theengel
One of the things I'm struggling with is how hot to get the metal.  There are plenty of forging videos, and everyone tells you to get the metal to certain colors.  But I'm having a hard time discerning the color, because background light really effects it.

Aside from colors, what indicators are there that you're hot enough or too hot?  I'm using a propane forge from Majestic.

I've heard that if you hit the metal and any sparks fly, it's too hot.  Is this true?  What about pieces of steel chipping off the surface?  Is that good or bad?

It seems like I'm pounding the $$$$ out of this stuff, and not getting very much movement.  But then, that's possibly because I'm just using a RR anvil.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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jmccustomknives
Get a magnet (this is only for knife grade steels, RR spikes aren't a knife grade steel), heat the steel.  As it heats up pull it out and check it with a magnet.  When the steel reaches it's critical temperature (Curie point) it will become non-magnetic.  This is the bottom end temp for moving metal.  You shouldn't be in danger of over heating in your Majestic although certain steels like 52100 or extremely high carbon steels may cause trouble.  Generally the top end is just under sparking (burning).  Good forge theory says you start forging on the hot end and finish on the cooler end.  It is difficult to determine color in bright light, you might try laying a trash can on its side and sticking the hot metal in the shade to help see the color.

Low carbon steels (mild steel) can be worked in a broader temperature range.  Basically you can take it from just under sparking (burning) to almost black without hurting it.  Just remember not to force the steel when it's on the cool side of forging temps as cracking can occur.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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theengel
Well then I've been working this stuff really cold.

No wonder my body is so sore.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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jmccustomknives
theengel wrote:
Well then I've been working this stuff really cold.

No wonder my body is so sore.

It does take experience, but you'll appreciate a good anvil if you ever get one.  Work on letting the forge bring the steel up to it's temperature.  Once the forge is hot (should take 15-30 mins) place the steel in and leave it until it get as bright as it can.  Find a shaded place to do your forge work.  I've tried it in full sun and it's really difficult to do.























Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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Skarzs the Cave Troll
Quite the gap in your post there, Jim. :\
I prefer to put my steel in while it's heating up, just so that I can get a little bit of a head start on the work. And if it's mild steel, or I'm preparing the stock, a low heat is good enough until I get the forge up to proper temperature.
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jmccustomknives
Skarzs the Cave Troll wrote:
Quite the gap in your post there, Jim. :\
I prefer to put my steel in while it's heating up, just so that I can get a little bit of a head start on the work. And if it's mild steel, or I'm preparing the stock, a low heat is good enough until I get the forge up to proper temperature.

Yeah, not sure how that gap happened.  [confused]  The main reason I want my forge hot before getting to work is I'm using knife steels.  You have a couple of things that happen while staying in the forge, grain growth and scaling.  If the forge isn't hot enough the steel is going to stay in longer, and that means loss of material to scaling and the possibility of excessive grain growth.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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theengel
My brother just replaced the springs in his truck, so I'm going to try my hand at some good steel.  I'll let it get hotter this time.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Steve Meyer
I put up a cheap canopy over my work area. They're like $40 for a 10'x10' 8' high. You can buy for a couple of bucks some darker sides. Not sure If this would help you but it has really helped me see what I'm working with. How hard is it to draw out metal over the edge with a rr anvil? I ask because it seems like the slightly rounded top would cause it to be difficult.
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theengel
I have a flat, steel block welded to part of the top, but actually, when I'm drawing it out, I tend to use to RR top instead of the steel block.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Hank Rearden
I too had difficulty drawling out steel. Then a saw I technique were the metal being drawn was held at about a 30 degree angle on the edge of the anvil. With each blow of the hammer the piece was pulled back slightly and rotated 90 degrees. This back and forth motion maniputalted the metal quickly. After several cycles, it was laid on the anvil face to be smoothed and straighten out.

Took me a few times but was able to pick it up quickly. What a time saver. Using the Track edge would work about the same.
code[Maglio.gif]  Keep the fires burning hot!
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Steve Meyer
That's the same technique I've been practicing. seems to work much better, at least for me. then I use the back edge for a reverse taper and work the other way. I use the end of each heat planish.  MY hard surface to beat metal on is no anvil or even anvil like, it is hardened however.

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Skarzs the Cave Troll
What. . . is that?
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Steve Meyer
That's a good question.  My dad has a anvil at his ranch, it has for sure been there since 1905.  He's 77, it was his great uncles used at the ranch so it may be older.  this plate was with that anvil.  My dad has used it for a tractor front weight for a very long time.  the thing bounces a hammer like a anvil rings like a anvil and is hard as all hell. cleaning up the surface took around a hour with a angle grinder.  I said hardened I should have just said hard, since I don't really know what it is or if it's actually "hardened".  But other than a horn it works well for what I'm doing, and I like it much better than the cheap one I bought or the RR track I had.

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anvil
It's best to recognize colors under a constant light source inside. Outside, as time moves on the colors change. Clouds also will change what you see from moment to moment. So outside takes more experience to know your true temps.

If you are inside and have a constant light source, the basic rule is simple,,,

When it's yellow it's mellow,,,

When it's red it's dead.
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angela Shen
hammer installing.jpg power hammer
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jmccustomknives
Angela, the perspective on the pic is crazy [crazy]  I can't tell if it's full sized or a miniature made to look full sized.  lol.

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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angela Shen
moderrator,[rolleyes]this is our hammer frame
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theengel
Down in the bottom, left corner, you see a shoe.
Or, if not smithies per se, were you otherwise trained in the metallurgic arts before straitened circumstances forced you into a life of aimless wanderin'?
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Scrambler82
I found this pdf on line a little while ago; is this a good tool for a beginner ?

Does it depict the Temp properly ?

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Skarzs the Cave Troll
More or less, yeah. I think the only ones that are less accurate are the 1900 and 1800 degree ranges. (I suppose the ink might not properly portray the color.) I would say those two are just generally brighter.
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jmccustomknives
Scrambler82 wrote:
I found this pdf on line a little while ago; is this a good tool for a beginner ?

Does it depict the Temp properly ?

 


Loosely.  In the lower tempering range carbon and alloy content play a big factor in tempering colors so it helps to know what your working with.  On the other end lighting is critical.  What looks dull red in bright daylight could be yellow in a shop. 

Rule #10;  "I can make that" translates to; "I'm to cheap to buy it new."

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