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Wrought Iron Farm

Bolts for forging

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Hey guys, if this is the wrong spot for this I apologize. I want to make some stuff from nuts and bolts. What kind of bolts should I buy and how can I know a 100% that they have no harmful coatings? I want to  make a carving knife from a bolt and a ring from a nut. Also want to use them for various therapy projects. As always your help is greatly appreciated. 

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As far as coatings, you can buy galvanized and then strip it with an acid bath.  The other option would be to buy ones with a black oxide coating.  That I recall everything else can be a crapshoot.

 

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I've bought stainless screws to make pendants from. I figure there is no coating on them and when its finished it shouldn't rust.

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Black oxide, should be OK.

Stainless typically not coated.

Everything else: probably zinc (yellow, bright, or galvanized). 

Not all that typical: chrome. Usually decorative but often on hitch balls, etc. 

Very rare these days: cadmium. You might find Cad plating if you scrounge enough heavy equipment.

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Cadmium plating makes zinc look nice and safe to work with!  Me I go get nice and rusty bolts at the scrapyard or scrap pile.  Picked up a 2' long 1" dia real Wrought Iron bolt at the scrapyard yesterday.

Note that bolts are NOT A GOOD ALLOY FOR A KNIFE!   If you are going to spend the effort why not use an alloy that makes a decent blade?

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Go with stainless if you want to make a ring from a nut. 

Unless you want to put the effort into a knife that will not hold an edge well, find a better steel for the carving knife. 

I have stripped galvanizing off many bolts and nuts with muriatic acid/ water mix, then neutralize with baking soda/water mix. They will rust quickly after so if you don't use them right away spray them with oil or wd40. 

Like Thomas said, rusty old bolts are generally safer and less work. If you need specific stuff go to a store that sells in bulk so you know what you are dealing with. 

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Gentlemen,

I seem to remember that cadmium is VERY toxic.

Please correct me if I am mistaken.

SLAG.

 

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That's why if one were to buy a new bolt for the express purpose of forging it, Black oxide or visibly galvanized are the only things I'd touch.  No additional work for a BO finish, stripping required for galv.  Anything with a color is, in my book, suspect (which totally sucks because I have free access to lots of aviation mil-spec fasteners, but Cadmium plating is the norm on these, and stripping it still creates hazmat :-\).

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You can buy new black(non coated) nuts etc at Fastenall

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14 hours ago, SLAG said:

I seem to remember that cadmium is VERY toxic.  Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Cadmium is not JUST extremely toxic. Glad I just did a fast search so I could delete some of the things I misremembered. This is THE link I read. I felt it was good enough. 

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/csem.asp?csem=6&po=12

Frosty The Lucky. 

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8 hours ago, Chuck_Steak said:

Very rare these days: cadmium. You might find Cad plating if you scrounge enough heavy equipment.

It's also common on electrical terminals, especially military surplus.

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Yes, cadmium is best avoided. Anything with a gold look should be considered suspect. Bugle head screws and a lot of aviation stuff have cad plating.

Rusty old bolts are the best option, but I am fortunate in having an endless supply of them in our scrap. Unfortunately they are old and most are wrought. I would like them for lizard tails but they always end up like toothbrushes.

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Speaking of old tongs, I found an old pair in the scrap with one broken rein. I had a *thought* that the long intact rein would make a really good neck and head for a bird sculpture, using the rivet hole for the eye. Only trouble was the offset. Got it really hot in the forge to take off the offset and sure enough -  wrought!! Even at almost sparking heat it just fell to bits. End of bird project.

 

DSC_0183.JPG

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Greetings Aus, 

        Old broken tongs make great after dinner roll holders. I made one and ended up making 2 more for friends that visited my bathroom. Fun and easy to make. 

Forge on and make beautiful things .7C64846C-13AC-4147-AC76-50A7374FD197.thumb.jpeg.acd822e83d6f6e4ebb7c4cecc879f991.jpeg

 

Jjim077EAF18-568C-452D-9CA5-740BD90EDD2B.thumb.jpeg.e4484ef45da1c778c273948ce6199b0d.jpeg

 

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Nice idea, Jim. Spreading the jaws like that would make for some neat wall hooks, with one rein twisted and scrolled as a lower support. A bit like your roll holder side-on. Hmmmm.

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One Quad-State a fellow drove onsite with a LOAD of industrial tongs;  long  reins and sized to fit about 3"? round.  Not much call for that size for hobbyists; but a bunch of folks made outdoor drink holders  out of them by sharpening the end of one rein and spiralling up the other one.  

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7 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

LOAD of industrial tongs

   Hello Thomas,

    I resemble that remark. Last time I was at Quad-State, 2006, I went with a buddy, and yes we had a little truck, FULL of what he called ugly tongs. I remember standing with these monsters in the back of the truck, asking people that wandered over what they were looking for...got funny looks from a lot of folks. A big percentage would say, looks like you have tongs. Ice was broken, selling shoes on. Well your a smith, theses can become anything you want. Most were presented as drink holders, some as stock. Two pair were going to be hung on a shop wall as...”tong” racks, didn’t sell one shoehorn, but we tried. Great memories of my late buddy Dave. 

  Our goal was to empty the truck as fast as we could, and get to the demonstrations. It worked, and they were cheap.

   N.N.F.            Beautiful, Manchester, Michigan. USA 

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Lots of thoughts for uses come up for some "large" tongs. :)

ah well, I'll make it out there some day. 

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Every Quad-State seems to have at least 1 special item show up---but if you don't get it then they may never be there again!  One year it was the Ballistic Missile Nose Cones for cone mandrels; back when gas was cheap I might see a dozen power hammers for sale there.  Watch out for the feeding frenzies! Last year I didn't get nearly enough 5/16"? diameter S7 drops...I went back for more and the guy in front of me bought all he had. One year I lucked out and bought 11 Lynch collection hammer heads at US$5 a piece.  Prices can skew all over the place though.  I came home with money in my pocket last time as I'm cheap and overly supplied already.

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