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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. 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.
  2. They don't work well on the end grain! Across the grain they work great.
  3. 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.
  4. You got it all wrong, Dave, they're using one of those square drill bits!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Depends on the shape, but nearly flat is where I like them. I made a lot of meaty ones and they are not as pleasing to the eye or as good at cutting. Keep the meat closer the spine than the edge.
  9. the total weight of that hammer is listed at 265 kg. Seems kinda light! Bolting was the right choice. Ever try to repair Chinese cast iron? It doesn't like it even if you follow all the normal protocols for cast iron. There's a lot of garbage in the iron. You MIGHT take the bolt plates off and clean up the paint/junk around the cracks and epoxy (JB Weld) the plates to the clean cast iron before bolting permanently. That might help the longevity of the fix. I'm guessing the manufacturer didn't return any messages.
  10. I use a "black iron bluing tank" built for hot bluing gun barrels. It's sold by Brownells. https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-tools-supplies/metal-prep-coloring/metal-bluing/black-iron-tanks/black-iron-bluing-tank-prod1062.aspx It's about 3/4 full of Park's 50. I made a lid to keep stuff from falling in and to put out any fires.
  11. I run 2x20 lb tanks in parallel to reduce icing when I'm running full heat (single 3/4" burner). Otherwise 20lb tanks tend to freeze up. https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-Hook-Up-30-Inch-Assembly/dp/B000K287CG
  12. You mean a spring fuller? I've made them from mystery round, stainless round and mild. A wide flat spring work the best, as the alignment of the dies at the end is important.
  13. The chromium and red-shortness make it a little trickier. Since it's red short, it doesn't deform at the same rate at all temperatures, kind of like 15n20 is slightly less squishy than 1080. If it's shearing at the weld, it's probably been moved too fast barring any flux or oxide issues. Are you hammering or pressing? I don't forge O1 if I can help it.
  14. Like everyone does eventually, I had a fire that claimed the shop. I was able to build a bigger, better shop though, and I found this blade pretty much in the state you see here. I must have brought it inside the house before the shop went.
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