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I Forge Iron

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7 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Any stainless or silicon bronze?

No, just steel.  the color on some of them is a reflection.

 

5 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

What size stock do you start with, and length? I would like to try making some myself. 

 

These are mostly 7 1/2 inches long.  I started with 6 inches of 1/4 square.  Flattened the ends and that gave me 6 1/2, which curved around a wrist mandrel works out to 7 1/2.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You can also use a wooden mandrel to forge on---old wooden baseball bat can be repurposed for both the hammer and mandrel.  I have a commercial bracelet mandrel I found in the dirt at my local scrap yard and have used a large tinsmith's stake before that.  I am usually wanting to smooth down the inside of the bracelet while not messing with the viewside of it so wooden hammer on a steel mandrel works well for me.

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Sorry to belabor this, but a couple more questions:

  1. Is your bracelet mandrel wood or metal, and is it tapered or cylindrical and stepped?
  2. Do you do the final sizing hot or cold?  If hot, doesn't that eat up the leather mallet?

Thanks for your patience.

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Mine is oval and tapered and is made from metal

Final adjustments are done hot or cold depending on how much and how heavy the piece is.

And yes they don't call the rawhide mallet "the stinky hammer" for nothing in my shop as it's not in contact long there is not much damage per strike.

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On 12/9/2016 at 8:46 AM, Latticino said:
  1. Is your bracelet mandrel wood or metal, and is it tapered or cylindrical and stepped?
  2. Do you do the final sizing hot or cold?  If hot, doesn't that eat up the leather mallet?

Like Thomas' mine is metal, oval and tapered, it has a base that fits into a stake table or vice.  I got it from one of the jewelry supply companies. 

As a rule, I size and shape hot, but check cold.  I've done enough to have a fair idea how much far down the mandrel to go so they are the correct size when cold.  If I'm off, it's easy enough to do small adjustments cold.  Yes, the leather burns, but I'm not holding it against the hot iron, only lightly hammering.  My current mallet has see hundreds of uses and is still 90%

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  • 1 year later...

I was hoping this thread would talk about treating the bracelets so they do not rust.  I'm working on a piano wire Damascus so I really want what ever pattern there is to show.  Oil and wax hot will destroy the pattern and was looking for something other that a clear coat of lacquer or acrylic.  Anybody got any ideas? Present for daughter so I can't do any maintenance on it after it leaves.

 

Thanks

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That’s a tough one. If all the wire are the same composition all you get is a very minor etch due to carbon loss/migration at the weld line.  You might be able to sneak up on the etch using weak ferric chloride, clean off the oxides, repeat to try and get a bit of topography, that’s about the only way to get it to last. Once you can get topography you can make a concentrated coffee etch/stain, or something similar then polish the high points. Then a coat or carnuba or the clear coat to fix it.

In the future try and mix alloys and carbon levels to get more variance. Nickel will stay brighter, higher carbon etch more, manganese can be darker

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Thanks Stevo. This one is special in that this was her piano. It was beyond repair/retuning so I salvaged it for the wood and metals. She actually asked if it could be done so ya I did it.  I'm not expecting much pattern but I was hoping for a new way to "finish" it so it wouldn't rust.  Guess the important thing is that a piece of it will be with her.

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Das

The copper came off real easy but I was in the front yard by the time I was done.  It's amazing how much length there is.   I saw your piano wire find earlier.  It welded real easy for me.  I twisted it cold then heated and twisted some more and welded.  I had some inclusions but for what I was doing it probably helped.  I started the weld in a small round bottom swage and used borax.  Easiest forge weld I have ever done.  Good luck I'm sure you will make something beautiful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

To piggyback on the question of keeping the damascus / steel from oxidizing: Has anyone of you tried Balistol for a longer term? I'm not sure if it exists in the States, but since it was introduced as a gun maintenance oil, they would be crazy not to cover your guys market.

On paper it looks good (even food safe), but I can't tell how it would work when being used on jewelery (wear and tear from skin contact). I sprayed a cross with it to protect it from rust, which I gifted to my sister but I lack the long-term experience.

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