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I Forge Iron

Weird forging experience

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I was trying to work a piece of Junk yard steel to make a punch block, a little while ago.


I was working over a coal/coke fire and had a pretty hot fire going. The metal was ground off so that there was no surface coating on it. I noticed that when I was cranking the blower that there was a dark blue flame which I have never seen before.


I took a couple steps back but was not particularly concerned since it is a nice day and my garage is very opened where the forge is. When I brought the metal out to quench the end that I was not going to forge, I saw a yellow scale that looked like elemental sulfur stuck to it that resisted the wire brush. I did a google, ask.com, and yahoo search and didn't find anything, but that doesn't mean much, I let the metal soak while I did that. I brought it up to a pretty bright orange to draw on my bick and the piece rang like it was still black. I guess that I could have had a cold center, but the hammer marks are like it was room temperature. The steel(?) had been brought up to orange 3 times within 45 minutes prior to placing on the bick. There was still blue flame even after reaching orange heat.


So, 2 questions.

1)was this a presumed suicide attempt? :wacko:

2)what steel like alloy behaves like this?






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Was the metal plated or painted? Both can burn off in odd colors.

Coke can make a blue flame but I'm wondering if your coal has a high sulfur content to begin with. I don't think it would leave a residue but you never know.

And with regard to being hard to forge, it may be high carbon material and you just need to get it hotter.

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That flame doesn't look like zinc flame to me Thomas, not enough green to it nor is there any lacy blue white zinc oxide smoke drifting off it. If it's hard enough to ring at high orange I'm thinking maybe it's a cobalt alloy but I thought cobalt burned a darker blue.


Personally I wouldn't put it back in the fire not knowing what the alloy is. Too many metals are too damaging to take a chance.


Frosty The Lucky.

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There is a white residue on a couple spots of the forge. There was an addendum that I was going to put up, but I couldn't get on the Server...


When it cooled, there was a yellow powdery cast from some holes that were drilled into the length of the piece of metal. The yellow powder on the broad face turned white.  The holes could have been the source of the "contaminate" if it was hot dipped, but I would have expected them to fill (they are 1-2 mm wide). I hadn't thought of the coke being contaminated. Yesterday was beautiful and I had great ventilation, but I don't know about my next forge day.


My coal is through Rocky Mountain Smiths (a truck load that the Org bought), and I am just finishing the half ton that I bought a few years ago. The fire was mostly coke at the time (maybe 1/10 green coal since I had stumbled on a can that I had coked at a previous hammerin).


I woke up this morning, so that's a decent start of the day.


Thanks for your assistance!



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