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I Forge Iron

First punch

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I made this from the still limited material I have on hand. I'm hoping it'll work for a punch along with another piece. This is my fisrt item made and it's still not filed. Also with this piece I learned how to twist the metal.

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post-13730-096435800 1274202344_thumb.jp

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Well I guess you just have a lot more forge time than I do.

This may be a philosophical difference; but I like to do things so if they come out right I don't have to redo them again cause I used a poor alloy the first time. Nothing to me is sadder to have a fellow forge a knife and have their first try come out nice only to have them discard it cause it was mild steel and then mess up several more trying to get back to where they were at.

I teach my students using proper alloys even if it means that they waste some---after all learning to properly forge such alloys is part of what they should be learning! But then I cam into smithing through blademaking and so working alloy stuff was more common than working mild!

Both coil spring and RR clips are scrap material too and less likely to up set in the hole you are punching.

I'm a big fleamarket scrounger and tend to pick up old chisels when I can get them for a quarter or 50 cents and use them for tooling.

Good luck with your tongs, having tools you made that work well for you is a great thing!

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i have to agree about the proper steel .. steel is cheap compared to many things why not buy a steel that will do wnat you want? rebar is made from misc scrap and can be hard and soft in the same bar! a leingth of 1/2 rnd at a steel yard will run you under 20 bucks for 20 ft! for punches and chizels use a scrap spring .. it will be pretty much a known quality .for a good hot cut chizel i would buy a piece of s7 from one of the blacksmith supply houses . s7 is a air hardening tool steel and is tough to forge but when your done the chizel will be tough and last a long time .. being air hardening you only have to forge to shape take a last heat and let it cool maybee in front of a fan or just lay it on the ground but DONT QUENCH IT!(if you put it in water while hot it will shatter) grind and use ! try not to heat up the end you will hit as you dont want it hardened like the edge .i know a lot of people start with scrap but with steel prices so low i dont see the need.

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I can relate to your aproach. I started beating stuff out of any steel that came easily to hand and it was fun and satisfying. Some things were too soft for my intended purpose, some too brittle and some shattered in the slack tub. These lesons are burned into my memory, so much good came from my rooky antics. Now I sort my scroungings
into mild steel, higher carbon or spring steel. My results are more predictable now, but I just know that many more lessons are waiting for me. I have also learned to respect the wisdom and experience of the smiths that have been at it for long time. I appreciate the encouragement and advice of those in these forums greatly. Thanks for sharing so freely with us beginners.
Keep on forging!

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