Hand Tools Archive

Re: A great and helpful summary...

I was probably trying to move the metal around more than you are so thre's some tradeoff on heat/mallebility. I don't really know how to define reasonably where the line is ("depends" is as close as I can get).. I believe the desire for some smiths to forge colder is to reduce the decarbing issue, walking close to that line is tricky and requires a bit more skill than I certainly have.

You certainly don't need or want to get anywhere close to sparking, that's heading on welding heat. I guess mostly just judge by how easy the metal moves and try to get it more or less evenly heated through. Judging color is also a bit tricky because it depends on the ambient somewhat. The old forge I was working on was in a nice log cabin like structure with 1800's era dusry windows so it was just the perfect shade of dim to forge in. There was a bench with a bigger window/by the door where the grinder and and cold work vise was... that all worked pretty well.

The glass hard steel issue is certainly familiar >( A couple of dagnabbit!!! intances there for sure.

Most lower carbon will be more forgiving than higher carbon, so that definitely makes sense. I don't entirely understand how all of the other components affect the crystal formation (I've read Verhoeven's Metallurgy of Steel for Bladesmiths .. but it was kind of like reading the water chemistry book for brewing, some useful prescriptive information but the fundamentals exceeded my grasp) but that definitely matters. O1 is kind of magically nice to work with in that regard.

If you haven't gotten a couple of good blacksmith's tongs, they're easy enough to make from mild steel and long handles are super nice :)

My main interest is in making things I can't reasonably buy, or that are interesting to make in some alternative fashion. Mostly the former, so a lot of it ends up being pretty rough and ready.

It'll be interesting to see how your 1095 adventures go.

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