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I Forge Iron

How do know if i burnt my steel


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I intentionally overheated a peice of mild steel once just to see what to look for.
It was nearly white and was like those sparklers you put on a birthday cake for about 2 seconds, I'm guessing higher carbon would not have to be white hot to burn.
The sparks didn't look like forge sparks.

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usually when you burn steel it gets crumbly where it was burnt... if sparks fly when you hit it its probably partly burnt ... in bad situations where its severe it will fall apart in chunks ... you can usually see this on the edges as the steel will look kinda like its been eroded away and might have visable cracks ... you usually have to trim it away to get to good metal.if you have a lot of scrap laying around you might try intentionally burning a piece .... it happens to everyone eventually tho not as often in gas forges as they usually dont get that hot without setting um for that (when forge welding). if you see a picture where a smith is hammering on a piece and sparks are flying everywhere that piece is overheated and burnt. it is usually done for the picture on purpose. if your woried about it just cut the section that is suspect off and forge out the rest... good luck

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If you only take tool steel up to orange then you should be OK. Mild can go hotter to yellow but not to the point of sparks as you are burning your steel then.

When working tool steel try to keep it in the orange range. No hotter but as soon as it cools to red its back into the fire. If you try to work it too cool its hard work and you will produce cracks in your work. Lots of short quick workings at orange is the method to use.

If you find your job is cooling too quickly, especially if you are drawing a thin blade, try putting a hot piece of mild steel on your anvil to heat it so it does not draw the heat out of your job so quickly.

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