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How to Forge


I want to get into metalworking. How do you forge something from a piece of metal?

2818 day(s) ago

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Roper
Metalworking seems like a complicated process, but it only requires a few simple tools. Most people begin their forging experience by making a knife. Knives are simple and they will help you learn the basics of forging so you will be ready to move on to more complex forms with more complicated metals. To begin forging you will need a home forging furnace, a 3-pound sledge, an anvil or other work surface, and clamps. The fire can be made with charcoal, but it will need an air source. Some people find a hair dryer works well to circulate air through the coals.

You will need a cut steel plate to introduce into the forge. If you don’t know the proper temperature, you can test the heated steel with a magnet. It will lose its magnetism at the proper temperature. Holding the steel in the clamp, begin pounding the steel with the sedge to form the tip. Next, work on the edge with light taps up and down the length of the steel. The blade should be about 3/4 the length of the steel. The other 1/4 is for the tang. The tang is the part that goes in the handle. After the knife is shaped, it must be annealed. This will soften it slightly for refinement. Annealing is done by heating the blade until it is red and letting it cool three times. It is then left in the fire to cool slowly overnight. When the knife is cool, file out the uneven parts, then heat it again to forging temperature and dip it in a tub of oil. This will rapidly cool the steel, causing it to harden. All that’s left is sharpening and attaching a handle.




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