Northwoodsman

Good steels for swords and the perfect grinds

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I hate the rebar so soon as possible in getting away from it. Also seeing if I can afford a gas forge soon so I dont wreck more knives as easily as the last few. (Could not see them in the fire so they burned or like said i had to go and help out my parents) two lessons there that I learned from.

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Fire management is an early lesson mate, learn to turn the air off before you leave, better still, put the fire out before you leave. How will you be when you wake up in the morning and find out you left the gas on?

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4 hours ago, turbo7 said:

How will you be when you wake up in the morning and find out you left the gas on?

IF you wake up in the morning!

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7 hours ago, Northwoodsman said:

 Also seeing if I can afford a gas forge soon so I dont wreck more knives as easily as the last few.

Instead of blaming your mistakes on your forge, try paying more attention to your steel. 

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It's Saturday; get off the net and get forging!  Weather permitting.  Down here we have: "Winds WNW at 35 to 50 mph. Winds could occasionally gust over 60 mph."   so good weather for the internet...

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Where I'm at it was 1 degree out and still dropping. Soon as the sun goes down it's predicted to be -10 or lower. Also did some garage cleaning when I was gone with a friend. Somehow my forge broke during that. I was not home to see it. But it is semi ok that it broke

1) it cost me less than $15 to make.

2) I was wanting to replace it anyway, it was falling apart slowly. But I'm praying it warms up to 20 degrees and little breeze if anything. 

 

Also I found out the forge broke only 30 minutes from the time I posted this which is 3:20 central time. 

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One thing I did when I lived in a colder location was to build a "One soft firebrick forge" that ran off a common plumber's torch and that I could use in the basement of my house---the anvil already being stored there.  Cheap to run and I could get my hammer time in and did not have to worry about CO  (or fire with a concrete floor and stone walls and a steel topped workbench)

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I was thinking of something along that line. I might get a forge bigger though so I can do a little more later down the line. Im thinking of saving up my Christmas money and putting it into buying or making another forge. I have an idea of one that I want to build and may be able to build it for $100-$200. It would be longer but I would have a lot more that i could control on it. (I will draw it up the best that i can and see what you think of it. also price is not certain yet).

side note also if I can make what I want genraly I will make it unless it is overly difficult.

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Remember for sword forging 10" of hot steel is a long heat.  You don't want to heat what you can't work in 1 go as then you get grain growth, scale losses and decarburization.  Only time you need full length heating is for heat treat and a simple charcoal trench forge can handle that.   (Don't buy a dump truck as your daily commuter when you only need to use it as a dump truck twice a year...)

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On 12/17/2016 at 4:27 PM, Northwoodsman said:

Where I'm at it was 1 degree out and still dropping.

Since you mention where you are, I see that you haven't added your location to your profile settings. This would be a Very Good Thing To Do; there's a lot of advice we can give you that is location-specific. You should also head over to the Introduce Yourself page, create an entry there, and make sure to read this first!

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As a subadult; he may be cautious of giving even a general location---though country would be a help but not too locative. 

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

As a subadult; he may be cautious of giving even a general location---though country would be a help but not too locative. 

True enough. State would be sufficient, I'd think; no need for town.

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Hey Folks! Since we're discussing steels, long blades, and grinds... 

I have read that a lot of people favor (or at least enjoy) working W-2 for long blades. What is everyone's general opinion on this steel? NJ Steel Baron currently has it in stock. From what I've read, seems to be a relatively forgiving steel for forging and heat treat. 

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rated as "ok" toughness; what kind of blade will you be forging and what kind of use will it get?   For using swords of many types you might want to look into more toughness.  Of course where in the pretty broad composition range the W2 you are looking at falls and what heat treatment you use can make a huge difference too.

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On 1/13/2017 at 10:47 AM, ThomasPowers said:

rated as "ok" toughness; what kind of blade will you be forging and what kind of use will it get?   For using swords of many types you might want to look into more toughness.  Of course where in the pretty broad composition range the W2 you are looking at falls and what heat treatment you use can make a huge difference too.

I was probably going to try my hand first at a long dagger/short sword since I've never forged a long blade, probably a 12-15 inch blade. Hopefully working my way up from there. I have access to a 48' heat treat oven here in Indiana. Mine is only 16 inches deep. Here are the specs per NJ Steel Baron: 

Chemistry/Certification
Certification: C- .916 Si- .296 Mn- .215 P- .0050 S- .0020 Cr- .069 Ni- .042 Mo- .008 V- .165 W- .005 Cu- .047 Sn- .0060 Al- .006 Annealed Structure: 98% spherodized carbides

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Northwoodsman..... 

As a fellow newb to this hobby, who has asked a few " stupid questions " myself and been grilled by the likes of Mr. Sells over it. Let me offer you a couple pointers since it seems that you are very intent on this hobby. 

1. DO NOT Argue, or pick a fight with anyone who has Curmudgeon under their name, If they bite your head off over a question, its because they have answered it many times in the past, and know that the answer exists elsewhere on this forum, or on other forums that are widely known. These gents know what they are talking about, and if they are going to take the time to respond to your questions, they expect you to put forth some effort into answering it yourself first, and bring to them questions that merit them taking time out of their busy day to respond ( JPH comes to mind here, that man is a MACHINE when it comes to cranking out top shelf quality stuff at a breakneck pace ) because any time they spend typing on a keyboard, is time they are not spending forgewelding or polishing up their next beautiful piece of functional art. 

2. Walk, before you try to run, and right now it sounds like you are trying to skip both steps, and move right into flying.  There is a reason that everyone is telling you to start with smaller blades, and the reasoning is simple, It takes a LOT less work, effort and chance for mishaps with a 4 inch drop point, then it does a 30+ inch broadsword. The skills you will learn from a 2 inch skinner, will directly apply to the work you do on a sword. And if you order say, a 36 inch long piece of 1084 from Aldo. You can either make one sword from that stock, or roughly three 4 inch blades from the same stock. if you mess up the sword, the whole stock is a loss unless you cut off your mistake and you are lucky its at the tip, where as if you make a mistake on a single knife from the same stock, you have 2 other blades to work with still. 

3. Read, Crosscheck, read again, and dont take everything you see on YouTube as truth. Many highly respected bladesmiths in both the knife, and sword making world have YouTube channels, and offer EXCELLENT videos on how they accomplish their works. There are far to many to make a list of who to watch, but I will say this. Once you have a decent understanding of the processes, you can then start to spot the makers in their videos where they do something that causes you to go " Wha??? " , Once you reach that point in your understanding of things, that is when you practice and then start to progress. An excellent example of this, is the guys making videos of turning large wrenches into Tomahawks, Did you know that heating Chrome plating is highly toxic. You cant just stick any old metal in the fire and take a whack at it. 

Which leads me to 

4. Do your research on your materials.  Some metals you might stick in your fire, can kill you from the fumes. Galvanized steel for example, produces Zinc fumes when heated which have even been known to kill experienced blacksmiths ( Google Jim " Paw Paw " Wilson ), As I mentioned before, Chrome fumes are toxic, but its not just about the metals. Rosewood variants for example, are toxic, While they wont specifically kill you as fast as Zinc fume inhalation can, its dust is still bad for your health. That is not to mention the other dangers inherent with this hobby, Such as fireflies ( Sparks from Solid fuel fires such as Charcoal and Coal ) setting things near your forge on fire.  Or the significant amount of Carbon Monoxide put off from a Propane forge being a danger in enclosed areas. Or the fact that the propane lines could leak if not checked regularly resulting in a fantastic yet potentially fatal fireball appearing in your shop area. Or the fact that a high speed buffing wheel can rip a blade out of your hand and bury it to the hilt in a wall after taking off your fingers, and thats if you are lucky, as using it wrong could also launch it into your chest at such a rate you could be dead before you register that it has left your hands.  So proper research, proper safety precautions, and proper PPE are a MUST if you intend to keep working in this hobby long enough to reach your stated goal of making a functional sword. 

I am not trying to discourage you, Far from it, as a fellow newb to this ( I have been doing this for about 2.5 years now ) , I am trying to instill in you the gravity of the situation, This is a hobby that CAN kill you, or maim you, or burn your house down, Or all three. It could also create lawsuits, because if you sell a sword that shatters and kills some innocent bystander. YOU are on the hook for it. No one likes to get reamed out for what they want to do, but this isnt World of Warcraft, You dont just assemble a list of items, click create, and end up with some epic item. You have to put in the time, You have to put in the practice, and you have to do your research.  None of us want to see you fail, or die from your interest in this hobby, or see you sued into the poor house because of a mistake. We want to see you survive and be a success in this hobby, The blacksmithing and bladesmithing communities online I have encountered, are some of the most welcoming helpful people I know of. 


 

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Say Malice. Your post is a good thought but you might want to check the time stamp next time, this thread is months old and handled, questions adequately and fully answered and nicely sidetracked till it ran out of steam. 

Unfortunately you keep implying a new guy who asks an old question is going to get his/er head bitten off. We can't help it if coping with reality isn't being taught. Sometimes we have to ask to have a question clarified or shut a snotty one down. We only bite heads if antagonized sufficiently. 

You're real intents are a little transparent to get away with this sort of admonishen. Consider your head bitten off. :o Now go build a fire, make something cool and post a pic we'll all enjoy looking at. ;)

Frosty The Lucky.

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Check the Knives section Frosty, If I recall correctly you like clip points....  and I did check the time stamp, But I would like Northwoodsman to have something to think about besides making swords the next time he comes around... 

And you guys do bite heads off, Ive SEENT it... and on at least one occasion, I have been on the deserving end of it myself. That does not down play the fact that many of you, have VASTLY more experience then I do. I was taught not to argue with those who know more then I do. If I ask a stupid question, I expect a snarky and sharp answer, I expect to be told I need to research more, and read the response to find the hint as to where and what I should look for.  Think of this as paying it forward for all the times you guys have answered a question a million times, I am just repeating the info I learned from having to do the research myself after asking a similar stupid question along with some good life lessons like dont pick a fight with a Curmudgeon... 

 

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