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I Forge Iron

My first Hot Cut Hardy tool


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Don't forget too many TPI, imagine trying to cut 2" bar with a 32TPI blade. Folks are amazed when hot rasping moves more metal faster and with better control than a disk grinder. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2021 at 2:24 PM, Bantou said:

I’m not sure what steel mine is. It’s made from a piece of 3/4” sway bar off a truck. Im guessing it’s some form of medium carbon steel but I don’t know for sure. I’m planning on leaving it soft and just touching up with a file or grinder when needed. The next one I make will probably get hardened. I’m not planning on cutting anything big with it and my hammer control is so-so right now. 

 

On 5/1/2021 at 2:29 PM, Frosty said:

M.J. Old pickup truck axles make FINE bottom tooling, no need to buy specialty steel and W-1 is NOT a beginner steel to heat treat and it's worse to forge unless you KNOW what you're doing.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

On 5/1/2021 at 5:26 PM, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

I make most of my bottom (hardy)  tools from the connector end of sucker rod 4130 if I remember correctly. Right off hand this is the only picture I have of one the computer

ok thanks everybody i know my father has a few wrecks around the place se if i can snage 1 or 2 off him any extra cautions for working with such steels? frosty thanks the place i am able to sorce from i would have cost me 74$ for a 3/4 piece of W1 square or 38$ (USD) for 7/8 rod 3 foot for both?????????????

 will look into the jack hammer bits as well.

M.J.Lampert

Edited by M.J.Lampert
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HMM I guess "Don't get bit by snakes while scavenging steel off the wrecks." Probably doesn't apply as much up there as down here. Don't breath any smoke from grease/oil/under coatings that may be on the metal still does.

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8 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

HMM I guess "Don't get bit by snakes while scavenging steel off the wrecks." Probably doesn't apply as much up there as down here. Don't breath any smoke from grease/oil/under coatings that may be on the metal still does.

snakes you mean the garters up here :DB)

M.J.Lampert

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whats a scorpion;) i know knowledgeless northerner might be spiders around here Black widow is B.C.’s only dangerous spider, and it’s shy | Times Colonist though there not realy seen that i Know the worst really is the rusty steel and a wasp nest or 2 dozen:unsure:

oh and i just got an unfrendly reminde hoards of mosquitoes :frown:

M.J.Lampert

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Mosquitos---they require water don't they?   Last time my Daughter did a spider roundup she found 32 Black Widow spiders around the outside of our house. (Inside they are subject to a kill on sight directive.) I try to be careful to not put my fingers where I can't see them....the webs are interesting to listen to when you move stuff in the shop.

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

Mosquitos---they require water don't they?  

oh sorry i forgot in the desert you dont have H2O ut i think ill keep the lakes and rivers :sigh: and even the mosquitoes instead of that many spiders and the lethal snakes. at least i can go fishing you do know what that is right

M.J.Lampert

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You should come to Texas where we have the best of both worlds. Numerous poisonous snakes, spiders (only two are venomous though), mosquitoes that have been known to carry off small children, dry heat, damp heat, dry heat and damp heat alternating daily, dry heat in the summer and snow in the winter... you can pretty much pick your poison depending on what part of the state you want to live in.

We also have numerous game and non-game animals to hunt, including a few exotics that have flourished here and have open seasons as an invasive species (public land is VERY limited though). There are numerous bodies of fresh water to fish and decent saltwater fishing in the gulf.

In far West Texas, Big Bend and the Davis mountains both offer fantastic hiking trails; or so I’m told, hiking isn’t really my thing. The Piney Woods of East Texas are a real treat assuming you can stand the humidity. The Hill Country is absolutely gorgeous, particularly in the spring when the wild flowers are blooming. 

 

Ok, enough advertising for Texas, back to hot cuts. I need to reduce the profile on mine. It is too thick to grab the grooves made by my cold chisel. The questions is whether to just grind it down or draw it out some more. I’m leaning towards drawing it out more, mostly because my grinding skills need improvement. I struggle to keep a consistent angle, especially with the bench grinder. 

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Ahh south east Texas, where you feel drier when you are under water in a pool and mosquitos have FAA numbers painted on them! (I've logged a few Oil Wells in that region as well as spent a week or two in Houston.)

So your grinding skills need more practice and you are hoping to avoid practicing?

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I agree with both Frosty and Thomas,,,. You can't beat a good hacksaw! I swear, a 4-1/2" side grinder running at 1700rpm just makes you think you are faster!

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Posted (edited)

It will indeed. It will also set your pants on fire if you aren’t paying attention to where the sparks are going... not that I have first hand experience or anything;)

 

Thomas,
It’s more a time constraint issue. I have projects that need done by Mother’s Day and I can get a better result faster by forging it flatter instead of grinding, fixing a mistake, grinding, fixing a mistake, etc. 

Edited by Bantou
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15 minutes ago, Bantou said:

It will also set your pants on fire if you aren’t paying attention to where the sparks are going

No lie.

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I've never lit myself on fire forge welding, lots of times arc welding and couple times with a cutting torch but not many. 

Don't worry Bantou, keep at it and you too can learn the difference in the smells of various welding electrodes, fabric materials and torch exhaust gasses. There wasn't a kid in jr. high metal shop 1 who didn't know the smell of burning Levis instantly. Nobody showed up in school wearing a pair of unfrayed Levis! Even I wasn't THAT uncool, it was the 60s. 

A new chamois shirt really gets your non-metal head friends freaking out when a spark lights the fuzz and you have thin sheets of blue flames spreading across your shirt. A good friend of mine with zero experience working steel about slapped the crap out of me when my brand new chamois shirt underwent the fuzzion reaction. 

Use a torch more or you'll never be a proper club member.

Frosty The Lucky.

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warning Bantou crocks synthetic socks and a stick welder do not combine and result in lifelong memories ... and scars

M.J.Lampert

ps the scars after 3/4  years are starting to blend in but still i do not recommend it to anyone

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Synthetics and HOT shop are NOT compatible!  Good catch M.J. I got involved in old memories and forgot an important warning. Well done.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Famous blacksmith quote:  "Yes, I know I'm on fire, just let me finish this weld."

Also, never wear open top boots with your pants cuffs tucked into them while forging.  They will, sooner or later, catch a piece of hot metal and you won't be able to get them off fast enough to avoid serious damage.  I've never done it but I know people who have.

Synthetic fiber clothing around any kind of heat source is a bad combination.  Natural fibers are the smith's friend.  The only safe synthetic is Nomex, often used by aviators and fire fighters.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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I resemble that quote!  As for cutting torches I once bought around 10 tons of wrought iron plate that they proceeded to mangle in delivery and wanted to know why I didn't want to pay them *more* for ruined wrought iron plate!  So I cut it along the cold bends to leave the maximum sized unmangled pieces.  Well it was welded in two layers and cracked along the seam when cold bent,  Preheat the top layer, hit the O2 and molten iron would splash about till the second layer would get hot enough to cut.  I think I caught myself  on fire around 4 times whereas I have only caught myself on fire once forge welding.  I have trimmed my beard with the dragons breath of my propane fore a number of times...

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4 hours ago, M.J.Lampert said:

warning Bantou crocks synthetic socks and a stick welder do not combine and result in lifelong memories ... and scars

M.J.Lampert

That something I’m well aware of fortunately. I did a fair bit of bullet casting before primers got so scares. It didn’t take long to figure out why pants and leather boots are universally recommended. The first time I refined wheel weights down into clean ingots (a nasty job btw), my ladle dibbled a nice pretty line across the toe of my boot.

 I work in an industry that requires FR clothing and steel toe boots. As a result, all of my forging is done in “bad” FR pants and steel toe leather boots. It doesn’t take much for a pair of pants to fail a safety inspection so they usually have a lot of life left when they go “bad.”

I have a few hot metal related scars as well though. Interesting point of fact, a BB sized drop of molten lead will make you shed work gloves in record time. It also leaves a BB sized dimple that turns in a perfectly circular scar. 

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