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B. Norris

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Everything posted by B. Norris

  1. I'm at the Iowa Renaissance Festival this coming Memorial Day Weekend doing blacksmith/bladesmith demonstrations if anyone cares to join me and talk shop... Hours are I think 11am to 6pm each day, Saturday thru Monday in Middle Amana, Iowa.
  2. Wife has given the go ahead as long as the rest of the fam can tag along and do other stuff, now to see about vacation time...
  3. John, If I ever need a pitch bowl... I'm calling you! Seriously, I thought I overbuild things but, that is ridiculous! In a good way, of course. ~Bruce~
  4. John, Mounting a power hammer is not so different a problem from mounting an anvil, just on a much bigger scale. When it comes down to something like this MASS is your friend. The best mechanical hammers are built with the largest ratio of hammer weight to anvil weight (I've heard 1:40) and bolting the hammer down is just an extension of this idea. The hammer itself, should be isolated from the rest of the slab and fastened to the largest mass possible. What I've heard of people doing is leaving a hole in the slab, digging a pit, and filling it full of concrete but, you are building from scratch and it could be more expedient to build the pit, fill it with concrete, and then pour the slab.. This takes a great deal of patience as large masses of concrete can take a considerable amount of time to cure. Putting some 1" rubber mat in between the slab and the hammer base will help isolate vibration. Whatever you build (apartment overhead or wall off living quarters) putting a good foundation under it will be important as the vibration from the hammer must be taken into account... Especially when combined with groundwater. The other necessity is having an overabundance of electrical power. This is one of those times when getting out some paper and making a list of all the tools you use or intend to use will help. Show the list to as many craftsmen and artists as possible and get input, you probably forgot quite a few things. Then, take the list and some graph paper and work on the shop layout, it will quickly become apparant how much room you need. Again, take the layout and show it around to as many people as possible. Also, quite a few books have been published on workshops, check some out from the library and get some ideas. My own dream shop would be medium sized, 30' x 50' or 40' x 60', with an overhead appartment. Roomy shops are nice but, heating and cooling them is not! ~Bruce~
  5. As noted a triple quench can often cause more problems than it solves. However, if you do not have temperature controls, it can be a way of making the grain in your blade as fine as possible in the absence of knowing that you have met a specific temperature requirement. To give an example. Suppose you were using a charcoal forge at a weekend fair and somebody just had to have a knife made right in front of them. Not knowing what temperature you are hitting to normalize at (especially if working in daylight) quenching three times will promote the formation of finer grain (assuming a modern steel and not something homemade) unless your temperatures are drastically too hot. Yes, if you had temperature controls you could probably hit the "ultra fine" grain however, the triple quench will at least get you down into that "fine grain" category. The caveat is that you must already have a fairly good idea what you are doing and a bit of experience under your belt. ~Bruce~
  6. Did you use a pein block? Doing so allows some wiggle room for repairs because, you can grind the riveted tang off, do the work and re-assemble with a shorter pein block. Otherwise, you are stuck making the handle a little shorter or finding some way to add metal to the end of the tang. Brazing and welding can both work. ~Bruce~
  7. Looks like it will be a lovely longsword when done! What do you hope to achieve by quenching from oil into water? I suggest, that if the steel should be quenched into oil to begin with, that you leave it in the oil and not mess around with water. Good luck. ~Bruce~
  8. I was wondering why you were working with a steel so high in Silicon but, figured it was what was available. Here is a list of some common, European, steels and the US equivalent. EN42 aka SAE 1074 EN43 aka SAE 1050 EN45 aka AISI 9260 (with just slightly less carbon than the US range, call it AISI 9255 if you want) EN47 aka AISI 6150 CS70 aka SAE 1070 CS80 aka SAE 1080 CS95 aka SAE 1095 CS100 no real US equivalents, perhaps W1? O2 aka O2 (well that's convenient!) Look at the Mn content of all of the above, the higher the Mn, the darker the metal will etch. O2 is probably the darkest. EN42, EN43, CS70, and CS80 would probably be about the same, CS95, CS100, Silver Steel, and the 20C Mick Maxen has would be lightest but, not bright like any alloy higher in Ni, such as 15N20. O2 would be rather deep hardening and greater care would be required selecting an alloy to pattern weld with it. ~Bruce~
  9. James, Are you aware that Mick is selling 15n20? Steels for Pattern Welding At least that is what I've turned up from this side of the pond! This information comes from a thread over on IForgeIron. Metal Suppliers, UK Hope this helps. ~Bruce~
  10. Congratulations! Nice composition as well. ~Bruce~
  11. Looking forward to finished pics. What are you going to handle it with? ~Bruce~
  12. That one is a real beauty Richard! ~Bruce~
  13. The expiration date is not necessarily when the item is no longer useable. Drug Expiration Dates - Are They Still Safe to Take? Drug companies stand to benefit from short expiration dates upon the products they sell and there is nothing preventing them from setting the date short. Ultimately, it is your body and your decision but, as with everything else in this world, Caveat Emptor prevails. A lot of it will depend on factors such as "did you open the tube of Neosporin or, is it un-opened?" Oxygen can, potentially, get in there and react with the active ingredients. A container that was opened 3 years ago may not be good but, the un-opened 3 year old container may. The article I linked to above has some good guidlines about certain types of medications to not mess around with and which types should be okay. ~Bruce~
  14. The bit of leaf spring, if it is 5160, should harden in just about any oil. The bit of leaf spring, if it is something in the 10xx series, is more of a crap shoot and a faster oil would be better. ~Bruce~
  15. A tip from the last time I had to go visit an opthalmologist... A powerful rare earth magnet can save lots of money and hassle, used to remove metal particles from the eye. You may be able to save an, expensive, trip to the doctor this way. ~Bruce~
  16. Thank you Jerrod! ~Bruce~
  17. Useful information, thank you. ~Bruce~
  18. One more thing, the small serrations work better on hard, crusty, breads while the larger more "rolling" serrations are better for breads with soft crusts. ~Bruce~
  19. Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshalle by Matthew Stover, A juxtaposition of two worlds, one futuristic and one immediately familiar to anyone who has ever played D&D. Hard to pin this one down to any one category Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and with a bit of compelling, gritty, military thriller thrown in. The Year of the Warrior by Lars Walker, offers an interesting take on things Viking. Has anybody thrown out Michael Moorcock's Elric series? ~Bruce~
  20. I've not worked with it but, it is in the same family as Osage Orange. The yellow color will, over time, oxidize into a medium brown color. Mulberry has a reputation as being difficult to dry without problems but, no firsthand experience. ~Bruce~
  21. I have done one copy of a bread knife in my kitchen that has been in the family awhile. The knife I have is marked Sheffield, England, and Stainless Steel but, I've seen older versions of the same pattern in carbon steel and newer versions with different serrations. I made all the grooves in my copy with the corner of a triangular file (ruined the file doing so) and then learned that the originals were done with a checkering file. The serrations are filed from one side only, the right side of the blade when held, the other side is flat. The knife I have is very interesting because the edge is full of small cracks, I think they had just switched over to the "new" stainless steel when it was made and can imagine it causing much hassle for the craftsmen! The images below are just examples, my computer, with the images of the original and my copy, is out of service for awhile. ~Bruce~
  22. Ambitious! Prepare to measure the time, for each grit, in days instead of hours. On the plus side, after it is done, you will not look at going through the grits on a knife quite the same way, ever again! I suggest picking up a set of EDM stones for the finishing, way cheaper than sandpaper. The orange ones, that I linked to, seem to work the best. An advantage to using the stones is that you can put a towel or two on your lap, plop the sword down, and work on it while watching movies with the family. The stones need lubrication, some ammonia, watered down and with a few drops of dish-soap added, will work. You can also use oil or kerosene but, I wouldn't bring that into my house. Use fresh lubricant with each grit to avoid cross contamination issues. I use the stones different than most, preferring to use the small end of the stone to finish a small area and then move on to the next small area until it is done. They will wear in and it is handy to keep a diamond sharpening stone nearby to re-shape the stones. Others use the entire length of the stone. That technique will give a flatter, surface free of minute undulations but, takes longer. The stones are available in a range of shapes and sizes so you can find something to work on the fullers that you drew as well as the flats. The 80CrV2 that Kevin recommended is available from Aldo Bruno. I have not used it but, it looks like a very good steel and I have been thinking of giving it a try. It is said to harden up like 5160 and be, perhaps, a little tougher. Some steels with Vanadium require a longer soak at austenitizing to harden, I do not know if this is the case with the 80CrV2 or not. The advantage to using a deeper hardening steel, like this one or 5160, is that you do not have to use water or buy a specialty quench oil such as Parks 50. An 8" diameter cylinder, full of peanut oil will work and, if you can heat the oil, you can also temper in it. I say peanut oil not because, it is the best oil to harden in but because, it will harden and, has a high enough flash point that you can also temper in it. This is a huge advantage and will save a lot of hassle and money. You will want a thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil and some way to heat it. I used a portable burner, like a turkey fryer and stacked cinder blocks around it to contain the heat and prevent the tube from tipping. Of course I had the cinder blocks laying around! Instead of 5/16" thick, buy your steel 3/8" thick, you will be surprised how much you can loose going from rough forged to rough ground. The blade you have drawn has the potential to be very heavy. Done well (as light as possible) I think you could get it down into the 3-4lb. range. A good amount of distal taper will aid in getting the blade to feel faster and lighter in the hand, as will some mass in the handle end to balance the weight of the blade out. I like swords that balance right at the guard. Starting from thicker (3/8") steel will allow you to keep more mass at the handle end. ~Bruce~
  23. I saw you working at Axe 'N' Sax and figured you were up to something big. However, "big" is insufficient to describe your work here. Grand! Momentous! Awesome! Way better. That is a terrific sword. First class all the way, high degree of fit and finish, obviously good design and balance, and when all is said and done - still a perfectly functional, perhaps even a bit utilitarian, tool. You have captured the aesthetic of "sword" perfectly, IMHO. There are some peoples work. Increadible, technical, work and awesome pieces that are so sterile and cold... Work like this is what really catches my eye because, it is not absent all of the little touches that show it was made by a person. That is probably why I am with Randal on aging the blade, let it be... It will get there all on its own. Not to be unappreciate but, there is something lacking. Where is the sheath? ~Bruce~
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