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Tai

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About Tai

  • Birthday 03/03/1957

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    Tucson area

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  1. Miss ya, Master Yoda.

  2. My computer fried out last night. I'm at my folks house about a 25 minute drive, on a computer I'm not familiar with. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. There was a storm and the power went out, must have been a dandy serge when it came back on, beyond what my deal could handle. The weird thing is last night I had this dream about my computer "Jezebel". I was doing some work when all of a sudden the monitor went haywire like a TV with no vertical or horizontal hold, the whole PC started dancing around on the desk top and making this grinding sound, like large steel gears without any grease! At that point I ducked behind my chair and just watched from the corner of my eye. Right about then it pealed open it's own plastic casing just like a banana, ejected it's hard drive,... and spit it clean across the room! When I got up this morning to turn it on, it was completely dead. For the time being I'm dead in the water, but will come up with some kind of plan soon.
  3. If at any point your spikes do not pass these tests and you want to continue,... get yourself some different R.R. spikes and begin to begin over...
  4. Thank you my child. If nothing else, it should be a fun learning experience for the beginners and a good test of skill for the more advanced.
  5. So, my children as you can see, the more "starbursts" there are closer to the wheel, the more carbon there is... The spark test is merely to determine whether we are in the ball park in terms of alloy and carbon content, or not. It is a quick easy test. The next series of tests will be to determine the "actual working properties" of the low/medium/high/low carbon steel. Be sure and spark test both spikes and then set one aside for the knife and the other for the next series of test.
  6. The first test will be the "spark test". This is to determine whether or not the spike is "low carbon" or "low/medium/high/low". You will need some type of electric grinder for this test. The idea is to observe the differences in the sparks issuing forth from the wheel. If it looks like this, it is "low carbon". Forget it! It won't work for this project. If it looks like this, there is hope. It might work! Now it's in the low/medium/high/low carbon range. Notice the difference in color and texture of the sparking. Here is a close up of the "starbursts" from the low/medium/high/low carbon steel. You want to look for the most of these, closest to the wheel. We will still need to do quench, hardness and malleability testing before we actually begin.
  7. That's a beauty!... Nice lines, great use of color!
  8. Before we begin,.. we will need two R.R. spikes from the same place with the same markings or lack of markings. One will be for the knife and the other to do some preliminary testing on. This will help assure us that we have a good piece of low/medium/high/low carbon steel to start with.
  9. There's an old saying in my family, "You butcher it, you eat it!".
  10. Let's give it some more thought, my child. I have a great toad splitting technique I've always wanted to share. If not we'll butcher a chicken.
  11. Sorry, we won't be splitting any toads here, my child... or will we?
  12. Now that's what I like to hear! Someone give my child Peter an "A" for attitude! Some other highlights of this project will be, de-scaling, stock reduction, heat treating, finishing and finally we will put a "surgical edge" on and do some practical field testing with it... The "edge" is an imaginary boundary or line, that separates one thing from another.
  13. Yes, my child. We will cover all those things in great detail. I can already hear the sound of neo-tribal drum rhythms approaching in the distance...
  14. As we are beginning we will need to talk a little about the R.R. spike itself, where it comes from and why we've chosen it for our blacksmith knife. R.R. spikes come from the railroad. That's why we call them R.R. spikes. I live close to the tracks. It appears that when they do routine maintenance on the tracks, some spikes are discarded to the side of the tracks. People pick them up and give them to me all the time, because they know how much I like them. The R.R. spike is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a blacksmith knife,... it's a tradition. Blacksmiths have been using them for a long time to make this kind of novelty knife. It's a classic! Here's an example of one of mine, which we will use as a model in this tutorial. Although other materials can be used, there are several reasons that the R.R. spikes have become the standard. First, the relatively low carbon content makes this material "easy to forge". This is important because we want to show the "malleability" and fluidity of the material, the blacksmithing process. This is our primary goal, remember? Also, the stock has a beefy semi square cross section. This will also be an advantage over flat stock, as we will have more mass to work with and show the blacksmithing process through "radical changes" in the form, geometry, cross section and charactor of the stock... With the carbon content being border line, "low/medium /high/low" and ambiguous, the margin for error will be quite narrow. This makes it a good learning experience. One will have to have a basic foundation and understanding of bladesmithing in order to make a "real knife" from it. This will also add to the element of mystery, controversy, astonishment and awe, when we finally get to the finished product and cut things with it. Now let's all bond together, join hands and sing a few verses of... "FIRE" (By Arthur Brown) I am the god of hell fire and I bring you... Fire, I'll take you to burn. Fire, I'll take you to learn. I'll see you burn! You fought hard and you saved and learned, But all of it's gonna burn. And your mind, your tiny mind, You know you've really been so blind. Now's your time burn your mind. You're falling far too far behind. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, you gonna burn! Fire, to destroy all you've done. Fire, to end all you've become. I'll feel you burn! You've been living like a little girl, In the middle of your little world. And your mind, your tiny mind, You know you've really been so blind. Now's your time burn your mind, You're falling far too far behind. Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, Fire, I'll take you to burn. Fire, I'll take you to learn. You're going to burn! You're going to burn! You're going to burn! You're going to burn! burn! burn! burn! Fire, I'll take you to burn. Fire, I'll take you to learn. Fire, to end all you've become. Fire, I'll watch you burn I am the god of hell fire, ha ha ha ha ha!
  15. Don't try rolling it and smoking it, my child.
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