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Hole in the ground forging session - first time forging! best time ever

hickory Oct 12, 2017

  1. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    I dug a hole, dug a sloping hole connecting to it from a foot or two away. I filled the hole with some paper, sticks, and hardwood charcoal...and lit it. I put the output of my shopvac into the slanted hole. It worked pretty well but it really was too strong for it and it spit sparks everywhere...burnt my lip pretty bad.
    Either way, I then remembered that I had a variac in the barn somewhere! I was able to find it and not knowing if it worked, plugged it in and adjusted the current to the shopvac. Running at 20%, it chugged along happily and let me tell you, the airflow was perfect. I have to thank my 18-years-deceased-packrat-master-of-electronics grandpa for that one!

    I now have a working forge! I have to dig a hole to set that crazy planer blade in, and then I'll have a decent post anvil setup. The dremel really was a bitch to do rough grinding with but it sure worked, and better than files! Looks like a belt/disc combo for the wishlist! I'll probably try to make a little gas forge soon because charcoal is crazy, but honestly that worked great and I wouldn't trade the experience for the world.
     
    Jim L., Kelper, desmodus and 3 others like this.
  2. jimmyjo

    jimmyjo Brigade Member Brigade Member

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    Fire is fun.
     
    Jim L., Kelper and begreen61 like this.
  3. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Get yourself a band saw ,, I'll be up Love to make a blade
     
    Kelper likes this.
  4. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Id love any big motorized tools.... I have to get my shop setup!
    I've got a piece or too, I think there is a drill press in there somewhere.
    Band saw is a good(great!) idea.
     
    Kelper likes this.
  5. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    I got a drill press sits in my shed more then welcome 2 years old bought it for making an ar receiver haven't used it sense,,Have to get it to you , if you don't have one
     
    Kelper likes this.
  6. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    scored a really nice bench grinder today.
    on a metal stand, craftsman professional, coarse wheel and fine wheel, 1/2 horse power, made in 1975.... $32.00 at an estate sale.
     
    Jim L., Kelper and begreen61 like this.
  7. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    All cleaned up! Took the advice of my dad and ground down the cross section a good bit... cleaned up the edge and the finish... sharpened on a stone. It's acceptably sharp now and I am happy. maybe a handle next...maybe not.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Kelper, desmodus and seandavid55 like this.
  8. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    desmodus, Kelper and seandavid55 like this.
  9. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    seandavid55 and Kelper like this.
  10. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Ran out of coal, all of this was done with construction lumber scrap.

    I'm really happy with it after two forging sessions today. I'm going to rough grind, straighten, and heat treat.
     
  11. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Still a lot more to be done but here is an update.
    More forging to straighten is up next, then grinding, then I am going to try and do a really controlled annealing/normalization before I do a controlled soak and heat treat.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    desmodus and seandavid55 like this.
  12. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    so you heat treating that ,,,,that,,,that,,,knife I guess you call it with that bic lighter , well I got to tell ya your wasting your time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,didn't work for me and burnt the shit out of my fingers .
     
    hickory likes this.
  13. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    LOL! I knew I was doing _something_ wrong! Maybe I'll have to just get over close to it and blow on it...you know I'm full of hot air!
     
  14. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Final forging, it's a lot straighter and better in general. I had a lot less problems, working in the daytime is nice but impossible to have any idea how hot the steel is. I mounted my 'anvil' horizontally on the stump and it's pretty nice to have a flat piece of somewhat hard steel to work on now! I also found some old blacksmith tongs in the barn! hoooray! I have to modify them to have a thinner gap for bladesmithing though. I'm going to forge tomorrow with my buddy who has a real shop so I'll see what I can do there and also maybe have him help me fix the tongs so I don't screw them up too badly. My next project is drilling a hole in a steel garbage can and making a charcoal roaster and filling up a 55gal plastic drum with charcoal. Then I'm going to consider buying black pipe fittings to make a 'proper' charcoal forge.

    Next up, final grind, heat treat!

    Bonus extra: preform for another knife! The dang stock is pretty small though so I'm really not sure if I will continue or not with this one.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    Jim L. and begreen61 like this.
  16. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    20" Himalayan Imports Gelbu Special chopped the wood and my 1 year old filled the can! Good boy, so helpful! We made charcoal!
    Worked out great, opening the can this morning was like Christmas morning! Now I'll have plenty of charcoal for life! I sort of want a 55gal metal drum though, to really get this going.
     
  17. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    Will be careful ,,you are playing with fire ,,no pun intended ,,does your friend have a gas forge by chance ,,you should go to St Johnsville historical site they have a blacksmith shop there a friend of mine makes knifes there when it's open in the summers he has a bellow and coal/charcoal set up of the 1700ies that very efficient and pretty safe to be honest with you.
     
  18. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Without having gone to his shop yet, I'm betting it is a coal forge because it's on a farm..but it could be a gas forge which would be sweet. I am trying to decide if I want to convert a huge rasp from the barn into a MASSIVE BOWIE KNIFE.
     
    begreen61 and desmodus like this.
  19. begreen61

    begreen61 Deadicated JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

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    start big ,,,,,,,,,,,,,can't add metal with out starting over ..
     
  20. hickory

    hickory JDBA OFFICIAL Member JDBA Official Member

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    Got the first little file blade under the grinder tonight, decided to take down the tang and taper it so I could make a hidden tang knife like everyone's favorite knives!
    What did I learn? It's REALLY REALLY REALLY hard. Making the straight hole through a block of wood is impossible, they all drill out elliptical. The fit and finish is rediculous. In the end I question whether I improved my knife at all but we will see. Right now it is sitting in some walnut 1x1, with the epoxy setting up. I drilled about three handle blanks before I gave up trying to get one to fit properly. This is going to look like a goober. but hey...it's a first try, right?
    I am really looking forward to drilling out the tang of the next knife and making a pinned handle with slabs. It (hopefully) will be a lot more workable. This was a horror-show.
     

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