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I Forge Iron

trouble with working with old drillbits


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Hello my name is Nelson this is my first poste thanks to anyone who respons in advance.
I have a two venturi burner gas fired forge i put together at work with a
100 lb LP tank my forge seems to work well.
What i am haveing a problum with is a little metallurgy problem. Here is what i did i took a high carbon 3/4 die drill bit and mig welded some stanless steel rod to the spiral of the bit with mild steel wire. but that was not the problum.
When i put it into my forge to work it to a squar bar i worked it 3 times the first 2 times i worked it at about 9 psi then i tuirned it up to 15 psi and it got hotter like i knew it would but when i took it out and hit it with a hammer 2 or 3 times it fell apart. what did i do wrong? Can you forge stainless and mild and high carbon steel together or am i beating my self over my head with my owne hammer. I also noticed the broken parts of the dril bith that fell apart when it coold it looked like it had a real rough grane structer

Edited by Nelson44
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Forge welding stainless is tricky at best. It is best done in an atmosphere controlled forge with an aggressive flux that contains about 10% Fluorite. The Fluorite off gases Hydrogen Fluoride when heated. It is a very toxic gas and very hard on your respiratory system if you should breath the fumes. I personally wouldn't mess with the stuff.

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Most stay away from Stainless when making damascus. I would instead try different types of high carbon steel. I personally use 1084 and 15n20 although I have also used 1095 and pure nickel for my damascus.
I dont think you are going to have alot of luck attempting to weld stainless and non stainless unless you can find a way to do it in a oxygen free environment.

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Nelson also stay away from mild steel in your billet if you are going to make blades. I use a lot of bandsaw blades, L-6, and steel banding which are plain high carbon steel in the 1075 to 1095 range. L-6 is very similar in composition to 15N20 both have 2% Nickel.

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Are you sure your drill bit was not a HSS, High Speed Steel, drill bit? Most of the HSS alloys will "cottage cheese" on you if you try to forge them at elevated temperatures.

My suggestion is to learn to forge weld first and then try the tricky ones when you have a good background.

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