small to hold with your hand. Vise grips could work, but I constantly drop the steel with them. Also, my forge is only a brakedrum so there isn't much room to heat a large section. This should probobly be posted in a different section, so if it is sorry. Thanks for the help

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Made a railroad spike opener today. The opener was brushed then finished with Trewax. I wish I had a vise to make a twist in the handle, but I'm sure there's a way I can make a little jig to twist spikes. I left some rust and scale on the head to give some character. As much as I love this, I am going to give this as a gift to a carver who is very good to me. I am definetly going to make more so I think I can part with this one. i think openers are going to be my thing, or at least for a while!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, JHCC said:

I've done a couple of twists with a wrench clamped to the anvil instead of using a vise. It's awkward and hard to keep even, but it works.

So basically you get something like a c clamp and attach a monkey wrench to the anvil. You then put the piece in the monkey wrench and then twist with another monkey wrench? Thanks

 

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1 hour ago, Forging Carver said:

So basically you get something like a c clamp and attach a monkey wrench to the anvil. You then put the piece in the monkey wrench and then twist with another monkey wrench? Thanks

 

These are simple twisting aids that may help, you could make something similar that would fit into the pritchel hole on your anvil, a second one can then be used to apply the twist.566df1601813c_TwistingWrenches.thumb.JPG

 

Hope this is useful

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You can use two Crescent wrenches but you'll have to learn to do it the hard way. It's hard to keep things straight so you'll need to get good faster. ;)

Of course making a twisting wrench or two is a good way to build skills sets too.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the help.

3 hours ago, John B said:

These are simple twisting aids that may help, you could make something similar that would fit into the pritchel hole on your anvil, a second one can then be used to apply the twist.566df1601813c_TwistingWrenches.thumb.JPG

 

Hope this is useful

Did you make the wrench in the middle? Thanks

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Here's the one I made. I simply welded on a length of 1" to match the other end.  I've also found a large tap holder will work well for some things. Of course with the tap wrench you have to be able to slide in from an end. I think the old adjustable wrench cost me all of $2 and the tap wrench $3 at a flea market.

 

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