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First time forge questions


C Craft

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I have been doing all of my blades up too this point by reduction and even though my forge is not up and running yet I have the urge to do a little experimenting. My question is what steel is probably the most forgiving? As this will be a strictly primitavie forge.

I be using the hot coals of an oak fire to heat the metal and work it. I will then quench in transmission fluid and heat treat in mommy's oven if I don't get caught!

So kind of help me out but this it what I am thinking. I will heat to non-magnetic and hold for another 3-5 minutes, transmission fluid quench and the how long in the oven at what temp and how many cycles.

I sure I just heard somebody say, "what an idot" :wacko: but hey we all got to start somewhere.

 

Type of steel suggested using tranny fluid quench?

 

Temp for heat treat and how many cycles of heat treat?

 

Any other words of wisdom?

 

By the way I forgot to say hello to everyone and introduce myself, they call me Cliff!

Edited by CC Knives

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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Howdy ...IMHO 1084 is the easist to work....I like peanut oil quench mainly cause it works well and dosen't stink....two one hour cycles are good..but to keep peace in the family buy yor own toaster oven.....Also read a Wayne Goddard book....Good luck

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." — Mark Twain

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My question is what steel is probably the most forgiving?

Cliff, It depends. Forgiving to forge or forgiving to heat treat? All around, probably something in the 10xx series like the 1084 previously mentioned or 1075/1080. 5160 is another good one to start with, it is a little easier to heat treat but, a bit harder to forge.

 

I be using the hot coals of an oak fire to heat the metal and work it. I will then quench in transmission fluid and heat treat in mommy's oven if I don't get caught!

A wood fire throws a lot of sparks, hardwood charcoal is better. I can buy Royal Oak brand hardwood charcoal at my local big box home improvement store. Also, you can make your own, Google "charcoal making." Tranny fluid is a faster oil quench but, as mentioned, other oils are just as good and more pleasant to deal with. Buy an oven thermometer, it is not uncommon for ovens to range +/- 50 to 100 degrees from the set temperature. You can fill a metal cake pan with sand, buy the clean, white sand used for mixing mortar, and bury the knives in the sand while tempering. The sand creates a heat sink and evens out the temperature swings of the oven somewhat. Be sure to wash all the oil off the blade before putting it into the oven. If you are wondering why, try not doing it sometime and see what momma has to say about it! A cheap, thrift store, toaster oven solves this problem and they are usualy more accurate.

 

I will heat to non-magnetic and hold for another 3-5 minutes, transmission fluid quench and the how long in the oven at what temp and how many cycles.

Search the forum for the terms, normalizing, and heat treat. Read everything you find, it will give you a much better idea of what you are doing. Tempering temperatures will vary depending on: steel type, size and style of knife, edge geometry, and personal preference. Try Google "Wayne Goddard's brass rod test." This test is simple, inexpensive, and will tell you what tempering temperature is right for the type of steel you are using. Edge geometry will still affect the results of this test. Three cycles of tempering are standard for knifemakers, let the blade cool to room temperature inbetween. Do not be tempted to rush and cool the blade in water between temper cycles.

 

Most of all, read everything you can on this forum. There is more information to help you here than in any other place that I know of.

 

~Bruce~

“All work is empty save when there is love, for work is love made visible.” Kahlil Gibran

"It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler

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I don't like the idea of a long soak (5-9 minutes) after reaching non-magnetic. If it's non-magnetic, it's already austinized. Long soaks promote grain growth. Grain growth makes brittle blades. I just return the blade to the forge for 20-30 seconds and then move right to the quench. When tempering, make sure that you measure the temperature of the oven with a thermometer. I do three two hour cycles. Make sure that you have the oven at the temperature that you want to temper at and the oil at the temperature before you start to heat the blade. Go directly from the quenching tank to the oven. The only thing that I stop for is to wash the oil off under running hot water real quick. Hardened steel fresh from the quenchant is under a lot of stress and the blade could break just setting on a counter while you do something else, like bring the oven up to temperature or harden other blades.

 

If you don't have any reading material, try either or both of Wayne Goddard's books, "The $50 Knife Shop" and "The Wonder of Knife Making".

 

Doug Lester

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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Thanks for all the info gentlemen. I do appreciate and will take all of it into consideration. I still have some work to do on my propane forge. Since I recently aquried a Hay Budden anvil the bug has bitten me to try my hand at forgeing, all my knives up to this point have been made through the reduction method. I figure the practise would help me. Who knows if I turn out a couple of succesful blanks, they might help to pay for finishing my forge. :rolleyes:

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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Some times waste cooking oil from any place that sells french fries is a good free oil, where all you need is a 5 gallon bucket to put it in.. I hate automotive oils because i am a x mechanic, and don't like them on me, or the smell. I sure don't mind the smell of fried foods. I find the flash points of these oils is high, so there is less chance of a fire when quenching.

 

You can buy pre-made hard wood charcoal (not briquettes), and or learn to make it. What the regular fire wood (oak) would be for is to 'keep' the fire. At times when you want the fire in the forge to stay on fire, you would add one piece of regular hard wood, blow it up a little, and go do what ever it is you needed to leave the fire for.. Like getting a tool you forgot, and not going to town to buy new socks. (That trick is probably used more with real coal)

 

The in the house oven, what I find best is to have 6 or more pieces all ready to be tempered, and cooked with something like roast beef or a turkey. This can lead to not hot enough, but it will be the start to a long heat soak at 350+. Maybe after the food is done turning the temp up a while will be more cost effective..

 

I agree buy a independant oven thermomiter, and mess around with it leaving the oven at the same temp range, as some places will be a bit hotter and colder, and it might just be all you are after is 20 degrees more or less for something. (more likey with gas)

 

When you are tempering something you made it should be clean and bright (shiney) so it shouldn't be a problem to cook foods at the same time.

Edited by WMCleveland
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Thanks for the info, I am not sure about the food and knife thing. Since this is the same woman who didn't even want me putting perfectly good rattlesnake meat in her freezer! :unsure:

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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Oh, well I sure can't speak to that. My wife is only upset when I forget i was soaking tomahawks in the toliet bowl. :wacko:

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LOL that's funny I don't care who you are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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