Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Finally made a forge, I hope.

  1. #1
    Scout SwissArmyKnife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Westville, OK
    Posts
    644
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 273 Posts

    Default Finally made a forge, I hope.

    First off, I apologize for the double post in the Oklahoma forum. My tapatalk app kept posting it there.

    I've been wanting to build a forge for awhile but never got around to it. It's a metal paint bucket half buried in dirt and gravel. I've got a 1" thin, but sturdy, steel pipe in the bottom is drilled 1/4" holes every couple inches in. For $0 it sure looks the part. Do I just start using it or do I need to burn it in a few times? Am I supposed to leave ash in it and if so, how thick?

    I'll try to replace those last two dark pictures tomorrow.




    Last edited by SwissArmyKnife; 06-23-2014 at 03:05 AM.

  2. The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to SwissArmyKnife For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Scout SwissArmyKnife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Westville, OK
    Posts
    644
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 273 Posts

    Default

    Is there a resource for quenching and tempering for a given metal and end item use? For instance, I've got an old railroad spike Id like to make a light hatchet from, leaving the head of the spike as is for a hammer.
    Or just a good video(s) for beginners?
    I think I'll be using wood as fuel, it's cheaper for me. What's the difference between wood and say, Kingsford charcoal (what I already have)?

    "If necessity is the Mother of invention, MacGuyver is the Father!"
    ~Quote from my t-shirt

  4. #3
    Tracker
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    127
    Thanks
    166
    Thanked 244 Times in 77 Posts

    Default

    honestly while I think that it will "work", I also think that pipe is going to become soft and crush under the heat of a forge, or the holes will get clogged. I think the dirt is going to make things problematic(getting into your work/airflow issues), and the ash will have no where to go. if you look at typical forge design it's a a big hole at the bottom covered by some sort of vent/grating or something for the ash to fall through but so the coal is too big to fall through, and the base(fire pot) is heavy cast iron.

    my suggestion(and it's nothing more than that), without massive modification I would replace the dirt with clay(any clay you can get, even red dirt clay from the local river), mold a kind of fire pot into it and try to rotate the pipe so it blows sideways into the fire to avoid it being crushed when it's hot and soft, and help with clogging. however, as long as you can get air flow to the fire it should be hot enough for some simple tasks. the problems are going to be how long it lasts and how efficient it runs....stuff like that.

    wood(especially hardwood) will be MUCH better than kingsford, which has a bunch of crap mixed into it you don't want. lump charcoal would work better still but wood is usable. it needs to be cut into chunks about the size that coal would be though. the ash should be removed after each use.

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dravous For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Guide Supporter
    Bush Class Basic Certified
    saustin1967's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    UTM:15R 0309303E 3480105N
    Posts
    1,058
    Thanks
    2,444
    Thanked 2,556 Times in 700 Posts

    Default

    www.iforgeiron.com. Good source for everything smithing related.
    2014 - 17 Nights Under the Stars - and counting
    54B ~ BladeScrounger #5 ~ Machete Mafia
    Slow is smooth, Smooth is fast
    non timebo mala
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  7. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to saustin1967 For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    usual suspect ♌ Supporter Keyser Söze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    deep south☺
    Posts
    9,557
    Thanks
    18,860
    Thanked 16,971 Times in 4,136 Posts

    Default

    why is not burning ??????????
    "Can I get some coffee?" ~Verbal
    . Forum Rule nr 7

  9. #6
    Tracker
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    127
    Thanks
    166
    Thanked 244 Times in 77 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissArmyKnife View Post
    Is there a resource for quenching and tempering for a given metal and end item use? For instance, I've got an old railroad spike Id like to make a light hatchet from, leaving the head of the spike as is for a hammer.
    Or just a good video(s) for beginners?
    I think I'll be using wood as fuel, it's cheaper for me. What's the difference between wood and say, Kingsford charcoal (what I already have)?

    ~Quote from my t-shirt
    if you know the exact steel you have, there are heat treating charts that explain how fast the need to be quenched and from what temp...etc.. you just google your steel and the term "heat treat chart" and it should come up. here's an example:
    heat1.jpg

    the time at the bottom is logarithmic, and basically(depending on what steel you're using) you just need to make sure the temp drops fast enough to stay under the "nose". there's a lot more explanation of this sort of thing on bladeforums.com(they get really technical over there). a railroad spike is simple carbon steel and you just need to heat that to critical temp(till it's bright red and looses magnetism) and then quench in hot oil(about 120-150 F). I recommend vegetable oil, because it will work and won't stink like crazy like a petrol oil will.

    then you'd want to temper it, for a hatchet I'd say about 500 F in a regular oven for an hour, twice(air cool between), right away after quenching.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to Dravous For This Useful Post:


  11. #7
    Scout VaughnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 644 Times in 158 Posts

    Default

    Spikes do not make good hatchets. They make hatchet-like-objects that look cool to some folks, but you would be far far far better off starting with a known steel in a manageable size. Hatchets are not generally considered a good beginner project.

    A good forge is something that gets metal hot. A hole in the ground works just as well as a high-dollar cast iron jobbie, so don't fret about your set up not working. Vikings were making pattern-welded blades with far less than what you've got.

    Start from the ground up and forge your tools first. You can never have too many chisels, punches, drifts and other sundry items. Mark Aspery has some great videos on youtube and his books are a must-have. Definitely check him out.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to VaughnT For This Useful Post:


  13. #8
    Scout SwissArmyKnife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Westville, OK
    Posts
    644
    Thanks
    479
    Thanked 1,186 Times in 273 Posts

    Default

    For now, that pipe will have to do. I can rotate it a bit past 90deg to aim the holes slightly down so as to not clog as easily. I can only improve on it as I learn more and get better materials, components, and tools. Thanks for the link(s) too!

    I've got good hammers and chisels (your absolutely right about never enough, though). I think I need to make some tongs for grabbing pieces from the forge and holding first. Back to scrapping for long enough bars (rebar maybe).

    As far as metal to work with, I've got a small very fine file, I found it rusted and unusable as a file but not pitted too bad. I've also got some big box wrenches, either stainless or cheap chromed (I think), would that work? What would they NOT be good metal for? Google and I are great pals but I'm not getting clear info from good sources.
    Last edited by SwissArmyKnife; 06-24-2014 at 12:53 AM.

  14. #9
    Scout VaughnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    374
    Thanks
    33
    Thanked 644 Times in 158 Posts

    Default

    The metal you use depends on what you're doing.

    Galvanized or chromed is bad juju. Bad as in "will kill you". Look up metal fume fever.

    Auto coil springs are great sources for tool steel stock that you can make chisels and punches from. Leaf springs are decent stock, but often in the wrong dimensions and requiring too much work and fuel to get to a decent size. You'd be far better off to just buy stock in the right size to begin with.

    Tongs? Jees, hoss. Tongs are the bane of the blacksmith because you never seem to have enough. I could use a hundred pair and still want more!

    This is the single best video on making tongs that has ever graced the internet. Brian is a master blacksmith and makes it look soooo easy. Love the guy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH980wjMyaM

    Gary also does some wonderful tutorials. I absolutely love his accent and could watch him all day long. Solid work and well presented. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD90sq_aKCo

    One source of really good steel that most folks don't think about is old barbells and dumbells. These things are .75" thick and made from a tough alloy that does wonderfully for larger needs, including tongs. The ones that aren't plated can be had at just about every yard sale in the land.

    Bed rails are a high carbon stock that's great for various applications because it's thin.

    The best way to get good at making complicated things is to start out with the basics. There are so many tools that you need to make if you just want a functional smithy.... and each different tool is going to reinforce the fundamental skills.

    You need a chisel and punch to make tongs. You need dozens of tongs to make a gate. You need dozens of different punches and chisels to decorate the gate. Round and round we go.....

    It's horribly addicting.
    Last edited by VaughnT; 06-24-2014 at 06:09 AM.

  15. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to VaughnT For This Useful Post:


  16. #10
    Tracker
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    127
    Thanks
    166
    Thanked 244 Times in 77 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SwissArmyKnife View Post

    As far as metal to work with, I've got a small very fine file, I found it rusted and unusable as a file but not pitted too bad. I've also got some big box wrenches, either stainless or cheap chromed (I think), would that work? What would they NOT be good metal for? Google and I are great pals but I'm not getting clear info from good sources.
    there's a chart(google "junkyard steel chart") that will help with what to use. if what you're making doesn't have to harden then you can use simple mild steel or iron, but the coated/plated/galvanized stuff I'd stay away from.
    Last edited by Dravous; 06-24-2014 at 08:06 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •