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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/13/2022 in all areas

  1. https://www.npr.org/2022/05/13/1098545920/kansas-man-finds-ax-tree-root-handle-reddit-thor Looks like a nice steeled iron head from ca. 1850-1860. And yes, it's real. I've seen that happen with pierced objects in the ground. Roots go where they can!
    2 points
  2. I am currently working on a project for someone who likes to do a bit of wood carving, spoons probably being her favorite thing to make. In the past I’ve lent her my general purpose hatchet to split, hew, and roughly shape blanks, often from green but sometimes from seasoned wood. It does ok, but being a pretty general purpose hatchet I figured I might try making a dedicated tool for her. The stock I’m going to use is found steel with a personal significance, which means I’m limited to a starting blank of either 1.25x0.375 or the slightly larger and thinner size it started out as, with an inlaid bit. I did a test weld and it worked well, both the mild to itself and the spring to the mild. I had a few questions about designing this kind of hatchet. 1. Is 1.25-1.5lbs a decent size? It seems like sometimes these hatchets are a bit heavier but she is on the smaller side as well. This would require 10” of my starting material to make it into the head, which brings me to: 2. Is it helpful to put a heavier pole on a hatchet like this? I want to add some extra weight and will either double up the material for the poll or weld it between the two cheeks when I do the wrap. 3. Would a single or double bevel work better here? It seems like it could be nice for carving but make splitting/notch cutting kind of funny. Also not sure how intuitive it will be for someone not used to it, though she does know how to use single bevel kitchen knives so maybe some of the ideas will transfer over. 4. What handle length would be good? I have blanks for this made from white oak that got blown down by a storm last spring, I should be able to go up to 16-18”, maybe longer if that would be a good idea. Any input is greatly appreciated!
    1 point
  3. Thanks, Jake! I do many things to keep the pins from happening. I gave up on soapstone, too messy and too slippery except for fine work on nonferrous. These days it's three strokes, bang the tip on the vise, a quick sweep of the card (actually one of those toothbrush-sized wire brushes), check for pins, dislodge with Exacto blade. Of course, if a big pin happens I feel it instantly, and remove it at once. This particular wrought seems well-behaved. It's a 1.25" tie rod from a large building in Maine, as I understand, and is quite clean. A test etch didn't look nearly as cool as I want it to, but it was just a quick dip.
    1 point
  4. Always something new to learn. Those channels are good. I get the shutting off the brain bit. Though sometimes I wish I was resetting passwords or fixing the email servers again. Still code a bit, when I'm not exhausted. You can only dig so many holes before you just stop giving a *bleep*...
    1 point
  5. For some strange reason, I just got the idea to redo the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch as "Four Archeologists".
    1 point
  6. Other way is after the basic forging and prior to HT, curve it laterally around the horn of the anvil and then clamp it in a vise when cool and cut it in with a half-round file and then straighten out the blade. You should have a nice nail nick tapering in width towards each end, no problem.
    1 point
  7. First I went back to the vise, removed the dye with acetone, and went over the whole inlay with a smooth chasing chisel to drive the silver into all the undercuts and barbs, followed by the ball end of my chasing hammer to really make sure. Incidentally, this also work-hardens the silver so it's less likely to peel out of the inlet while filing it flush. Drawfiled flush: Tomorrow's guild meeting day, so that's it until next weekend. I had time to do a few more inlays (this one took 1.5 hours start to finish, including cutting the silver), but I haven't decided on what to put on the blade. Hopefully I'll figure that out during the next week or so. And I need to order more silver for the handle inlays. Ooh! How about a crescent moon on one side? I did one a long time ago with a moon on one side and a sun on the other, with the sun inlaid in brass, gold being out of my price range... Or not, the pointy ends of the crescent are not fun to inlet. We shall see.
    1 point
  8. Once it's all down to depth, undercut and internal barbs raised, it looks like this: I talked about that in the "Why I'm always recommending files" thread too. Final check to see that the silver plate is a snap fit into the inlet: Looks good! Now for the nerve-jangling part. Take it over to the anvil, pad the horn with a bit of leather, and hammer the silver into the inlet. Hard. If you screw up, you have to start over. I usually use one of the larger forging hammers for this to get maximum coverage of the silver for a one-shot squish, but this one needed to expand a bit more longways due to operator error during the undercutting step, so I used a domed-face 16-ounce crosspeen. Ooh, I forgot to remove the layout dye before setting the inlay. Will it show after I file it flush?
    1 point
  9. Today, I inlaid a sterling silver plate into the spine for my signature later down the line. That's a die-sinker's chisel, flat ended, made from O-1. Much more aggressive than my little 1095 and M42 gravers I used in this thread: Same idea, though, and I still use the gravers to clean up and undercut.
    1 point
  10. After I finished the bowl, I brazed it to the head with Harris Safety-Silv 56. And forgot to take pics again. I could have sworn I had some looking into the eye, but oh, well. I used ATP-641 antiscale to protect the eye and as a resist for the braze, because it's a pain to file that off of wrought. Here's the bowl as of a few minutes ago:
    1 point
  11. Forgot to mention, the machine in use here is a 1941 Atlas/Craftsman 12-48 lathe with a milling attachment. Darned handy, but way too long and underpowered. 6" swing over the ways, 48" bed, unless I have the back gears engaged it'll take a max cut of .020 in steel. But it's what I have. Anyway, I then drill and tap 3/8-24 NF, still in the lathe for precise alignment, but hand turn tapping only. Then I roughed the bowl from the wrought. 2" long, 0.8" diameter. First I turn one end down to 1/2" to fit the counterbore, then I cut a fat 1/4" of that down to 3/8", or a hair finer, in this case 0.370", and thread it with a die held in the tailstock, again turning the chuck by hand. The chattery line you can see on the rough bowl is to mark where the bottom of the big bore is so I don't cut into it when I do the final turning. It's 13/16" diameter, done with Silver and Deming bits prior to necking down the small end. Then there's a 5/32" hole the rest of the way through. Then on May 1 I went back out and finished it. Mostly with bits (doing compound curve profiles via the handwheels with a 60-degree single point cutter is like playing with an etch-a-sketch, but if you screw up you can't shake it to fix it...) and finished with files on the lathe. Filing a piece on the lathe is dangerous, but really handy. And of course I have no pics, because I totally forgot to take any. That's annoying, because since one end is threaded it can't be fixed in the lathe jaws. Except I made a little tool for that. Took some 1/2" round, and drilled and tapped it 3/8-24, and turned the very end down to a taper. Screw the rough bowl into the adaptor, good to go! Live center in the tailstock to support the bowl as well.
    1 point
  12. The next weekend, April 30/May 1, I turned the bowl from the same wrought as the hawk body. Somehow I don't have pics of that process, but I do have how I chose to mount this one. You may have noticed in the filework layout the little centerpunch mark where the hole is to go atop the eye. I drilled a 1/4" hole, then used a 1/2" aircraft counterbore with a 1/4" pilot to counterbore for the bowl to be inset. I usually do that for hammer poll hawks.
    1 point
  13. So: Forged on April 16: Materials are wrought iron and 1075. Ground, drawfiled to 6" mill smooth, and heat treated on April 23: Filework laid out on the eye, cuts started and finished, all with files, April 24:
    1 point
  14. Recently a forum member found a block of beryllium copper. Luckily he was smart enough to ask about it before using it, and in the course of the ensuing thread other hazardous things that look innocent enough were mentioned. Another member suggested making a sticky thread about such things, so here it is. Feel free to add your own, after all this may save someone's health if not their life! Beryllium copper, aka beryllium bronze, is sometimes found in junk shops. It is usually marked BeCu, and is most commonly used (at least the way most of us would find it) to make non-sparking tools. Handy and strong, with interesting properties, it is great for many things. It will also kill you (slowly or relatively quickly, and painfully whichever speed) if you grind or machine it without the proper safeguards, which are generally not available in a home shop. Here's the thread: Galvanized steel. We all know, or should know, to avoid forging or welding on plated steel. Galvanized steel produces zinc fumes when heated, and breathing these fumes will make you sick. If you have compromised lungs to begin with a big dose can kill you. This happened to my friend Jim Wilson. http://www.anvilfire.com/iForge/tutor.php?lesson=safety3/demo Cadmium plating is less common (it's the gold-ish peacock color on older brake fluid reservoirs), and it will kill you quickly if heated enough to vaporize the cadmium. This is just a start. Please fee free to add your own, just make sure it's true first. Most of the stuff we do is hazardous in some way. The more we know about hazards most people may not be aware of, the more safely we can work.
    1 point
  15. To further this list, @Austin_Lyles has mentioned in another thread not to quench in used motor oil. There are various reasons for this but from a safety perspective we are concerned about possible contaminants from the engine. Used oil may contain heavy metals and other contaminants that can vaporise during the quench causing lung damage. If you cannot afford to buy quench oils such as Parks 50, you can use canola, peanut oil, etc.
    1 point
  16. How to Start... A beginners & newbie info thread The Age old craft this forum is about seems to attract more guys as it used to for some while. Thus in the past months we have seen an increasing number of "How to Start", "Where to begin" questions posted to this board. I believe the great thing about this very community is the will to help each other, to advance and to share. However the "downside" is that if a question will be asked too many times, people could get annoyed by and not answer, vanish, or answer the question "halfhearted". All options which I would not desire. This community is one of the finest I've found on the net (thanks a lot don!), and most here are known by their real name. We are real person and I consider it nice to show not only a strange alias. No offense, this is up to you, but think about it for a moment... and should you like to change your alias into a real name, just send me a private message (Personally I strongly suggest you to go by real name). Beginners Place -> the "Beginners Place" is THE forum if you want to post basic questions, share your first results and such things... DO NOT post such questions in other boards, with the hope that more "Pros" do read and answer your question. The Beginners Place might be used for all very basic beginners questions, and those amongst us (which are quite a few) who have the time & knowledge and the will to answer beginners question will answer... Please refrain from posting "TEST POSTS"... this forum does work This sticky-thread (which is closed for posts but open for suggestions [send me a private message]) serves the purpose to help those who want to get into this craft. I try to cover as many aspects which could be interesting for those who start out without going into too many details. Keep it simple. On the other hand, I truly recommend you to use the search functionality this forum provides, as the forum holds a vast amount of knowledge. Often the "basic" questions have been covered a good dozen times. There are so many resources around considering the "right" approach to the craft that I understand it to be sometimes a bit confusing... I have compiled some information and a link list below to point you to places which I recommend. Read these information, do some trial and error runs.... and then, if you have any specific question, do not hesitate to communicate it here. Share your success and share your troubles and it is my believe that the community here will try it's best to help you on your way, once you've made the first basic steps on your own. One advice ahead of all the other information provided here: TAKE YOUR TIME and do not forget, that at one day even the best amongst us was not more than a simple beginner. There does not exist (and I'm quite happy about this) a "become a blade smith in 21-days" course for this art. There are only few right and wrong things. Much is about what you like, about your personal style and preferences. Do not expect that your first results are the best amongst a thousand. Do not give up should something not work straight from the book. Do not falter if this takes indeed longer as you might thought it would, as I may assure you it does take long now to the facts: A Bladesmith by definition is a person who forges knives from whatever appropriate material using an anvil and hammers and other tools. A Knifemaker is someone who starts usually with a flat piece of steel and grinds it into the desired shape using files, grinders, mills,... There has been some fuss over which way is superior... none is. Both methods are different approaches to create a blade. Both can produce superior results. In the final product there will be only little, if any difference if both craftsmen are skilled in their trade. Well there is a difference... A Bladesmith works with fire, with red glowing steel, with the force of a hammer... and for most here this is still after many years a fascination. I might say a life long fascination. Some prefer the machine work (grinding) some the work with at the fire of a forge. It's all about you... not about quality or superiority. Shop & Tools Often at the beginning it is confusing to see what you really require to start out... Again.. take your time. Good tools make no good craftsman. It takes skill and experience to use and appreciate appropriate tools. So don't do a budget-overkill and get all the things you have once seen at a professionals shop. Most of us have acquired what they have over an extensive period of time... Time will tell you what you want and need for your work. at the beginning you can have a very simple setup and there are some amongst us, some who indeed are very experienced and craft quality blades who do only rarely use power tools. Others have a large machine park and fixtures and tools for almost any cause. Both ways have their pro & con. A lot is about the way you like to work and what way you like to walk. But take it for granted that you do not need an expensive setup to create fantastic knives. For a bladesmith the minimal requirements would be: - forge (gas / coal / charcoal) [more on this later] - anvil - hammer - steel - files - and some basic tools like a small drill press, measurement-equipment, basic metalworking tools You see it is not much. Sure if you buy everything new, and only top quality you can spend 5000+ $ on the things above easily... easily more. But be aware that this, especially at the beginning is not a necessity. A Forge can either be bought second hand or made on your own (see the link section). It is not really expensive... and there are "nice" ready made forges at affordable prices as well. Gas, coal, coke, charcoal... all have their unique features, advantages and disadvantages. Gas forges are easy to maintain and not that difficult to build, thus quite cheap. (I use gas most of the time) Charcoal (hardwood) burns very clean which is nice and charcoal forges do not require heavy blowers and are easily made. Coal/Coke forges usually require stronger blowers and need to be of a bit more solid construction. Whatever way you go... you're free of course to experiment later. All methods will work. All require some practice. However no forge should be operated in a closed space without a ventilation or chimney... especially gas forges produce a good amount of Carbon Monoxide (CO) which can be lethal if not vented properly. Anvil... Well I'd say 50 pounds are a minimum if you plan to do "serious" working... basically the heavier the better. A good thing for a single smith is something between 100 and 200 pounds... this will server you well. The shape and type, at the beginning I consider not as important... a "hardy-hole" would be an advantage as it is used to hold the hot cutters and other tooling. But to keep it simple even a piece of railroad track will serve you for the first few knifes. Not optimal but it can get the job done. A heavy and sturdy wooden base is a plus. Hammer... as long as you're not a weightlifter accustomed to hundreds of repetitions most of us are happy with hammers between 1 and 5 pounds... Personally most of my work gets done with a 3 pound hammer... I can work all day long without getting too tired. A larger hammer like 4 or 5 pounds is nice for breaking down larger stock but takes some good practice to be able to swing it long. The face of a hammer should be slightly rounded and all hard corners ground.... else you'll have a lot of "hammer marks" on the surface. What type of hammer? personal preference again... experience will show you what you like best for your work. Files... Good Quality files, handled with control and skill can be darn fast at work. it's often the wrong technique and / or the wrong type of file which make work slow and a pain in the... Good files can replace a grinder. A Grinder is convenience and offers a lot of options, saves a lot of work... I for one would be fairly reluctant to part with my kmg setup. But other don't need them and are happy. A good grinder however doesn't make good knives... it takes more practice and much more control as with files. Files provide an excellent control and much less chance to ruin things. Steel... if you forge, you'll want carbon steels... not all steels are suited for beginners. Some are pretty tough to work, even more complicated to heat treat and will thus for most beginners only serve as basis of frustrations. Stick to plain carbon steels like the 10XX Series, (1050-1095), 5160 is an excellent steel as it is a bit forgiving. I like 01 as well... some don't, I consider it a perfect "all around knife steel". Scrap steel, can be used and often is a cheap source for trial and error runs at the forge, however be aware that two similar looking objects (leaf springs for example) must not necessarily be the same steel... one can be 5160 the other could be 65Si7 or even 1075. So often scrap steel can be a bit confusing as ten things made from one piece will make good knives and no. 11 will break during heat treatment or not get hard at all. If you can afford it I'd say go with known materials, especially at your first steps... As soon as you're confident with the materials and the work, you can try more difficult steels like D2 or 52100 or whatever. Should you want or need to work with scrap steels usually Automobile leaf-springs are good steel, rail road spikes can be used (although some have a low carbon content), old files usually are either W1 or W2, ball bearing are mostly 52100, bandsawblades can be a good steel (but be careful there are many types), railroad track can be used... Tools like powerhammers, presses, grinders, milling machines, lathes, welding equipment, are no requirement. Such tools can save you a lot of time, or like a press / powerhammer enable you to work alone with stock sizes or damascus billets which otherwise would require the assistance of 2 to 4 trained strikers. But take your time (I know I mentioned this already)... do not rush it and buy tools as you progress, as your skills become more advanced. "I want to make a Sword, I don't care for knives"... this attitude is often to be found and I tell you it is the very wrong approach. Swords require their very own set of skills, have a lot of "complications" compared to small stuff and are anything but a beginners project. Even for an experienced craftsman a good sword can be a challenge. Start out with smaller knives, go with simple shapes and patterns. Get good at this, and then try your hands at larger knives. When you feel that it works out nicely, go ahead and try the sword, you'll still be amazed at how demanding a work swords can be. An important experience and tip I like to share: As with all in live, things are being created and things turn to dust. From nothing into nothing ... Be prepared to work hours or even weeks or months at a special project only to see it being ruined by a simple wrong step. See fantastic damascus blades crack and break during heat treatment. Experience mistakes made by haste and yet unskilled hands. All of this, while it can have a certain degree of frustration, should not be regarded as a bad thing. Learn from it. There is no teacher like your own mistakes if you're willing to learn. Don't be afraid to make mistakes as you will make them anyways. Still after some years in the trade "occasionally" I loose a good blade or ruin something by doing something stupid. And I have not met a single craftsmen, no matter how experienced who is free of this type of happenings. As a conclusion I want to add the following few tips: - Try to get in contact with an experienced bladesmith... don't expect too much, but watching a skilled hand can teach you a lot. - Try, Try and keep trying. You will master the craft in due time when you keep trying. - Think about your mistakes and experiment. Maybe one way works better for you then another. - Do not only try to copy... Try your own styles... advance them let unique works come true. You will appreciate it and other will too - Ask when you have specific questions... and last but not least: Blame the shop trolls... this will keep you sane By now I the only thing left for me here to say is to wish you good luck on your way and do not forget, it is about fun as well. Daniel Gentile RONIN Custom Knives _____________________________________________________________________ Recommended Books: - "The Complete Bladesmith", Jim Hrisoulas - "The Master Bladesmith", JH - "The Patternwelded Blade", JH - "The Craft of the Japanese Sword", Yoshindo Yoshihara & Leonhard kapp - "How to Make Knives", Richard Barney & Robert W. Loveless - "The Tactical Folding Knife", Bob Terzuola (excellent if you're into linerlocks) - "How to make Folding Knives", Ron Lake, Frank Centofante, and Wayne Clay - "Custom Knifemaking" by Tim McCreight's an excellent starting place for beginners. There are more books of course, but these are good ones and will do the startup-trick quite well. As you advance I'd recommend readings about metallurgy and heat treatment this will advance your quality quite a bit... but you already should know what you are doing. NEW LINKS: How to become a Bladesmith Bladesmithing resources for the U.S.A.
    1 point
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