124Re: Monthly question
- Nov 11, 2011Hello Everyone
Strikers are one of the most useful but often forgotten tools, that we should be using everyday when we are in persona.
When I do demonstrations I will often start the forge fire with flint and steel. It makes a great demonstration and really doesn't take much longer than using matches or a lighter. This is in part the basis of why we can be blacksmiths, being able to start and work with fire.
So How I Make a Striker.
High carbon steel is a must. I have made very good strikers using 5160 (coil car or truck spring), O1 (oil hardening 1%carbon tool steel), W1 (1.2% carbon water hardening tool steel) old files etc.. I will use the 5160 as an example.
For this project I really need only a small piece of the spring steel, since it will be stretched. It could even be fire welded to mild steel as a backing if you chose.
- I draw out the steel until I have a piece about 4 mm by 10 mm by about 150 mm.
- Then point both ends this giving about 200 mm total length.
- I curl both tips towards the same edge. The curl is done on the axis of the hard way.
- I then form a "J" shape with one end, over the horn, followed by the other end to create a closed "C" shape.
- Flatten and true everything up. If you want you can thermal cycle and anneal at this point to make a more durable tool.
- Back to the forge for heat treating.
- I bring the striking edge up just past non-magnetic and let it cool until the magnet just starts to pull. This is tested on the striking edge.
- Then the whole piece is quenched in room temperature water.
At this point it will throw the best sparks but it is quite brittle and may fracture if dropped on concrete.
I may temper to just the beginning of very light yellow colour. About 400 degrees F.
This seems to still allow the sparks but makes it a bit more resistant to breaking accidentally. Don't over temper as once it gets a bit soft it doesn't spark as well. If this happens just re-harden.
If you check through the historical books strikers came in almost any shape you could think of, including serpents and Thor's hammer shapes as well as standard "C" and "J" shapes.
Remember to use a good sharp piece of flint to strike your sparks. Often people have trouble because their flint is not sharp enough to throw the sparks.
A couple of links
Click Here For youtube video I put up a few years ago on making your own striker.
and a Photo of a striker I made 20 years ago http://www.artistblacksmith.com/striker.jpg It still works great today and I use it at my period demonstrations.
--- In EaldormereBlacksmithguild@yahoogroups.com, "thoravolundsdottir" <hverweybsmith@...> wrote:
> Hello Everyone
> So another month, another question:
> How do YOU make a striker?
> I was asked this at a demo this summer so I thought I'd pass it along
> AND do you have any pics to share ?
> Lady Thora
> If you have any other questions that are of interest please feel free to ask them or send them along to me if you want.
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