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  #1  
Old 02-19-2017, 10:03 AM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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New forge and testing HT

I just finished my new forge which is constructed out of an 8" stove pipe. I used kaowool and refractory cement with a burner that I got from Dave. I closed off the back and some of the front with firebrick and put a 3" muffle inside. It heats up the 1084 really quickly and more evenly when compared to my old one. I have only done test coupons in it so far but am running into a problem when I am breaking the coupons to check the grain.
I get them so the grain is always fine however sometimes they seem very brittle with fine grain and sometimes they seem a lot tougher with fine grain. Also sometimes the break is clean and sometimes it is jagged but the grain is always very fine.

Last edited by gkyle840; 02-19-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2017, 12:24 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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It might help if you'd describe your process in detail....


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  #3  
Old 02-19-2017, 01:05 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I get the muffle in the forge heated up and then put a coupon inside and bring it to nonmagnetic and then I leave it in about 20 seconds longer and quench in canola that is heated to 120. I move it around in the oil for about 15 seconds, dry it off and let it cool for a few min. Then I break it and check the grain.
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Old 02-19-2017, 02:41 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Are you careful to catch non-mag on the way up and never let it go past that point? In other words, you can't let it go past and then try to cool it down to non-mag and quench. Other than that possibility your process seems OK except for the moving in oil for 15 seconds - let it stay in the oil until it has cooled to the point where it is merely warm to the touch. Any variation in the results should be dependent on how closely you are able to replicate the exact process each time. For example, if the forge is much hotter one time than another then you might still be catching non-mag just fine but that last 20 seconds could over heat the steel if the forge is hotter than usual. Or, as I indicated above, if you pull it out of the oil before the transformation has finished....


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Old 02-19-2017, 03:28 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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With the little coupons they cool to 120 when I pull them from the oil after 15 seconds. The forge stays a pretty steady color once heated up. it is definitely a lot hotter than 1500 though. I check the metal frequently and catch it on the way up each time I do a coupon. The part of the coupon near the front of the forge is always a bit cooler because I grab it with tongs to check it with the magnet each time. Im not sure if this is part of the problem or how to get around this.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:58 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Since you are not getting consistent results it would seem that there is a problem of some sort. The best way to get consistent results is to do the process exactly the same way each time - in this case that means being as repeatable as possible with temperatures each time. So, what process/tools/technique do we have available that might help accomplish this goal?

You have your pipe, good. You are catching the temp at non-mag on the way up, good. You put the steel back for 20 seconds after non-mag, good (since you say you're getting fine grain but might not hurt to try a shorter time like 10 seconds to see what difference you get). You pull the steel from the quench after 15 seconds, good for the fact you are consistent with the time but your results are not what they should be. That is too short a time, might work some times but might not be enough another time (which happens to be consistent with the type of results you're getting). 1084 is not one of the steels recommended for an interrupted quench which is what you're doing. Let it stay in the oil until it is dead cold or barely warm. That may not solve all your problems but it should provide more consistent results. One step at a time .

Something else just occurred to me: you grab the coupon with tongs. That has to be sinking a lot of heat. My guess is that you also are holding the coupon with tongs when it gets quenched, bad idea. Coupons are small, tongs have lots of mass, screws up the heat. Drill a hole in the coupon and put a loop of baling wire through it, handle it only by the wire. I'd almost bet money that will improve the consistency of your results dramatically ...


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Old 02-19-2017, 04:20 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I was just going to mention hooking it with a wire, with a blade it don't matter cause its bigger and wont let as much heat leave through the tongs and also you can grab the tang wich don't need to get hard. and especially since you make your coupons very small the tongs will suck the heat very quick. Try making them bigger remember the size I told you to make the ones that you are eventually send to me. try making them like that at least halfway from what your doing now . Besides the tongs sucking heat you have to think when we bring a blade to non magnetic then putt it back in for a few seconds...Now imagin doing the same thing with a tiny coupon the tiny coupon will heat up more than the knife will in those few seconds. the smaller something is the quicker it will loose heat but also quicker to gain heat keep that in mind
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:36 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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I will drill a hole and use wire from now on. I think the tongs are the problem with my inconsistent results. Just used my last little piece tonight so hopefully my new steel ships very soon! Thanks for the help guys!
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2017, 11:43 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Kyle, when you get the time forge a set of needle nosed tongs. My brothers shop has about 20 sets of tongs for his forges and some are needle nosed. He does mostly blacksmithing and custom sheet metal.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2017, 01:12 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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For heat treating I use LONG needle nose plyers they are like a foot and a half long got them in a set of 3 one are straight one the jaws are bent at 90 deg and one at 45 deg....for heat treating they work good all day....if you were forging something yeh you would want something better
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2017, 03:06 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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What would I forge a pair of tongs out of and is there a good tutorial on this? Any special tools needed?
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2017, 06:39 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Kyle, you have a forge. Didn't you forge your tongs? A pair of needle nose is simply forge the tips into a needle nose pattern out of some flat bar. I do not know of a video to do it. My brother is a blacksmith and sheet metal man. Put a pair of tongs together and hammer the tips to the form you want. Have you ever made a set of tongs?
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:21 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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My tongs are forged but I purchased them. Even though I have a forge, I have never done anything other than heat treat in it. I dont have an anvil or any specialized hammers though I have a lot of claw hammers and possibly a ball peen.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:09 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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A ball peen would do. Pardon me, I used to do blacksmithing until my asinine brother drove me crazy. Look at the tongs you have and take 2 pieces of flat bar about 1/4 by 1/2 (or round bar) and drill the pivot hole in the center and put a red hot bolt through there and beat one end so it can't go back. Then heat and beat the tips until you have a matching needle nosed plier.

Practice it first and watch some smithy videos. Any decent sized block of steel will work for an anvil. I once used an old engine block as an anvil. For a set of tongs you do not need something massive. The head of a 10lb sledge hammer would work for an anvil. The flat spot on the back of a vise will work too. You're not forging a knife but a medium sized tool. Heck you can use a block of granite.lol It'll break apart, but you'll be done by then.

You can buy a pair of needle nosed pliers and forge the handles onto them too.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:20 PM
gkyle840 gkyle840 is offline
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Thanks Jim. I will give this a try. Im thinking of using some round steel from home depot. Will this be sufficient? I do have a vice and I can use the flat part as an anvil.
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