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Meridianfrost

Powder Metallurgy Question (properly asked)

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Hello everyone,

Let me start by apologizing for my previous thread. I was having a terrible day, and should have stayed away from all people. Period. I don't have a beef with anyone here, and I'd hate for people to have the wrong impression of me. I don't think I know everything. I'm just starting out, and know very VERY little about metal working. I do love it, and have committed lots of money and time to getting started. I'm still learning, but my level of understanding is currently at an elementary level. Thanks to everyone for their responses in advance.

I'll preface my question with saying I have searched out powder steel in powder form, and educated myself about how it is manufactured.  I was previously aware that I could buy it from Kelly Cupples, and that K&G sells it as well in 10XX form. I have never used it or purchased it from anywhere.

What kinds of powder steel have you used in powder form for a simple home forging operation? I do not own a kiln, nor do I possess the ability to isolate gas in an enclosed environment. I also do not own a power hammer, or hydrolic press. This all has to be pounded out by hand while in a canister. 

My interest is in making knives mostly. Not too big, as I have a small forge. The types of knives I will make will be a general purpose kind of knife for hunting, and camping. I suppose I will eventually get into fillet knives that will need to have a good deal of flex, but for right now, I just want to make rugged knives. I was thinking 154cpm or A2, but I don't know what steel would be best for this purpose. 

Have you had success forging powder steel in a canister? What kinds of problems did you encounter along the way?

Also, where did you purchase your powder? Were you satisfied with that quality of production? Do you think PM is better left to those who have more experience, or better forging tools?

 

Thanks again for your responses.

 

 

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Welcome aboard, I'd love to try a fresh start, you're not t he only one to have bad days or get crabby. Press Replay? :)

People have been trying to get me to take a walk on the dark side for years but I'm less interested in bladesmithing than other stuff. Anyway, guys have been giving me "good" blade steel and some outright "WAZZAT?" steels. I have some pieces here that you can't get to soften with an oxy propane torch's 4,500f flame.

Anyway, I've bee messing with forge welding for years and was gifted with IIRC 6 bottles of powdered metal used for torch deposition. I've used some of it between layers in billets and with less success in cable welds. 

Making powdered steel canister welded billets is pretty darned advanced stuff but don't take my word for it I haven't messed with canister welding enough to do it poorly. Not really my thing.

As general advise I suggest folk learn to work at the anvil before getting into the more specialized areas of blacksmithing. Once a person has a good handle on how metal moves, heat management, a good mental/muscle memory tool kit for the processes learning to make blades becomes a very short level(ish) learning curve. The metal has a different feel under the hammer, no big deal that'll come at latest by the second piece and heck, you've made chisels already so it's nothing really. Heat management is just more demanding, NOT something new. Same for forge welding, it's no mystery nor very hard . . . most of the time, some material can be a stone bear to forge weld but once you know what's going on you'll be able to say what went wrong and someone will be able to tell you what you did wrong.

By time you're forging blades you will have already mastered the grinder making stock removal knives. Yes? Selling your learning projects like forged leaf items from coat hooks, key chins, zipper pulls, etc. will put enough money in your pocket to upgrade equipment. You don't have to spend a couple grand on a 2" x 72" belt grinder, our club did a build clinic and I'm down to fine tuning things to my liking for an outlay of a little over $150.00 but I'm converting a 2.5hp DC treadmill motor to AC to power it, the bridge rectifier and SCR ran me almost $45.00.

Nobody here is trying to discourage you or make thing harder, I'm here because it feels like family and since the accident I'm not so good at the anvil so I pass on what I can. I remember most I've learned over the years, finding it can be a challenge though, my files got scrambled. :wacko: I get off on helping folk along and , well, talking. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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7 hours ago, Frosty said:

Welcome aboard, I'd love to try a fresh start, you're not t he only one to have bad days or get crabby. Press Replay? :)

People have been trying to get me to take a walk on the dark side for years but I'm less interested in bladesmithing than other stuff. Anyway, guys have been giving me "good" blade steel and some outright "WAZZAT?" steels. I have some pieces here that you can't get to soften with an oxy propane torch's 4,500f flame.

Anyway, I've bee messing with forge welding for years and was gifted with IIRC 6 bottles of powdered metal used for torch deposition. I've used some of it between layers in billets and with less success in cable welds. 

Making powdered steel canister welded billets is pretty darned advanced stuff but don't take my word for it I haven't messed with canister welding enough to do it poorly. Not really my thing.

As general advise I suggest folk learn to work at the anvil before getting into the more specialized areas of blacksmithing. Once a person has a good handle on how metal moves, heat management, a good mental/muscle memory tool kit for the processes learning to make blades becomes a very short level(ish) learning curve. The metal has a different feel under the hammer, no big deal that'll come at latest by the second piece and heck, you've made chisels already so it's nothing really. Heat management is just more demanding, NOT something new. Same for forge welding, it's no mystery nor very hard . . . most of the time, some material can be a stone bear to forge weld but once you know what's going on you'll be able to say what went wrong and someone will be able to tell you what you did wrong.

By time you're forging blades you will have already mastered the grinder making stock removal knives. Yes? Selling your learning projects like forged leaf items from coat hooks, key chins, zipper pulls, etc. will put enough money in your pocket to upgrade equipment. You don't have to spend a couple grand on a 2" x 72" belt grinder, our club did a build clinic and I'm down to fine tuning things to my liking for an outlay of a little over $150.00 but I'm converting a 2.5hp DC treadmill motor to AC to power it, the bridge rectifier and SCR ran me almost $45.00.

Nobody here is trying to discourage you or make thing harder, I'm here because it feels like family and since the accident I'm not so good at the anvil so I pass on what I can. I remember most I've learned over the years, finding it can be a challenge though, my files got scrambled. :wacko: I get off on helping folk along and , well, talking. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Absolutely. Thanks for taking the time to respond. There is a lot of good information here, and from what you and others have told me, I should probably just not worry at all about messing with PM, and just stick to working commercially made stock, and keep on keeping on with stock removal knives. And you are right on the money with working the anvil. I've only made a few projects, and I have three good sized divots in the anvil face from missing with a cross peen. I've still got a long way to go. I have a bunch of mild steel rod that I thought about just reducing and elongating the size of. Maybe make some simple tongs, or things like that. Not too crazy, just spending time at the anvil. 

I appreciate you giving this another shot, and your answer was really helpful. I'm sorry that I came off like a jerk. I should have asked a better question, and not assumed so much. On that other mess of a thread you can see my first forged blade. I'm working the handle now and I will post some pictures when it's complete. Thanks again for your input. 

-Joshua

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Hello Josh! I cant help with your question much as I have no experience with making canister Damascus.

Although I have spent a good deal of time researching the methods. If you havent already done so, watch the skull Damascus video by big dog forge. He makes it look easy!    Its a project I want to do someday, (After ive finished my press and own a power hammer). 

There are tons of projects you can do with that round stock. To name just a few   tongs, s hooks, coat hangers, camping sets.   Keep that anvil ringing! 

Heres to a better start at IF! Cheers! Lol 

Brian

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Sounds more than good Joshua, getting a replay in real life is a treat. I could've done a better job of responding, I didn't need to be so terse you were pretty obviously reaching around in the dark. 

I try not to give advice about bladesmiting, I'm not a bladesmith guy, though I do know a bit about blacksmithing, so if I don't comment on a blade make suggestions, etc. It's because it's one of my may areas of ignorance. 

I almost have my 2" x 72" belt grinder up and running but don't take any pics I post of a "long seax" I'm working on as my blade, I'm just finishing one of Theo's. Well, as soon as I get the grinder up and going, I still have a little electronicing, motor mounting and such to do. Gotta paint it of course, no job is done till the paint dries.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 7/15/2017 at 9:36 AM, Millhand said:

Hello Josh! I cant help with your question much as I have no experience with making canister Damascus.

Although I have spent a good deal of time researching the methods. If you havent already done so, watch the skull Damascus video by big dog forge. He makes it look easy!    Its a project I want to do someday, (After ive finished my press and own a power hammer). 

There are tons of projects you can do with that round stock. To name just a few   tongs, s hooks, coat hangers, camping sets.   Keep that anvil ringing! 

Heres to a better start at IF! Cheers! Lol 

Brian

I really like that guy.  Big Dog Forge is a great channel and I was impressed at what he did with the skull Damascus.  Our own Theo won FIF going against Walter Sorrells in the early rounds.  It is likely that Theo wasn't competing with Walter in the final because he got the unlucky draw of having to do a canister Damascus for his preliminary blade.  It broke during testing.

 

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