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Doug Lester

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Everything posted by Doug Lester

  1. Now that you mention it, I've got a bag of oosic scraps that I need to look through to see if I have something that I could use as a mouthpiece for a tomahawk pipe . Sort of an antismoking tactic . Doug Lester
  2. The problem with most screw jacks that I have seen is that it take a lot of turning of the crank to get a little movement of the piston. The treads are too fine for rapid movement of the piston. A fly press, also known as a screw press, has a course thread that allow rapid movement of the piston which carries the force of movement of the heavy fly wheel or arm. I think that a modified car jack would apply pressure too slowly and the steel would cool to much before adiquate pressure could be applied. Doug Lester
  3. Absolute beauty!! That says it all. Doug Lester
  4. Sorry to hear about that, Bill. Just do what the surgeon tells you to do and things should come out all right in the end. At least all the parts are still there. Have the best Christmas that you can. Doug Lester
  5. Absolutely fantastic work. I'd love to see a picture of it when you get it finished. Doug Lester
  6. Remember that there is more to an alloy that the carbon content. High carbon railroad spikes are somewhere around 30 points; that 25 if you're unlucky and 35 if you're lucky. That makes it barely hardenable at the top end of the range. However, and it's a big however, railroad spikes also have a lot of copper in them to make them tougher. They have to bend almost double without breaking to pass muster with the government. This toughness is at the expence of edge holding ability, or resistance to wear. It would be good for making the head of a 'hawk if a piece of harder steel is welded into/onto it for an edge and I guess the same could be done for a knife blade but I doubt that they would be very satifactory for making a knife by themselves. On the other end, you could run into some steel with molybdenum, tungsten, or vanadium in it by themselves or in combination. This could present you with a steel that could be somewhere between a living nightmare and absolutely impossible to forge. Doug Lester
  7. Did anyone tell him about the new guy buyin' or are we saving that for later? Welcome on board, Wade Doug Lester
  8. I'm not a big fan of salvaged steel, aka mystery metal. Just because something is usually made out of a certain type of steel it doesn't mean that it is always. That can make it difficult to learn how to forge and heat treat. For new steel try Admiral Steel. They sell in small lots and their shipping is reasonable. Another place to try is Kelly Cupples. You can find a listing for him through Ellis Custom Knifeworks @ www.elliscustomknifeworks.com and look under the listing for knifemaking steel. With orders over $50 Cupples ships for free but his offerings as to types of steel and sizes are more limited. Most of the knifemaking supply houses also sell steel suitable for forging knife blades but they tend to be on the pricey side. I'd start out with some of the 10XX series with 60 points or more carbon or something like 5160 or 9260. Doug Lester
  9. I just checked on my order from Amazon. They said that they expect to ship by the 8th of January. I wonder if the prepublication part of the add means that they haven't recieved their's from the publisher yet or if they are too bussy shipping rush orders to take care of the free shipping orders yet. Anyway, I think that it will be worth the wait. I've never like the idea of just cookbooking things without having something of a handle on what I'm doing and why. Doug Lester P.S. Just reread the above posts. I guess that Amazon is too busy right now to ship items for free. I might have to update the shipping. Not sure I want to wait the best part of a month to get mine.
  10. That forge is really starting to look nice. Post some pics when you have it done. You know, its nice to know that I can still cause a little agitation when I want to. Doug (you can take a Corpsman out of the Navy but you still can't take him out in public) Lester
  11. Ok, folks, here's another silly donky question. What constitues a broad seax? I know that this is a lot like asking what makes a seax a langseax but how 'bout some guidelines, opinions, or SWAG. Doug Lester
  12. Jeff and Steve, thanks for the pictures. The sketch from that book shows that a hole through a tang to secure the handle had been done with seaxs. I have seen one other museum photo of a seax with some sort of a hand guard but it didn't really show it well enough to see how it was made. The close up shows it very well. It also shows that some seaxs did have pommles too. Doug Lester
  13. One of the problems with historically correctness is sometimes we don't know what is historically correct. As pointed out above, the vast majority of these blades that have been found haven't had a trace of what was used for the handle material. That would indicated that some sort of an organic material was used, but all that translates into is that they didn't have cast metal handles,that we know of. Most of what I've seen indicates that the majority of seaxs had some sort of a hidden tang with some being long enough to pass through to a buttcap. However, the buttcap, if it ever existed, wasn't found with the blade. I also don't recall that I have seen any pictures of a seax with a pin hole in the hidden tang. Full tangs were, as I understand it, held on with pins. So that indicates that the smiths back then were able to put a pin hole in the tang. So could a smith somewhere have made a pin hole in a hidden tang to keep the handle on? Sure, but there is no proof that it ever happened. However, you can't use the lack of the proof of a pressence to prove an absense. So, if I were to drill a hole in a hidden tang on a seax to secure the handle, am I being historically inaccurate? With the number of known seaxs with hidden tangs, that chances are that it wouldn't be accurate. So, should I hold the handle on a seax with a hidden tang on with a pin? You betcha. The possiblity that that knife might not be exactly accurate is far outweighed by the chance that the tang might break the glue bond while in heavy use and having the blade go sailing off out of the handle. I have also seen reproduction of seaxs that have mixed styles of different times and places. Such as a broken back seax with a curved full tang handle that comes straight back off the spine of the blade. How important is this? That all depends. It could be very important to a reinactor who wants to portray a Saxon living in pre-Norman England or a Danish Viking. For someone who just wants a good heavy camp knife it might be of no concern. I guess what I'm trying to say in a long winded way is to caution against trying to be historically accurate just simply for the sake of being historically accurate. It is seldom superior to the funtion of the blade and the artistic expression of the maker. Doug Lester
  14. The forge shell is starting to look good. How are you going to line it? Doug Lester
  15. Tell, I've always wondered (and in keeping with the season), do you people on the soft underbelly of the planet sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"? G'day mate. Doug Lester
  16. Whatever forge you make I can just about guarentee that it will be the first of many. Seven and counting. Doug Lester
  17. So hes says that he's not stupid, huh Bet the feller aint married Doug Lester
  18. Al, I can't remember where I saw it but I remember an illustration from a midieval manuscript showed a sword blade being ground with a large grinding wheel. The grinder had to sit on the frame while the apprentice stood at a lower level to turn the wheel. I would love to know what the radius of some of those old wheels were. Doug Lester
  19. I think that it is a very good example of paralell developement. I really question the connection that I have seen claimed for the Egyptian Kopis (or whatever the anchient Egyptians called it) and the Seax. There are a definantly finite number of ways to forge a piece of iron or steel into an effective cutting blade and to claim that there was a connection between the knife/sword that group B made because it looks like the knife/sword that group A made at an earlier time is stretching things a little. I'd have to ask for a little supporting evidence of a connection, direct or indirect, between the two groups. That said, I'd love for someone to site a cultural connection between anchient Egypt and the cultures of the Philipine Islands. Doug Lester
  20. I use both. I like the flexability of the charcoal forge. I can make the fire as large as the ducks nest (fire pot) or I can rake in the fuel and make it smaller. Down side is the smoke. I can't use it if the neighbors have their laundry out on the lines. Learning to tend the fire and be challanging, but I think that I've got a handle on that one. Some days all I could do is get the steel up to a red heat and others I could get it up to a bright yellow. Gas forges burn cleaner and there is little fire tending to do. A gas forge is more expensive to build and it's harder to just heat up just the section of the billet that you are going to work on. Odd shapes are harder to feed odd shapes into a gas forge. They do sound a bit like a small jet engine, but if the neighbors don't get their knickers in a knot over the sound of a hammer on the anvil, they shouldn't get fussed over the dull roar of the gas forge plus there's no smell. It's probably a little easier to come by propane, as a matter of fact, I can get it 24/7 at the Walgreens about a mile down the road. A propane canister is more of a problem to store. It shouldn't be kept in the house due to the dangers of it developing a leak. There's no danger of leveling the house if the charcoal leaks out of the bag. Doug Lester
  21. I was advised that the medium hard stones are best for what we want them for. I got the Ruby stones in the course grits to hog the scratches out. Then I went to the blue stones, whichever ones they are. I just got in some of the Yellow oil impregnated stones but I haven't tried them yet. Make a knife board to clamp the blade to. It's just a piece of 1" board that is wider than the blade you're working on with a point cut in the end. It can save you from running your hand into the point of the blade or the edge as you polish the blade. Doug Lester
  22. I found that I didn't like the Kevlar gloves; they didn't allow a good grip. Go down to the local tool-in-a-box store and get a pair of leather welders gloves, the ones with the cuffs that go half way up your forearms. Do not wear a glove on your hammer hand. I found that it makes it too hard to control the hammer. A local blacksmithing club forbids gloves on the hammer hand while forging at club activities. In the future, you might consider getting yourself some polishing stones. They are inexpensive in the long run because they hold up for a long time and really not all that expensive up front. Congress Tools are a good source; these are a fine oil stone. Another discovery that I have made reciently is 3M Micro Abrasive Film. I haven't done a comparison on price vs how long they last but it didn't take long for the 40 micro (the coursest grade) to take out some 220 grit scratches from hardened 1095. They may be the ticket for finishing a blade after getting it as smooth as possible with files. You can back them with a polished marble tile or a piece of heavy glass. I found them at www.toolsforworkingwood.com. Another stratagy could be to get a course water stone, a 220/1000 grit combination stone run about $35, for getting the worst of the file marks out and using the abrasive film for fine polishing. It is the really fine water stones that run big bucks, like in the neighborhood of $100. Again, water stones are one of those items that the expense is up front because, with proper care, they last for nearly forever. Just don't even think about putting oil on one. There's no recovery from that mistake. Just some ideas. Doug Lester
  23. You are going to have to get ahold of the supplier and ask what the assey is. You also might want to be sure you stick with one supplier who will probably try to stick with the same formula for the steel. What you have sited above is why I don't like the W series. I also noticed that one dealer, I don't recall which at this time, listed vanadium in their W1 which I always thought made it W2. Doug Lester
  24. That knife has a real good design and exicution. Your wood carving is getting better, which wasn't all that bad to beging with. You are mixing different periods and geographic locations with the design but it still all goes together well. Scary sharp is good, not bad. What are the stats on the knife? Doug Lester
  25. I use 9260 that I get from Admiral. As suggested above, 5160 is also a good choice as are the 10XX steels above 60 points of carbon, inclusive. The is the numbers that replace the X's after the 10 will be 60 or larger. I'd avoid the O series, as in O-1, for the simple reason that I would rather ruin a $1 piece of steel than a $5 piece of steel. I'm not a big fan of mystery metal, salvaged steel. Unless you know for certain what the steel is it is hard to tell exactly how it is going to forge and heat treat. "Usually it's 5160", or whatever, means that sometimes it's not. I'd rather kinow what I'm dealing with. That said, it can be hard to beat the price point that it can sometimes be obtained at, like free. If you're forging steel, I'd start off with 1/4" thickness. It's easier to make a bar of steel thinner than it is thicker and most of us when we started out needed as much sacrificial steel as possible to get the dings out of the blade. Doug Lester
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