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Dave Stephens

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Dave Stephens last won the day on September 16

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About Dave Stephens

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  • Birthday 01/18/1972

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    http://stephensforge.com
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    Anchorage, AK

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  1. Very nice. I'm guessing this pattern is essentially a "teardrop" w/ crushed W's? (I.e. drill a bunch of holes part way into a billet of W's then smoosh flat?) Thanks Dave
  2. Niels, I find that I use it to refine the shape of blades, etc. It's handy, not essential. In my shop in Florida I use it to do any forging to shape because I can do it with the shop closed up and the AC running. I have used it to weld small pieces together (lap welds) with a lot of flux and it seems to work. Scale is definitely an issue. Also, definitely coat the coils with refractory, otherwise if you touch the work piece to the coils is shorts out. Finally, be paranoid as hell about wearing any metal when using it. If you get your belt buckle too close
  3. Well, I admit I have only watched one episode, and only spoken with one smith who had a bad experience, so I'm speaking from a place of ignorance . . . which I should probably not do. I still believe they should compensate the smiths. They are making an enormous amount (one assumes) from the hard won skills of those they put on the show.
  4. Yes, it's a 15kw. Perhaps I'll use it for the 10lb baby Yoda kettlebell trial run. Love that idea, plus my daughter is a huge baby Yoda fan, a set of those would make great Xmas presents. BTW: I'm super excited about getting a cease and desist letter from Disney for all this . . . lol. Their lawyers are said to be absolute piranhas about this stuff, even if someone isn't doing it for commercial use.
  5. They don't pay the smiths. They give them mystery steel (or at least they used to, haven't watched in years) and then the smith's reputation gets hurt if they guess wrong and use the wrong quench. I've heard that (at least in the first couple seasons) the shop was very dangerous, with no ventilation. I've had multiple calls/emails from them and I've turned them down every time. I don't begrudge anyone who goes on the show, and it has been good in raising general interest in our craft, so those that teach bladesmithing have a lot of eager students now. But, I think anyone who sign
  6. I've had an induction forge since 2012. I purchased mine from a guy I heard of on the forum (I forget the gent's name now) who later passed away. I was basically under the impression that there were no small, craft level induction forges on the market. So, I was very surprised to find not one but two on Amazon. The first one looks pretty much exactly like mine. I think I paid around $2,000 for mine (I can't remember exactly), but this one is under $600. Anyway, I have no idea if these are good units or not, but I thought I'd share. Sorry if this is old news.
  7. Wow. Thanks for all this, Jarrod! My plan to get the wax model is to simply buy a plastic helmet make a silicon mold around it, then pour wax into the empty space. Alan: Jeff's setup is perfect. That's exactly what I'll use. I even have the kaowool lying around already. I see he uses a blown burner, think it would work with the venturi burners from my chileforge? Dave
  8. I purchased some pieces off of ebay that I suspect are simply modern oak soaked in dye. Beware scammers.
  9. Hey Taylor: Charcoal has been used to forge in many traditions. There are others on the forum who know more than me on this topic, but Asian cultures, like Japan, who had limited coal deposits, developed charcoal forges long ago. While I am not a coal/charcoal forger, I understand that charcoal is cleaner burning than coal, and therefore makes welding a bit easier. Most bladesmiths use propane forges today in my experience. They are simple, easy to build, and nearly every corner gas station sells the fuel to burn them. They are also clean burning, and you can easily se
  10. Oh, and Jarrod: Thanks for the Foundry101 tip. I've emailed them.
  11. Thanks Jarrod and Alan. Alan: Is there any video/post of Jeff's setup? Jerrod: What do you mean about not melting/pouring in one go? Is there a way to do multiple pours and actually have the bronze fuse together as a solid mass? Seems like if you poured half, then waited until you had another crucible melted, you'd end up with a kettlebell that would break in half at the first bump? Dave
  12. Thanks Jerrod. Starting with a smaller kettlebell is a good idea. I've done some casting in the past, but only guard components for swords/knives. Cast iron is easier? Interesting. Still, I think I'm sold on the idea of a bronze kettlebell. It would just be too cool. The weight doesn't need to be exact +/- 10% is fine. I was going to build the model out of wax then use the Archimedes method of water displacement to determine it's volume, then put the bronze in the water and compare displacement, keep adjusting the volume of the wax model until they were eq
  13. I actually looked up how much 50lbs of silicon bronze would cost. It's less than I thought. Bronze would look really cool, especially with a patina on it. The wear marks would make it even better. Have just looked up weights. Bronze seems to be heavier than cast iron per cubic inch (.307 for bronze vs. .260 for cast iron), so the size would probably have to be reduced a bit, or a bit of a hollow left in the base. I think I could build a custom flask large enough to fit in my burn out kiln and use satin cast. Definitely can't use vacuum casting, so it would just be a gr
  14. Hmm. Interesting idea. Thanks, Charles. James: Nope. I don't have either of those things. I'd need to build the furnace, but it doesn't look any more complicated than a forge build (or am I missing something?)
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