While forge welding was developed in the Middle Ages, it still has many uses in the present day, and it’s an essential technique for amateur and professional metalworkers alike. So, what is forge welding? If you’re working in a metal shop in Phoenix, AZ and need to join two metals together, here’s what you need to know about this basic technique.
An overview of forge welding
Essentially, forge welding is the process of hammering two pieces of heated metal in a way that joins them together. It’s an additive, rather than subtractive, approach. It takes a lot of skill, hand-eye coordination and timing to successfully forge weld—it’s something that requires years of experience and practice. Forge welding is used to craft a number of projects, from chains and railroad spikes to gates and swords.
What protective gear is required?
Forge welding can be very dangerous if you don’t have the required protective gear for doing the job safely. Every time you weld, you need to wear the following items:
- Eye protection: You should always wear safety glasses whenever you do any type of welding. Your eyes will get tired from staring into the bright light of the forge, so wear tinted or shaded glasses.
- Mask: Hot metals release gases, so wear a protective mask to keep the gases from entering your lungs.
- Gloves: Always wear gloves when you’re working near the forge mount. They protect your hands from exceedingly hot temperatures.
- Clothing: You should always wear 100 percent natural materials when working on a forge welding project. Any spark will cause synthetic clothing to melt and stick to your skin. Wear a welding jacket or leather apron for best protection.
What are the basic steps of forge welding?
As you learn the basics about forge welding and how to use it effectively when crafting metal products in Phoenix, AZ, follow these simple steps as you work:
- Set the forge at the right temperature: The type of metal you’re using will determine how hot the forge should be. Leave the metals in the forge until they turn yellow—beyond that, the metal can become oxidized.
- Use flux: After removing the heated metal from the forge, sprinkle it with a flux. This step prevents oxidation of the steel, keeping it from developing scales or slag on the surface.
- Heat the metal again: Put the metal back in the forge after applying the flux and bring the metal back to a bright yellow color. Again, don’t leave it in too long or you’ll risk ruining the metal.
- Shape the materials: Now that your metal is hot, it’s ready to be shaped by hammering. If you’re joining two pieces of heated metal together, use a power hammer or hydraulic press to weld the pieces together.
If you’re making a metal product in Phoenix, AZ, you need to know what forge welding is if you intend to bond two pieces of metal together. Remember that it takes years of hands-on practice to quickly and skillfully forge weld. Contact Metal Pro Inc. to learn more about the process of forge welding and about the products you can make with this essential technique.