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Old 05-05-2005, 02:03 PM
SVanderkolff's Avatar
SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mildmay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,472
dumb question

I have seen a number of guys make some really neat guards out of wrought iron.
What is wrought iron and where am I most likely to find some?
Can you cold forge it?

Stephen Vanderkolff
Please come on over and check out my website.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:39 AM
Sweany's Avatar
Sweany Sweany is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Sand Springs OK
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Real Wrought Iron

Her's some info on it. Wrought iron is made in a bloomery and has a lot of silica in it. The old stuff is sometimes grainy as a pice of wood. The grain can be reduced by bringin it to a white heat and working it down.

Sources today:
wagon wheels, old old farm euipment and anchor chain, or anchors. Idian George picked up a bunch of anchor chain a while back I don't know if he has any left. He hangs mostly at shoptalk at bladeforums.

Cold forged; Wrought iron has to be worked at a higher heat that mild or alloy steel.
I've never tried it but cold but at low heat sometimes this stuff will come apart. I have a chunk of wagon wheel and some old andirons at the shop.

Some of the stuff etches real pretty some is just pretty plain.
Again that working,/forgeing/refineing thing.

NT Barkin Turtle Tribe ~~~Life is what it is~~~
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Old 05-06-2005, 04:17 PM
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Andries Olivier Andries Olivier is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lydenburg
Posts: 315
Wrought iron can only be forged successfully at a whitehot temperature. Forging at a red or orange colour will almost certainly cause cracking. Forgewelding can also only be done at whitehot temp. To test metal in order to assure yourself that it is wrought iron you are working with you can do a spark test. ie: grind the metal and watch the sparks that are formed. Wrought iron will make a dull red spark that does not "feather" and burns out rather quickly.

It works nicely with damascus blades but must be oiled and/or waxed to prevent rusting. Some pieces might even look like damascus after etching. It may also be blued or browned.

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forge, forging

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