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Michael Pikula

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About Michael Pikula

  • Birthday 07/25/1983

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Friendship, WI

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  1. Greetings! I am looking at offering Bloom Steel for sale on a consistent basis. The results I have been getting are very consistent, and I am really dialing in on being able to offer a consistent material for use in your projects. I currently have two pieces of raw bloom for sale. Both weigh 11.6 pounds, and I am offering them for sale at $232 each plus shipping. Almost all the areas from the inside cross section spark with carbon, most areas are high but not cast, and they should forge out nicely! My offering needs two major upgrades, First is switching to a consistent ore source. I am currently driving 3 hours north one way for half my mix, and 2 hours south one way for the other half of my mix. Pretty sure there is a way to streamline that inefficiency! Second, I would like to offer bloom that has been flattened, surfaces cleaned, and cut into strips. I have enough ore for two more smelts, I plan on setting up my preliminary forging station this week, and will be shooting a video to launch a gofundme campaign to determine interest, as well as run through the process twice to get a better idea of how to price processed bloom. If there are any parts of the smelt that you would like me to try to capture, please let me know and I can plan to try to have it captured.
  2. Due to no interest in the classes, the resources needed to successfully prepare can not be acquired, so I am canceling the class offerings. Heart felt gratitude to those that took note, I look forward to offering other means of delivering value in the near future.
  3. There are still plenty of opportunities to sign up for a class experience, and giving yourself a head start in you own ventures in steel making. Just think, what is the value behind learning a system that is efficient in the fuel and ore utilized, as well as how to easily build a furnace which is over 60% reusable. How about a system you can use to drop your turn around time between firing, while producing a relatively minimal waste pile? Sign up for a class and take your smelting to the next level!
  4. I have just updated the event information to make things a lot clearer to understand. Also classes can now be purchased and secured online through my website! https://warriorspathpatternweld.com Classes currently available: April 29 Mega Stack Demo - Free May 1-2 Two Day Smelt Experience May 4-5 Two Day Smelt Experience May 6 One Day Smelt Experience May 6 One Day Smelt Experience May 8-9 Two Day Smelt Experience May 11-12 Two Day Smelt Experience May 13 Single Stack Consolidation - Free Two Day Smelt Experience $550 Minimum enrollment 4 students, maximum 6. Day 1) we will explore furnace construction, make ore cakes, prepare clay and other items that will be used to construct the furnace. We will then fire a stack, two students per stack, pull the bloom from the stack, and forge the bloom flat. Day 2) we will tend to the smelting area and start processing the bloom. One Day Smelt Experience $350 Minimum enrollment 4 students, maximum 8. Day One we will explore furnace construction, make ore cakes, prepare clay and other items that will be used to construct the furnace. We will then fire a stack, two students per stack, pull the bloom from the stack, and forge the bloom flat.
  5. Hi Michael, I will work on the phrasing as I can see how it could be misleading. The cost is per stack, so the $650 and bloom would be split between the members of your group. This will be going on throughout all of May, so as soon as registration opens you can book your date and be good to go!
  6. Great question Dave, this will be an intensive hands on learning experience. I am not planning on holding a formal lecture, but I will spend a little bit of time prior to firing each stack to discussing what will be going on, as well as shedding light on why I decide to go about things a certain way. During the smelt there should be some time to talk theory, or enjoy the moment, and of course a review at the end. My main intention is to share a good method of smelting steel, that is repeatable at the participants own shop, to produce steel in a way that is respectful to the materials consumed. I have seen too many blooms that don't hold together, or yield an insignificant mass of material. If I can share how to make beautiful, quality steel, repeatably, maybe I can help start a wave of new smiths utilizing this material in a way that is unprecedented in our modern age.
  7. Are you interested in: Experiencing an iron smelt? Smelting steel for use on your own projects? During the month of May Warrior's Path is excited to offer a variety of smelting classes that will allow you to get a hands on learning experience of what it takes to smelt steel from iron ore. Classes can be purchased online on my website, www.warriorspathpatternweld.com This unique offering will allow you to get familiar with the process of smelting steel from iron ore. Each class will walk you through every step of the process, from making ore cakes and mixing clay, to the extraction of the bloom from the furnace. The resulting steel will be a beautiful, one of a kind product, which will be ready to further refine and forge to any shape you can imagine. Fe Smelt Fest. Participants will be invited to not only experience an iron smelt first hand, but also to take home the results of thier labor. Classes currently available: April 29 Mega Stack Demo - Free May 1-2 Two Day Smelt Experience May 4-5 Two Day Smelt Experience May 6 One Day Smelt Experience May 6 One Day Smelt Experience May 8-9 Two Day Smelt Experience May 11-12 Two Day Smelt Experience May 13 Single Stack Consolidation - Free Two Day Smelt Experience $550 Minimum enrollment 4 students, maximum 6. Day 1) we will explore furnace construction, make ore cakes, prepare clay and other items that will be used to construct the furnace. We will then fire a stack, two students per stack, pull the bloom from the stack, and forge the bloom flat. Day 2) we will tend to the smelting area and start processing the bloom. Single Day Smelt Experience $350 Minimum enrollment 4 students, maximum 8. Day One we will explore furnace construction, make ore cakes, prepare clay and other items that will be used to construct the furnace. We will then fire a stack, two students per stack, pull the bloom from the stack, and forge the bloom flat. Primitive camping is available onsite at no charge, and there is a hotel less than a block away which I will work out a discounted price once I have an idea of volume.
  8. I have another interesting blade that is available on my website. It features 9 bars of pattern weld in the core, 2 bundles of 4 rods with interrupted twists, and a central bar with a serpent twist that was accomplished by counter twisting. The theme was the serpent, and on one side the interrupted twist form spots, and on the other side the same ratio is maintained but offset to create visual movement similar to a snake moving down the blade. This would be a great blade to mount with the furniture of your creation, or to use as the base for completing a customers vision. More images and information can be found at www.warriorspathpatternweld.com
  9. Greetings! I have posted for sale two blades for sale on my website, and would like to share with the community. The blade I am most keen to share is a seax blade that was made from wrought iron, that I blistered in charcoal fines. After refining the material, I wasn't able to get sufficient hardness so I carburized the rough forging, and then forged the blade to shape. I was able to get an excellent heat treat, and put a foundation grind on the blade, and etched the surface to take a peek at the structure. There is beautiful patterning on the steel, and the blade is being offered in its current stage to open up the possibility of further decorative work being performed on the blade, or a final finishing process to further bring out the beauty of the steel. Additional images and information can be found on my website, www.warriorspathpatternweld.com
  10. Search online for mobility drills that target your forearms and wrists, and start your day working with your tissue. A good baseline is to have proper range of motion and appropriate muscle strength at different muscle lengths. Acupuncture can also help with carpel tunnel, look for one who will ask you to come in two-three times your first week. A good chiropractor can asses if your carpels are properly aligned, as well as your radius and ulnar orientation. Another thing to examine, if it truly is carpel tunnel, is your shoulders. Start thinking about the entire system instead of just the very end. Mpikula LMT.
  11. 26" for the blade is a little short, but a 26" blade with no flaws is still your best route in my honest opinion. Nothing in life is impossible, but I have found that often times attempting tasks out of desperation leads to wasted time and passion that could be applied in a more fruitful fashion. That being said, if I was being stubborn and not listening to my own advice, I would clean out the delamination, since solder was attempted this will be more difficult, I would look at abrasive blasting, followed by an acid soak, followed by removing oxides best you can. Mix some boric acid with your borax, bring the area in question to slightly hotter than welding temperature and try to pinch the edge back to the core. Allow to soak, thermo cycle 3 times to black heat, then back up to welding temp and tap the repair area with a tiny tiny hammer, working any material movement toward the welded area. In this step you are partially checking the initial weld, and helping close up and hairline openings at the surface. If the weld holds, straighten, thermo cycle, heat treat, feel on top of the world. If it doesn't hold, then you realize maybe a 26" blade, while giving up some pattern, wouldn't have been so bad after all.
  12. Depending on the controller, it can have an AI feature that tries to learn and compensate for temperature flux. I also have had issues with my RTC100 controller on the kiln I was using, I have the program running with a 50 degree overshoot alarm, so it helps to shut it down if it starts to climb. Lukas, building a kiln is not that much work, and compared to the price tag of a new kiln, you can save around $2000 or more building your own.
  13. Greatest shop improvement for the effort invested has been to close off my grinding area with enough room for my abrasive chop saw, and room for using angle grinders. I located it in the corner of the shop with two windows with two fans, one blowing in, the other blowing out. The amount that this cuts down on air born particulate is amazing, and as one friend said, "it is the nicest grinding room I've ever used. When you have a smaller shop and desire to do everything, the ability to try to keep one area "clean" for finishing and detail work is a major asset. Only other comment would be in your first layout you have the ability to work significantly longer pieces in your forge than in your second. Also further away from the walls which will mean less ambient heat impacting your building. Personally my next round of improvements are going to take a look at ways to cut back on ambient heat coming off heat generating tooling. In the few tests I've done this can cut back on operator fatigue in a significant significant significant way. I'm talking finishing an 11 hour forging session and still having more than energy to enjoy life, and waking up refreshed and ready to go the next day.
  14. Processed 120lb of pattern weld and found a nifty collection of issues with my rolling mill. Seems like I'm out growing a number of pieces of equipment as of late.
  15. I believe this was an effect that we talked about between scenes at the first Arctic Fire, do you recall Dave? The take away that I got was that it could be minimized or eliminated by welding without a fluxing agent. Not having access to magnification I haven't collected any data so please take this as pure speculation.
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