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About son_of_bluegrass

  • Birthday 08/31/1972

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    kansas, wichita area
  • Interests
    blacksmithing, woodcrafting, reading, outdoors, music (bluegrass and celtic dominatly). and others.

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  1. What you're looking for, in general, in a tool handle is something that won't splinter, not prone to cracks or splits, with a little bit of flex to absorb impact. Straight grain is generally preferred. I've not used plum for a tool handle as I don't have any that is straight but it is in the same family as cherry, as such I'd be concerned with cracks when drying. Otherwise fruit and nut woods tend to work well. Oak (depending on the exact species and how it's dried) can be prone to splintering. Beech and aspen tend to have too much movement in service to make a superior tool handle. Do y
  2. The various borax and boric acids do have some ecological concerns. I believe plants, non-target insects and maybe aquatic species. On a community-wide scale it could pose a concern (especially considering that many think "a little works so a lot must work better). How did the handle split? How was that piece treated (did you dry it in the microwave, or air dry it, or buy it)? Pictures of the end-grain will be helpful. ron
  3. If I was going to treat for insects, I'd mix a boric acid solution and brush that on the surface. Insects don't like boric acid, it doesn't break down, it has low toxicity, and I suspect readily available most places (Roach Prufe is 98% boric acid).
  4. Only the ends need to be sealed. This slows the moisture leaving the ends, which it does faster than through a "face" (end grain versus long grain). As the wood dries, If you've cut it through the pith, you'll notice it bows up in the center on the cut side. This has to do with the way the wood dries. If you don't split it lengthwise, the stresses that bow the wood are still there and this leads to splits and checks as the wood dries. ron Edited to add Often fruit wood is attacked by insects. Most of them prefer the wood just under the bark, so stripping the bark off can reduce
  5. I've done this (with plum even among other woods). Step 1: Seal the ends. There are commercial sealants available (anchor seal for example), wax of some sort, PVA glue (standard wood glue) and shellac all work well. Sometimes you'll see paint listed but I've had problems with latex paint (haven't tried oil). Polyurethane (or other urethanes) may not adhere well enough to do any good. Wood glue is cheap (can even be diluted 50%) and easy, wax is cheap and nearly as easy (have to melt it first). Step 2: Cut the logs in half through the pith (center). This will allow the limb to move
  6. What is locally available will depend on your locality. The common stuff when I am (from hardware stores and craft stores) tends to be rather thick (think honey). I generally buy the smallest bottle of whatever is 30 minute or longer. I haven't had problems with newly purchased epoxy regardless of the brand. ron
  7. In my experience, powders generally work. I've used ground up rock, iron powder, saw dust, charcoal dust, sanding dust from antler. You can work with 5-minute if you mix the powder into one of the components before mixing the two parts together (I avoid 5 minute because I don't work fast enough to get it where I want it before it sets). Frequently the result will be a little darker than the powder (although a dark pigment may be lighter). It is possible to mix enough powder in to weaken the final result. Testing with a small amount to check color and that the epoxy sets correctly is ad
  8. Gorilla wood glue is a PVA (just like all the titebond glues) and will react with steel. It does not expand (that is Gorilla Glue, a polyureathane glue). If the saya split along the glue line, it may be the old glue can be scraped off and the parts reused. If the wood failed, you may be able to seal the glue line to prevent further reaction with the blade and glue it back (assuming a good fit of the parts). Epoxy can be a good choice. I have developed a liking for hide glue (mixed from granules). There are dozens of adhesives available for use, depending on what exactly you are glue
  9. As a woodworker, I would not expect any wood finish (i.e. polyurethane, finishing oil, lacquer etc) to penetrate very far, even under a vacuum, unless the wood is rather porous. And if there is sufficient penetration (which there may be for thin handle slabs), there is still the question of how the finish cures. Something that requires exposure to air to cure may never fully cure and something that cures by the evaporation of a solvent may take weeks or months to fully cure. This may work just fine to seal the wood against moisture if used as a finish (applied after all shaping and sanding
  10. You didn't mention the steel used that I saw. But since you did mention quenching I'm going to base this in the assumption your steel won't air harden. You can chuck a piece of metal, like a 16 penny nail shaft, into a drill and use that to spot heat just where the hold us to be drilled and thus soften a spot large enough to drill your hole without heating the entire tang and risking heat bleeding into the blade area. ron
  11. Depending on the steel and how hot you get it, the clay may hold enough heat to allow for grain growth under the clay that the non-clayed part doesn't see because it cools in the quench which locks the grain. This is one of those questions that is easier to answer with more information. (Steel type, exact heat treat procedure etc)
  12. Got a link to the ebay posting? ITC 100 is forge lining material and you've mentioned quench oil in your subject. ron
  13. Skip the lawn mower blade. I've played with a few and found some that worked like 1060 and others there were red short and one that shattered in about a quadrillion pieces when quenched (may be an underestimate). Aldo (New Jersey Steel Baron) is highly recommended. So long as the anvil face isn't too beat up and it has rebound, using it will clean it up in short order. You can wire brush it if you want. If you haven't yet, look for BAM (Missouri's blacksmith group). ron
  14. Looking elsewhere, the numbers associated with that produce shows it to be a 55 gallon drum (on the original link it has a disclaimer that the picture may not be of the actual product). It's not DOT5. And the specs show it to be a 9 second oil. Personally I haven't had a problem with canola. ron
  15. I can't offer any real advice other than to ask if you've looked in a library? There are books written on the subject (have even seen one specifically on armor reproduction), even if you're local library doesn't have something that you are looking for you may be able to borrow books from another library through you local one for a small fee. ron
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