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How to Avoid Cracks in Narrow parts


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Currently, I’m forging a loggerhead (mild steel tool for rapidly heating drinks, not the turtle), but this problem has come up for me repeatedly. About half the time I forge something with a narrow shoulder or neck, it cracks. I’ve tried not forging any lower than bright red, I’ve tried working both towards and away from the neck in different projects, but I can’t seem to reliably escape the issue. 


On the current project, the shoulder isn’t even that narrow, and I’m wondering if there was just a flaw in the steel to begin with. The instructions I’m following from a book start with making the shoulder, but I of course ended up with this nasty crack that came back after welding. Any advice appreciated!

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Edited by Matthew Biondi
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What do the corners look like of whatever tool you're using to set the shoulders?

Do they have enough of a radius?

RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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For this one, I used a fullering tool I made. The jaws aren’t in perfect alignment, so maybe that’s the issue? Other times I have used the edge of my anvil that I radiuses and the rounding head of my hammer

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When that happens, it's almost always because the narrow neck tends to bend while you forge the adjacent parts.  The only ways to stop that are to either do the neck last or to never forge below yellow heats.  

 

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If you are able to do some welding you might try making a guillotine tool.  You can make one out of a piece of ~1/4" steel and angle iron.  You can get a plan for one in [i]Backyard Blacksmith[/i] by Lorili Sims.  If not, there are blacksmithing supply houses that sell them.

 

Doug 

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

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2 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

The only ways to stop that are to either do the neck last or to never forge below yellow heats.  

Or make sure the neck/piece is orange long enough so that the bending stresses are over a few inches.

RIP Bear....be free!

 

as always

peace and love

billyO

 

 

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I agree ......when ever that has happened to me it is because I didn't keep it hot enough..... and tool steel is even far less tolerant of it than mild steel.....

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