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Dave Stephens

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Everything posted by Dave Stephens

  1. You know who I miss on the forum? Dick Sexstone. That guy was the coolest old artist ever. I loved how his sense of humor was captured in his work. He built model spaceships out of copper that looked like they were straight out of a 60's Buck Roger's comic. His folding knives were some of the first I'd seen that had illustrations in pattern welding, and really elegant ones too, not the gaudy over-the-top mosaics you sometimes see. I meet him at Ashokan and he gave me a German book on patternwelding that is one of my prized possessions. What a cool cat. I seem to remember he could
  2. Ah. LOL. You got me. I was google searching and scratching my head. Nearest I could tell it was an Asian term for yams.
  3. Great idea on the gear, Bryan. If we have any graphic design types that want to design BladesmithsForum.com T shirts or hats or something and then make them available for sale on Etsy (or wherever), feel free to do so! (Um . . . please keep it within our content guidelines. Nothing you wouldn't show your grandma or a 7 year old.)
  4. I dunno, Alan, it still feels like this place is hopping! Also, it's pretty amazing in terms of the depth of knowledge we've got archived on here. Do a google search on almost anything bladesmithing and we dominate the search results. You hear that other forums!?! We will crush you! (Yeah, I guess you have a point on the tone changing. . . Don would have never posted this. LOL)
  5. Oh, and if you're having trouble with searching, use Google instead. Just go to Google and type in the search bar site:Bladesmithsforum.com THE THING YOU WANT TO SEARCH Use quotation marks around the search string if you want it to search for the exact phrase. This works much better than the built-in search engine. Dave
  6. I just sand it carefully and wipe it off with a dry paper towel afterwards. If I just ate fried chicken or something I'll wipe it down with a solvent and then with a bit of leather (after I wash my hands!). Give the blade a quick dunk in the FC to check if it's clean. If there are any greasy spots you'll see them immediately and can clean it up. Essentially anything that results in the blade being free of oil (like Josh said) works. In terms of the etch, however, there are variations of technique that make a difference. My preferred method is 15-20 minute etches in room temp FC (4
  7. I never sand my PW past 220 grit before etching. If you use a random orbit sander as your final sanding it works fine. I do a deep etch, so any finer sanding would be wasted effort, and the random orbit avoids the raised hills/valleys/grooves/whatever-you-wanna-call-them that happens if you stop at 220 with linear/straight sanding. In terms of the original question: It is a royal pain to have the spine of the blade show a pattern on a full tang blade. Essentially you just have to fit everything perfectly first. I've put the pins in without peening, fastened the slabs in place with
  8. Very nice. I love fullers. I feature them in almost everything I make.
  9. Definitely. As I said, the modifications to this Italian helmet recreation may end up looking suspiciously similar to the Boba Fett helmet, but it will NOT be a copy of said copyrighted image . . .
  10. Plans are coming together! Today I spoke to none other than our long-lost brother in beard, Jake Powning, for tips on the casting. As many of you might know, Jake's father is an nationally-recognized artist in Canada who casts large bronze sculptors, among other things, so Jake has a ton of experience with this large casting of silicon bronze. I now have a good idea of how to sprue this, etc. I need to buy a few bits of equipment, but this, along with the generous help I've already received from Jerrod and Alan, should make this quite do-able. Oh, and by the way, after doing a bi
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. Yes, Grant Sarver, that was his name. Thank you.
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. I purchased some pieces off of ebay that I suspect are simply modern oak soaked in dye. Beware scammers.
  20. 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
  21. Oh, and Jarrod: Thanks for the Foundry101 tip. I've emailed them.
  22. 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
  23. 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
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