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How can I heat & temper Steel at home?

  1. May 6, 2010 #1
    Hello guys,

    I just want to know how to heat & temper Steel/Iron at home. I can find the material easy I guess.

    I dont know how to start, how to reach 1,000 Fº at home to give a piece of Steel some "form", I want to give cuttings, curves, and shaping to that piece. But I know nothing about this. I dont know where to start.

    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2010 #2
    You don't is the simple answer. Why on earth would you want to? It's not that expensive to buy.

    Firstly you need a very hot, very precise furnace depending on the heat treatment you want to give. You also need a very good watch to time the heat treatment.Then you will need a multitude of oil/water/air cooling places.

    Just buy it.
  4. May 6, 2010 #3
    I though it was possible to cut, curve & shape some pieces of steel at home. As I said I may get the tools. But I don't know nothing about this. It will be very very expensive to do this on somewhere else. I already call many places in where I can do this but it is very expensive on my hometown.

    I prefer doing it at home. I just want to cut, curve and shape some pieces. I want nice curves, I don't want a fail. I'm 19yo btw.. I want to build something myself. Something you wont find in market.
  5. May 6, 2010 #4
    What are you acutally trying to do?

    As heating and forming a metal is completely different to heat treating it.

    This is a very important question to answer, as if you bugger up a heat treatment you can totally change the mechanical properties of the material which can lean to failure of the metal.
  6. May 6, 2010 #5
    I was wrong though. I just want to heat and then form the metal. I want to do a glove to fit my hand. My dad have lots of tools on his office, it is a huge office. I can take stuff from there and bring it home.

    I want to form a glove/hand. I dont know how to make the cuts, the curves and the shaping. Obviously I'm not Migel Angelo and it wont be a perfect hand. But I want it to fit mine. I want to work this from years ago.
  7. May 6, 2010 #6
    It sounds like forging or blacksmithing is more what you are wanting to do. Check out the ABANA website, or google DIY forge/forging or blacksmithing. If heat treating is what you are interested in you could do it in your backyard by building a propane furnace(plans avail. online), getting some temp sticks, finding the heating recipe for the metal your wanting to treat, and a lot of trial and error.

    Edit: Metal sculpting would be another good search on google.
  8. May 6, 2010 #7
    This, you basically need a blacksmiths furnace for work of this type. (EDIT: A very hot fire will probably suffice.) You are likely to be working with thin metal if it's a glove. You may be better cold working it.
  9. May 6, 2010 #8
    I have searched lots of times Metal forging but I dont find "steps" of how to do this. I want to sculpt it. As I said, I want to sculpt my hand. From my fingers to almost my elbow. But I dont know which tools I need. I want to work in my backyard actually.
  10. May 6, 2010 #9
    You can rent instructional videos at smartflix.com, and if you go to the ABANA website you can find a local chapter of blacksmiths who do monthly get togethers and help get beginners going in the world of blacksmithing.
  11. May 6, 2010 #10
    So to conclude. Blacksmithing is what I need to make a hand of steel? To make the bends, cuttings and shapings I need Blacksmithing?

    I just enter the ABANA.org website but I dont find what you are saying of Blacksmithing tutorials or something like that. I need steps to star because I don't know how to start, what I need.. :S
  12. May 6, 2010 #11
    I keep getting different views of what you are trying to do.

    Are you trying to make a metal glove/gauntlet type thing to fit your hand. Or a steel replica of your arm? If it's the latter then are you thinking of a high fidelity copy, ie it's 'your arm' not 'an arm'.

    One is doable, the other isn't by the methods you are thinking.
  13. May 6, 2010 #12
    On the ABANA site you will have to find a local chapter then go to their website, search through a few chapters since some offer videos some dont, but I think most offer the get togethers . You might also try http://armourers.tribe.net/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. May 6, 2010 #13
    Actually I want to make Iron Man glove. I want to make that glove years ago.. But now that I have grown up I see it easier to make. Blacksmithing seems a good thing to start with.. But I need steps, from step 1.. I'm new, a 19yo guy but I dont know nothing about this.

    I just want to make the glove of metal. But I need steps and tools. The thing is I don't know the steps neither the tools. :S
  15. May 6, 2010 #14
    Very good point xxchrisxx, I missed this my first time through. A good ball pein hammer a little sand, and he would be well on his way. There are videos on that too at smartflix.
  16. May 6, 2010 #15
    I'll go to bed now.. is already 4am here since I was searching of how to do the Iron Man glove at home.. I'll appreciate very much some steps of how to start at home. I want to start this when I wake up.


    step 1: I need to buy "...."
    step 2: I need to buy this other thing "....
    step 3: ....
    step 4: .....
    step 5: .......

    Thanks a lot you two guys that post here before this posts!

    Thanks the future guys that I hope they posts also :) I hope to see more answers to help me on this. Remember I am a 100% noobie on this.

    I'll come watch the posts of you guys just after I wake up.
  17. May 6, 2010 #16
    It seems to me like you are trying to start in the middle of the steps, there are a lot of questions that will need to be answered before you should ever start looking for stuff to buy.

    Step 1- Decide exactly what you are trying to build, out of what materials, then draw it up so you can offer visual aid to those trying to figure out what you are trying to build.

    It sounds like you are trying to build an ironman glove, do you need to use metal, or could you use vacuum formed plastics. There is a DIY armor group that builds replica star wars armor using plastic that is vacuum formed. If you use metal, will it be thick enough you will want to use heat, or thin enough you can work it cold.

    Step 2- Research into whichever method you choose, Vacuum forming, blacksmithing, or cold working with tools like hoffi- hammers, english wheels, power hammers, or just a sand pit and a hammer. While researching you will start to get an idea of what you need. Like my previous posts, SmartFlix has a video about every subject you can think of, from gunsmithing to needlework and everything in between but for the most part are about manipulating metal in one form or another.

    Step 3- Once you have figured out the above questions then and only then should you start to buy tools, if you dont wait until you are sure of what you want to build and how your going to go about it you are going to waste a lot of money as well as time.

    Step 4- Buy your stock and start to practice manipulating it, in whatever manner you have decided to use.

    I know how it is to get an idea in ones head that just has to be done, but you wont get there any quicker by trying to skip steps or getting ahead of yourself. Slow down, relax, prepare and get to work, your not going to go from 0-60, it wil be more like 0-1,1-2,2-3, and on and on but you will get there if your willing to do the work.
  18. May 6, 2010 #17
    Well, I'm trying to make something like this (without those tubes and cables):
    http://screenrant.com/images/downey-iron-man0114.jpg [Broken]
    http://www.freewebs.com/coolman18/iron-man-hit.jpg [Broken]

    I want to use the easiest method possible to me, but of course I want to finish the glove well done. I don't want to fail and finish an ugly glove. I want something like that images.

    I want it of metal not of plastic. I really want to work with metal, plastic is not so interesting for me. I like metal, blacksmithing or something like that... The curves in the glove, the shaping, how to make those cuttings to fit my hand and give that metal a glove shape.. It is a thick piece, I don't think is easy to work it without heat, I already try it, it is thick but not too much.. I dont know nothing about this. Don't know how to start.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  19. May 6, 2010 #18
    Are you going to make the power source too? ;-)

    I think cold working some thin sheetmetal would be the ticket. Maybe check out how to make a handmade gas tanks for motorcycles, the processes would be similar. Or maybe start by making a cast of your hand, then start a very hot coal/coke fire and melt some iron pour into the cast, then you could easily use your mold to form the metal around it and it should be a perfect fit. Setting up a foundry would be a bit of work but you can probably find DIY plans on google. You could always cast some steel around your hand mold then use a dremel to cut it into segments, so it would be moveable, but that would be pretty advanced.

    You are trying to start at the end point, it will take yrs to develop the skills to be able to do what you are wanting to do IMO.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. May 6, 2010 #19
    Well, the energy source will be kinda "impossible" to do IMO haha :P

    How can I melt the Iron/steel? I need the names of the stuff I need to start heating the metal. I guess that cold working will be hard to give the glove a nice shape, I think heat would be easier. I want the final result to look good, pretty.. I don't want the glove to look dented.

    But seems that to make this perfect is way better to mold my hand on a cast. But how can I do that? As I said, I'm new, and I need step by step to start this. :S I'm pretty clever, if you know the steps of how to start this will be great.

    What would be the better way to work with, the steps from the beginning to the end. :rolleyes:

    It could be making a mold of my hand and then heat it, sculpt it, cut it into segments.. Just to make the glove of Iron Man. I'm thinking on painting it in case of finishing it first.
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