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mediaevalist

How to properly forge 88/12 tin bronze for bladesmithing?

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Hello, I'm making a small bronze blade, a straight razor actually. I've never worked with bronze before and I'm treating this as my introduction to the alloy before I move onto larger products, I chose a razor to start with because the iron razors that I have, have a problem with rusting and it will be nice to not have to deal with that. 

 

I know that the preferred way to work bronze is to cast it, and I plan to cast it into the basis of the shape that I'd like, but if possible I'd like to forge it to draw it out and then file the bevel into the blade, which will lead to a lot less wasting of material and filing work (I only have a hand file) than casting it to shape and then filing it to a blade. My question is how to forge bronze, I've read that it needs to be cold worked, but since bronze work hardens, won't that make it brittle? At the same time, I've read that if you get it hot and try to forge it like iron, it'll be too soft and just fall apart. So, how do I do this properly?

 

My experience with metalworking is limited and self-taught, and the bronze that I'm working with is traditional 88/12 tin bronze. Thank you!

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The whole idea of cold forging it near the end is to work harden it so it would take and hold a better edge.

Learn drawfiling and build a filing jig!

*IF* it is hot forgeable you will want to work it at a temp where it barely shows a glow in a DARK room and learn to stop before it starts cracking.

You can profit by using a properly dressed hammer face to forge the bevel out fine and by forging it alongside the edge with the piece over the anvil and the hammer face half on and half off.

Still sounds like: "I want to win formula one races; how do I start the car?"  Do NOT expect your first attempts to be successful.  Also learn how to degas the melt when casting to avoid porosity.

Stop by with a piece to forge and I'll show you the tricks I know.

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