Millhand

Condensation...

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IFC, the problem with rust on anvils is that it rusts, then you forge on it, then it rusts some more. Over a period of time, it will cause pitting.

I wipe a liberal coat of used motor oil over the face at the end of every forging session. I don't wipe it off.

So is there anything wrong with used motor oil? Is there a good reason to wipe it off?

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Well two come to mind: one is that motor oil contains detergents that are designed to hold water and so not the best oil to keep water away; the second is that used motor oil contains a bunch of toxic stuff in it and so burning it off bit by bit forging is not really good if you are breathing around your anvil.

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Ok, I might switch to something else. As far as burning goes though, personally, it doesn't seem like enough to be consequential. I mean, what about quenching blades? Thoughts?

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I generally use warmed vegetable oil; new or from a deep fat fryer---sometimes after Thanksgiving you can get lots of oil from folks who fried their turkey but will not need the oil again before it would go off.

Now I also have a 5 gallon pail of Parks 50 for special use for when I need a fast quench but water is a bit too brutal. 

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So, from a health stand point, would you not recommend motor oil? It is used so often. (Not arguing, by the way!)

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I do not use it, I do not advocate using it. It once was a suggested quenchant; but is no longer as are many toxic mixtures used historically. Anybody else want to dogpile on this?

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Thanks, Thomas. This is new to me. I will switch to something else, or use a respirator. (My shop is semi-outdoor)

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You can slow the speed of an organic oil going rancid. (rancidity happens when the oil oxidizes). Storing it in an airless container helps. Keeping it cold in between use helps. Putting an anti-oxidant into the oil helps.

A good anti-oxidant is vitamin E gel caps. You can get that at the local pharmacy or Walmart. The cheapest brand works as well as the more expensive ones.

Keeping it out of the light may help. (I'm not sure about that one).

Happy hammering,

SLAG.

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16 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

I do not use it, I do not advocate using it. It once was a suggested quenchant; but is no longer as are many toxic mixtures used historically. Anybody else want to dogpile on this?

At one time I did use old motor oil, (specifically 30wt non-detergent) as a quench. I was told that old motor oil contained carbon from combustion which made it a good quench.

I no longer use it because for me it was harder to draw a good temper than when I started using vegetable oil (peanut oil) which has a high flash point and smells better. I can't address the health aspect of old oil but from what I have read it's some bad stuff so I also no longer advocate using it.

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5 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

smells better.

You don't like the pleasant aroma of motor oil? Next you'll tell me you don't like the smell of diesel exhaust.

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21 minutes ago, Iron Poet said:

You don't like the pleasant aroma of motor oil? Next you'll tell me you don't like the smell of diesel exhaust.

After 4 years in the USCG in the 60s as an Engineman (diesel mechanic) can't say as I do.:P

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2 hours ago, Irondragon Forge & Clay said:

After 4 years in the USCG in the 60s as an Engineman (diesel mechanic) can't say as I do.:P

If you need me I'll be in my workshop melting lead and using prussiate of potash to case harden my mercury quenching tank.

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IRP,

Iron Poet said

"If you need me I'll be in my workshop melting lead and using prussiate of potash to case harden my mercury quenching tank."

And SLAG says

don't forget to use your cloth face mask. Proceed with caution.

And good luck,

SLAG.

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Funny that my great grandfather, the smith in a small Arkansas hill town, died in his 50's where his wife died in her 90's.  I'm assuming they had the same diet...

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13 hours ago, Iron Poet said:

If you need me I'll be in my workshop melting lead and using prussiate of potash to case harden my mercury quenching tank.

Funny you should mention melting lead and using mercury. I have been casting lead round balls and bullets for 60 years. I just came in from the shop after casting up 50 .530 balls for my 54 caliber Kentucky flintlock muzzle loader.

When I was in the Coast Guard, I was stationed at The Lynde Point Light Station in Old Saybrook CT. Both the inner and outer light's main light floated on 50 lbs of mercury as a bearing medium. It was my job to drain the mercury and strain it then pour it back into the reservoir. It's a wonder that at 74 years old I'm still functional.:)

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My Grandfather ran a bait stand, minnow route and 160 acres of minnow ponds; so during the winter they would cast sinkers using a cast iron pot and a 2 burner gas ring---for decades!  I'm going to his 93rd birthday the end of this month,  Of course after Iwo Jima; a bit of lead in the air probably seams normal...

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I do work with lead sometimes, like casting lead hammers. Still alive. Contact with liquid mercury is not dangerous as far as I know because I cant breach the skin barrier.

Eating it will cause damage. (some fish have high levels) Vapours will cause damage. Dimethyl mercury will kill you on contact

Lead is most dangerous to children, its effects on the child brain are documented. I will lower the IQ.

What I am trying to say is that know what you deal with, act appropriate and don´t play down dangers because you handled it safe.

Happy Birthday to your Grandfather Mister Powers

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