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JohnK

What am I doing?

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I'm not really sure where I'm going with this. I think I'm wanting a bush chopper but it looks more like a tree chipper. Should I do some fancy to it or just keep it as it is?. It's been a very long time since Ive made something this big (nearly 2ft). Be harsh. Be nice. Just be honest. 

 

20191006_214438.jpg

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My first thought was that you should know what your forging before you fire up the forge... I’ve found that trying to exactly match a pattern has made my hand forging SO much better. Just my 2cents.

Oh and I’m loving the safety foot gear :ph34r:

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I generally have an idea what I'm attempting to do but I never do stock removal and occasionally my work gets away from me. Not really good or bad but never ends up exactly as I want but close. Lol I find barefoot much safer than shoes. Really hate them red hot scales getting trapped between my shoe and dainty flesh.

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Apparently, I don't have any more of an idea about what you are doing than you do. I'm also lacking a lot of information that you probably already have, like what steel you are starting with, what dimensions it measures, what size and shape you would like to end up with, and what seems to be the impediment to you continuing with the forging.

 

As for the question:

17 hours ago, JohnK said:

Should I do some fancy to it or just keep it as it is?.

 

It doesn't look like much right now. Where are you at in the forging process? It looks to me like you cut a piece off the end of a piece of bar stock to help get the point going, half-forged a tang, and stopped. So, if by "fancy" you mean forge the point to shape, put some bevels in and develop this into something usable, then yes. By all means, do something fancy with it.

As it is right now, it doesn't look like a forged blade to me. It looks rather like a pointed club.

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Ha that's how I felt to. I'll add more pics as I go along. It is indeed bar stock. The steel I'd unknown but definitely harden able and seems high carbon. I've done a bit more to it since but the tang design seems to meet my needs and I'll need it to be that thick and wide. I'm not much a fan on hidden tangs(this one is meant to be seen, sort of a half hidden, half full tang, and this one is for a round the house heavy chopper. So it's going to be heavy. Approximately 18+ov/2+lbs(haven't measured it). Did not cut off any part of it. I do not do stock removal unless I have to. Trying to learn all the tricks to forging as if I didn't have a grinder. I've gotten farther than this last night. I'd say nearly done rough forging.

20191006_223126.jpg

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Here's a tip from someone who's been there: 

 

Before you start forging make a physical pattern of what you what to end up with.  It can be made of anything but I recommend that it be fireproof so that you can lay your hot blade directly onto  it.  That way you can compare your forging to it as you proceed to  keep  you going in the right direction.;)

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Solid advice, I try to use chalk on sheet metal. Works. For a little while. My primary issue is since I try to do little stock removal I always try to forge down my edge. Helps reduce grind time and heat transfer. The downside is that it puts a curve in my blades. The issue I have is that even doing a little at a time it's nearly impossible to keep the blade staight. If I try to hammer the curve back out the whole thing turns into a snake on hot sand, even a curve of 1/4inch tang to tip, will curl the blade if I try to straighten it. 

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One thing that can help is to try to preform the blade the opposite way before drawing down your bevels. That way it straightens back out as you go.  Another idea would be to use a wooden club (sometimes called a schwacker :D) to straighten it back out with instead of a hammer.  It'll transfer enough force to straighten the blade back out, without curling over your edge too badly.

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Posted (edited)

A schwacker is an absolutely vital tool! I can never seem to preform the blade the correct amount, I always end up going to the schwacker anyways. So I just use it from the get go to straighten out the bevel curving effect. 

 

Mine is a cut off piece of a hickory baseball bat with a handle. Doesn't have to be fancy to work. 

 

Edit: hell, an old baseball bat just left as is would probably work just fine.

Edited by Will W.
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Forging bevels results in curvature.  How you deal with it depends on personal style.  For instance, I usually don't pre-bend the other way, because that doesn't work for me.  It always seems to be too far and never comes back straight.  What I do is straighten at the end of every heat.  Oh, and I draw down the bevels with a cross peen.  That pushes the steel in only one direction instead of in all directions like a flat face does.  

 

For that 1/4" curve, instead of trying to do the whole thing in one go by hammering in the middle of the high spot, try starting at one end and doing a couple inches worth of straightening per heat.  Light taps rather than mighty blows.  

 

Forging to shape is great, but you can take the edge too thin if you're not very careful.  You can lose enough carbon that it won't harden, and a really thin edge is more likely to warp or crack in the quench.  

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate the help everyone! Sorry I meant @Alex&Will the edge doesn't roll or curl it's the entire blade. Thanks Alan. I get a bit zealous with my hammering and try to do one entire side before flipping. Admittedly the curve look kinda neat but to some extent makes it a little useless. Probably excellent at cutting but not so much hacking. Again not sure the steel but so far it takes multiple heats well, still harden's even after losing an insane amount of carbon to scale, and forges easy when hot. Doesn't do anything when cold. Ugh. I'll give it shot and try to slow my pace a bit. Also try and find a good stick to use.

Edited by JohnK

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Pregrind. 

20191008_165358.jpg

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That almost looks like a 13th century Mongolian blade.........

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Posted (edited)

@Clifford BrewerIf it has that look I think I'll do some research and refine it to be one :). I don't have a compass but it's a direction at least. Light research suggests: not even close

Edited by JohnK

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That's a cool shape actually.

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Thank you @will. However in light of tonight's shenanigans I'll be abandoning this blade, and even more depressing, along with 9 others I've been working on. Unfortunately I must have gotten lucky woth my first 2 as they hardened nicely but tonight 3 did not. I suspect foul steel and I will be abandoning all including the steel itself. Sad, so sad, don't look at me I'm not crying.....

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