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I Forge Iron

What wire (Scrub) brush do you recommend?


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OK I found several flat wire brushes on Amazon ranging anywhere from 7 bucks to over 25 bucks per brush. I know I want a fairly coarse, tough brush for the forge. I find regular old wire brushes to flimsy, and have many times seen you guys using various scrub brushes throughout the years, so I would like to hear from you experienced guys, what should I go with?

Thanks.

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Flat wire, "Butcher Block" brush, preferably with a handle. They have flat spring steel bristles and will remove hot scale and whatever's on the piece. 

https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrgDaPRaiRg.mUAWitXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNncTEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=flat+wire+butcher+block+brush&fr=crmas

Frosty The Lucky.

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A lot of good answers. Here's another suggestion,to use along with or, sometimes, in place of a wire brush. I use an old farriers rasp and file the end opposite the tang into a half moon, then sharpen it on one side.  Now push it like a chisel and it works great to remove scale. If you have some inset pieces like were made from a chisel, or creases like where a basket handle starts, or a twist, use the sharp corner of the half moon shape. It works good and lasts a lifetime.

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A note on shop layout: have a dedicated place for your brush that's easy to hand, and put the brush back there EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you have to waste extra seconds every time you want to brush your work, you will probably end up not brushing your work enough.

Mine has a hook that fits a loop on my anvil stand. It’s right under the horn, so that I can grab it quickly whenever I need it. (I’m right-handed and I have the horn to the right, so when I bring the workpiece to the anvil with the tongs in my left hand, I can reach the brush easily with my right. I’ll brush the piece, hang up the brush, grab my hammer with my right hand, and get to hammering.)

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Hey Anvil, so this is like a heavy duty scraper you are describing, right?

 

JHCC, it is shop practices like these that are valuable. I too have my pet tools, that no matter what I want to know where they are at because I use them on a continuing basis. 

The only way to control these tools is that they ALWAYS go to their home.

 

Thanks

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I have 2 brushes i use. Neither are butchers block. I got them before i got my yellow belt in google-fu. One came from a welding supply, long bristles that are "carbon steel" (thats what it said) after a year in usage the bristles are still straight. The other is a short bristled painters brush. Not the long skinny type but short and wide made to take a wooden handle like for the paint roller. It has stainless steel bristles. While they have deformed some it still removes scale nicely. I got it from the local hardware store.

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I use my butcher block brush and then I have a couple of the cheapo wal mart wire brushes. I got a long handled wire brush from HF, but I don't like it much. The shorter handle gives me better control on smaller pieces

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I recently discovered that welders have a variant of the long wire brush where all the bristles are drilled to form a Vee shape so that all the bristle tips fit over a welded bead, or a prepped chamfer.  I haven't picked one up, but it seems like it'd be handy for tight spots with stubborn scale.

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On 2/13/2021 at 3:07 PM, Apple Duck said:

Hey Anvil, so this is like a heavy duty scraper you are describing, right?

Yes, that's what it is. It's my go to tool for scale removal. I'd be more in a bind without that than if either of my brushes wore out! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I use a scraper like anvil says, which is essentially a sharpened file-tip.  Does require some practice, I've seen apprentices manage to ruin a nice surface finish with it :D

about them brushes; I have only 2; pictures below. I add a couple SCSI hard disk magnets to one side (I mill a small recess and epoxy them in). then they double as my anvil-silencing magnet, critical temperature checker and brush ! :D I usually store the brushes under the right horn, just like JHCC, as I'm righthanded.

I also put a couple coats boiled linseed oil on them (roughly once a year when I got a brush of linseed oil that needs cleaning). I also found they last longer if used in only one direction; hence the arrows. Lastly; I reinforce them with long needle screws to prevent the woord from spilitting.

 

 

brush1.jpg

brush2.jpg

brush3.jpg

brush4.jpg

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On 2/11/2021 at 2:30 PM, JHCC said:

A note on shop layout: have a dedicated place for your brush that's easy to hand, and put the brush back there EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you have to waste extra seconds every time you want to brush your work, you will probably end up not brushing your work enough.

 

I agree, just found a missing brush in the rack of leaf spring steel behind a large leaf. Been looking for that one for the last 6 years :D 

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19 hours ago, BartW said:

I add a couple SCSI hard disk magnets to one side (I mill a small recess and epoxy them in). then they double as my anvil-silencing magnet, critical temperature checker and brush

That's a good idea. Bravo!

Pnut

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On 3/1/2021 at 10:24 AM, BartW said:

then they double as my anvil-silencing magnet, critical temperature checker and brush

I do SO love multi taskers! Well done, consider it adopted.

Frosty The Lucky.

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