Backyard Forge experience?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Gjackson98, Dec 6, 2019.

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  1. Dec 6, 2019 #1

    Gjackson98

    Gjackson98

    Gjackson98

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    Recently I been browsing through internet regarding the topic of how to make a knife.
    One topic got me interested was forging your blade in your backyard.
    There has been a few seems to be "feasible" options on the internet.

    Have anyone ever tried anything similar before? How did it turn out?
     
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  2. Dec 6, 2019 #2

    RDalman

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    For sure doable to make a good knife this way. Good equipments "just" makes things easier, you can typically compensate with elbow grease, time and practice in trial and error.
    One advive; On heat treatment in this case, do some trial and error before actually trying to harden work you have put effort into.
     
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  3. Dec 6, 2019 #3

    Gjackson98

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    Thank you much for the advise, this can be gold... lol I can just imaging things turn south very quick with no experience in heat treat.
     
  4. Dec 6, 2019 #4

    Bensbites

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    I have given this some thought. I experimented with stock removal and gave up, handle work got busy and I set it aside. I may try again.

    Depending on your goals, you might consider outsourcing HT to someone like Peters.
     
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  5. Dec 6, 2019 #5

    applepieforbreakfast

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    I've done it.
    1084, a propane torch, a two brick "forge", borax, and some canola oil. It seemed to work pretty good.
    I didn't make any large knives, maybe a 3" blade at the most. I did stock removal and used the forge to normalize and HT. Not sure if the normalization steps were necessary, but the grain on the test piece was nice and small.

    Used a couple to process this year's buck, and they worked really well.
    If/when I make any more, I'll probably use an alloy that has a more complex HT process and send them to Peters.
     
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  6. Dec 6, 2019 #6

    milkbaby

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    You can build a simple propane forge from soft refractory firebricks and a venturi burner attached to a propane tank. In the USA check out hightemptools.com and atlasknife.com for some sources of firebrick, burners, and even anvils. Or google and you can make the burner yourself, and use a piece of railroad track set in a tub of concrete as your anvil.

    You can also make a coal or charcoal forge with a hair dryer as blower, google around and you can find some setups that are simple, like just digging a hole in the ground LOL.

    Making your own knives is extremely fun. It's very rewarding to finish a nice knife. I basically stopped buying knives after I started making them because I much preferred to develop my skills at knifemaking instead. I still love to look at the new knife thread here, but only because I appreciate the craft and the artform, not to buy anything new.
     
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  7. Dec 6, 2019 #7

    Gjackson98

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    This was what I have been watching lol looks fun! I want to learn the entire life cycle of a knife. Forge to Heat treat, sharpening, handling, polishing, cooking..
     
  8. Dec 6, 2019 #8

    inferno

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    i have only done actual forging at work. since this require a **** ton of gas and time.

    but for actual heat treating this is 110% possible and doable. i have a thread right here about it. https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/low-tech-ht-friendly-steels.42805/

    i wanted to jump into this pretty much as cheap as possible. and its possible.

    but you still gotta know your limitations. with gas and a magnet (i have 3 thermocouples and a meter though) you are limited to steels like 1080-1095-80crv2-15n20 and probably a few other very similar popular very low alloyed steels.

    if steels are high carbon or high alloyed they need a soak time. at a precise temp and time. maybe 5-10 minutes at a certain temp. and its almost impossible to do in a backyard forge with gas. i have 3 temp probes and the only thing those 3 have shown me is that the temp in my forge can vary by about 500 degrees C or so for 10cm distance. so i judge **** by magnetism and color.

    mr r dalman here above has helped me out. he recommended 850C for my steels. but i can only keep 850C in like a very small part of the furnace at any given time. but i know my simple steel stops being magnetic at 760-770 or so. and then i want something in color like 2 shades above this. done.

    it has worked out each and every time. just doing this. i guess i hit about 850 when doing this. also did some fracture testing to judge grain size. and it all seems good. after tempering it seems good too.

    after quenching. if a file skids you did something right.

    that being said i have no misconceptions about being able to HT stainless or even O1 with my setup.
    i have read a few books about HTing steel before though. and so should you. astm books.

    a man gotta know his limitations.... and now you know.
     
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  9. Dec 6, 2019 #9

    Random

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  10. Dec 6, 2019 #10

    inferno

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    and sometimes you dont even need practice runs when you have good guidance...
     
  11. Dec 6, 2019 #11

    inferno

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    the best workshop is doing **** yourself imo. over and over if necessary.
     
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  12. Dec 7, 2019 #12

    inferno

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    yeah btw gjackson i have even done an entire sword in my setup. and its a cheap/free setup. requires some patience though.
     
  13. Dec 7, 2019 #13

    HSC /// Knives

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    you can also use a propane weed burner (instead of a venturi) which is a very low cost way to get up and running. It might sound ridiculous but it works quite well, I've been using it for 2 years. Tai Goo showed me how.
     
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  14. Dec 7, 2019 #14

    HSC /// Knives

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    I took this class in Dec 2015, it's costly but so is most people's time . I did a writeup of it on another forum

    But you know that everyone learns differently. That's why classes exist. It works for many people :)

    btw, I see it said alot that some things are not possible, like soaking for a given length of time in a forge etc. It's not at all impossible, but most people don't know how to do it. Just because they don't know how, doesn't make it impossible. Knowledge, experience, skills are required. It's not for most people, but it certainly can be done. And I'm not advocating as a beginner you attempt things beyond your experience or skillset.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
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  15. Dec 7, 2019 #15

    Bensbites

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    if you haven’t seen milkbaby’s work, it’s stunning.
     
  16. Dec 7, 2019 #16

    ian

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    I wonder if milkbaby would be willing to share some photos...
     
  17. Dec 7, 2019 #17

    Gjackson98

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    That for sure look interesting! Maybe after I test the water first to determine how serious I want to dive into this hobby.
     
  18. Dec 7, 2019 #18

    Gjackson98

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    So if I want to do a little test in my backyard, what steel would you guys recommend?
     
  19. Dec 7, 2019 #19

    applepieforbreakfast

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    1084 from Aldo at NJSB
    https://newjerseysteelbaron.com/
    After reading a bunch of stuff back when, it seemed like it would be able to get the hardest out of the steels that are forgiving enough for a backyard HT.

    80CrV2 from AKS
    https://www.alphaknifesupply.com/
    This one seems like it's really similar to 1084 with the addition of a dash of vanadium and chromium.
     
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  20. Dec 7, 2019 #20

    Tim Rowland

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    As others have stated it is most certainly possible to have a simple "backyard" or shed, or garage setup.
    Regarding steels that can be used, there are plenty that can be used with practice on the heat treat. Soak time can vary yes but that should not detour you from trying them......after some practice with some simpler to work steels.
    With that said I would suggest the following steels to accumulate some experience with before moving on to steels with a more complex HT regiment. Also out of the following I would personally recommend 80CrV2 to you because of the temperature range allowed with the steel during the hardening and the extreme toughness of the steel.
    I would also highly suggest that whatever method of "forge" you use during your heat treatment buy yourself a thermocouple with 2 probes that have ceramic covered wire for the heat. Can be found for under $60.

    1084: Austenitize: Heat to 1,460° to 1,480° . Quench in oil.
    Tempering: Temper at least once for 30 minutes. Tempering twice for two hours each time is preferred.
    Temper at 400F for a final hardness of 60-61 Rc.

    15N20: Austenitize: Heat to 1,480°. Quench in oil.
    Tempering: Temper at least once for 30 minutes. Tempering twice for two hours each time is preferred.
    Temper at 350F for a final hardness of 60-61 Rc.

    5160: Austenitize: Heat to 1,525°. Quench in oil.
    Tempering: Temper at least once for 30 minutes. Tempering twice for two hours each time is preferred.
    Temper at 350F for a final hardness of 60-61 Rc.

    80CrV2: Austenitize: Heat to 1,545°-1,615° and hold for 5 minutes. Quench in oil.
    Tempering: Temper twice for two hours each time.
    Temper at 350F for a final hardness of 61-62 Rc.

    8670: (sawmill blade steel) Austenitize: Heat to 1,560°-1,635° and hold for 5 minutes. Quench in oil.
    Tempering: Temper twice for two hours each time.
    Temper at 200F for a final hardness of 59-60 Rc
     
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  21. Dec 7, 2019 #21

    RDalman

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    Don't attempt hold time five min in a simple backyard forge, if youhave a closed chamber with pretty even temp sure you can attempt some hold, moving the blade around trying to keep it at a even temp. But really with these easy steels, big bucket of heated oil; Just shoot for ~850 and quench - check if you get hard. A good old file is handy, I have one I can indeed accurately tell with if I'm below 65hrc, and you want to reach above that as quenched.
     
  22. Dec 7, 2019 #22

    mise_en_place

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    Optional step IMO :eek:


    I apologize. I couldn't help myself.
     
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  23. Dec 7, 2019 #23

    RDalman

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    Not optional! Gotta check you got a good functional hardness going:D
     
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  24. Dec 22, 2019 #24

    Gjackson98

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    Before starting forging I am thinking about trying this out, any opinions?

     
  25. Dec 22, 2019 #25

    RDalman

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    Sure, but you will not have a great time. Working soft steel (profiling and bevel wise) is a much better time. And heat treatment is fun.
     
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