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I Forge Iron

Impovised Tools - question

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Hi gang.
Can a cold chisel be re-profiled into a hot cut chisel? huh.gif
That's what I did to an old 1" cold chisel I had and I was wondering if it would work.
I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but I figured I would ask around first.
What better place than here?
So ... will it work?

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I've been using a cold chisel that I designated for hot work. Works rather well in fact. I may reforge it into something else at some point, or just re heat treat it as a cold chisel again.

I just made a hot chisel from some coil spring, but haven't had a chance to HT it after normalizing. I know enough people say to use it normalized, but I'm going to at least go through the motions properly (veg oil quench, don't feel like risking water quench), and know that the tool will be a little better for it. It will be good practice for future work too.


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I usually use my hot cuts as forged. No further heat treating necessary. Just keep it cool by either lifting it out of the hot work and let it briefly air cool or quench it quickly after a few blows. Don't try and plow through your material all at once.

Thanks Brian.

Though I still need to learn how to temper and heat treat and normalize, etc.
I would love to see these skills as video tutorials (HINT: any videographers listening ??? ... just sayin' ...)
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Normalize is the easy one! Heat the tool evenly to critical (slightly over non-magnetic) or to the proper specified temperature for the given steel and place it on a heat resistant surface in still air to cool. A punch or chisel will take 15-45 minutes (or longer for really big ones) to cool to the touch, depending on size. Inexpensive stove firebrick are great surface for this.

Normalization relieves stresses from forging and uneven heating, and produces a moderately soft tool that can typically be easily shaped with a stone of file.

Before further heat treat normalization is usually the first step.


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Sam do you belong to the local blacksmithing group. Here at the south west florida meeting last weekend we did a demo on chisel making because the question was asked. hands on is better thn a video

You're right on that one - hands-on is infinitely better.

Actually I do belong to my local blacksmith group, unfortunately my schedule and theirs hasn't been able to mesh very well for the last year huh.gif - though I keep trying.
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