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I Forge Iron

Help with some tools Acier MOB Fondu

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I recently purchased some stake anvils in nearly mint condition. At first I thought they were pexto but I was finally able to
get a clear picture of the brand stamping on one of them. They are made by Acier MOB and are probably for silver smithing but
were being sold by an old blacksmith. I'm not familiar with the company although I have seen a few MOB hammers sold on ebay.
I assume some of you may know more about these and the company and would share that info with me? These aren't delicate
by any means, the larger ones weigh around 10lbs. here are some pictures-





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Most crucible steel items are forged; it's the *steel* that was originally cast---the term dates back to when steel was generally derived from wrought iron by the blister steel and shear steel processes. Huntsman in the 1740's figured out he could melt blister steel and thus get a slag free uniform carbon content steel known as "cast steel". It was a big thing back them with countries vieing to see who could exhibit the largest ingot of such steel. (Krupp was once accused of exhibiting a cast iron ingot where upon he cut a piece off and forged it---because as we all know you can't forge cast iron!)

The grain size of cast items was quite bad and so the steel profited from a lot of forging to refine the grain; but the stamp "cast steel" meant that it was the high dollar special stuff instead of the cheaper blister/shear steel. I still buy old tools at the fleamarket marked cast steel even though with the Bessemer/Kelly process of the 1850's all steel was pretty much "cast". (Sheffield in particular was still teeming cast steel on into the 20th century for specialty steels.)

For way too much information on this (for anyone not crazy like me...) "Steelmaking before Bessemer: vol 1 blister steel; vol2 Crucible steel; Barraclough (ILL it as the prices are getting high!)

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As usual Thomas has lots of good info, I need to invest in some of the books he quotes! But he's right they are expensive!!!

Thanks Frosty- I think I'm going to try them with some fairly thin hot iron first but thicker than tin.I have made some
hardies that are similar to a few of these tools and they work very well. I use them in conjunction with
my swages Who knows some ideas might pan out.

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A book which covers British cast steel (American crucible steel) is "American Iron 1607-1900 by Robert B. Gordon. It is one of the series, Johns Hopkins Studies in Early Technology. The book contains much more re furnaces, bloomeries, ferrous extractive methods, and economics, all in a historical context.

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Well it's like this: I signed up to be the assistant when Ric Furrer did the "3 ways to make steel" demo at quad State one year and he mentioned those books and so as soon as I got home I went on line---still wearing my coat!---and ordered the only used set in America at that time.

So they were still expensive but a lot cheaper than *now*. One of the books in my library cost more than the first two triphammers I've owned; actually cost more than both of them together! (and many the time I've coveted a book on steel that costs more than my truck...I'll have to wait for an online version someday!)

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