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Good illustration, JNewman! That's what I'd call a blob weld. I made one from 1/2 inch square the other day to show this, but in couldn't post it. I also did the other way like they teach, and then I did some other options. Thanks for the illustration , JNewman.

I don't know what else to say Dan P. Maybe this will help. If you look at the illustration that JNewman posted above, the pointy piece ( the piece I was calling the "tapered piece"), is the piece that you would not be holding onto. If you'd try it, you'd see that.

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Good illustration, JNewman! That's what I'd call a blob weld. I made one from 1/2 inch square the other day to show this, but in couldn't post it. I also did the other way like they teach, and then I did some other options. Thanks for the illustration , JNewman.

I don't know what else to say Dan P. Maybe this will help. If you look at the illustration that JNewman posted above, the pointy piece ( the piece I was calling the "tapered piece"), is the piece that you would not be holding onto. If you'd try it, you'd see that.

 

Okay, I think I know what you are talking about. Why do you think it makes a difference whether it is held or not?

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All that being said most of the pokers I have made are for outside firepits and I make them 30-36" long and I start with 5/8 to 3/4" stock taper it down to about 3/8" square leaving a heavy section on the end.  I flatten that out to 3/8" flat punch a hole and split the end to make the hook.  3/8" square  is plenty on the business end.


That's music to my ears. A hooked poker with no welding!! I have done only a couple of hooked pokers and I used that method. I like your idea of leaving the heavy section at the end - that would give a more natural look after the hook is folded back. Thanks JNewman, I now have a plan for the next poker.

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 Chinobi, if you pulled at that weld would it break? It looks like a solid weld to me, and I'd be happy with that result.
 

Sorry Brian if I'm confusing the matter more, but you say welding this way "cannot work", but it looks (at least to my amature eyes) like it has.

Can you post a pic of your way for comparison?

 

 

This weld is fine for making pokers. It is also a very fundamental weld to much ornamental ironwork.

 

Brian, if your personal experience with this weld has been one of failure, that is fine, nobody knows how to do everything. Explain the difficulty you are having, and one of the many knowledgable smiths on the forum will surely help you out.

 

For starters, the kink you are so worried about can be avoided by using the methods I suggested, and indeed the method you yourself suggested, and by various other methods.

 

However, I believe the accusation that this weld, in this application, is "wrong" is impotent. It is a very simple weld, often people's first, and there is nothing to really go wrong with it. Yes, there is an inherent problem of wastage and/or cold shuts, as with all fire welds, but with experience this problem is minimized.

 

 

I am with Dan I do not get it either.

 what are you on about?

 

 

I think I will leave this one between you and your association(s) , I see no problem with the technique when properly and appropriately used. I may be missing some contextual thing here.

 

 

This thread seriously needs a video or two explaining what is the problem and or possible better way to do this.

I'm all about learning new techniques and then finding a way to cob it with other skills to find what works best for me.

 

If i get time tonight i will post a video of me making a fire poker with a blob weld, an one that is a forge welded bundle, and one that is a faggot weld. i will explain the issues/limitations with each and the positive points. I will present it from an unbiased point of view in this discussion and will not reply after it is posted. it will simply be a conversation clairifyer

Josh

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I stated what happens on the first page of this thread in post #7. It is just an observation, not an opinion.

 

Oh dear! So either hold the unheld, or don't hit it so hard!

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If i get time tonight i will post a video of me making a fire poker with a blob weld, an one that is a forge welded bundle, and one that is a faggot weld. i will explain the issues/limitations with each and the positive points. I will present it from an unbiased point of view in this discussion and will not reply after it is posted. it will simply be a conversation clairifyer

Josh

 

That would be awesome!
 

 

Gerald- I did get your meaning, I just wanted you to know that time spent here explaining why you do things a certain way as opposed to another's way of doing it, isn't wasted time. (at least not for new guys like me!)

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I haven't read everything, but I'm getting weary. Explanations are in order when teaching forge welding. The welder is going to get metal loss. One way is if a sparking heat is reached. The sparks are small particles of metal, so that results in a weight loss. Another weight loss is in scale formation. Another way is in hammer reduction which is a loss in volume. Sometimes we can live with a little loss, what I sometimes call a wasp waist developing. Sometimes we don't want it, so we either start with oversized stock or we upset to gain oversized material.

 

In terms of "strength," the little British book from the 1930's* show photo micrographs of forge welds, and they had slag inclusions and grain growth along the line of the weld. I think we still get that to a degree, especially in a coal forge situation. The New Mexico cowboys have a saying, "I don't care how weak it is, as long as it's strong enough." They don't want the cows to get out of the corral.

 

*The Value of Science in the Smithy and Forge"

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If i get time tonight i will post a video of me making a fire poker with a blob weld, an one that is a forge welded bundle, and one that is a faggot weld. i will explain the issues/limitations with each and the positive points. I will present it from an unbiased point of view in this discussion and will not reply after it is posted. it will simply be a conversation clairifyerJosh

Joshua, that is what this thread needs, it would be fantastic. Thanks for stepping up and offering to do this!

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this has been bugging me. so I had to light the forge.

 I am fairly certain that this technique is fit for purpose.

so I made a poker hook out of 12mm square. standard weld , a little wasting and not completly welded this side.I would say this is a representative weld for a poker like this.

13582508395_523b3b879a.jpg

 

 

and I hooked a log after all it needs testing.

13582559973_88880077ae.jpg

 

this is a big log by UK standards, but obviously no a real test...

 by the way it can poke too despite the faggot weld...

13582561183_38ac812c85.jpg

 

still obviously no test, so I started eying my chain hoist.....

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I made a little wooden log hook, after all the load needed to be acting on the tip of the hook.

13582563033_9a16f3acc0.jpg

 

The rams head poker was shy and a little afraid of heights so we came up with a solution.

anonymity in case it all went wrong.....

13582890034_7642d24a10.jpg

 

I figured that a poker should be able to with stand a force I could  exert on it, I figured a 400lb anvil would do the trick as I could no way hook that weight.....

13582892074_5b9671a547.jpg

 

no problem at all  .....the hook did not deform or the weld open up

13582565083_ce44b3f837.jpg

 

  the ram head poker was relieved and possibly a little confused.

13582893494_9593daaa13.jpg

 

now I would say that that weld was fit for task....like I said I see no problem in it performing its task or it being a viable weld when done OK.

 

 I have a 2000lb test rig for testing crossbow prods so if it if deemed that 400lb is insufficient a test we can pull it apart, or I could  just sell it as a poker.....

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It's good to see rams head survived! :)
Good test Basher! It looks like you got a great weld on it! thanks for the visual.

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As Frank said  "I don't care how weak it is, as long as it's strong enough." If the weld holds out for the life of the item is it "unsound"?

 

Perhaps defining the soundness of the weld as fullfilling the customer's need makes a difference.  (I used to work for AT&T and we had an old engineer that was upset that modern phones didn't have a 40 year uselife like the old 500 model.  He considered the new ones to be low quality not seeing that "High Quality" was what the *customer* wanted not what the design team wanted.)

 

Even in arc welding I don't see a lot of full penetration welds; but the "weak" weld along the edges are considred good enough. 

 

Few customers will pay for perfection when "good enough" will work.  (The ones who will pay for everything to be done "right" are to be cherished! The ones who demand everything be done "right" but are not will to pay for it should be passed on to other shops...)

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I had the same idea, basher. My main interest was to see whether the weld I made was okay looking, or shockingly horrible. In square, as per the challenge. 

I did hook my anvil around a little bit. No damage. But, unsurprisingly, it did fail when I put it in the vice and wrenched it open. (10mm square). However, I would still call it a sound weld. 

IMG_1625_zps6b91d44e.jpg

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And pulled apart. I want to stress that the force used to tear this weld was way more than would ever be put on such an item. However, by observing the inside of the weld, you can see that it is "hairy", meaning that the weld took, and thus was sound. 

 

IMG_1629_zps295109e4.jpg

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I will add, for clarity, that saying that the weld was not sound because it tore is, to me, like saying that the stock from which it was made was not sound because it could be bent in the vice. i.e. a bent poker is no more fit for purpose than one with knackered hook on the end of it.

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It strikes me that this can be boiled down as follows:

   - Is this weld structurally sound enough for the purposes of the tool being made?

        - The general consensus appears to be yes.

    - Is it structurally sound enough for forge welds that may be applied to more demanding applications?

        - Open for debate, shall we say.   :P

        - If the answer is no (which I'll grant for the purposes of this post):

            - Is it appropriate to teach beginners a weld which, while simple to execute, may not be sufficient for their future needs?

                - In my opinion, the answer is yes, although I think it would certainly be fair to say that it would be in the best interest of the student to discuss the disadvantages of this type of weld. The rewards for a beginner of getting a successful forge weld, in my opinion, outweigh the potential downsides. If we were talking about training full-time blacksmiths, perhaps not, but in 95% of cases we're talking about training hobbyists at best.

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Basher- Excellent test and pics!

You made this poker by folding over the bar and welding/pointing at the bend, right? Not welding a loop and cutting it open?
 

The rams head is beautiful, i'd love to see THAT being forged as well. (I've seen smaller ones done, but that just looks awesome!)

 

I was taught the loop and cut method, but i thing the fold and point looks like it may be a better way to achieve the result.

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Basher- Excellent test and pics!

You made this poker by folding over the bar and welding/pointing at the bend, right? Not welding a loop and cutting it open?
 

The rams head is beautiful, i'd love to see THAT being forged as well. (I've seen smaller ones done, but that just looks awesome!)

 

I was taught the loop and cut method, but I think the fold and point looks like it may be a better way to achieve the result.

 

The loop and cut method is a funny one. It seems counter intuitive to me. I have a strong feeling that it has its origins in "The Art of Blacksmithing" by Alex  Bealer. It's a great book but it has some quite "idiosyncratic" methods in it.

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Dan- Your reply confused me a bit, so I went back and read the first post and realized that the loop and cut method WAS NOT what Brian was talking about, but the fold and weld WAS.

This makes a bit more sense now, I couldn't understand how looping it and welding it (then cutting) was different from just welding 2 pieces together like a leaf to a stem.

 

So- understanding that  error on my part (I told you I like pics better than explainations!)

Is Brian saying 2 seperate pieces welded together make a better weld then the fold and weld?
 

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Is Brian saying 2 seperate pieces welded together make a better weld then the fold and weld?
 

 

If you read my post no. 155, and Brian's reply, Brian seems to be concerned by the fact that the hook part is not being held by the smith, and something else about there being a problem with square bar. I really don't know why he finds that important. It's all a bit wierd.

 

In retrospect, I am a bit embarassed of getting into this topic (and others) in the way I have, as it seems to have been little more than an exercise in troll feeding. However, getting over that part of it, it is fun to see some welds and how they were tested.

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Thanks Dan and Brian, Basher Alec etc.

 

Despite any feathers that may have been ruffled, this (and the conversation in the tools section) are the first threads I have followed with relish for a while. Here's why: I love a good discussion and debate. For us newbies / amateurs  that live far away from or cannot afford to go to conferences, It is great to see the pros argue / explain why they do things their way.  I am the type to absorb like a sponge and then test play for myself -- the more discussion, the more to absorb.

 

I have learned a little bit of a lot of differrent trades, and one lesson I have learned is to first master how your teacher explains it, do it the way he/she does,  ==== and then (and only then)  try to come up with your own way.  So..... I can see where Brian is comming from on this:  if we teach a weld that has limitations as the 'baseline / first' weld someone learns, this may, in the long run do the person a disservice in their further attempts at welding non-poker like items.  So to all those that teach this, beware that welding theory is just as important as getting a weld to 'stick' the first time at the forge!

 

On the otherhand, I agree totally with Basher etc (and did the same last night with a 1/2" and uglier version of a poker I made...dragged a whole tree out of the snow and up the hill with no issues)  -- The weld holds for pokers, and I am sure many other non critical lifting senarios.

 

Bottom line -- In this and the other thread on welded tongs, I have learned a lot about forge welding theory, and loved the discussion.

 

I just want to say thank you to all the pros / semi pros for their contributions -- I am energized for the weekend to get out and try some new things,

 

In the end isn't that the point?

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