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Paul Rohrbacher

Water on the Anvil Face

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Please view on Youtube "That Works" "How to forge Bevels on a Blade-The right Way". The video shows how to forge the blade bevel without making the blade curve and the correct way to use a hammer. My question is they dipped the hammer in water and wet the anvil face print to forging., While forging, the hammer tapped the anvil to get water on the hammer's face. There wasn't any POP or evidence that the water turned to instant steam. I am assuming that the water removed the scale from the forging peace. The water didn't appear to cool the blade either. 

 

Can anyone comment to forging with water on the anvil face and hammer their experience using water as seen in the video.  

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Very common technique and one used a lot by Japanese smiths. As you suggest, it is to clean the metal surface of scale and can often be seen in the preparation of surfaces to be forge welded such as in 'Tanren' or fold refining of native Steels.

As for not 'popping' , it will if the surface is concave and forms a gas trap when the hammer blow falls, but on blade size materials this generally isn't too much of a issue.  The explosive 'pops' tend to occur at welding temps , not in the final forging range.

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Every time I've done it I get a lot of loud pops.  Plus it makes a mess.  It does leave a cleaner forging, though.  Just not enough to make up for the mess to me.

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I found that video very interesting, just not sure I will ever reach that skill level.

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I find that a good wirebrushing removes almost as much scale as wet forging and it doesn't cover me in mucky water, so I don't bother with wet forging any more.

This is a very good video, I always watch the That Works channel as the BKS guys are very accomplished bladesmiths.

 

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Well, I wet forge. It does pop, it is wet, but it does work. This last year I've found with the temperamental multibar blades I've been doing (because of the coursely refined high P wrought) I have to work at welding heat well into the forging process. This creates a lot of scale and a wire brush wont touch it. I've tried scraping, but you can only get it so clean. 

So, to get a clean forging with as little pits as possible I use water especially while beveling. I've also used it to blast scale off of one side of a bar to do a wrought on wrought weld. 

More water at a higher temp makes for a somewhat surprisingly large bang and less water at lower heat of course is best once you get most of your scale off. 

It's worth messing around with anyway. If I'm working with less cranky stuff I dont really mess with it. 

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