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BlacksmitHER Radio spotlights blacksmiths around the globe. A kick a** show about kick a** women and men using fire as a tool. We're building resources and connections for the growing number of blacksmiths.
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Ep 97 JayBurn Journal on Punches, Drifts and Top tools
6 days ago
It’s episode #97 and I’ve got another JayBurn Journal for you. A technical article written by Jay Burnham-Kidwell. He’s a longtime blacksmith residing in Arizona, Since 1974, he has worked in various mediums and exhibited his work throughout the world. He works as a studio artist, lecturer, and demonstrator in all kinds of metalsmithing including jewelry, copper hollow forms, and blacksmithing. He’s written more than 40 technical articles for various magazines such as the Anvils Ring and Anvil Magazine. So a JayBurn Journal titled “Punches, Drifts, Hammers and Top tools”. Show Notes: To produce a tool of quality the smith should use tool or alloy steels. Tool steels can be bought new or as a drop or discontinued stock or as “road kill” recycled steel scraps. The average blacksmith shop has adequate resources to forge, normalize, anneal and heat treat many tool steels safely and most available tools steels can be forged and heat treated by using modified methods of the manufacturers recommended procedures. Steel is a body-centered cubic crystal at room temperature. When heated to critical temperature, iron and steel undergo a phase change and become a face-centered cubic crystal structure. The hardening process changes the internal structure of the steel to form austenite. When quenched, the austenite is transformed into martensite, the hardest constituent in steel. Most tool steels generally trade one quality for another: wear resistance vs. toughness and accuracy vs. red hardness. Wear resistance is preferable when the tool must hold an edge or stand up to continued service. Toughness is needed for tools that are used under stress that may cause breakage. Accuracy addresses machining after forging and the ability to retain shape after heat treating. Red Hardness is the ability to retain shape and hardness when used at high temperatures (punching, chiseling, drifting). Normalizing – most, but not all, tool and alloy steels are normalized after forging by air cooling to remove most of the stress introduced by the forging process. Annealing – heating to critical temperature (nonmagnetic) and slowly cooling will restore varying degrees of softness in tools steels. This requires burying the steel in wood ash, lime, dry dirt or sand. You can use vermiculite, but know that you should wear a respirator because it contains asbestos. Machi