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Chisel socket repair


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Hi.  I have a hand forged LH Watts (1800’s) shipwright’s chisel.  1.5” wide x 7” long.  The handle broke and someone damaged 1.5” of the socket. I cut the damaged portion off.  Does anyone have advice of what would be the most effective way to fix the socket and get it back to its original length?   The thicker part of the socket is about 1/4” and the thinner part is 1/8”.  Thank you in advance.  

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Is it steeled?  To make an age appropriate fix you could forge weld the extension to what's left, dress it nicely on an appropriate sized bick and then re-heat treat the entire piece.  Not a job for smith lacking experience in working with real wrought iron though.

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Thank you for your advice.  I don’t know what steeled is, so I am not sure.  Also, do you know if welding and using mild steel could be done effectively?

I also want add that my primary goals are to have a repair that is strong and durable and to alter the original portion of the chisel as little as possible.  

And the chisel is laminated.  

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Edited by Mod30
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Welcome aboard Aa2020, glad to have you. Do you have a name, nick or handle we can use to address you, your login is kind of cumbersome. Please don't use the ampersand tag, it causes issues for the operating system the mods have to fix. It's really best to not be on their read every post list. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Early 19th century and earlier, edge tools were made from real wrought iron with a small piece of steel forge welded on to it for the edge.  This is called "steeling".  When you sharpened or wore through the steel; you took it to a smith and they forge welded on another piece. Even as late as the American Civil War steel could cost as much as 6 times the cost of wrought iron and it made economic sense to do it this way.  On chisels the better ones had a thin steel plate welded on the underside so the edge was always steel until it wore down to the socket!

If the welder is experience welding real wrought iron it can be done; I'd suggest TIG. But real wrought iron contains ferrous silicates that melt and have to be replaced by filler---more so than steel to steel joints.  If the welder assumes that "wrought iron" is just modern mild steel or A-36 then they will probably make a mess of it.

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You're welcome AJ. it's my pleasure. No need to apologize, there's a learning curve and sometimes the folks who run the OS, up:huh:date it and everybody has to learn the new tricks and rules. Iforge is like a giant international cocktail party where partiers help each other out just because. 

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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I like the old tools too. I once bought a very rusty shipbuilders adze and left it in a vinegar soak to derust it and forgot about it.  When I washed and scrubbed it clean it showed that there was a very thin pad of steel, less than 1/8" across the entire piece, it was such a good example I leant it to a Metallurgy Professor to show to his classes.  I'd like to forge weld up a test sample for a metallurgy lab class where every side is a different alloy to drive home the point that one test may not be enough!

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ThomasPowers, I like the old tools too.  I am not a good enough welder or smith to repair this chisel.  Are there any smiths in New Jersey or the continental US you know of that would be good at performing this repair?

—AJ

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  • 3 months later...

Reviving this in case someone in the future has the same situation. It is always better to work the mushrooming hot on a bick to retain more of the original material then adding a ferrule to cover the repair if needed. I don't usually cut the mushrooming off, shortening the socket like that.

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I appreciate the response.  All info is good info.  I don’t have any updates about the repair.  I have gained a nice paperweight.  I have definitely had some 2nd thoughts about whether or not cutting the mushroom off was the best first step.  Asking this group for advice would have been a better first step.  

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