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I Forge Iron

W.I. Question

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There is this place by a river dam that has alot of old 1" sq. rebar and various old bridge parts. What are the chances of the rebar being wrought? Also how can I tell if it is w.i. without using a grinder?

Also for the record this is a very informative site... And I hope to someday build some skill to at least contribute to the b.p. section


Pj :mrgreen:

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What I would do is cut off a rod it about a foot long and clamp it in a vice, and then bend it back and forth until it breaks off. If the break looks like Reeaaaly small crystals, kinda like the ice on top of your slack tub, its not wrought iron. If it looks like a broken tree branch, with tons of little fibers exploding out everywhere, Thats wrought iron.
Hope that helped

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I hope to someday build some skill to at least contribute to the b.p. section

Pj Just show us how you go about doing something, or do something already posted in a different way.

There is no compition in the Blueprints, just different ways of doing the same thing, grouped together by subject, so the viewer has a choice of methods. One will method will work better than another method due to circumstanses in the viewers situation.

You should try to make a blueprint. It then becomes fun and you want to do more. It also gets you to seeing things in a different way and learning. If you need ideas, let me know
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"I have an old car; what are the chances it's a model T?"

Pretty hard to tell without more detail. If the dam is only 85 years old or so I'd guess it wasn't WI. If it's 150 years pretty good chance it is! Of course some of the 1920's re-bar was fairly nice stuff to forge---some is trash too. Of course my most recent piece of wrought that I can date is from 1929 from a water tower. The legs are mild steel but the tank was WI.

I'd suggest A: looking at a weathered piece is you see lineations in the rust it's probably WI
B: Notch a piece with a saw and do the break test---you don't need much left to break.

I recently was given about 100' of 1" rod used to patch a cistern after the Socorro quakes of 1906, I cut it till there was only about 1/4" left uncut and used a large pipe wrench to do the breaking and it showed wrought.


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The use of WI decresed asympotically over time though. Towards the end only ironwork in very corrosive areas still specified wrought so along the seashore is one of the best places for "recent wrought"

Unfortunately a lot of it went in the wartime scrap drives. I still find some in old farm scrap piles---some of it showing that it is on it's 3rd or 4th incarnation.

I have some friends that have a piece of WI pipe they use to tow cars with---run a chain through it to keep spacing. They won't turn loose of it and I'm hunting a replacement to trade them for it...


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