new to the trade but having fun

i'd appreciate an honest opinion from some of you old pro's on my work so far... scroll to the bottom and there are a few pages of what i've done so
far
http://home.earthlink.net/~metal-gear /
Paul
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wrote:

I absolutely love the elephant!
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ditto. Very nice work.
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thank you very much, i might branch into carving in order to reproduce it, my wife made it clear that one is hers

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Paul, on the whole ok, but I don't like the welding! I do the double thickness of the rams head by half cutting through the stock and bending it back on its self and forge welding it. (the metal "hinge" holds it real good) Then the mouth can be chiselled in after. But everyone has there own way...... Keep up the good work.... The Beagle

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i agree with you, the only problem is i don't know how to forge weld yet... hope i was'nt missleading, i'm VERY new, no training... i just started a fire and went to work, i started with only wood fire coalbed, then added a homemade airbox to force air and heat better, i'm now working on building a gas forge now, any tips on how to forge weld would be very much appreciated, and i'd be glad to follow your advise.

so
so
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wrote:

I like coal for welding but I do use propane alot for damascus. I would suggest you go to the laundry section of the supermarket and pick up a box of 20 Mule Team Borax. Nothing makes welding easier than wearing clean clothes. (that would be funny if you saw how dirty I am!) Easy way I can think of learning to forge weld would be to take 2 pieces of mild steel , say 1 inch wide and 1/8 inch thick and maybe 4 inches long. Stack them, then tack weld them onto the end of a piece of rebar for a handle, 1 1/2 feet long or whatever is comfortable. Place the steel in a hot clean fire and turn them every minute or so to get both pieces evenly bright red. Pull them out of the fire and with a spoon, sprinkle the borax on the edges so that it flows down between the 2 pieces of steel. Place back into the fire and bring the heat up. A good sign of when welding temp is reached is when you look closely at the borax you will see tiny bubbles. You will also see a few sparks coming up. I'm no good at describing colors, but I would say its a bright orange. Quickly pull it out and place on the anvil. Start hammering firmly at the far end of the steel and only in the last inch. Just hammer straight up and down and just in that one location until you see you lost the welding heat. If it looks like it welded, let it cool for a minute, then quench it in water so you can check it out. Use a chisel and open up the weld. You should see a very clean bright grey grainy surface on both pieces where it welded ( and it should be somewhat difficult to separate). If it welded you should now know what it "felt" like as you hammered and soon you will know if the weld took or not just from the feel and sound. If you know it didnt weld the first time, simply sprinkle more flux (borax) and stick it back in the fire, get it hot, be sure your edges are still lined up and begin hammering again. I learned how to forge weld with steel cable. Got it hot, fluxed, twisted, fluxed, heated, twisted, fluxed, heated, hammered, ruined. I had frayed burnt cable everywhere until it "clicked".
I hope that made some sense and was helpful. Here is an example of my welds. The little piece is 1095 wrapped around and welded to mild steel, then ground and polished to show what forge welding is and how damascus begins. The daggar is 360 layers. http://share.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i AM2rZs1bM27iA Bob
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the only thing i know to say is WOW! i just looked at your dagger... i was very impressed to say the least, and would love to be able to do that, i would love to see more of your work, i will try your advise soon, i'm building a gas forge now, can't find coal localy so i guess thats out of the question, and the wood i've been using would be to inclusive... i'm working on a very limited budget to say the least (near non-existant lol) but hope i can get the parts i need soon, thx alot for your help. most people i've tried to talk to gave me the cold sholder and looked down the ole nose at the proverbial greenhorn, or just told me to go to school for it...

yet...
a
a
appreciated,
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me wrote:

You certainly are talking to the wrong people! Is there any evidence that they know anything about smithing?
If you're in the USA, check out your local ABANA chapter. You can find them here: http://www.abana.org/affiliates/affiliate_list.shtml Go to events and learn lots. ABANA folks are generally very open and helpful.

Another way of telling when you're at the right temp is that the flux starts looking a lot like molten butter.

I'd add that you don't want to really whang on it. If you do, the pieces will jump apart as much as they will weld. You don't need to hit really hard to make the weld.
Steve
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yes... but... and i know this is gonna sound like i'm stroking your ego but thats not my intent, they have done smithing and know what they are doing, not near the quality of work you showed me though so maybe it's a security issue i dunno...

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Wrong person to compliment, I haven't posted any pics.
It does sort of sound like they have a security issue with their skills. Anyway, hook up with the right people.
Steve
me wrote:

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wrote:

Good thing about this is how cheap it can be. My first anvil was homemade from a 100lb block of steel and a round peice bought from the scrap yard for about 10 bucks. I welded them together and beat on it for years. It really doesnt require much money, just some imagination, which it looks like you got lots of. I'm sure there are many people out there that look at your work and think that same "WOW" you did for mine. I'll try to take some more pics and post them. As for what Steve Smith told you about joining a blacksmith association, that is something to consider. I belonged to one for a few years, didnt go to any of the gatherings, but I knew several members, all of whom were very friendly, good at smithing, and "free" with their knowledge, but most important to me was thier buying power to get supplies like steel, coal and anhydrous borax. Gas forge can be as simple as you need it to be also. Mine is made from scrap steel, lined with koawool, firebrick for the bottom and 1/4 pipe with a cap on the end, drilled to about a #50 (?) hole in the middle for a jet. This was just welded to the center of some 3" pipe I happened to have. I did two of those for the burners. I havnet completed it since I doubled the length (added the second burner), but it cost me just a few bucks for the pipe & fittings at home depot and of course for the wool and brick that I already had. I would probably laugh at anyone who would want to copy my design though, since it was made to fit my cheapo budget with junk I happened to have :) Bob
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Now, take everything that Forger wrote, and condense it down.
1) There's no such thing as too much flux. Get the workpiece cherry red and bury it in flux, two or three times reheating inbetween. Make it look like it's been dipped in molten glass. 2) Then bring it up to where it's bright yellow, like a WD40 can, then hit it like you don't like it. If the temp is right, it'll make a wet thumk sound, if it's too cold, it'll start to clang. A four pound hand sledge will make a spotweld with about a quarter inch square fusion area with each good stroke. Overlap your strike zones by about half of that to insure complete fusion. Start at one end and work to the other, 'zippering' the two pieces together. Don't try to get the entire seam in one pass, steel cools off about 100 degrees per second on the anvil, think five to ten seconds max, then back in the flux bucket and back into the fire. 3) Repeat.
I use natural gas straight off the pipe with forced air, 1.5 hp 8" impeller. It makes about a half million BTUs into a 4x4x26 box with four burner ports. On a cold dry winter day, I can hit 3000 degrees and actually turn steel liquid. And it's CLEAN! No clinker getting beat into the work like with coal, no spending 90% of worktime futzing with the fire, no choking sulphur fumes while you're coking off the charge, no complaints from the neighbors about the small mountain of black rock in your backyard because the local supplier only sells by the dumptruck load.
Happy whacking...
Charly
me wrote:

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lol, my kinda guy charley... strait to it short n sweet... thx bud i'm anxious to use the knowledge you guys have imparted so i can get a lil practice under ma belt

started a

added
building
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Charly the Bastard wrote:
[deletia in places]

Or, bring it out of the fire when your workpiece turns the same color as the refractory material in a gasser or coke in a coal fire.

Nit #1: You don't want to lay your workpiece atop your anvil, take aim, then hit it. Your anvil is a heat sink, so your workpiece should first touch your anvil only an instant before your hammer hits it. Nit #2: You don't want to hit it too hard, you want to hit it just hard enough to mash the molten metal together - otherwise, you'll be decorating your shop floor with the stuff that would've made a helluva weld.
--
Tom Stovall, CJF
Farrier & Blacksmith
  Click to see the full signature.
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duely noted... this is eaten me up cause i wanna go try this now dont want to wait... i feel like a kid with a new toy
(note munge)

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Tom Stovall wrote:

I mentioned the heat sinking properties of anvils later in the post. I'd rather hit it too hard than not hard enough. Cold shuts live there. It's damn hard to fix a cold shut after you surround it with good fusion, kinda like a bubble in a decal. If you can't fix it, it's scrapmetal. Of course, I do all my heavy welding with a powerhammer. I can hit harder by hand, but not as often, so yeah, I cheat.
Charly
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Charly the Bastard wrote:

What you ought to try is a powered hydraulic press. Welding a billet of damascus becomes trivial. Heat, squish a little, heat, squish a little and I start drawing the billet on edge with no delamination. Really neat.
Steve

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Steve Smith wrote:

I should have added that this can be done with a billet 8" x 2" x 2".
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i kinda get that and... well... lol how do you get the thin shims or plates for damascus, i know it was originally cast with extra carbon and smiths use thin layers alternating high n low carbon ( i read this, not trying to sound like a know it all ) but how do you get thin shims... forged or bought??? i really need to find suppliers for several things, steel is hard to get now, i mean the steel yards only want to sell to companies and hardware stores want to sell you a 6' piece of 1x1x1/8 angle for like $20 God forbid they ever get in square stock...

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