Author : John

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If you’re passionate about the blacksmithing trade and want to climb up the ladder, it’s necessary to have plenty of hands-on experience. Before that, knowing what guidelines to follow is ideal if you want your skills to improve. One of the best ways to achieve this is by getting your hands on the best blacksmithing books.

With this in mind, this post will discuss 15 of the best blacksmithing books you’ll find online and offline. Undoubtedly, these books come with great advice, tips and tricks, and techniques you can master in the trade. The inspiration you get from these books will allow you to take this hobby seriously and put your skills into practice! read more

If you’re looking for a top-notch forge kit for metalworking that requires high temperatures you’ve landed in the right spot. There are different kinds of forge fuel for blacksmithing and other metalworking. Coal, Charcoal, and propane are the fuel types. Among these, propane forges kits are widely considered the ideal forge for all users, from professionals to beginners.

Propane forges are pretty easy to use and maintain too. They require very little expertise to handle and work more efficiently than their forge fuel counterparts. You can buy commercially available propane forge or build your own from a propane forge kit. read more

Let’s examine a method for rusting steel, which involves cleaning the steel with a degreaser, removing millscale by soaking or spraying with muriatic acid, and then rinsing the steel with clean water. The steel is then wet down with chlorine bleach, sprinkled lightly with salt, and allowed to dry before spraying a mixture of fresh hydrogen peroxide and muriatic acid.

The piece is then rinsed with clean water, and the rust is allowed to set in for a few days. The piece is then neutralized with baking soda, wiped with paint thinner, and heated with a torch to drive out any water in the metal.

The steel can then be left outside to continue to rust, waxed while hot, or painted once the metal has cooled down. The use of hydrogen peroxide is also discussed as a finish for steel, which involves cleaning the metal completely, warming it up, and spraying it with hydrogen peroxide until the desired coloration is achieved.

Now, by examining the issue of rust on metal tools and how to prevent and treat it a lot of interesting facts are apparent. Rust is a chemical reaction between metal and oxygen, and it can be accelerated by factors such as water, heat, and dissimilar metals. Various commercial rust prevention products, including WD-40, are highly suggested. It seems that some products, such as Boeshield T9, are better than others. The author also provides several do-it-yourself methods for rust prevention, such as using automobile paste wax or creating a rust protection coating by mixing Anhydrous Lanolin with Paint Thinner.

Making steel dragon-shaped ornaments can be a fun and creative project that requires some basic metalworking skills and tools. Here’s a general process to make steel dragon-shaped ornaments:


  • Steel sheet (16 or 18 gauge)
  • Dragon-shaped template
  • Sharpie or marker
  • Jigsaw or metal shears
  • Bench grinder or sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Anvil or hard surface
  • Steel wire (16 or 18 gauge)
  • Pliers
  • Paint or sealant (optional)


  1. Either locate a dragon-shaped template or create one on paper. Transfer the template on the steel sheet using a Sharpie or marker.
  2. Using a jigsaw or metal shears, cut the dragon form from the steel sheet. Before cutting the steel, use caution and wear safety equipment.
  3. The steel dragon shape’s edges may be rounded off using a bench grinder or sandpaper. The steel surface can also be given more texture or features using the bench grinder.
  4. To make the steel dragon appear three-dimensional, bend and mold it using a hammer and an anvil or other hard surface. Avoid overworking the steel to prevent cracking or breaking.
  5. As a hanger, cut a piece of steel wire. Using pliers, form a loop or hook out of the wire, and then fasten it to the top of the dragon decoration.
  6. The steel dragon ornament may be painted or sealed as desired. This step is optional, although it might aid in shielding the steel from corrosion and rust.

Now, you can hang your steel dragon ornament somewhere it can be seen and appreciated, such as a Christmas tree or a wall.

The Louisiana Steam Train Association (LASTA) was established to restore, operate, and maintain the historic 1921 Southern Pacific Locomotive #745 known to many New Orleanians as the engine in Audubon Park. Once restored plans for the engine include a regular tourist route around New Orleans as well as frequent trips across the State of Louisiana. Currently, LASTA is beginning work restoring the engine at our rail yard which is located at 1400 Jefferson Highway (across from Ochsner Hospital.) If you are interested in steam trains, please join us!

What Challenges Are In Train Restoration

Locating Parts: Getting replacement components for an older train can be challenging, as many parts may no longer be in production or readily available. This may necessitate acquiring parts from salvage yards or finding a machine shop that can custom-construct pieces.

Trains that have been idle for a long period are frequently prone to rust and corrosion, which can compromise the train’s structural integrity and render it dangerous to operate. It might take a long time and need a lot of labor to remove rust and repair or replace rusted parts.

Trains are powered by a sophisticated system of mechanical and electrical components, but these systems can deteriorate with time or become out-of-date. Some systems require specific skills to repair or update.

Safety Rules: Trains are required to go by a number of safety rules and guidelines, such as those established by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and other governing agencies. It might be difficult to restore a train to comply with these requirements because many older trains were not built with current safety norms in mind.

Cost: Repairing a railroad can be an expensive project because it frequently calls for specialized personnel, supplies, and tools. Depending on how extensive the restoration is, some people or groups may find the cost to be prohibitive.

Documentation and record-keeping are essential for many railway restorations in order to guarantee that the train is returned to its former condition and complies with all safety requirements. Particularly if the train has undergone several alterations throughout the years, this may be a difficult and time-consuming task.

Can You Make Knives Out of Spikes

Railroad spikes can be used to create knives, which is a common endeavor for blacksmiths and crafters.

High-carbon steel, the material used to create railroad spikes, gives them strength and durability.
However, because they are frequently produced from lower-quality steel, the resulting blades won’t be as sharp or durable as those made from steel designed specifically for cutlery.
However, they can still be useful and make for fascinating and distinctive blades.

A blacksmith or metalworker would first heat the railroad spike in a furnace until it becomes pliable before using it to create a knife.
The spike would then be shaped into the desired blade form using hammers and other tools, and the blade would then be tempered to increase its hardness and longevity.

It’s crucial to remember that manufacturing knives require specific skills, equipment, and safety measures.
It is advised that you seek instruction and direction from a skilled forge or metalworker if you are interested in creating a spike dagger.

Damascus Blade From Spikes

In order to make a distinctive pattern on the surface of the blade, various kinds of steel are layered and forged to create a Damascus blade.
The basic process for making a Damascus sword is described as follows:

  1. Choose the Steel: For the blade, pick two or more varieties of high-carbon steel, such as 1084, 1095, or 15N20, as well as low-carbon steel, like 1018. The cutting tip of the blade is made of high-carbon steel, while the spine and base are made of low-carbon steel.
  2. Cut and Shape the Steel: To create the desired blade profile, cut the steel into pieces of similar width.
  3. Prepare the Steel: Alternately layer the steel pieces as you stack them. Although the number of levels can differ, it’s typical to use between 30 and 60 layers.
  4. Weld the Steel: Using a forge or welding equipment, join the steel sections collectively. This consolidates the stacked steel into a solid mass. To consolidate the layers and distribute the steel uniformly, forge the piece of steel by heating it in a furnace and frequently hammering it. Using a mallet and anvil, carve out the form of the blade from the stone.
  5. Blade Shape Refinement: After the blade form has been roughed out, use a grinder to further the shape and sides.
  6. With a hammer and anvil, carve off the shape of the blade from the block.
  7. Additional Shaping: After the blade shape has been roughed out, use a grinder and files to further the shape and edges.
  8. Etch the Blade: To reveal the pattern of the layered steel, etch the blade in an acid bath. This gives the surface of the blade a characteristic “Damascus” pattern.
  9. Heat treating the blade will harden it, and after that, it will be tempered to the necessary degree of hardness.
  10. Finishing the blade involves high-polish sanding and the addition of a handle made of wood, bone, or another material.

To make a mixture for quenching, you will need 5 gallons of water, 5 pounds of salt, 32 ounces of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid (28 ounces if it’s concentrated), and an appropriate amount of a wetting agent like 8 ounces of Shaklee Basic I or 7 ounces of unscented Jet-Dry or another surfactant such as Simple Green. The wetting agent helps to break down the surface tension of water and prevents the formation of a layer of air or oily residues that can act as a heat shield during quenching.

When using a rinse agent like Jet-Dry, it reacts chemically with the steel surface to allow the salt in the mixture to start attacking it immediately after exposure to air. To avoid this, have plenty of clear water ready for rinsing.

Before quenching, stir the mixture to ensure that it is well-mixed. Only quench materials with a maximum of 45-50 points of carbon, as this will harden mild steel to a Rockwell 42-45. The mixture changes color from blue to green when it is no longer effective for quenching.

The word CNC refers to computer numerical control and these machines are in existence from the year 1970 before this there was an alternative to this machine that was used, which is known as numerical control. People who are related to industrial sectors are well aware of this machine and they know what the importance of this machine is. Any industry which works at creating products like high-level steel items or simple tool-making industry, all have to deal with CNC machines daily to complete the task perfectly. Not only production companies but also automobile sectors are also using this machine for their specific tasks. If you want to operate it, then you have to get training before using it and you have to know how many tasks can be performed with the help of a CNC machine. Here we have mentioned some useful information related to this machine, which will probably help you in gaining knowledge about CNC.

Working operation of CNC

To operate this machine firstly you have to program all machine tools according to CNC. As set up is done for CNC you can start working. All the controls are different for specific tasks because this machine is used for many things. The working operation with the CNC machine is quite lengthy and the sequential commands appear in order to complete the work. Nowadays, the stuff subjected to CNC is also loaded automatically and the operator has to just control the working procedures by specified commands. Off-course CNC machine provides a facility to be free from loading material, but the operator has to perform some other important works like calculating the area and volume of subjected material and adjusting the stuff.

Working controls of CNC machine

The operator should be well aware of all control of the CNC machines to work correctly with help of this machine. As we know CNC is used in many industries so working controls are also different for all distinct works. If any CNC control is specified for particular work, then it interprets with a program developed for that particular work. According to the program, some commands are also used in a chronological way to finish the task. As the machine deals with specified programs, the machine performs the task as mentioned in the program. All the mentioned programs of CNC machines can be customized according to the next job and the program can also be customized if there is any kind of error in completed work. There are some values that operators have to enter manually according to subject work, for example, dimensions of loaded material.

Professional work with CNC machine

There are not so many people, who can operate this machine exactly to manufacture the desired thing. There is a lack of good CNC operators, so you can have a good future in this field. Also, you don’t have to do any hard work because all things related to subjected stuff and controls of CNC are mentioned and good training of CNC machine can make you an expert of this machine. So there are very good job opportunities if you are interested in operating a CNC machines.

Tungsten is ideal for transmitting the current needed for welding to the arc as it is sturdy and has a high-temperature resistance. To get the job done properly, like in any other industry, you need the right equipment with each component playing its role to perfection. The tungsten electrode, which is a non-consumable metallic element that has the highest melting point of any known metal, is a core component of the TIG welding tungsten process.

Making a decision on the type of tungsten for the TIG welding tungsten task is not difficult at all but needs one to have a given level of awareness. Tungsten electrodes are available in a variety of diameters ranging from 0.040-5/32’’ which are the industry standards but can also come customized, though a bit more expensive.

What Are Types Exist

The tungsten is made of pure or hybrid tungsten, other earth elements and oxides. To prevent confusion, the tungstens come bearing different colors on the tips. Here are the different types of tungsten electrodes:

Pure tungsten (green in color)

These as, stated above, are the most widely consumed in TIG welding tungsten and contain 99.5% tungsten as a component. However not used for DC welding, the pure tungsten provides a good, clean and stable arc AC welding mostly on aluminium and magnesium.

2% Ceriated (Orange in color)

These are popularly found in thin metal welding because of the low amperages and contain 97.3% tungsten and the rest of cerium as components. These orange tungsten electrodes can be used proficiently for both AC and DC TIG welding tungsten but favor DC welding more. In recent time, 2% ceriated tungstens have been used more than pure tungstens as they provide more current-carrying capacity.

1.5% Lanthanated (gold in color)

From its name, you would know the tungsten electrode contains 1.5% of lanthana and the rest of tungsten as composition components. These closely resemble 2% thoriated tungstens and can increase the carrying capacity by more than 50%. Among its characteristics, it burns slowly, re-ignites easily, has a sharp edge and has good arc stability. They can be used for both AC and DC TIG welding tungsten but favor AC welding more.

Rare earth (gray in color)

Because of the various rare earth oxides and hybrid combination additives, the rare earth tungsten electrodes provide a stable arc in both AC and DC welding, offer lesser tungsten spitting and last longer than thoriated tungsten.

2% Thoriated (color is red)

Preferred for their ease of use during TIG welding tungsten, the Thoriated tungsten electrodes have a minimum of 97.3% tungsten and the rest thorium. They are also one of the most widely used electrodes in the welding industry as they also offer a higher current carrying capacity while operating below its melting temperature than the other types. This slows down the consumption rate considerably and promotes stability during TIG welding tungsten process. Those electrodes are slightly radioactive.

Tips for Tungsten Preparation

Tungsten can be prepared for specific welding in three different ways, balled, pointed or truncated depending on the type of tungsten electrode chosen. To make the end into a ball, apply recommended AC amperage to the electrode and the ball will form itself. Pointed or truncated tips are used for thin metal welding using low current to prevent blow off and puddle contamination. A grind wheel can be used to sharpen the tungsten but be careful because some electrodes are known to contain radioactive properties. The above are the basics in TIG welding tungsten.

Features relating to the functioning of CNC models may vary from one CNC sort to a different one. CNC devices are offered in a few different forms. Everything comes from lathe units to water jet units, therefore the technicians of every variety of systems will change; even so, basic principles operate mostly for any various CNC machine kinds.

CNC machines’ basic principles should really be known as positive aspects. The many benefits of any CNC device are the same for each and every device as it’s for any organization that is the owner of one. Computer system-assisted science is a fantastic thing. Any CNC device delivers that help to its owners. Involvement from the member of staff is required much less because the system will do all the work as soon as the applications are programmed to the needs wanted. The device continues to perform till the task is definitely finished, all absolutely unmanned. It releases the personnel to execute some other assignments if needed.

CNC Machine Positive Factors

CNC systems provide you with this kind of positive factors:

  • Less flaws because of people fault
  • Constant machining every time
  • Accurate machining every time
  • Decreased manager tiredness, if any anyway
  • Loosens the manager to undertake some other things
  • Quickens manufacturing
  • Cuts down on waste materials

The level of skill to control device is lower

These are merely several of the many benefits which CNC units offer. They give a number of other added benefits which can be based upon the kind of CNC system which is used.

CNC Creation Transfering

Transferring out of the creation of one program to a different one is simple and will save the corporation time and effort. In past times it might take a full day to many days to put a machine up to be able to get the right cuts which have been essential for an order. Nowadays, using the CNC systems, the arranged time frame is considerably lowered. It really is just about as easy as launching some other application.

CNC Running Options

CNC units function not just with programs, they may be movement managed and also run using a number of axes based on the kind of the device. The CNC lathe unit runs using the X plus Y axis, not like the five-axis systems which are available these days out there. The greater amount of axes that your device is run on, the more delicate and accurate the cuts. More imaginative you are able to turn out to be within your campaigns, and also a lot more you’ll be able to offer manufacturing solutions. The CNC units could more or less do everything with no man assistance aside from.

Get rid of Hand Work

Get rid of handwheels and even joysticks creating the activity that many machining equipments demand. These days, the pc, via the application, tell the device on what particularly to execute as well as the system carries on function till the requirements or perhaps guidelines are already obtained, upon which time it stops procedure towards the sheet of material. The persons’ involvement that’s needed using a CNC unit is the programming. Programming for this system is usually coded in phrases just like structures that have been in code. The code instructs all the axes in what direction to go plus entirely deals with each and every aspect of the unit.