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Making this tool... could I do it?

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El Barto

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I've never made a proper edge tool before but I'd like to try with one of these - a push axe.

I figured I'd get the right sort of stock and just have a go, see what happens. But I'd like to at least have some sort of clue as to what I'm doing.

For instance, how would I go about forge welding the handle to the blade?
And for the handle would I start out with a flat piece of stock and forge it into that shape, then forge weld the seam?

I don't even know what sort of stock I'd need but I'm open to all suggestions and advice! Even if it came out utter sh*te I'd still be pretty pleased.

 

marcros

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why not explore doing a day with a blacksmith, where this is the project that you make together?
 

El Barto

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marcros":n7d6k927 said:
why not explore doing a day with a blacksmith, where this is the project that you make together?
Yes I have thought about this too. I'm exploring it and how much it'd cost and weighing that up against buying some extra smithing bits and having a go myself. But being shown how to do it would be great...
 

Rorschach

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That's an excellent suggestion. Lots of blacksmiths earn a good portion of their money from these kinds of workshop days. I would imagine that this would be a very straight forward beginner project and could be completed in a day quite easily as long as you started with some stock that was already close to the size and shape you need.
 

frank horton

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easy to make, no welding nec......
get a broken truck rear leaf spring, often on the sid eof the road.......soften, but if quench often, cut the shape u need with a 9" grinder.....
do not over heat......
this is excellant quality steel.....
I made a replacement blade for an obsolete metal bench shear, still good after 40 years.....
 

El Barto

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frank horton":pkntvl3d said:
easy to make, no welding nec......
get a broken truck rear leaf spring, often on the sid eof the road.......soften, but if quench often, cut the shape u need with a 9" grinder.....
do not over heat......
this is excellant quality steel.....
I made a replacement blade for an obsolete metal bench shear, still good after 40 years.....
I did consider a leaf spring but then I feel like I'm not really learning as much y'know. I haven't forge welded anything before or actually done any proper smithing before.
 

--Tom--

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How much forging kit do you have?

Simple enough with a couple of tack welds to hold out while you heat to welding temp and then flux with borax.

Gentle hits working from the middle out to avoid cold shuts, but hit it quickly after taking it out to avoid it cooling too much.

Gas forge can be easier than a coke one as easier to keep it clean and if you up the fuel mix you can avoid it scaling too much.

You could of course just forge the whole thing out of tool steel and avoid any welding.

Something like 1095 is easier on the anvil than O1 and will still harden up nicely.

If you’ve not got much kit, could be easier to take a course.
 

Inspector

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A long time ago when I was in my 20's I took a part time class on Saturdays for a few weeks on blacksmithing at a local collage that had a farrier program. The Scottish instructor had apprenticed as a blacksmith and worked as one for a while before becoming a metal fabricator here. It was a lot of fun and is something I want to play with now that I finally have a small propane gas forge, anvil and some of the tools. The class used coal and we made a hold fast, pair of tongs and a project of our choosing, a carving gouge in my case. I highly recommend taking a class even if just for the fun of it.

Pete
 

El Barto

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Thanks for the replies guys. A course certainly does seem attractive. I have basically everything I need except for a decent way getting heat. So thinking of making myself a little gas forge...

Does anyone have any experience of buying O1 from eBay? I'm guessing not all tool steel is created equal...
 

Inspector

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Before I would spend money on 01 tool steel I would do a little scrounging to practice on. Salvaged springs or shafts from cars, machinery and farm implements will give you cheap material to play with. Heating a piece, quenching it in some oil and a quick file test will tell you if it can be hardened. Once you get the basics down you can move on to buying known steels. Amazon also has 01 and many machining tool sellers stock it too. At least they do here.

Pete
 

El Barto

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Inspector":7p0gja4l said:
Before I would spend money on 01 tool steel I would do a little scrounging to practice on. Salvaged springs or shafts from cars, machinery and farm implements will give you cheap material to play with. Heating a piece, quenching it in some oil and a quick file test will tell you if it can be hardened. Once you get the basics down you can move on to buying known steels. Amazon also has 01 and many machining tool sellers stock it too. At least they do here.

Pete
Yes been meaning to do this too. But I want to get some O1 anyway for when I get around to having a proper go at this tool.
 

--Tom--

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David at Ground flat stock is a great supplier for tool steels

I use an Amal burner in my forge gives a good controllable flame and plenty of heat
 

El Barto

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--Tom--":1kwwialb said:
David at Ground flat stock is a great supplier for tool steels

I use an Amal burner in my forge gives a good controllable flame and plenty of heat
Thanks for that Tom!
 

El Barto

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Having trouble finding somewhere I could make this tool over the course of a day or couple of days. Anyone got any ideas?
 

--Tom--

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With Covid a lot of the courses have been impacted.

Dave Budd runs courses in Devon, and he’s back up operating.

I think Owen Bush is running his one day courses now and if you have him a ring he may be able to accommodate you making something different to the norm

Likewise Stephen Nowacki looks to be running his courses again
 
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