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  1. #51
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

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  2. #52
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I finally got a real anvil which I will take pics of and post, and I am getting the outdoor smithing shop set up now that summer is finally over and it is possible to work outside. One idea I have for this thread is a list of metals people use for forging. Every Saturday I go to the local scrap yard where they sell scrap for 40 cents per pound. I am interested in finding hardened steel to make tools, hardies etc. I already know to look for leaf and coil springs but what are some good things to look for, both high carbon and mild? I am also curious about the composition of automotive axles, are they high carbon? Just looking for ideas on what other people use for projects. After making a few tools I would like to try some hardware like sliding bolts, hinges and latches to use on my metal/wood furniture projects.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    There's been a lot of info on stuff like spring material and axle shafts posted up over on Iforgeiron. Assuming you can get on ( I have had issues for the last three days) there's a ton of discussion to read on these subjects.

    Breaker points are good tough steel that can be found fairly easily. Talk to any rental center and see if they have any broken point you can have or if they will save some for you. Axle shafts are also often suggested as a good tough steel. Files are often good HC steel, but some are just case hardened. They make an interesting texture on things like lizards and snakes. Coil springs make good punch and drift stock, leaf springs can give you a good high carbon steel as well. One thing to remember with used springs is that they can often have a lot of minor cracks in them from fatigue, especially if they broke thus requiring replacement.

    Keep in mind that every manufacturer may use something different for similar items, or even across product lines. That means each time you get something new, you may have to start over doing tests to heat treat properly. In the long run if it's important, it may be better to simply buy known stock for which heat treating info is readily available vs risking unknown scrap. I've seen plenty of guys go thru a lot of effort only to have things fail either due to unknown flaws or a bad heat treat. At that point known steel would have been a lot cheaper in the long run.


    "reused" steel can be beneficial when you want the origin to be visible. RR spikes aren't great steel for say knives, but many people like them simply because they know what it once was. Same goes with horse shoes, files, bolts, rebar and all kinds of other things. Tomorrow if I feel better I have someone who wants me to make a few bottle openers. They want at least one with a twist, so that's on the list, I'll probably also do at least one using some #8 rebar I have and leave most of the opener as is so it's easy to see what it once was.

    Wrought iron just about HAS to be reused stock. They aren't making it in any quantity any more. It has a number of interesting properties that make it useful for projects. #1 is the fact that it rusts down to a certain point and then pretty much stops making it great for outdoor projects. The texture of the stock when heavily rusted also makes it good for things like snakes and so on. Included in Damascus billets, it gives you a nice dark contrast to other steels and is in great demand for this sort of stuff. I'd squirrel away any you can get your hands on. Most being sold commercially today is reclaimed stock from bolts from old factory trusses or bridge beams and tension bars. Some is reforged down to more usable sizes, others are sold as is. If you can find real wrought iron fence stock, it's usually of a size that is easy to use and work and in high demand.


    Keep in mind material for tooling, hardies, hammer heads and so on doesn't really need to be "hard" just tough. 4140 is a good choice in new stock. Things like punches, drifts and chisels used for hot work often benefit from stock that remains hard/tough at high temps like S7 or H13. I've seen a hammer eye punch made from S7,used on a power hammer come out of the hammer stock glowing red, but the edge of the punch was still crisp and "sharp" even at that heat and having been driven thru almost 2" of hot 4140.
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  4. #54
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    OK thanks, I'll check out Iforgeiron. I didn't know I could buy new high carbon steel, will call the steel supply tomorrow. Just so happens one of my workers changed out a front axle on his 4runner yesterday but not before he trashed the core so bad they won't take it back, so now I have some axle material to try making some hardies with.
    Also wanting to make a guillotine setup. Boy this cooler weather has got me fired up!
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  5. #55
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Learn to understand what SAE and AISI steel codes mean. 1085 and 1095 are both common SAE high carbon steels used often for say blade work. The last two numbers give you a rough estimate of the carbon content, so you'd be looking at .85% to .95% carbon compared to a low carbon steel like 1018 that is roughly the equivalent of "mild steel" with about .18% carbon.

    The beginning number tells you the alloy type. So 10XX would be plain carbon steel, while 4XXX would be a type of molybdenum steel. 4140 would be a Moly steel with about 40 "points" of carbon making it a medium carbon steel.

    AISI steels are more familiar to tool makers like A for air hardening (A2), O for oil hardening (O1), W for water hardening etc. The "odd" ones are stuff like H for hot working or S for impact resistant steels.


    I got this from "Introduction to Knife Making" by SL Sells. I bought it direct from the author over on IFI, but you can get it else where as well. I think my copy was about $25 or so plus shipping and it's a decent book dealing with basic heat treatment and other stuff dealing with knives. Knives aren't really my big thing, but I found a lot of the info in general to be of use. Later if I get a chance I'll add more of his list here.
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  6. #56
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    After a little research I see that new tool grade stock is sold in the annealed state, so I will need to learn the right way to harden it. If I use already hardened steel like axle shafts and coil springs how will I re-harden them after heating and shaping?
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  7. #57
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by bigb View Post
    If I use already hardened steel like axle shafts and coil springs how will I re-harden them after heating and shaping?
    That's the big problem with using reused steel. If you can determine exactly what the material is, you can look up the hardening/tempering process. If not, you have to do trial and error tests. Having a good understanding of the process helps. Some guys will make a test piece, then try say an oil quench and test the brittleness and hardness of the piece. If it won't harden, then they'll do another test and try say water instead. If it breaks, it's obviously not how you want to do things with that steel, and you start over again with a new test...

    Some research on places like IFI can help you narrow down the list of what might or might not work based on past experiences and research others have done, but it's no guarantee that what you have is the same stuff, or will preform the same. This is often why so many times people suggest going with a known stock vs something recycled as you can simply look up the stock you bought and then apply the procedures to match what you have rather than guess and maybe fail.


    Hardy tools many times don't HAVE to be hardened. Plenty of people make do with mild steel for occasional hobby use. It's only when you expect to need to get thousands of uses from a tool in a production setting that you really need to start looking at specialized materials. For hobby use, starting out with a good tough steel will give you plenty of life, even if it's not hardened and heat treated. Just slow cool instead of quenching and use as is. Same goes with say hammers. If you NEED a hardened tool, say a cold cut hardy, then you need to research and experiment with the stock you have, OR simply buy something special you know that info on for that project.


    I meant to mention earlier that the dies for my G2 guillotine setup are simple 1018 steel, nothing fancy. 1/2" x 2 1/2" from what I remember. Yeah the tops mushroom some if you beat them with a steel hammer instead of a soft face hammer like lead or brass, but the dies in the schools units aren't terrible after 3 or 4 years of students using them with steel hammers. This makes them inexpensive and easy to make your own custom shapes, and if the tops get too bad, just grind them down some.
    .



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  8. #58
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Here are some pic. of a Hay Budden. Seller says that it is 165lbs. and it feels like it. He is asking $800.00.... Should I say yes or Run aaaaaway from itName:  IMG_1161.jpg
Views: 810
Size:  41.8 KBName:  IMG_1162.jpg
Views: 808
Size:  50.2 KBName:  IMG_1163.jpg
Views: 811
Size:  49.0 KB it is here in Ocala.

  9. #59
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I may be out of touch, but ....id keep looking.

    Terry

  10. #60
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Anvils are at crazy prices in my area. Heavy ones like that which are decent are hard to find. If available big bucks !
    Do you need it or want it ? I buy sometimes when I want it to.

  11. #61
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Has the tip of the horn been repaired?
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  12. #62
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I am not sure I will get a better look in the Thur. am..

  13. #63
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    May have just been cleaned up for a specific project. The horn typically isn't hardened. So even if it was repaired I wouldn't be to concerned about it as far as its usefulness.
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  14. #64
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    HB's are premium anvils. You have to be the judge of what's affordable for you. From the photos, that one seems to be in very good shape. The horn is not that important except as a bargaining tool. I paid around $2.20/lb for my 170# HB, and jumped on it, but would have gladly paid in the mid $400's for it. Depends on where you live, the abundance of anvils there, and your "pucker point" on price. The "asking" price is seldom the selling price...see if you can get it cheaper; $800 seems high for a 165# anvil, HB or otherwise.

  15. #65
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by DSW View Post
    That's the big problem with using reused steel. If you can determine exactly what the material is, you can look up the hardening/tempering process. If not, you have to do trial and error tests. Having a good understanding of the process helps. Some guys will make a test piece, then try say an oil quench and test the brittleness and hardness of the piece. If it won't harden, then they'll do another test and try say water instead. If it breaks, it's obviously not how you want to do things with that steel, and you start over again with a new test...

    Some research on places like IFI can help you narrow down the list of what might or might not work based on past experiences and research others have done, but it's no guarantee that what you have is the same stuff, or will preform the same. This is often why so many times people suggest going with a known stock vs something recycled as you can simply look up the stock you bought and then apply the procedures to match what you have rather than guess and maybe fail.


    Hardy tools many times don't HAVE to be hardened. Plenty of people make do with mild steel for occasional hobby use. It's only when you expect to need to get thousands of uses from a tool in a production setting that you really need to start looking at specialized materials. For hobby use, starting out with a good tough steel will give you plenty of life, even if it's not hardened and heat treated. Just slow cool instead of quenching and use as is. Same goes with say hammers. If you NEED a hardened tool, say a cold cut hardy, then you need to research and experiment with the stock you have, OR simply buy something special you know that info on for that project.


    I meant to mention earlier that the dies for my G2 guillotine setup are simple 1018 steel, nothing fancy. 1/2" x 2 1/2" from what I remember. Yeah the tops mushroom some if you beat them with a steel hammer instead of a soft face hammer like lead or brass, but the dies in the schools units aren't terrible after 3 or 4 years of students using them with steel hammers. This makes them inexpensive and easy to make your own custom shapes, and if the tops get too bad, just grind them down some.
    Thanks for all the good info. I just ordered a hardback copy of Donald Streeter's Professional Smithing and Kindle versions of The DIY Blacksmithing Book (Terran Marks), Forge-Practice and Heat Treatment of Steel (Bacon/Markham), The Complete Modern Blacksmith(Weygers), Practical Blacksmithing Vol 1(Richardson) and Forming Copper (Goehl) just because I have a bit of copper and it was only $3. Some of the Kindle books are amazingly cheap, the DIY one was only a buck. Anyway I'll have lots of reading for the holidays.
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  16. #66
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I'll have to look into the copper one. I just picked up about 15 lbs of scrap copper flashing to play with this winter.

    I know I have the Weygers book and probably the Richardson one. I have at least 2 dozen different smithing books at this point and I'm starting to loose track of what I have off the top of my head.
    .



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  17. #67
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Here's some pics of the anvil. I really wanted a heavier one but they are scarce around here and really expensive. I paid $150 for this one and used it already, it feels really good. One of my friends is suspicious about the "Made in Sweden" stamp, he says the letters look newer than the anvil.






    The guy I bought it from said it was part of a whole blacksmith shop he bought. Under close examination you can see the steel top, about 1/2" thick. I know it is well used for sure. If I stick with this smithing thing I will eventually probably get a new NC or something.
    Last edited by bigb; 11-16-2015 at 10:42 PM.
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  18. #68
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    If that came out of a blacksmith shop where it saw a lot of use, and still looks that good, it must be a decent anvil I would bet. Looks good from here anyway. I tend to worry less about the things that affect value, and worry more about things that affect quality.
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  19. #69
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Now to make it a stand, and a forge. 170lbs. Hay Budden. Name:  P1010033.jpg
Views: 757
Size:  44.2 KBName:  P1010035.JPG
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Size:  139.1 KBName:  P1010034.jpg
Views: 757
Size:  34.1 KB

  20. #70
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Thats Hot View Post
    Now to make it a stand, and a forge. 170lbs. Hay Budden.
    Thanks for making me drool all over my keyboard! Did you just get it? $$$?
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  21. #71
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Yes, today.

  22. #72
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    That's a sweet looking coyote killer... congrats!
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  23. #73
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I noticed Amazon has a pretty good selection of electric centrifugal blowers from $42 to $82. CFMs range from 13 to over 65. Some have a gate, and some can be used with a variable speed control. Any idea what CFM I should be looking for, and is is better to control with a gate or by varying the speed?
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  24. #74
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    A lot depends on what you plan to use as your fuel. Anthracite loves lots of air, while bituminous will burn just fine using something as simple as a hair dryer. Charcoal falls somewhere in between.

    As far as air gate vs dimmer, a lot of that depends on the fan. Some fans use the air flow to cool the fan motor itself. Those you want to blow full power across the fan, then bleed off the excess air with an airgate. Others will run just fine with the motor speed reduced.
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  25. #75
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    It just seems like a huge difference between 13 cfm and 60. I am using bituminous coal with a noisy shop vac right now. I would go for 13 cfm if I was sure it would be enough, just like I would go with 60 cfm if I was sure I could throttle it down enough.
    Last edited by bigb; 11-22-2015 at 10:55 PM.
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