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I Forge Iron

Bjorn makes sharp things. My beginners log book


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Thanks! That's a lot of great ideas! I'll definitely make at least one bottle opener, and I love those cat wall hooks that ausfire made. Think I'll give that a crack and hope i don't mess up the face. Some candle holders sounds perfect of those tire irons and I'll try to get a couple of punches out of them as well.  Don't know how to go about making snakes from the rasp, but sounds like fun, so I'll look into that.

Also just came back from steel shopping on the other end of town. Got a couple of meters each of 16mm square, 10 or 12mm square, 6x25mm and some angle iron for my fuller. A proper steel manufacturer is so much cheaper than the local Bunnings... Thought I'd try making some nutcrackers, tongs and other Christmas present worthy things. I'll just have to wait for the rain to stop.

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So I've decided that at least one tire iron will provide me with some punches and chisels. I'm also making a couple of chisels for wire inlay (the little ones in the photo). Now they're o1 steel, but I read someone's procedure for making inlay chisels somewhere (of similar stock size) included quenching the tip in water and barely tempering. He used high speed steel mind you. Should I just do the normal oil quench and temper for this one, or do I water quench for (presumably) higher hardness since the chisel is made for cutting cold steel?

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9 hours ago, Bonnskij said:

they're o1 steel

Oil quench!  Water may crack it, especially in that tiny cross section. Temper, and then try it. If it is too soft, you can fix the shape, reharden, and temper less next time. Too hard, and you'll break one, so err on too soft of a temper. 

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Tire irons, crow bars, speed bars, etc. are good stock for impact tools and blades like" axes, hawks and kukris. A kukri might need a higher carbon bit but that isn't a big deal.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Chris. That sounds sensible. Easier to repair a bend than a break.

Thanks for the ideas Frosty! I hadn't considered bladed tools for the tire irons. Could be fun to try and make a little hawk. I might hold on trying to make a kukri though. My patang has given me so much grief that I have been a little put off making big blades for a while :/

Did a couple of hours of forging today. Had heaps of fun transforming a couple of the spanners

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Didn't get that brass look on the cats head that I was going for though. Makes me wonder if I'm doing something wrong, or if Bunnings sold me a fake brass brush.

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Evan real brash brushes vary a lot depending on what alloy was used.  Why you buy *one* and try it out and if it works well---go back and buy a bunch! (No guarantee that the manufacturer won't change alloys on you if you wait. Or the store won't change manufacturers.)

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Aaah... Well bummer. Tested it at different heats and it didn't work. Thought it might be brass coloured steel, but a magnet didn't stick. Oh well. I'll try to find a different brush next.

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That's probably a good idea. Ausfire is pretty close by, though probably just outside the my current bubble of travel restrictions at the moment. Modern technology takes care of that problem though.

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Well I've started my nutcracker project. Clearly forging two exactly equal pieces is not my strong suit. I think I'm alright with a file though, so hopefully that will make up for it in the end.1102737712_2020-05-3117_01_29.thumb.jpg.2b37170bc9f00365921d9be812e9ec48.jpg

Oh. And I also dressed the side of my sledge-anvil. Much easier to do offsets now.

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Did you do both halves step by step at the same time? It makes it much easier to make matched thingies.

 Frosty The Lucky.

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I started out doing them step by step at the same time, and towards the end decided to do the dressing of the anvil and go back to refining a couple of bits on one part, getting it close to finish and then making the other one a copy of the finished one. That might have been a mistake.

In any case, it's been good practice and good fun. I'm investing a lot less time in these little blacksmithing projects than the knifesmithing projects so far, so I'll definitely keep it up.

I'm making this set out of 16mm square stock and that certainly makes for eh... Chunky nutcrackers. Might try to make the next set out of 12mm stock, and then repeat the process a few times to get it down and get a good collection of Christmas presents ready.

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Alright. I know this isn't a great achievement for most of the smiths on here, but I am super proud. This is my first attempt at a forge weld. And my first successful forge weld! I don't know how good it is, I turned the forge off about two minutes ago, but it has definitely welded. It is a piece of w2 that I attached to some mild steel with some steel wire. I know it looks like rubbish. It was just an experiment to see if my el cheapo gas forge could do it. From all I had heard I really didn't think it was possible to forge weld in it, but there we go. Definitely more confident to take on the steeled chisel and steeled hawk projects that I've been wanting to do now!596617280_2020-06-0421_02_22.thumb.jpg.354baa206ddc4577b2e60307250e47ab.jpg

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Congrats! It only looks like rubbish because you didn't continue working it into a thing of beauty. 

Most folks who say you can't forge weld in a particular gas forge are really saying THEY can't, usually because they don't know how. I watched a couple smiths get into a friendly competition welding bar horse shoes and were getting good solid welds at medium RED heat. The flux was a no longer available aggressive one but flourides in the air are a BAD thing. 

Still, I've made good welds at medium high orange heat. shimmery yellow heat will weld almost at a touch.

Keep that one as a trophy, it'll look good on your wall and bring back a happy moment when you look at it. Yes?

Well done. Make it prettier next time.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks Frosty! Yes I could probably have cleaned it up a bit, but yep I might just hang this on my shed wall without further ado. I might even frame it :D
So would the key to a successful weld be both a function of heat and force applied? I remember a MythBusters episode where they welded two steel plates together at room temperature using high explosives. I'm assuming that would be the same concept? Forging at red heat I really didn't think possible by hand though. That is really impressive!

I did a lot of research beforehand to give myself the best odds with the equipment I had at hand. It seems it paid off.

Thanks again. I'll be aiming to make my next forge welding project my prettiest work to date (admittedly not a terribly high bar :P ).

 

 

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Solid phase welding is like a three legged chair with the major factors being: cleanliness, temperature, pressure.  Max any of these out and you can get a solid phase weld: example:  Cleanliness---vacuum welding in space; Temperature---forge welding; Pressure---explosive welding. 

If you are a typical smith you try to get to the higher regions of all of them to avoid having to get the extreme maximum of any of them.  Getting good at increasing them allows folks like Billy Merritt to forge weld at temps I would consider low for a lot of forging!

If you are into the details; may I commend to your attention: "The Solid Phase Welding of Metals", Tylecote.

Friday Side Exposition:    We do see a lot of folks here tell us; (as I read their posts):  "People have been forge welding with charcoal for over 3000 years, I can't forge weld with charcoal; so it's obvious that it's impossible!"  Goes along with the "I'm using a forge designed specifically for coal and it doesn't work well with charcoal; so charcoal must not be a good fuel!"  (Try running your gas car on diesel and then telling people you can't run engines on diesel...)

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Your diesel example reminds me of a guy who assured me with great authority my diesel Mitsubishi pickup couldn't be a diesel because. . . It didn't have air brakes. When I told him it runs on diesel fuel he assured me he was right, a diesel mechanic told him so. 

Sorry for going off topic but sometimes I can't resist.

Forge welding is pretty easy, just follow the steps and don't get hung up on making it pretty until you become proficient at welding. First things first, right?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Wait... so two questions-

You mean all those soldiers I used to see putting gas into diesel (jp8) army trucks weren't  right?:D:D

And... so 100 layer damascus with four different steels isnt a good goal for my first forge weld?:P

Bonnshijk- congratulations on your first step... it looks much nicer than my first attempt. Trust me.:lol:

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One of a soldier's jobs is to break things isn't it? 

Only if you don't get exactly 100 layers. 

New guys. <SHEESH!>

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thomas: Well that's quite fascinating. Especially the vacuum welding does my head in. My local library doesn't seem to have the book on solid phase welding of metals, but one of the branches of the university library does. I'll have to see if I can borrow the copy.

I actually thought I'd have to dig up my backyard and fill the hole with charcoal again to have a shot at succeeding at forge welding.

Welshj: Thank you for that! Lucky I'm not personally a huge fan of damscus, (With notable exceptions) so no 100 layers for me!

Frosty: Good enough for me. I'll still try making it pretty though! I'd like to try my hand on that steeled wrought chisel now. And I'd say it's one of a soldiers job to break things. Unintentionally or otherwise. Here's my workstation view from more than a decade past:

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I was fairly good at breaking things. Though mostly trees, and mostly unintentionally.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Trying my hand on a bit more forge welding this evening. Mild steel body and half the rasp I picked up at the scrapyard. I don't know how good the weld is yet. Feels fairly solid, but there's at least one small gap behind the insert. Bit more forging and grinding to shape and I'll see how it holds up. Definitely should have measured the rasp bit though. Got it wedged inside the forge, so the forging got a bit problematic :/

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On 6/8/2020 at 5:24 AM, Bonnskij said:

I was fairly good at breaking things. Though mostly trees, and mostly unintentionally.

And where were you when I needed a tree broken before it broke me? Hmmmm?

Pro tip, keep your eyes on trees they can be vengeful. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Probably in a very similar environment, but at a distance that would make transporting 55 tons of steel prohibitively expensive. Or perhaps not. I visited Petersburg once. One of the loveliest places I've ever been to.

But I digress. Apart from losing control of a tank in the snow and thusly plowing down trees Willy nilly, my run ins with trees have been fairly uneventful. Think my dad have had a couple of close calls with trees (thank god for helmets) and the vengefulness is also well documented in the New Zealand documentary about a ring or something like that. Hope you didn't get broken too badly and made a swift recovery.

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Frosty is the only person I know that has played "Irish Stand Down" with a tree and WON!---At least he's still walking and I bet that tree is just ashes and smoke now!

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