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Thread: Blacksmithing and forging

  1. #1526
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    Got it to the right temp for hardening..... but did you run through any normalization cycles before that?


    Looks fantastic regardless, and I'm absolutely sure it'll be a dream to smear some cream cheese on bagel!!

    One thing you might try when you're at the palm sander stage is to wet-sand the steel. I just use water, but I know a lot of folks like something like Windex or soapy water. For whatever reason, a wet-sand leaves a much nicer finish even though you're running the same grit. Weird but true.
    Could you share what your grit progression is?

    I used 60 grit on the belt grinder first to smooth, then 120. Next was the palm sander with 150, then 320 (it's just what I had handy). Last was a fine wire brush on the bench grinder. I should probably look into how to normalize .
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  3. #1527
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Looks great!!!!! and the best part is you can still thread it in the pipe wrench handle and use it as a hatchet!!!!

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  5. #1528
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    Could you share what your grit progression is?

    I used 60 grit on the belt grinder first to smooth, then 120. Next was the palm sander with 150, then 320 (it's just what I had handy). Last was a fine wire brush on the bench grinder. I should probably look into how to normalize .
    I do about the same. Get it up to 400-grit or so to get a nice finish, but something you don't mind scratching. I've never been one for mirror shines on tools, especially things like knives that are going to earn scratches the first time out of the gate.

    Gotta remember to sand until the sanding marks from the previous grit are all gone. Sand perpendicular to the sanding marks, getting all the way off the blade so you don't get those little j-hooks to the sanding lines once you're up to 320-400 grit. Wet sanding keeps the spent grit on the metal so it continues to grind the steel, thus making for a better finish all around. Soapy water sticks it in place a good bit, but plain water is easier to clean up.

    A random-orbit sander (the things that vibrate your hand to death) are really great for sanding if you swap out the rubber pad with a hard pad made from micarta or similar material. The softer pads wrap around the edges of your blade, making them look rather like a worn bar of soap. Usually, I use cheap spray-on adhesive to fix the sandpaper in place on the hard pad. It's easiest enough to remove once it's worn out, and being fixed tight to the sander makes it function a whole lot better.

    Normalizing is one of those things you either do.... or start finding joy in cracked blades. There's no middle ground on this issue.

    Heat to a nice orange, then pull the metal out and let it cool back down to a black heat or room temperature. Then stick it back in the forge to come up to an orange heat again. Repeat this cycle three times.

    Don't set the blade down on some huge heat sink that'll pull the heat out of the thin steel in a minute, either.

    Think of it as a nice massage for the steel. You've just spent the day beating it to death with a hammer, showing no regard for all the stress and pain it's suffered through it's long life.... and you want it to be happy? If you did that to your wife, do you think she might be a tad miffed? Hmm?

    The steel has a spirit to it and doesn't like being abused any more than you do. If you're going to shape it into something new, the least you can do is give it a nice long soak in the tub afterwards. Normalizing is that tub.

    Only after you've let the steel relax do you want to try hardening it.

    With mystery metals like that wrench.... you have no idea what is going to work, but it never hurts to show a little sympathy for the hard life the steel's suffered through. If you do it right, you just might get lucky.

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  7. #1529
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

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    More practice today - I wanted to work on hammer strike accuracy and heat treating. I used the left over handle from the pipe wrench. I flattened one side of it and left the other more or less - it was looking like a fuller so I left it. I cleaned it up, then did two normalizing cycles. Next was hardening, which a file seemed show it worked (I got a temperature crayon so I'm pretty sure I was close to the right temp). I cleaned it up again (just a wire wheel) and did two tempering cycles at 400F in the oven.

    Hopefully I'll have time this week to finish it up. It's heavy, like a chisel/prybar that will cut...maybe.
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  9. #1530
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by VaughnT View Post
    I just use water, but I know a lot of folks like something like Windex or soapy water. For whatever reason, a wet-sand leaves a much nicer finish even though you're running the same grit. Weird but true.
    I use soapy water for all my sharpening of anything that has to be a smooth edge (not axes or sandviks etc).

    The idea is sorta' the same as detergent in motor oil. The metal particles get surrounded by a film of soap which allows them to flush away and not get stuck in any pores, either in the sharpening abrasive or in pores in the metal. Metal filings that are stuck in pores don't allow the abrasive to reach the metal evenly or as aggressively as their grit number would suggest they should. Also, when you go to wash off the product, the metal filings and any abrasive that's come loose washes away more easily and doesn't get left behind (important when grinding crankshafts and cylinder bores etc).
    Last edited by John Bartley; 02-15-2021 at 08:43 AM.

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  11. #1531
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post

    But what the heck - I have the most bada$$ butter knife on the planet!
    Attachment 1724544
    But the ice in that drink... it never melts....
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  13. #1532
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Why on earth would you need to heat treat (normalize, harden, and/or temper) a butter knife??

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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by shortfuse View Post
    Why on earth would you need to heat treat (normalize, harden, and/or temper) a butter knife??
    Haha - it was going to be a mini chopper kinda thing - more form than function.

    Then when I dropped it, besides cracking it, I lost a bit in the lower left edge of the blade, so I wound up rounding it off to get rid of the chunk.

    And now it reminds me of a butter knife
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  17. #1534
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by whtbaron View Post
    But the ice in that drink... it never melts....
    I'm in the only area in the USA (it seems) that is in danger of a sunburn rather than frostbite.
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  19. #1535
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    I'm in the only area in the USA (it seems) that is in danger of a sunburn rather than frostbite.
    Thatís enough. I donít want to have to block you.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    :

  20. #1536
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I would braid a couple of pieces of latigo across the handle of that butter knife?
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  22. #1537
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    Haha - it was going to be a mini chopper kinda thing - more form than function.

    Then when I dropped it, besides cracking it, I lost a bit in the lower left edge of the blade, so I wound up rounding it off to get rid of the chunk.

    And now it reminds me of a butter knife
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  24. #1538
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Quote Originally Posted by Shootr View Post
    Haha - it was going to be a mini chopper kinda thing - more form than function.

    Then when I dropped it, besides cracking it, I lost a bit in the lower left edge of the blade, so I wound up rounding it off to get rid of the chunk.

    And now it reminds me of a butter knife
    OK, that explains everything! LOL

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  26. #1539
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I enjoyed the learning experience on this one. I did the clean up on it these past couple of evenings. Started at 60 grit and went up to 800 just for giggles.

    I don't think I'll be doing any more knives for a while - this taught me the value of a real belt sander/grinder. I found it very difficult to get all the scrapes, divots, and gouges out of the entire rough piece.

    That said, it was still very worthwhile to see how the progression went in smoothing it out with sandpaper and soapy water. I think I got a lot of valuable information out of the exercise.

    It will keeel!
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    Yeswelder MIG-205DS
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  28. #1540
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    The pictures alone are well worth viewing if you donít even care at all about forging. .Images of steel in that form are amazing. The learning is a bonus!

    Havenít done anything like that since high school 45 years ago. And I loved it!

    Thanks for posting!


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  30. #1541
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    A frequent customer wanted a flag that looked like it was flapping in the wind.
    Here is what I have so far.
    I still need to work on a base.









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  32. #1542
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Are the stars getting painted on? Thinking there must be a reason you didn't do them before you curved the surface. Looking great though...
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  34. #1543
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    The real reason is that I have not tried something like this before and I didn't think it would work. I did not know how it would turn out and wasn't sure if I wanted to invest the time in doing the stars.
    I have a friend with a plasma table that has one of the engraving plate markers. I might do up some designs on his table and throw them in the forge. It is down for a software issue now so it may be a bit.



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    Last edited by psacustomcreations; 02-18-2021 at 11:23 AM.
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  36. #1544
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    The flag is complete. I just used the Dremel and engraved the stars.

    Maybe I will call this an ode to the Johnny Cash song "This Ragged Old Flag"

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    Millermatic 252 MIG
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  37. #1545
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Looks good I like how you did the base.... normally when I do those kinds of cuts I keep grinding til' all the 'cut marks' are gone

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  39. #1546
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I like it!
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  41. #1547
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Very nice creation... it's got character.

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  43. #1548
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I like it as well, the base looks sturdy enough for a stiff breeze.
    Bruce
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  45. #1549
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    Time for your Sunday evening guffaw!

    I started with one of those round steel stakes that concrete folks use to nail forms to. I did some research and decided to try the "8 Heads" ratio for human form proportions, so I started with an 8" length of it. I sketched out the landmarks of the form and got to work. I split the stake where the legs would be - mistake #1: I did the torso first, then the legs, leaving arms and head for last. The legs kept twisting around and I had to keep straightening them as I drew them out (or tried too).

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    The stakes have holes drilled in them for nails (for the forms) but since this was a fact-finding mission, I didn't worry about them too much. They would come back to haunt me...

    After a couple of hours of banging and beating - I had a Gumby-kinda form. Actually, things were going about as good as I could hope.

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    I neglected to take pics as I went through the finishing stages. I used the band saw to thin the legs, and to cut the arms free from the flattened sides of the torso part. I worked on the arms and legs to thin and taper and shape, create feet, etc. Lastly I worked with the Dremel to create a neck, and a flapper disc to shape the head.

    I certainly didn't intend it to come out looking like the love child of a burr bit and Groot - but, that's what it reminds me of...

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    Those nail holes left a hole in it's head, a real weak point at one knee (that I thankfully avoided breaking), and a hole in it's heart area. I learned a lot and for a first effort - it gives me ideas to try things differently, use a solid rod to start with, etc.

    Hammering round to flat doesn't really tax me, but it got me to thinking - anyone know about how much force a two pound hammer blow imparts on the steal (Lbs/Sq Inch)? Is there such a thing as something like an arbor press on steroids? Something that could provide a hefty squeeze of a 1/2" - 3/4" die onto the steel by pulling a handle?

    I'll say it now - I will not be building a home brew power hammer or other implement - no room, no desire, and don't want to make mistakes at a faster pace than I already do with my hammer.
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  46. #1550
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    Re: Blacksmithing and forging

    I think I like the plain basket best, but had this orange aluminum thing - looks interesting as well.

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    Or just use it as a cigar rest...

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