15 years ago
Had a chance to do a little playing around tonight, got the forge
tuned a little better (changing the blower mount so that it is sucking
in the hot air rising from the forge instead of the cold air from near
the floor made quite a difference in heat *and* the smell the new
forge was putting out) Mounted the anvil on a stump, and get a decent
vise set up on the garage bench. It's starting to look like a real
setup, and not just a bunch of junk in the corner of the garage.
So, in the interest of experimenting on something useful, I made a
watering can for the quench bucket. That went pretty well, and made
for good practice drawing tapers, scrolling, twisting, etc. So, I
decided to move on to try working some of the 1095 I got last week.
Here's where the trouble began- and maybe it's not trouble at all.
The stock I got is 1" x 1/2" rectangular bar, and I was working at
drawing about six inches of it out to a ribbon taper to make a little
knife and see about all the heat-treating, grinding, etc. before
spending a lot of the stock on the chisels I've got in mind.
What I found was that hammering this stuff is *very* hard going. I'm
a fairly big guy, and have done a lot of time with a hammer- but after
about 45 minutes, I have only got about 3 inches of the bar flattened
to about 1/4"-3/16". Now, I have no idea if that is how long such a
project should take, so I may just be whining here. But I am
wondering if I am doing something wrong and wasting a lot of effort.
My forge will heat to what I'd call a medium-yellow but may be a high
orange depending on the person looking at it, with a few odd sparks
shooting off the piece when it is struck- but not welding heat at the
setting I was using. I do try to stop hammering and reheat before it
gets to a dull orange. So here's the question, for those guys with
more experience than I- is 1095 (W1) just really *that* tough, and I
just need to suck it up and keep hammering at it, or am I doing
something wrong, like not getting the steel hot enough to work it
properly? I still have plenty of room on the regulator to jack up the
propane flow, and possibly get the forge burning hotter- but I'm
trying to be at least somewhat sensible about how much gas I'm
burning. I am using a 32 ounce hammer- and I know that may be a
little small, but I don't want to hit my little 50-pound anvil hard
enough to wreck it by using a heavier hammer.
Is there a good way to speed up that flattening process, perhaps by
using the cross-peen to stretch it and then flattening out the grooves
with the other side afterwards? When I said ribbon taper above,
that's not entirely accurate- I'm just trying to resize the stock to a
thinner size before working on shaping it. With that in mind, would
it be better to cross-peen across the width or along the length? I am
trying to stretch the material without widening it.
I'm also thinking ahead to this as-yet theoretical knife blade- when
it comes to where I am happy with the basic shape, I'm certain I will
have at least a few hammer marks and other oddities that I'll want to
grind out. To do that, should I be looking at quenching and then
grinding, or let it air cool, grind the blade, then reheat and quench?
I think I've got the basics of tempering it down, but am a little
uncertain about when to quench it.
Pretty fun stuff, though. I'll have to leave the blacksmithing alone
and do some of my woodworking that has piled up in the past few weeks
tomorrow, but it was enjoyable tonight.