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Tin can forge & 1st time blade making questions.

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Michelle_K

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Hi everyone,

I really want to have a go at making some mini plane blades as I want to try and make some small wooden planes and the blades can be so prices that it would be cheaper to make my own. I am looking into making a mini forge and it was a choice between fire bricks and a tin can forge and I prefer the tin can so my first question was does anyone know where I can get a large coffee tin. I have searched on eBay and google but cannot seem to find one.
My second question is if I use a paint tin can it be a used one if I clean it. That may sound like a silly question. But when I watch people use them on YouTube the paint tins seem unused. My concern is chemicals.
Lastly again w silly question I will also need to purchase a blow torch but I have never actually used one before and was just curious as to whether One can of gas will last long enough to make a couple of blades. The blades will be around 3mm thick and 30mm long.
Sorry if my newbie questions seem silly.

thanks in advance for any advice.
 

marcros

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how big does the can need to be?

I have some illy tins, but I think it may be a bit small. if any use, you are welcome to one.

do you need a forge, I am sure that I have seen (YouTube) and read of people doing it in a bbq. For 3mm x 30mm I would just try heating it with a blow torch and MAPP gas. you may well get the result that you want that way without the forge.
 

Dee J

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Depends what you mean by 'make'. Forge from random oversized stock such as an old spring is a bit of a skilled task. Use a cutting disk in an angle grinder to cut a blade from a larger blade and at most you might need to heat treat, and a map gas torch will easily do that.
 

hawkeyefxr

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Simplest way is a few bricks to make a little "forge" and a turbo torch (screwfix?) that will make your 3mm metal white hot and the gas canisters lasts a long time.
Always wear goggle and gloves........always!!
 

Michelle_K

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Simplest way is a few bricks to make a little "forge" and a turbo torch (screwfix?) that will make your 3mm metal white hot and the gas canisters lasts a long time.
Always wear goggle and gloves........always!!
Thank you so much for your reply I will check out that torch now.
 

Michelle_K

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Simplest way is a few bricks to make a little "forge" and a turbo torch (screwfix?) that will make your 3mm metal white hot and the gas canisters lasts a long time.
Always wear goggle and gloves........always!!
Thank you I will stay safe. I have looked at some fire bricks on eBay and did consider it but as i plan to make many blades and knives I wanted to try and make something a little more well constructed. Just a tin can with some plaster of Paris and sand I think the mix was.
 

Doug B

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I made some blades back in 2010 using a biscuit tin with a slot cut in the side for a hot air gun to blow into the BBQ coals held inside, it worked really well the blades got up to temperature really quickly, the blades are still working well.
 

AndyT

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If you don't like biscuits, try a restaurant or takeaway. I often see big empty drums that would have held about 20 litres of olive oil, put out on bin day.
 

Suffolkboy

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I would have thought that if you burn the paint out a paint tin would be fine.
 

Inspector

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We had a demo at our wood turning club a year or two ago by one of the members. He showed how to make a "One Brick Forge" using a couple spade bits to drill into the white ceramic firebrick and one of the better propane/MAPP gas torches. Then proceeded to show how it worked and it brought up pieces like you want to use to quenching temperatures in a few minutes. You could stuff the brick into the tin can if you like. :)

Pete
 

Michelle_K

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If you don't like biscuits, try a restaurant or takeaway. I often see big empty drums that would have held about 20 litres of olive oil, put out on bin day.
That is a great idea thank you.
 

rxh

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I use a small "barbeque" of charcoal briquettes, urged on with a hot air gun. With this arrangement I can easily raise plane irons to red heat. Easy to do and low cost. I'll provide more details if this of any interest.
 

Michelle_K

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I use a small "barbeque" of charcoal briquettes, urged on with a hot air gun. With this arrangement I can easily raise plane irons to red heat. Easy to do and low cost. I'll provide more details if this of any interest.
Thinking more about it and inspired by some of the replies this method would beIt of interest as I have a bbq and coal available so I’d just need to get tool steel And would be ready to go. The less I need to buy the better.
thanks
 

Bm101

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A bbq and a hairdryer as makeshift bellows works for me. Look up methods of quenching too and heating colour scales. Be ready for fire safety etc as mentioned especially if you oil quench. I use wood charcoal but don't know if that's better than briquettes. They obviously work well for rxh!
If you want a no nonsense comprehensive book:

Ground flat stock are a reputable dealer in tool steel in small quantities:

You can temper in an oven.

Good luck. It's great fun.
 
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Doug B

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Hi Michelle, I don’t know if it’s any use but I’ve just posted up some photos of the last blades I made, rather than hijack your thread I’ve posted them in a thread here Veritas style blades
 

gmercer_48083

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My understanding is that charcoal briquettes for a barbeque is wood! Not coal. Coal is much different... it burns hot and adds carbon to the steel. That is how a blacksmith can add carbon to the steel to make it stronger. If using a torch or wood or barbeque briquets for heat you will want to use a high carbon steel for making blades because it already has carbon in the steel. If using a high carbon steel... do not heat beyond a dull cherry red... (cherries are a dull red color), if you heat to a bright red and the steel begins to sparkle... it is giving up the carbon in the steel.
 

Bm101

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Not at all sure myself but I was recommended to use charcoal over briquettes (everytime in my situation, not blacksmithing mind), by a guy I know who has done amateur blacksmithing for many years and has achieved a fairly high level of achievement. He's also a retired astrophysicist whereas I'm a window cleaner. I'm not a total dunce but I'm also aware when I'm around very sharp folk and I listen carefully. Considering my knowledge on all things metallurgy is 'Ladybird Beginner Book' I accepted his advice at the time without questioning it.
Out of respect for RXH who is far more knowledgeable than me (and also a Gentleman of The Highest Order) I deferred comment previously but I thought I'd do a little 'research' (ie: briefly browsing 5/6 websites 🧐 ) for the sake of it.

I know from past experience that wood charcoal burns hotter than briquettes. No doubt about it from my view without researching temperatures. Many years ago I used to help burning charcoal as it was made in the traditional manner in a kiln/oven. Vast steel drum and burn controlled using native hardwoods such as ash and oak with a sideline in willow artists charcoal. I lived an out door life for years, cooking on fires and all that. Like any one who's sole heat source was fire rather than radiator based central heating for several years I can start a fire (with a lighter! )in a matter of seconds and know how to maintain one. To most of you guys that's a given but to lots of youngsters it's a lost art.
I swear to god I went to a fireworks party 20 years ago and there was a group of fellas trying to light logs in a bbq with firelighters. Not one of them earnt less that 70 grand a year. Like children. The lass who was hosting phoned me up and asked me why can't they light the fire? I turned up with billhook and these lads faces were like children while I cut kindling. *collective 'Oooohhhhh!!!!*
Like reverse ewoks. FFS. 😐


Briquettes are wood based but often (still) mixed with accelerants and so on. They burn with a lower heat and produce more ash.
For proper blacksmithing you would want coal I get that. A forge. Bellows. Charcoal is not going to get your temps for any substantial time.
But for heating some flat stock, why would you use anything other than charcoal which works for localised heating in small quantities so well?
 
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