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Dan P.

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Dan P. last won the day on October 11 2016

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    Cotswolds, UK

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  1. Exciting! I was sad to have missed the last one.
  2. I had the South African version of this, Okapi brand. Quite well known, I think.
  3. I use a bouncy castle blower on my forge. I have a small collection of bouncy castle blowers, actually, and they are not all made equal. The one I use is the crappiest, weakest, and looks most like a kosher forge blower. If I may add, modulating blast via blower motor speed is very inefficient. Much better to fit a slide valve on your forge, which allows you to turn the blast from completely ON to completely OFF and back again in seconds. I have been down the dimmer type route and it is not up to snuff.
  4. No matter how big your space, you will find forges and furnaces of all kinds will multiply seemingly behind your back.
  5. Years ago I did work experience under a smith who used bituminous coal mixed with maybe 25% by volume charcoal, powered his forge with bellows. A very good set-up, a good, clean, hot fire, and a very beautiful way to work and surprisingly efficient. BUT, you have to have good bellows, good coal, good charcoal, and your forge has to be configured correctly.
  6. I can't speak of coal, but I can go through 25kg of coke in a day. That would be a solid day of forging, mind, but still, it does go. I think coke forges tend to be a bit spendthrift in comparison to coal; pile it high, burn it hot! I was a "traditionalist" for many years, and I think there is real value in learning the different processes from the ground up, but these days unless it is something that won't fit in my gas forge, I won't use the solid fuel; it's simply not as good.
  7. You know, I looked again, maybe it's not a bad a price. I just saw $43 for 50lbs, seemed steep, but I'm not in your country so I plead ignorance (now and always!). Seems much more reasonable by the tonne, which in reality is not all that much coal. I would also be inclined to seek out fuel suppliers rather than blacksmith materials suppliers, as the latter are often pretty liberal in what they believe their profit margins should be.
  8. The first coal is anthracite, which people do use, it's okay, but doesn't really get hot enough. Or that's true of the anthracite I've used. There's very possibly different varieties. If you search this site you might find some more info on it. The second is proven smithing coal, but absurdly expensive. These kinds of problems, amongst others, is why so many people use gas instead.
  9. He has micrographs of identically ground and identically inexpertly HT'd O1 and 1080 blades after being put through performance tests? How inexpert was the HT? And by what % did the inexpertly HT'd 1080 outperform the O1? Just sayin'!
  10. It's Kevin Cashen that I believe I can blame for the meme-like status of the "you can use O1 but better to use 1080" advice. I've read a dozen times, and it is almost always a paraphrase of what is written on Kevin's O1 HT web page. Sometimes almost word-for-word. And while I don't know Kevin Cashen from Adam, and have no doubt that his understanding of metallurgy is every bit as good as it is widely claimed to be, I do believe that the basic premise of what he says about O1 vs. 1080 for the beginner is flawed. O1 is hard to overheat and hard to underheat. 1080 is easy to overheat and easy to underheat. Inexpertly HT'd O1 will yield a better knife than inexpertly HT'd 1080. From my perspective it's as simple as that. The further argument proffered, that spending the extra money for O1 is wasted without specialised HT equipment, is also something of an irrelevance when you consider how ridiculously cheap steel still is. Even if O1 were 500% the cost of 1080, so you are paying $5 in steel per knife instead of $1? If you are making the knife for yourself, I think you'll probably survive the arctic hardship imposed by the increased $4 drain on your lifesavings. And lastly, if one is to make such a claim, back it up with some science. Let's see the microscope photos of the identical edges on the various O1 and 1080 blades, HT'd using process A vs. process B vs. process C after cutting X tonnes of paper, or whatever. You can't just hitch your trousers up and proclaim "I do science!" and stomp off stage left anymore these days. People expect to be shown the science too. All of it.
  11. For making axes high carbon steel is neither necessary nor desirable, presuming these are axes for use on wood. Something with about 0.6% carbon is good, bearing in mind axe users will be sharpening with fairly soft stones or even files.
  12. Well, consider the suggestion that O1 might as well be 1095 without a more advanced HT; Okay, this is kind of true, but O1 would still be a version of 1095 that had alloys specifically added to limit grain growth and make it very easily through hardened, i.e. O1, and that these alloys are active across a relatively wide time/heat axis. It's not rocket surgery. And while there is indeed an extra degree of performance that you will get through a very controlled HT of O1, there is also an extra degree of performance you will get from 1095 with a very controlled HT, too.
  13. O1 will always do better in the hands of a novice than 1080 or similar simple or "low alloy" steel. It has effectively become an internet meme that O1 is only for those with more elaborate HT set ups. The reality is that O1 is a bog standard steel and is ubiquitous for the very simple reason that it is very easy to handle. 1080 and similar steels, on the other hand, are much easier to over heat or under-harden.
  14. This thread is very strange! Joshua, I'm not sure why you want to be more wrong than you already have been about this tool, but the big round fulcrum (in the original picture) is not broken. ?? "Weed Puller Controversies I Have Known". Chapter 1.
  15. Okay, but it's still a weed puller!