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I Forge Iron

Now what?

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Found a bent small trailer axle a couple of weeks ago at the scrapyard and thought it would be good for a new hot cut hardy and other things requiring a decent HC steel.

Decided that since it already had tapered spindles, why not make a bick from one end. took a while to forge down the shank, clean up the pitting and refine the working end.

Now that I have a couple of hours into this piece, what's the best route for hardening/tempering? Hate to have it snap off at the shank the first time I tap it.




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Well the first thing to do BEFORE you spend any time forging on it is to take a sample piece and see how it reacts to various heat treating methods. You wouldn't want to spend the time only to find out that it doesn't harden would you?

So take your sample piece and heat it to above the loss of magnetic attraction and quench in oil and check for hardness (remembering that there can be a decarb layer on the surface). If it hardens appropriately then you know to do an oil quench and then you can take the sample and see what temp is good for drawing temper---again by testing it after drawing starting at lower temps and going up.

If oil doesn't harden it enough I would try brine.

If brine doesn't harden it enough you can try super quench

If S-Q doesn't work aren't you glad you didn't spend the time forging out something from it!

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What I did was heat it back to yellow-orange and quenched in old motor oil. (PEWWWWW!!) Polished it out then with the shank deep in the fire and the horn above the coals drew it back to where the bend was dark purple/blue and the tip was just getting to straw. water quenched just the horn, "sloshing" with the tip to slowly cool the bend. The shank was still probably barely dull red (if it had been dark) and it went back into the oil.

I just used it to finish shaping an open heart and it's still in one piece.

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Now you can use the other end to make me one ...... LOL. But, then I'd have to get an anvil to put it in. Still only have a piece of railroad track for an anvil. It works good for shaping the bevel on a blade (because it has that nice curve on top), but not much good for big stuff. Xxxx ..... guess you'll have to send me the anvil too ...... LOL. Just kidding. There's a great discount tool store in town here with a really good reputation. They have a decent size one there for only 70 bucks. Nice job on your bic.


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