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WIP Flatter


Guest guest T

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Guest guest T

A few days ago I said that my forge could heat stock bigger than I could work, well today I decided to test that theory.

starting stock is 1.5" round bar upset to about 3 inches on the end then forged square to about 2.25 inches.

I made a new grate for my forge and hooked up my shop vac so I could forge weld a leaf spring face onto the flatter. After grinding flat the face will probably only be about 1/8 of an inch but at least that is something, I plan on grinding around the edges and running a mig bead if necessary to avoid delamination. Total time spent so far is about 4 hours. When I can get some more charcoal I will start drifting the eye. Sorry if this post is not very coherent, I am exhausted.

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One time I melted mild steel in my coal forge :rolleyes: okay, a lot of times.

I remember using a shop vac, it worked fine but it was SO FREAKING LOUD. Making tools is great practice though! And you get something out of it.

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Good job! Ambitious, too. The thin hardenable face won't be a problem, flatters don't see too much force. I approve. B)

 

Then again, I rarely use my flatter, but they are nice to have once a year or so when you really need one.

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Guest guest T

well I did not have the camera to shoot a video while working so some phone pictures will have to do. Any advice on heat treating? should I quench in water or oil? I have already normalized 3 times.

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Guest guest T

Thanks, Here it is heat treated and ready for a handle. The eye did not turn out very even so I got to use a rat tail file for a few hours.

(Edited to add video)

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Edited by Tre Asay
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Guest guest T

thanks, The handle will be a little off- square and it is only about 2 inches but I can't wait to get back at the forge to try bladesmithing with it! The final weight is 2.5 pounds but I guess that doesn't really matter as it is not intended to be swung.

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Heck, my factory-made flatter only has a 2" face, and the handle hole is off as well. Since the handle should not be wedged on a tool like this it makes no difference. Oh, and mine weighs about two pounds. It's an old Atha.

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That's a really beautiful flatter, especially given the simplicity of your set-up.

Now, the question remains of what you intend to use it for. I have been smithing for a while now, and have never used one, though I did see a farrier use one, once.

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good job. I use my flatter a lot, but not for steel. Often, I want to get a piece of copper, or bronze, or whatever, flat. The flatter/anvil combo is perfect for that.

 

For silver, I use the flatter, then a piece of hard wood, then the silver, then the polished jeweler's anvil sitting on my Hay Budden.

 

that way, you flatten but don't stretch or screw up the polish.

 

I am impressed (I have 2 or 3 of those, in fact, due to buying stuff in batches from ebay when I first started).

 

kc

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Guest guest T

Thank you all,

I am planning on using it to get the tang and spines of full tang knives as flat as possible I can do this with the hammer but it takes a very long time. I may even try setting plunge lines with it.

This did not take too much longer than a typical knife but it definitely took a lot more work and I had to stop due to some elbow pain

Looking back at when I did a few copper liners this would have been very helpful. Thanks for the pointer with the hardwood.

I plan on adding a hickory handle of my own make as soon as I can and I am going to wedge it because well, dangit I spent all that time making an even taper in the eye and if it's worth doing it is worth overdoing.

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Since you'll be working alone it's fine to wedge it. Top tools are not traditionally wedged because the handles don't last long when working with inexperienced strikers using heavy sledges. It also prevents passing idiots from using it as a hammer.

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Guest guest T

lol, I once had a 12 year old take my uncrowned and relatively unused cross peen and put some nice little triangles on my rr track "anvil" face. People always laugh at me when I won't let them use my smithing hammers to drive a quick nail or to use a woodworking chisel but I have my reasons. With the fact that these are not swinging tools I might just use cheap pine wood if the pre made handles are the wrong size or too expensive. I wanted to just buy a board of hardwood to make multiple handles out of.

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Go to your local big box store and get a sledge handle. They are hickory, cheap, and oval shaped. Very easy to modify to suit your needs. I just take the factory finish off and use BLO. Shouldn't take more than a couple hours at most.

 

Edit to add: another bonus is that there is more than enough to get multiple handles for tools and/or knives out of a single purchase.

Edited by Josh Brannen
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Guest guest T

I used a cheap pre-made handle. The wedge it came with was made of soft pine wood so I had to make my own.

now it's time to try forging some knives with it.

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  • 1 year later...

WOW! This is great! I learned a lot from seeing how you made yours.

 

I have some blade blanks I cut from a disk blade (an agricultural "disk" is a piece of equipment pulled behind a tractor to cut up the soil, for those who may not know. Each disk on the disk is carbon steel about 3/16 of an inch thick and 2 feet across, with a hole in the center. BUT they are also slightly concaved), and I plan on putting a flatter together tomorrow to straighten them out. I was going to weld a piece of leaf spring to the heavy end of a ball peen hammer.

 

 

Thanks for sharing this!

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