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Michael Pikula

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Everything posted by Michael Pikula

  1. Part of the problem with this attempt was I wasn't 100% confident in it. There were a ton of first, and I approached this project with the mindset that this was going to be my masterpiece. This was going to be the piece that I was going to look at when it was finished and say "Next one couldn't be better" In fact I didn't accomplish this. There were a few times that I second guessed myself, there were a few times in the process that I thought "well next time" and deep inside I knew there were tell tale signs that this was going to be a learning experience and that improvements would happe
  2. Snap crackly pop. Sometime things break in heat treat, sometimes they break while straightening. Better in the shop than in the hands of a customer. Next one will be better.
  3. Thank you for all the thoughts and comments! The heat treat rig is getting up to temp and that time shall soon be upon the blade. No fuller on this one Owen, it is currently at around 880g, and I think it could still use a touch of reduction at the tip, but between removing decarb and dropping in my edge I think it should be perfect. I actually wish I had the "timing belt platen" that you used at Arctic Fire to try out. A bad man indeed, that way it is more fun It was my first time wrapping the core material in this fashion Jake, and I think it prefer it over terminating them stra
  4. Hi folks! I have been hard at work, getting things done and making dust. One of the projects I am in the middle of is a pattern welded sword that has 8 rods in the core, and an edge of somewhere abouts 1000 layers. I couldn't resist taking a snap of the pattern, and the big grey area is shear steel so after a successful heat treat and finish, there will be much more interesting texture going on. But still looks pretty neat. This one is going to be Vendal inspired so no fuller, just a sexy lenticular cross section all the way down. I was going to run heat treat tonight, but my furnace
  5. Hi Jan, The ozone warning is exactly the type of thing I overlooked, thank you for pointing it out! I will take a look for CPAP machines or a blower. As a bonus I won't have to listen to a vac scream while grinding
  6. Hi Owen, I looked into the Trend air-shield, and I am not that much of a fan of them. Plus I over heard Dave say that he still gets black buggers at higher grit work.... I noticed when I was doing heavy grinding on the blades at AF I was able to pick up on a bit of dust and odor while grinding with the system so I am looking for something better. If the system that I'm thinking about rigging together works and is safe than the price difference is not too significant compared to the Trend air-shield. I also forgot to mention that I would be using the shop vac as a filtered blower by hooking the
  7. For the past few years I have been really interested in getting a positive air flow respirator, but have not had the money to do so. At Arctic Fire I mentioned this and Owen commented that new lungs are more expensive, so point taken! I am currently in a transitional phase in my work which may result in not continuing smith work, so I am very budget minded. My first set is to enclose the grinding corner of the shop and get box fans pushing air out the two windows. In addition to this I would like some kind of a positive air flow respirator that will be used in the enclosed area. While dragging
  8. Thanks for posting the pics Dave! Found one that I couldn't resist doing a little crop and tweaking with. Behold! Do these flames make me look fat?
  9. It was a great honor to be a part of this project and work on bringing the elements together, as well as working with artists that I have an immense amount of respect for. Today as I welded up a billet, used Peter's favorite tool (the 7" angle grinder, Hahaha) and rolled some bars to final shape for twisting I was having flashbacks. It is indeed, "An ancient tradition!" Many thanks to everyone that tuned in Michael
  10. Sitting at the air port waiting for my first flight. Looking forward to arriving tonight! Best of luck with the charcoal quest and furnace build.
  11. Thank you so much for all the suggestions. Dave, I have spent a majority of my time over the past month trying to get the pitting out, and it just isn't working. Some of the pits are almost a millimeter deep and while filing has removed some of the spots, it has exposed others, and TIG welding over the area amplifies the effect drastically. Jeroen, I defiantly removed more material than I wanted to, but being my first attempt at casting it was not as clean as it could have been. With some of the pitting being at the depth that it is I don't know if cold working would help, and it wou
  12. Greetings all! I have been working on project for a long time that has had a lot of firsts, including trying to carve a guard from wax and casting it in bronze. Unfortunately I have invested three to four times the amount of time that I anticipated for the project and the guard turned out far from satisfactory. I have used up all my tricks to try to get it right but no dice. The main issue is pitting throughout, and trying to TIG weld them closed keeps opening up new and larger areas. I have talked with my customer about options and he brought up trying to PTFE-impregnated electroless
  13. Hi Sam, I have actually found that flap discs are really not that good when grinding blades, and especially not good at removing scale. For my work I like to sandblast the scale off, or use a rough grit cup wheel on the 4 1/2" angle grinder. For rough shaping I like to start out using the same cup grinder, and than switch to a big flat disc on the... I think it is 8"??? grinder and try to avoid using the edge, and keeping it flat. When working with angle grinders, heat build up is a major issue you will have to face. The uneven heating, and heat in general can warp and twist a blade pr
  14. In a pinch, if you are not going to be getting super hot you can "cheat" and make a slip of regular fire clay to get started. You will want to line the kaowool with something.
  15. Go with Kaowool and paint a lining on it and you will be happy you did. It will bring the forge up to temp faster, will extend the life of the forge, save the "coffee can" from burning through, and much easier to build. Don't know where you are located but there may be some local places that use kaowool that you can snag some cut-offs. Check with places that build or deal with fireplaces or a local ceramic studio/supply.
  16. Hi Scott, I would cut this stock up and use it as stock for a pattern welded billet. As for the uneven deformation, my guess would be one side was worked in the press more than the other, and the pressure on the final pass was lighter... Although I don't have a press and I don't remember the exact mechanics of how steel moves under a press, so maybe someone else could chime in.
  17. I have ground through a few fullers and it sucks every time! To help avoid this I have converted a pair of calipers with blocks so that I can measure the web thickness as I am working, and now I know exactly what I have to work with. I feel your pain Dave, but next one will be better As for straightening a blade that is warped out of heat treat. I will do all of my tempering, and then get the blade up to the tempering temperature and push the blade back into straightness. There is a great deal of over extending since we are working with a spring, but this is very possible, and on top of t
  18. That is really amazing work Owen! I love the detail and texture in the tip Excellent work all around.
  19. Thanks guys! I'm sorry I haven't been around that much, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and have been trying to find a good way to weather the times and move forward in a productive way in my work and my life. I'm attaching another sword that I finished up last year. There will be a website with the complete collection of my efforts in the very near future Cook, I did use a machine, the human machine! The wrapping was done by hand, very carefully! It was very easy to mess it up and if I had to be super harsh on myself I'd say I should have figured out how to start and end the wi
  20. The twist in the carving of the grip is just freaking sexy, I love it. Great work Jake!
  21. Fantastic work Josh! I like everything thing about this project and really like the use of recycled materials, especially those that are meaningful to the couple. Looking forward to seeing the rings
  22. +1 I realize nothing on the internet is personal, but this craft if the most personal thing that I have in this existence and each creation is a part of me, a part of my health, a part of my soul, and putting it out there for ignorant sheeple to slam is crushing. Awesome job Ric, enjoyed watching you make the blade, as well as the martial artist in action.
  23. I am seeking two partners in crime, a blade grinder and a cutler/carver to collaborate with on small "production" runs, which really just means "made roughly to be similar" and still very handmade and original, maybe 6 or so pieces. Basic rundown down would be we would have a design session, internet conferencing (WIN!), and come up with some basic parameters, and also a rough idea of what each step would cost, and a target final price. I would forge out the blade, rough grind and heat treat. The blade grinder would finish the blade. The cutler would make and fit any fittings/decorative
  24. It really depends Alan, I have found that the different flavor additions can sometimes have an un-expected impact on the vapor jacket and can sometimes lead to pockets of Perlite following the quench.
  25. Hi Bruce, Yes, there is a dual on the top that you can select your material and size and it will tell you a speed, coolant preference, feed rate. There is a knob that is used to control the blade speed, I believe that it operates on how much pressure is transferred between the motor and pulley that powers the drive wheel. The indicator dial that shows blade speed is broken. It looks like it was operated by a wire, which is missing and only the housing remains. The indicator needle for speed is missing too. I think that by switching the two wires that are nested on the 440v peg to the
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