- How to Hammer an Old Sawmill Blade?
Hammering an old sawmill blade is a great way to get some use out of something that may otherwise be discarded. This blog post will teach you how to hammer an old sawmill blade so it can be used in your home, garden, or shop.
How to Hammer an Old Sawmill Blade?
Hammering an old sawmill blade is the first step to making new knives for your woodworking projects.
The process of hammering out a dented or damaged sawblade is similar to that of flattening and grinding any other piece of steel into a knife blade, but there are some differences when it comes to how you will go about doing so. So, you need to keep in mind that the process is one of heat treatment.
You will need an old sawmill blade with some dings or nicks, tongs for handling hot metal, pliers for removing handles from blades, and a vice. You should also have safety glasses on hand as well as gloves because there will be some hot metal and sparks that could potentially cause injury.
Step 1: Prepare the Blade
The first step is to put on your protective gear and then prepare the blade. Heat up a fire with some coal or charcoal, placing it in an old oil drum might be best as these are typically deeper than most fires you will see burning outside. Once you have a good bed of coals, place a piece of metal over the coals and let it heat up.
Step 2: Hammering Out the Damage
Once you see some smoke coming off of the metal, then this means that it is ready to be hammered out.
Remove the heated piece of steel with your tongs and place it on another section of concrete where you can hammer away at any dents or nicks.
Keep in mind that you will only want to hammer the damaged areas and not all over the blade evenly because you do not want it too thin anywhere else if this is an old sawmill blade of unknown thickness.
Step 3: Heat Treatment Stage One
The next step will be to heat up your blade again, but let’s make sure we are clear on what happens when steel gets hot. When heated beyond a certain temperature (dependent upon carbon content), then steel becomes magnetic.
If the metal was pliable before heating, it changed its shape easily, becoming more brittle as well with increased hardness once cooled down without tempering, which means that any changes made are permanent. As such, you need to keep these two points in mind while heating your blade.
Step 4: Heat Treatment Stage Two
Heat the blade to around 1050 degrees Celsius. This is just below its melting point but high enough that it will become magnetic when you test it with a magnet on an anvil or strong piece of metal.
At this temperature, your sawmill blade should be pliable and able to handle more hammering against another steel surface which in our case is also heated up by coals.
The idea here is to make sure you are heating both pieces equally while hammering out any dents or nicks on one side of the steel using your tongs for safety reasons and gloves because they get very hot! Use only moderate force with light blows first, then use progressively stronger ones until all the dents and nicks are out.
Step 5: Heat Treatment Stage Three
Now we need to heat the blade up again at around 900 degrees Celsius, but this time it will not become magnetic because you want your final tempering temperature to be between 200-300 degrees Celsius which would destroy its hardening qualities if heated any further.
So get that sawmill blade back over the coals until it turns a straw color or just before, then take it off of the fire with your tongs while wearing gloves for safety reasons.
Quickly let it cool on an oil-soaked rag so as to avoid thermal shock by quenching in water when making steel tools like knives is very bad since they have high carbon content! You can speed up the cooling process by spraying the blade with cold water or dipping it into a can containing that.
Step 6: Removing Handles and Hitting It With a Hammer!
Now you are ready to remove any handle from your sawmill blade, use pliers for doing so while wearing gloves because this old metal has been heated up several times already, which means it gets hot very quickly.
Then get out your vice if you have one available else clamping down on top of an anvil will work, but ensure that the wood is protected in case there’s some sort of accident since wooden handles tend to break easily after heating them up once more as we did back at step two. Now place the blade into a position where you want its new shape, then use your hammer to flatten it out without the handle and adjust its shape from there.
Step 7: Finishing Up
This stage is as simple as grinding or filing and sanding with an oil-soaked cloth in the power tools section if necessary to finish your work while ensuring that both sides of this old sawmill blade are equally smooth so that it does not end up heavier on one side than the other when you cut wood with it because uneven stress would be put.
If everything went according to plan, then this should give you a nice clean break allowing the blade to be used as a drawknife, but if its ragged edges are preventing it from being so useful, then just file them down and repeat the process again since this is an old sawmill blade that has been through much better days even though it still does have some life left in it!
Step 8: Using It For Woodworking Projects
Now all you need to do now is figure out what kind of woodworking project you want your new-old sawmill blade for, be it a carving project or an actual woodworking one.
Just remember that it’s not going to cut very deep compared to newer blades with higher carbon concentrations, but the radius of their curves will allow for making far more intricate cuts, so this old sawmill blade might just have some use in your shop. After all!
You now know how to hammer an old sawmill blade just like I do, making any mistakes that came about during my explanation non-existent due to instructional purposes only.
There’s no need to look elsewhere since everything needed is right here, so whenever you won’t remember what was written within these lines when needing help with something related afterward, such as sharpening or finishing up the job well done. Check our post on cutting tile using a circular saw and how to join a band saw blade.