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I Forge Iron

Does blacksmithing include arc welding or oxy-acetylene welding? ?


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That sounds a lot like Warren Buffett

"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything." ;)

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Does anyone use non-forge welding in their forging? Like the octopus suction cups I've seen going around where they weld onto a piece, then forge the weld to shape it. Or weld 2 pieces together then forge to shape vs grind to shape?

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Peening the weld as it cools down relieves stresses in the weld, if done properly. It will also change it's appearance. If I have an inevitable weld that needs to look forged, I take to it with the ball peen hammer and if necessary reheat with the oxy and have another go. Reheating the whole piece in the forge and forging it, can have mixed results for the weld. It all depends of who welded it and with what. :) 

Doesn't take much to experiment. Weld a flat bar on end from both sides with a rod and full penetration. chuck in the forge hot, reheat and have a go with the hammer. 

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This thread has set my mind at easy. My second project ever was a triangle dinner bell. Bending the corners cold would have saved me a lot of time, but I was worried that doing so was some how cheating. I feel at ease knowing I can utilize metal fabrication techniques I use at work on a daily basis for my newbie blacksmithing needs. Now I can use my home shop equipment I built for more projects. Awesome thread OP! 

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There is a lot of that in the hobby blacksmithing folklore. How far do you go? Must search for wrought iron in the scrap metal yard? iron ore? heat with wood that you collected in the forest by hand? Cut the wood with an axe and not a chainsaw?

Some think that using a jig for hot bending is cheating and must make the scrolls by hand. A bending machine of course is anathema!

It is your project and the only "exam" you need to pass is your own appreciation of your work. If others appreciate it too ... well that is a bonus. If you want to sell your product, the 'exam' is the customer that buys it  :)

When it comes to the professional side of things, how many times have I heard from experts in a field that they want to "educate" their customers via their product, be it a craft, a meal or a drink. The artist does not educate, he offers, and the customer choses. To say "I want to educate the public" is an extremely patronising and arrogant posture to take in relation to a customer, and one to be avoided at all cost.  

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On 1/31/2020 at 12:44 PM, Marc1 said:

Doesn't take much to experiment

I would love to experiment. Alas, a welder I have not... Yet.

I would imagine that a good weld is a good weld. Whether mig, tig, stick or forge. 

If anyone with a welder would like to try before I have the chance to experiment, I'd love to see the results.

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As a barely competent smith and a barely competent welder, I find a good looking rivet easier to achieve in many circumstances than a good looking weld. There is something more innately appealing to me about a rivet than a weld too. But I need to improve both my skills. But I’ll usually drill a hole rather than punch a hole, accepting that’s not always the best solution, just habit and because it reflects my skills, or rather lack of them.  I’d like to be good at forge welding, I’d like to be good at Mig and Tig, and I’d like to be a better smith, then make the choice on what looks best rather than make the choice on what’s easier to achieve.  A good excuse, maybe the best excuse, to get back to the shop tomorrow and practice some more, learn some more and head in the direction of more skill all round. 

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Shabumi. Get an old buzz box, you can get them for $50. Make sure you have enough juice in the powerpoint. 

 

Rivets are very good looking and very strong if you choose the right size. Drill or drift, does not matter. It's not a religion, no sins to be committed. Just do what you like and share your results without fear.  

Edited by Mod30
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I've read 19th century blacksmithing books where they mention riveting an item to hold it together for forge welding---19th century cheating!

Or not---just folks trying to do a good job and get paid and support their family...  Looking through a lot of transition shops over the years you notice technology creeping in. One is not surprised to find a power hammer, but acetylene generators are almost as common!  The hand crank drill press was often replaced by a motorized version, sometimes even a motorized hand crank version.

Perhaps we have a warped view of the history of the craft, (Like the idea that a smith would smelt his own metal---very rare historically in western Europe and as I recall smelting tamahagane was considered a different craft than katana forging in the east!)

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Apparently the Flores family agrees that arc welding is part of blacksmithing. https://tucson.com/news/local/william-flores-jr-carried-on-after-dad-in-blacksmith-shop/article_90c09187-b3b0-51d5-afa9-4bcc164e9ffb.html  I never knew the family but recently a friend got the job of clearing out some remaining items from the now closed shop. Earlier all the stuff that was able to be moved was donated by the family to the Arizona Artist's Blacksmith Association to equip the County Fair Blacksmith Shop. My friend was paid to "dispose" of the remaining items. Here he is dismantling the very power hammer Mr. Flores is using in the 2010 newspaper article photo and preparing it for disposal....in his shop. Lucky for him the motor is single phase. 

hammer1.jpg

motor.jpg

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When I first saw weldors fitting up projects by the tack weld and hammer technique, I thought it was a revelation. So, first you tack weld your pieces together, then with the tack still glowing red, you hammer the bits together to tighten everything up. Simply genius! Of course, you have mere moments before it cools too much to work. Then there is oxyacetylene welding, poetry in motion! B)

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I would argue that black- smith means a smith that works in the black meaning iron and steel. A Modern welder welding steel is still working in steel. Is this a forging operation? The answer is unequivocally no. Neither are fileing,  grinding, polishing, coloring and waxing of metals but if you are executing these processes on steel or iron then they are part of blacksmithing. All be it modern blacksmithing. 

 

Susan 

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Most of my billets are not tack welded.  I use baling wire or rebar tie wire. Especially for the band saw blade and pallet strapping billets where if you tack weld the ends the outer layers will bow out when you start heating them allowing crud to get in between the layers, (coal forge or charcoal forge). Outer layers will heat up faster and so expand and if the ends are trapped by a tack weld they will bow until the center comes up to the same heat.

Can one be a real blacksmith without baling wire in the shop?  (An added plus if it's used baling wire!)

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I know I've said this before, probably in this thread. Be honest, do NOT misrepresent your work. If it's arc welded with cosmetics say so. Tacked with electricity then forge welded, not an issue. No old timey blacksmith shared his "secrets", that's what apprenticeships were for. If you wanted to know the secrets you had to pay with your service. 

If you can gas weld you can tig weld, the only real difference is the torch, one is oxy acet the other is arc with shielding gas. Oxy acet combustin products provides the shielding gas which is easy to adjust.

I may be quibbling but there IS a difference between BSing folks and story telling and lying. One's for entertainment the other is for profit, profit being anything from undeserved lucre to avoiding consequences. 

Another thing to take into consideration where "traditional" anything is concerned. A LOT of "How they did it in the old days" is supposition sometimes informed but it's still supposition. Bear in mind the Dunning Kruger effect and you have folks talking about the old ways who don't know enough to know how to tell old from new or BS. 

Before I was gifted with the induction info and I started tinkering out the T burner I forged in the coals under camp fires, as a kid burning scrap wood, later a rosebud and an ASO. My first successful "forge" (Hammer" weld is probably more appropriate) weld was with an oxy acet torch as heat. I was so excited I beat it to wire but it held. I was one HAPPY guy! :D I still hammer weld with my oxy prop torch when necessary or faster, easier, etc. What I'm really after is the better weld and sometimes nothing beats a torch. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Actually doing smithing has sure taught me a lot about how much books, videos, movies, poems, etc and so on get it WRONG!

One of the positives about experimental archaeology is the chance to find out if our guesses even work; but even there if you start out with wrong ideas about how things were done, GIGO still holds.

Example:I fought for many years to get armourers in the SCA to realize that "mild steel" didn't exist in medieval times and so when they said "This is how it was done as I can do it this way!" they were "proving" methods that only worked with modern materials.  Finally it's now common knowledge that the modern materials differ from the medieval and renaissance ones and some people are actually researching with the "old style stuff".  I didn't care what they were using; I just wanted them to not misrepresent what they were doing.

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