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A few questions


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Hey guys! I am hoping to pick some of your wiser and more creative brains.

I have 2 questions: 1. I have a pass through Devil gas forge, and am using hard fire brick from home depot on the back side of it to help keep some of the heat in. The thing is, the bricks keep cracking and falling apart. Do you guys have fire brick that is tougher than what I am using? What would you recommend?

2. I scrap metal as a hobby, and came across probably 160 feet of 3/4 in. square bar in 44 in. segments. I am already trying to make a set of tongs from it and I am thinking about making a camping tripod. I am realizing though, that I should practice the more basic aspects of blacksmithing first, like those found in S hooks. Is an S hook made from 3/4 bar overkill? What could I use it for?

Tell me I'm crazy, or just tell me to keep forging!

Thanks!

Will

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3/4" bar for an S hook is Over Kill, Spot On Kill; or Under Kill---depending on what you want to use the S hook for!

Want to use an S hook over a beam to lift your anvil?  Big might be great!  Want to highly decorate an S hook with a dice twist?  All that cutting will seriously weaken the hook and so starting large might end up just strong enough, (Also incised twists can weaken the hook.)  The strength of the S hook is based on the cross sectional area at the cusps as that is where it has to start bending out to fail.

Your pieces sound like railings pieces; if so watch out for lead based paint on them, especially if they are older!

Perhaps you can design a project that uses 3/4" stock. If it is popular you may regret not having more!  (It would help if you have a powerhammer to manipulate heavier stock without so much strain on yourself.

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Thanks for the replies guys!

Thomas, these are railing pieces from a somewhat older building, built in the 1960’s ish and from looking around the forums I am not sure if I have lead paint, and if I do, what should I do with the metal. Like I said earlier, I scrap and this is how I found it, but free is free. Attached is a picture 

0BBE93A7-1E5E-43A4-B2DA-6DD2EB4203B5.jpeg

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Find a safe liquid paint remover so you can strip it without creating any dust particles from the paint.  Safely store the removed paint and spent remover and take it to a hazmat disposal event.  Or otherwise as directed by such products' instructions.

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Original paint layer is from the 1960's => assume lead based paint and/or primer!   I've believed we have discussed various methods of dealing with lead paint removal on IFI before; searching would be good.

I am not going to suggest methods that may be a hazard to YOU or your land.  But I will mention that some of us here are way past worrying about personal reproductive hazards and if you are not you may want to choose methods that are less worrisome...

Lee's made a good suggestion especially on how to dispose of the residue.

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How much is your time worth? What would you rather be doing with your time?

The material may be free, but the time spent cleaning your "free" steel may make it more cost effective to buy clean steel.

Cheers,

Arthur

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I agree, the ONLY safe assumption is "danger close" and follow said procedures. Be VERY careful of plated steel as well. "In rust we trust" is as true as any adage I know.

That said, that load of stock just cries out Andirons to me. The voices are whispering, semi permanent / fixed outdoor fire grates too.

I'd be pleased as punch to have that stock in my stacks but I use 3/8" and 1/2" square by far the most of any stock. Drawing 3/4" sq. down to tong, wall hook, etc. size would be well worth the drive to the steel supply to me.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Welcome aboard Joey, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you'll have a better chance of hooking up with members living within visiting distance.

There is no reason to quote a post directly above yours, this is likely to put YOU on the moderator's radar, they have to clean up this kind of wasted bandwidth. Iforge is read by 50,000 people in more than 150 countries around the world. Many of which do not enjoy broad band and pay for data on dial up connections. 

Don't sweat it, we all make mistakes and using Iforge has a learning curve. I'm not taking shots at you, just helping boost you up the curve. Okay?

I wasn't speaking to just one person, I was saying that to EVERYBODY reading the post. Lots of members live where buying new stock is impossible and the scrap stream is all the stock available. So being careful stripping paint and avoiding plated metal is important to everybody. Yes?

I look forward to talking, see you around Joey.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thank you for your thoughts Arthur210. My wife said the same thing lol. 
 

I figure it might not be a bad idea to try it out on a couple sticks. Worst case is that I have some more scrap, but also have some paint stripper lol.

I am also in graduate school, studying to become a pastor, and when I get tired of all the heady theology I can go play around with my scrap :)

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Oooh, if I' easing you over the edge I'm getting better at it! I've always had a knack for confusing people but I thought I was being straight for a change. :lol:

Yes, I was talking to you, a piece of 3/4" sq. 6-8" long would make nice if large spread crosses. I was joking about the necklace or earring thing. Are you familiar with the Fredrick's / spread Cross?  

Bill Epps posted a good how to he learned from Christoff Fredricks. I'll PM the link to you, I'm not sure if it's a violation of the site rules and I'd rather not be gigged by a moderator. A web search of Fredricks Cross will get anybody there though.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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Aha! I am a little slow, but I am getting it! Thanks for the clarification! I do know what a Frederick's cross is, a blacksmith made one from a railroad spike and gave it to my dad (also a pastor. I swear it isn't the family business.) 

I just need time to wrap my brain around all the cuts, and maybe convince my wife to let my buy a powered bandsaw. I am 21, but cutting all of that with a hacksaw doesn't sound like a fun way to spend an afternoon!

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Hack saws are faster than that! It's a matter of technique float the blade or lift slightly on the back stroke and moderate pressure on the front stroke. Listen to tell how it's cutting and use the best blade for the job. The old ratio is 3 teeth on the material at all times but nobody makes metal saw blades that coarse anymore. A coarse variable pitch is what we have to settle for now days.

I can cut a piece off the 1 1/4" sq stock I mentioned with a hack saw faster than my horizontal vertical metal bandsaw. 

I'm thinking I could cut a 3/4" x 6" blank for a spread cross in 10-15 minutes. The trick is keeping the cuts from wandering all around the place. That's why I bought a band saw. A SawZall will work just fine.

Frosty The Lucky. 

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14 hours ago, Arthur210 said:

The material may be free, but the time spent cleaning your "free" steel may make it more cost effective to buy clean steel.

Often it's not about monetary value. Anyone (who can afford it) can buy new stuff. There is a great satisfaction for me in finding, scrounging, acquiring old stuff. 

I'm that guy that has to look in every skip he sees. 

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Dax,

That is true. These bars are pieces of railing out of the seminary I attend. I am more interested in them for what they are, not the history though.

I 100% agree with you in that I have to look in every dumpster too! That is how I found this stuff!

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  • 1 month later...

Hello gents, 

I am hoping you all can continue to give me some advice. I bought some paint stripper suitable for lead (smart strip) and it has been working fairly well, except it doesn't seem to want to cut through the layer of primer on my metal. Maybe I just need to figure it out on my own, but I was wondering if leaving these out to rust will clear the last bit of paint off, or if I should strip it all the way down, or if there is enough there to not worry about it, assuming that the primer is lead based. All thoughts and comments are welcome! Thank you!

-Will

IMG-0558.jpg

IMG-0559.jpg

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I can't say myself, at this point I'd likely grab a paint scraper, respirator, and a shop vac and see if any elbow grease will help it along but I am not recommending anything.  I'm more curious about your stock, is there a possibility that it's wrought iron and not mild steel?  Have you checked that out yet?  I'm not sure how the others would feel but If likely spend a bit more time on it if it's wrought.

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Thomas, that is a really good idea…one that I should have thought of before…

Chad, they are railings from a building that is new enough that they shouldn’t be wrought. I am just trying to be cheap. I think I am still being fairly economical. I bought a gallon of stripper for $60 and half of it has done around 80 feet of 3/4 stock on all sides. Idk how much 3/4 stock is per foot, but not including labor, I think I am ahead

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