First time forging questions


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I finally got a forge and I’m itching to try a couple things.
First things first, what is a good steel to start out with? I’ll most likely start making a bird and trout, or a small “hunter”, that’s what I’m the most comfortable with. Also what would be a good width and thickness to start with?

Chris Railey

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MY OPINION ONLY. I like the 10 seris of steels for begining forging so I would say 1084/1075. They are inexpensive, forge well for me and do not have the same problems something like 52100 can present. The heat treat is also fairly simple for these steels too but I think you already have that part down. For forging I like 3/16 and thicker. Under 3/16 is pretty hard to forge IMO. As far as width goes it is different when you think about forging because in forging you are moving steel from one place to another instead of removing it. So if you make the billet more narrow in a section it is going to get thicker, when you reduce the thickness back to even, the blade is going to get longer. Personally I like to start with 1.25 wide and at time 1.5 inches wide. Just something close to where I want to end up works for me.

Doug Lester

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Taz, not to steel the thread, but what would you use as a quenchant for 8670? Do you think that Parks 50 is too fast?



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I used AAA, but I know others have used Parks 50 before with good results as well. I believe Larrin did some testing/research with that?


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Try 1084. Pretty mushy under the hammer. If you have a HT furnace, 52100 moves fairly easily too, get it HOT though. I usually forge it around 1900 or so. Normalize and do a grain refinement cycle though, grain is terrible after forging. I guess that goes for whatever steel you pound out


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Little caution. 1075 is not the same as 1080/1084. It is a bit more shallow hardening because it has less manganese.. 1095 even more so. 52100 is going to be more finicky in the HT. I have never used 80CrV2, but it has a lot of very experienced fans. 8670 has tested out as one of the toughest simple steel, but that toughness can apparently vary depending on which batch you get. I have never used it, so I am not sure what if does for you that GOOD 5160 doesn't. One upside appears to be that it, like 1080/1084 and 80CrV2, appears to be available in a lot of convenient sizes, although that is not as big an issue for forging.