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Describe the basic forging, shaping, drawing out, bending

General Safety

Clothing, overalls best, nothing flammable, avoid synthetics
Heavy boots, toe-capped preferred
Welding gloves
Ear protection while hammering
Good air circulation, monoxide hazard and detectors
Clearing the area around the forge of all flammables
Everyone knows how to use fire extinguishers?
In case of fire, TURN GAS OFF!
What types of extinguisher to use on what sort of fire
We cannot extinguish metal fires, use the vermiculite to smother
NEVER use an extinguisher on the forge it's self, it has nothing flammable anyway
Hazards of the oil for quenching
Hazards of metals high in nickel, chrome, cadmium etc, and protection needed
Arc-eye hazards of welding

How steels behave and heat treatments

Use the diagram to explain things
The states the steel can be in, what is critical temperature and why it matters.
               Form above critical
 Plannish under critical
       Using a magnet to test for critical, but learn to use colour
How different types have different hot-hardnesses
Stainless needs a lot more heat
Damascus needs even more
Cover annealing, hardening, normalizing
       Effects of under-heating and over-heating – Stress cracks, decarburization, crumbling
       Effects of oxidizing and reducing flames – Scale, Temperature, Decarburization

Welding onto the dop rods

 Emphasise use a LOT of weld material
Need to normalize the welds
They are GOING to break, what to do when they do
 Watch for starting of cracks
 Pick it up IMMEDIATELY with grips, place onto hot-safe surface

Lighting the forge

Describe the forge and it's parts
       How the tunnel can be opened longer for bigger objects
Never use brick choke and rear door at the same time
Check it over for damage
Vacuum out tunnel – clean before use, not after
Plug it in!
Checking the gas & air valve positions are closed
Start the blower
Let a little air into the forge
Cover the dramatic differences in gas and air settings
Turning on gas at the bottle and burners
Opening the main gas valve and using the lighter to get it lit
Adjusting the gas and air valves to get a flame the right size and slightly reducing
Demonstrate high/low, oxidizing/reducing, show what they look like
       Large flames are more stable, small flames may result in burner over-heat, check this often
       Demonstrate high/low flames
Starting up the second burner if you have a need to for a long object


Why we need to normalize
What it does
Proper procedure
What happens if we're not hot enough, or too hot!

Flattening out the rod

Heating to a suitable colour, testing with magnet if you need to
 Just getting the feel of beating on the metal, try both hammers, see what it's like
Don't touch metal to anvil till you're ready to strike
Correct any error immediately, don't let them grow
Consider the shape we're working towards
The need to come to both dimensions at once and not over-work in one direction
We can't fix over-thinning
Looking at the metal as it cools, seeing what needs to change
Drawing out using small hammers, large hammer on step, large hammer on side, edge of large hammer
Cycling draw out and flatten
Keep thinning, flattening, drawing out till target shape
Try to get the surface nice, so we can do less grinding


Repeat the normalization cycle
Furnace cooling as an option for normalization but not annealing

Shut down the forge

Air off – Gas off – Air on
Leaving the air running to cool the forge if needed
The forge may stay hot enough to start fires for up to 2 hours
Marking out the area of "hot things" when leaving

Normalize and Anneal

This is the last chance to smooth out any gross surface defects or geometry errors
Using a little less heat than before as we're not trying to cause bulk movements
Planishing using the smaller hammers to smooth things as best we can
Normalize for at least 2 cycles and maybe more
Fix geometry before cycles
Using the vermiculite to slow down cooling to achieve maximum softening or furnace cool

Shutting down the forge

As before for shut-down
Letting the forge cool down enough before putting it away
Hand-in-tunnel test
Don’t try to clean inside the tunnel, put it away dirty
Watching out for condensation dripping off the gas bottle
Getting the blades out of the vermiculite and cleaning up.