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Old 08-30-2015, 10:31 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ny
Posts: 1,438
Question ?!?!melted bar?!?!

Hey guys so i had ordered some steel and received it the other day. I am getting a propane forge next week. I have a simple lil charcoal forge that i have used to heat treat some stuff. The charcoal one is basically a modified small circular charcoal grill that i put a grate in to keep stuff nice and flat and even. I also made a large hole in the bottom (about 5 inches in diameter) wich i attached a flexible tube to the bottom and the other end i stick a hair dryer or a small leaf blower depending on how much air i need and how hot i need it. So also i was reading that people use borax as flux but ANHYDROUS borax is what your supposed to use and it is alot better than the "20 mule team laundry booster". However i seen a guy wrote instructions on basically putting the laundry booster borax in the oven for 2 hours to dry it out and basically make it anhydrous. The regular borax puffs up and gets hard in the oven so you have to break it up back to powder. Well anyway the point of all this is as i said in a previous thread i wanted to just play around with things like shaping, forge welding and pattern welding and again i don't expect great results just basically a learning experience and kill some time (wich i have wayyy to much these days). So i was heating up 2 pieces of metal to see if i could stick them together.(one was a piece of 1080 steel .187 thick by 1 in. wide). So i had them heating up added the borax as flux and put it back in. And well i was doing this in my backyard and my grandmother fell on the back deck (she was fine) but i ran over to help her and left the steel in the charcoal forge. I was only gone for maybe 3 mins. But when i got back i pulled the 1080 piece out and litterly half of the bar was gone and had melted away. I couldn't believe it do you guys think the forge was just to hot and since i left it for a min is the reason? Or maybe this "homemade borax flux" could of been the reason? This really had me scratching my head because i really didnt think it was hot enough to just melt away half of a bar that quickly that's what got me thinking maybe the borax had something to do with it. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

One more thing there any rule of thumb or info out there on what metals can be forge welded to other metals (i am assuming not everything can be stuck to everything by hand)
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:03 AM
Ray Rogers's Avatar
Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,834
Interesting. From the way you described that forge I think it is very unlikely that the steel melted away from the heat alone as that requires over 3000 F . But, if you have WAY too much air flying through there you might get hot enough that the air's cutting action might be responsible for the steel loss.

BTW, that is an absolutely terrible design for a charcoal forge if it allows the moving air to play directly on the steel. Big time no-no that leads to fast erosion of the steel although I think you may have set a record there.

Similar steels weld to each other best (no surprise there). You can stick (not necessarily weld) most steels to each other but if you mess with stainless you probably won't have an easy time of it unless you can provide an airless environment for the weld...


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Old 08-30-2015, 02:49 PM
jmccustomknives jmccustomknives is offline
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 554
Ray, I made a forge like that. It can ruin a piece pretty quick. Dtec, your not the first person to turn his back on a piece and have it burn up. Keep in mind, as carbon content increases the melting/welding point decreases.

It's also very hard to weld two thin pieces together. By the time you get them to the anvil they've already cooled below welding temp. The more mass the easier to get a good weld.
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:37 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ny
Posts: 1,438
yeh i mean this definitely melted a good chunk completely off. with this forge i first used a leaf blower on REAL low but very quickly realized it was to much since then and when i ruined the metal i use a hair dryer.
When i get the time ill either take some pics or a video maybe even put the half melted piece in and record that melting.... ill try and do this tomorow my father had to get admitted to hospital last night so i am on my way back there in a lil bit so i wont have time today maybe tomorow thanks for the reply guys
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