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Everything posted by jlkilpatrick

  1. Yeah, the thing's amazing. I just finally realized I'm never going to be more than a hobbyist, so a tool like this is just massive overkill, for me. I'm confident some good 'smith around these parts will find a place for it, though. Luke
  2. |----------------------| |------- Sold! -------| |----------------------| Howdy, folks A few years ago, I was working for a fellow who turned out to be a machine shop foreman. When he found out I was into bladesmithing, he asked if I wanted this oven. The next day, I watched as they pulled it from its stand, and installed a new, larger one. He told me that the oven was a little temperamental, but that it was in regular use. The oven is 240/480v 1-phase, and weighs, I'm guessing 400lb or more. The cavity is 5"x5"x21.5" with the door closed. (note, I removed the back panel to show the electrical components. It isn't missing. It comes with 3 new replacement elements, and their supports, as pictured. I paid $150 for it, and that's what I'm asking for all of it. This oven is a brute, and will require a pickup truck to haul it away. I live in Boaz, AL, about an hour south of Huntsville. If interested, please email me at: jmskilpatrick@gmail.com Have a good day! Luke Edit to add: The model is Blue M 2015D-2
  3. That's the best advice I've heard all day! Shawn, unless you're hurting for the cash, Brandon is right. You've obviously put a lot of TLC into that forge. It'll make a dandy stand for your new gas forge, and it'll be there when you need to go with solid fuel. Of course, sometimes we need cash more than even good tools, but it usually ends up being a regrettable choice. Either way, good luck! Luke
  4. Ted, if you have some detailed shots of that suit, like the gauntlets, please post them. I know I'm not alone in wanting to see more of it. Beautiful work! Luke
  5. Man, tell me about it! My "Pending Experiments" file is so big, sometimes I just hide under the covers and refuse to get out of bed! Luke
  6. I'll just bet it was time consuming!! If that was a job for a paying customer, I hope you charged enough to cover yourself. If it was for a friend, you're a prince, and I hope he realizes that! Luke
  7. I recall reading a metallugry text that made it clear that lower temperatures held for longer periods achieved exactly the same end results in the tempering process. I don't remember it quite as clearly, but I sort of recall the author making a case for more uniformity when the tempering was broken into more than one session. Sounds like your experience backs that up pretty well. Luke
  8. I, too, learned that normalizing meant air cooling, and annealing meant slow cooling. The more I looked into it, though, the more I realized that true annealing has to go much slower than what we're going to get with burying a blade in ash or vermiculite. Many hours in some cases, as I recall. Around then I started calling the regular blacksmith's kind of slow cooling "super normalizing", and just took it for granted that I'd never get a true anneal, but rather a very good normalization with the procedure that it was practical for me to use. That's why I called it normalization, instead of annealing. Quite possibly a mistake based on my own made-up terminology. I'm pretty sure that the slower the cooling rate, the better the stress relief, and in that regard, it makes sense to differentiate between air and an insulating medium. I'm certainly no authority, and I'll happily go along with the consensus on this. The last think I want is to be handing out wrong advice to the new guys. Luke
  9. Ken, that's how almost all of us got started, and one foot following the other has taken folks far, indeed! Howard, coming from you, that makes me happy! Ken, pay particular attention to Howard's posts. He's forgotten more about heat treating than I've ever known! Luke
  10. Heat treatment is a huge subject, and I can't do more than scratch the surface here. First, check out the Metallurgy section of this forum for more depth, and waaaaay more informed people than me. You can get as in-depth as you want to, with heat treatment, but here are a few basics. Lots of good knives have been made with no more than what I'm going to say here, but to really get the maximum performance, you have to learn a lot more.. Critical temperature. This is where the steel changes state. It's the temp. you need the steel to be at for normalizing, and quenching. Most simple steels do us a favor, by becoming non-magnetic at about this temp. Keep a magnet handy, and check it as the blade gets hotter. Once the magnet no longer sticks, "soak" the blade just a little longer, (15 seconds or so), then you're there. Normalizing. Also called stress relief, this consists of bringing the blade to the critical temp. and then cooling it as slowly as you can. Burying it in ashes works, or you can use garden center vermiculite. Once it's room temp., you've normalized it. The stresses that remain from forging can cause a blade to warp when you quench it. Normalizing relieves some of these stresses, and lessens the chance of warping in the quench. Many smiths will normalize three times before quenching! Quenching. Take the blade, once it's reached critical temp. and put it in oil, (most of us), or water, (the bravest only!), and it will fully harden. A fully hardened blade will laugh at a file or drill bit, but you can snap it with your bare hands. That's too hard, and the next step, tempering, is done to soften it somewhat, making a good, durable tool. The oil you use for quenching can range from used motor oil, (about the worst), through transmission fluid, (works OK), to purpose-made quenching oils (the best). Getting started, I used transmission fluid successfully for quite a while.. Methods differ, but I put the blade in edge-down, and gently swirled it about just a little. Tempering. This is the process of softening the blade down just a bit from fully hardened. Once the blade has been quenched, it is put into an oven and left for an hour or two at a temperature much lower than forging temp. Typically, the tempering temperature is around 400 to 500 deg.F. A used toaster oven will generally be a good choice for this operation. Using the wife's cooking oven to raost a blade that has oil on it will get you scolded pretty hard! As I said, I've only scratched the surface here. The critical and tempering temperatures vary with every alloy, and the details of the procedure very with every smith. That's a basic rundown of the process, though, and you can ask more questions from there. The people on this forum are a great bunch, and will be glad to help you along. Good luck, and have fun! Luke
  11. Geoff: That's one of only a couple of Heinlein stories that I haven't read. On the other hand, I think that the first time I ever heard of tesseracts was in "Glory Road". N-dimensional geometry is a mind warping concept, isn't it? Todd: I absolutely agree about the character qualities of bladesmiths. As a group, they're among the nicest people I've ever known. Ornery at times, it's true, but overall, just a wonderful bunch. Luke
  12. Let's see.. I'd add metallurgist, firebug, romantic, and obsessive-compulsive. I don't think three dimensions are going to be nearly enough. How do you feel about tesseracts? Luke
  13. Wow is right! What an eccentric performance! Luke
  14. Watching you make this journey has been a great learning experience. There is no substitute for making one's own mistakes, but seeing an honest account of another's trial and error is the next best thing. Thank you for documenting your experience so well, and sharing all of your setbacks, as well as your triumphs. I admire your ingenuity, as well as your determination. Congratulations!! Luke
  15. Gorgeous! I, too, wonder why you applied it to an apparently flat bar. Do you intend to remove stock for a blade, or is this a test piece? Darn pretty, either way.. Luke
  16. Kyle, I'm working on it! I have the hot shop outlined, and am ready to build the frame when the housing market gets off my back, ( I'm a carpenter by trade). Soon, I'll have the roof on, and then it's all business. My current forge is coal fired, and in town, that won't do. I have all the fixin's for a couple of gas forges, (easy, as I've done plenty of them before), and most of the hard work done on a press. I have a lot of welding to do on the press frame, but nothing too hard. After that, I'll have to make a power hammer, and placate the neighbors. I want the hammer, but in my location, it may be too much. If I build it and can't use it, somebody's going to get a serious visit from Santa! I just recently scored a ridiculously nice heat treating oven. I've been out of touch with forging for a long time, now. I attended the 2nd of Batson's symposia, and just a few months ago, the 20th. I put in some good time in the interim, but nothing serious. The addiction never left me though. It's thanks to Don Fogg, and the many regular contributers to this forum, that I'm gearing up to do some work again. I got a chance to see Alan Longmire's nice tomahawks, (and more importantly, meet Alan), at the recent Batson's. I've seen the many cool seaxes and swords in low-layer-count composite pattern that have made such an impact on us all here on the forum, ( I saw Scott Lankton weld up a Sutton Hoo sword at the first Batson's I attended), and just had a ball listening to all of you being passionate about your craft. To say that it's been an inspiration would be a shameful understatement. It's great to be a part of such an active, vibrant community of people who want to DO, and share their desire, knowledge, and passion so freely. I feel like I'm at home here. Thank you all. Luke
  17. Thanks, Jake! I heard of hooded crows many years ago, on an old Jethro Tull song. I never saw a picture of them, though, and didn't know that they're so cool looking. That's going to be a damn nice menuki! Luke
  18. How worried should I be about getting it as smooth as possible? I'm trying to swirl the flame inside the tank, so I would assume as smooth as possible without going all "perfectionist" on it? Don't be very concerned with a perfectly smooth interior. Roughness will act to break up the flame path, and spread it out more. Diffusing the flame is a good thing, as it will act to lessen hot spots. As long as you don't have really big globs sticking out from the forge wall, you're in good shape. Luke
  19. By setting the burner to flow tangent to the inside cavity, and swirl around the inner circumference, you avoid direct flame impingement on the workpiece. Basically, it cuts down on the hot spots. I favor this approach, but as you said, not everyone agrees with that. If I wanted a shelf inside the forge cavity, I'd set it on top of a couple of small pieces of firebrick, thus making a bridge for the flame to swirl under and around. I'm not familiar with the burner you're using. If it's a blown type, you may have enough heat for a forge that size with just one. If it's a venturi type, you might consider adding more blanket to make the cavity a bit smaller. Don't get too worked up about making this one perfect. It'll almost certainly get you forging, and most of us end up making several as we develop new needs. Once you've made a forge of your own, and used it, you'll see things you want to do differently the next time around, and eventually, you'll make another that suits you perfectly. In the meantime, you'll get a lot of good work done with the Mark I. Have Fun! Luke
  20. Beautiful work, as always. I just love the contrast you get with your etching. Your tutorials have taught me a thing or two, as well! Thanks! Luke
  21. I add my voice to the chorus, Gerhard. Your work is exceptional! I am very impressed by your designs. You have great sensitivity toward the materials you use in your handles, and your hamon work is simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing your work with us! Luke
  22. Thanks TOBY! I just love patterning tutorials, and that's one I was a bit vague about. Great explanation, and a beautiful billet. Please let us see what you make with it! Luke
  23. Thanks for the input Howard! It's a sheathed t/c. It was on the Omega site where I realized that they come in different diameters, and you're sure right. Those guys must stock every thermal probe ever made! Since I don't really have anything better than boiling or freezing water for a reference temp., I'm taking the easy route, and just comparing instruments, as you mentioned. I think the old controller is probably in good working order, so I'm planning to just replace the thermocouple, calibrate, and drive on. Now, I just have to get the new hot shop finished, so I can move all my stuff in and get cracking! Luke
  24. Howard, I'm glad you asked that. When I first looked at it, I immediately said "Hey, that's not like any K type thermocouple I ever saw" What I didn't take into account, until you spoke up, is that I've only seen about five of them, and they were all in pottery kilns, or scavenged from them. At first, I went looking for something exotic that seemed to fit the appearance, and came up with thermistors. Well, I was WRONG! I just went out and really looked it over closely, using a mirror and flashlight. (I'm tired, and too lazy to break out the screwdriver) It sure looked like a much thinner version of a kanthal thermocouple.. Then I dug around on the internet, and sure enough, they make 'em in all different sizes. Just goes to show how dangerous a little knowledge can be! Thanks for setting me straight on that. I'd probably have figured it out later, but I always like getting my ducks in a row at the outset, if I can. Does my plan to just calibrate the old analog controller to a new digital seem reasonable? Given the inherent error in reading the analog gauge, I figured it'd be close enough. Do you agree, or should I go for some boiling water, as Mike suggested. I value your thoughts on this. Luke
  25. Good question! First, though, when I actually took a closer look, I found that the controller uses a thermistor, or something similar, and not the kanthal type thermocouple that I expected. No real difference in use, just a different sensor than I expected. The easiest way to calibrate will be to get a new digital pyrometer and check its reading against that of the controller. The controller allows for adjustment, so I'll simply set the analog dial (steam gauge, in computer parlance), to the reading of the new pyrometer. This isn't laboratory accurate, but it'll do for my purposes. If I can get it to +-5 deg F, I'll be pretty happy. The analog controller is only readable to about that level of accuracy anyway. I plan to go ahead and mount the new pyrometer in the door, so I'll have a backup readout, and can tweak the temperature to just where I want it. Luke
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