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Everything posted by SteveG

  1. I was in the same class. Ric supplied the materials. We had a target carbon of 1.3%. It was made from some kind of high purity iron (electrolytic?) and cast iron. Ric had an analysis of the cast at approx 4% carbon. The carbides were clearly visible in both the raw ingots and the cycled billets we brought home. Adriaan, was this the ingot you made at the end of the class or the one you cycled at the school?
  2. Your problem is the welding tip. You aren't getting enough gas at 1 psi through a 0.035 orifice. I suggest losing the tip and regulate with the just the needle valve. In an atmospheric forge 1 psi though 0.035 probably wouldn't stay lit either. My atmospheric forge (0.035 orifice) needs about 2 psi to stay lit. I run 5 psi through a needle valve into my blown forge burner.
  3. Ric, Those wrought iron rivets I used for my second ingot in the NESM wootz class were supposed to be fairly high silicon. At the time, you didn't seem think that would be a problem. Have you had some kind of bad experience with silicon in a melt since then? Stephen G.
  4. I see Larry Fuegen made an impression on you. Nice texturing and filework.
  5. I've been looking around the web for some time on cast iron specs. The stuff is pretty ratty and for something like a frying pan, not well controlled. Anyway, most cast you or I will find is more like 3.5% to 4.0% carbon. Also, depending on your mild steel source, it may have been higher in carbon than you assumed too. Also, I'd aim for something like 1.25% carbon in your final product. 1.5% is getting very close to a non forge-able iron. Plus, it may well gave picked up some carbon from the graphite crucible. From your spark test description I think this ingot may have crossed over into non forge-able. The two ingots I made (with the kind help of Ric Furrer) had great carbon bursts but non of those orange dead ones you get from cast iron. That ingot has beautiful dendrites, I hope it forges out OK. BTW I agree with Greg. I cut a slice off my first ingot and saved it, but mine weighed 1100 grams so there was more there to begin with.
  6. To all of you who could have attended but didn't, you missed an incredible class. Larry - Thank you for teaching us. Jeb - Thank you for bringing your collection, that was worth the price of admission. Dereck - Thank you for putting together another great event.
  7. You won't use the family carving set unless the knife will first cut a 2x4 and a free hanging rope.
  8. The World Trade Center predates the A36 standard. That steel would have been a plain carbon steel, probably 1020. They were made in 1969 by Lukens Steel Co, Coatesville PA so that piece is historic in ways other than having been in the WTC. As for blade making, you could 1. Make a San mai (like Dave said), 2 use it a Damascus stack or 3 as part of a wootz melt. All those are fairly advanced processes, so I think you have the right idea of putting on the shelf for a while. I suggest you study these processes, pick the one you like and get good at it before you go after an irreplaceable artifact.
  9. Did you get the results of the chemical analysis?
  10. A Dremel tool can make that go even faster! Be careful! Things can go very wrong very quickly with power tools
  11. You could always go the junkyard route like so many others have. Automotive leaf and coil springs are usually very good (5160). Hit up your local trunk spring shop for cutoffs, they will even tell you what king of steel it is. Bearing suppliers often have a bin of old races, and they are usually 52100. Bed frame steel - the angle iron looking stuff - acts like it's 1075, but I've never had any tested. Rebar is chancy, but I've made a couple of great utility knives out of it. It seems to water harden nicely. Just remember to test a piece by hardening and checking to see if a file "skates" on it before you pour a huge amount of time into making a blade out of it.
  12. If you like scrap steel, another place to visit is your local bearing supplier. Most bearing races are 52100. They usually have a scrap barrel and if you get the right person they know which bearings are "the good stuff". It's not a steel I'd try to make Damascus out of, but it makes good blades.
  13. If the spikes have "HC" stamped on them they are about %0.40 carbon and water harden nicely. Search for spike knives if you need some inspiration. Chunks of rail are a traditional beginners anvil. I've been told main line rail is up to %0.60 carbon but don't hold me to that As for the tie plates and other pieces, I suggest spark testing to get some idea how much carbon they have. I have about 20 from where they ripped out a switch and I'm thinking about piecing them together for a power hammer anvil. The ones I have don't appear to have much carbon in them. Personally, I would haul the whole pile away if for no other reason than to hear my girlfriend groan about it.
  14. That's really slick. I'd like to try it. Where did you get your stencils made?
  15. I got the information to build my first forge from Ron Reil. I built mine from a 20lb propane tank, it's not really good enough to weld in, but it works well for forging and heat treating. Ron also has the link for the T-Rex burners if you don't want to make your own burner. I'm a big fan of gas forges because I have less of a tendency to "burn" the steel and they heat evenly over a large area, better for heat treating that 11 inch tanto you're after
  16. Rj - You should look for a school like this one. You didn't say where you are located, but there should be a school somewhere you can get to. Additionally, if you don't already have some forging experience, I recommend learning the basics of hammer control and drawing out metal on cheaper low carbon steel before you go after some expensive blade steel.
  17. Look in the yellow pages or on the web for a hydraulic supplier in your area. Stop by, start an account with them and chat for a while. Those guys love a project that is different from the excavators they usually work on. My local supplier was a huge help when I built my press, even though I am a very small account for him. My press only runs at 1500 psi, so I used the "lightest" fittings my suppler sells. I think they are rated for 5000 psi working. There is a lot to be said for a good old fashioned brick and mortar establishment.
  18. The one in photo looks like about a half of an oil drum, probably a 30 gallon one. Since there is no flux involved, I'm willing to bet it's just a simple koawool/ITC 110 set up. Looking at the sides, I guess the insulation is at least 3 inches thick. I think the block stuck to the bottom of the crucible is just a piece of fire brick that keeps it off of the bottom. He's using a fairly simple powered burner.
  19. I was in the katana class with you. Did you sign up? I just got the class as a present for my 50th birthday! I just need their website to come up so I can send her the link. I hope to see you there.
  20. Thanks to everyone for the advise. This forge is intended strictly for welding. I'll keep my horizontal atmospheric forge for shaping and general blacksmithing work. I have revised my drawings so that I have two inches of wool around the sides and the castable covers the floor for flux resistance. I had intended to bolt the top down, but instead I'll just let gravity hold a piece of 12 gage sheet steel on top. The wool top plug will also be coated with ITC-110 and will friction set into the hole. Hopefully I'll never test the explosion survivability. Bruce, you are correct about the measurements. The door is 4" square, 5 inches above the bottom. The interior volume will be approx 400 cubic inches (pi*r^2*h) or (3.14 * 4^2 * 8). I'm planning on using 50 cfm or greater blower. The forge at New england School of metal work that spoiled me was more like 14 inches across with a similar height. I don't know how big the blower was. It had 2" pipe coming from the blower, through a gate valve and into 1" going into the forge. I'm going to try to reproduce that burner, it was amazingly hot.
  21. I am hoping that the inch of wool between the castable and the metal shell will both damp down the noise and keep some of the heat in. I'll post some pictures as construction progresses.
  22. I had the pleasure of using a "Don Fogg" style forge at the Newengland School of Metalwork. This rig made my current propane tank forge look like an Easy Bake oven. I'm going to build my own, so here is a drawing of the shell and the refractories and I'm looking for input on my plans. I'm considering using the straight part of a 40 lb propane tank for the shell. It is a tube about 12 inches long and 12 inches in diameter. I want to put an inch of Kaowool next to the metal shell and an inch of castable inside that for flux resistance. My concern is that there may not be enough vertical distance between the burner and the bottom of the door for complete combustion. I have attached drawing of the body of the forge and one with the top on. I plan on using 2" of coated Koawool for the top, with a metal plate over it for strength.
  23. How to drive a blacksmith crazy
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