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I work offshore as a commercial diver and I am currently on a scraping job. We are pulling up all kinds of metal off bottom ( anything for 2" to 8" seclude 40 to 80 pipe, along with all kinds of wire rope from 1/4 to 1 1/2" wire rope, along with all kinds of flat plate). Most of the wire rope is rusted to the point of breaking in your hands. Some sections of the wire rope is still almost new. As for the pipe it is covered in marine growth with only little surface rust. I have ask my supervisor if I can use the top side torch to heat the metal. I got the go ahead, is there thing I can make out of the wire rope, I have seen the knifes made with it. And is there a down side of using a acetylene torch to heat the metal. I plan on using seawater to quench the metal in, is that a bad idea??

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Yes a torch will work...kinda expensive tho;)! Just be aware that you will get a lot of scale by using a torch. I would think that saltwater will work as a quench but it will probably have an odor that the crew may not like!! the 'good' cable should make your knives, but I would think you need a forge for that, but I'm not a bladesmith. As for the pipe and plate, you can make all kinds of 'artsy' stuff with that. Use your imagination, you'll be surprised at what you can come up with. To jog your imagination check the gallery here and then take a different spin off of what you see. Have fun and let us see what you come up with! (pun intended)

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Don't waste your time with seawater saturated metal. You can get all the wire rope you want from either crane or elavator companies. Both are required to chainge perfectly good cbles on a regular basis. Additionaly, even though the cable is very rusted, if you foun it in saltwater, it was zinc plated when in service. Much of that zinc will remain inside, hidden by the rust. Very dangerous. Finaly, Seawater deposits acid and base compounds into the pores of the steel that are difficult at best to remove. In other words, whatever you make from that metal will always be rusty. If you remove the rust, it will reapear on its own, as if by magic. Don't ask me how I know this.

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Thank you arftist, but I am a newbie to blacksmithing. And my almost done forge is at my house on the land, and due to the fact that I am on a boat in the middle of the gulf of mexico. I can only use what its on the boat, ie 1/2" steel plate table (anvil) the torch and a 9lbs. hammer. Thank you for the advice about the crane companies I will be hitting them up as soon as I hit the beach (sometime in OCT. I hope). And I have to ask how you do know this.

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another silly question, I don't have any borax or anything like that. There is a welder out here, and I know how to use it. But could I just break off the flux off some welding rods grind it down and heat weld with that??

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another silly question, I don't have any borax or anything like that. There is a welder out here, and I know how to use it. But could I just break off the flux off some welding rods grind it down and heat weld with that??


I really don't think that that is a good idea. The coating on welding rod is not intended for that purpose. Be very very very careful of gases given off from zinc plated metal too as it is very poisonous when heated.

I humbly suggest looking up information on making a tin can forge. Basically a small can or pipe with some insulation, which you can insert temporarily the tip of a propane torch that you might have lying around in the ship's tool locker. Stick with unplated mild-steel at first, as it is safe and predictable for learning about forging. :D

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another silly question, I don't have any borax or anything like that. There is a welder out here, and I know how to use it. But could I just break off the flux off some welding rods grind it down and heat weld with that??


if you use the oxy to fusion weld you wont need a flux for steel. (use it like a tig)
i havent tried it but you could try salt as a flux if you cannot find another recipe on the net with a search

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Sand could be used for flux too. Is there a sandblasting outfit, equiped with silica (white) sand?

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we have a couple of pallets of 3 and 1, concrete. And a pallet of coares sand, huge grains. To use the sand just heat the metal really hot spread it on and beat away?? Again thanks for all the info, it is really helpful..

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