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Doug Lester

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Everything posted by Doug Lester

  1. ...you keep "The $50 Knife Shop" and "The Wonder of Knife Making" by your bed side for light reading ...your Ebay password is ZPD189 ...your vanity license plate is 15N20 ...your son's name is Warcliff ...your daughter's name is Moran, aka Billie ...your dog's name is A2 ...you have two cats, Lignum and Vitae ...you know your grinder's belt size but not your own ...you hit a chunk of steel in the road and get a flat tire and you spend 10 minutes trying to decide if it would make a decent blade ...you tell yourself that 20 minutes with some sandpaper and your knife handle will be ready for the buffer and 2 hours later you're still trying to get it just right. ...you get your Play Boy and your new Jantz catalog in the mail at the same time and you open the catalog first ...your wife runs off with your knife making buddy and the first thing you think of is to call his wife and ask if she would consider selling you his Bader Grinder dirt cheap
  2. Thanks for the info. I went to the site and the forge looked great. I have something similar in mind. I've got a bunch of Inswool left over from my gas forge project and I'm thinking about arching that over the the fire. May coat the inside with some Satanite or Mizzoue to protect the ceramic fibers. Seems like I spend more time working out my ideas of forges than making knives. Doug Lester
  3. I've built probably five or six forges so far, not all of them worked out so well. Right now I have a charcoal forge built out of a bar-b-que grill, and a gas forge built out of a mail box. The charcoal forge has a length of black pipe in the bottom with 3/8" holes down the length of it in two staggerd lines. I used to have it attached to a double stroke hand pump but I just got an electric pump that was designed to inflate rafts to attach to it. The box is lined the a mixture of clay kitty litter, sand, and straw that was packed in wet. I had a little refractory cement left over from the gas forge that I lined the fire box with after the clay mix dried out. Haven't really had a chance to use it sense remodeling it because I've been finishing up knives that I had already started. Hope to burn some charcoal and forge some blades in the next week or two. Hopefully inlarging the holes in the teweyer and the new air supply will help it burn a bit hotter. The gas forge uses a single venturi burner. The body of it is a large mail box lined with 3" of ceramic insulation covered with Mizzoue refractory cement. The sheet steel of box makes it a little hard to attach the black pipe nipple which holds the burner. With it getting warmer here in Virginia, I'm going to build a tube of refractory around the nipple on the inside of the forge. Hopefully it will hold the burner in a little better. I'm also going to reduce the inside diameter of the fire chamber and see if that makes it a little more effecient. If that doesn't work, I'll have to add a second burner. The fire chamber is 18" deep and that may be just a little much for a single burner to handle, though I have reached welding temperature at least towards the back of the forge. I also built two mini-forges that run off a propane torch. One is a coffee can lined with ceramic insulation that is coated with a refractory. The second one is made of two insulating brick with large grooves cut down the middle lengthwise so that when the bricks a places together a tube is formes. It is open on both ends. You can eather use it as a pass-through forge or block off one end. On both a hole is bored through the side of the structure to stick the burning nozzle of the torch in. Try going to www.elliscustomknifeworks.com. He has pictures of home made gas forges that some of his customers sent in. Doug Lester ________________ If you're not making mistakes then you're not trying hard enough
  4. Don't forget the slack tub. Sounds stupid but it beats waiting for the tongs to cool off, and they will get hot. I like a welders glove for the tong hand, lets you realize that the tongs are getting hot before you burn your hand. You can't beat a spring fuller to draw out bar of steel. This is something that's not hard to make for yourself. There's one thing that you will need that you can't buy anywhere, the ability to accept and learn from your mistakes. Every beginner makes plenty of them and you won't learn unless you are making mistakes. One other thing, learn to live in the solution rather than the problem. Doug Lester
  5. Doug Lester


    I don't know that I can add anything to the above lists, all are good. To my mind (what there is of it) one would be kind of hard pressed to get too much reference material. I think the two best books for the beginner is "The Wonder of Knife Making" and "The $50 Knife Shop" both by Wayne Goddard and I would recommend that you read them in that order. I found that I understood "The $50 Knife Shop better after I read "The Wonder of Knife Making". Don't ignore videos and DVD's. It really helped me to see things being done. Doug Lester _________________________ If you're not making mistakes you're not trying hard enough
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