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Tom Maringer

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Everything posted by Tom Maringer

  1. Just got back from a trip to Norway... where I went to the shore of Trondheim's Fjord at Korsvika where Leif beached his longboats, and I scattered 20 copper Leifur coins and two silver ones. Ha! I wonder what people will think that find them! Tom
  2. Here are some pics of the first coin of the batch to come out the end of the finishing process. The idea is to "blue" or darken the metal, then tumble it so as to brighten the highlights and give it the appearance of age, then wax it for protection against rust. Note the two buttons added below the cowl on obverse, denoting die-2, and extensive reworking of the inscription ring around the reverse side.
  3. Sorry... here you go. These are images of coins from the 4th pressing. The first through 5th pressings all used the same original die set. Those pressings total 3,600 strikes. I have now created hubs from the master dies and hobbed a new pair of dies for the 6th pressing. I don't have pics of those yet as they are still bright and shiny off the press. I need to do the blueing and tumbling to "circulate" them. The obverse (face side) will be almost identical, with just the addition of a secret mark to clearly denote die#2 to those who know what to look for. The reverse side of the new one has been extensively reworked. The central enciphered VDVM symbol remains the same, but the entire inscription ring has been redone with a slight change in spelling and a more exotic looking typestyle. Tom
  4. I licensed back in 2003 with George R.R. Martin to make the coins for his fictional world. He calls his seven-novel series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE and it begins with the book A GAME OF THRONES. Since HBO jumped on board and made a hit TV series out of it, the fantasy coins I have been making have suddenly become much more in-demand. I've been refining technique and set-ups. This one particular coin, the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man, is important in the story. So I'm making a bunch of them. Here's a couple videos of the process. Hope you like classic rock. Have fun! Tom
  5. I'm accumulating quite a supply of scrap pure-iron. It's basically strips that are full of holes from where I punched my coin blanks. It's not much use except as tiny little pieces, or perhaps as a cupola feed stock so you can have total control of the resulting alloy by starting with pure stuff. I also shear strips off the edge sometimes to use as welding filler. (when I'm out of copper coated rod)
  6. I finally got 75kg of the 1.5mm stock in hand from Angele. Wow... I had no idea the customs would be such a big freaking deal! I had to hire a customs broker (they charge $160 for this) just to pay the duty ($30) and get the thing released from the bonded warehouse. What a hassle! But at least I've got it now. Nice looking material, bright and clean. So it can be done if you want it bad enough! Next time I will see about getting them to break the order down into 25kg packages and send them via Fedex.... might be way cheaper than going air-freight on a 200 pound package. Tom
  7. I don't have that alloy but I do have some niobium/tantalum superconducting alloy. It's 92.5% Nb, 7.5% Ta. It works pretty much like regular niobium but the anodizing range is four or five volts higher for each target color.
  8. Hi Sam: Thanks for replying! In desperation I could and would do that. The blanks are a full 1" diameter through about 0.056", so it would have to be cross-rolled some to get enough width to punch cleanly. I can get better yield from a 2" wide bar because I can stagger the punchings side to side. The ideal would be .060" by sightly more than 2" wide. I am in communication with a place in Germany, http://www.angele-shop.com/catalog/index.php?cName=pure-iron-pure-iron-sheets that has got 1.5mm stock in hand. If the shipping is not too terribly outrageous I'll be able to get stuff very close to the final thickness. If for some reason that connection falls-through I will talk to you! Thanks! Tom
  9. Reviving this thread. I am seeking supply of 1.5mm pure iron. I need a fair bit... maybe 100kg or more. I found a place in Europe that's got it: http://www.angele-shop.com/catalog/index.php?cName=pure-iron-pure-iron-sheets But was hoping to find a domestic source and save a bit on shipping. The project? Have you heard of Game of Thrones? I am the licensee with George R.R. Martin to make fantasy coins for his realm. We forged an agreement back in 2003 when George's books were still rather obscure and this project has long been a very small-time thing. But... now that George has hit Best-Seller lists AND the series is now being flimed and released as an HBO series, it is suddenly popular. A key focal point of the story revolves around an iron coin received by a young lady, Arya Stark. She assumes that it is of little value, but as it turns out, it is a recognition token for a secretive guild of assassins. In 2010 I engaged Greg Franck-Weiby to engrave some dies for me, and started making this coin. I had obtained a supply of about 100 lb of PURE IRON from Art & Metal Co back in 2002, and still had some left after a series of other projects. It is the PERFECT material for doing this!! I made 400 in the first round... used a commercial blueing solution on them... and coated them in pastewax for protection. They have been popular with fans of the GAME OF THRONES books, but I was not particularly concerned about my metal supply as they were selling just here and there. Suddenly just in the last few weeks (and I'm not sure what's happened actually) I am being flooded with orders. I just finished another 500 coins about a week ago and that batch is already half gone! Now I'm freaking out about being able to continue making these! I punch the blanks at 1.00" diameter from sheet rolled to about 0.055" to 0.058" so 1.5mm sheet would be ideal, I feed the punch press with 2" wide strips to get two rows, staggered. (just to be safe and avoid clipped planchets I like to cut the strips slightly overwide... about 2.060") Then furnace anneal and tumble-clean for a day before cold-striking on my Waterbury Farrel 150-ton knuckle press. Surprisingly they have a very pleasant "ring" to them when flipped. I've never had a product go "viral" before! It's really exciting but scary. I want to crank the heck out of these things while they're hot. The scene in which the coin is featured has not even aired yet, so the sales thus far are just based on book readers. When that part airs I fear there will be yet another uptick in interest. I'm rolling and punching the last of my supply now... maybe another 800 coins-worth. After that... ??? I will pursue the Angele Shop supply and ship in from Germany if needed. I see alibaba ads from Chinese manufacturers, but for some reason I just can't bear to buy from there. Any supplies available on these shores? email me: maringer at arkansas dot net Thanx! Tom Maringer Shire Post Mint 2692 Powell St Springdale Arkansas, 72764
  10. Hi Ric: That's pretty cool! I'll be interested in talking with you further about this. Tom Maringer
  11. Here's how this new batch of knives for the BLADE show finished out. Blades are D-2 steel, lengths from 6 1/2" to 9". All handle furniture is titanium, some parts have been TIG welded. The wire wrappings on the top four are titanium also... the bottom two are synthetic rubber wrapped. The black rubber is nitrile, the brown is fluorocarbon. Knife weights range from seven to nine ounces. It's only six knives... but the titanium furniture results in an incredible improvement of weight and balance. These things just seem to float in the hand by comparison to the ones I used to make with stainless steel furniture. Well, still lots to do before wheels up... this will be my first show in fifteen years, so I don't have my "show stuff" together anymore. Should be interesting to see how these go over. Table 23-L See you there! Tom Maringer
  12. Very Nice!! Great job Ric, and all the participants! Tom Maringer
  13. Thanks Adlai! Tell Joe "hi" for me... still in the same place as ever. Give him my email addy!
  14. Hi Herb: Actually... I was shearing little strips off the edge of the sheet to use as filler. That way I can be sure of an exact color match. Speaking of scraps though... I did another experiment: I made a little graphite crucible that I clamped down in the bowl and grounded it... filled it with little Ti scraps and clippings... purged it... then hit it with the arc. The pieces all fused together into a cute little button! The button can be hot forged above 1600 degrees like warm butter. With a bigger crucible... or even just a graphite plate... larger masses could be assembled before manipulating.
  15. The grip itself is a laminated bamboo core wrapped with twisted titanium wire. But I assume you're referring to the furniture, not the grip. Those pieces were notched using a 20-line checkering file. I think I got it from Brownell's.
  16. I posted a pic of the cup or bowl upthread in a reply to herb. It's necessary because titanium is highly reactive and will grab onto any available oxygen which then poisons the metal. Without protection it becomes glass-brittle.... NOT GOOD. Since I am cold hammering to shape AFTER welding it is critical that the weld be clean and oxygen-free. You can weld it without the bowl... but it will fall apart!
  17. Hi Herb! Thanks! Not sure what "gtaw" means... but what I'm using is something you might call a "purge bowl" or "welding cup". The "glove box" would be great... but you'd have to get everything in there... and still be able to see what you're doing on really tiny stuff. I quailed at getting that to work, and it would take a lot of gas to purge that whole box. Finally came up with something based on the fact that argon is 1.4 times as dense as air... so it will "pool" up if you give it a chance. It's just a stainless steel kitchen bowl with some clamps welded into the sides, and a fitting at the bottom for a second argon line. I had to get a T-block and a second argon regulator so I could run two separate lines... one to the TIG torch head and one to the bowl. IT WORKS!!! I will need to make a few of these bowls with clamps set up for different things... but it gives full access to the torch and I can wear my 2x reading glasses and get my faceshield down close to it to see what I'm doing.
  18. Sorry I haven't been back lately... just getting back into making knives again lately... and learning some new techniques. Specifically... TIG welding in titanium! I'm working on a series of knives I call "Haiku"... so called because they are all takedown pieces and when fully disassembled there are 17 parts... same number as the syllables in a haiku poem. I use a modified Japanese tang system I call a "toggle tang", in which an internal part I call a toggle is pinned to the blade, and accepts a screw through the pommel to hold everything together. I've been doing wire wrapped handles and some rubber wrapped handles. Here are the two latest... serial #920 (dropped point blade), and #921 (swept point blade) Since I've just now finally gotten set up to TIG weld in titanium, these are the first ones I've done with all titanium furniture, INCLUDING the subhilt, and it's also the first time I've tried using titanium for the wire wrapping itself! So it's Ti to the Max... or you might say "TiMaxion" (apologies to Buckminster Fuller). I'm excited about this new direction! I tend to be quirky about the balance and weight of knives, and these finally feel RIGHT to me. So much of what I made before was too chunky and heavy. The specs: Those are both 7 1/2" double edged D-2 blades, the knives are each ~13 inches overall... and weigh just 8.1 oz, with the balance right on the front handle collar... where the first finger goes in most grip styles. I still have to decide about the final finishes... whether to stonewash or leave polished... and whether to anodize the handle and Ti parts... so they're not quite done yet... but far enough along to start looking like something.
  19. Dwight McLemore's new book is now available. I received a signed copy right off the press and was completely blown away. The whole first section details his research into swords, his decision to have a custom sword made, and his selection of the maker. He even quotes some of the correspondence between himself and the swordmaker (me) in the process of refining the design. The rest of the book is comprised of simple to advanced techniques of swordsmanship in varying circumstances. It's quite an astonishing work, available at Palladin Press. THE FIGHTING SWORD by Dwight McLemore
  20. Neither... just a press! The hubs were probably made by reduction from an original coin using a Janvier reducing lathe... but hobbing is just the cold-forming of steel using force. I tried to introduce the concept of cold hammer or press finishing steel elsewhere on this board, but there is an ingrained bias among smiths against cold work. However, this is an ancient technique. The key is to limit the AMOUNT of cold work to below a certain percentage and anneal between. These dies did not even require an anneal step, the surface was cold worked exactly to the final form in a single blow... then protected from oxidation during heat-treating using powdered heat-treating compound. The results are absolutely crisp even under a 20x binocular scope. There are some tricks to it, and it takes a lot of force, but annealed tool steel flows like soft copper if you push on it hard enough.
  21. Yes I made them, using hubs that I obtained out of a defunct private eastern mint. Hobbing is the trick... still learning how to do it.
  22. I have taken to relieving material from the middle so that the edges (where the contact needs to be tight) are standing up just a little... a few thousandths is all you need, then when you sand the piece it only touches the rim. You can relieve by grinding, pressing, or milling. A small dremel tool with a carbide cutter may be just the trick for small work. I like to press shaped hardened blocks just into the surface from both sides. The final fit will come out absolutely airtight.
  23. Hi guys... trying something new here. I had to come up with something to do with all that W1 tool steel I got from Don, and thought I'd make a few pile-trussel sets designed to be used for hand-hammering and offer them on eBay just to see what happens. Here's the first one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Coining-dies-tools-20-...emZ130232288014 It's designed for using to make a 1/20 ounce gold coin, but of course they can be used on other soft metals as well. The impression is quite crisp... the lettering is so small I can't even read it without magnification. (these eyes are getting old)
  24. Actually it may be a great press... just that to get the benefit of it you'd need to use it for the purpose it was designed for... blanking. If you wanted to do a small production knife and knock out blanks of the same size from sheet or rolled or forged bars, it would probably be perfect. The differences in presses have mostly to do with the distance through which energy is applied to the work. A knuckle type coining press applies energy mostly in the last tiny fraction of an inch of travel. A blanking press applies energy through a somewhat longer distance... usually 1/4" to 1/2" or so... so as to shear off the punching and push it out the bottom of the hole. Hydraulic and screw presses apply their energy against whatever is there to resist it... so the concept of distance is not as important... therefore such are probably better for general forging work.
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