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Hey all, I was thinking of ordering some wrought iron. I have a gas forge, and it welds mild and high carbon well. I've heard wrought iron likes really high temps, especially for welding. My question is, can I weld it? (and can I weld it to HC for a laminate knife) And if not, should I forge it at welding temps or just normal temps?

Thanks all :)

Mitch

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Real wrought, if it's clean, welds great. You generally weld wrought to wrought at a nearly white heat.

The problem with the introduction of HC steel is that you will burn the HC at normal WI welding heat, so you have to consider that when making the weld.

I have layered WI with old files with good results (san mai style), but it is easy to burn the edge of the file to the point it will ruin the steel.

When welding WI with HC, go with a welding heat you would normally use for the HC. A good weld is worthless if you end up with a bunch of cracks in your steel.

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What Don A said. The common misunderstanding is that people read or hear that WI can be welded at a higher heat than mild steel, and that is true. The Brits call it a snowball heat because of the scintillation. But that is not to say that you can't weld it at a lower, sweating heat, meaning no sparks.

The high, sparking heat is used when welding WI to WI, the advantage being that the heat lasts a little longer than a sweating heat...a little more hammer time.

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Not to mention that at high heats the weld line can be almost invisible.

The higher the grade of wrought iron the lower the term it will still be workable. You may want to experiment with a piece to see where *it* starts to fray out---and then weld it back up and stay above that temp.

One reason that extremely high temps are suggested for working is that it's so *soft* there and won't take damage there---so like the difference between hammering cold steel and hot steel---you get a lot more done faster and easier!

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Old wrought iron is extremely variable in terms of purity (eg. hot short, & etc.). The best wrought iron can be welded in a very wide temperature range. Most available old wrought iron is not of the best quality. Test what you have to determine your approach.

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One of the issues is that the coarser, lower, the quality the easier it is to recognize it as wrought iron in the scrap stream. The high grade stuff gets tossed in the steel pile and only if someone tries to work it like steeel does it show it's differences---and usually folks just think it's from a bad batch of steel.

And as Tom mentioned Wrought Iron can be hot short; but also cold short, delaminating on weld lines, have large slag inclusions, etc. (Hot and cold short are usually due to levels of sulfur and phosphorous; so high sulfur levels indicate post bloomery wrought iron that was smelted with coke and high phosphorous is more common with bloomery produced wrought iron from bog ores.)

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