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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/15/2024 in all areas

  1. Today I resumed work on a tanto blade I started over two years ago, just a few weeks before my life was going to change more than I knew. I mean, the blade has issues for sure, but getting to this point feels pretty good. First, because I originally really struggled with copper contaminated tamahagane (original thread), so I'm glad I've managed to get *something* out of it, but also because it took a lot of effort to rebuild my shop in the last two years in order to get back to this point. I posted a few photos of the process of coverting an old farmhouse barn into a moden shop in the Photography forum if anyone's interested. Cheers!
    4 points
  2. This has been a very long two years moving back to France from the USA, where I had lived for over 10 years. This was quite an adventure, as I had a shop to move, a cat, a dog, and a fiancee who had never left the bay area before and spoke no French. This took a while and we lived out of my parents' house while looking for our own. We found an old "landaise" farmhouse built around 1825 which ticked nearly all our boxes, but it needed quite a bit of renovation to make it work, so I had to focus on that for a while. The barn (large doors on the left) was going to be my new shop. The place had been used to house donkeys for years, so there was a lot of shit to clean up, literally. After the initial cleanup, I decided I needed additional access, a door to the inside of the house so I wouldn't need to go into the rain to get to shop, and a backdoor and window to improve ventilation. Once that was done, we got married, yay! Then we poured a reinforced concrete floor ... and then we realized that the roof tiles were porous, so we had to redo the roof, ouch. The thing about those old landaise houses is that the outer walls are made of dirt, literally. Not fired bricks, just dry dirt mixed with hay. Although most of the walls were in really good shape, the barn wall was not, as the previous owners had neglected to do the repairs that would have prevent it from being exposed to the rain. I would have loved to keep all the walls as they originally were but unfortunately we had to rebuild part of one with cinderblocks. With this done, it was time to coat the walls, so they wouldn't slowly crumble with the vibrations of the power hammer. Next, I installed some better lights This side of the roof of the house is oriented due south, and is pretty large. We decide to invest in solar panels, but I was concerned about the old framing taking the weight, so I decided to add 4 pillars for safety. I went with oak so that they wouldn't look out of place. Oh and we redid all the electrical, so I got a LOT of outlets installed. Finally I gave it 3 coats of paint to seal the concrete. At last I started unpacking the rest of the shop, whih had been in storage for all this time. Some of the tools were a bit rusty, but everything cleaned up nice. First heat! A few weeks later, we moved the power hammer in and the rest of the big toys. I'm not gonna lie, there's quite a bit of work left to do in the house itself (I'll spare you the story of all the work that happened there!), so things will still be slow for some time. Still, this realy feels like a milestone! Cheers!
    3 points
  3. Big moves! Congratulations on all fronts.
    1 point
  4. That looks like a real nice system, a lot sleeker than the fully enclosed ''space helmet'' style. I have a standard half face mask, but I should probably upgrade to a forced air style too.
    1 point
  5. Some more of my Things Made This Month...a stacked leather/brass/micarta single-edge dagger a la scian-dubh and sheath, French-style sabatier in 80crv2 and patnered meat cleaver in 1084 with cocobolo, brass corby's and dovetailed bolsters with (respectively) cherry and walnut scabbards, and an ebony and copper hunter from 80crv2 with the best hamon I've accomplished yet. Etching is a voodoo I have not mastered yet..regardless of steel type, I try ferric chloride, then vinegar, and always finish in coffee. Invariably, I hate the first or second etch, polish it out completely, and start over. I keep hearing to clean with alcohol or acetone but for me these always end up leaving streaks and I get a crappy etch. I start with these to get the bulk of polishing compounds off, then wash the blade in simple green and hot water and that seems to be the best.
    1 point
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