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I Forge Iron

Low Carbon 1002

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I work for a large production machine shop during the daylight hours and do this blacksmithing stuff the rest of the time (a good night's sleep is about 4 hours but who's counting?)

At any rate, they were scrapping several types of obsolete material and I wound up buying fifty or so bars of 1/4 and 3/8 round C1002 stock - all 12 foot long and cold rolled. This was an overrun on a specialty material they ran several years ago for a part in some sort of telephone switching equipment.

Let me tell you, it is like night and day forging this stuff against regular CRS or A36. Kind of like putty under the hammer and moves like lightning so this must be close to what the old Swedish charcoal iron was like to forge. I would like to try some larger pieces so I may try to forge weld a bundle and see how it closes up. I did forge weld a piece of 1/4 to itself and the scarf seam disappeared pretty easily. Sure would be nice if we could get it without paying tool steel prices...

Has anyone else played around with extremely low carbon steel?

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I know a few people who've used Pure Iron quite a bit and they all say it works easily in the red, doesn't work harden worked cold, and chases or carves wonderfully.

Most folk I know who've used it wouldn't use it for structural but swear it's the cat's meow for decorative work.

I think these characteristics come out more, the closer you get to zero C. Makes me wonder what chemically pure iron would be like. Pure Iron is very low C but not completely C free. Another outfit has taken over distribution of Pure Iron and may be willing to sell or give out samples.

Enjoy the stock and let us know.


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its probably real mild steel, I have some left from years ago, 1003 was real mild steel years ago, CR is still 1018 as far as I know. working wrought or real mild at a red heat will make it crack and split. and cold hammering will do the same thing.

try making a small crucible from a piece of pipe with a bottom welded on, fill it with 20 mule team borax and put it close enough in the fire that it will melt but not melt the crucible. then just dip the ends of your pieces to be forge welded in it. Most people put way to much flux on for forge welding. makes clinkers in the bottom of your firepot from the excess melting off and if you get a hot piece touching it, it sticks to it quickly.

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