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I Forge Iron

Set up my first forge, forced air burner question


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It was a triangular cross section of bearing race doubled top and bottom, with a piece of flat military vehicle leaf spring between to make a rectangle...

Best guess would have 52100 for the bearing, 5160? For the spring? I knew from go that it was going to be a challenge, but that was the point... just experimenting. 

I got maybe half of it welded together, but it slid apart from there on. Kind of figured it might. But I had just got my burner dialed in closer to forge welding heat... and just wanted to try with what I had on hand.

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  • 2 months later...

Got my first real forge weld today! Yay me.... lol.

Twisted up a 1/2" cable to try my hand at it. Got it welded together well, flattened it and doubled it over. Knew going in that it was going to be a small billet, if a billet at all.

So, I made a tiny knife. Now I gotta get something to etch with!


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On 7/18/2020 at 10:44 PM, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

Try vinegar for the etch.

Did so, let it set over night in a cleaning strength vinegar- could just barely see the pattern in the steel... enough to see it and tell it looked like a snake skin pattern. But not well defined. Some ferric chloride coming in the mail soon!

I'll get it polished some more and try again when I get it.


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One thing to remember is: when etching materials that are close to the same stuff; the WEAKER the etchant the better usually as a strong etchant will just eat everything where the weak will show a preferential bite.

Have you tried a hot salt and vinegar etch?   (Those little crock pots are very handy for such things!)

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  • 5 months later...

I think my time here is done.

To those who helped me, I give thanks for sharing your knowledge and advice. And hope I helped someone along the way... if not, I can only apologize.

But I will always be me, and will continue to swing a hammer on some type of metal.

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