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I Forge Iron

Punches and chisels

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ok, I figure most of your punches and chisels are made by yourself....considering your working with some stainless, tool or just plain old steel and you want to use some punches for making eyes or some kind of texture finish...I guess you make them....cool How?
Chisels are relatively self explanatory. any angled or straight edge could be ground or existing chisel could be reworked...the punches have me somewhat pusseled. I could make a rise and/or dent in the tip. I could see somekind of set up for the drill press. I could see making an olval by drilling in the stock a litle and maybe distorting the hole with a hammer and grinding the edge..but how would u make an eye for instance?



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That works really well, If you want a more correct shape like for a horses eye make a punch and you can use mild steel that is just like the shape of the eye and the shape of the lid around it. Heat some tool or spring steel and punch the one you made into the hot tip You need a left and a right....

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If you try the ball bearing method, drill a shallow indentation into a piece of scrap to hold the bearing still while you sink the hot punch point into it. The little "socket" will help you keep the bearing in place so you can get a better strike and you won't have to hunt it after it get through bouncing off your shop walls.

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i can see me now chasing all over the area chasing ball bearings...lol
good thanks guys i kinda thought about most of the methods except the ball bearing...or the jig to hold 'em...I will try a few methods tomorrow and see what I come up with....
THX what a help


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depends on the kind of steel Pete, some steels air harden some don't, if it's mystery tool steel then try air hardening first then work your way down quenchants from softest (or rather slowest) to (hardest) fastest. Do it that way and you'll eventually find the right one without risking the steel. It could crack for example if its an oil (slow) quenching steel, and you try water quenching it (faster). Others can explain this better and more technically than me, this is just a rough and ready explanation.

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Gday Pete,

Another hint, put a center punch mark in the end of the punch you are making, it makes it easier to locate the ball bearing or round punch when you place the punch over the bearing - its very hard to be sure you have it centered when it yellow hot and your in a hurry. the center punch mark means you can feel when you have it in position - simple and quick.

Get yourself several of each ball bearing size, you do loose them at the most inopportune time :-)

you can make the eye punch 'eye' shaped by squashing it a little - side to side.

When using car coil springs, I now water quench - no I have not had any break - instead of oil quenching, as they were just too soft -perhaps I need a thinner oil???. I draw to a dark straw/bronze, but have used punches drawn past blue. Try the oil first if you are using car spring, you can always reharden and temper if its too soft.

Brisbane, Oz.

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