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randy nelson

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About randy nelson

  • Birthday 08/01/1959

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    NW PA (Erie County) USA

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  1. I hadn't seen anything on this, but I thought there might be some interest, so here it is. Admin's, if this is uncool, just give it the axe. Second Annual Blacksmith Gathering at Reynlow Park near Reynoldsville, PA (DuBois/ Punxsutawney area) - Wednesday, May 19 thru Sunday, May 23, 2021. Sorry, all they seem to have for an internet presence is a FB page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1002231980250586/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22search_results%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22search%22%7D]%7D But that shouldn't prevent anyone from enjoying 4 days of metal-centric camaraderie with like-minded enthusiasts. At least a dozen vendors, including Big Blu Hammers, Coal Ironworks (hydraulic presses), Holland Anvil, & New Jersey Steel Baron (who I believe I saw is taking pre-orders for pickup at the show). They're talking about doing a smelt if the interest is there. There will be plenty of demo's & open forges for beginners, art/ sculpture, pattern welding - whatever your interest, you should be able to find it here!
  2. There's a Tall Ships event here in Erie, PA, too, but apparently they couldn't fit that one in their schedule..... No biggie - Painesville's not that far away, & definitely worth the trip!! Yes, I happened to be reading one of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Tales novels when I first heard about them coming, & Uhtred at the steering oar popped into my head.... :^)
  3. Didn't see anything on this anywhere here yet so thought I'd share - The re-created Viking ship Dragon Herald Fairhair sailed from Norway in April 2016 & has arrived on North American shores. It will be travelling up the St. Lawrence River & touring the Great Lakes throughout the summer, then will sail the canal system from Oswego, NY to New York City in September. I will be catching them at the Fairport Tall Ships event in Painesville, OH, on 8 July. SO looking forward to this!! The official website - schedule, route, ticket links, etc.: http://www.drakenexpeditionamerica.com/ They are also on Facebook, with fairly current updates. Randy
  4. Hey, Alan! Been awhile...... love what you've done with the place!
  5. Can you see him (her?)? I wonder who got the job of docking the tail...... Randy
  6. Mike- Sorry I didn't get back sooner, been away. I told you - it's as addictive as working hot steel! And part of the attraction is that you don't know what's in there 'til you open 'er up. "Nature - the ultimate artist." The guy whose mill we use ran out of good band blades, so we've been waiting for new ones to come in. I was also out & about on the motorcycle the other day & came across a lot where a bunch of walnut logs had been skidded out - & the woods was just full of crotch wood in the tops that were left. That's where the good stuff is. Been trying to get with the owner since to see if I can get a few choice pieces before it all goes to the woodstove. That's a nice stack, for sure. You'll have to start checking farm auctions & flea markets for a small wokshop-size bandsaw to get your fix for now; maybe start a little cottage business..... Nice thing about knife handles - they don't need a very big piece of wood. Downside, that means you start saving every neat little piece you find - "ooh, that'll make great scales for a little necker..." Ask me (or the little woman) how I know. Guess it's better than collecting porcelain cats.... (apologies to any porcelain cat collectors on the forum). Have fun- randy
  7. Mike- Here's a link to the Woodweb.com sawmill diectory (I hope): http://www.woodweb.com/cgi-bin/directories/sdd.cgi You should hit New Jersey about page 8 or 9. Looks like a pretty good list - you should be able to find someone near you. Most of the custom sawyers work in one of 3 ways: -by volume - they are paid per board foot (equivalent to a board 12" x 12" x 1" thick). I've seen prices from $.25 to $.45 per bd ft, depending on the mill & the market -by time - they charge per hour of their time. A portable mill will often charge by time because he'll have some setup to do when he comes to your location to cut your logs (probably not your situation), but a fixed mill may work hourly as well. A range here might be $40 to $80 per hour depending on crew, market, etc. And again, this is in my experience - your mileage may vary. -share cutting - they cut your wood & keep a "share" (usually 1/2) as payment. If you have small chunks this may not be an option Most any small bandmill will tack on an extra charge ($10 - 25) for a band blade that gets ruined in your wood from hitting metal. A nail or 2 isn't going to ruin a blade, 'tho the sawyer won't be happy about having to resharpen it, but if he hits an anchor bolt, an embedded axe head, or a fence wire insulator, that'll likely cost ya, so know what you've got, 'cuz he's going to ask you. Mills don't like yard trees as a rule, & some will refuse to open a log if there's any question. That should be enough to get you started, & at least talk to some mills in your area. Be warned, though, opening an ugly, gnarly chunk of wood is like beating on hot steel - it's addictive. Don't be surprised if you're soon driving a 1-ton pickup & cruising neighborhoods looking for tree service trucks & listening for the sound of a chainsaw. You've been warned! Brent- I've heard about guys drying wood with alcohol, but I've never tried it - mostly because I haven't had a large enough quantity of alcohol, or a small enough piece of wood. I assume the wood needs to be immersed, & that a closed container would minimize evaporative loss of the alcohol. Is the alcohol re-useable? Ethyl or methyl, or does it matter? Soak time - just allow the alcohol to penetrate, then air dry? Do you notice any effect on finishing? Thanks- randy
  8. Mike- Just as a quick response - go here: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/ The "Forestry & Milling" forum has a lot of good info about sawing, drying, & storing wood, & they get into a lot of salvage wood & "urban forestry" as they call it - utilizing wood that would otherwise go to a landfill or be burned. It's a great place to see what can be inside some of that "junk wood". Be prepared to spend some time just enjoying the "wood porn" some of these guys expose. That'll get you started. I'll be back with more, but here's a peek at what I'm talking about: A slice out of a walnut stump. (Hope that's not too big a pic) Later- randy
  9. That is some pretty stuff there, sir. Nice save! How much did you end up with, & how big are the pieces? If that's the bark that's still intact at the bottom of the picture, I'm not sure that's oak. The sapwood/ heartwood contrast leads me away as well, although it could be wind shake as Paul mentioned. Do you have any pics of a chunk from the side, showing the bark? My only concern is if you were to sell it or use it in a project, you will want to be sure it is what you think it is. "Spalting" is a fungus that works its way into the wood between the layers. It's usually black, but can be other colors, depending on the wood & the fungus variety. One of the reasons spalted wood is prized is that there's a fine line between good, solid spalted wood & punky, soft rotting wood. It's not common at all to find spalted oak, most especially in a standing, live tree. If you look at the inside, there where it's split, it should have squarish black outlines, like the old Trebark camo pattern. (Do they still make Trebark camo?) I just took some pictures of some spalted maple a few weeks ago - I'll try & dig them up. As mentioned by others here, you should get it slabbed up, end sealed, & stickered before it starts checking too much. My suggestion would be 4/4 (1" thick) boards, just plain/ flat sawn (all sawcuts parallel, like a stack of cheese slices). Depending on how big the logs/ chunks are, you might want to just leave the live edges (the crooked edge of the board where the bark is) to maximize what you can get out of each piece. It depends, too, on what you use to cut it up, again depending on the size of the pieces. Put it in a warm, dry place with good air circulation. Unless you're in a hurry to do something with it, I would just air dry it. Haste makes waste, as they say. There's an old saw about air drying hardwoods 1 year per inch of thickness, but in my experience, depending on where it's kept & the type & initial condition of the wood, that's pretty conservative. For the harder woods - oak, maple, etc. - I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble of getting it stabilized, but that's just my $0.02, so take that for what it's worth.... Good luck, great find, & if you need more help, let me know & I can hook you up with some links, more info, maybe even some help finding someone near you with a bandsaw mill if you need/ want to go that way. randy
  10. Jake- I'm no expert, as we've only built a couple forges so far, trying out different ideas, but it sounds to me like your burner needs to be into the body a bit more. Ours have been blown burners, but we attached the burner inlet securely to the forge body (a steel 3-gal. paint bucket), & then formed a cone-shaped opening thru the wool, running the refractory lining out to meet the burner inlet. We actually formed some spiral ridges in the refrac to try & get a better swirl on the last one. Don't know if it works, but I know it gets hot inside, & the burner tube itself stays [relatively] less hot. We've tried to get pic's of what we did, but they didn't show much unless you knew what you were looking at. I can post some up if it would help. randy
  11. Thought some of you might enjoy this you-tube vid: It's like making a knife - just remove everything that doesn't look like a knife..... I'm surprised he still has all his digits. randy
  12. Just picked up Jacob a week ago from a breeder that didn't want him anymore - 4 year old German Shorthaired Pointer: And here he is with our 9 year old Czech line German Shepherd, Gryffon:
  13. gasket material from the auto parts store works, too, & there's at least a couple different colors, depending on how "hot" your blade is..... ;^) randy
  14. The EYES!!! Don't look at the EYES!!!
  15. For a short shotgun, it's hard to beat the versatility of a Mossberg 500 or Rem. 870 pump. The Mossy is very inexpensive used (my son just picked up a Maverick - Mossberg's "store" brand, without the thumb safety, for $128 online), & even if you end up buying a "standard" hunting gun for cheap & then get an 18" shorty barrel & "tactical" stock, you've got 2 different guns for still not much $$$. (If it seems like I'm a cheap bugger, well, I prefer the term "frugal". I like to get my money's worth.) And as a bonus, the Mossberg is 100% US made. I think the 870 is, too, but don't quote me on that. With either one the aftermarket parts will let you make your shotty be whatever you want it to be. Folding stocks, pistol grips, Picatinny rails, extended mag tubes, dot- laser- & scope sights, slug barrels, interchangeable choke tube barrels.... if you can think of it, somebody is making it for those 2 guns. Reloading for a 12 ga. is a piece of cake, too. Find yourself a Lee Load-All (MidwayUSA.com is your friend), read the instructions for some suggestions on wads, powder, & shot, buy a couple boxes of Winchester AA shells & keep the empties, & you're ready to crank out your own custom loads. Find a local place to buy powder & shot, though, to avoid the shipping & surcharges you'd get with mail-order components. One thing to always remember is "eyes & ears", & the 12 ga. is several large steps up from the .22 in decibels, the shorty even more-so. And that goes for bystanders, too. If I'da known 40-some years ago that I'd be lstening to this constant, ringing hiss every waking moment for the rest of my life, I would have started wearing protection sooner & more often. Use it every time, all the time - you can't get it back once it's gone. (Soapbox mode [off]) Now if you want the ULTIMATE in a short 12 ga.: Yes, that's a 12 - a specially customized Rem. 870, referred to as an AOW - Any Other Weapon - to differentiate it from other types of Federally controlled (not banned) guns like full-auto's. Meaning that it's a lot cheaper to get a license for an AOW. Looks like fun, no? Again, enjoy the research. If I can help, let me know- randy
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