Tubbe

My tools - Brazeal style

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Hi,

In this tread I want to show the tools I have made, hugely inspired by the tools Brian Brazeal makes. I've tried to suck up as much information as possible from all posts Brian has made and all the images that Lyle Wynn has posted. I'm really just a beginner, but with all that info, some thought and trial and error, it's actually possible to do some pretty ok stuff.

First thing I made was an eye drift with a punch grind on the end, then I made the hammer tongs to be able to hold hammers/top tools with an eye in a secure way.
Then today I made my first handled tool, the eye punch. Both drift and punch were made out of 1" car axle stock, and neither one has been heat treated.

20120614_1_eye_punch.jpg
Punching the hole. This is actually the hardest part when you work alone. I used a half round bottom swage to help me hold the piece. Then it's just a matter of getting the hole straight and in line.... :)


20120614_2_eye_punch.jpg
Hole drifted and cheeks forged out using the drift as an anvil, from both sides. Has to be worked quite fast as these thin parts cool real fast, even with a drift up in temp. Striking end fixed up.
I'm a little curious how thin you actually can make the cheeks, after all it's made to be hit by a sledge hammer....

20120614_3_eye_punch.jpg
Round taper

20120614_4_eye_punch.jpg
Finished. Flattened taper and V shaped punch end.

20120614_5_eye_punch.jpg
Simple handle

20120614_7_eye_punch.jpg

My plan is to add some other tools to this thread in the future.

Hope all this can be some sort of inspiration for you all....

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That is great Tubbe, looks like your punch is a on a good 90 degree angle to the handle. Keep your pics coming as well.

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Thanks guys! Really appreciate your nice words.

Made two handled hot cutters. Struggled a bit punching the hole straight i these. I had to start over and punch from the other side when it didn't go as planned from the beginning. It turned out ok, but not the cleanest hole I've seen...

Used slightly larger axle stock, 1 1/8" I think it was this time.

20120620_1_hot_cutters.jpg

20120620_2_hot_cutters.jpg

20120620_3_hot_cutters.jpg

I'm going to harden these for sure. Wonder to what color to draw the temper, purple/blue?

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I don't harden hot cuts, and I don't know why others do. I used to because I assummed it was necessary, but that was a totally incorrect assumption. I can cut 2" and under 4140 in one heat with a hand hammer with a hot cut made out of the same material and so can anyone else if they have the right tools. I will harden and temper hand chisels, fullers, and punches that I use to lay out cold material like you would with a center punch, but there is no reason or need for haredening and tempering punches and chisels that you do hot work with, and you would only lose the temper when doing large work. If you are going to cut cold then you need to heat treat. I would like to hear some reasons why others would harden such a tool and not just the same old excuse that I had of doing what I thought I had to do or what I was told to do.

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Hey Guys

Great looking tools doing those on your own is bloody impresive. I have back Brian 100% on the heat treating here. As a Knifemaker i am pedantic about heat treating and always heat treated all hot cutting tools. After three days with Brian and LDW you realise it is a waste of time and effort on hot cut tools. If the tool is formed properly and used at the right heats, it becomes a non issue. The time and effort can be used to do something useful. Cheers

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Ok, no heat treatment then :) I'll try to use them HOT, and not hardened they are really easy to regrind/file if necessary. The only problem I can think of is when you cut through against a mild steel backing plate. Maybe I should get hold of a good piece of copper or even aluminum for backing.

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Tubbe, It is fine to use a mid steel backing plate as long as you chisel properly and not use it like a plow. The thin edge cools quickly in air as long as you move it after every blow and there is no need to waste time with cooling it in water. I will cool it in water after I am finished with it before I return it to my rack so no one grabs a hot tool.

One of the main things I try to emphasize to people is not to belive everything you hear or read and do not believe me. You can understand all you need through your own eyes and observations. No one can teach anyone anything. Each person to know something must teach themselves. This is all reasonable. That means you have the ability to reason it out.

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The cutting plate will only be needed when you are splitting a piece of metal. When you cut you should cut to the center rotating your stock on all four sides if it is square, rotate it also if it is round. Cut to the center and do not cut all the way off so you do not damage your tools or hammer. Make one hit then remove the cutter so the thin edge can instantly cool off. Hit once then turn.

Good to hear you Shawn.

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Brian,

That last paragraph of yours should be at the top of each page on IForgeIron.com!

"One of the main things I try to emphasize to people is not to belive everything you hear or read and do not believe me. You can understand all you need through your own eyes and observations. No one can teach anyone anything. Each person to know something must teach themselves. This is all reasonable. That means you have the ability to reason it out. "

Hurrah on hot working tools not requiring heat treating. It would be like heat treating a soldering iron!

Good looking tools!

Caleb Ramsby

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I don't harden hot cuts, and I don't know why others do. I used to because I assummed it was necessary, but that was a totally incorrect assumption. I can cut 2" and under 4140 in one heat with a hand hammer with a hot cut made out of the same material and so can anyone else if they have the right tools. I will harden and temper hand chisels, fullers, and punches that I use to lay out cold material like you would with a center punch, but there is no reason or need for haredening and tempering punches and chisels that you do hot work with, and you would only lose the temper when doing large work. If you are going to cut cold then you need to heat treat. I would like to hear some reasons why others would harden such a tool and not just the same old excuse that I had of doing what I thought I had to do or what I was told to do.


I harden and temper everything, and I do the whole tool not just cutting edges, the steel is in a better tougher form this way. Yes everything will wear out and probably not in my lifetime even if it was dead soft but I can and it is my belief that it makes a better tool however slightly more noticeable it is.

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I'll agree with Sam here, just because you haven't hardened and tempered a tool does not mean that you haven't heat treated it. Every time you heat a steel that has more than 30 points of carbon and or a significant amount of other alloy you have heat treated it.
That doesn't mean that it won't do its job, just that knowing what kind of mix of pearlite, martensite, retained austenite etc. you have may make the tool better.

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Practical experience of others (Brian Brazeal) says "as forged" or "normalized" is fine.

Fully hardened, then fully drawn is twice as hard as normalized, based on published information for 1045, 4140, and 5160.

1045, 4140, and 5160 become quite soft at a relatively low temperature of about 700F, that is the grey after blue on temper colors, whether it was hardened or not.

Keep the tool cool and it should hold up well.

Phil

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I wonder... would a small drilled pilot hole help getting a perfectly straight hole when punching, or would that just mess things up/make no difference at all? Could be worth trying...

Brian, another thing, if you don't mind... For your top fullers, approx. what dimension stock do you use? Looking at some images it looks a bit bigger and you flatten it down to a more oval/capsule type section before punching, right?

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I personally never let my heat treated tools get above say 600*-700*, if that to be honest..Now Im cutting and pucnhing thinner stuff.usually 1 1/4" and down..Though i do occasinally do thicker stuff and i know its almost imppossible to keep it cool on 2" suff..
Anyway 5160 thats tempered at even a high 600* is still significantly harder than normalized 5160..Way,way harder..
Close to 54RC at 600* according to the SAE charts..Normalized hardness is only about 27 RC..

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When cold is what those charts are for, not AT the elevated temperature. The only information I found at materials in service at temperature is for boiler materials relating to creep under pressure.

Phil

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I think you misunderstood my post..If you dont let your cutter get above 600* then its never gonna get much softer than 50RC..The material temp being cut dosnt matter, the temp of your tool is what matters..My stamp has hot stamped hundreds of axe heads that were close to 2000* when we stamped them but my stamp is still 59RC in hardness..If you dont overload the termal mass then your tool will never get that hot..You can stamp an axe head holding the stamp on there for a full 2-3 seconds and it wont be more than say 130*(because i can touch it to my skin and its barely warm) but since it takes W-1 more than 450* to get below 59 RC it never looses any hardness..If you keep the tool itself below the temperature for a givin hardness then it will stay hard..If you let it get hot it wont..
Remember, Im talking about keeping the tool cool and not letting it get hot enough to loose hardness..If Im making a tool that I know I have no way of keeping cool then I dont bother..

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I wonder... would a small drilled pilot hole help getting a perfectly straight hole when punching, or would that just mess things up/make no difference at all? Could be worth trying...

Brian, another thing, if you don't mind... For your top fullers, approx. what dimension stock do you use? Looking at some images it looks a bit bigger and you flatten it down to a more oval/capsule type section before punching, right?


I haven't tried a single hole with a slitter like Brian uses, but another blacksmith I know (for hammer handle holes) drills two 1/4 inch holes 3/4 inch apart (centers) and uses a flat oblong punch (1/4 by 3/4 end) to punch out a slug from between the holes (punch from both sides). Following that, use a drift to the size hole you want, then flatten the cheeks with the drift in place. Works perfectly for me every time.

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