Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Getting Rid of Mushrooms

On 2/5/14 I wrote about hitting hard on hard and touched on the issue of tool mushrooming but didn’t go on to address proper tool dressing.

Unless we made the struck tool we probably don’t know about the alloy or how the heat treatment was done.  We trust the working end of the tool has been tempered properly for wear resistance and that the struck end has been left softer to prevent chipping.  Some mushrooming of the struck end can be expected with this strategy.  Still, dressing the struck end to prevent excessive mushrooming is a good safety plan.

I found one explanation of the tool maker’s intent at
http://www.flatlandforge.com/Warranty.htm  operated by Jim & Kathleen Poor.

“Thank you for your interest in our tools. We strive to bring you the best and safest tools on the market today.

We will warranty our tools against manufacturing defects by gladly replacing tools that fall under the guidelines outlined on this page.
Our tools are made of S-7, shock resistant air hardened tool steel. Each tool is hardened ONLY on the working end's, while the striking surface has been tempered back (or made slightly softer). This unique feature is primarily for safety.

With normal use, our tools are designed to mushroom slightly at the striking end of the tool (or top of the tool), and should be dressed back with a file or grinder depending on amount of use. We soften, (or temper) the tops of the tools to reduce the chances of chips flying off the tool when struck by an off (or wild) blow from a hardened hammer face. It takes a little more time and expertise, but we feel, the safer the tool, the better.

The working ends of our tools are hardened for maximum wear. This does not mean that they will last forever! But, with regular care and maintenance, these tools should last you a long time. So keep the working end of the tool COOL as you drive it into hot steel. Don't let the tools get extremely dull, keep them sharp by using a file. Don't drive them into the anvil. Hit them solid and square. Off blows from the hammer are usually the reason forging tools get wrecked.

We hope you enjoy your new tool. Be sure to look for articles on care and maintenance of the tools in the industry trade magazines.”

Some other References:

Mushrooming which I've accepted.
Excessive mushrooming.

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I don't often check for blog comments, so the best way to contact me is directly: at ottercreeksmith@gmail.com or djedwards@cableone.net