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Kevin Colwell

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Everything posted by Kevin Colwell

  1. Hello Everyone, My 15-year-old kid and I built a forge. It doesn't have any IHT or ITC or the like in it yet. Still, it easily gets up to 2200F. I took pictures at 1200C (2192F). Bottle with angle iron feet Pieces to mount burner and burner tube Drilling mounting brackets Tapping mounting tubing, but will also weld nuts on to give more thread and support. Forging/swaging little shims Shims holding mounting tubes in the the right places. cutting hole for making mounting flange for blower. I have to get the blower connected to the gate valve. Welding bushing over hole, to make mounting flange for gate valve. In place over gate valve. T The stainless screws hold the wool while the rigidizer and satanite set. Inside. Kastolite 3000 floor. Notice the very complex brace for the weight of the blower. I am that sort of builder. Hitemp Tools burner, fyi. Yes, that's my car and my house. I didn't make them. First firing. After tuning. 2200F or so.
  2. A note of caution: I once bought a small forge body that I was to line myself. It was only 8" or so inner diameter. Unlined. I lined it with two inches of kaowool and sealed it with rigidizer, and then I put some satanite on it. The opening was about 4" when I was done. It never worked well, because there wasn't enough volume inside to trap the gasses/heat. You don't want to overdo this idea, but you do need a certain amount of volume to make sure you trap the heat in a gas forge. I am finishing one now from an old propane bottle with a kast-o-lite floor and 2" of kaowool with colloidal silica rigidizer. I may put some ITC on it to reflect more, but maybe not. The soaking of colloidal silica has gotten the wool pretty rigid. I did the wool in two layers, and soaked each. Shape the inlet for the gas like a cone with the big end pointed into the forge chamber. Alan, thanks for putting all of that in one place.
  3. and we are off... this will be a great one to watch
  4. hey Dave, creative and well executed. In the Chinese set of descriptors it would be a horse tooth, sanmai blade. Only, in Mandarin. I can't speak, or read, and don't plan to try. That deserves a special hilt. Have fun with it.
  5. that is really great. I am impressed. the blade and handle are both outstanding.
  6. that is a beautiful piece of steel, and the whole blade looks really good with the inlay and contrasts. Great work so far.
  7. that is a beautiful knife, and he will treasure it. He should, anyway. It obviously has a lot of thought and love poured into it. I do prefer the thinner tail on the guard, but it is a balance. Some folks make the finger portion of the guard so thin and pointy I worry that it may hurt someone. I love this knife. I also love the sentiment/reason.
  8. great fortitude man. They look good but I realize it is tricky to get them just right. making scissors and the like is a zen thing, I think.
  9. nice work! interesting etching.
  10. 1. damn. 2. I am impressed with your smelting/hearth melting ability. very impressed. 3. Even with modern steels, I start with 8 or so pounds to get a 2 pound sword. That is because of the complex pattern welding. It always seems a shame, doesn't it? Like the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where big lathes were taking trees to make toothpicks. One tree = one toothpick. 4. I know that phosphorus adds contrast to wrought iron or bloomery steel. I seem to remember (sort of) that it can also cause some other properties, like hardness and brittleness. Are there any reasons / how do you work the material with phosphorous differently that you work the non-phosphorous material? 5. Thank you for documenting this. Help me understand (anybody) .76% and lower - hypoeutectoid steel < .77% carbon - eutectoid steel - .85% carbon < .86% and higher - hypereutectoid steel
  11. man - that is amazing work. Good to see/hear from you. I suggest making the repeating little voids a design element. Get an itty bitty drill and open them up. It would look really cool. Sure, the Vikings didn't have twist drills but they had spade drills and other shapes, and that is soft enough material that they could have drilled it. Either holes or inlays. I just had a gruesome thought seeing your spear beside the original. I have always found the shape that you made to be more visually pleasing. It just looks better to me. So, I was thinking (early morning, coffee and meds, I ramble)... why would the original shape be used if the other shape looks better? Well, first, what I like may not be what they liked. Other than that, though, was there a functional reason? Here is the gruesome thought (and I know the people who will read this, so I know y'all think the same way) - it would be a lot easier to pull the original shape out of some dumbass monk who got himself rammed all the way through by my spear without it hanging up on his ribs. Dumbass monk didn't even have enough to him to stop the thing from going all the way through. Softy.
  12. that is a great machine. It changes the scope of your work, immediately. I have used one of his presses for 10 years. Same one. The motor gives out about every 4 years. But, you can change it out in about 20 minutes. I built a little protective box to go over the motor since the ones on mine weren't tefc motors. Seriously, make some dies. Also, make some spacers, so you can get stock to consistent sizes as steps in the process. I use mine every time I forge, just about. Even for making a small knife. I have, about 3 years ago, built a tire hammer at one of the Clay Spencer build gatherings. It was, I believe, $1,800 plus my own elbow grease. The combination of the press and a 50lb power hammer is just about perfect. The press moves metal faster than any hammer up to about 200lb falling weight (especially if the metal is thick). When the metal is less than .5" thick, that's when the hammer really becomes needed. They are a really good combination. A small Anyang would be better (not the tiny one but the one that is 30 kilos, although the tiny ones are still probably pretty cool). I am rambling. You will love that machine. Good for you.
  13. damn Jake, that looks like the stuff Vince Evans used to turn out. That is about the highest compliment I can give for that sort of set.
  14. that is a clean blade, and the complex geometry is really cool. Great work.
  15. Alan beat me to it, the steel he suggested is perfect for what you want. I engraved the guandao after it was hardened and tempered, but I used carbide gravers and a steel handle. I also used a magnagraver and an airgraver. I tried everything to cut that stuff :)!
  16. I am quite impressed. Great way to make a modern interpretation of a katana. You have a lot of the non-ferrous work nailed. That is the stuff that we all struggle with. It is becoming more and more enjoyable to solder, saw, engrave, file, etc. I have to practice inlay. Seriously, great stuff. Thanks for documenting it so well.
  17. That came out really nice. I love the reinforced tip. The nagel looks good, too. Very good work. Looks like it would have been fun to make.
  18. mick - this is beautiful. I really like it,
  19. wow that is one heck of a project. I like it.
  20. Thanks Alan. I thought about you while I made this. It is the closest thing to an axe I have made, other than some little hatchet things.
  21. Hello All, The last six months of my bladesmithing life have been taken up with this. It is 77" oal. The blade is 22" and weighs 2.3 lbs. The spike on the butt is about 12-15". Like almost all Chinese blades, the big blade is sanmai. The outer plates are 300-400 layer random 15N20 and 1075. The center core (and therefore the edge) is low layer 15N20 and W2. The core was about 3:2 15N20 to W2. I wanted it to be shock resistant, just in case. The spike is the same steel as the outer plates. Guard is mild steel with an upset rim, then polished and blued. Ferrules are mild steel tubes. Pins are copper. I hope y'all enjoy. It was great fun to make, and a beast to polish.
  22. Damn, damn, damn, this is cool! I am late to the game on this one (beginning of Fall semester is a busy time - it is a crazy place). The whole idea is great, and intimidating. I couldn't do it. Not the first time through. Thanks for showing the ups and downs and sharing your thoughts with is. Thanks to Jake and Alan for the insights, too. What a great group.
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