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I Forge Iron

First forge welds and first time with coal!!!

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Up untill now I have been forging with propane and a little charcoal here and there. I picked up some coal a while ago and used it for the first time today. I had the fire going and decided to try some forge welding. I used 3/8" round bar and just tried some loop welds.

My first try I burnt the end almost right off. Second try went well, it stuck:D!! Third one went even better.

I figured I would try it in my propane forge. I have heard that it is hard to weld in a single burner, but wanted to find out for myself. I did 2 loop welds with propane and both turned out quite well, I am extatic!!!

The first 2 pictures are my second and third try with the coal. The last pictures are of the welds in my propane forge.

Feedback and criticism are more than welcome!!









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Those look like nice welds - well done.

I see a little crack at the toe of the scarf. For me that indicates that the toe was too thick going into the scarf.
As the end (very tip) of the scarf is in line with the blows applied (top and bottom) it is not in a welding plane.
When the surface is going in the same direction a
as the blows, it is in a shear plane - not a welding plane.

I hope that this makes sense to you.

Nice job with your welds!

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How do you correct for that?



For me, it's a question of thinning down the toe of the scarf. If the end of the toe is thin, then it will soon be turned and forged into the bar. It is when the end is thick that it acts as a shear, cutting the metal (forming the crack ) rather than blending in.

I hope these two photos show the problem and the fix.
The graphic shows the result of a thick end to the toe (visable crack). The photo shows the fix - thin the toe before going into the weld.

I hope that I am explaining this OK.



Edited by Mark Aspery
Meaning & clarity (ish)
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Mark, do you not in this case put a little edge on each tip so as to dig in or bury itself in the mating bar so as not to burn in the fire...like when we made the flux spoons in class.

Not in this case Jim,
With the flux spoon, the little bend on the end was to allow a gap between the two surfaces in the (faggot) weld-but allow the toe (tip) of the scarf to touch the larger parent stock.

In touching, the parent stock acts as a heat sink to the toe of the scarf, preventing it from burning in the fire.

With the lap weld (drop tong) there is no heat sink available (2 separate pieces) - the smith has to be a little more careful in the fire to prevent burning the toe of the scarf. Thus no need for the little bend at the end.

I do place the scarf with the toe up in the fire for most of my welding heat as I feel that the piece heats from the back first - this I feel protects the toe somewhat. As I hope you see - this is a hypothesis with no scientific evidence to support it.
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