Re: Topic:Aluminum forging

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Posted by Bill Roberts on October 28, 1998 at 20:54:56:

In Reply to: Topic:Aluminum forging posted by Steve on October 27, 1998 at 16:42:59:

Hey Steve-

I forge aluminum almost daily, what type of forgings are you interested in doing?

For some of the basics, I'd suggest starting with 6063, you can do minor forging (like relieving the edges) cold- no heat. But for the more serious forging heat is required. There is a fine line between forging temp. and opps! The high tech tool I use, to tell when the material is ready for forging, is a simple wooden paint stick. You could even use the wooden hammer handle. When you first start heating the aluminum, rub the stick across the material where you've appled the heat. You'll notice that the stick doesn't move smoothly across it. As the aluminum gets up to temp you'll notice that rubbing the stick across the material will start to leave a faint light brown line and it will move smoother. The next thing you'll notice as the temp rises is that the "line" becomes darker (dark brown all the way to black) when you rub the stick on the metal. It also "feels" slippery. If the line gets to a black, you are just about to melt the aluminum. The aluminum will also take on a darker gray, almost straw color right before it falls on the floor.

A good forging temp. is in the "brown range", although you can forge the material in the upper range. You can also quench (anneal) the aluminum at this temp. and do the forging then , but the forging window is open longer when forged hot. I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you. It's a very enjoyable material to forge, as are other non ferrous metals. Happy Hammering-

Bill Roberts- Ornamental Metalsmith- Artmetalite :o)

Custom Design Metal Arts

3740 NE 40th PL. Unit C

Ocala, FL. 34479

robertsb@pig.net

a small sample of my work:

http://www.artmetal.com/village/furnitur/1003furn.htm


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