Wrought Iron

Discussion in 'Hot Metal' started by Godspeed, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Godspeed

    Godspeed Well-Known Member

    What is a good way to tell the difference wrought iron and other metals? like mild steel, etc.
  2. Custance Custom Cutlery

    Custance Custom Cutlery Active Member

    Wrought iron when touched on a grinding belt or disk grinder will throw single dull red sparks that have no exploding or spreading sparks, mild steel will throw sparks that "spread", one spark turns to three or more other sparks! High carbon throws even more spreading sparks and looks like a sparkler! The appearence of the material can also be something of an indicator. Wrought iron has a grain that can be seen sometimes with no work otherwise if the material is cut the grain can usually be seen from the cut end! Wrought iron also when struck with a hammer cold is drasticaly softer than any steel, a 3 pound hammer blow on w. iron will make a 1/4 inch dent comared to say a 1/8 inch dent in mild steel compared to a dented hammer if it was high carbon(just kidding, but I wouldn't strike high carbon with my hammer cold)! Hope this helps!
  3. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Another way to identify wrought is to cut through the piece about 3/4 of the way, then bend it until the uncut portion "breaks".....if it looks like a bunch of tiny threads at the break, that is silicon slag, which indicates wrought.
  4. Godspeed

    Godspeed Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. I recently used some wrought iron for a guard and i LOVE the stuff.
    I'm gonna look around for some more, and if I can't find any locally i'll just get some from Tracy.

    Another question.... wrought Iron-1084 San Mai. Is that possible? and if so is it
    something a forge welding novice should even attempt?
  5. EdCaffreyMS

    EdCaffreyMS Forum Owner - Moderator

    Not sure you'll get wrought from Tracy (but I could be wrong...I didn't check) Real wrought iron is a fairly scarce item. The only source I know for new wrought comes out of England, and it's pretty darn pricey.

    That San-Mai is possible, but it can be difficult. Because of it's composition, wrought needs to be forged near or above it's welding temp, otherwise it often cracks and splits. The two materials (wrought and 1084) very dissimilar.....meaning that there are number of obstacles to overcome.
  6. Godspeed

    Godspeed Well-Known Member

    Last time i checked he had some.

    That figures. I'll have to try something a little simpler. Thanks for all your help.
  7. Original

    Original Well-Known Member

    Ask around at local scrap yards, it comes in from time to time. When I get some saved up, then will let you guys know.
  8. BobH

    BobH Well-Known Member

  9. Diamond G Knives

    Diamond G Knives Well-Known Member

    Just curious, were the old window weights used in housed many years ago wrought iron? May have found a stash of them, Still checking to see if I can go pick them up!

    God Bless
  10. Custance Custom Cutlery

    Custance Custom Cutlery Active Member

    Without one in my hand I can't be sure but all the ones I have seen have been cast iron, which as you may know is garbage unless you need a sounder for fishing! Quick spark test may tell you!
  11. Dan Pierson

    Dan Pierson Well-Known Member

  12. Stew

    Stew Well-Known Member

    I love wrought iron. I think of it like organic looking metal. :D

    I have loads and loads and loads on inch square bar in 6' lengths!
  13. Bob Urban

    Bob Urban Active Member

    Old Bridges - as in old, hot riveted and often decomissioned briges, are wrought. My friend where we have our shop rebuilds decomped bridges all over the country and we have a virtual wrought mountain at the shop. I have done a lot of wrought over 1080 and 5160 san mai blades that turned out great and were relatively easy to weld up. After a good polish and a nice soak in your etchant wrought can look a lot like damascus or even have a wood grain look.

    Also note - all wrough is a little different and some etches real sweet while other stuff is just kind of plain? It makes great hawks too if you weld in a nice piece of carbon steel for the buisiness edge.
  14. Eaglewood

    Eaglewood Well-Known Member

    Where at in Michigan?
  15. McClellan Made Blades

    McClellan Made Blades Well-Known Member

    Hey Guys, Aldo has tons of wrought, the only thing is it is in cut from the chain ( ship's anchor chain). I got some from him at Batsons, forged out beautifully....I left most of mine real thick, to leave the choice for thicker or thinner when I use it. Just call up the old New Jersey Steel Baron, he'll fix you up, probably cheaper than anywhere. Rex

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