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Forge welding question

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I can’t find my information on this and it has been thwarting me in the shop for a few months now.  I’ve been doing faggot welds on small stock (usually 1/8”) to make baskets with great success.  But, nearly every time I draw the welded area out the weld eventually fails.  I’ve been trying to make a corkscrew with a basket twist handle for a while now and have amassed a collection of scrap as a result.  After making the weld, I draw the material out to about 1/8” round again but it always fails.

My question is this:  Are my welds just substandard or is it unrealistic of me to expect that much out of them?

Your brutal honesty will be welcomed :)


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Sorry @SLAG, good point and I should have noted.  I have been working with A38 1/8” round stock and 1018 1/8” square stock.  @bluesman7, I did all of the drawing out at forge welding heat and seriously felt that weld improved as I went.  Then, while refining the piece at cherry heat to get ready to make the corkscrew, there would be a delamination.  I was able to reweld to good effect but, eventually, something would give.  I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t a threshold to how much abuse a weld can take.

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Cherry heat? I think that Mr. Bluesman has a good point. Try it at a higher temperature. 1018 is low carbon, so burning it is less likely. I would set the weld and then 'mashing' the weld at a high heat, to set it. If those two actions requires two heats, re- flux it.

Delamination indicates, to me, that the weld was not complete. (incomplete cohesion of the steel).

Subsequent, drawing out can be done at a lower temperature. But well above cherry.

You may lose a few pieces testing for the temperature behavior of your chosen alloy steel.. But then you'll not have to experiment like that again.

Permit me to make an obvious point. The metal should be cleaned as much as possible & then fluxed before welding. Oxides, (rust), and other crud lower the chances of a successful weld.

Good luck,

Bull headed persistence pays off, and I KNOW that you can do it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for not responding earlier, all.  I’ve been quite busy.  Haven’t even had the time to forge or come here during my week vacation.  But, many thanks for the insights.  I’ll keep at it until I am near 100% success rate when I draw out a weld.  I’m thinking I may have been too gentle because my last one worked beautifully.  I hit it lightly to tack on the first heat then let in to it once I knew it was relatively solid.  No delams.

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