5 Things to Do with Hot Steel, and Ideas for More.

Picture of 5 Things to Do with Hot Steel, and Ideas for More.
Following the puzzlement on how I made the loop on my throwing knife instructable, I thought i'd make one on the things that can be done with hot steel. I've missed a few out because i think the basics are covered here. If you want to make a bar thinner, for example, you only need to use a slight variant on Drawing out the bar. If you try this a bit, you'll get the hang of it.
The only thing you have to know is that you're changing the profile of the bar, but leaving the volume the same. You can beat it out into foil, or forge it into a sphere, but it'll still be the same volume.
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Step 1: Upsetting Steel bars

Picture of Upsetting Steel bars
Not upsetting as in "Making Steel bars Unhappy", but reducing the length of the bar and making its cross-section larger.
Heat the end of the bar, or the bit you want to be wider to forging heat. Place the bar end-down on the anvil and hit the top, like hammering in a nail. If it cools down too much, put it back in the fire until it gets hot again, then carry on. Upset the bar until it's at the desired thickness.
You can use Upsetting to put bulges into a bar, or to make rivets, nails, bolts, ETC

Step 2: Twisting Steel bars

Picture of Twisting Steel bars
You can twist steel by heating up the area you want to twist in, grabbing the steel on either side of that area with pliers and twisting it, it's as easy as that. Again, if it gets too cool, put it back in the fire.
drewgrey4 years ago
Using a fuller is my favorite way to manipulate metal. I used one to make a hinge for my pizza oven.
google , back yard metal casting and follow th' links ! there is a ton of info on furnacebuilding , forge work and , of course , metal casting !!
UltraMagnus6 years ago
so? where exactly can one buy a forge? or an anvil for that matter? i would imagine that its not something B&Q stock?
In order to be cost effective, you probably ought to make a forge, actually. I hear those things are awful expensive, but my homemade concrete and steel monstrosity works just fine for cheap. As for an anvil, I don't know where to get one, but I use an old railroad rail and a brake drum and it works just fine for the stuff I do. I got both of those at a scrapyard.
jtobako7 years ago
Punching, as in a hole without using a drill. Welding (not there yet, but trying). Looking good!
Vendigroth (author)  jtobako7 years ago
Not got anything through which i can punch, tho i did consider it, as for the welding, i'm not sure this little furnace gets enough heat to get welding heats, but i spose i can try on smaller pieces like hacksaw blades if i get some flux...
if you really want to punch a hole, just to punch a hole.. I've got an easy tip for you. Goto the hardware store and get a masonry nail. heat your stock, and hammer a small flat spot. while it's still cherry red, clamp the work in your vice, grab the nail and a hammer, and drive the sucker in. Once it's through, you can rotate the work 180 degrees and gently tap the nail back out. Instant hole, with NO loss of material(except to scale, but that's normal ) Don't try this with a normal nail, as they are pretty darn soft, and can be bent in wood... much less metal. the masonry nails are hardened. Welding... not liable to happen on air/propane... For flux, Borax is hard to beat. it's cheap and readily available as laundry detergent(or is it dishsoap? can never remember. A single 5lb box has lasted me forever. Also useful as a flux for casting silver/bronze by the way)
a large propane forge can weld, its an old rumor running around that says propane forges can't weld. This guy has such a super powerful forge, he can melt chromium (melting point 3000 degrees F) He makes his own stainless steel.
True.. with a properly constructed forge, propane/air is perfectly capable of getting welding heats. "i'm not sure this little furnace gets enough heat" and he's using naturally drafted air supply, not forced air. I didn't mean to say it was not possible at all... just not with his setup. My old natural gas forge could melt cast iron in under an hour. but it used a TON of fuel, and had a large squirrel-cage blower, and at those temps, the refractory would sag, crack, crumble, and melt. Once I got the "good stuff", it got better, but even a copula furnace with highest grade refractory still sluffs and spalls at 3000+F. I'm pretty sure there's an instructable detailing how to make such a forge already posted. If i find it again, I'll link to it, for those wanting to do more than spot heat their steel.
Vendigroth (author)  ironsmiter7 years ago
Yes indeed, however, that little thing was ANYthing but properly constructed... I use charcoal now.
Vertigo6667 years ago
i like that mini forge you have. So, how did you manage to bend it 360? just hammer it into shape?
Vendigroth (author)  Vertigo6667 years ago
basically. There's a lot of gut instinct to it, really. The only way to get a feel for it and to really understand what i mean is to get some experience at forging, really
instead of heating and pounding on an axe, can't you just take a hacksaw and cut the metal?
Vendigroth (author)  Vertigo6667 years ago
that's no fun.....
yes... but somewhat safer
So is buying a knife-or not owning one in the first place. Playing with fire and knowing you can get burned is like playing baseball-you know you can be beat, but it's still fun to play.
I don't think too many people say, "Hey, got to cut a 1/2 inch bar, time to fire up the forge!" Assuming you've got the forge going, walking away to go cut something has it's own risks.
Vendigroth (author)  Austringer7 years ago
I'd rather not leav the forge on and wander off to do something else, for one i'm wasting gas, etc... But if i just want to cut something and not forge it, i'll cut it with a hacksaw.
its easier with hot cutting >_>
is that tiny stainless steel ruler one that you got in a toolkit by workforce? i just recently got a toolkit by workforce and it had something that looked quite similar to that ruler in it...
Vendigroth (author)  FunkNattidelic7 years ago
Nope. Heh, i've never even heard of workforce... I got it from B&Q
Punkguyta7 years ago
How about 10 second tattoo's?
... LOL
Or we could shove you onto a spit made out of a glowing orange steel rod and cook you from the inside out, just like microwaves without the waves, Innovation!
Vendigroth (author)  Punkguyta7 years ago
ya, you forgot #6, to brand a cow :-D. LOL idk heh.
pappyld047 years ago
Where's the Smithy group. I must be discombobulated!!! Or is it the forge group?
Vendigroth (author)  pappyld047 years ago
's called the Forge. I was originally going to call it the Smithy, but then i noticed there was a mamber called smithy, so i changed it, to avoid confusion.
rplatter7 years ago
If you want the twist to be consistant, you need to finish it in one heat. Otherwise it is almost impossible to get the twist to match.
i've taken a beginners black smith course and is it a really interesting hobby or way of life! i'm sure i could put in my 2cents and help someone out
Vendigroth (author) 7 years ago
why is this instructable and my throwing knife instructable in the IGBBWM? I'm certain that i didn't put them there. Are there powers over which i have no control at work here, or is it something more insidious....?
Ferrite7 years ago
Is anyone interested in a blacksmithing group?
Vendigroth (author)  Ferrite7 years ago
i'd start one but i'd probably end up typing something stupid and then there'd only be me in it.
meddler7 years ago
I like the idea of a blacksmith group, i don't know much about it but i would like to.
Vendigroth (author) 7 years ago
in step 1: WHOOPS! all bendy, but the bar's noticab;y shorter, and there's a distinct bigulation on the end. Sort of looks like an Elephant's foot, eh?
a bit, a bit.
bigulation? lmao