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jim austin

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About jim austin

  • Birthday 10/22/1957

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  • Location
    West Oakland CA USA
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, brewing and other fermentations, getting together with friends, outdoors and lots of other stuff.

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  1. Neato! Combining carburization with the forging process has a wonderful flow to it.
  2. Hello to you all: I am greatly gladdened and honored by the brotherly beard you've bestowed on me - the more so for having just had such a wonderful time with so many of you at the Axe 'n Sax-In. May I live up to the fiery flames of inspiration which now rise from my chin!
  3. Wow Owen - the seax blade came out great! I'm so glad I got to see you piece that together and weld it up. Regarding the event: I would like to give my sincerest thanks to our traveling demonstrators for agreeing to launch the gathering with us and for putting in the time to prepare for it and see it through. I would also like to thank the attendees for placing a wager of time and money on an unproven idea, then helping to make it a great experience for us all with your generous and engaged spirits. The most common thing I heard during all four days was "Is there anything I can do to help?" That meant a great deal to me.
  4. Greetings from Team Dane Axe! This is just a last minute reminder for those still thinking about purchasing T-shirts that TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER T-SHIRTS FOR THE OAKLAND AXE 'N SAX-IN ! (see attached pictures) The very stylish Official OASI T-Shirt (on black) comes to us courtesy of our very own international demonstrator Petr Florianek. The somewhat ominous Team Dane Axe T-Shirt (on charcoal gray) has been provided by OASI in-house demonstrator Jim Austin. We will be grateful for all purchases of these shirts as the proceeds will benefit the event immensely. If you would like to be the proud owner of one or both of them please state the artwork and size that you would like along with the number of each. Each T-Shirt is available for $20. Please Paypal to: jlp3@earthlink.net . Orders must be placed (and paid for) by October 11th and can be picked up at the event. Respectfully, Team Dane Axe.
  5. Wow, Bogdan! I'm late to your topic...but this is a fantastic tutorial. The techniques you present and your thoughts on early tooling are very inspirational. It also shows how much blacksmithing skill and thinking went into early axes.
  6. I just finished a firesteel with silver overlay that I posted recently in Show and Tell. We will strike the fire for the Axe 'n Sax-In with this and then auction it off to benefit the event. We're really looking forward to seeing you at the shop!
  7. Here is the other side of the firesteel. I wanted to do something with a different feel from the first side but also somewhat in character with it. Don't know if I succeeded but it was fun. This side was interesting in that two small sections of wire popped off part way through the process and I was able to re-cut little patches of ground and reapply the silver. It's good to have a rescue option. P.S.: We plan to use this firesteel to strike the fire for the October Axe 'n Sax-In and then auction it off to benefit the evet.
  8. Thank you all very much for your comments. As to the technique: All of the decoration is done by koftgari. I cross-hatched the background with a round-edged knife ground from high speed steel. After trying a lot of different wire diameters I've decided that 34 gage (.006" diameter) is the thickest I would use. I have a filigree draw plate that goes from .010" to .0045" diameter. The thinner the wire the easier it is to apply to the surface. 32 gage wire (.008" diameter) does not spread to an appreciably wider line in the finish-planished work than 34 gage, but simply forms a thicker line which isn't necessarily good. Diameters from .006" to .0045" show a successive thinning of the finished line width in a useful range for this simple kind of work. I use fine silver wire annealed dead soft and push it onto the surface with a handled bronze peg and follow this by planishing the design with a polished 4 oz. hammer. There is a lot left to learn about this but it's fun to do since the beginning.
  9. Although one of my major goals in axe making is to do both silver inlay and overlay on the heads I wanted to try these techniques on smaller yet useful pieces. I chose fire steels to test them out on which let me learn about those as well. I started experimenting with forge welded (laminated) fire steels loosely based on Viking originals. By doing this I can apply silver overlay (koftgari) to the surface of the softer iron after the steel striking edge is hardened. This little mask got stuck in my head and wouldn't leave until I committed it to metal. Now I have to think of a design for the other side. This piece is 3.25" long.
  10. Fantastic, Lee! And thanks for the info about bloom orientation.
  11. Thank you all for your comments and encouragement! It's good for me right now since I'm in the midst of a long slog to film the DVD tutorial on this process and I'm feeling a bit of burn-out. Owen: I haven't got to wrought yet, but I will soon. I thought I would make the point that forge welding works just fine in mild steel, which almost anyone can easily get. Some people have the notion that forge welding only works well on wrought iron, and I didn't want this to be an obstacle to trying these techniques out. I'll soon be working in wrought as I have an order for a large Type M axe in this material. Wish me luck (and a reliable source of wrought iron). Rich: The funny thing is that a most of my regular, paying customers have no interest in axes. But maybe someday.
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