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Forging round bar by hand. Worth it?


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So fastenal has w1 for a really good price in round bar. How big of a pain in the neck is it to forge round bar by hand? I'll probably make some Japanese pairing knives with it.  I'd like to make chef knives with them but idk how tough it is. 

Thinking 1/2in to 5/8 maybe? 

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I figure 1 inch is about the upper limit for a hand hammer.  I you have friends who will strike for you, or hold while you strike, it goes pretty fast.  You can do some interesting things with round bar, but if you can get the same stock in flats, it will save some time.

Check out the pinned topic on the air powered forging press.  For not much investment you can have a small press for breaking down stock.

 

Geoff

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"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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For a chef knife, you'll need 3/4" or more.

I hand forged a santoku from a 7/8" W1 round. It was my third knife and second forged so it's definitely doable. Just make sure your steel is hot enough and you should be fine. 

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I got some W1 15/16" as a really sweet deal.  It is ...difficult to move by hand.  I like having a press.  Not just handy for the round bar, too.  

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My anvil is pretty sub-par so I'm worried about that. But I'll probably pick up some 3/4 round bar anyway. 

Geoff itll just be me so I'll just have to suck it up lol

Joel I loved that santoku with the forged finish you did

Jerrod what makes it difficult to move? Just the mass of it?

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1.5in round bar. Yeah that doesn't sound fun at all. The tungsten, vanadium  and chromium are probably what make them difficult to forge. 

But I've heard w1 varies alot I its composition. So that kinda sucks 

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I use the 1 inch rounds in W-1 and O-1 for knives and although I do most of the reduction with either the press of the power hammer, I do the initial forging of the end down into a point (to avoid fish lip syndrome) all by hand. Work at substantial heat (Yellow) and keep it hot.

Edited by Joshua States

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The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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To be clear, it is totally possible by hand, yes.  But that is a lot of material to move, and it certainly doesn't move as easily as mild.  You'll definitely want a big hammer and anvil (or a press).  

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3/4" round W1 isn't too bad by hand, but that's about as big as I'll do that way, because I do have a power hammer B).  1" round wrought iron is easy.  1" round mild steel is not.  

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4 hours ago, Justinschmidt said:

That's what I'm kind of worried about. I just have a 55lb Chinese anvil. Hoping to get a peddinghaus by the end of the year 

C'mon, you must have a friend or acquaintance that wants to learn how to do this and can be conned, no convinced, into doing striker time.:)

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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