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I Forge Iron

what can you make from a bolt?


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1 hour ago, Lou L said:

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!

 I love alloy steels and highly desireable.. 

For some reason there was a few sentences that were completely missing from what I had wrote..     for some reason my posts here have been cutting off pictures and now sentences.. ???????

I was referring to cutting alloy steels on your unhardened or mild steel hardies..    Alloy steels can have a very hard grain structure even at red heats unlike mild steels and the reason I wrote:

You can even use mild steel for hot cutoff hardies as long as the cut isn't to deep or used on alloy steels..  If the mild steel hardie proves to be to soft for your hot cut hardie then you can try cold forging it to work harden the edge, or case harden it..  Cheap and easier to make and when your working with larger materials medium or high carbon steels are much more finicky.. 

mild steel hardies can work well on smaller stock up to about 1/2" as long as your cutting heats are high enough and your fast at your cuts.. . I probably made 6 or 7 mild steel hardies over the years when I was first learning as well as punches, and drifts and a hot chisels a time or 2 for something i was only going to use once..  just have to understand the limitations a tool made from low carbon steel offers.. 

 

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WHEW!  You had me both worried that I had learned everything wrong and excited I might learn something new. 

But here's my secret:. Even if you gave me a list of ten good reasons the steel I used was bad for the purpose I would have used it until I proved all ten of them right or wrong.  I find that pain, suffering and conflict is the best teacher.  That's how I'm learning to make the tongs I need rather than using the wrong ones.

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8 minutes ago, Lou L said:

WHEW!  You had me both worried that I had learned everything wrong and excited I might learn something new. 

But here's my secret:. Even if you gave me a list of ten good reasons the steel I used was bad for the purpose I would have used it until I proved all ten of them right or wrong.  I find that pain, suffering and conflict is the best teacher.  That's how I'm learning to make the tongs I need rather than using the wrong ones.

You sound like we have lots in common..  I'm self taught and stubborn as a mountain..     

When people ask me how I learned my trade, I respond I'm self taught, . they say good for you and then it must be really retained as I had to make the mistakes to learn the correct way.. . What it proves is I'm just not afraid of hard work.. 

With age has come a little more wisdom..  It's always easier to learn from others than from yourself and the learning curve is much faster with much better results.. 

 

I to always question and it used to make many mad.. 

So, if you can learn something like proper forging technique or proper coal fire management or making tongs, etc, etc from someone it will free you up to learn other things and put you that much further ahead learning it from someone else.. 

Sorry if it seems like a lecture..  Been there done that and I won the teddy bear many, many times.. Would have been much easier learning from someone else.. 

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Agreed, and trust me, I have learned a TON from others.  I just tend to like to test the things I learn in order to figure out the "why" of it.  I'm not a fan of "how to" information.  I like to make it actionable knowledge...and that requires knowing what to do, what not to do and why both are true.  I could easily just spend the bucks on some H13 because I have learned that it is amazing for tools that spend a lot of time touching hot work.  But isn't it better for me to try out a bunch of different metals and see what makes one better than the other.  That knowledge could fuel some other decision I make on an unrelated project years later.

 

So I am always willing to do something the "wrong" way even after being taught otherwise.

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You fit right in Lou. blacksmithing is an exercise in failure analysis as long as you practice the craft. The only actual criticism I have for the hardy you forges is it's too short. If you're trimming a short piece your tongs of fingers will be pretty close to the anvil and one miss with the hammer will bang your fingers into the anvil face.

I wouldn't heat treat it at all, I have a commercially made hardy and sharpen it with a little draw file that bites easily. The thing is mild steel soft and cuts a treat. Most folk don't use even medium carbon steel for bottom tools because it isn't necessary. When you're talking about found stock who knows what the heck the alloy is? I prefer not to use found steel for things I need to perform to a spec and that's why I heat treat for improved performance I really prefer not to have unknown properties.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 9/8/2016 at 2:22 AM, aessinus said:

Using a 7/8" one for a vise hinge, with RR plate for the hinge cheeks...

 

On 7/29/2016 at 0:58 PM, ThomasPowers said:

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).

Hmm...interesting ideas.

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Another bolt bottle opener. Tried not to disturb the threads as they look awesome as they spread out. First attempt was better but of course I got distracted and burned it. Sure I said a couple choice words but I wasn't going to be beaten by my stupidity. 

 

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Whoa, that's a bad boy bottle opener, Das. Bit of attitude there. Hope you smoothed off the thread spikes a little! Mechanics would like these! The beer was successfully opened I see.

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Slooks good to me.. besides ghat if anybody gives you any guff that B.O. would make a formidable weapon..:)

A friend of mine came over for knife making day I was 15 and he was 14.. We made knives out of what ever was hanging around.. He ended up picking a bar of some low-medium carbon 1030. about 20" long.. He forged a blade on the end of it about 6" long..  I said it will never work, or hold and edge (low carbon) and since he burnt it would break in use..

  That knife he made was such and excellent chopper.. only about 1/8" thick at the spine.  the blade held a great edge, it never cracked or bent..  I used to water harden everything.   Anyhow, the only explanation I could come up with is " Him burning the metal gave it just the right brittleness so as to offer all the attributes the blade had..     Maybe a 1 in a million shot, whos to say.. 

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On 10/24/2016 at 2:52 AM, Frosty said:

You fit right in Lou. blacksmithing is an exercise in failure analysis as long as you practice the craft. The only actual criticism I have for the hardy you forges is it's too short. If you're trimming a short piece your tongs of fingers will be pretty close to the anvil and one miss with the hammer will bang your fingers into the anvil face.

Frosty The Lucky.

  Frosty, forgot to tell you....I fit the cutoff to the hardy so that it settles in tight about 2/3 of the way up the shaft.  The cutting edge  sits almost 3" above the surface of the anvil.  I guess I was hoping that would be enough.

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58 minutes ago, Lou L said:

  Frosty, forgot to tell you....I fit the cutoff to the hardy so that it settles in tight about 2/3 of the way up the shaft.  The cutting edge  sits almost 3" above the surface of the anvil.  I guess I was hoping that would be enough.

That should be enough alright . . . Nevermind. :ph34r:

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 months later...

I was on a bolt kick this weekend, made a few random items..... the bracelet and hammer keychain were stainless bolts i had left over from a sbc dress up kit.... the keychains and wall hook were actually threaded rod, but i left the nut on the wall hook to add to the eye appeal (to me at least)... lots of learnin this weekend.... 

20170226_203802.jpg

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1 hour ago, Bush Bugger said:

Great bottle opener Ausfire very cool and great way to use old bolts and love the cap head screw type haven't been on the site for a long time so great to see some very cool pics thanks for the posts :rolleyes:

Thanks. I get some satisfaction out of making stuff from scrap. This site is full of great ideas ... stick around!

And with a name like that you gotta be Australian. How far are you from me? (Tableland)

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 Hello Ausfire I am In Mount Isa  ,

                                                  So not that far away from you I guess I haven't done any work for quite a while I need to pull my finger out !

thanks for the PM 

 

                        

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On 3/5/2017 at 2:25 AM, Bush Bugger said:

 Hello Ausfire I am In Mount Isa  ,So not that far away from you I guess I haven't done any work for quite a while I need to pull my finger out !

thanks for the PM                   

hey Mate, Mount Isa is a place I know well. 18 years with the School of the Air there. Great place. "You're not a real Aussie till you've been to the Isa."

Sent you a PM,

Cheers Mate.

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Was out at the Isa week before last, never seen it so green! Like the rolling fields of England!

Spent the week in Cloncurry and never saw the sun once, raining on and off the whole time.  Sun only came out for the trip back to the Isa of Friday to fly home!  never would have thought that.

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Jackdawg, rain in Cloncurry would be nice . They don't get enough ... although I remember being there when that high bridge over the river went under. It's reputed to be the hottest place in Qld. No problem to fry an egg on your anvil there. Plenty of opportunity to try out all those bottle openers. ;)

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  • 1 month later...

Nice bolt knife. I'm guessing that's a high tensile (high carbon?) bolt that will hold a good edge.

Great calla lily too. Mothers like those.

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Thanks. I'm not sure of the metallurgy details, but I do know that some bolts make easy letter openers and some really make you work hard. One I made from a truck wheel stud was, to say the least, challenging.

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