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I Forge Iron

Learned something today


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What I learned is this:  What you would think is steel with a reasonable carbon content (60+) turns out to be 30 or less.  I had a kingpin from my old Ford that I forged into a dagger. It wasn't untill heat treat that I found it to not be hardenable. (at least by the techniques that I have on hand)  So I learned that Kingpins make better drifts, and punches than blades.

Here's the blade I forged

IMG_20200314_143309274_HDR (Copy) (Copy).jpg

IMG_20200315_170323838 (Copy).jpg

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Because of the function of a kingpin I would expect it to be in the low to mid carbon range.  It definitely needs to be tough rather than hard, but it also needs to be resistant to deformation in order to serve its purpose well.  I would have thought it would be in the 30 to 40 point range for those reasons, but as was already suggested it's a good idea to test an unknown piece before spending the time and fuel to make something out of it.  I'm guessing most of us have done it at least once.  I know I did.

If it has 30 points or more of carbon you still may be able to harden it some with superquench.  The recipe for that is somewhere on here, but I don't remember where off the top of my head.

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You could try case hardening it. Put it in a black pipe packed with coke dust and leave it in the forge while working on another project. It could get the carbon content up significantly in that small of a cross section, or it could just ruin it. I’ve personally never tried it.


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I soaked it for a  good long time at several hundred degrees above non-magnetic, and kept it that way with my rosebud, all the way to the quench in cold water.  Oh well.

I decided to make a wall hanger out of it, so spent better part of today fitting handle.  Guard is 6061T6, handle  is mahogany, and pommel is lugnut from a TR7. Rivet is 1/8" 6013 welding rod. Still have sanding, and polishing to do, and rivet the handle.

IMG_20200316_174921715 (Copy).jpg

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