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I Forge Iron

Josh's misguided musings in metal manipulation (Photo Heavy)


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Well messed around with the fleshing knife, but when I hammered in the bevel it put a heck of a curve in the blade and I'm having a rough time straightening it. So I moved on to practicing my forge welding. Nothing special, just folded over the metal on itself and got it hot, flux, hot, hammer repeat until it was one piece. Pretty neat. No picture because it's not much to see, but it worked!

Also my mail box was run over while we were out of town and our neighbor was kind enough to fix it while I was gone. So I made them a leaf key chain.

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8 hours ago, Josh Foran said:

Frosty - sorry if something like this has been asked, but I was gifted a cast iron grill burner. What are the odds of using it like a ribbon burner? Or am I way off base?

 

That IS a multi orifice burner but it's not designed to produce the temperatures a forge burner needs. It might work in a heat treat oven though.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

Haven't posted in a while, been quite busy. 

I'm still here and still learning!

I've been building forges for people I work with, spreading the joy of blacksmithing to all!

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And the Completed kit!

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Then I started on a few more...

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Then my work sent me up to Lincoln Electric in Ohio for some weld training.  Which was pretty neat. Did some 6010/11/13, 7014, 7018, and 7024 Stick, MIG/(Technically MAG) Welding, and some scratch start TIG.

Some slag peel with the idiot stick:

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And kinda got the hang of 6010

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And of course, some TIG practice:

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My wife wanted to build a rocket stove, so we built one out of the post of our mailbox that got run over:

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Then at the beginning of the month, I went up to Cullman Forge for some hammer making!

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I worked on cleaning it up a bit today, but tore up the belt on my belt grinder and need to get another one:

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Sadly my blacksmithing and forge building is taking a back seat right now. I'm on a race team at my work, and we are in the final push to get the car built before the end of March when we race in Austin, TX at Circuit of the Americas. Once we finish the car, I'll be able to play again.

We work at Honda and the team is run and funded out of the plant. Here is last years car:

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The one with the numbers is our new car at it's shake down at Barber Motorsports Park to get a stock baseline:

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Got it caged up and painted:

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We got the engine and trans out to add some go fast goods:

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Then had to do some machining for some control arm spacers

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So that's what I've been up to. Got a lot to do with the car in a short amount of time before March 24th! But once the car is good to go, I can get back to doing some blacksmithing! I still need to finish my skinning knife!

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Got some new belts today and cleaned up the hammer head. I made it a crosspeen rounding hammer.

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Wound up being just over two pounds:

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I did the rounding on the belt grinder since I don't have a die. Then I hand sanded and polished from 150 up to 3000 grit and then some good old never dull:

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Next is heat treat and handle!

So far, pretty proud of it for my first hammer.

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I like that hammer. JHCC is right though. Heat treat is going to wreck all that polish work. Still looks great.

Welds aren't looking too bad either. 6010 can be a pain to run at times. A little trickier to see your weld puddle against your slag puddle and it's easy to get inclusions. I used to run 6010 5P+ for root passes in pipe and then 7018 out.  Your TIG welds are looking decent. Something to try and will make a very pretty weld is walking the cup. Keeps a nice consistent bead with a nice figure 8 pattern.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hammer update!

Went to the hardware store and picked up a handle that I had to shape to fit the hammer and the hand:

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Then I burned the handle, sanded it and oiled it:

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While I was at the hardware store, the guy setting me up with a handle asked where I got such a "unique hammer head". I told him I made it. He got all excited and grabbed it and proceeded to show it off to everyone working at the store. So I showed him some other things I've made and he said if I ever make another hair piece to let him know. So that my be my first project with this hammer... 

Then I went back to the cullman forge for heat treating. There I was informed the smaller peen I had made would be next to useless for forging. So I took the advice and went with a more rounded peen.

I hate I didn't get pictures of the hardening, but when I got home, I cleaned it back up a bit and it went into the toaster for tempering:

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Then after temper:

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Had I fully polished it back, I would have left the coloring. But alas... my favorite color is shiny:

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From there it was just setting the handle!

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I'm super proud of this hammer. I'm sure there were a bunch of things I could do better, but for my first one, I'm quite please with how it turned out. I'm looking forward to wearing it out!

HUGE thanks to the Cullman forge for putting on this hammer making deal. Since before I started blacksmithing, I always thought making a hammer would be awesome. I had a blast and am looking forward to making the tools I need to do everything at the house so I can make more!

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  • 2 months later...

So I've been pretty busy with a big race each month for 3 months and haven't been able to do a whole lot. But have done a few things here and there.

For mothers day I made her a Trivet. Please excuse my terrible photos, but it was scrolled with leaves:

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I used square stock to make this, however, in hind sight next time I'll use round.

Also did some practice on the same square stock making a knife:

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Just some practice forging and grinding, still have a long way to go, but I'm having fun and that's all that matters. Not looking to be a super awesome knife maker, just want to be able to.

I've had a lot of people ask me about my propane forges I make dubbed the Widget Maker. I've made them for 3 people so far and they've all sold before I could really play with them. I've had three more people ready to buy some, so I started building 4 so I could have one as a demo when I go to forge meetings so people can see them.

Here the are after the wool and brick had been fitted:

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And here they are coated with refractory:

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Probably the question I get asked the most is, "Can you forge weld with them." I had sold all my forges before I could try them out and my answer was always, "They should." Well I finished my demo forge yesterday and took it to the Cullman forge today to test it out and give it a run for it's money.

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Here it is during the forge welding process and the piece I welded. This was only the second forge weld I've ever done and I messed up the part you see that didn't weld just by not knowing what I was doing. Eventually some of the veterans at the forge came over and set me straight, but I had already messed up the part the didn't weld. But you can see past that point it's solidly welded! So now, my answers can be a confident, "Yes, if you aren't an idiot like me and do it the right way!" haha

But I was proud of the little forge. It got super hot, I learned to forge weld with the doors open otherwise they will melt... good to know. Also it was stable from just barely on <1PSI all the way up to full throttle. I started with a practically empty propane tank and got about an hour out of that, then I got it filled and went the rest of the day with plenty left and that's running all out for forge welding. I even would up leaving it in too long and leaving some metal on the forge floor. 

Also did a little more practice on some knife making. This time with some spring steel. A friend of mine is a chef and requested a paring knife, so I'm practicing to make him one.

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I wound up getting to this point and stopping. It was about 90 degrees out and I was standing in front of the forge all day and started getting really sloppy with my hits so I decided to call it a day.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this update. 

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Practiced a bit yesterday making a few kiradashis from a coil spring. Goal was three. I learned a lot. Really good hammer practice as well as understanding how the metal wants to move. I also learned that blisters hurt way more after they pop haha. It got to a point where I was struggling to do a taper so I called it quits.

So here are the three in different stages. The top one is straightened and cut from the spring with what I'm calling a "flat taper". Probably wrong terminology, but instead of angling the stock at 45° while forming the taper on the "far side" of the railroad track, I'm leaving it flat and only hammering the taper on two sides. This gives me two straight sides and two sloped. 

From there, the second one has the cutting edge formed from the tapered side, then I flattened the rest of the stock and shaped it. I also hammered in the bevel.

The third I tried to have a hammered look to it but after putting in the marks on one side, when I flipped it to do the other side, the marks I put in went away when I hit on the other side. I think it's just too thin? So that didn't look as good as I wanted. I ground the bevel and did some edge dressing on the grinder. Next was hardening, then clean up and final edge and sharpening. Will temper when all three are done.

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It's a fun project and will make good Father's day gifts!

Thanks for checking in!

-Josh

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