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Brian Madigan

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About Brian Madigan

  • Birthday 12/06/1977

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    Evanston, Il

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  1. There's no noticeable delay or skip in passing center. I would not want the valve configured any other way than it is.
  2. What I hate about drywall is it's so easily damaged, and locating studs to screw things like shelves and racks into is a PITA because I keep losing the stud finder
  3. My cats bring in whole rabbits and eat them outside my door. They eat everything but the eyeballs and hindquarters, so I find these eyeballs on the floor in the morning.
  4. 12 ton press is plenty for tool makers. I got half way through building a mill like Cal G's but it has a big chain reduction drive rather than a hydraulic motor. That meant some rather big 50t sprockets and a lot of shafts on pillow block bearings.. long story short I got tired of spending so much time on the lathe and mill and haven't finished it. The McDonald mill plans are much simpler and are good for a knife maker IMO. When I get into grandiose designs of my own forging machines, they rarely turn out to be right the first time around.
  5. I had been sitting on a whole bunch of hydraulics trying to figure out how to fit them together for about a year. I thought I'd spend a lot less money that way, and get a press that goes fast and squishes hard. I saw these working and they were really impressive for their size: https://coaliron.com/products/copy-of-12-ton-mini-press runs on 110v/20 or 220v, 3.6 IPS, 6" stroke, 12 tons of squish. It has a tandem center valve with 1/2" SAE working ports (not NPT). I think the cylinder is 2.5". I would not change any design with this power unit, and it's waaay smaller than the unit I was thinking of building. It takes 4-5 gallons in the reservoir. The specs on this one are more like what I was going to build: https://coaliron.com/collections/hydraulic-forging-presses/products/25-ton-forging-press I don't think I'd have been able to build it any better, or safer for that matter. Same overall hydraulic design, just 13 GPM with a 5" cylinder. If I was building a power unit again, I'd base it entirely on an existing system I can see in action to avoid any head-scratching. The system I was building would work IN THEORY, but it would take a few iterations to get right, and that would be money and time gone.
  6. Do it cold! If you do it hot you will move a lot more steel than you want to. Once you get near finished shape you don't want to do anything hot anyway.
  7. It will run only as well as the compressor powering it, as with all air tools. It's a good idea to pour a separate foundation for the hammer.
  8. Niiice. I did one this weekend too. I cut one side off an old sledge and kept the eye, just forged the nose out longer and angled it down a bit.
  9. Shop Fox and Grizzly grinders built on a buffer motor is not a great option. I don't like the motor being in the way of the contact wheel. It's OK for slack belt and platen grinding, but I doubt that a motor that small can't keep up with grinding pressure at 3600 RPM. It's a waste of money for the knife maker, IMO I've had a few grinders where the drive and contact wheel are directly driven by the motor, and the motor is always in the way. The design I like is the KMG style, where there's a swappable tool arm, tension and tracking wheel, and a drive wheel. It's the most flexible and sensible design for knife makers. The contact wheel out front has no interference on either side. I can use any size contact wheel, changing in seconds between a 1" small radius to a 12" or 22". The drive wheel's diameter can be smaller for lower powered motors, or larger for high speed, high power. The motor can be face mounted for direct drive with VFD speed control, or belt driven with step pulleys for 3-speed on a fixed speed motor. I'd say don't spend $700 on a sub-par grinder when ~$1000 will get you one that you can expand indefinitely. https://beaumontmetalworks.com/ There are other manufacturers that copy the KMG design, and they might be cheaper and lighter. Some have improved on it, and KMG have a new frame called the KMG TX that is made from 1/4" plate rather than the 1/2" and 3/8" heavy stuff of the original frame. I have the oldest style, and they still make that one, but it's kinda heavy. There's a reason there are so many KMG clones, and that's because it's such a good design.
  10. They don't work well on the end grain! Across the grain they work great.
  11. Wire wrap looks really good on a spiral fluted handle! Most rapier-wielding courtier fops and soldiers of the time would wear deerskin or otherwise soft leather gloves, so the wire wrap is a good grip. I also don't like using synthetic plastics like Delrin for any part of a sword, although epoxy is a synthetic polymer and unless you like the smell of hide glue, it's hard to get around it. For one, the amount of plastic in the world needs to decrease, and for two the stuff isn't natural or period-correct, and for three I hate having plastic dust all over the place. At least nitrocellulose dust does you the favor of exploding if it's not properly disposed of. A wood with interlocking grain like elm heartwood or hickory is a good core wood for wire wrapping. If you're not using epoxy, pine tar/pitch inside and out seals it well enough to last a few hundred years.
  12. You got it all wrong, Dave, they're using one of those square drill bits!
  13. How hard is it to track that thing :O Have you tried roller-blade wheels? They come with the bearings and sometimes free rollerblade boots attached. Obviously the bearing speed would be much higher with a smaller diameter wheel.
  14. Old files are great for making scraper profiles. I would think HSS bits would work better, but I don't think they're much harder in the first place. Just more heat resistant. I was scraping a hardened and tempered blade with a cheap carbide grout removal tool, which hasn't chipped or rounded over yet: It even has 3 different profiles! I push it to scrape, rather than pull. The flats are useful too for scraping ... flats. For curved single edge swords I usually have to follow the curve of the spine.
  15. I use a temp controlled electric furnace for heat treating. Quenching 4 knives at a time is doable in my horizontal iron tank, but if I'm doing that I'm pulling them all out and dropping them fully in the tank at the same time. That way they all experience basically the same thing. For sensitive steel like W2, the temperature of the quench oil (Parks 50) can make a difference. If you do 3 or 4 in sequence, the ones going into the hot oil are going to be a little different from the ones going into the not-so hot oil. Also if the oil is smoking, that smoke can catch fire. I don't move my tank, it's always close enough to the electric furnace that I can get the blade in the oil without f-ing up. I have 10 gallons of oil in my tank. I've done vertical tanks with less volume and they worked fine. Maybe a really big .50 cal ammo can will have enough volume for a few blades at a time, but I'm not sure.
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