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Everything posted by KPeacock

  1. That is some amazing work. The contrast between light and dark really makes for a great finished product.
  2. Sorry to brink up an old post, but I enjoy digging through the archives to pick up tips and tricks. Is there any reason to avoid welding threaded stock to the tang? It's been about 15 years since I brazed anything, but I MIG weld on a daily basis. I can see any reason why this wouldn't work considering the weld will be hidden by the handle material. Thanks, Kris
  3. Wow, those look quite nice. I've got a few bits of antler laying around that are too small for use as handles and I was going to try to use them as slabs for a small knife. I believe I'll try something like this though. For a first folder, it seems pretty do-able. They all look easy until you try though :-/
  4. I recently built and tried about a half a dozen variations of venturi style burners and a few different forge body styles. In the end, I am running a homemade forced air burner with a blower from a gas laundry dryer. My wifes hair dryer failed after a few days of forging :-) For me, it seems a lot easier to get the forge tuned the way I want it. I am now able to easily forge weld whatever I happen to be welding. This was not possible with some of my other configurations. I'm still tinkering with the venturi burners as I like the simplicity of them. Eventually I'll get one to work the way I want it to, but until then I'll continue to make parts and knives with an easy to use forced air forge.
  5. DBIron, Well said. I'm not involved in the discussion here and I am not in the market for any of the above forges, but I want to thank you for taking pride in your work and standing up for it.
  6. although my experience is certainly limited, I agree with the above post. I recently hammered out a couple of cable knives after my father and his hunting buddy saw some pictures of what I'm doing. They requested a couple of knives so I'm making them and I was a bit cutious as to what causes the pattern to develop. The cable strands are presumably all of the same construction...so why the lines at the interface of strands? I chalked it up to lost carbon from high temp forging to weld the strands. I'm not sure of this is correct, but it sure seem to be a likely cause. You may want to give the cable a try. it's free/cheap to obtain and very easy to work with. I get my cable from a local elevator repair company. it can be purchased pretty cheap from a chain/cable company. I bought a 4' section of 1" diameter cable for under $20. there is enough mass that you get a decend knife out of it, and the strands are large enough that you don't lose all of the carbon. thats the idea anyways...we'll see how it works when I get it finished. My next project is to use a timing chain out of a small block chevy engine. It's good steel, and a spark test indicates a fair bit of carbon in it. perhaps a neat pattern will develop. I'm using these projects to improve my finishing skills and to gain practice at forge welding before I attempt a more elaborate pattern. You can get timing chains and ATV chains from local motorsports shops and engine machine shops. At some point I'd like to make a knife entire of small block engine components. easy enough to do, but i think it'll be hard to make it look good.
  7. Greg, Thats a good point. I used the drum off of a 1-ton truck, but there will definately be a difference in size comparing a drum froma Frod Ranger to a bus. A quick stop in to a local heavy vehicle garage should result in a free drum. I've acquired most of my materials and equipment for free this way. I pretty much only use my drum forge for melting down aluminum now. In MN there is no deposit on aluminum cans so they go to waste in the garbage or recycling bin. I certainly down think that I'll make a whole lot of money melting it down and hauling it in, but if I'm out i nthe shop and I've got forges going anyways, I might just as well melt thenm down and collect the metal. perhaps it'll pay for a second hand 100# propane ank in a year or so :-)
  8. I've tried a few of your methods for knife finishing and in most cases it requires a lot more effort than it appears. Your finished products have inspired quite a few of my current projects. Clearly you've got more experience in these matters than I have, but it is quite embarrasing when i compare the results of my efforts to yours. It appears as though I have forged my products with a torch and a couple of rocks, with an angle grinder finish when compared to your stuff. Thanks for writing up your numerous tutorials. They really do inspire folks to try methods that they normally wouldn't think of.
  9. SIXFOOTER is right on the money with the brake drum forge. I wanted a forge that was a bit smaller so I made one out of a brake drum and some 6" pipe. I basically used the brake drum as an outer wall and the piper as an innter wall. inbetween them, i filled the space with adobe. I used expanded steel for the bottom of the center section to keep the coals in. For a tuyere I welded a manifold to adapt a 1" pipe into 3ea 1/2" tubes that actually fed the air in under the coals. My drum forge worked great, but at first I had the center pipe too long. so the opening of the center pipe was about 5" high than the drum itself. in order to get metal all the way to the bottom (hottest) coals, one was forced to hold tongs/tools directly over the forge. It didn;t take more than about 5 minutes of running it before I opted to cut down the forge and make everything even. I've got a few 16 gallon drums that i use to support my forges. it doesn't take very long legs to put them right at the height I want them.
  10. Many good points. Ultimately, I can;t say what will happen when this is tried. Next time I make a batch of micarta, I'll smake a small batch with shot in it just to see what will happen. It does seem likely that it would get too hot during the shaping. It also seems like the shot woul pop out when 50%+ of the diameter is removed. I'll keep you posted. Thanks, Kris
  11. HSJackson, What did you use for powdered metal? is this something you purchased, or did you sweep/magnet up a pile of filings?
  12. I agree with the lead concerns. I think No. 8 shot will be small enough that i on;t have to worry about weakening the handle too much. As far as lead concerns and toxicity goes, I'm not terribly worried about it. I reload my own shells as well as rifle rounds and side-arm ammunition. Heck, I'm killing the animal with lead, a little lead on the handle of the knife that skins it can't make much of a difference. I'm working on my first micarta handle right now. depending on the finish of it, I may use some sort of a clear coat to provide a more lustrous finish. The jury is still out on that though. I'm just attempting all sorts of knife designs, metal, handles, and sheaths. Heck, I've even got a section of deer hide in the process of being tanned in an effort to make my own sheath leather as well. The end product is hopefully going to be a very functional and aesthetically pleasing knife for a good hunting buddy of mine that is to be married next summer. All of this bladesmithing is new to me, so I'm trying all sorts of stuff to see what works for me. thanks for your input, Kris
  13. I'm pretty interested in micarta handles. I've build a few boats from fiberglass and resin and am quite familiar with it's properties. I also have a gallons of the stuff laying around at various places where I would make these boats. As I was sanding a piece last night I thought of adding stuff to the micarta. Just as one can pattern weld steel to include certain shapes, one can do the same with the fabrics used in the makinf of the laminate. What would stop someone from adding steel or lead shot to the mix? If nothing else, it would certainly be unique. I may make a test batch using some small bolts, an nuts added into the mixture. The blade I'm working on now started as a timing chain for a SBC engine. It only makes sense that the handle have some nuts and bolts in it. Have any of you tried this or seen it attempted before? any thoughts? Thanks, Kris
  14. are you trying to have a pressed in blade? are you planning to pin it, or epoxy it? There was a post just a few days ago on this site regarding some of the specialty tools folks have made to use for this purpose. Apparently a secret of finishing was accidentally shared as well. It involves the use of epoxy and teflon tape.
  15. I've got my eye out for a 100# tank as well. I've sen a few of them on Craigslist in the past for free or cheap. At the time I didn;t have a need for them though. I do have natural gas plumbed out to my garage for the furnace, but I'm a little bit hesitant to use NG as a fuel source. I'll look into it further, but it seems as though it is nowhere near as common. Perhaps it's simply a matter of utility, or perhaps it has to do with the BTU rates. I'm sure there is a reason though.
  16. Chris, I suspected freezing at first, bu have ruled it out. Even with a warm tank (ambient air temp of 60°F) and sitting in a water bath of at about 75°F the tank would still do this. It happens when adjusting flow rates and generally happens quite soon after firing the forge up. By quite soon, I mean on the order of 20-30 seconds or so. I think Mike hit the nail on the head. I"m not 100% sure as my blower failed. I'm working on a different blower set-up now. thanks,
  17. After changing the tank coupling I think the problem has been solved. I ran the forge for a while and hammered out a rough blade using a medium carbon steel and decided I'd practice a bit more at the welding and as the forge was coming up to temp, my blower failed. I'm no electronics genious, but it has been my experience that any time the smoke is let out of an electrical device, it is ruined beyond simple repair. Apparently, the duty cycle of the wife's old hair dryer is far less than what is required to run a forge. The remaining parts neede to assemble another venturi style burner arrived today, so I should be back to work tonight or tomorrow some time. I do like the adjustability of the forced air burner, but after lastnights failure, I'm beginning to see additional benefits to a naturally aspirated burner!
  18. Mike, I'll take a closer look at this this evening. This makes more sense to me as the culprit. Thanks, Kris
  19. I'll change the set-up a bit and move the pressure regulator closer to the tank. I didn;t think that it would make much of a difference. As far as the shut-off globe valve goes, I'm not so sure it's even necessary. its right next to the needle valve and only a couple feet from the tank valve. i have three valves within three feet. i guess safety is important though.
  20. I've got my propane forge up and running and i am having a problem with my propane tank. there is some sort of a safety feature present that causes the pressure to drop to nearly zero anytime the flowrate exceeds some trip limit. I have my tank hooked to a hose that is then plumbed through a regulator, a pressure guage, an emergency shutoff globe valve, and then a 1/4" needle valve before endering my forced blower orifice. Is there a way for me to keep the tank from shutting down? this is NOT the result of freezing up the tank, this is something entirely different. Thanks for your input and help. PS, the forge does get up to welding temperature. To test it, I made a half hearted attempt at chain damascus using chainsaw chain. I did not work the metal much. I simply hammered it flat and then hit it with the grinder to rough out the shape. you can very clearly see areas that did NOT weld well, but overall, it worked out better than I thought for my first attempt at it. It's got a pretty rugged look to it, thats for sure. I'll likely do some more filing and refine it a bit and then see about making a handle out of delran.
  21. You read it properly. And yes, I'm now down to a 4" diameter chamber. this is fine for what I plan to do, but I don't want it much smaller than this. I'm also wondering if I would be batter off having only 1" of insulation this increasing the chamber size. about a 6" diameter opening. This pute me at an interior volume of 420 cubic inches...which seems high to me, but I'm no expert in the field. It is my undrstanding that th kaowool is there for its insulative properties. the castable refractory is there to keep the kaowool from degrading and becoming airborn. Also, I've heard that flux will destroy the kaowool, so the castable works as a barrier to prevent the flux from coming in contact with the kaowool. I could be misinformed on this point, but that's my understanding.
  22. My kaowool arrived yesterday, so I am ready to go with the propane forge. I'm heading out this afternoon to purchase the castable refractory and firebricks. I believe the gentleman resommended KS4. I'll simply trust that they know more about this part than I do. When I apply this castable refractory, how thick should I apply it? I realize that this is relative and there is no one righ answer, but am I looking at a simple application just to coat the fibers, or do I want it 1/2" thick? My forge body is 8" ductile iron pipe with 1/2" wall thickness. I have two, 1" layers of kaowool. This leaves me only about 180-190cubic inches of chamber volume. I had planned on using hard firebrick for the bottom of the forge, but after seeing how small my chamber volume is, I think I'll run 1" of kaowool on the bottom with the firebrick on top of that. I don't think I'd have room for a billet with the firebrick sitting atop both layer of kaowool. Any thoughts, tips, or tricks for this stage of the construction. Id rather do this right once than have to redo it becasue I overlooked something simple. Thanks, Kris
  23. I was hoping for "sure you can, the aluminum melts and then coats the steel. Works like a charm!" I guess we can;t always get what we are hoping for. Thanks,
  24. After looking at some of Ariels work, I'm pretty impressed with the results of the damascus in a box. I'm contemplating attempting something along these lines and I'm wondering if one could use aluminum instead of stainless steel to keep the desired materials from welding to the box. Has anyone tried this, or is this idea fundamentally flawed?
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