Chestnut Forge

My arm is tired....

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I haven't beat iron in awhile and I'm kinda out of shape. But, I had fire in the old forge this evening. The Love of my life wants a pair of wall brackets to hang big candle lanterns on. I have four scrap 1 1/4 x 1/8 straps 28 inches long , perfect to forge the brackets. My FIL gave them to me. They were hanging on the back wall of his garage since he was a kid. Anyway, this stuff is red hard. I had to bring it to a bright yellow to move metal with a 2 pound hammer. I did a spark test and it is some sort of high carbon steel. The were galvanized when I got them. I stripped them with muriatic acid. Do you folks think that the acid could have effected the steel in some way? Kinda like nitrate hardening?

 

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Never heard of anything like that.  Did you take a piece, heat it and quench to harden  then do the break test?  Normally you don't see high carbon steel galvanized, at least I haven't. 

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did you miss the part where he said he had removed the galvanization with muriatic acid before forging it?

 

Once it's removed it can't kill you!

 

It is unusual to have highC stuff galvanized though, OTOH some of the early car bumpers were made of highC strap stock---could it have been old chrome instead of galvanization?  Were the edges nicely rounded?

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No doubt it was zinc. I'm thinking that the straps were some sort of supports. Had a 1/2 inch hole in one end and 9/16 in the other. I did a file test on a quenched piece. File slides across it like ice on glass. I'm going to make a blade out of some of it, see how it turns out.

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I don't have a clue what they might be, ... but when I used to do contract work for US Naval Ordnance, ... EVERYTHING, ... repeat EVERYTHING got double hot dipped galvanized.

 

And it was commonplace for the Navy to specify "high grade" materials, ... even for very utilitarian purposes, ( braces, struts, railings etc. ) ... in order to achieve weight savings, by using smaller dimension, high tensil parts.

 

 

 

 

.

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1 1/4" x 1/8" is like $0.80 per ft at my shop. Hot rolled mild steel is east to forge and you don't have to deal with galv or acid (2 things i hate). If you make a blade take small sample pcs and try each quench method to determine hardening but tempering may be difficult cause you dont have any idea what the steel was for.

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Harris, I just forged a hammer eye drigt this morning from a 1 1/4" hex jack hammer bit. It took about 3 hrs on a 100# anvil and a 3lb hammer over the horn on a very. Solid tripod stand. The drift taper is 14" long and 3/8" x 3/16 at the tip 1 1/4 x 7/8 at the top. Its pretty ruff on the arm but I didn't want to swing a 6# hammer on the horn of my anvil. Good luck
Eric S

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I got the project done. Not my best work but, I think it turned out ok. I haven't really done and smithing for over ten years. The steel is some type of HC. I had to change the design when the hook snap off the bottom end of one bracket while I was setting a copper rivet at the other end. Shouldn't have quenched........

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Shoot I don't even quench A36 these days, everything gets normalized.

 

And I have run into HC support arms on old RR telegraph lines IIRC; thanks for reminding me.  Of course mine were so old any Galvanization was gone by then...

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Shoot I don't even quench A36 these days, everything gets normalized.

 

And I have run into HC support arms on old RR telegraph lines IIRC; thanks for reminding me.  Of course mine were so old any Galvanization was gone by then...

I quenched so that I could flip them around to work the other end, or I would have just let the sit awhile.

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I quenched so that I could flip them around to work the other end, or I would have just let the sit awhile.

This is one of the reasons to use tongs.  Never quench steel unless you are tiring to harden it.  Even air cooled some steels will be brittle bend cold or to hard to saw/drill.  

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Some of you guys are nuts! drawing 1 1/4" HC without a power hammer is not fun. I would think at least a buddy with a heavy hammer would make it at least tolerable. Really, 3 hours drawing something out is insane.

 

As far as quenching, I tend to quench when changing sides, just to keep the heat down. The more I can keep the heat away from my body, the longer I can work. I don't worry too much about a36 hardening too much, I've had it happen, but when I am done forging it, there is very little reason to bend it cold. Generally, after the last operation I don't quench, just set it on the ground. By the time I am done with the last ones, hte first are usually cool.

 

I have made exactly one hammer. Took the Brazeal Bros workshop. It taught me the value of a good hammer. It also taught me to make my own handles, and taught me not to be afraid of modifying existing hammers. I have found that I can make more money doing my regular ironwork than I save by making hammers. Since I made that hammer though, I have not bought any more, and that is my go to hammer. I love it.

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Some of you guys are nuts! drawing 1 1/4" HC without a power hammer is not fun. I would think at least a buddy with a heavy hammer would make it at least tolerable. Really, 3 hours drawing something out is insane.

 

As far as quenching, I tend to quench when changing sides, just to keep the heat down. The more I can keep the heat away from my body, the longer I can work. I don't worry too much about a36 hardening too much, I've had it happen, but when I am done forging it, there is very little reason to bend it cold. Generally, after the last operation I don't quench, just set it on the ground. By the time I am done with the last ones, hte first are usually cool.

 

I have made exactly one hammer. Took the Brazeal Bros workshop. It taught me the value of a good hammer. It also taught me to make my own handles, and taught me not to be afraid of modifying existing hammers. I have found that I can make more money doing my regular ironwork than I save by making hammers. Since I made that hammer though, I have not bought any more, and that is my go to hammer. I love it.

If you read the first post you will see it was 1 1/4" by 1/8".

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I was referring to the guy that made the hammer eye drift

different thread.  I have forged 1 1/4 square down to a blunt point by hand with a 4 lb hammer its actually not that hard if you can get blazing hot and hit it hard.  Don't ask me to do it 3 times in a row though.

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