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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 04-30-2016, 03:13 PM
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Mungo Park Mungo Park is offline
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forge weld 5160 to 01

Hello.
My son wants to forge weld a hatchet. To this end he has salvaged trailer leaf spring. On reading up on this newer cheaper leaf springs are made out of 5160 which is hard to forge weld.

My question is if we insert a piece of 01 in will this make the forge welding easier.

Cheers Ron
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:08 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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Probably not for beginners. If you get some 1084 or some other simple carbon steel it should make things easier. But if you are going to purchase steel why not get better materials to begin with. Those springs are rather thick which means unless you have a power hammer or press your going to start out with a low layer count. That means you'll spend more time folding and drawing out the billet. The higher the layer count you start with the fewer folds you'll need to get the layer count up.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice, no just the two of us with hammers.
What I was more thinking of was cutting the spring bending it around the horn then a pipe and then forge welding the ends together to be later forged into the cutting edge. So just one weld.
What I as asking would it weld easier if we insert a slice to make a sandwich of a piece of 01.
Cheers Ron
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:16 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
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If you have an old Nicholson or Black diamond file it might go easier.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:31 PM
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Yes, thanks for the advice.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:28 PM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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5160 simply doesn't play well with others (or with itself). Meaning that its one of the more difficult steels to forge weld.

Personally, I make all of my "plain" hatchets from mild steel, with a drifted eye, and then split the front and forge weld in a "bit" of 1080 steel.


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Old 04-30-2016, 10:11 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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5160 by itself is decent enough for an axe and I certainly would not add O1 into the mix unless you can forge at 1900 degrees to get the carbon to migrate. That is a hit or miss proposition. My brother and I tried to forge hawk heads from a mix of 4160 and 5160 with good results, but they are similar, O1 is not, too much carbon and that 0.5% tungsten from the O1 makes me wonder. Do a differential heat treat of the 5160 and forget about the O1 is my advice. Since 5160 has about .7 % chrome a 24 hour quench under dry ice would help. Been studying, the sub zero treatments work well with chromium steels and 5160 has close to 1 % chrome. May not get much harder, but will get tougher and more resistant to abrasion.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:32 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Meant to say 4140 not 4160, sorry.

Last edited by jimmontg; 04-30-2016 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:35 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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The problem with trying to weld 5160 is the chromium content which will cause it to form a film of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel unless you block the oxygen from getting to it. Not an easy thing, or even possible to do in a regular forge. The 5160 is rather low in chromium so I've heard of people of welding it to a non-chromium steel but trying to weld it to itself presents a problem. I definitely agree with Ed. Get some mild steel down at the tool-in-a-box store and weld something like the 1080 that he mentioned into the front end. You could just get something like 4140, bend it around, and weld it together. Then refine the eye with a drift.

Doug


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Old 05-06-2016, 09:45 AM
Tai Google Tai Google is offline
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5160 is a bit harder to forge weld than say 1075, but far from impossible with a conventional coal, charcoal or gas forge. The temptation is to get it hotter, but that usually ends up burning it. What you need to do is take many numerous low temperature welding heats and use fairly light hammer blows. In fact, I do the vast majority of the forging, fluxed (with borax) and at a low forge welding heat.

On any of these all steel wrap around hawks, it's also a good idea to forge braze them at the eye. This is something I started doing a long time ago, because there is always a bit of an incomplete weld at the eye to blade transition area. If done right, the brazing adds a lot of strength to that area.


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Last edited by Tai Google; 05-06-2016 at 12:47 PM.
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2016, 10:52 AM
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Here's a couple pix of an all 5160 wrap around I'm working on right now.

This one shows the forge brazed eye and fully welded blade.


This shows the double wrap around set up I use for the all steel hawks.


I don't mean to step on your toes here Ed, but I know you've had trouble with wrap around hawks in the past. Just thought this might help.

In spite of being a bit harder to weld, 5160 makes a great hawk.

... on a side note, it is best not to drift the eye after welding and there is no need to. I think this is the whole purpose of the wrap around style, no drifting needed and plenty of height to the eye. Drifting can further weaken the weld at the eye to blade transition area or even worse pop it open. All you need to do is forge the eye over a mandrel prior to welding, mainly just to size it and take the cross directional bow out of the back of the eye from the bending. Just a few well placed hammer blows does it. This will prevent the head from rocking on the handle.


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Last edited by Tai Google; 05-06-2016 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 05-06-2016, 12:38 PM
Tai Google Tai Google is offline
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Doug, it is true that the chromium oxide is most likely the reason why 5160 is more difficult to weld, but it is really not that much more difficult. It just takes a bit of know how, patience and practice. However, when I hear someone say, "or even possible to do in a regular forge", I think it is a good example of how certain lame "scientific" theories and dogma (stated as fact) just don't hold up well in the real world. There is way too much of this sort of thing circulating the internet. It tends to undermine progress in the craft and the artists who know better, from experience.

... With 5160, or really any hot rolled steel for that matter, it is a good idea to initially grind off any thick mill scale, especially on the surfaces to be welded. This gets rid of any residual oxides etc., left over from the milling process and makes it very doable in a somewhat controlled atmosphere,... not too oxidizing.

All theses welding recommendations are, or should be, standard procedures for forge welding carbon steel. Its really not that 5160 is so difficult to weld, but rather you can get away with cutting corners etc., easier on simpler steels.


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Last edited by Tai Google; 05-06-2016 at 05:42 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2016, 05:11 PM
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Here's how it turned out.



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