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Forge

Encyclopedy Index

The forge or smithy is the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith. Forging is the term for shaping metal by plastic deformation. Cold forging is done at low temperatures, while conventional forging is done at high temperatures, which makes metal easier to shape and less likely to fracture.
A basic smithy contains a forge, sometimes called a hearth for heating the metals, commonly iron or steel to a temperature where the metal becomes malleable (typically red hot), or to a temperature where work hardening ceases to accumulate, an anvil to lay the metal pieces on while hammering, and a slack tub to rapidly cool, and thus harden, forged metal pieces in. Tools include tongs to hold the hot metal, and hammers to strike the hot metal.
Once the final shape has been forged, iron and steel in particular often get some type of heat treatment. This can result in various degrees of hardening or softening depending on the details of the treatment.


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