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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, monophonic said:

How amenable would common utensil steel be towards cold forging? e.g. hammering a teaspoon flat for use as a makeshift arrowhead. You may consider the suitability of a common household hammer at your discretion, too.

Asking to satiate a morbid curiosity.

It would absolutely work for a makeshift arrowhead. 

Not something you could shoot through armor - but for hunting / killing it would work (albeit with a higher failure chance / saving roll for the target - depending on how you make it).  Anything about the size of a flint arrowhead, as long as you ground a point and edge on it (which you can do with a convenient bit of sidewalk and time) will actually be quite effective with a low failure rate.  Anything the size of a full soup spoon with a point?  Grin. 

I mean we started out with sharpened sticks, then broken rocks and only later settled on steel.  So, frankly if the need arose you could make several from a spoon with a hammer and chisel and some dedicated grinding 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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1 hour ago, kerbiloid said:

Bad people in their place sharpen even plastic teethbrushes without forging.

21 minutes ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

It would absolutely work for a makeshift arrowhead. 

Thanks both for your input, although actually I was not worried about getting a sharp edge, but whether one could hammer the spoon flat before the metal shatters from work hardening  (or whatever, my metallurgy skills stop at twisting a wire until it breaks). As a spoon shaped arrowhead isn't very good for straight flight.

Although, should shattering be a concern one could probably start from a soup spoon and find a big enough flat-ish piece from whatever bits remain after. But getting any arrowhead was not where my curiosity went morbid. From where I sit right now I can see multiple square meters of suitable sheet metal to form into makeshift arrowheads. It was specifically the "...from a spoon" part that my mind would not lay to rest... There's probably another question right there, one concerning the state of my mind...

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11 minutes ago, monophonic said:

It was specifically the "...from a spoon

Well - it kind of depends on the metal of the spoon how workable it is. 

 

FWIW - in my misspent youth I discovered that my dad's shop contained a bunsen burner, a jewelry anvil and a clutch of hammers. 

I flattened and 'worked' a bunch of stuff.  My parents 'silverware' worked beautifully.  The metal spoon stolen from the school cafeteria broke.  Copper pipes (I just recalled this!) that barely fit over a dowel can be smashed into a point and when the unsmashed end is placed back on the dowel form an arrow that can be launched into a tree with a bow made from a length of wood and a kite string. 

(btw - if you are in your youth... Do stuff like that!) 

 

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40 minutes ago, monophonic said:

but whether one could hammer the spoon flat before the metal shatters from work hardening  (or whatever, my metallurgy skills stop at twisting a wire until it breaks). As a spoon shaped arrowhead isn't very good for straight flight.

A rustless steel is viscous, and can be used for forging.

But the spoons can be made of various sorts of steel.

Apply a concentrated solution of copper sulfate and natrium chloride for a couple of days (put the spoon into it or put a wet tampon on the metal).
If it's a proper kind of rustless steel, the metal will stay clean. Otherwise there will be a colored spot of corroded metal.

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39 minutes ago, monophonic said:

one concerning the state of my mind...

Adding this as an edit: You're not alone.

 

If I'm reading / interpreting correctly: let me assure you that the dire popular mythology is an incorrect prediction.  If you ever want to discuss actual likely scenarios (and have missed my quibbling with @SunlitZelkova ) let me know.  I'm always up for speculative fiction!

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16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Well - it kind of depends on the metal of the spoon how workable it is. 

Well now I'm right back at before asking anything - but turns out that's where the world is too.

16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

(btw - if you are in your youth... Do stuff like that!) 

Oh how I did... I had a toy bow, and when I grew bored with it I fixed it to a length of panel to make a crossbow.  Very simple one, just a notch across the groove to hold the string and a lever, pressed with my thumb, to lift the string to fire. Also far more dangerous stuff - amazingly I still have all my fingers - that I won't go into here where we have impressionable young minds reading.

16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

FWIW - in my misspent youth I discovered that my dad's shop contained a bunsen burner, a jewelry anvil and a clutch of hammers. 

I flattened and 'worked' a bunch of stuff.  My parents 'silverware' worked beautifully.  The metal spoon stolen from the school cafeteria broke.  Copper pipes (I just recalled this!) that barely fit over a dowel can be smashed into a point and when the unsmashed end is placed back on the dowel form an arrow that can be launched into a tree with a bow made from a length of wood and a kite string. 

16 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

A rustless steel is viscous, and can be used for forging.

But the spoons can be made of various sorts of steel.

Apply a concentrated solution of copper sulfate and natrium chloride for a couple of days (put the spoon into it or put a wet tampon on the metal).
If it's a proper kind of rustless steel, the metal will stay clean. Otherwise there will be a colored spot of corroded metal.

So, there really isn't any alloy that could be considered "common cutlery metal." Things that have a variation of the common "stainless steel" markings on them probably have above average chance of being forgeable. Adding heat helps even if you can't get the metal to glow.

16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Adding this as an edit: You're not alone.

Ominous.... :lol:

16 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

If I'm reading / interpreting correctly: let me assure you that the dire popular mythology is an incorrect prediction.  If you ever want to discuss actual likely scenarios (and have missed my quibbling with @SunlitZelkova ) let me know.  I'm always up for speculative fiction!

Oh I have my name on several lists for far more sinister stuff (like being a person of my gender and age in a country that has conscription). I have always had this tendency to think about stuff that have zero practical effect on daily life. Just this asking of questions is a new development - previously I just dove into wikipedia (and books before that) trying to make head or tails out of stuff I could not comprehend.

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33 minutes ago, monophonic said:

So, there really isn't any alloy that could be considered "common cutlery metal."

They are made of various steels, from really rustless to the cheapest carbon-rich, chromeless, non-austenite from (skips showing with a finger on globus) which start rusting just not immediately after lunch.

P.S.
A magnet will not stick to a rustless one, but this is just to sort out the obviously non-rustless.

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2 hours ago, monophonic said:
19 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

So, there really isn't any alloy that could be considered "common cutlery metal." Things that have a variation of the common "stainless steel" markings on them probably have above average chance of being forgeable. Adding heat helps even if you can't get the metal to glow.

Consider the question.    As a machinist, my professional advice to you would be to whack it with a hammer till it’s the shape you want.   
 

You’re making an improvised tool, not a production run.  Don’t bother worrying about work hardening or anything like that.   Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.  
 

Without knowing the exact metal it was Made from, I can’t tell you the best way to work it.  But it’s a spoon.... into an arrowhead.  Spoons were made from a number of materials; steel, stainless, silver, lead, pewter.    
 

Ok, let’s say you really really want to turn this spoon into an arrowhead.    Call around to your local scrap yards and ask if they know who has an X-ray Spectrometer.   They may not have one, but they’ll know who does cause they have the occasional need for one.   I have no idea how much this will cost, as I’ve only used them in house, but they have been loaned out at times.    Most likely if you can find one, $20 to the tech running it might cover you.   
 

So now you know the exact alloy the spoon is made of.   You can the either google it to find out the working properties, or you can again call around and find a blacksmith is willing to do a day class for you and have you learn how to make this arrowhead from a spoon the right way.   
 

I do think, though, that historically most metal arrowheads were cast and then sharpened on a grinding belt/wheel.    Might be wrong on that.  
 

@kerbiloid I believe the English term you’re looking for is “stainless”.  :D 

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3 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

 As a machinist, my professional advice to you would be to whack it with a hammer till it’s the shape you want.   

Too easy. It's a "Science" forum.

4 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

But it’s a spoon.... into an arrowhead.  Spoons were made from a number of materials; steel, stainless, silver, lead, pewter.

Arrowheads from the silver spoons are good against the werewolves and vampires.

5 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

I believe the English term you’re looking for is “stainless”.  

Oops. Translated literally.

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23 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Oops. Translated literally.

I figured.  But considering your English is far better than my Russian, I won’t hold it against you. 

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A question on the edge, and one that's based on an impression from military-watching, but anyway...

Am I correct in the impression that all of the major militaries are for some combination of reasons struggling to mass-deploy quadcopters or equivalent thereof in small units?

The current DJI bonanza in the skies over [unmentionable] has aroused quite the kerfuffle over small UAVs, lack thereof in certain classes, and the handwringing over the "failures of cyber-security and discipline" involving the widespread use of unauthorized drones. However, off the top of my head I can't recall a military that has solved that problem. Everyone seems enthused about MALEs, HALEs, UCAVs, loitering munitions and other big-ticket systems, but when it comes to small infantry unit air recon, the various programs turn into dead ends and disappear after a field evaluation or two, and everyone's bringing their DJIs to work.

e.g. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2019/09/17/can-the-army-secure-an-american-made-quadcopter/

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Commercial drone is commercial.   Extremely high failure rates due to them not being designed for combat environments is completely acceptable.  

Military hardware usually has a long vetting process.   That includes a rate of failure determined by some statistical analysis.  To make a combat safe drone that meets that failure rate and is light enough to be easily man portable and have a useful range, let alone fly, is apparently not an easy task.   
 

Bringing ad hoc equipment into a battle is one thing, being issued bad equipment is another. 

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Is there a relatively safe to handle (at home nutcase) liquid chemical that reacts with aluminum foil to change its color gradually?   
 

I’m thinking of making some aluminum foil pen blanks, which I’ve worked with before, but with some sort of color fade to it.   I’ll rig up some arduino based winch to slowly lower and lift the foil from the bath.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, DDE said:

small infantry unit air recon, the various programs turn into dead ends and disappear after a field evaluation or two, and everyone's bringing their DJIs to work

We are literally watching a game changing evolution in combat unfold before our eyes. 

The US and others anticipated this and have been leaning into this for a while - but mostly from the academic and R&D aspects especially since pulling back from our recent escapades.  Much of what I am seeing fleeted are creative iterations of existing, proven weapons - but with increased lethality and less collateral potential. But some of the more speculative potential is still a diy or prototype deployment - not generally by professional militaries themselves, but by motivated and innovative individuals or units within those services.  That is a far cry from a fleeted, proven system shaping the battlefield. 

However, because of the active combat - the early stuff currently available is being fielded earlier than anticipated and the lessons being learned will result in an exponential growth of the sector.  There are and will be dead ends - along with killer refinements and some pretty unexpected but lethal things getting thrown into the mix. The money being thrown around will assure this. The longer this goes on the better the systems will become - and the 'learning how to counter' techniques and technology will follow closely on the heels of the new 'new'. 

The problem is that fleeting uniform systems that can be logistically supported via a military - things that are robust reliable and reusable will take time.  The one-off diy quad that works a few times now, will break or will be jammed or possibly taken over.  Those things are very different from proven sustainable weapons that can be deployed theater wide. 

I don't know what non-NATO acquisition timelines are generally like - but I can say that NATO's turnaround from 'good idea' to 'let's fleet that' looks like warp speed compared to the 80s, 90s and Aughts. 

The current combatants have the problem of no pre existing stores of proven mil-tech ready to deploy - but the ability to cobble stuff together and at least have some of the game changing stuff available.  That's why modded OTS gear is having an impact. The OTS stuff, btw will be very quickly rendered useless due to countermeasures (based on current, fleeted tech) in short order.   (Think about the ease of recording unencrypted phone calls and texts - that tech can be slightly modified to own a Red Team OTS drone.) 

All I can say about your actual question, however, is to keep an eye on your favorite OSINT provider's feed.  The stuff you are looking for will be appearing on videos before you know it 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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9 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Commercial drone is commercial.   Extremely high failure rates due to them not being designed for combat environments is completely acceptable.  

Military hardware usually has a long vetting process.   That includes a rate of failure determined by some statistical analysis.  To make a combat safe drone that meets that failure rate and is light enough to be easily man portable and have a useful range, let alone fly, is apparently not an easy task.   

Bringing ad hoc equipment into a battle is one thing, being issued bad equipment is another. 

Indeed. But wasn't the whole point of drones back in the day to raise the risk tolerance due to lack of a person on the line?

I know raging at milspec requirememts is rookie mistake, but being expendable is the whole idea here.

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Drones are smaller, cheaper, more maneuvrable, and lesss detectable.

And they are flying above the armored vehicles, where the roof is thin and can't be protected or thickened due to the large area and long cannon (requiring a full circle around the tank).
Thus, they need  much lighter penetrators than the direct-hit weapons.

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26 minutes ago, DDE said:

Indeed. But wasn't the whole point of drones back in the day to raise the risk tolerance due to lack of a person on the line?

I know raging at milspec requirememts is rookie mistake, but being expendable is the whole idea here.

It also needs to be durable, like accidentally falling to the ground from paradrop height durable.  Mud, sand, rain etc tolerant.   It really doesn't do anybody any good if it's broken when it's needed.   So they gotta make it heavy duty, but also light weight.   Also, since some recon units are all on foot, and might be some distance from a reliable power source, there is probably a requirement for portable recharging.    I'm not military, although I wish I had, but I bet if you ask any of our ex grunts if they would prefer to carry 3 more magazines of ammo or 3 lipo batteries that may burst into flames when bumped, I'm pretty sure they want ammo. 

The procurement office has probably laid out X Y and Z requirements for a drone, and most commercial ones fit X and Y, but not Z, so they haven't purchased any yet. 

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3 hours ago, Gargamel said:

but I bet if you ask any of our ex grunts if they would prefer to carry 3 more magazines of ammo or 3 lipo batteries that may burst into flames when bumped, I'm pretty sure they want ammo. 

At this point, I am willing to take you on that bet.

Although now I'm wondering whether the situation would be different if [unmentionable] started around November, when temperatures in the region are appreciably below zero. I know those batteries also mind the cold.

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18 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Is there a relatively safe to handle (at home nutcase) liquid chemical that reacts with aluminum foil to change its color gradually?  

I’m thinking of making some aluminum foil pen blanks, which I’ve worked with before, but with some sort of color fade to it.   I’ll rig up some arduino based winch to slowly lower and lift the foil from the bath.  

I don't think so.  Aluminum doesn't react with oxygen in air because it forms a protective oxide layer.  The first thing done to make aluminum react is to strip that oxide layer off in various different ways.  Which means it's now very reactive until that oxide layer reforms, if it can.  I don't think you can make it do a gradual change without a risk of a rapid change.

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23 minutes ago, Jacke said:

I don't think so.  Aluminum doesn't react with oxygen in air because it forms a protective oxide layer.  The first thing done to make aluminum react is to strip that oxide layer off in various different ways.  Which means it's now very reactive until that oxide layer reforms, if it can.  I don't think you can make it do a gradual change without a risk of a rapid change.

Good point, completely forgot about the reactivity of aluminum to oxygen, which I should have known from welding. 

TBH, I would probably have spent more time on getting an arduino winch to work properly and money on the chemical (I tend to acquire single use chemicals in larger quantities than I'll need, I have a liter of 95% acetic acid here somewhere, and there's also a gallon of 99% sulfuric acid buried in my shop too).   My time and skillset would probably be better off buying a decent, cheap, airbrush and learn to paint a good fade. 

Although....   If I do this in a vacuum chamber, and dip it in one of the acids to remove the oxide layer, then dip in it something else.....  Hmmm...     No no... this is for a pen... I don't want it to suddenly decide it's time to reoxidize in somebody's hand. 

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32 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

Good point, completely forgot about the reactivity of aluminum to oxygen, which I should have known from welding. 

TBH, I would probably have spent more time on getting an arduino winch to work properly and money on the chemical (I tend to acquire single use chemicals in larger quantities than I'll need, I have a liter of 95% acetic acid here somewhere, and there's also a gallon of 99% sulfuric acid buried in my shop too).   My time and skillset would probably be better off buying a decent, cheap, airbrush and learn to paint a good fade. 

Although....   If I do this in a vacuum chamber, and dip it in one of the acids to remove the oxide layer, then dip in it something else.....  Hmmm...     No no... this is for a pen... I don't want it to suddenly decide it's time to reoxidize in somebody's hand. 

You have a bunch of acid? Why not anodize it?

 

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That’s why I have the sulfuric.  But that won’t do the fade I’m thinking of.   Painting would work better if I wanted a solid color though. 
 

And it’s foil.    First time I anodized, I got the dilution wrong, and the 1/4” aluminum plate turned to powder in about 30 seconds.   I don’t have high hopes for foil.    

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4 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

That’s why I have the sulfuric.  But that won’t do the fade I’m thinking of.   Painting would work better if I wanted a solid color though. 
 

And it’s foil.    First time I anodized, I got the dilution wrong, and the 1/4” aluminum plate turned to powder in about 30 seconds.   I don’t have high hopes for foil.    

Hmmm, I'm no expert in any of this, so I just come up with random ideas. For a pen, you say? I guess you want to wrap it in some gussied-up foil. But you're a machinist - could you machine a pen barrel that could withstand the anodizing? After testing the solution with some scrap first, of course.

As for the fade, this is where the really random ideas come in. Would it be possible to hang the part in the dye solution, attached to a veeerrryyyyy slow-moving winch that would slowly pull it out of the solution, so the top parts are not as deeply ano-dyezed as the bottom? Again, I have no experience in this sort of thing, so I have no idea of it would work, but it sounds plausible...

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37 minutes ago, StrandedonEarth said:
48 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

Hmmm, I'm no expert in any of this, so I just come up with random ideas. For a pen, you say? I guess you want to wrap it in some gussied-up foil. But you're a machinist - could you machine a pen barrel that could withstand the anodizing? After testing the solution with some scrap first, of course.

Of course I could machine it, but that’s not the look I want.  
 

Turned Pens come in kits; and you supply the blank.    Usually this is a piece of wood with a brass tube stick through it, but anything that can have the right brass tube in it and be turned with hand tools will work.  Like acrylic or epoxy.    A common technique is to wrap the brass tube in some material, like a sticker or foil or anything really, and then cast it in acrylic or epoxy.    Once it’s made round, the refraction of the epoxy makes it look like the foil or sticker is the full size of the turned blank.   
 

I’ve done a crinkled foil pen in the past, I was just thinking one with a fade would be cool.  
 

sidenote, I obtained some wood from the original 1965 Tardis, and plan on making a Tardis themed pen for my girl who is a huge Who fan.   The wood will be incorporated into the pen body.  

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