Posts posted by KPeacock
rebuilding electric motors isn't very difficult if you understand how "things" works. on most cases, a simple disassembly an cleaning is all that is needed. while you have the case apart, it is a good idea to light sand the armature contacts (where the brushed ride) with some emery cloth, or some sand paper. 320grit is plenty aggressive for this. make it all shint and pretty and then reassemble. If the brushes are worn down significantly, replace them. This is usually not necessary on the first disassembly. I learned this on starters and alternators for vehicles, but it;s the same for all "normal" motors. if you have any detailed questions, feel free to ask them, I'd be happy to help out.
My path to bladesmithing started a few years ago with a quest to make a very good friend of mine a damascus hunting knife. After building a few forges, some tools, finding an anvil, and all of the other stuff that goes into learning to be a beginner I made a few knives. they were more test pieces than decent knives, but that got me a point where i was confident in my welds and I made my first damascus hunting knife. I gave that knife to my friend on his wedding day and he was very appreciative. A year later his brother, also a very dear friend, was to be married. When discussing the wedding he made it known that as the older brother, he thought a fitting gift would be a larger knife. Specifically a sword. I started making a stock reduction 38" long blade that was very angular and looked very much like the broadswords of children's stories. As it was progressing, it just didn't seem right to make something like this without forging. So, I talked to my friend and we decided that it was indeed better to have something that looked more dated. something along the lines of a bastard sword, but not quite.
Anyways, I started forging and I was much happier with the hammered finish look. The guard was forged kinda close-ish to shape, then filed to get it to look decent to the eye. I then hammer finished it to match the blade. The pommel was similarly finished. The wood in he grip is Bubinga. A family member refinishes private jet interiors and this was pulled out of a jet that was being refitted with a new updated interior. This particular jet belongs to Michael Jordan of all people. It's not a rich history of battlefield glory, but it gives the blade a bit more than just some random wood I found in a lumberyard.
Firstly, I can not believe how difficult it is to keep long straight lines when forging. I am much more impressed with the swords i have seen on here after making one myself. Secondly, I am disappointed with the final result as there is a very slight warp in one section from the quench that i was unable to straighten out. The blade is also not symmetrical in outline. I hadn't the time to reforge and requench it. The new owner claims he likes it as is due to the appearance of distress. I know that it is not what i intended it to be, but it's literally out of my hands now.
I'm also not crazy about the look of the wood with the antiqued steel. I sandblasted the scale off of the steel, then antiqued with gun bluing and bleach. I am happy with the patina that developed, but the relative brightness of the wood and brass rivets just doesn't seem to fit well to my eye.
I've recently been blessed with a son, so my time is very limited and i know it will be a long time before i attempt another sword, but i am happy that i had the opportunity to make this one. overall, i am okay with the result, but not terribly proud of it. I learned many lessons while working on this, and for that i am grateful. I feel as though small EDC and hunting knives will seem relatively easy to make now. Please share any criticisms you have. I intend to learn as much as i can from my errors on this project.
I keep a few spray bottles of water around the forge and anvil to keep parts "cool" and to spray down the face of the anvil. It does break up and remove some of the scale while forging.
I didn't have this piece laying in the puddle of flux that now resides in the bottom of my forge, but i did manage to get some the black glass like stuff on the blade in a few spots. It didn't come off as easily as the scale did, but it did come off. I'm guessing that a grinder would make faster work of it, but then you have the course scratches to file out. What I like about the media blasting is that you're left with clean metal just as it came out of the forge.
There is still plenty of trial and error with this, I'm sure, but so far it seems promising.
Mick, thanks for the tip on the glass beads. I'll give it a try.
For what it's worth, don't both with soda blasting. I soda blast a fair bit when I'm rebuilding outboard engines (a lot of aluminum parts) and started there. I created a lot of white dust, but the scale was not impressed. With "Black Diamond" blasting sand (found at Northern Tool) the scale just disappeared.
I'm not sure if any of you have ever tried this, but I've found that sand blasting works darn well at removing scale. I'm working on a project for a friend that involved a hammered finish. I have usually ground, sanded...etc the scale layer off of a piece when I was done with the forge. This isn't a great option in this case since it would remove some of the concave "defect" left from the ball peen hammer. I went at it with a soda blaster and was very disappointed with the result, but when I sand blasted it I was happy to see a nice dull finish free of scale. I'm not sure how well this would work for a piece that is to be highly polished, but it sure does remove the scale fast.
So, if you're looking for an easier way...this might be it. I'm sure a lot of folks don't have a sand blaster, but small units suitable for knives...etc) can be had at a pretty reasonable price. You can get a cheap spot blaster for about $20 and a 50# bag of blasting media for around $8. It might not be for everyone, but it's something to consider.
I just saw this on Craigslist. not sure if anyone is interested or not, but firgured I'd pass it along
Glad to hear you're building a new set-up. I'm in the process of building a new forge as well. My Horizontal has 2" of insulation and satanite al lthe way around. it gets plenty hot enough to burn steel and can easily weld, but it takes a while to get to that heat and I'm limited with only 12" if usable pace inside. I've also got a wicked hot spot in the center that makes larger blades difficult.
I've decided to do a Vertical forge with a pass through design so my length is unlimited. I'm using a a propane tank as a body (fork lift style, not BBQ). I've got it cut up with a removable bottom for replacing inulation anda removable top so I can easily use it to heat and hold a crucible.
It seems like every forge I make is closer and clsoer to what I'm looking for.
let folks say what they want about it, I think it looks pretty darn good. Though pink is not my favorite color, i really do like the marbled/pearl-like appearance. good work.
Kelly Cupples had it as of a couple of months ago when I ordered some 1095 poweder from him. Great guy to deal with.
Matt makes a great point. most welding rods have a very low carbon content and make foor knives that do not hold an edge well. I too tried something like this when i first started in the knife making. it was a neat looking knife, but it was more or less useless for all but opening letters. Hardfacing rod has much more carbon in it and can make for a good knife i suppose. i've never made a knife out of it, but I do use it to build up the wear bars on some of the older smowmobiles. it resists wear much better than normal 6011,6013, or 7018 rod. I suspect that it would hold an edge much better as well.
As always, an impressive knife. I'm partial to the look of maple on most knives and this is no exception. Once again....great work!
Very clean looking knife. great job matching the leather and the wood. the colors work well together
I also own one of these welders (http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332691_200332691) and I am very happy with it. I wanted a new MIG welder as my previous wirefeed only did flux cored. I figured this way I could haev one for flux cored welding and one for MIG welding. This is almost identical to a lincoln. most of teh parts are interchangeable actually. Apparently there was some sort of legal issue brought up by lincoln regarding patent infringement or something. I"m not sure if its true or not, but I know the welder works well. it is fan cooeld and I have not yet tripped the thermal switch in it. I've had it for about 3 years now.
I grew up welding and have more welders than anyone really needs to have, but I like them. I use almost all of them regularly.
225A buzz box
cheapie 110v arc welder
90A flux core only wire feed
14hp 190A portable arc welder
200A onboard welder engine mounted in truck
200A onboard welder not mounted to an engine...just in case :-)
I'm certainly no expert or professional welder, but I have done my fair share of it. about 90% of the time I use the welder that I included in the above link. it's big enough to get the job done, but it is small enough to carry with you....and its 110v. I almost bought a 220V MIG, but I figured if the steel was thick enough that I couldn't do it with 110v, I'd just arc weld the darn thing anyways.
I'm not sure where exactly these welders are in relation to you (I just searched LA) but they are out there. if you looks for a few weeks you ought to be able to get one of these for $100-150. These arc welders have no moving parts in them so they are very long lived and don't break easily. You can get an auto darkening helmet from Harbor freight for about $30. It isn't pretty, but it works just fine. The best thing about doing it this way is that you have a welder....everyone should have a welder.
A word of advice, don't waste money on the harbor freight arc welder. it's a POS. I've got one and even wired for 220v, it's very underpowered. The HF welding rod sucks too. I like lincoln rod....especially the 7018.
I've got a Lincoln 225 that I use for most of my arc welding and I like it quite a bit.
Anyways, this will get you looking in the right direction.
I use a bandsaw to cut cold billets, and a chisel to cut hot billets. Both work pretty well. I tried a sawzall and it works marginally if you keep the blade cool. I used a bucket of water for this. saw for a bit then dunk it in water....repeat.
I've used chopsaws to do the same thing. its loud, messy and wastes steel, but it works.
Aside from a hot cutter, the fastest thing I've used was a cut-off wheel on a 7" or 4.5" grinder. Harbor freight sells 4.5" grinders for about $15. they arent great, but I've beat the heck out of one of them fro the last 5 years or so and it's still working. It saves wear and tear on the good grinders wqhen I know a job is going to be messy.
[i'm not an expert in hamon, but i suspect you wont be able to see it at all until you etch it. When makin damascus, you can see the patern slightly because of scaling, but as you get it sanded and polished you can no longer see the pattern. it simply looks like shiny steel. Only when you etch it does the pattern become visible again. I suspect that with the subtle nature of the hamon, you wont see anything unti lyou etch it. I may well be wrong though. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am.
Well, If you messed up the heat treat and the blade ever breaks off, you can always use it as a wood drill. I haven't seen one like that before. I like it.
I bought the steel for mine. I think I paid about $45 or so for all of the square stock and some random bits that I made die out of. You can buy a used lincoln stick welder for 100-150. and the jack/ram is of cours around $80 or so. Total cost is the same as you buying one....except yours will be exactly what you want, it will be sturdier, and you'll have a welder :-) Every shop should have a welder. Heck, I built a welder to mount under the hood of the truck for "emergency" welding....one never knows. Check out your local craigslist for welders.
Anotehr option for welding is to get the HF flux cored wirefeed welder. I've got one of those too so I don't have to reverse polarity and re-spool my MIG welder when I want to do flux cored welding. They are cheap, and they do put out enough to make some decent welds. it is not fan cooled so you will likely trip the thermal overload switch a few times. it's duty cycle is not exactly great.
As the others have said, it seems like it wouldn't be any trouble. For cable knives, I just buy cable. I have a commercial cable shop near my work (for thos in the minneapolis area, it's Olsen Chain and Cable at 169 and Valley View road) that sells it by the foot. A 3' piece of 1.5" cable costs about $20. Thats enough to make a number of knives and no worries about rope cores, anti-weld stuff i nthe voids...etc. I do have to burn off the oil/grease that comes on it, but thats no big deal. If I found some cable, I'd darn sure use it, but I haven't stumbled along any.
well, before you go and change the geometry of it, I'd try the wet rag thing first to see if thats the problem. My burner nozzle just barely extends into the body of the forge. I have my burner held in place with three bolts contacting the burner tube. there is not too much heat transfer to the burner tube with ounly three points of contact. The tube does still get hot to the touch after a few hours of forging. I rarely run the forge for more than 4 hours at a time and have not experienced the problem you're describing.
Without seeing/hearing it myself, I'd guess that your pipe into the forge is getting too hot and eventually gets hot enough to autoignite the fuel and air beore it reaches the forge body. A quick way to tst and see is to wrap an old shop rag around the pipe near the forge body. Soak it with water and then start the forge. Keep the rag wet and it will keep the pipe below the temp needed to auto ignite propane. If that "fixes" it, then at least you know what the problem is. After that its a matter of insulating it properly so you don't have to keep pouring water on the thing.
I'm very excited to see the rest of this come together. I"m rather impressed so far. Thanks for sharing.
I was making some cable damascus for another member of this forum and I had too many irons in the fire...litterally. I was working too quicly and one of the billets had a cold shunt in it. I wasn;t sure how deep it went, so I just made another billet to send off. I figured I'd make a usable, but ugly knife out of it and see how it worked. After the quench and temper, I clamped it in a vice and flexed it around a good bit and it didn't crack or fail in anyway. No I with I would have put a bit more time into making it more pleasing to the eye. Anyways, it sure isn't pretty, but it should perform its duties well.
Steel: Cable Damascus
Overall Length: 8.25"
Blade Length: 4.125"
Thickness at spine:0.20" (yeah, a bit thicker than most :-) )
Handle: wrapped, 550 cord
Sheath: hand stitched full grain leather.
BTW, in the third picture you're not seeing flaws in the steel, those are little bits of leather coming off of the inside of the sheath.
Without knowin exactly what steels you're trying to weld, I'm guessing you're doing one of two things wrong. You're probably huitting the steel far too hard and you're probably not getting it up to temp. I did both of these wrong until I saw it done and realized my steel was WAY too cold and I was hitting it far too hard.
Temper my advice with the knowledge that I am no professional. I'm a mere hubbyist that enjoys this and I'm not even very experienced in that.
For marking your name, you can either use a small electric engraver that can be had from $5 on up to I'm sure many hundreds of dollars. I''ve got a larger plug in dremel engraver and also a small cheepie from harbor freight that runs on batteries.
I've also had good success with a 9V battery and a conductive solution of water and salt. I'm sure somewhere online there is a how-to on this. I just reversed some of the electroplating I learned back in highschool. Eitehr way will work to mark hardened steel
For rust prevention, I use a product called rust sheath, which is made by birchwood-casey. I use this on all of my firearms as well. it can be purchased at any outdoors or sports store.
Shipping is much less important. just package it so it doesn't wiggle and bang around. I use closed cell foam, but I'm sure anything will work. And I ship with the knife in the sheath. All of the knives I make are for use. Some are pretty, some are not, but they are all intended to be used. If the sheath is made in a way that I'm worried about it surviving in the mail, then I think it would not hold up in the field very well.
I'm sure others will give their opinions and tips as well.
Dumb, ignorant kydex question
in Sheaths and Leatherwork
I haven;t used kydex much, but i have used it enough to know that rivets seem to work best for me. I have also saddle stitched it in once instance. I didn;t account for a very thick blade well enough and the rivets would have rubbed on the cutting edge, so I stitched the entire edge. This particular sheath is for a machete style camp knife. it's far too heavy for daily use, but works well for camping trips to split small wood pieces for fires, and what not. I drilled the blade to lighten it a bit, but it's still rather heavy. I ground this out (pure stock removal) while heat trating a sword.