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I Forge Iron

Hammer/Top Tool stock


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Throwing this out for the body to comment...
I was looking around for some stock to forge some hammers and tooling out of based on some of the stuff Brian Brazeal has so generously shared. I have a lot of hydraulic cylinder rod around, since that is part of the business I’m in. Its 1045 IHCP material or less frequently 4140, with the outer .060-.080 induction hardened, ground and chromed. I’m assuming if I cut some appropriate blanks off with my hot saw, throw them in my gas forge , get them up to orange and then shut the forge off, I should wind up with normalized stock with the chrome burnt off. Obviously I’d do this outside in fresh air, not hanging my schnozz over the forge and breathing in the vapors. Are there any holes in my logic? I realize this is an extra step, but I have lots of this material available for free, versus purchasing or scrounging more suitable stock. Anyone have any comments?

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I don't remember where but it seems I've heard some chrome shops can dip that stuff in an acid bath or something for re-use in electroplating operations.  It might be worthwhile to call around and see if there's one nearby that would be able to do that for you.  On top of recycling, you wouldn't have to worry about whether or not you've permanently contaminated your forge/work area, and you may even make a couple bucks if you bring in enough chromed stuff to make it worthwhile for them.

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Burning chrome is TOXIC.


As in it will KILL you if you breathe in too much.  You probably knew that but others reading this may not.


Even in fresh air, outside, are you checking on the fire sometimes?  How close for how long? Is the smoke downdrafting  into your neighbor's backyard daycare center?  What are you doing with the ash, sending it to the landfill or letting it wash into the river?


If you have a lathe big enough turn off the chrome and send the chips to the scrapper, at least that way there is half a chance that it'll get dealt with properly (or smelted in an area that is already wrecked).

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So far about $28 worth of 1.5" car axle from the scrapyard has made me a good portion of Brian's tools. Still more tools to go, but still plenty of stock left. Probably one of the best scrapyard investments ive made. The only processing on it was cutting it into workable lengths. I've learned recently that my STHL Gas powered chop saw with abrasive blade cuts it in about 20-30 seconds versus a fairly decent electric chopsaw taking 5-10min.

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