One Brick Forge

Discussion in 'Blades' started by Bear, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Well I had a small anvil, i have had to replace it. I now have a 55 lb anvil. I know its not huge but I hope its good enough to start with. The smaller anvil just dented when I struck it.
    I have alot of respect to those that can forge. Right now my stuff is , well sub par. I am enjoying the practice.
  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Any anvil is good enough... I have a Master Blacksmith buddy who began with a chunk of granite....

    Great to hear you got another anvil.... give us a report on how you like it.....

    When you get a forge going... maybe you can harden that face of the smaller anvil....

    No such thing as "sub par" in blacksmithing.... we all start somewhere.... did you notice that chunk of steel I used in the beginning... just some scrap... and it dented when I hit it with my hammer.... in fact most anvils will dent when you hit them with your hammer... that's why the really good blacksmith's anvils are pretty clean....

    Post some pics when you get a chance....

    I'll take some pics of my anvils and post later if you would like to see them....
    Dunerunner likes this.
  3. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    A little dent would have been ok, these are more like gouges and it felt like the anvil was softer than the glowing yellow steel. So far the new one's face is much harder. I can dent it with a ball-peen hammer but normal hammering has left no marks. The new one was on sale at harbor freight for $30 or $40, for 55 lbs. Now just to find a treestump to attach it to. I am keeping my eyes open for tree trimmers.

    I do plan on trying to harden the face of the small anvil, just need a good hot fire.. I will try to take some pics tonight. My shop is in my garage and is a multi-use shop. I also do tinker with wood working.

    As forthe subpar comment. I ment the output is subpar. :) I am learning a new respect to those that can forge something and it stay straight. I think my problem is that my anvil is too low, that is why I am looking for a log to put it on.

    Thanks for all the tips BTW.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Where are you located Mage2? If you happened to be around me or in KC area then might be able to help on the stunp part. On the stuff not staying straight are you talking about single edged knives curving away from the blade side or something else? I just ask because I know when I started forging I didnt realize that pounding the blade on one side will cause the blade to curve back and then you have to use a lead mallet or some such to straighten it and wasnt sure if that was what you were refering to.
  5. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    I am in texas (yee haw , or something :)
    No its when you pound on one side it starts bending then ya flip it over and hit the other side to bend it back, and repeat. But part of the reason its so quickly bending is because the anvil right now is way way too low so I catch myself not putting the metal flat before I hit it. Thats my fault. I have some friends keeping there eyes open for a stump or something similar for me locally. Thanks for the offer though. I havent had time to take pics yet. Right now I am building a shelf for my better half for her desk. It is more like a short hutch.
    I hope to get pics posted this weekend as the shelf should be done tonight/tomorrow.
    I really appreciate all the help and such from the members of this board. Seems this forum is a diamond in th rough of all the crap boards on the net.
  6. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Sounds like you're pretty handy.... if you dig in the scrap bins at the lumber yard and can find 2X4's.... you can stack and nail them together... one way first then the other next... up to your desired height... makes a pretty stable base and you can fit it to your anvil and not have the rounded stump in your way... also leave room for tongs and hammers and etc.... nail an old belt all the way around to hang stuff... alot of people who forge prefer that... so that the stump is not in the way... you can get closer to the anvil... Hope that helps... I'll try to find some pics of what I mean.... mine in on lumber as well....
    Dunerunner likes this.
  7. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    I have a few 2x4s laying around I had thought about doing something like that but was worried about the 2x4s deforming under load. I do think I will do just that and see how it works. now how man 2x4s are needed to make a stand high enough. :)
    The belt idea is a really good one also.
    I like making things and learning new skills, for my "real" job I am a computer geek. I deal in packets and networks and such. So for me blacksmithing,woodworking and things of that nature really get me away from the tech world and let me unplug. After 10-12 hours behind mutipule screens. Its nice to do something that does not involve flickering screens.
  8. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Well I got a chance to build the anvil stand Sunday, and I got to pound some metal.
    I am not impressed with my 55lb anvil. It is better than the other one I had but it still does not ring :( . But it does work for my uses. I started to pratice forging on a square mild steel bar. Its now round on one end.
    Are there any other exercises that would help? Im drawing it out to a point. It might end up a spear type thing. Also where does one find the other tools that fit in the square hole (hardy hole?) ?
    Thank for all the help
  9. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Here is my forge heating up a piece of coil spring
    Dunerunner and Ganado like this.
  10. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Looks great! so much fun!... Heat treating it will be a whole new round of fun....[beer]
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

  12. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    Could you give more details on the etch to bring out the transition line.

    i have a almost mirror finish. on the blade right now.
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I use ferric chloride, sold as "Board Etchant" at Radio Shack. I've heard they will not be carrying it anymore but I hope not. I mix 1 part acid with 3 parts water, then put the knife in the solution. Check it in 5 or 10 minutes and spray it with Windex (with ammonia) to stop the etching. Use 0000 steel wool and WD-40 to get the black stuff off and see what it looks like! Repeat as needed, and this is also the procedure for etching Damascus once you have it ground.
  14. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    what finish should the blade be at when you etch?

    So my current project is a "black diamond" steel file that I have taken off most of the file marks and forged to almost shape, then the files and power tools came out and I worked it down to a acceptable shape and size. I then heated it to non magnetic quenched it. I used a edge only quench, then dunked the rest in. I tested with a file, while I think i had some decarb the file skated off the blade.

    After that it was cycled for around a hour at 400 deg in a toaster oven to temper. I tempered the blade 3 times for a total of over 3 hours at 400 deg.

    Now the file still pretty much skates off the blade. Did I do something wrong? not enough temper? wrong temp? My sharpening stone doesnt really bite like I am used to, while my diamond stone does.

    I have now finished the blade all the way up to green polish, I can see my self in the blade.

    Before I put the handle on I want to know if i should temper more or what?

    Any idears ;)
  15. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I only temper once at 400 - it should look straw colored or golden. The file should bounce off the hardened part, that's why you hardened it! :) It will not take a good edge if softened too much.

    Finish it to where you normally would - no scratches, and then etch and check every few minutes. Use the Windex then steel wool and WD-40 to see what you have. The temper line comes about because the hardened section will color differently than the non-hardened section. If it gets too dark it can be buffed off.
  16. mage2

    mage2 Monkey+++

    I didnt see the straw color but then again it still had some oil on it. i baked it at 400 for a hour 3 times letting it get to room temp between cycles. I have a thermometer in the oven to show me temp. Here is what it looks like now.
    im stll learning the forgin proccess so this is a few revisions after forging.

    any good ideas for what to put on it for a handle?

  17. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Any kind of wood - I think would be nice. :)
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Onyx. It is a pure b*tch to polish, but is super nice done right.
  19. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    Very Cool, Thanks Bear! I learned something new today.

    I have a few questions though. What is the stock metal bar you started with? Iron, steel? What temp do the brick(s) need to withstand to do this, I found a wedsite that sold two kinds of high temp bricks, ~$2-3 each one upto ~2000 degrees F and the other 3200 degrees F? How long do you need to heat it to get the desired result? and How much fuel did you use to make that knife?
    Is that just a regular benzo torch you can get at the local hardware store?

    LOL on the pepper.

    Just thinking out loud, this might be useful to smelt PM's or make alloys in, maybe need something bigger though.
  20. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You want the "soft" fire bricks. If you want to heat treat it yourself start with a carbon steel like O1. Heat it to non-magnetic and quench in oil, then temper at 400 degrees for an hour. I use MAPP gas you can get anywhere, and they last much longer than I thought they would. Easy stuff. :)
    Dunerunner likes this.
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