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Everything posted by KPeacock

  1. I found it impossible to find ferric chloride at electronics stores i nthe area and after two days of searching i ws only able to locate ferric chloride in a 55gal drum, or in a 4oz container. I just purchased the 4oz container and found out that it is 4oz of ferric chloride crystals. i was expecting liquid, but I"m sure it will work out the same. Do any of you know the final concentration of mixture that you use? I spent a bit of time searching the forum for the answer and only came up with quantative numbers like a 3:1 mix with water when using PCB etchant from radio shack. Any quesses as to a final ratio? do you think it even matters? My guess is that a stronger mixture will etch faster, btu I"m guessing there is a point of diminishing returns. If I can't figure out the answer here, I'll try to find some computer geeks and see if they know what the concentration is for the PCB etchant. So far, everyone I have talked to has looked at me like I have three eyes. Thanks, Kris
  2. I'm going to make a few attempts at forge welding this weekend. My first attempts will vary the methods used relative to fluxing and hammering. if that doesn;t seem to work, I'll try changing the position of the metal relative to the air inlets. I've also installed a gate valve between my blower and my forge. I should be able to adjust flow down to a level that gets me the required heat to weld, without forcing too much air into the mix. Clearly this is going to take a wee bit of practicing, but I'm pretty determined to make it work. Everything i have gathered but this whole process into the "you'll know when it's right" category. Starting with no knowledge makes it a bit more difficult to remedy problems. I suppose everyone has to crawl before they walk.
  3. Matt, I'll have to trust yo regarding the hardenability of the aformentioned welding rod. I didn;t exactly have high hopes for it to begin with. I think it would be neat to use the welding rod to pattern a knife blade though. It would almost function like thin scales function on the tang. With a bit of practice, I'd bet you could actually spell out names and what not i nthe surface of the blade. I've never seen that done before, but it seems do-able. Dave, Yes I will continue with the forge welding. I'm bound to get it dialed in eventually. Heck, I remember when i was six and my old man taught me to arc weld. I was frusterated for the first 30 minutes when a weld would break, or I'd melt through the parent metal, but once I got the hang of it....I would weld stuff just for the sake of welding. My forge burns charcoal which I have been making out of red oak and an occasional bit of elm. I couldn;t find a decent source for coal in the Minneapolis area. For flux I am using the 20mule team borax. I know it isn;t as good as the anhydrous borax, but it's easily obtained. Both surfaces have been hit with the angle grinder then with the DA sander. I think that i have been fluxing at far to ohigh of temperatures. couple that with hitting far too hard and I think my problems are easily seen. I'll be at it again this weekend. I'll get it figured out.
  4. I have no idea what I'm doing :-). After my first couple attempts at forge welding failed miserably, i figured I'd have to do some research on propper methods and materials. I was itching to do something though, so i just started laying down beads of weld using 7018, 6013 and 6011 rod. I then forged and pounded that down to size and made a quick cut through it and polished an edge to test etch it. If it etches in different shades, then I'll make an attempt to harden it and see what happens. I'm not holding my breath, but there is a chance that it turns out nice. I think one could make some interesting patterns this way. I have no high hopes of the hardenability of the welding rod material, but it's worth a shot until I can find a place locally for some 1084 and 15N20 that I plan to use for the pattern welded knife. Until I find a decent source for that, i am just tinkering with making tools and making my anvil look more like an anvil. My current anvil started out as a large sheet of 2" thick steel plate. I've cut and stacked it so I've got 8" thick steel plating welded to a 1/2" thci kplate that is secured to a 30" diameter log from a red oak tree I took down this year. I still need to weld on a hardy adaptor and do some grinding to form the horn of the anvil. rught now the horn is nothing more than a 2" X 2" steel square prodruding from one of the plates of steel. At some point I'd like to have a harder face for the anvil, but it works well enough for my current skill level as is.
  5. Good day folks, My nake is Kris Peacock and this is a bit of an introduction. My great-grandfather was a blacksmith around the turn of the century and I stumbled across some of his fabricated tools a while back. This got me mildly interested in metalworking, but I did not act on it. I do quite a bit of welding (gas, MIG and arc) and general metal work, but I have never forged anything. I have degrees in mechanical engineering and civil engineering, as well as a background in "git-r-done" so I figured I could jolly well make a nice knife. A couple of months ago I decided that I was going to forge a pattern welded knife for a long time friend and hunting buddy that is to be married next year. Having no knowledge of what this would entail I just decided to build a forge type device out of what I had nearby. The first attempt was a brake drum, some EMT tubing, a bit of black pipe and an electric leaf blower. I used Kingsford and had a roaring hot coal bed that easily melted and burned off steel, but it was not very controllable and a bit too hot. I began doing a bit of internet searching about forging and decided to make a charcoal forge similar to the Tim Lively forge. This works quite well for me as far as I know. I'm no expert, but it seems pretty good. I've made a couple of sets of tongs far and I've pounded out some random bits of this and that just to test my skills. As it turns out, hot metal work is not genetic. It takes a bit of practice. As learned from this site, I am not using processed charcoal anymore. I decided to make my own. I've been lurking in this forum now for a bit over a month and have found a wealth of information here. Much thanks to the folks who have put in the time and effort to perfect various aspects of forging. More thanks for sharing that knowledge with folks like myself. I have always found metal work to be fascinating and using a forge and some hammers seems even more gratifying. This also seems like a decent hobby for me as a forge puts out a lot of heat. In a Minnesota winter that can be a good thing. Anyways, thats a quick bit of a introduction to me and why I'm here. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up some tricks and tips while in here. Currently, my road block is welding. I have not been able to manage a good weld in the forge. From what I've gathered on this forum, I have fluxed my stock while far too hot, and I'm also hitting the metal much harder than suggested to set the weld. I'll keep trying until I get it right :-) I'm a bit stubborn like that. As a safetly net in case I can not weld the stock together, I'm testing a bit of an expiriment. I have taken a piece of 1/4" mild steel stock and welded layer after layer of various welding rods on the last couple inches of parent metal. I then pounded this out to 1/4" stock again and I quickly ground a bit of it down and polished it. I'd like to see how this etches, but have had one hell of a time finding ferric chloride. I just located a place about 45min from me that has it in 4oz bottles so I'll try to sneak over and get some this week. I'm unsure how it will etch the different welding rods, but it will be neat to see.
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