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hello all, I have 2-4 old felling axe heads, 2 or 3 hoe blades, and multiple other broken tools of similar natures, and I was wondering what are some tools I could make from these, also I have A LOT of rebar (if it is classed as junk but just putting it out there if as a possibility) and a lot of 1/2 inch square bars that are mild steel

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What kind of tools are you interested in?  Woodworking, metalworking, blacksmithing, homesteading,....

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Woodworking, metalsmithing, blacksmithing and bladesmithing, currently for blacksmithing/blacksmithing the only things I have is a small forge (in the proceses of making a new one) an anvil, a 2.5# hammer(still gotta smooth the face) a pair of tongs and a pair of vice grips, a vice that I use for twisting, a charcoal take that I forged, a monkey/pipe wrench, and a railroad spike that didn't have a head on it so I ground a semi sharp edge to use as a hot slit(decent but not perfect.

Preferably of there are decent blacksmithing/blacksmithing tools I could make that's what I would prefer the most for now

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Axe heads are just about perfect for hot cut hardies, do the eye, cut about twice as wide as your hardy hole and forge a shank, keep the radiused cutting edge, infact reinforce it, hot cuts are the same except you either keep the eye (not my first choice) or you fuller a grove and wrap a handle. With more cuting and forging you can make punches the same way, cold cuts and hardies are shaped like splitting malls and wedges (I have an old eastwing hand maul I use with a sledge) 

If you again cut off the eye, and cut a with out of an axe,

 (modern axes being generally medium+) you can cut off the edge and forge top and bottom tooling. It's nice when some one else has done some of the heavy forging for you!

 

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Huh.. Tools you can make. LONG list there when you have a forge, hammer and anvil, and some steel to make stuff out of. Make what you need as you need it. Need a round punch, make one in the size you need. Need a chisel, make one in the size/ shape you need. No need to just make tools to have them when you don't have the need. ( well, ok, I'm a tool junky but still) coil spring is a great metal to have on hand, and can be found readily cheap or free. 

Find a project to make, then make the tools to make that project and on and on and before you know it you'll have tools everywhere. Just trying to make any old tool from whatever you have laying around without a specific task in mind won't help much. Find the task/ purpose, then source the right or usable material to make the tools for the job. 

Simple example: making leaves. You can use a hot cut and a veining chisel. 

 

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Even simple bottle openers can be made using self-created slitter, punch, drift. All experience building tools to make. An example would be creating a taper on a punch or drift out of an old round stock scrap. Making my own tools is one of the most enjoyable things I do in my forge. Agree with Charles that an Axe head can make a great hardie tools. So my opinion....you are on the right track. Figure out what your project is going to be, what tools you will need, and then make your tools to get it done. I have to warn you though....tool making is addictive, you may have to force yourself to move on to the project! 

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lol ik that it is a broad topic but just wanted ideas to have things to make

I was mostly interested to know which tools would be good for making hot slit tools

would the head of a garden hoe be any good?

and what type of metal do you think it would be

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Moderate size coil spring. Look for the wire to be around 1/2" much larger means having to forge it down than necessary and the higher the C content the hard it is to forge. You can get away with smaller wire easily and if it's too small to make your punches, chisels, etc. it'll be fine for other tools. 

I know I just said this but I repeat, do NOT get sucked into making tools until you KNOW what you're going to need. It's tempting, very tempting to try and acquire or make the "perfect" tool kit but it's an illusion. There is almost nothing you can't do on an anvil with a handful of tools, seriously. Look at what was in the Mastermyr tool box. The smith wasn't just a blacksmith, he did sheet metal work and had that kit, those big shears aren't much good for blacksmithing are they? Just the "blacksmithing" tools in the box were a stake anvil, a forging hammer a couple chisels, punches a hammer eye drift, tongs and. . . ?

The Mastermyr smith was a traveling blacksmith, he packed his shop on his back or a donkey maybe though I don't recall seeing farrier tools. Of course why not make the tools you need as you need them rather than pack a bunch of occasional commissions? He made what he needed when he needed it then probably returned it to his stock.

Once you start getting the hang of the craft you'll discover how little of the special stuff you really need though it can be fun to acquire most will be decorations and dust collectors.

Frosty The Lucky.

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You are really stuck on making a spring fuller aren't you? Even if it's the one I described earlier spring steel is WAY unnecessary, plain old round stock is fine. For: chisels, punches, drifts, tongs, etc., coil spring is the perfect scrounged stock. Doing a good spring temper is NOT a beginner's skill.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Does that fall anywhere within my suggestion you forget about projects till you know the basics?

Right now you've stopped learning to blacksmith so you can make a tool to make a process you don't know how to do in the first place easier. Wouldn't it be even easier to have someone else do it for you? 

It's up to you of course but this is exactly the corner I was warning you not to paint yourself into. The tools don't do ANYTHING, not a thing they just sit there unless you know how to use them and you don't.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Draw, Upset, bend,  punch, join. What things have you made involving drawing out? I believe you feel confident with a straight taper. Yes? How are they matching up on the S hooks before you turn the hooks? So so?

There's a good practice routine. Make 20 S hooks from 1/2" sq. First plan the job. How large do you want the overall S hooks. 1/2" sq. would be almost strong enough to hang a Prius from. So maybe draw the preform down to 3/8" sq. How much longer will a length of 3/8" sq be if you start with a given length of 1/2"? For practice the arithmetic  2" of 1/2" sq. will draw down into how much 3/8" sq.?

You start with an idea. I'm going to make S hooks with 6" long twisted shanks and hooks 1 1/2" in diameter for an overall length of 9". Figure you're going to make them from what you have, 1/2" The beginning length starts with 6" for the shank + two hooks 1.5" dia. Figure the circumference of a 1.5" circle and divide it in half. one half for each hook. This ain't exact so long as all the hooks come out reasonably close to the same. Call the starting stock for the hooks 4.75". Okay. Twists don't change the length of solid stock so there's no allowance necessary. 6" + 4.75" = 10.75" 

Problem now is the tapers there are formula to calculate taper volume changes but I'm poor at math so I'd have to go hunting to even find them let alone do them. Time for a little experimentation IF the desired S hook is a solid size. Is the 9" overall important to maintain? If so take your starting 10.75" piece of stock and make an S hook with the specified hooks. Measure the finished produce and subtract MOST of the overage from the too long size. Make another and measure it.

That's pretty straight forward yes? Assume you have a good dimension to cut your stock and cut 10. Draw a taper on one end of one piece and lay it on the table now draw a taper on another piece and match it to the first one. Just in case take some spray paint and paint that first taper, it's your Witness taper. The ONE all the tapers must match to pass inspection. Yes?

And THAT Dillon is a production technique that is THE way to make matching piece. Each step will have a Witness.

Once you have both ends of the remaining pieces tapered correctly turn the finial scrolls. Make a Witness but it's not important to keep it, variation in finials is a charm of hand forged work.

Now twist your Witness shank, paint and set aside. Twist the remainder of the pieces to a close match. Can you think of a good way to closely match twists? It's a head slapper once you think of it so go ahead and think about it.

Now draw the hook on the table with soapstone and turn your Witness hook. . . Did you get the finial pointing the right direction? I still get them backwards, no biggy just twist it around when it's finished.

The hook Witness matches the soapstone drawing which matches the graph paper drawing. Paint your Witness and turn the hooks on both ends the rest of the pieces.

Do any final tweaking to get the set how you wish. Wire brush hot and finish with what you like. Boiled linseed oil is popular, bees wax is popular but stays tacky for a long time, I'm a huge fan of carnuba paste wax, "Trewax" or "Bowling Alley Wax" are brand names of the stuff used to armor bowling alleys, the kind of wax you have to drum sand to strip. Plain old paraffin wax works if a little short lived. Heck spray olive oil Pam applied to smoking hot steel makes a nice durable black finish.

Clean up and finish are fiddly bits but make these things marketable. 

That's where to take your S hooks. By time you finish 50 or so you'll be doing them in your sleep but you'll have all the processes committed to muscle memory.

Once again: Idea. Then plan and plans are as complicated as needed to do the job well. Once you have a product that passes your inspection make multiples of matched products. Learning to do something once is easy but learning to do it many times the same is hard. But learning to match products is a skill set as well, the more products you make matching sets of the better you'll get a matching multiples of new products.

Will this help? I  know it sounds complicated but it isn't really, nothing compared to making 20 hinge sets without knowing production techniques. Knowing how to think ahead, make plans, evaluate results adjust then begin production is the difference between some guy who makes stuff and someone who knows how to MAKE stuff.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Tbh? I really confused too. Yeah, it was a pretty rambly post. Sorry about that. The point was to line out one thing and I got lost and lined out a bunch of things. 

The Witness parts are to help you match sets. It will also help you duplicate objects. The part about calculating how much 3/8" drawing 1/2" down is something to know but forget it for now, it's a fiddly bit. 

What's worse I turned a good practice piece into just what I was talking about avoiding, a project. I'll try and do better next time.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Good Morning, Dillon

Use your Play-Doh/Plasticene/Modelling Clay to understand what Frosty just suggested. Work it in your hands, before you work with the hot stuff.

There is one Rule for Drawing out. Square, Octagonal, Round "S.O.R", to draw out material, our Tong Hand can turn a quarter turn, that makes 2 flats, then 4 flats. Whether you are drawing out either round or square, this Rule applies. NEVER try to draw out round by staying round. You can make round to square, easily, then square back to round. There is more material in a piece of 1/2" square, than there is in 1/2" round. The corners!!!

Enjoy the Journey

Neil

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As I get bored just making something for practice I try to find things I can use or sell that involve the needed process and so practice makes profit!

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Morning Neil, and that is one thing I had realize already, do you think my s hooks, and my dimple hooks would look better as 3/8" square or would it look better to make them 3/8" octagonal or3/8"  round?

The reason I am asking for things I can make to improve my ability as a blacksmith is because I mostly just do bladesmithing so I don't usually have to make stuff round ect..

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Good Morning,

Practice at the Anvil, get away from the keyboard hypothetical stories. You have to understand the basic's of Blacksmithing to become a Bladesmith. Steel moves the same, regardless what you may think. Forging a Blade is not the same as Stock Removal. Making Blades with a grinder, makes you a GrinderSmith, not a Blacksmith or a Bladesmith. How are you going to Heat Treat your Blades? It is not magic, it is a Basic understanding that takes a lot of practice and learning from your mistakes. Oop's is not a mistake, it is a lesson that you didn't know you asked. Pay attention to the results, write down your sequences so you can go back and recreate the Oop's. Most Inventions start out as an Oop's.

Neil

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Now if you'd ground out a cleaver it would be for the . . . HACK of it. :)

Frosty The Lucky.

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