flint striker question

Well, hope to have my gas forge running this weekend (expect some questions on
final tweaking on that coming up).
Still, I don't have much experience with smithing, and was thinking of some
easy projects to learn some basic techniques. I do have some experience heat
treating, as I'm trying to make the jump from stock removal knife making to
smithing.
Anyways, my main source of material is old leaf spring---most certainly 5160.
i have some pieces that were band sawn off, that are around 1/4" on a side
(maybe a little bigger). I thought they would make nice flint strikers.
I think i have it figured out how to forge them to shape, and even make a neat
decroative twist or two in them (again, the real mission here is learning
technique).
But how do you harden the piece? I'm under the impression that strikers need
to be quite hard to work properly while striking against lumps of flint or
chert?
I'm using an oil bath for quenching, so any info on quenching color, and
tempering (if needed) would be excellent. And wish me luck! Hope my fore-arms
hold out long enough to get something bashed out.
John
ps, can anyone recomend some neat, good learning projects for a new smith? I
lack a lot of tools (ie, my post a couple days ago was about homeade
anvils--the rest of my equipement isn't a lot better!).
thanks a lot.
Reply to
Bpyboy
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Been down that road myself recently. Still got questions but I can do most of what I want with it now days ;)
For me it's all just what will work best for what I'm trying to accomplish. I don't think I really believe all that "packed blade" business but I'd rather hammer the metal into place than spend a lot of time with the power tools. Besides, If you can forge it, you have a lot more options on the steel you can get and use.
How many handy tools do you want around the house? Tongs for your forge are an obvious item but hey, how about gardening tools. I keep coming up with ideas for things I want to do all the time. I have serious plans to replace those junky little tin shovels that you use to plant flowers and stuff with a serious piece of steel. Imagine it! Planting Gardinias with a hand forged high carbon - takes no crap from the clay soil - treated and tempered steel garden shovel! AARRRGGG! ... oh..sorry...
GA
Reply to
Greyangel
ideas for usefull stuff and techniques can be found in the books "new edge of the anvil" isbn 1-879-525-09-2 and "a blacksmithing primer" isbn 0-9662589-1-6. if you like stuff more arcane check out "professional smithing" isbn 1-879335-66-2.
Reply to
rpayne
ideas for usefull stuff and techniques can be found in the books "new edge of the anvil" isbn 1-879-525-09-2 and "a blacksmithing primer" isbn 0-9662589-1-6. if you like stuff more arcane check out "professional smithing" isbn 1-879335-66-2.
Reply to
rpayne
"Greyangel" wrote in news:Wfudncw9W89LA snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com:
I got a failry useful spike-hoe-like-object by just flattening the end of a pipe, bending it 90deg, and drawing out a bit of taper on the tip. Works great for hoeing between some of the plants around here, though the DH2 mattock-like-object is still on the to-do list.
Reply to
Joe Bramblett, KD5NRH
Pictures! :)
As many times as I read the answer for that I can't seem to feel sure about it. Seems like an old file is one of the best steels for making sparks? :/
Same here i've read that answer several times too but still don't feel like I know the answer but seems like extra hard's right. :/
Oil works great on water hardening steels if the part is thin. Oil works great on alloyed steels since their hardenability is high enough.
Quenching color is learned. Use a magnet on an old file, just a little hotter than non-magnetic it's ready.
That's the "magnet method" I use what I call the "arrest point method". The steel actually sucks-up extra heat in the process of switching to non-magnetic austenite and the color dulls. No kidding. :) That's tough as anything to see tho! But what -is- easy to see (after you get used to it) is the new dull part next to the bright part after the bright part has gone through the change.
So the outer edges and thinner sections will be bright and the inner area and thicker sections will look "shadowy" and at a relatively sharp contrast. The steel already has enough heat, just give it a few seconds for the process to finish and it's ready to quench when the color evens out.
Get an old file and experiment with it.
Heat it up "too" hot and pull it from the fire and watch it drop down through the arrest point... it'll flash brighter on the way down when it releases the extra energy. :)
You made knives before, what did you do about heat treating?
Alvin in AZ
Reply to
alvinj
accomplish.
Somone please correct me if I am wrong(as if i need to ask), but that "packed blade " business is in fact the refining of the crystals and making then smaller and as a consequence making the steel more dense and a finer crystal makes a tougher steel. This is the purpose of vanadium in alloys. As steel is heated above critical temperature the crystals get bigger and this reduces toughness. Also when welding you should tap, not hit hard, the weld as it cools to break down the crystals, this is called refining the weld. Doug
Reply to
doug roberts
The first thing you'll want is tongs. Get some 1/2 or 9/16 round stock and heat up the end, then lay it across the corner of the anvil and whack down on it. Repeat this in the same spot on the other anvil corner, forming an 'hourglass' shaped flat in the stock. This will be the hinge area of the tongs. Make two of these, then form the short end into the jaws, drill or punch a bolt hole, find a bolt and nut that will fit, then mash the threads after you adjust the tension. Tongs. I'm still using the first set I made, after thirteen years of faithful service at welding yellow.
5160 is an oil harderning alloy. DO NOT use water, the internal stresses of the water quench can actually tear the part apart. I have a knife blade that I keep to remind me, little cracks all down the blade, about one thickness apart, running from the edge to the spine. Full hard, 5160 will Rockwell out at 62-65 C scale and draw to a 59-60 at 375 degrees, which you can do in a cooking oven. Bake for an hour then cool in still air. Quenching temp is 1575 to 1600 F, which is a bit beyond bright cherry red, but not quite to orange. It'll look a bit pink at the edges.
Hope this helps you get whacking...
Charly
Reply to
Charly the Bastard
thanks for the info guys. I went to the local fab shop yesterday, and in trade for a 12 pack of homebrew, have access to a mountain of raw materials! It's an absolutely staggering pile of used materials (lots of truck springs, cuttoffs of low carbon bar stock....) and other stuff that should keep me bashing away into the next century.
you guys are right---the first thing that needs to be done is to use my Vise-grips to forge an appropriate set of smithing tongs. Pending i can get my forge cranking ok this weekend, that is where i plan to start.
Thanks again John
Reply to
Bpyboy
Don't confuse the hammer with the heat treating of steels. Grain refinement comes from normalizing, not hammering. So says my metallurgy book at least but not in those words.
GA
Reply to
Greyangel
One of the great imponderable questions is whether metallurgy books are much help here, or for quite a large proportion of smithing.
Metallurgy began in the later part of the 19th century. The well-known book "A History of Metallography" is a useful read here, for a description of just how much voodoo, urine of a red-haired boy, and general misunderstanding there was about how metallurgy worked there was, before this period. Even then we still had fallacies around like the failure of railroad axles by "crystallisation".
So just as metallurgy finally started to get itself onto a serious footing, metal-bashing industries were moving away from hand and small-hammer smithing techniques and into machining, welding and drop-forging. In comparison to how much we know about fatigue in aircraft, or inter-crystalline growth in Mazak, then there has been very little studied about wrought iron or hand-working techniques.
"Packing" of blades has a long tradition, and like many metal-working traditions there's a lot of empirical evidence to support results, if not the explanation. Yet a "modern" (last 100 years) metallurgy textbook is likely to entirely ignore it, the materials affected, and the techniques used. I don't make any claims either for or against it, but I wouldn't expect a typical metallurgy text to really be much help on the subject either.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
So I know intellectually that I should just drop this one but late for work with my cereal getting soggy and all - I can't let it go.
I am not an extremely intelligent individual but I make my living and my mark by taking the time to understand how and why things work. This gives me an incredible edge over those who can't be bothered to in the electronic repair industry. So on the subject of metal, when you tell me that metallurgy is of no significance to the "art" of forging blades. I can only believe that you are looking for lazy man's magic. I believe in magic but it's the magic of knowing action and reaction through study and experimentation. There are some fairly basic physics involved in the behavior of metal and at times some fairly arcane alchemy, but what happens to metal when it is heated and cooled is not rocket science. What happens to it when you hit it is not rocket science. If you get it hot enough to normalize it, whatever "grain" you hammered into it is mostly lost. Let's say, three normalizations and a quench and I'm leaning heavily on the stock removers bench. Don't get me wrong - I think there are a lot of benefits to forging. Edge packing isn't one of them unless you are cold forming and if you tell me that Metalurgy is not applicable to forging all I can say is don't fire up your forge while Mars is on the decline.
Crap - Metallurgy is the entire body of provable data on the phisics and chemistry of metal and we've been at it for a few thousand years.
I'll shut up now...
GA
Reply to
Greyangel
I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that some long-established craft processes have been ignored by the recent science of metallurgy. If you read a modern textbook on high-end alloy steels you'll learn little about forging wrought iron. If you look for the real obscurities of hand-forging, you'll have a job to find them discussed in a serious and scientific texts anywhere.
No, if metallurgy is a science rather than blind alchemy, we didn't start taking it really seriously until recently - mid 19th for ferrous metallurgy, rather earlier for cuprous and pretty ancient for goldsmithing.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Actually, the 'urine' bit has merit. Urine is a saturate solution of mainly mineral salts, and this would act like a brine quench, very fast in comparison to oil or plain water. Since alloys 'Way Backe Whene' were mainly plain carbon, a brine quench would freeze the carbides quite quickly, limiting grain growth and producing a higher Rockwell number. As to the merits of Read Head urine over Blondes or Brunettes, that would take a gas chromatograph for a definitive analysis, and a Large sample from the population to even out genetic variations within the groups.
Charly
Reply to
Charly the Bastard
If your urine is anything approaching saturation, then you need to drink more (and probably a kidney transplant). It's much closer to plain water than it is to a useful brine.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
My apologies for jumping to conclusions then. Agreed that the modern texts don't get much into the old forging techniques but what happens to metal under various kinds of stress is. Heat, cooling and deformation are the basis of all forging and these same topics are dealt with in modern environments as well. I watched that European video that was posted via URL on this news group (I think) a while back about knife making. The guy demonstrated a heat treatment technique that he learned as passed-on knowledge. that I thought had a lot of validity. Had to do with bringing the blade to critical and fast quenching without bringing it through a full phase change. It was presented as a grain refinement technique. Made perfect sense to me. When I hear about "edge packing" I just cringe. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't see the theory behind the practice as sound - again, unless we are talking about work hardening a piece of metal that will be thermally stable after stressing.
Don't sell the old civilizations short. The things that were recorded are full of stuff that is pretty whack by modern standards. I'm reasonably sure that future scholars will say the same thing about us. Point is, not all science was recorded in books and lots of knowledge was passed on from master to apprentice. Some of that was lost and some became the basic assumtions of future "science". How can you say that it "started" in the 19th century? I personally am not willing to assume that we are so smart, nor the all ancients so misguided. I questioned a teacher about his assertions of ancient history once. Asked the deadly question "how do we know that in the face of so little evidence?" He called me a religious whack and told me my beliefs had no place in his class. I almost bust a gut. I would have asked the same question of the Pope.
GA
Reply to
Greyangel
Not hammer forging though - repeated light blows. If you find any description of it, it's likely to be under "fatigue" and the metallurgy seen as damaging.
Does anyone know of modern texts described (or debunking) "packing" ?
This much is certainly true. However there are a handful of classic texts from the period which all workers referred to - by repute, even if they couldn't read them themselves. Classical philosophy and literature is full of references to fabled texts, now lost. Engineering isn't like that - we see the same references cited, and we still have those references ourselves. I'm thinking of titles like On Divers Arts, Pirotechnia, De Re Metallica and the T'ien-kung k'ai-wu. You can (and should) still buy these as cheap reprints from Dover Press. We've lost an awful lot of Arabic, Persian and Indian engineering texts, but of the texts that were known by medieval European workers, we have pretty much the whole canon.
Science doesn't have assumptions, that's rather the point - its distinction from alchemy is that it starts without, then makes observations. A hypothesis can be randomly generated, but it doesn't become regarded as a law unless it's demonstrable by experiment, not just because Paracelsus or Pliny said it worked like that.
The approach begin in the 17th, the real Enlightment was in the 18th, but reasonably accurate study of ferrous metallurgy didn't begin until the 19th. One constraint was the tools needed to do so - you need microscopes to study surfaces, good abrasives and polishing techniques to prepare the samples, and a supply of broken steam engines to encourage you to study the problems of fatigue-cracked crankshafts in the first place.
The ancients were hugely misguided. In the absence of tools to study for themselves, they fell back on "Proof by Authority". If Aristotle said brass was made from cheese, then who were they to argue ? The free-time to study these issues helped too; placed in the hands of early Capitalists by the Industrial Revolution. Just look at the membership of the Lunatic Society.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Do you have the URL for that?
Thanks
- ken
Reply to
Ken Rose
"Because that's what's in the textbook!" That was the answer I got. It's like the ring-hilted Viking swords. Various attributes have been ascribed to the ring; religious (always a favorite when it comes to Grant money time), political, decorative. But no one seems to see the pragmatic functionality of the ring, ie you can tie it to your wrist with a thong which will lessen the possibility of dropping the weapon overboard in action. I love archeology; every potshard a chalice, every stonepile a temple, every midden heap a trove. It's all about the grant money. How many prestegious Universities would pony up million$ to go dig up a landfill?
Charly
Reply to
Charly the Bastard
Guess one of my professors was an honest man: He was wont to say that archeology consists mainly of robbing graves and puttering about in trash dumps. :)
Then there was my Physical Anthropology professor, a very well-known expert in bipedal locomotion: He'd end the course with the disclaimer that, since it was impossible to repeat the experiment to "prove" evolutionary theory, everything we'd studied throughout the semester might, in fact, be pure bullshit and that the creationists could be right after all -- but he doubted it, since the evidence mostly pointed the other way. :)
Reply to
Johan

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