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I Forge Iron

Mokume from US nickels?


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I may be wrong, but I feel that a larger piece of metal will make it heat more slowly by drawing the heat out of the fire itself (I have a very small forge that doesn't output that much heat)...

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As the fuel burns, heat is released.  Any metal in the fire or the path of the exhaust will absorb that heat. 

How do you draw heat out of a fire itself ? 

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Just getting a handle on things is all. The Ah HAH moment will come, this stuff isn't that complicated. 

How about we save the "wrong" admonishments for something we can all laugh about? :D

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, quick update. Thankfully, most of you (gently and nicely) prepared me for failure, as that's exactly what I did. I started by hooking up the shopvac as my air supply, which gave me an incredibly hot forge. The nice thing about that is that I then don't need to bury the mokume in with the coal, it can sit on top which lets me monitor it much better. First heat, I got it a little late. It starts to look wet, I go to pick it up, it lets out a couple drops of copper before I get it, but it seems alright. Give it some firm but gentle hammer blows, throw it back in to heat to "wet". Pull it out, firm but gentle hammer blows. At this point, the stack is beginning to lean a bit. Third and final welding heat, seems to go alright. Pull it out of the clamp, throw it on the ground, it doesn't break. Next couple of heats are just squaring it up a bit. Go to grind the rough edges off, and... cold shut. Maybe two. Try to give it another weld, one of the whole layers breaks off. throw it back in the fire, have some issues with the shopvac, and... melt it. Wow. Hopefully I learned a couple lessons. Make sure the stuff is clean and has good contact, be very careful with timing, try to get shapes that line up... I think I'll try again with quarters, they might be a bit easier for me.

 

Quick note, has anyone had borax create clinker? I sprinkled a little borax on before round two of welding, and immediately after I got crazy clinker.

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The shop vac is very likely putting out way too much air, resulting in an oxidizing flame. This oxide layer may get in the way of your welds. It applies for steel so I image it applies for this too. That's also why you generally don't put your material on top of your fire, and instead bury it slightly to protect it from O2 in the air. It does make it harder when you can't see it, especially when there is a risk of melting it.. Maybe some sort of time based system will help on your next attempt.

Yes, flux will increase the amount of clinker, or at least stick it all together in a big mass. I'm not sure which, but yes I would consider that normal.   

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Ok. The oxidizing certainly makes sense. It just seems like it would be the lesser evil as opposed to sticking it down in there... A piece of rebar I don't really run the risk of melting (most of the time) and I can easily pull it out and check on it. However, a timer could probably help with that. Thanks for the tip.

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