Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Categories

New Premium Module: Tyrants of the Moonsea! Read More
Attention, new and old users! Please read the new rules of conduct for the forums, and we hope you enjoy your stay!

Metal Working and Metallurgy

2»

Comments

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    DreadKhan said:

    Y

    Stainless steel is as a rule both harder and stronger than almost any carbon steel... I wonder what alloy you're dealing with. Quick question, is it magnetic? If it isn't magnetic, that'd be Austenitic stainless, which is not typically as hard alloys lower in nickel... but it should still be much harder than regular steel. You need considerably more force to bend stainless sheeting for example. Well, I know stainless usually has more of a mixed nature for hardness, IE has very hard parts of its microstructure with soft parts, which is why stainless is not popular for stuff like woodworking blades; its harder to sharpen, yet doesn't hold an edge. Works well for machetes and the like though, where holding a true razor edge isn't important, or for disposable razors, where you won't resharpen.

    Herpa-derp. It's aluminum, not stainless. I couldn't remember which I had ordered, and It didn't directly say on the package, but it had an alloy number which I googled to find an aluminum alloy. Derrr.
    DreadKhan said:

    On the much, much crazier side,

    100% will look into it: )

    lolien
  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 427
    edited May 2015
    I managed to get hold of some scrap lead from a local scuba shop, so I'm finally ready. Here are the various components:

    image


    Here I've assembled the steel rod, and have inserted it half way into the copper pipe:

    image


    The lead is harder than I expected, however by continued pounding with a hammer, I managed to wrap one of the lead bars around the steel rod.

    image


    The rod here completely inserted into the pipe, but still rattling loose inside, and most of the lead unused.

    image

    I don't want to melt the lead and pour it into the pipe molten, as this seems dangerous, and the lead would probably harden too fast. This means I need to hammer all of the bars around the rod, assemble the entire thing, then heat the pipe until the lead melts inside. I'm probably gonna need a bigger hammer.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Some really interesting things happening in this thread. @DreadKhan do you have pictures you can post of the work you're doing?

    lolienmeagloth
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    Ok, its been a while, and I've actually been quite busy. I've been doing a lot of chainmail jewelry and(subtle plug:P) opened an etsy shop. https://www.etsy.com/shop/MeaglothsMetals I've also started doing a little bit of forging rings. I made a small propane forge out of a soup can and a mixture of plaster of Paris and sand which is messy, but functional. I am able to melt small amounts of aluminum in it(though aluminum seems to spit in the face of being cast into anything useful), and I've been able to make some pretty ok copper alloy rings. Forge welding these little bits of copper is.... A bit of an art, with my equipment.
    imageimageimageimage


    I also have an idea for a machete I'd like to make. I want to make a set of two, lossely bases on "silver" from the infinity blade game. I always like the way that sword looked. image
    I'd like to make one balanced like a machete for chopping power, and the other balanced at the hilt like a dagger so I can soar with it(obviously Unsharpened) is like to get to a junkyard and find some leaf spring, though I haven't gotten around to it yet. However, a friend's lawn mower just broke so I might be able to the blade from that.
    Dee said:

    Some really interesting things happening in this thread. @DreadKhan do you have pictures you can post of the work you're doing?

    Yea! Let's see some pictures:)


    @The_Potty_1 I have to admit I'm a little confused. It's been a while since you posted. You're making an all metal staff? Interesting strategy. How much lead are you trying to put in there? If you hear it up just a little bit, I'm sure it will be much easier to hammer.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    I'll try to put some up, been busy.

    Aluminum will cool very rapidly I know, so it'll need to be pretty hot to do a good job. It MIGHT help if you've got a way to make the form pretty hot too, so the aluminum won't freeze as quick. I can give better advice if you post a pick maybe, casting flaws though are usually either caused by insufficient heat or an unsuitable mold. If the material isn't hot enough, it'll cool too quickly, and you get tons of cold lap, as well as hollows.

    Its not USUALLY very possible to have a machete too well balanced and yet still have chopping power. You trade chopping power for balance as a rule, so the best choppers are a bit unwieldly. HOWEVER! I do have a rough idea of what you're thinking, and I have a rough machete that works a bit like you're thinking, and its balanced but has a slight forward weight to it. Its strictly single handed use, but hits quite well, and looks nice enough for a blade made of rusty scrap. You should look up the saxon scramasax, or seax, especially one that is either point heavy or angled forward. These hit quite hard, and the lack of guard allows some pretty strange balance work. They were extremely popular, and varied from large dagger to on par with a short sword.

    meaglothJuliusBorisovlolien
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    @The_Potty_1 coming along I see... I like using a hammer from 2-4lbs for single hand use, but you can use a sledge hammer if you choke up a bit on the handle, but this can be pretty hard on the wrist if you aren't used to hand tools. You'll need a pretty serious heat source btw for your final step, maybe a bbq would work. A plumbing propane torch will be too small, the copper will be a HELL of a heat sink. On the plus side, that heatsink effect will help melt the inside more evenly, provided you have a big heat source. Lead isn't that hard to melt at least. Have you found something to hold the caps on tight when you are heating? One thing, when it melts, since the whole piece will be hot, the lead will be a big puddle of liquid, so unless there is an EXTREMELY tight fit on everything, you'll have an open space, which will be a weaker point. If you make one of the caps permanently affixed before heating, you can heat from that side and tip the rod vertically... which sounds a bit dangerous because it is. Either way, use good gloves, long sleeves, pants, heavy boots and consider some kind of face shield, and possibly a hat. You do not want hot lead on you; I have a nice burn from liquid steel, but at least its on my hand. If you don't have a face shield, wear safety glasses at least.

    Have you considered filling it as tightly as possible, then adding some kind of liquid glue to fill the gaps, as opposed to melting the lead? Perhaps a liquid epoxy? It might even bond, making life easier still. If you use heat (ie the whole pipe, but not hot enough to melt the lead), you could even try hot glue, since it only needs to take up space.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 427
    @meagloth yup all metal, and as the lead's purely for weight, I'll pack as much as I can in all along the rod, then melt it so it runs to both ends, leaving the centre hollow. Yeah dunno how I'll manage that exactly. Anyway, once it's assembled, it goes to my daughter for prettying up. The plan is to paint a design on it using acrylic, then etch the unpainted area with a mix of pool acid and hydrogen peroxide, and finally remove the acrylic with acetone or whatever.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Stop-using-Ferric-Chloride-etchant!--A-better-etc/

    @DreadKhan I was planning on using my hiking benzene stove, if that doesn't have enough grunt I'll probably go for your liquid glue suggestion. The only reason for melting the lead is to get the weight to the ends. I doubt a hollow centre will be much weaker, as the rod provides most of the structural rigidity, while the lead just gives it some weight. I quite like the idea of gluing the ends on first as well, I was planning on soldering them on, but there was a fair chance I was going to do this while melting the lead, and also a pretty good chance that melting the lead would cause the solder to fail, so glue FTW.

    Actually, the entire melting process seems kinda iffy, perhaps what I should do is assemble the entire thing, then pack a couple of cut up hot glue sticks at one end, heat it enough to melt the glue, and seal that end completely. Next, pour some extremely fine sand in the other end, shaking it to allow it to settle past the lead. Finally, repeat the hot glue step on the open end, and I'm done. Unfortunately the only fine sand I can think of is in one of those desk zen gardens, but I'll go ask at the local hardware store.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Well, the copper will dent in the center if it has much force on it, if you're cool with that risk thats fine. A camp stove might be too small, but I'd still be curious if you can melt the lead inside the copper without incidently heating the copper to a pretty high temp. If you are hot enough to melt the lead inside, you'll be too hot to solder most likely; soldering is VERY temperature sensitive, too hot and you won't have any capillary action, ie what makes the seal. The solder will be too runny, and might well run out. I've done some soldering, and enough screwing around with solder-based inlays on steel to find out about the heat issue.

    Sand might work, and glue MIGHT work, but most glues have limited heat tolerance. Hence the clay suggestion; it tolerates high heat, and will limit how much liquid lead runs out, even if it shrinkes a bit.

    There is extremely fine sand, but I'm not sure where you could just buy a bag. A hardware store might have some. I can just dig for it here, we have some really fine white sand quite deep down. If you vibrate enough, it should help it settle. You might still want to solder the ends if you're going to do serious etching, if the glue isn't acid resistant.

    Also, be careful with your etching compound, h2o2 is pretty reactive, and is an explosion hazard. Definately wear eye protection and have both no exposed skin and something suitable to clean it off your skin, should it get on you. Be careful when mixing those, though the unconcentrated household h2o2 isn't anywhere near as dangerous, it should still be done cautiously. Safety first, etching second. ;)

    lolienJuliusBorisovThe_Potty_1
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    edited May 2015
    So here's what's going on with aluminum. I tried to pour it into a sand mold. This is what happens. Not sure what's going on.


    Sorry the videos are so bad, but I was kinda multitasking. You get the idea.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Well, a few possibilities: all the aluminum alloys I have worked with will get pretty fluid with sufficient heat, in fact aluminum welding suffers from this, as the hot metal often just falls/loses structural integrity. I never have found it QUITE so viscous, so making it hotter will likely help. Another possibility, your alloy might not be suited to casting, but iirc, most CAN be cast, though mechanical properties may be an issue, I didn't think any aluminum alloys were that problematic, so I still suspect your 1 or 200 degrees too cool for casting it. If the alloy has constuitants that are harder to melt, thst could make an issue. Do you ever use some kind of lid for heating? Heat rises easily, and a cast iron lid could help. My last theory, the worst imho, it might be a contamination issue, but I don't know what could cause your viscosity issue. Aluminum oxide is REALLY hard to melt I know, so try not to stir, as you want the oxide layer on top. Aluminum oxidizes pretty easy, so I would let it make a really wet puddle, then skim it if there is lots of slag while still heating, and then pour. It needs to be pretty liquified. Usjng heat on the mould will make things more forgiving btw, if you're just barely hot enough to pour, you'll get a poorer casting usually, as parts will cool way quicker.

    If you want to practice casting something a bit easier to melt, pewter, tin/solder are all melted at lower temps. Pewter and tin are pretty showy too, and I've done inlays of it before that went well on steel.

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    DreadKhan said:

    My last theory, the worst imho, it might be a contamination issue, but I don't know what could cause your viscosity issue. Aluminum oxide is REALLY hard to melt I know, so try not to stir, as you want the oxide layer on top.

    This was actually my first guess. I have a lid, and I think you can see in the video that the aluminum is actually glowing, so I don't think it's to cool. I had actually been wondering about the oxide layer, because every time I try this small amount it seems to form a skin and keep its shape. In the first video that blob is the same shape as the aluminum I put in. It melted but it didn't move or flow at all. When I touch it sometimes I tear the "skin" and what looks like molten aluminum will bleed out. It's very strange. This bit was mostly melted cans, so it's probably not any great alloy. I've pored larger amounts into ingots and I haven't had this problem. Getting a real crucible would probably help. The inside of the forge is mostly plaster and crumbles easily.
    The thing is I have this aluminum wire that o use for Chainmail, and it says it's a welding alloy. But I've tried to make rings like I've done with copper alloys, they don't work. When I try to melt the ends of the rings together they melt easily, but they keep their shape. They don't flow together. They complatley maintain their structure, unless I try to pinch the ends together with plier(so they weld into one piece) inevitably the entire ring(the melted bits, at least) fall to pieces as soon as I touch it. It's very peculiar.

    lolien
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    It'll be pretty fluid when its just right to cast, but as noted, aluminum oxide melts at a VERY high temperature; it makes welding aluminum VERY fun to learn; some instructors will slyly hint towards cleaning the aluminum, but they'll let you screw around for awhile, hoping you actually learn on your own, since you won't forget! You definately should take off that skin, and cast asap. You won't be hot enough to melt that oxide. You could look into a flux, which would prevent some oxidation. I'm not sure what kind you need for aluminum, because when its welded, its done with a gas to shield it from oxygen; with steel, you can make really excellent welds with the right flux. You're supposed to use flux for brazing and soldering too, but it'll be different usually depending on what metals you're using. You might have more luck if you could pre-clean all your material, but the etchants you'd have to use would be a bit dangerous. See my previous safety suggestions if you look into etching you aluminum. The big benefit of etching, you'd have way less oxide to deal with.

    Any aluminum will be an alloy, its too weak by itself. It usually gets a heat treatment too, though I don't think castings get it as often. Not all of them behave identically, but in general, if you know what something was used for, or how it was made (cold rolled vs cast vs forged vs welded), you have a clue what else you can reliably do with it. In other words, keep your eyes open for aluminum castings

    Key thing for your weldable rings, do you know what kind of electrode the wire is, ie 4043 or 5356? 4043 is much easier to weld with, but 5xxx series is stronger. In either case, make sure you do a really thorough cleaning around where you will weld. That oxide is bad for welding obviously! Try some 100 grit sandpaper, should work. If it was bigger, you could use a stainless wirebrush, but thats small! Don't use anything thst could get steel embedded; use fresh sandpaper, or stainless steel wirebrush, if you embede steel, it can rust. :neutral: real annoying. If you've cleaned off the oxide, it SHOULD weld better. Of note, do the welding quickly after cleaning, and try to do the weld very quickly; aluminum is welded in an enviroment of noble gas, mostly argon. Helium is added sometimes, for thicker metal. But you need to minimize atmospheric exposure. Aluminum oxidizes REALLY well, its used as a flux for steel sometimes, its that reactive.

    Crazy idea, but you MIGHT have an easier time if you can get a carburizing fire, ie one without extra oxygen. Not that people use CO2 for aluminum, but that might be something that'd help shield. Burning celulose creates lots of CO2, this is used in steel stick welding sometimes. Stinky, dirty welding wih that stuff though!

    I hink I mentioned a repair jobmon an Estwing axe? In the brutal cold, I broke the solid steel shaft of the axe... which incidently appears to be very well hardened. The shaft has a hard/strong bit at the front, a softer core, and another hard piece at the end. Variable hardening is really important for durable steel tools. But it makes welding less wonderful... I don't know for certain what steel they make their axes from, but whatever it is, its not compatible I guess with austenitic stainless steel! I welded it once, tested it, and found a crack just past the heat affected zone, so I welded that up and tested again... complete tensile failure! Stainless is usually what I prefer for repairing high strength tools, since its pretty strong. Just used nice, safe, reliable 7018, which has held up to some testing from a 6'2 240lb man swinging it pretty damn hard, and vertically (cutting down trees uses more horizontal, and you can't hit quite as hard usually) at that, looked good.

    I'll chop down a tree pretty soon as a real test, but it seems it should hold. Had to reweld the damn thing several times, let that be a lesson! Wherever applicable, just backgouge the **** out of any weld that is taking brutal impacts.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Total brag post: I chopped through a 3/8 in grade 5 bolt. And split the piece of wood it rested on. :blush: The first attempt I skidded off, and gouged out an 8th deep, and it flung the bolt. The second attempt I hit the thread, so it couldn't slide, and it my big spliiting axe with the home made steel edge sheered it off without marking the edge. :smiley: I am VERY tempted to try a grade 8 bolt, which is both harder and stronger. Grade 5 is already a decent bolt mind, its tempered medium carbon steel.

    I feel that was a moment of pure badassery! Much moreso having recently watched a Youtube vid of Skallagrim damaging a katana when he hit a nail in a shield, though I admit the stress would be different on the blade, but a 3/8 grade 5 bolt is SUBSTANTIALLY tougher/harder than a nail. Yessir, I really am tickled pink. :blush:

    lolienThe_Potty_1meaglothJuliusBorisov
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    image
    imageimage

    Shoutout to my sister who helped me punch the guard. I know she stalks me on the forums.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • the_spyderthe_spyder Member Posts: 5,017
    Looks like a good place to ask this.

    I've been working on a Cosplay costume for a while. Ok, I say "Working on" like I've actually made any of it and I haven't. I've bought most of the stuff. Here's where it connects with this thread. I am looking for someone that actually does custom metal (and leather) work for hire.

    Specifically, I am hoping to commission someone to help me make a Captain America Helmet and shield. I've played around with some of the commercial stuff that I find online and most or all of it falls into one of two categories, either EXTREMELY expensive, or cheap as heck and total junk. So I am hoping that an enthusiastic amateur with some experience (or professional that does custom work in the side) can be found.

    For the helmet, I am thinking about a metal helmet with possibly a leather overlay and strap (hopefully professionally enough done so that it sits on my head without being uncomfortable, but isn't so large that it makes my head look huge.

    For the shield, I understand there are two approaches. Either buy a flexible flier sled and cut it down or have a custom spun disk made. I am open to either.

    Anyone here know anyone that does this type of custom work or can share/send me a link?

Sign In or Register to comment.