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> If I am melting on a charcoal block does it matter which direction
> I forge? Is there a way to tell which way the grain is going?
If objective is to obtain flat sheet, after metal is molten and
balled up, flatten it with something suitable. Old hammer works fine.
I do not mean to hit it with a hammer, just gently press it for
desired thickness. In this case there are would not be uniform grain
direction. For forging purposes pick one you will be rolling along
and forge 45 degrees towards it.
If objective is to obtain wire, instead of using hammer, gently
squeeze the ball of molten metal with tweezes. With some practice, a
nice rectangular ingot will result. In this case the grain direction
will depends on so many variables that it is not possible to
predict. Small ingots for wire production, do not require any
> Did you anneal every few passes to get that gorgeous gold sheet,
> or was that after your initial forging process and annealing just
> the one time?
Annealing is one of those question where it is difficult to give a
Generally, the less frequent it is, the better. Theory says that one
should achieve 70% of deformation before annealing ingot. It may be
possible with perfect ingot and huge industrial mills. I could never
do it. What it means in numbers is that from 4mm thickness to 1.2mm
without annealing. I try to stick to 50% deformation. So if I start
with 4mm annealed ingot, I roll it to 2mm, anneal, and roll to 1mm,
That said, if you feel that metal needs more frequent annealing,
than do what it requires.
Over-annealing could damage alloy, but so is over-working. If alloy
becomes unyielding, it is better to take a chance on over-annealing
than on over-working. So general rule can be stated as - anneal as
little as you can get away with.