Jon Kerr

Complete Beginner

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No oil in the kitchen!       (Vegetable oil when warmed is a common quenchant and can often be sourced cheap of free in a used condition.)

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Some, but I guessed not enough to quench a 2lb axe head.

On that subject- is there a general guide on litres of oil to mass of steel for quenchant? I did some googling and read some calcs, and it seemed like the answer was 20litres was a safe amount for quenching steel up to 2-3lbs (hammers and large knives/swords).

Also- any tips on a cheap/free sealable quench tank? I've read about ammo boxes but we don't have those in the UK. I'm struggling to think of what kind of cheap metal container I might be able to find/use. I'd like something with suitable dimensions for both axes and knives, really, to "future proof" it.

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Do you have the 30 gallon (US) drums for lubricating oils/grease?   I have two quench tanks: one it a welding gas cylinder with the top cut off off---tall and skinny and the other is an large ammo can, short and stubby. Others I have seen used include beer kegs with the end chopped off.

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8 hours ago, Daswulf said:

I personally liked Technicus Joe's youtube videos to learn about making tongs. There are some other good ones as well. 

I've had the best luck making split-rein tongs, both twist-jaw and bolt. Our own jlpservicesinc has a good video on making these:
 

 

Another good version is this one:

 

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I just picked up 2 six gallon cans at the big box store. $15 each with the lid. For quench and fill with vermiculite of slow cooling.....

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Gray wood ashes out of a wood stove work excellent for annealing. That is what I use for all of my cast iron repairs. And it is free....

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On 9/27/2018 at 12:33 PM, Jon Kerr said:

is there a general guide on litres of oil to mass of steel for quenchant? I

Extremely general rule is at least one gallon of quenchant per pound of steel. However, that will vary considerably depending on the quenchant, the steel, and the shape of the workpiece. By and large, more quenchant is better than less. 

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Zeke: Those are: pet food, kitty litter, ash, coal, sand, dust, etc. cans they are NOT liquid tight, oil will leak right out. I have one, same brand from Home Depot. Fortunately I tried it with water.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty: Thanks for the heads up. So far I have just used them for coal and general carrying as I am moving stuff to a new tent/shop.

I was thinking I'd pick up something water tight (and puncture/heat resistant) at the Elkhorn Flea Market (Wisconsin)  this weekend but the rain on Fri-Sat had turned the whole area into a sea of mud. Hoofing  a small stock tank (or wash bin) for a mile back to the pickup through that morass just seemed like too much effort.  I just picked up stuff I could carry in a backpack. Next time.... hey,  maybe the Kane County Flea (Illinois) this coming weekend. 

Now that I'm swinging a hammer again, and seeing the treasures folks have following them home,  I see Flea markets in a whole different light.

Zeke

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Zeke, if you shop around, you can find a leak-proof galv. can.  I found one at a recent vendor's setup at a tractor show.  It was an almost new 10 gal galvanized trash can with lid and a large label on the side said plainly "Guaranteed not to leak".  I've had it full of slack water for over a year now, including winter freezes (with a tank heater) and not one drop has leaked out.  We'll see how long it stays leak free.  A heavy bead of some waterproof sealer (epoxy, tar/mastic, etc.) around the base inside might render a can waterproof.

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arkie: I'll keep looking. And add a bead of caulk on my buckets to see what happens.

Garage sales and flea markets are a whole new thing now!  With a (wanna be) blacksmith eye, I see a ray of light and hear a heavenly choir on things I may not have even seen before. The looking is almost as much fun as swinging the hammer.

Regards, Zeke

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I do thoroughly enjoy our "car boot sales" here in the UK, which I think are pretty much the same as your flea markets? Unfortunately they're coming to the end of the season as winter draws in as they're generally held in fields which will be wet and muddy for a few months.

My current list of things to look out for:

-Hammers (no more than 50p each, especially if handle is old and broken) as it seems like there are loads of good projects to make things from old hammer heads.

-Large masonry chisels and steel pegs to turn into punches and drifts.

-Long handled pliers and horse hoof nippers to turn into tongs.

-Files and farriers rasps for making knives.

If anyone has any other good tips of things to salvage I'd love to hear them!

 

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Ferrier's or Hoof rasps are excellent for hot rasping forged work like oh say blades. Hmmm? 

Other things to look for are: punchs and chisels, hex wrenches. You see them at yard, garage, etc. sales often in a pile or old can for not much. The punches and chisels are good medium carbon steel and make excellent bottom tools sometimes for just grinding to a different shape. Hex keys are also good steel and make fine impact tools on a smaller scale say chasing chisels and decorative punches. Hmmm?

Frosty The Lucky.

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there are plenty of places you can buy from, last sunday I was at a vintage and 4 x 4 event and got a large diagonal pein hammer for £10, a plasma cutter for £40, a WW i portable military forge and lots more.

I also sell new spring and tool steels, rasps, forges.

20th and 21st of this month I am at huntingdon at a historical market with several other smiths

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