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Hitch Balls


Hessian

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I have been slowly getting together a shop over the last few weeks. My forge arrives tomorrow and I was looking around the shop for something that I can learn heating and shaping on. This would be a good time to point out that I also have two large men with sledges for assistance.

 

My concern is the chrome liner on the outside of the hitch balls, is there any safety concerns with heating and drawing this metal into the drop forged high carbon metal of the inside? I wanted to work on something I was thinking of trying since for some reason we have a bucket of hitch balls.

 

Propane NC Bladesmiths forge.

 

Thank you for your time.

 

Ken

Edited by Hessian
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The chrome is definitely something you do not want to be breathing. You can soak the balls in acid, vinegar will work, slowly, muriatic much faster. Another option is to sandblast or grind it off but, then you might breathe it again unless you have a good respirator. As far as what to make... I was eyeing some hitch balls recently and thinking that it would be a good shape to make hardy tools from. Don't know if it could harden enough to make something like a hot cut hardy but, even if it does not, there are still lots of other hardy tools you could forge from a hitch ball.

 

~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 was thinking of making some Japanese style spear heards (c1670s) with them.

 

The hefty hammer hitters are friends who decided they need a midlife crisis as well. I was hoping to start with something that gives us lots of room and metal to move. Although looks like it's coil springs until they soak. It's all new so it's all exciting!

 

Thank you for the advice.

 

Ken

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I'm at 36 hitch balls, hopefully that is the last of them. The goal is to not bring more scrap onto the property since I'm off again in June to another country. So we are hoping to learn basic mig welding and basic bladesmithing/blacksmithing skills before then. All three of us have lots of spare time this winter so should make use of that time.

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