Wannabe Forger

make it out of aluminum as the plans call out , I want to make mine out of some 4140-type steel I acquired several years ago . But the rounds
aren't big enough ...unless they are forged into rough shape before machining . My neighbor the blacksmith is covered up so it looks like it's time to build my own . Today I cut the top and bottom plates , and the angle iron corners . Tomorrow I hope to get the firebrick cut to shape - I'm using the bottom piece from a pottery kiln , 2 1/4" thick and big enough to cut all the pieces I need without any joints in the sides or top/bottom . Interior dimensions will be approx 6" x 6" and 10 " long . I'll be installing 2 burner ports , in case one isn't enough heat . For smaller jobs I can insert some pieces of fire brick to make the chamber narrower , plus will have some for closing up the front . The rear wall will be solid and removable so I can use one with a hole for longer work . I already have burners and an adjustable reg , which the forge will share with the aluminum foundry furnace . Now I need a Real Anvil instead of my little ASO (anvil shaped object) I made from some light gauge RR track .
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Snag
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I've read that hydraulic cylinder piston rods are commonly 1045 steel. The local cylinder rebuilder sold me some short cutoffs from his scrap bin. After turning off or annealing the outer case hardening it machines nicely.
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On 11/5/2018 5:50 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

building a forge ? As far as stock , I have probably more than I'll ever use - for machining and forging . That 4130-type , there is probably 6-8 feet of rounds between 2 3/4 and 3 1/4 diameter , lots of odds-n-ends , "one man's scrap" kinda stuff .
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"But the rounds aren't big enough ...unless they are forged into rough shape before machining "
3" is a big chunk of round steel to pound square by hand . I needed several 2-hour sessions to square and draw out 5/8" mild steel round stock, and he told us that high strength steel was at least twice as difficult to forge. It tapers from 1/2" to 5/16" square over two feet.
Don't forget that you'll need well fitted tongs to hold it, with one hand unless you have apprentices. You don't want glowing-hot steel rolling around the floor.
A badly sprained left wrist that hadn't healed as much as I hoped slowed me down somewhat. Two hours of shocks from the tongs aggravated it, and by then my right hand hammer control had degraded enough that the squared bar was twisting and becoming a rhombus.
https://www.steelforge.com/alloy-steel-4140/
The blacksmithing instructor's propane knife forge wasn't uniformly hot from end to end. He had an industrial electric oven for more precise heat treating and I completed an old project to assemble my own, which also wasn't uniform enough without testing and rework.
-jsw
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On 11/6/2018 7:11 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:

interwebs , found and avoided several newbie mistakes - like making a giant furnace that you can't heat . The plan is to have 2 burners , both pointed just below center from opposite sides . One points from near the back towards the front , the other about 1/3 from the front and pointed towards the back . I got a ways to go before I start thumpin' on a 3" round ... and I do have a couple pair of tongs , but none big enough for that job . My blacksmith neighbor says to weld a piece of round stock to the piece instead of using tongs . I think my first project will be a basic letter opener . Small and nothing critical , can be hammered out of a piece of 5/8" round mild steel .
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My first training project was the tapered woodstove poker, which covered many of the basics. The 5/8" round rod was squared to 1/2" overall, then about half of it drawn out into a long square taper, pointed and then curved into a small hook.
The handle end was flattened to half the thickness and twice the width, approximately since it also lengthens. I found that I could hold a specified dimension within 1/16". The shoulder where the flat begins was as sharp as I could make it, as though I was forging the lap joint of tongs. The flat was then smoothly looped back into a half circle and the square region inboard of it twisted several times to create a hand grip.
It's remarkable how much can be done with only a fire, a hammer and something flat to pound on. -jsw
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