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I Forge Iron

what can you make from a bolt?


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The bolt heads are just basically chamfered, but I did do up a few pretty washers to back them up.

To keep things moving quickly when I bring them out of the forge, I use a cold chisel to nick the location for the top tool to hit.  It might not be necessary, but it makes me feel better about keeping things aligned.  Tonight's task is to make a wider top fuller so the washers can get have a bit more spread between the corner divots.

You can be that tomorrow will see me in town buying some more lag bolts so I can practice making more complicated head designs!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a rasptle snake under the hose reel picking up some drips to patinate it---my landlord's handyman who waters the place remarked to me on the "surprise" he got the first time he saw it...of course last year we had a total of 24 rattlesnakes caught out here.  This year it's been too dry for them.

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21 hours ago, Daswulf said:

What size rod did you use? 

That's a good question, I really don't remember.  It was a scrap piece from something...  I want to say it was 3/4", possibly 7/8"?   Threads forge down and you lose some bulk diameter, so you start a little bigger than you think.

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I've got 4 of these big bolts, been wondering what I could make out of em. 1" across 6" long and the head is not quite 2". I was filling a 5 gal bucket with RR spikes out of a RR contractors metal bin, and saw these guys and grabbed em. Any thoughts? My initial thought was to make a pair of large bolt tongs, but I don't wanna spend that kinda time drawing the reins out by hand.

 

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Got any friends in the SCA making armour?   I make dishing hammers from those (for hot dishing) and plannishing stakes and tools for my screwpress and...

For the dishing hammer I usually slit and drift the eye in the screw thread area and also give the shaft a curve so it follows my swing arc and hits perfectly.

Many I just normalize but some I have quenched in oil and drawn back---depends on what alloy you have, (spark test).

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Borrowing from Mr. Coe.....

I have a door project that needed dressing up, so I made some rosettes and needed some decent bolts to hold everything in place.  I started with square head lag bolts this time and like how they turned out.  Used just a small round-nose punch for these one.  Did the punch and chisel technique on some previous tries, but thought it was too busy.

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6 hours ago, VaughnT said:

Borrowing from Mr. Coe.....

I have a door project that needed dressing up, so I made some rosettes and needed some decent bolts to hold everything in place.  I started with square head lag bolts this time and like how they turned out.  Used just a small round-nose punch for these one.  Did the punch and chisel technique on some previous tries, but thought it was too busy.

 

Those are pretty neat.. Will we get to see them installed as well? 

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1 hour ago, jlpservicesinc said:

Those are pretty neat.. Will we get to see them installed as well? 

Thank you.  Believe me, when this project is finished I'll be more than happy to post some photos!  Now I just need to make some decent door handles....

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Well, to counter all of the beautifully crafted items on display in this thread I'd like to offer up the hot cut hardy I made with an A490 structural bolt.  They are an alloy steel with specs that makes them good for tools...plus I can get them cheap.  This bolt was 7" by 1" and I upset it, fit it to my hardy and then pounded the bolt head into a cutting tool.  I figure it's about time something ugly gets posted in this thread!

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It's a small cold shut on both sides because the head of the bolt was so square.  Despite my best attempts I couldn't get it to draw out without developing a fish mouth on one side or a cold shut on the other.  I worked both sides and settled for a balance between the two.  The line you see is a very shallow cold shut that defines the line between the outside edge of the head of the bolt and the original shaft that I upset.  It is maybe 1/64th deep and isn't a structural issue.  Honestly, I could have spent more time trying to make it perfect but I figured that it wasn't necessary for a hardy tool.  If it cracks I will learn how foolish I was and then I'll make another!

If you look at it once you'll notice that I didn't even bother making the shoulders of the cutting end even.  I didn't think it mattered.  The cutting edge itself is straight and true and it fits tightly into my hardy hole.  If it works well and seems to last maybe I'll make a pretty one out of another bolt.  Honestly, I'm waiting for some one to tell me those bolts are no good for hot cuts.  I haven't found anyone using them for tooling and figure I'm missing out on some basic information.

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Yeah, I figured it was something like that. A little grinding and a a couple beads from an arc welder and it wouldn't be a problem no matter what. However the way it's designed to lay on the anvil I don't think it's likely a problem. If you hit it hard enough to drive it down into the hardy hole that little cold shut is moot anyway.

Well, of course those bolts are no good for a hardy, you have to forge them into hardies or they're just bolts, heck they're actually screws till you put a nut on them.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I just saw the hardy tools made from the RR track and got jealous so I've decided to try to make it pretty.  I'll grind it down a bit and make the shoulders symmetrical.  I believe the cold shuts will come out.  I just gave up on avoiding them at the very end.  If they are deeper than I thought I'll run a bead of 7014 and grind again.  Thanks for the idea.  Next time I'll be more patient and round off the head of the bolt more before I flatten it.

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9 hours ago, Lou L said:

  If it cracks I will learn how foolish I was and then I'll make another!

If you look at it once you'll notice that I didn't even bother making the shoulders of the cutting end even.  I didn't think it mattered.  The cutting edge itself is straight and true and it fits tightly into my hardy hole.  If it works well and seems to last maybe I'll make a pretty one out of another bolt.  Honestly, I'm waiting for some one to tell me those bolts are no good for hot cuts.  I haven't found anyone using them for tooling and figure I'm missing out on some basic information.

Lou L.   I absolutely love the fact you expressed if it doesn't work you'll just make another one.. 

thats how we get better with all this forging stuff.. it doesn't work.. Oh, well.. I'll just make another one..    

I've made some unique tools over the years and thats always the thought I have.. if it doesn't work, it was a learning experience.. 

For hot cuts as long as they are not to deep and not on alloy steels  they can work for sometime before the edges upset and create problems..  then if it does become a problem  you can cold forge it to give it a little more hardness or surface harden it.. 

Or just make a new one.. :)

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Thanks JLP, I'd like to think that, while I haven't acquired all the skills I need to really call myself a blacksmith, I just might have the mentality down!  I'm completely experimenting it's these bolts.  They are a medium carbon alloy steel designed for toughness...loads of tensile and shear strength after heat treat.  I opted to not heat treat my cut off yet just to see how the metal handles the abuse..(also to save my hammers from my forthcoming mistakes). 

I'm curious to know why alloy steels are less desireable.  In this particular case I'm not bothered it it has a low useable life because, either way, I'm quite certain that I'll be making another one!

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