Supaflupa

Wire brushing off scale during forging

Recommended Posts

I’m wanting to get get my work looking just that much better by brushing off scale before hammering it in. The cheap wire brush I got from harbor freight doesn’t seem... stiff enough I guess. I always still see scale on my piece even while brushing. Anybody know a good brush that won’t break the bank or maybe an alternative?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look for something called a "butcher block brush".  Typically they run about 19 bucks but instead of wire bristles, have extremely stiff small flat "bars" as bristles and will whack off heavy scale quite well.  Sorry for the huge photo but it shows how the bristles are different.  I see on the giant internet sales site that they have prices varying from about $ 12 to over $ 30 us for different versions.  Paying a little more probably gets you your money back in better life.

 028-4578100.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ones with the wooden handle are nice, they're easier to hold and use and get your hand a little away from the HOT scale being brushed off your work. It's worth a few extra bucks.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heres alternatives. Butcher blocks are great, but depending on usage become an expensive consumable.

I use a cheap ole wire brush from the welding supply and use them down to the bone. 

I pair this up with a farriers rasp. I round the end and profile a sharp edge. This never wears out. This lives on my post vice stand within easy reach of my anvil.

The secret is to get into the habit of wirebrushing every heat, and blowing the scale off your anvil face.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's more to it than just taking a wire brush to the work, even HOT. Please note, Anvil said he uses a Wire brush at every heat and keeps the face of the anvil clean. If you brush the work just before it hits the anvil the hammer won't drive scale into the stock. There's also skill involved in brushing the right direction depending on how the scale lays. Also note, files ONLY work on appropriate surfaces, they generally suck inside compound curves and such.

A butcher block brush uses flat spring steel rather than "bristles" so it's more of a scraper than a wire brush. You can damage fine textures with one if you get carried away.

It's an acquired skill.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a note. I use the front edge of the rasp as a scraper. I also use the edges to get into those curves and follow up with a cheap brush. Not to deny that when the ole eye sees a nice place for a bit of file work, its right in my hand.  Works for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I'm done at the anvil, I use my 4.5" grinder and a cup brush, if I can't get into the nooks and crannies with it I have it's brother with the straight brush. It's about the only time I wear my leather apron but they sure leave a nice finish. At the anvil I have my butcher block brush, a couple wire brushess and various things to scrape or pick with. The real secret of easy clean up is keeping ahead of scale. Forging on scaled steel impresses it into the steel making it necessary to use a grinder to clean it up. There are times that you want that particular texture and it has it's appeal but if you don't want a nearly permanent texture and gritty bits in your work keep it clean. 

I picked up a set of dental pics and die files at a el'cheapO tool place a couple miles up the highway, the dental pics are excellent for those hard to get bits. Worth keeping an eye out for.

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Frosty,

Has said,  "I picked up a set of dental picks …., at an el cheapo tool store ….,  the dental pics are excellent for those hard to get bits. Worth keeping an eye out for. "

A cheaper source for said picks can sometimes be had,  for free,  at our favorite dentist. The picks 'wear out' and are discarded more often than we realize.

A bottle opener is a fair trade and a good incentive for the dentist to keep you in mind.

Just sayyyin',

SLAG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't answer for Anvil.  But I also use a rasp with a sharpened end as a quasi scraper to use on hot work.  both with a square end and another with a tapered end.

the shape of the end or cutting/scraping section is dependant on how it is being used and how aggressive I want it to be. 

A more tapered end for general scraping use which is pretty sharp when first used but then after a few uses gets a little more round on the work side. 

I also use an old file about 8" long that is sharpened on the side for getting into contours with a peeling and/or flicking like motion. 

the heat at which the item is finished has much to do with how the surface appears as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Chelonian said:

Anvil, is the end of the scraper beveled, or is it just a sharp 90 degrees?

Beveled. And I use the edges of the bevel to get into tight places. I can do a pic if needed

4 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

the heat at which the item is finished has much to do with how the surface appears as well. 

I often wirebrush twice. First out of the forge then second at a red heat. For me, This temp is best for developing finish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, SLAG said:

A cheaper source for said picks can sometimes be had,  for free,  at our favorite dentist.

That's how I got mine.  I was actually asking them about the dental drills and polishing equipment and was offered a set of pics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.