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#1884 - 10/01/10 07:54 AM Kids forging project
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
Since the farm kids mine rub shoulders with all carry pocket knives, mine have caught the bug. I don't like non-locking folding knives for a first knife for whittling because I've seen too many cuts from pulling backwards on a knife when it gets stuck under a splinter and the blade folds shut (there's several stories I could relate here, some I'm the injured, others not). The other issue is my kids seem to lose stuff they've been given, yet have been known to keep track of craft projects they've made for ever it seems.

I siezed the opportunity to show the kids some forging techniques and suggested forging small sheath knives.

Among my inventory is an old chisel plow. It has spring shanks and a large coil spring on each shank. The coil is made of 3/8" rod wound in a coil roughly 3" in diameter and 12" long. A quick check and I discovered 3/8" rod is almost the same cross section as a knife blade 1/8" thick and 1" wide - so I gathered the participants and we bashed out some rough and ready knives. Both girls are quite crafty and what is a sheath knife without a sheath? All the forging happened under the close supervision of the self appointed chaperone for the kids - the big yellow dog....


Attachments
straightening coil 2.jpg

unwinding spring.jpg

cutting blank.jpg

flattening.jpg

supervision.jpg

knife.jpg




Edited by camdigger (10/01/10 08:08 AM)
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#1890 - 10/01/10 05:15 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: camdigger]
mdlawnguy Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 878
Loc: maryland *****
nice knife what type of handle? guess your daughters like leather work.. no "bedazzled" products there
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#1892 - 10/01/10 08:37 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: mdlawnguy]
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
The handle is simply a couple pieces of oak door stop put on with rivets and Gorilla glue.

This was the kids first attempt at leather work (and mine too). The girls did the tracing and cutting. I helped with the hole punching and layout.

The blade stil has the temper colors. They don't show up too well in the picture, bu the spine is tempered to light blue, while the cutting edge has just a hint of straw color. This should leave the spine softer than the cutting edge. Hopefully, the cutting edge is hard enough to hold an edge for a while. Time will tell.
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#1895 - 10/02/10 01:49 AM Re: Kids forging project [Re: camdigger]
tech-ad Offline
MBN member
Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Cluny, Alberta, Canada
Cam
I like the bashing you have done and your anvil. My anvil is similar but about half of the length of yours. I use lawnmore blades for my knives, but it does require a lot of sawing to get a decent profile. I do all of my heating in a naturally aspirated burn barrel, so I don't do too much bashing.

Where do you get your fuel from? I have tried a few places in Calgary but none of them know where to find any coal or coke.
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#1919 - 10/04/10 08:43 AM Re: Kids forging project [Re: tech-ad]
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
Ad

The fuel we use is stoker coal. I got some from a neighbor who has a couple stokers for home and shop heat. I think the mine is up by Camrose, although there are, or were mines at Drumheller, Sheerness, Forestburg, and Alix. Generally speaking the local coal is pretty poor stuff as the ash and clinker content combined can be up to 33%. Our neighbor has TP Trucking (a local one man outfit) deliver him a few ton every couple of years.

There might be a couple places in the Crowsnest pass a guy might be able to pick up some coal for casual forging. After all the Crowsnest commercial foundation was coal for several decades. The last mine (Elkford) closed fairly recently.

I am told that there is barbeque charcoal that works well, but is $. From what I've been told, the briquettes will work, but they are fragile. Natural charcoal (from sticks) is better as the fuel is not as fragile.

If this doesn't help, let me know and I'll rattle my contact list and see if I can't turn up a few pails of coal.


Edited by camdigger (10/04/10 08:45 AM)
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#1921 - 10/04/10 12:58 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: camdigger]
mdlawnguy Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 878
Loc: maryland *****
watch out if you rattle the contacts too much.. our county. i even think state now doesn't allow whole house fernices powered by wood,coal,etc.. unless they meet the non smoke & epa rules..
plus some counties don't like the "large open flame"
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#1928 - 10/04/10 11:03 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: mdlawnguy]
tech-ad Offline
MBN member
Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Cluny, Alberta, Canada
Thanks for the insight Cam.

I was afraid that good coal was becoming a scarce commodity around here. I guess local farriers have switched to propane for their horseshoe work and demand for a local coal supply has fallen off dramatically. I have plans for a copula furnace, which could process about 35 pounds of cast iron per pour. Unfortunately it uses coke, which seems even harder to find than coal. I didnít want to make a furnace without being able to get a reliable source of fuel.

If I still lived up in Edson, I could take a run to the Cardinal mine in Cadomin north of Hinton and get a quantity of metallurgical grade coal. They regularly (Twice daily) shipped mile long trainloads of coal to the electric generating plants in Ontario. I donít think they would miss a hundred pounds or so.

To start out in casting I guess I should start with propane for aluminium and gain skills before getting serious about higher melting metals.


Edited by tech-ad (10/06/10 07:03 PM)
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#1929 - 10/05/10 03:33 AM Re: Kids forging project [Re: tech-ad]
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
Ad

The local coal works fine for crucible type casting where the coal is not in contact with the melt metal. So do charcoal briquets (per Gingery).

IMHO, starting with Aluminum is adviseable. There are recipes around for the mold sand, but I got mine from Foothills steel foundry some 25 years ago. Foothills is still around as far as I know, but they moved out SE of Calgary a few years ago. They gave foundry tours at that time, too.

As I recall I got firebrick and fireclay from a fireplace supply in the industrial area of Cowtown. I lost track of exactly who, it was about the time I needed the mold sand...

There are a couple of ceramic supply places close to the south Princess Auto store that might have some of the bits you need.


Edited by camdigger (10/05/10 03:37 AM)
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#1932 - 10/05/10 07:10 AM Re: Kids forging project [Re: camdigger]
f350ca Offline
MBN Enthusiast
Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 531
Loc: Calabogie Ontario Canada *****
Home Hardware can supply metallurgical coal if you can believe it. There is a black smith supply (think the name is Thak the Blacksmith) near their ware house in Ontario. Think its something like $30 a sack, been a while since I bought it. Your local store will have to search a bit, maybe even phone but they can still supply it.
_________________________
Free advice is usually worth exactly what you pay for it>
Greg
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#1933 - 10/05/10 08:17 AM Re: Kids forging project [Re: f350ca]
camdigger Offline
MBN member
Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 135
Loc: On Assignment
Now that you mention it, I've heard that before. I've never tried HH, but I may ask a family friend that works there.
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#1941 - 10/05/10 10:01 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: camdigger]
tech-ad Offline
MBN member
Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Cluny, Alberta, Canada
Thanks Cam And F350ca.

I have enough firebricks to get above the tuyeres. I have plenty of fireclay and some grog to use as mortar for the bricks and to finish the copula above the tuyeres. These supplies I obtained from Ceramics Canada just off of Blackfoot Trail near 71 Ave. The cupola design I have combines layers of 8 pounds iron to 1 pound coke for smelting.

I will try the local HH in Strathmore for coal, since I deal with them a fair bit. I'll report back my findings.

I don't have any casting projects in mind yet. I just wanted to consolidate some small scrap iron into larger pieces,rather than taking it to the dump.

For aluminum casting I will use either propane or electric heat.
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#1942 - 10/05/10 10:10 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: tech-ad]
tech-ad Offline
MBN member
Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Cluny, Alberta, Canada
Cam
Quite a while back I believe you asked what kind of sand would be best for casting. I replied that a blend would be good. I was wrong, Based on further research, uniform small grain size would be best.
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#1949 - 10/06/10 06:56 PM Re: Kids forging project [Re: tech-ad]
tech-ad Offline
MBN member
Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 47
Loc: Cluny, Alberta, Canada
I checked with HH today and asked about coal supply. They called the wharehouse in Ontario and were informed that coal is no longer being stocked or supplied.
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