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Everything posted by KPeacock

  1. Diesel is around $2.20 near me, which seems reasonable. I'm not sure what type of fuel quantity I'll end up consuming, but my guess is that it'll be cheaper than propane i nthe long run. if nothing else, I won;t have to worry about running out of fuel. I always have plenty of diesel on hand for a tractor. In addition, i can buy diesel within 1/2mile of my home. The nearest place that will fill a 100# propane tank for a reasonable rate is about 12 miles away, and not in a direction that I typically find myself traveling. Whether this diesel forge nonsense proves to be worthwhile or not is still a mystery. To me, it's worth trying simply to satisfy my curiousity.
  2. Due to my lack of patience, I made a crude attempt at a diesel forge my modifying a forced air propane forge that i have built. I get the forge hot using propane and then decrease the propane and add a diesel drip to the air inlet. The forge works and is sustainable on diesel fuel alone....but it will require some fine tuning. I've got too many other projects right now to really work on it and at shut down, the diesel fumes are not very pleasant in an enclosed shop. This spring I want to make a dedicated diesel forge that is purpose built. I'm not sure if it will reach welding temperatures, but I'd like to find out. My diesel feed system is simply a gravity feed set-up with a valve off of an extra oxy-acetylene torch set-up to control flow. the fuel then travels through a small hose into a 1/4" pipe nipple that is threaded into the air inlet of the forge. Nothing fancy,but it "sorta" works. I believe I'll need to use a 1/8" nipple tapped to accomodate a MIG tip in order to keep the fuel from dripping on to the walls of the air inlet. It's still very early in the design process, but it looks promising :-)
  3. I can't make that pattern in my head, much less out of metal. That is a pretty amazing pattern
  4. I have never done this, nor do I have a lot of experience...so take this with a very large grain of salt. I suspect that it'd be difficult to do this. You would have to heat the cable and then untwist it. Welding the mostly straightened strands might prove difficult due to all of the spaces between the strands. I think there would be a good chance of capturing some flux/scale in these spaces. In addition to this, you have to consider the decarb issues with using thin cable cable. i would only attempt this with cable larger than 1". What final result are you seeking? By welding all of the pieces in a straight line you'd end up with a pattern with mostly straight lines on the face of the blade. I suppose it'd look a bit like the random pattern developed by simply stacking thin layers and welding them. Something to consider might be welding a section of cable down into a square and then cutting the billet into 1.5" pieces. if you stacked them and welded them together you would end up with a pattern that had a lot of small circles in it. that might be pretty interesting. In the near future, I'm going to try something sort of like what I think you're looking into. I'll be using some garage door srings for the parent metal. if I cut them into pieces and straighten the coiling so that they are nearly straight it'll be the same type of pattern, just on a bit larger scale. I don't know what the end result will be, but I'm still in the learning stages of bladesmithing (as if one ever stops learning). If you decide to try it, post pics so we can all learn from it.
  5. We refer to those as a salamander or torpedo heater. They are used most often in pole barns...etc. they do put out a rediculous amount of heat and are very effective for heating a large area. My two complaints about them are that they are a bit noisy...not a big deal if you're hammering on a blade, but more bothersome to me when sanding and filing. The other complaint is that they put out so much heat. even the lowest setting is usually too much to leave it on. I've got a heater like that that use, but only occasionally. My truck (I built from the frame up) doesn;t like to start when temps drop below -20°F I use the salamander to blast warm air under the engine bay and get it warmed up a bit before I try to start it. A coupole of other benefits regarding the convection style heaters is that they still work in a power outage...sometimes handy in the winter months. They can be used when camping/ice fishing...etc when you're away from electricity. Both heaters put out heat and both of them work very well...it's all a matter of what kind of heater will work best for you. good luck
  6. see the following link http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Kerosene-He...0/dp/B000A6D1IC This is a very common style for these heaters. i got mine in the off-season for $40. It'll hold about 2 gallons of kerosene and at nearly full output it runs around 13 hours or so before it is empty. Mine came with a small siphon transfer device that works great for re-fueling without spilling. it has a fuel level guage and also an electric ignition system that is powered by a D-cell battery. After 4 years, I'm still on the first battery. In Michigan kerosene was very easy to find at the pump. here in Minnesota it is much trickier to find. The fleet farm stores i nthe area sell it as well as laocal oil suppliers. You can purchase it at Menards, home depot, lowe's..etc for about $15 for a 2gal jug. Last week when I refilled my 5gal can it was going for $2.20/gal....obviously a much cheaper route than the small jugs at the big box stores.
  7. A buddy of mine in Michigan just came across a lot of about 20 or so deadbolts from a building he was working in. They re-keyed many of the doors and planned to toss the old locksets. What are your thoughts on the steel in the bolts themselves? I'm guessing I'll have to test one of them for hardenability...etc. Has anyone tried something like this in the past? Thanks, Kris
  8. I keep my garage (25X30) at 40° all winter long to prevent freezing of paints and other chemicals/fluids. A small Reznor ceiling mounted heater accomplishes this easily. When I'm out in the garage working for extended periods of time I usually fire up a kerosene convection heater. With the kerosene heater running, the Reznor heater never turns on. I'm not sure what the temps get to, but I usually end up working in bibs and a T-shirt. While forging, I have to open a window and one of the overhead doors a bit to keep air moving. without doing so, it becomes uncomfrotably hot in short order. I used to use a dual burner Dyna-glo heater to boost temps quickly, but now I refuse to burn any propane unless its in the forge or for the grill.
  9. KPeacock


    Very nice work. I hope to create a similar pattern in the near future.
  10. I'm quite new to the forging scene, and I can't weld with any consistancy in charcoal. I've made charcoal from oak, hickory, maple, and walnut. I think that the problem is not the fuel source, but the "smith" using it. seem to do little more than burn the steel and weld a couple of spots in it. There are far too many inclusions and unwelded sections when i use solid fuels. I've build a few gas forges and have had much better success. My next forge that I'm currently building is going to be a hybrid propane and diesel/keroene fueled forge. I don;t know how well it will work, but i have a heck of a time keeping the propane tanks from freezing. As the temps get colder and colder in Minnesota, I imagine I'll have more and more problems with the tanks freezing. The kerosene/diesel might work better for me.
  11. So I made my first knives worthy of being carried around in the field, and decided to make some sheaths. This can;t be too hard to do....or so I thought. I've maid sail boat sails, canvas covers for boats, trailers...etc. Leatehr is a major PITA to work with. I expected it would take an hour or so to make a decent looking sheath with just some initials tooled into it and maybe a small deer head or something. After nearly three hours, I ended up with some sort of a pouch type thing that looks like it was made by Hellen Keller. Fortunately, I was able to learn many lessons while doing this. Since nearly everything I did was done wrong, or looked like hell, it was worth it. Now I have to make two sheaths tonight that look "ok." I certainly understand and appreciate the look of a well made sheath, but I make things out of metal. The knife is the valuable item, the sheath just keeps it from cutting you. it would be nice if one coule make a steel that wouldn't cut human flesh. I'll work on inventing that right after I invent floating stainless steel.
  12. Thanks for the tip. Any tempering involved? I'm guessing that as tough as 5160 is, there would be little need to temper. I'm figuring a smaller knife around 3-4" blade length. It'll be used strictly for dressing deer, so I don;t have to worry too much about it being a bit brittle.
  13. Nice looking knife. Tonight I'm going to start hammering out a 5160 knife for the late doe season that starts next Monday. I've never used 5160 before, but I'll be plenty happy if my results are anywhere near as good as yours.
  14. I just edited my original post. The parent material was in fact 1" diameter steel cable. This is what gives the honeycombing appearance. I have been practicing my welding in preparation to make a more traditional damascus knife. I figured teh cable would be a decent place to start seriously welding in the forge. There are a couple of very minute flaws here and there, but ultimately the finished steel looks okay to my untrained eye.
  15. Though the designs differ quite a bit, I have to say, your first knife looks a heck of a lot better than mine does. GOOD WORK
  16. Next week I'll be heading to Michigan for teh late doe season and to visit family for the holidays. One of my good friends back home installs commercial HVAC units and he has been snagging stainless steel sheets for me. Once I get back I'll likely give it a try. I'm got a mess of roller bearings courtesy of the local Caterpillar maintenance shop. I've just got to order some metal powder. Alternatively, I don;t see why steel filings can't be used. Perhaps I'll just save my filings for use in this project.
  17. I totally agree. The first few guards I made had a curve in them. I had a hard time getting a curve I felt "worked." On one of the four versions I got it to "look right" but it felt a bit too close to the finger. Pops has lived a rough life and he has voided the warranty on most of his knuckels. I forget which ones are abnormally large due to scar tissue and the like, so I left it straight. It doesn;t take much to disassemble the knive and adjust the guard if he wants it modified. Heck, he's even got all the tools in his shop to do it. If he wants, I'll modify it for him. I have not put the final edge on it yet. It's plenty sharp enough that care in handling is required, but I figured I'd wait to sharpen it until I make the sheath for it. I'm not a huge fan of leatherwork, but for something as small as a sheath, I don't mind taking the time to do it. I'll keep my eye out for dimensions and shapes of knives with guards on them. I'd like to have a bit of curve in it and still have it look right. I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder:-/ Thanks for the comments
  18. This is the first knife I've finished with the intent of having any desireable aesthetics. I've hammered out and hardened a dozen or so blades so far, but have either left them unfinished, or cobbled a handle to them so they could be used. This knife was built with the intention of looking "good enough." The blade is forged from 1" high carbon steel cable. The finger guard and end plate are of the same type of steel. The handle material is hickory from a ball-pien hammer that belonged to my great-grandfather....who happened to earn a living as a blacksmith back in the day. As I was working on this, I couldn't help but think of all the things that hammer has seen. I have "stabilized" the wood although I'm not sure what for. The wood is about 100yrs old, give or take, and if a century of life in a shop hasn't damaged it, I can't imagine a few deer a year will. I avoided sanding too much in an effort to retain some of the years of dings and burns. Aside from a drill, all the work was done by hand tools...most of those homemade, or cobbled from pieces of other tools. Clearly this is not professional quality knife. I've got thick skin and will not be bothered by negative comments. In fact, I welcome them they offer em a chance to learn from my mistakes. Thanks, Kris
  19. I went ahead and welded some threaded stock to the tang. I cut a rectangular notch out of the tang so that the threaded stock would fit nicely into it. I then welded it all the way around the joint and ground the weld smooth. I'm not worried about structural integrity too much. The handle will be secured fore and aft by the end plate of the handle, I'll also be using brass pins. To top that off, the handle will be epoxied to the tang. Pops is getting up there in years, so it won;t take a whole lot of craftsmanship to make it outlast him. I'd like it to be around for my kids and theirs after that.
  20. I've decided that any of the abovementioned methods are acceptable. based on my little test pieces, the finishes of all of them looked fine. on the piece that was blued, then buffed, it was harder to see the pattern. I think i pressed a bit too hard on the buffing wheel. My decision is to simply give it a good etch and see how she looks. i may very lightly go over it with a wee bit of 1200 grit or similar. KYBOY, I'd be nervous doing a blade made of small wire like that. I've never tried it, but it seems like it'd be a lot easier to lose too much carbon during the forging and neave a weaker knife. I'm very much an amature, so I'm not sure on that. 7/8" high carbon cable goes for about $3 around here. I just but it brand new and the only prep work is heating it to a hot red color a a couple of taps on the anvil. i do this just to burn the rust proofing (axle grease) off of it before welding.
  21. I'm going to try a few options. I wasn;t sure what type of a plate I was going to use to thread onto the tang to finish off the end of the handle. I've decided to stick with the same cable damascus, so I'll need to weld some up tonight. As long as I'm at it, I'll make a bit more than I need and I'll use some of the extra to test a couple of different options. I'll try: Etched Etched then polished Etched then blued Etched then blued and polished. Hopefully one of them will look "right." Ultimately, it doesn't much matter which finish it's going to have. The knife is made to be used. My Pops isn't into the ornimental stuff. He is very much a form following function type of guy. Thanks for the opinions and advice.
  22. This evening I should have the handle shapped the way i want it and will be mounting everything for a hunting knife I'm making for my father. It's nothing terribly special as far as materials go, but it does have some meaning to it. The handle is hickory (a guess by smell) from the handle of a ball pien hammer that belonged to my great grandfather, grandfather, father and now me. The blade is forged from 1" high carbon steel cable. I've test etched a small scrap piece and the pattern looks pretty decent. After I etch in ferric chloride, is there anything left to do to the knife? do i buff it on a buffing wheel? do i rub it with fine steel wool? Do I simply oil it and call it a day? I'm This is my first pattern welded knife that will be finished with the intent of being aesthetic as well as functional. Up to this point, functionality was the only concern and any pattern welding was done simply for practice. Thanks, Kris
  23. "This video is no longer available" according to youtube. As far as the type of forge to build. charcoal forges can be build VERY innexpensively. I probably spent a total of $40 on my first one. a bit less on the brake drum forge. now I've got a couple of propane forges up and running. and I'm working on a third. I'm pretty sure that there is some sort of correlation between carbon content and opiate effects. This bladesmithing stuff is highly addictive. I've only been tinkering with this for about a month now. and I'm working on building my fifth forge. Each one works a little better than the one before it. What works perfectly for me, might not suit you very well at all. it just takes some expiramenting.
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