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Made some punches and a chisel over the last few days. It takes me a while to get things done. If I last 2 hours in the shop I've had a long day. It didn't used to be that way, but I'm gonna do stuff anyways. Bad knees and all. Anyway. I made several punches and a chisel from some spring I was given by Phil Krankowski . I was very happy to recieve it and he totally gets the credit for me having it. Another spring I was able to get was from Jake P. I made a bob punch from it but I'm not done with it yet. Also the chisel is from that same larger spring. I heat treated them today and took pics.


I tried my best to run the colors on them but I'm not so sure I did a very good job. I brought them up to non magnetic, quenched in water and then scrubbed them with some sandpaper watched the colors run and when they hit a light straw I finished the quench. So, I don't know if thats right or not but I did a test with them and they all held up just fine. Made the marks on a piece of mild plate.

Hope you enjoy.

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Not to bring up the old tempering issues, but I have always use quenching oil for my 5160 steel. That's what I've heard and read repeatedly. I 'm sure you can quench 5160 in water, but does this make a difference? Does quenching in water make the steel harder or tougher than in oil.

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I don't know Dave. But for punches and chisels thats what I was told. Knives and bladed items should be quenched in oil. The idea here being, I believe, that you want a fast quench for hardness and still have enough heat left over for tempering with out using an oven. At least thats the way I interpreted the information I read on the site here. Of course, I could be totally mistaken. I often am.

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Thanks everyone. I had fun making them. Now I just need to get back into the shop over the week end and do more. The temps here are good. Cool, well its all relitive isn't it, in the mornings mid 30s and warmer in the afternoons, high 40s to low 50s.

Your right, free is always the best price.

One of the things I need is a top/handled cutter. I am going to try to make one out of some breaker bit I have. I will want to do that in a coal forge just because it will be less expencive fuel wise and also because it will be more precise on the heat location. So that may have to wait untill I have a good day walking or untill I finally get a coal forge into the shop.

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Bryan: I heard the same things about water and oil and 5160. I've used oil for chisels and punches, but wonder if water would be better. With the quicker quench I wonder what that would do for hardness and toughness? I'll give it a try the next time around. Maybe the difference is in theory only and doesn't really have any difference in the performance of the tool?

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Bryan: I heard the same things about water and oil and 5160. I've used oil for chisels and punches, but wonder if water would be better. With the quicker quench I wonder what that would do for hardness and toughness? I'll give it a try the next time around. Maybe the difference is in theory only and doesn't really have any difference in the performance of the tool?


I just don't have the information or experiance to offer an opinion. I only know they are plenty hard and there was no deformation at all when I tested them. A file skated easily off them.


Very nice! My wife is glad to have some of my junk out of the yard. What do you think of the garage door spring? Phil


I havn't done anything with the garage door spring as yet. But I think I will use it for rivets on tongs. I read in one of the books I have that it makes very good rivets for that purpose. I also have a fire starter project in mind to make from some of it too. Nothings writen in stone though. Thanks again for the spring. The rest will be put to very good use. And I'm constantly looking for more.
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One of the things I need is a top/handled cutter. I am going to try to make one out of some breaker bit I have.




Bryan, I don't know exactly what that "top/handled cutter" is but I suspect that you are looking at making a handled slitting chisel. If it is a handle that you want for your chisels, slitters, punches and etc, you might give the following a look see.

For my smaller size hot work tooling I made a couple of small tongs to hold the tools of different diameters. You can bind or secure the reins with links, or clips to hold the tooling in place for use. Advantages of this approach is that the tools can be reforged without disassembly, only one handle set is needed for all tooling of a given size, and a lot of space storing multiple handled tools is not needed.

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Bryan, I don't know exactly what that "top/handled cutter" is but I suspect that you are looking at making a handled slitting chisel. If it is a handle that you want for your chisels, slitters, punches and etc, you might give the following a look see.

For my smaller size hot work tooling I made a couple of small tongs to hold the tools of different diameters. You can bind or secure the reins with links, or clips to hold the tooling in place for use. Advantages of this approach is that the tools can be reforged without disassembly, only one handle set is needed for all tooling of a given size, and a lot of space storing multiple handled tools is not needed.



That is a very good idea. I have thought of that. It would mean making another pair to tongs. But I have some stock that I can use for that. Bought some 5/8th inch just for tongs the other day. I need to practice making more and thats a good project just for that . You bring up very good points about storage and re-forging at a later date.
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That is a very good idea. I have thought of that. It would mean making another pair to tongs. But I have some stock that I can use for that. Bought some 5/8th inch just for tongs the other day. I need to practice making more and thats a good project just for that . You bring up very good points about storage and re-forging at a later date.


Actually for tongs used for this purpose lighter is better. You want them to be light weight and flexable so that they don't transmit vibrations through the reins. I made mine so long ago that I can not remember what size bar mine are forged from. 5/8 x 5/8 inch bar Seems to big to start with. !/2 x 1/2 inch will be plenty big enough . These are a good size to practice your moves making tongs. The good part is that they are small enough to be easy to forge but very useful when used for this purpose.

Make them strong enough not to deform under your grip and to hold the tool firmly with a spring like grip. These will not replace the need for handled tools but will reduce the number needed significantly.
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Bryan it is one of those choices that you make what style of tools do you want? I have seen many punches made to be held with tongs and you can for the most part make more punches because you need less material for the punch they do not need to be as long. on some of mine I weld handles in place the one I use a lot. Makes it quicker for me. I use the Clay Spencer style handle. which is solid rod wrapped around the punch and welded to it twisted to form the handle. I went through this when I was setting up tooling for my power hammer. setting up a style what will work best for you.

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Bryan it is one of those choices that you make what style of tools do you want? I have seen many punches made to be held with tongs and you can for the most part make more punches because you need less material for the punch they do not need to be as long. on some of mine I weld handles in place the one I use a lot. Makes it quicker for me. I use the Clay Spencer style handle. which is solid rod wrapped around the punch and welded to it twisted to form the handle. I went through this when I was setting up tooling for my power hammer. setting up a style what will work best for you.


Yes to all of the above. However there is another way to use twisted wire handles . The following thumbnail shows a bowl making tool used as atop tool for a matching bowl form in one of my swage blocks. The swage block and matching top tool are used under my screw press working hot to make bowls.

The wire handle is made of 1/4" round rod . The top tool is drilled to receive the twisted wire handle. This arrangement allows removal of the wire handle for more compact storage of the tool. I have used this style of mounting for larger punches as well.
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Bryan it is one of those choices that you make what style of tools do you want? I have seen many punches made to be held with tongs and you can for the most part make more punches because you need less material for the punch they do not need to be as long. on some of mine I weld handles in place the one I use a lot. Makes it quicker for me. I use the Clay Spencer style handle. which is solid rod wrapped around the punch and welded to it twisted to form the handle. I went through this when I was setting up tooling for my power hammer. setting up a style what will work best for you.


That is a very good question. These punches deffinately will be hand held, they are plenty long enough to do that with and keep your/my hand off the heat. the Bob punch I am making is quite a bit shorter to preserve material and I was going to make a pair of tongs to hold them, or any other punches I make in a similar way. I really like the idea of a handled tool however. The twisted wire handle that knots showed is exactly what I had in mind for what I was wanting. I need to see if I have any 1/4" rod for that. I may not. Yay, another trip to Alaska Steel. They really are my favorite guys here locally. I'll raid the trash bin too! Another idea I had was to use a breaker bit to make a hot cut. The wire handle would be very good for that. Oh the ideas are flowing. Thanks everyone for all the great thoughts. I am excited to get out to the shop today.
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I love it when folk up north finally thaw and get rolling. You're keeping busy Bryan ad that's good good good.

Can you give the refinery a call and see if they sell petrolium coke? Have you tried it, if so what do you think?

Meeting at Pat's tomorrow you know. In case you feel like a little road trip in all your spare time. <grin> It'd sure be good to see you two again.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Well I got some more time in the shop today and it sure was a produtive day. I made another punch, this one is half round. Did the same heat treat and it worked very well. A good hard punch that does what I need it to and thats what its all about isn't it?

The Bulldog bottle opener is what all these punches have been about. Its someting I've been wanting to do for a while.

Hey Frostie, I have no idea if the refinery sells industrial coke but I will find out and let you know. I really wish I could make the meeting but unfortunately we have other obligations this week end. Renee has a dog thing-a-mabob to do. I don't know, I just say "Yes dear" and show up.

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Good job KB,

Here is a greeting from a distant relative (Very distant as in UK distant) Tom N and I tried out making at the Thame Show a couple of weeks ago.

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It proved very popular with the visitors and could have been sold to numerous people,



The only negative comment was from this visitor who just commented "ROUGH" or at least it sounded like that

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