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Green sparks


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So I forged a pair of tongs today . I found this metal and brought it home . They are on the left side of the pic. As I was hitting it to get the offset in I noticed it sparked green . What kind of metal am I dealing with? I don’t know how to even figure this out so I’m reaching out . 9823DF15-7339-4F3A-ACEB-F952AAE5F668.thumb.jpeg.badc277b0251c7d346326569d581c9ff.jpeg

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Not knowing seems to be a theme along with salvaging material instead of buying new where possible. Not a problem if you educate yourself on salvaged materials. Thomas said it. If it's coated, don't trust it till you know better. Another very bad material to put in the forge is plated chrome. Can you tell the difference from plated chrome and stainless steel? There is a ton of material here to read through. Take some time to learn and until then, " In rust you should trust."

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  • 3 months later...
7 hours ago, cmoreland said:

Doesn't zinc give off a yellowish smoke? Would that translate to a greenish spark like OP is talking about?

Nope, zinc burns with a bright blue/green flame and white lacy smoke. No telling what he was forging on and heck a hammer face might pick up a speck of who knows what kind of dust that sparks a strange color when driven into HOT steel. 

Learning to evaluate salvaged steel is a whole skill set unto itself. No need to try learning more things at once than necessary that's why I usually recommend a beginner just buy a stick or two of new steel. 3/4" sq and 1/2" rnd. bar are almost identical in the amount of steel per inch. I like 3/8" sq but that's a matter of taste. Then if you're going to make tongs you want heavier, 5/8" sq is a good size for making tongs but it's pretty heavy for most beginning projects. 

5/16" rnd is good for starting with it makes good S and wall hooks, toasting forks, etc. and is inexpensive. It doesn't hold heat very long so it'll show you how to  move fast. Don't rush, move fast. ;) Heat management skill is important for a smith as a cook.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hey I'm not sure if you read my thread over on Member Projects but you're speaking to me there with those sizes and what not for tongs etc. Do you know what grade steel to look for in that 5/16 or 5/8?

I bought a rod the other day from TSC that was 4054 or something, looked it up and it had a bunch of molybdenum in it. Not sure?

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  • 1 month later...

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