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I Forge Iron

Stuff I must have either missed or forgotten

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I gather that when the iron starts sparking like a sparkler it's too hot, but shouldn't that be hot enough to forge weld? So far I'm batting 0 on the welding. I've nearly finished my first real knife, just needs polishing and cleaning up. Where would a person get brass for making hilts? Luckily there was a dollop of brass I made when my crucible melted. It was just enough for a small hilt. But it's all I could use. And it is odd brass, made of copper, lead, tin, and zinc. (what I had laying around the shop when I went to melting stuff.) I figure a graphite crucible in a coal fire would just burn up. So I'll have to make a ceramic crucible, do I just use regular clay out of the ground? 

My memory isn't reliable since the strokes so if I'm repeating myself just ignore it I guess.

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So when a steel gets so hot it's oxidizing like crazy it should be good for a process where you want as little oxidization as possible?   Nope you want below burning temps to forge weld and definitely LESS exposure to O2!

I get my brass from the scrapyard's non ferrous pile; gotta learn that bearing brasses are often leaded and avoid ANY BRASS THAT MAY BE A BERYLLIUM CONTAINING ALLOY!

Graphite crucibles have been used to melt metals in solid fuel foundries for centuries.

Making crucibles is a very tricky thing and failure modes can be life threatening or just not cost effective as in "I just spent US $20,000 on hospital bills to save $50 on buying a known good crucible!"

I like the old historic 90:10 bronze; but have melted and cast old  DRY plumbing fittings using my forge.  (Hidden water in a fitting can give you that lovely Freddy Kreuger look that saves you so much money on Halloween costumes for the rest of your life.) Modern US pennies can be used to add in zinc that burns off during melting.

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