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Posts posted by C.Anderson

  1. I love my AHP AlphaTIG 200. Fairly inexpensive ($730 shipped), inverter, TIG/stick, AC/DC (will do steel and aluminum both, as well as various brazing functions), dual voltage (110/240), high frequency start (super nice), 200mhz pulse, and welds like a beast from 10 amps to 200 amps. Oh, and a 5yr warranty for another $30 through Amazon

    I have an old 110v Blue Point MIG I'm looking to replace, and the Everlast (parent company to AHP) PowerMIG 200 is looking really nice. It's dual voltage also (really nice feature), MIG/stick, and has a host of other useful functions. Its running about the same $730 shipped...5yr warranty included. 

  2. Do yourself a favor and pick up a $20 pyrometer off Amazon. Then you will KNOW what you're tempering at, instead of trying to guess. My tempering cycles are specific to the steel I use, in my shop, with my equipment. I've never liked sharing them as advice, because that can do more harm than good, depending on another's setup.

    In addition, I never saw what steel you are using, so even knowing what your numbers are, doesn't help much :).

    • Like 1
  3. While we're discussing this topic, I'd love to ask...do you deliberately aim for high blade RC's in your kitchen knives, accepting that they will be somewhat chip-prone?


    Personally, I sure like the edge retention of a very hard temper, but it seems like quite a few cooks (including my mom, lol) don't know how to maintain this this type of blade. This issue has actually worried me quite a lot...as I said above I actually switched steels, and changed the HT regimen for the kitchen knives I was making for sale, specifically to avoid chipping and brittleness. Tricky to HT these thin blades..... :ph34r:


    I aim for 63-65HRC on carbon, and 61-63 on AEB-L...and reach this without chippiness. My edges are so thin that I can easily visibly deflect them by running my thumbnail under them (even pre-sharpening)...so I'm not compensating with a thick edge to stabilize things. In a bit under...4yrs?...making kitchen knives, I've only had three knives come back with damaged edges. One, I don't know WHAT he did with it. It looks like someone hacked a stainless sink edge repeatedly (this wasn't a temper issue, I'm 150% positive it was a usage issue. The other two are a matched set, and were smacked edge to edge into each other. Understand...this is in a test pool of over 100 kitchen knives, most of which are used daily in a professional, production kitchen.



    Also, I havnt been using a steel to hone my knives with... I have a 6k water stone that i use to do final sharpening then hone it some, then i throw a piece of paper over a dry stone and do final honing with that. Obviously, I would want the best edge possible. In the spirit of trying to set up clients to be successful in maintaining their own equipment is what brought this question up.


    Murray Carter's method. It works...I used it for a long time. There are definitely better methods though, that give up nothing in regards to efficiency.



    Ive been aiming for 59-61 generally speaking. My knife with the longest tests are the one i sent to a chef buddy of mine and his chef was tempered to 57ish. He has a lazer that is thin enough for him to break down fish with as well, per his request. Last I hear from him he doesnt have to do any maintenance to his as of yet (been 3-4 months)... And he was very specific in saying that the edge lasted so long that he hadnt even honed it a single time yet.... Id like to do some more research in this area for myself tho im thinking.


    My oldest retail kitchen knife is a bit over 3yrs old this year. The owner is a retired professional chef, who uses the knife daily for everything from cutting up his daughter's pizza, to breaking down chicken. He has never 'sharpened' it, just maintained it on a high grit stone. But I promise you, 'laser' or no, thin behind the edge or no...if your knife is not being maintained somehow...it's not as sharp as it was 3-4 months ago. I will be brutally honest and say that at 57HRC, I would be questioning the validity of your friend's usage, and/or information. Physics are physics...and it's impossible to get around them.


    Here's a quick couple pictures of my first customer's knife, so you can see what I mean by it being a laser having no impact on the edge stability or retention. This knife tested out at a local shop at 63-64 along the edge, after tempering and before final grinding (2mm thick edge).



  4. There are exceptions to the chipping thing. Properly thermal cycled steel is much less prone to chipping even at high HRC, but it also won't 'bend'. If you apply enough force to bend it, it WILL chip...it just takes substantially more of that force than at softer HRC.

    Again, this negates any positive effect a traditional steel might have. Unless you're abrading the steel to some degree, you're not doing anything to the edge.

  5. In my opinion honing steels are worthless on high HRC kitching knives. As a matter of fact, if a customer uses (tries to use lol) a steel on my knives and I find out, I'm likely to come beat him with it. The proper way to maintain a high hardness kitchen knife is with a high grit oil or water stone (some ceramic 'steels' will do the trick as well)...and while this is a bit less convenient than a typical steeling, a proper knife shouldn't be getting dull during service anyhow.

  6. I find the ballooning of the black Rutland's (as I used to apply it, and as most still apply it) a tiny bit irritating, as it absolutely does change the hamon. It will follow the 'line'...but the effects above and below that line will be different. The 'habuchi' for example, will not be the same as if the clay were dried properly. That said, you shouldn't be using a thick enough layer to balloon much, and if you dry that thin layer in a tempering oven for 30-60 minutes, you'll find the puffing up of the refractory to be pretty much eliminated.

    • Like 2
  7. Nice Alan, lol. Oreo is actually (or was actually) feral. The old shop/house was in a very rural area, and we had cats EVERYWHERE. They didn't tolerate people very well at all though, and trying to catch one was futile. That said, about 6mos ago I came out of the shop and saw her sitting in the middle of the field next to our property about 30yds away. My kids were playing outside, and when I pointed her out they said her name was Oreo and they talked to her all the time lol. Soooo, I called her by her name, and she turned and meowed back. From then on I looked for her pretty regularly, and would call her name and 'chat'. She is literally THE most vocal and responsive cat I've ever seen...seriously. When my kids said they talked to her, it wasn't a one sided conversation, lol. She also has a rather large range of expressive sounds she makes. It's seriously cool. Anyhow, over time she got to know me, and would come in closer and closer, until eventually I went ahead and just fed her a bit. She was incredibly thin...even with the amount of birds she was clearly eating (the dairy behind us was a bird breeding ground...doves like you've never seen in your life). Anyhow, from there it didn't take long until she was a resident in our yard...and even moreso in the shop. NOTHING bothered her, and she'd bring mice IN while I was forging to eat within arms reach. She also killed any scorpions she found lol. Pretty much every video on my youtube in the last 4 months has her in it, and a good 60% of the pictures I've taken she has photobombed. If the back door was open she'd come into the back room of the house as well. She never really did fully take to the kids (too skittish and they scared her...if they got too close she'd be ready to fight rather than run too), but if I was around I had a little black and white shadow. Even now though she'll still swat at me if I move too quickly while picking her up or even petting her lol. Over the last months she pretty much became my best little buddy (and I'm NOT usually a cat person), and I'd find myself chatting to her while I worked...then realize and feel kind of goofy before continuing on anyhow. She even had me hunting her doves lol, and when she saw me with the pellet gun would go into a stalking type position and just wait. She learned incredibly quickly that the sound of the gun going off most likely meant food, and the birds rarely hit the ground before she'd have them.


    Anyhow, when we moved I was going to leave her. I didn't think it was fair to take a free, basically wild animal and limit her into the rather large cage that a home would be for her... just because I'd miss her. I also wouldn't have an outside cat in a residential neighborhood like this. I actually think it's kind of cruel, as it's only a matter of time before they're plowed by a car or ate by someone's dog etc. That said, while moving over the last two weeks, SHE'D come running out when we'd show up to load another load after a day or two. She would literally berate me for 5-10 minutes with a barrage of half barks and small growls, all the while twining between my legs. You could literally feel the offended tone in her dialogue lol. So, on the last day I decided to go ahead and give her a shot at moving. I figured if she'd take to a litter box, and didn't seem too restless in the house...I'd keep her. If not, I could always return her to where she came from.

    I now have an incredibly expressive house cat lol...that follows me everywhere I go. Seriously. She sits on the rim of the bath tub while I shower. She's even taken to the kids more and will lay with them on the floor to watch movies. All in just the last few days since I brought her here. As an example, this is what I see looking over my left shoulder as I type this lol:


    So...drawing her into the shop plans was sort of a given :D.

    On the qeunch buckets Justin, they're ammo cans and fit under the benches to be pulled out as I need them :).

  8. So, I finally got moved. My new shop will be in my 2 car garage (roughly 18' x 19'). So far, this is what I'm thinking:


    That pretty much covers my current tooling, and leaves me a bit of bench space for a 20 ton air/hydraulic press, and horizontal disc grinder.

    I just installed a 100amp 12 slot distribution panel along the left wall (roughly over the EvenHeat). My two grinders will be on one 8ga/40amp circuit, the oven will be on it's own 8ga/20amp circuits, and I'll be running miscellaneous bench lighting on that wall from other 12ga/20amp circuits. The remainder of the shop will run off of existing circuits with power strips.

    Any ideas I may not have incorporated?

  9. So after looking at my burner design, I think I want to redesign it. By doing so I think I will improve air flow. Instead of a 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 tee, Im going to replace it with a 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 x 3/4 tee and reduce the 1" burner tube to a 3/4" burner tube. Thoughts??


    I'm assuming you mean 1 1/4 x 3/4 x 1 1/4? If so, that's how mine is...only it's actually 1 1/4 x 1 x 1 1/4, because my supplier didn't have the x 3/4 ones. I just reduced down to the 3/4 burner tube by using a 1" close nipple, dremeling out the seam, and 'threading a 3/4" burner tube into it. I figured this would be less of a transition than using a reducer.


    It's working great.

  10. That hamon is typical of what you'll get from canola. There may be a different or better way than what I do... but I use warm, soap saturated water to quench my w2 into for around 2-3 seconds and then into hot peanut oil. I've had weird things happen anywhere from exactly what I wanted, to something too crazy, to nothing at all. It comes down to practice and consistency, which I am still very far away from. Maxim was out of parks50 last time I checked but hopefully I can get myself some soon as well. Best of luck Johnathan!



    That's a unique looking hamon, Mr. Anderson.


    Edit: I just realized Mr. Anderson beat me too explaining with the time in a brine and oil...etc. :(


    Thank you :). And there's no reason two people can't post the same thing if the information is good, lol.


    The clay layout on that katana was interesting...and the process (interrupting etc) is definitely what gave me the double line. I was shooting for something like Howard Clark's 'razorwire'...and what I got does...ehh....'resemble' it in small ways I guess lol. Funny thing is, I almost duplicated it on two blades in a row.


    I think it would be fun making a post where people guessed at the clay layout :D.

  11. I think 1075 in Canola oil is the problem. That said, I can't see your clay layout, or how you ground the knives either. My suggestion is 3 seconds into 120°F brine, out 4 seconds, then into your canola oil at 400°F for 10 seconds...then out and wave in air or park in front of a fan (spine to edge) for 30 seconds to a minute. From there, temper at 375 for 30 minutes, check your line on the grinder, then of you're happy fin ish your temper cycles. Lay your clay on 1/16" to no more than 1/8"...and you'll get results.

  12. I actually made some adjustments on mine, including lowering the injection nozzle down into the burner tube, and using a piece of magnetic sheet I had laying around for a choke lol. Definitely some welcome differences in tunability, and it seems to run better at all pressures now. It would sometimes stall, but I'm sure that will go away once I get used to where the choke needs to be for various psi settings.

    Here's a short video I took at 2-3psi right after I lit it tonight:



  13. Thanks Wes. this seems like a great community, lots of knowledge around thats for sure.

    Absolutely! This community is easily the best general knife and sword smithing community i have been able to find in almost ten years. The respect, support, and knowledge here is unparalleled ;). Welcome aboard, and congratulations on the first hamon! Its addictive to say the least lol, in all of my time doing this I've never made a knife without one :D.

    • Like 1
  14. I don't want this thread to go any further afield, but this topic is quite interesting to me, so I will shift my remaining questions to private messages. Unless Chris wants to start a new thread to continue the discussion. :ph34r:


    To bring this back to the topic:

    Bottom line as I now understand it, for a "regular" garage or shop built Venturi burner, you don't need to polish your burner tube :huh: , but I wouldn't recommend attempting to dimple it either. :blink::wacko::unsure: (That sounds so wrong...it must be right.)


    Unless you can do so in a well patterned and extremely uniform coverage, dimples are not likely to improve performance and could be severely detrimental.


    The two best keys to high performance that I have found are:

    Keep the tube and gas injection assembly as concentric (centered) as possible and

    Extend the gas injector past the air inlet and into the final tube of the burner.


    Those details eliminate the most common causes of excessive turbulence and help maintain the gas velocity required to optimize the flow of the fuel gas/air mixture. This should give a mildly oxidizing atmosphere when operated with the air damper "wide open" at lower propane settings and strongly oxidizing atmosphere if the propane regulator is set around 10 psi or above. I find that condition offers the greatest range of temperature control (achieved by adjusting propane pressures) along with excellent atmosphere control (achieved by adjusting the air damper).


    Tomorrow I'm picking up the required parts to extend my injection nozzle down into the 3/4" port. I think that one thing, along with adding a port, will make the biggest difference in my burner's efficiency. I am at 300ci right now, and *should* be able to weld once I get things set.


    I'm also ordering some new tapered nozzles with bigger thread diameter that *should* be able to thread right into a tapped 1/8" brass nipple. This will help keep things concentric also. I'm currently using a .036" diameter orifice...but have the choice of .023", .030", and .036" in the form factor I'm looking at.

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