View Full Version : forging a leafspring

05-24-2003, 10:47 PM
I'm ready to try forging now. Built a Ron Reil mini-forge and it gets white hot inside. Have a leafspring and tried to hammer it out and it's breaking in on the edge.
Does it need to be annealed before working it?
Doesn't work very easily, supposed to be this hard to hammer? I don't seem to be able to hammer much before having to re-heat. Doing something wrong or heating too much?
Got the tip shaped and it broke along the edge while straightening it. (not tapered yet)
And finally, how hot should I work it? What color is best for hammering?

Thanks for the help, Charlie

Bob Warner
05-24-2003, 11:11 PM
No need to anneal. Once you put it into a hot forge, all other heating operations performed in the past are ruined.

Leaf springs are usually 1095 or 5160. These steels, as are most steels, are hard to move with a hammer. It will take a lot of heats to forge out your design. Since leaf springs are so thick, it will take a lot more heats than it would for barstock that is closer to your final size. Don't plan on making dramatic changes in the shape on each heat. Forging takes time, a lot of time.

There are two possibilities for your breaking problems. One is you are not heating it enough but that is probably not the case. If you are getting the steel so hot that it throws off sparks, you are heating it too much and ruining it. It will crumble when you hit it. Try not to get it so hot. Turn the forge down and you will be kinder to your steel and save some cash on propane.

05-24-2003, 11:14 PM
Sounds like you are working too cold. I found thinner steel was/is easier for me to work at first. If you insist on using scrap for practice try bed rail. It has worked well for me.

05-25-2003, 02:36 PM
OK Bob, I'll be a little more patient. Guess I expected it to move too easily. I'll take your advice Hammerdown also and try some bed rail for practice.

Thanks for the replies, Charlie