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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 th
  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 flexib
  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 leas
  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 ta
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