ohowson

Steel splitting

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I like reusing old steel - partly because new steel is hard to buy cheaply here but mainly because it feels like the right thing to do. Plus you never know what you’re going to get. I picked up a bunch of steel the other day - probably an inch wide by I dunno, 1/16? 1/8? I’m not so good with imperial a looks about 3-4mm

whenever I try to work it it’s just splitting - totally unusable. Is this something I’m doing wrong or is it more likely the steel is so overworked it’s broken down?

I’m amateur status - did have a good look through but couldn’t see any useful posts on this. 

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It also looks like it may be wrought iron which needs to be worked hotter than steel.  More care required not to burn it.

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That's what (some) people on reddit suggested. Didn't get it hot enough to burn it. I'll leave it in the scrap bin for now and either trade it in or work it when I get more experience. Was hoping to make some wrist cuffs from it but possibly not experienced enough to roll hinges yet!

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I agree with Steve, it looks burnt.  When I first started out with a coal forge, I couldn't figure out why things took forever to get hot, then suddenly burned.  It tended to happen at the end of a forging session.  Turns out, I was letting hollows develop in my burning coal/coke.  The air blast had less resistance going around the fire so the heart didn't really get hot.  Here's the weird part.  That air blast tended to form a little jet that acted in much the same way as a cutting torch.  The little stream of oxygen among burning fuel was capable of burning through stock that was barely red anywhere else.  

 

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Odd that only that metal burns wouldn’t you say though? Nothing else I have done - including much thinner stuff - has done that. 

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No, if that stock is burning in the same conditions as other steel IT is burning. Nothing odd at all, it is what it is. Have you done side by side comparisons to gauge whether this and the other steel are behaving differently? I have to say that stock is burning ugly but I've seen worse. 

Are you following the junk yard rules? Scrap & scrounge is mystery metal. There is no way to know what you actually have in hand. Spark testing only gives you an indication of carbon content but other agents in an alloy can mimic the effects on sparks. The BEST you can do is determine what YOU can do with it. I emphasize YOU because your skills and experience will make a big difference in how much and what you can get from any given piece of steel.

Were this happening to me I'd be paying REALLY close attention to my fire, probably make a bee hive with a peep hole so I can watch the stock while it's heating. Steel can NOT burn in the reducing zone of a coal fire. Yes?

Frosty The Lucky.

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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

No, if that stock is burning in the same conditions as other steel IT is burning. Nothing odd at all, it is what it is. Have you done side by side comparisons to gauge whether this and the other steel are behaving differently? 

Yes, that’s what I said. I was using other steel at the same time - both thicker and thinner - that didn’t burn like that. 

As you say - mystery metal - it’s no biggy I have lots of steel to play with. 

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What I mean by, "side by side," is both in the fire right next to each other at the same time.

I've picked up a lot of . . . things that weren't good for forging, it's just part of the game.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yah, that's burnt all day long.  Sparking when ya pulled it out?  Also, speaking of burnt, looks like med tape or ace bandage on your hand, forging injury?

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Just now, Nobody Special said:

Yah, that's burnt all day long.  Sparking when ya pulled it out?  Also, speaking of burnt, looks like med tape or ace bandage on your hand, forging injury?

No sparks; next time I fire the forge up I'll do some experimenting.

And yes - 2nd degree on four fingers. forgot I'd flipped a bar around, had *just* lost colour (I wasn't paying attention - was forging whilst 'working from home'). Life lesson, hasn't put me off and I got some nice meds from A&E :)

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Hmmm...don't suppose there's a chance it's cast iron then.  Cast iron crumbles when you try to forge it, and looks kind of burnt too. 

Watch out.  Black metal will get ya.  First rule when I teach in my shop is consider everything you see hot, heavy, or sharp. Test it first.  Even a feather pillow.  I still get burnt anyways. Oops.  I stick to aloe for mine, never pop the blister.  Probably have a slew of home remedies popping up in a minute.

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no home remedy here, but I know first hand what a burning thumb smells like.  Just quit hammering, was going for a re-heat, moved the stock, wiped off the anvil, with a sweeping motion as I was turning toward the forge with still orange steel in other hand.  It happened so fast, and burned so cleanly, there was only the smell of burning skin, and a off color spot on my thumb, No pain, or burning sensation, as the nerve endings were instantly destroyed in that spot.

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It looks to me like wrought iron that was loose and it has rust in between the fibers. When heated the rust will flake away. I've seen this before several times 

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