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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2015, 05:33 PM
Luke V Luke V is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Kentucky
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first forge

Here are a couple pics of my first forge and burner. Have a few mods im going to do after using it and seeing how it worked.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2015, 06:47 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'd lose the bricks. If you feel the interior is too large without the bricks then add another layer of wool. You can use a brick for the floor of the forge but the square interior is a killer - round is much better plus the bricks will soak heat for a while and the forge will heat up faster without them ...


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Old 04-14-2015, 08:00 PM
Luke V Luke V is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Kentucky
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Takes about 35 min with door closed off to get up to heat. The blade I heat treated last night looked good but upon starting the finishing it has problems. I'm Thinkin it is the steel. All along the blade there are 1/4 wide strips that go from spine to edge that are very hard. They are about a inch apart and go the whole length of the knife. They are almost perfectly spaced. A Nichols file will not scratch them but is much softer between them. blade looked good when it came out of temper, nice straw color. Normalized blade three times and never got it to hot. Going to normalize it and retreat it again. Steel came from Admiral Steel.

Last edited by Luke V; 04-14-2015 at 08:01 PM. Reason: Left a word out
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:18 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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What alloy are you talking about?

As far as the interior of the forge goes I'll second Ray's suggestion. Remove the bricks, they'll break down from the flame if you don't coat them with a refractory, and replace them with another layer of ceramic matting and cover that with a thin coat of a refractory. Something is wrong with the design if it is taking 35 minutes to come up to a working heat. My solid castable refractory forge doesn't take half that long. It does, however, have a blown burner rather than a venturi.

Doug


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Old 04-14-2015, 08:52 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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What Doug said, 35 minutes is far too long on a small forge like that. But, it eventually gets hot and hot is hot so it should get the job done.

But, it didn't. You didn't say what steel you were using but it probably doesn't matter based on your statement that parts of it were hard enough to turn a file. Any steel would have to be very poorly made to harden in bands like that and that would be very unusual.

I would be more inclined to believe that your blade got heated in bands like you described rather than that the steel was made that way. If the steel did get heated that way that means that something is preventing the volume around the blade from being evenly heated. I've never seen uneven heat distribution manifest itself in exactly the way you describe but you do have a lot of material between the hot gasses and the blade and you have a complete lack of circulation. You could try different steel to see if that makes any difference but I'm thinking it probably won't ...


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Old 04-15-2015, 07:11 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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I'd focus on getting the forge reconfigured for more optimum performance and worry about the steel last. It'd help more if you could show the forge in operation. From here it looks like you took a good design and made it less good with the addition of the firebricks. As suggested another layer of wool would have served much better.
Not being able to see how the torch enters the chamber, flame characteristics, or interior dimensions make it difficult to diagnose with any accuracy.
In 35 min of run time most of us would/could/should have several blades forged out and ready for profiling and HT. Sounds like too large a chamber with the bricks sucking up all your heat and maybe an inefficient torch. Whether it's blown or venture shouldn't matter much...other design problems are far bigger issues.

No specifics on what steel you are using, however it's very unlikely it is the steel. You comments about temps are somewhat vague. What are the actual temp ranges you think you are working with? How are you determining critical temp before the quench? What quenchant medium and temp?
Note - The oxidation color on the steel from drawing the temp is only indicative of surface temp. How are you controlling the heat? In what kind of oven? Is it possible that you laid the blade on an oven rack with spacing matching the spacing of your hard soft spots? If so you did not let the blade soak long enough at tempering heat to fully temper.
Awful lot of variables to sort through with just the steel issue.


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Old 04-15-2015, 09:13 PM
Luke V Luke V is offline
 
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Crex, I turned the pressure down on the gas to try and get a even heat in the forge is why I let it run for 35 min. if I turn the pressure up to 25 psi I can get heat a piece of 1095 cherry red in less than 2 minutes but it is only heated about 4 inches though. So I turned forge down and tried heating up bricks to get a even heat. The end of the burner was 1 inch from chamber opening as I pulled the bricks tonight and started rounding out the chamber with kaowool. When burner is running around 18psi the flame will touch the bottom bricks.

The steel was 1080 and is 3/16 thick. I normalized it 3 times. I don't have a thermo coupling on forge so I used a magnet and heated till the magnet would barely stick to the steel, then let it cool till black and repeated process. Tempered using magnet, heated till magnet didn't stick to blade and checked it on spine as well as edge in 3 places. Blade was a even orange color. Quenched in canola oil till it could be touched then wiped blade off and in small counter top oven that I have checked with digital thermometer. Heated for 1 hour on 400 degrees then cooled to room temp and repeated.

Now here is where you hit the nail on the head. I set the blade on its spine but it fell over on wire rack and the harden stripes match the rack perfectly. Thanks for the input on the wire rack as I never thought of this. Still learning the small but very important details.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:20 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Pretty much figured that. My approach to heating up my forge is to run at full throttle - actually just to the point before I'm burning fuel outside the front. It takes approx. 3 min to reach forging temp and the interior to glow a nice warm orange. Then trim my torches back to maintain the heat I want. Usually already forging the first blade in 5 min or so.
I'm thinking your forge should not take that long to reach heat. Wool vs brick will make that diff. Make sure you seal the wool with hi-temp mortar like Satanite, even around the front. You do not want to be inhaling those ceramic fibers! The forge will break down uncoated wool and blow fiber right out into your shop air and in suspension.....bad stuff.

Maybe misunderstanding, but sounds like you have your torch portal to close to the front. This will create backpressure problems toward the rear and greatly decrease efficiency. Also the flame should not be directed at the floor but top or upper side to create a swirling effect which will heat the entire interior more efficiently and keep direct decarb flame from burning your steel. Once the forge is up to temp and running right you should not even be able to see the flame just a steady glow like a catalytic converter.

As shipped from Admiral the steel should be in a fully annealed state. Are you just using the forge for HT or are you forging your blades to shape? Nothing wrong with normalizing and if you are forging or grinding it does relieve a lot of imparted stress in the steel. However, to truly normalize you must take the steel up just past the point of non-magnetic and get all of it the same shade or color. Easiest way if you have good color perception, as the steel reaches non-mag look at the shade just past the change point and take the steel to this color then let air cool in still air. Just once on 1080 is really all you need - not so picky as the higher eutectoid steels.
Do the same on the quench heat and you should be fine. "Even orange"sounds a bit hot to me....should be more along the lines of just going from dark/black-red to red. Watch your colors more closely as you test with mag. and make sure your ambient lighting is staying consistent.

On your countertop oven, I've had more consistency placing two oven t-meters and splitting the difference (if any). Can be read through the glass. Digitals have been know to read a bit erratic if shooting through glass and once you open the door you'll be reading on the drop. Always preheat your oven and blade rack. Simply slot a small scrap of the firebrick to hold the blade, spine down. Make the foot wide enough to be stable. If you preheat about 10 min. the FB will be holding the right temp and not prematurely cooling the steel. I'd go for a 2hr soak at temp instead of one, just to be sure. Make sure your oven is not near a draft - window/door/etc. simple air movement can drop the temp of one of these by 10-15 deg very quickly. Got tired of that and disassembled mine, gutted all but the T-stat and on/off switch then line the inside of the casing with k-wool. Stays very stable with temp.

Hope this is helpful.


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Old 04-16-2015, 11:26 AM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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If you are going to be watching for color or decalesance, the shadow passing across the steel, you need to do that in a darkened area. Sun light or bright shop lights throws things off.

Doug


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