Iron Pop 1

Forge welding butchered metal

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Question:  say you are making a hammer and in punching and drifting the eye, you mess up and get the eye hole crooked. Instead of scraping the piece, can it be reheated, closing the eye by forge welding it, then be reused ? 

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Welcome aboard Iron Pop, glad to have you. You bet you can and it's a lot easier than trying to correct a crooked eye.

Please post pics, we LOVE pics.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just starting making axes. Having trouble keeping the eye straight. I have a power hammer. Thinking about getting a hydraulic press for more control. I work without a striker. Some say start the eye by drilling 2-3 small holes as a guide for the punch. Any other suggestions ? 

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Good Morning, Pop

Welcome to our world.

Take your time setting up, drill 2 or 3, 3/16-1/4" pilot holes, first. Doing this keeps your punch/drift in the path of least resistance, following the drilled holes on center. It takes less time to be patient with the layout, than chasing a crooked hole. You can move the hole sideways by quenching one cheek, when punching/drifting. Less haste, more speed.

Neil

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Thanks Swedefiddle. Great points. I have learned that good blacksmithing is not....fast. I’ll use your method on the next one. 

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Another possible solution is to fit a handle to the eye and correct the error with how you make the hammer handle. 

If you are way off this won't work, but it will solve many problems.

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Okay I'm a noob and no where near the skill to make an axe or hammer yet (I'm gonna start trying soon though).  

But would the method you are referring to have something to do with a (kind of) fold, welding everywhere but where the eye will be, and then drifting?

I was looking some axes over awhile back and wondered if they could be done this way.  I'm not completely up to speed on all the lingo so I hope I made some sense...

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Right now they're talking about punching and drifting a hammer eye.

A folded and welded axe head is traditional and a lot easier than punching and drifting the eye straight. This lets you choose what steel to use for the bit so heat management is less critical during forging. The big issue is making a large lap weld well. Welding the higher carbon steel bit is the easy part. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks to all for the good ideas and tips. I am aware of the folding and welding method and have used it, but prefer to punch the eye. I'm probably 5-6 messed up blanks away from getting it right. I'm having some special punches and drifts made for a hydraulic press. I think that will help with the alignment. 

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On 1/30/2019 at 8:34 PM, Iron Pop 1 said:

Just starting making axes. Having trouble keeping the eye straight. I have a power hammer. Thinking about getting a hydraulic press for more control. I work without a striker. Some say start the eye by drilling 2-3 small holes as a guide for the punch. Any other suggestions ? 

Frosty, My response was to this..  

The hammer eye.. this like many forge type problems needs to be corrected before it gets to out of hand..     I like Steve's answer but ideally the answer is "NO"..  The way to fix it with forge welding is not a beginners journey..    Ideally the eye needs to be drifted large enough and then have an insert put in and expanded to fill the center..  Not and ideal situation for the smith or the owner.. Or to scrap it and start again..  

If you are punching the eye and it's getting wonky..   Re-evalute how quickly you are moving as this might be the reason for the inaccuracies..  Correct as you go vs after the fact.. 

The old saying  " Measure twice, cut once" is very important with metal as there is no easy way to change things or add it back..  

A tool like a power hammer or a hydraulic press will not help you be more accurate..  You, yourself are the person who contols this.. Not the machines used.. 

Drilling a hole will help to keep the punch centered to the "DRILLED" Hole..  Not the metal you are punching...  If the metal is not heated evenly you will still end up with a wonky eye.. 

 

 

8 hours ago, Aubrey said:

Okay I'm a noob and no where near the skill to make an axe or hammer yet (I'm gonna start trying soon though).  

But would the method you are referring to have something to do with a (kind of) fold, welding everywhere but where the eye will be, and then drifting?

I was looking some axes over awhile back and wondered if they could be done this way.  I'm not completely up to speed on all the lingo so I hope I made some sense...

many now will drift and ax eye.. Or I should say slot punch and then drift the eye..   a smallish tomahawk would give you good starting knowledge and after a few you will gain in experience..  a punched tomahawk would be fairly easy and quick... 

Most early examples were forge welded..  I'd suggest starting out with a simple tomahawk..  Buy a handle online and then make a Mandrel/drift to fit this handle..  YOu can also just buy the drift.. 

As you gain in skills you can look at forge welding which to me is a basic skill set.. 

As you gain expereince with forge welding you will have the drift , then you can wrap the mild steel around the eye and weld it together..      You are in Oklahoma and don't know who or what is in your area but ABANA is a wonderful resource and I'm sure there is an affiliate group in OK.. I know it's a large state so not sure what is around you.. 

There are tons of videos on forging a tomahawk and this is a much better place to start verses a full sized ax..  

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Thanks for the nuggets of advice, very valuable knowledge.  When I decide to start trying some more advanced stuff I'll certainly be picking ya'll's brains.  I have no hands on resources close enough to home: nearest place I've found so far is 2 hours away.  But I'm still digging and have a possible lead thanks to Mr. Stevens.

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