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I'm new here (). I am wondering what it might take to make aftermarket automotive quality forged chromoly parts. The part is an upper control arm shaft, so the size would be about 6" in length and 1/2" in diameter. Is this something that could be done on a small scale?

Thanks,
Kurt

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Yes the forging and heat treat could probably be done on a small scale. However the cost of liability insurance would probably exceed profits by many times.

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Part; if *1* of them malfunctions and causes a crash you are *the* target for lawsuits.

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Depending on the scale of production your product may not be profitable. If you are making a 1 off for yourself, then you can assume your own liability. If you are making a production run for sale to the public then it is not so simple.

From a technical aspect this is 41xx steels and forge nicely.

Phil

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I'll look into the liability issues. The parts would be supplied to a shop that would include them as part of their kit, so that may skirt some liability.

On to what it'd take to make a good part. I know next to nothing about forging. Which forging process would you think to use for something like this- press forging? We used a horseshoe forge for heating rivets for restoring a steam locomotive. Is something like that going to be hot enough? What size (tons force) of a press would be needed?

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You have not smithed before? yet you want to make automotive parts for resale? are you serious??

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On to what it'd take to make a good part. I know next to nothing about forging.

Option One:

First, hire a really good engineer or two and get a really good design. Then job out said design to an established fab shop. There are several seasoned professionals on this very website who might give you bids if you can supply dimensioned drawings.

Option Two:

Spend several years learning how to design and forge reliable parts. Then revisit this idea of yours.

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I'm just wondering what it takes to forge parts. Both you and I know I'm not going to be making and selling parts any time soon. Maybe it'll take ten years. Maybe it'll be too expensive to bother doing. Maybe, maybe, maybe. What's a good resource or three?

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I'm trying to grasp the concept of press forging. What percentage of volume change is necessary? I imagine the extreme would be the point where the material will not compress any further and the length is going to change, so the dies would have an overflow volume.

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Kurt,
What you are searching for can be answered in part with the forging programs which are available from companies like MSC.SuperForge and other FEM programs.
Much of it is specific to the part and some companies who do very large runs have customized proprietary programs for such.
It is a "new" science and much is not known and there is always a difference between computer model and the real world.

But
specific to you needs I suggest rather than making it yourself to have a confidentiality agreement set up with your lawyer, the part spec'd out by an engineer familiar with the automotive industry (many I would think are looking for work) and then have several drop forge shops quote you the final part cost for a run. The forge shop will do the die engineering.

If YOU really wish to do this alone with research you conduct and then teach yourself how to efficiently make the part and self insure then I think you are in for a long road..five years is an underestimate in my view...ten to fifteen is more like it.

You may also wish to look into PM or IC (powdered metallurgy or investment casting). but here again..YOU..would not do the actual manufacturing, but rather have others do the run under your specs.

It may be that you should spec out your idea and have a 3d model make (wood, plastic metal) and then again have lawyer agreements set up and approach those already in industry and sell them your idea. You may get a one time fee or a per part percentage. The liability would be less if you sell them the idea.

I looked into making damascus gun barrels some time ago...liability, not my ability, put a damper on the idea.

Ric

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I'm trying to grasp the concept of press forging. What percentage of volume change is necessary? I imagine the extreme would be the point where the material will not compress any further and the length is going to change, so the dies would have an overflow volume.

Okay, just for academics, giggles, and squirts...

Steel does not compress prior to getting longer. The volume of a piece of steel stays constant. You can stretch it and simultaneously make it thinner. You can squish it and simultaneously make it fatter. But you can't move the atoms any closer together by physical force.

Steel will indeed change shape permanently if enough stress is applied. Stress required to cause permanent deformation is inversely proportional to temperature. For most steels, there is a temperature point called the "transformation temperature" where the graph takes a sharp bend - the steel gets a lot easier to work all of a sudden.

If you can find a copy (through inter-library loan or otherwise) of Metals Handbook 8th edition, volume 4 or volume 5 or Metals Handbook 9th edition, volume 14, do so. These will show you exactly how industry has used presses, open die hammers, or closed die hammers.

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So, I want to take up brain surgery, can anyone give me some pointers? I'm hoping I won't need to buy ALL new tool, will some of my blacksmith tools work OK? If I do the work at a hospital, then I probably don't need liability insurance, right? I'll only work on the neighborhood dogs for awhile before I try out people. I don't like blood, can I just drain that out first? I mean they probably won't need it after I get done anyway. Is there a book I should read?

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Sign me up for some of that brain surgery- are you on the blue cross ppo plan?
Yes some tings are better left to the professionals

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Man, I feel terrible. I joined a blacksmith forum and asked some questions and now I got some guy named "Naked Anvil" picking on me. It's just like the playground all over again, aint it Grant?

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well frankly.. if you have read a little on this subject before posting here, you would have known how foolish that proposition of yours sounded, and after all the 14 yr olds posting here, some of us tend to get annoyed at people that are too lazy to research anything for them selves. So in essence you opened the door by expecting some of US to do your work for you.

But your last reply did show some humility and that is good. If you wish to stick around and learn many of us are willing to attempt to teach you, but with about half million posts in this forum IFI alone, I suggest you first start by reading some of those posts. Also many of us, my self included , have an open shop, where we welcome people to stop by and learn, be warned that smithing is not a spectator sport, wear old cloths.

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Man, I feel terrible. I joined a blacksmith forum and asked some questions and now I got some guy named "Naked Anvil" picking on me. It's just like the playground all over again, aint it Grant?


they say there no dumb questions. You may not have gotten the answer wanted but I am sure you learned. Don't put the cart before the horse and all questions are good glad you are setting your sights high

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Man, I feel terrible. I joined a blacksmith forum and asked some questions and now I got some guy named "Naked Anvil" picking on me. It's just like the playground all over again, aint it Grant?


It can be somedays.

Here is a demonstration of estimating volume without math, as well as working out processes to get to where you want to be. In production volume estimates are made off measurements of the finished part and anticipated scale losses.





Using modeling clay you can get some practice in with hand forging before you get set up if you want. It is a good analogue to steel at forging temperature.

Phil

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Untill you set up your robot production line to cut, heat with induction , and drop forge the parts you seek to make, YOU are playing. When you get serious about it, you might seek the advise on just about all you need to know about machinery, and especially induction heating, from Mr Grant (NAKED ANVIL). I dont think you will find him in your playground.

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We can be a harsh lot... There are lots of people who jump on and say things like "hey I have never even seen a blacksmith but I am going to start making swords, What do I need to do" We tend to be a bit cynical and brutal in our reply's... Forging is a skill that takes a lifetime to master and there is thousands of years of combined experience on this site.. Mr Naked Anvil you refer to is one of the most knowledgeable people in the country in production and industrial forging. He gets $1000/day to consult on industrial projects and has produced millions and millions of forgings... He designs proses for industry to do exactly the kind of thing you want to do... The thing is what you propose is a huge undertaking. It can be done, you could do it.. But it would be like walking into a group of Air Force pilots and saying "Hi! I want to learn to fly the space shuttle! Can you teach me? There very well could be one of those pilots that takes him under his wing and that guy becomes a phenom and one day pilots a space craft..... But probably not. ;)

We want to help, (most of us anyway) But most people when they find out how much work and effort and expence is involved in doing what they though was a simple thing loose interest..

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well frankly.. if you have read a little on this subject before posting here, you would have known how foolish that proposition of yours sounded, and after all the 14 yr olds posting here, some of us tend to get annoyed at people that are too lazy to research anything for them selves. So in essence you opened the door by expecting some of US to do your work for you.


Isn't asking here essentially doing some research? The internet and its forums is another tool for gathering information. Just because it isn't reading a paper book doesn't mean it's not research. A vast majority of smith work has been done for many years prior to any of us picking up a hammer, so very few people here can't claim to have done any new research. We are all using someone else's research. Does that make us lazy? How we get this information is changing with the digital age.

It confuses me when someone comes here and asks a question like this and they do get ridiculed. Why? If the question annoys you, don't answer. There might be someone on the forum who IS willing to help a newbie out by giving them honest feedback without the incredulous response. We all started somewhere. Who knows? If some newbie gets some good support, they might turn out to be the next shining star in blacksmithing. If they get ridiculed, they might be too humiliated to come back here and might never develope.

Kurt's OP had no arrogance or false misgivings IMO. He was asking an honest question. Give him an honest answer.

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