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Greg H.

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Everything posted by Greg H.

  1. A couple of possibilities if you can't find them online: Walk along a track and look off to edges of the ballast - not ethical as the Right of Way is considered private property and can be dangerous if you are not paying attention and relies on chance, but they normally don't care if you find the occasional spike an pick it up. Watch for RR track work crews, and talk to them. Explain your situation and offer to trade a RR spike knife for some spikes. If you are real lucky, they might be using thermite to weld the track and you can watch from closer than you normally would. If they still can't help you, try and get the name and phone number of their area supervisor and talk to him/her. Finally, look for places where old track is being removed because a local authority exercised Eminent Domain, to build a hiking trail or put in a building - in these areas, the old RR spikes are often just left laying around until building / grading actives bury them, simply because they are usually not worth the effort to pick up.
  2. I did dome checking, and I as I thought, I asked questions on this forum about "Black Sand" back in 2008 - here is the link to the answers I received: Noob question
  3. I raised this possibility a couple of years ago, and from what I'm told then, not all black sand is iron oxide - some is only dark silica based minerals that can make up a significant fraction ( maybe even most in some cases ). So you would have to assay the iron content for it to be worth much to anyone.
  4. If you live near a city, check with the local authority for mass transit or construction company to see if they have some old break drums from large construction trucks or busses - they are darn near indestructible.
  5. Have you guys seen the books by Nicholas Tomihama? He used to make wood bows ( even wrote a book to help beginning bowers ), but when marriage and a kid made money even tighter, he started making bows out of PVC pipe and he is getting fairly good results, with several bows in the #35 to #50 range and at least one bow in the #75 range - including several take down bows and PVC pipe Horse Bows. I have talked a couple of times with him, and he is all for making archery affordable. Here is his Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Nicholas-Tomihama/e/B004Q2LJLM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
  6. That's why my next batch of arrows were Fluorescent Orange their entire length - like I said they looked like tracers on a average day or mini laser bolts when the sun was really bright, when it was going down range.
  7. Don't. Not saying you can't, just that it could be very bad juju if you did. Unless, you are Native American using them in a religious ritual, of have a Bird of Prey handling certificate/license the Feds tend to go **Bonkers** about that sort of thing - even if they don't come from a endangered species. They could even take the stance that you killed the bird, just to get the feathers. Classic turkey feathers are cheap and more than good enough for the job, and you can get them in most any color and style you could want.
  8. <shrug> Like I said, more of something I'm speculating on - because in doing some research into archery, I have come across some 50's - 60's era studies into making the limb curves, that indicate modern mass production techniques may be building bows backwards, thus not reaching the full potential of the materials or basic shape. Here is one of the last arrows - as the colors suggest, it is one from the first batch of arrows I made: As you can see, taking these in the field, could prove hazardous to keeping track of them, if I missed the target.
  9. It's been several years, since I shot archery in the SCA, but I have been playing around with the idea of getting back into archery. I have 3 recurves. A 29# Bear that my dad owned as a youngster ( almost no curve left ), a 40# Shakespeare, and a 55# Ben Pearson - only one arrow left as the others ( that were not lost in the field ) were lost in moves around the US, but I made them, with pre-formed materials. My first set of arrows was stained a nice Walnut brown, with a Forest Green cock feather and black hen feathers, 125 grn field points and black nocks - beautiful to look at, and great to shoot at a measured range - but the first time I went field shooting, I lost a quarter of them by the end of the first day. I learned my lesson, and the next set was Flo Orange, and looked like tracers going down range - I still lost them, but not near as fast why sometimes I could go a month or so between a loss ( but I made 5 doz of them just in case so the occasional loss wasn't so bad ). I have even begun speculating on the possibility of building my own fiberglass bow - if I get really ambitious I may even try to build a fiberglass version of a Penobscot bow.
  10. If it was slightly serrated, would it cut better when levering the grubbing blade under a root?
  11. Do you have some pics with different angles to better see the change?
  12. Talking about being stiff to forge. Reminds me of the time when a friend I had, tried to forge a trailer hitch ball. He got the thing bright red hot, put it on the anvil, and took one whack with a hammer, and the trailer ball shot out of the tongs he was using and rolled across the driveway and on to ( and then across ) his garage floor into a pile of clean shop towels at the back of the garage, before it came to a stop. Total distance ~45-50' Forging session comes to fast stop and fire suppression session comes to a fast start, as everyone first couldn't believe what happened, staring at what the ball was doing, and then dropping everything when they realized it was going into the garage. Oops.
  13. Locally might be a no-go, but samples of many pure ( 99% ) elements can be delivered to your door - http://element-collection.com/html/samples.html
  14. I am still finding this thread very informative, as any ore that that might be close to being available locally ( half a state away ), either has sulfur, or titanium or tungsten in it. Obviously, the sulfur is to be avoided at all cost, but the others might be useable even if they have their own problems.
  15. Isn't the counter to the formation of cast iron, running a charge with a higher percentage of ore to carbon? That being said, could you break up the cast iron and use it in your next smelt to recover what might other wise be lost values ( that is, if you are not into casting iron )?
  16. Brings to my mind, a question..... It's been a while since I was last on the forum, due to illness, and the last time I was around, I had asked about pre-mixing the ore with lime and clay, forming what would be essentially be homemade taconite to make it easier to handle, but I was informed that was a useless endeavor. Yet now I find what appears to be the same thing with this baked cornmeal / cornbread mix - what happened to cause this apparent change? Edited: Was thinking faster than my fingers type, and left out part of what I was going to say.
  17. Are they not already 21"? How long do they have to be in Cali?
  18. I would have sworn it was going on the end of a .50, not a little .308 .....and even then it's receivers that are completed more than 80% by a commercial company, for anything else they consider it a personal project and is ignored as long as you don't do more than 5 in any given year - granted if you then sell the thing it does need to have some kind of identifying numbering system.
  19. Don, That is something that I have not thought of or heard of before. Why are the edges dressed and how is it done?
  20. Heat until red hot and drop in big bucket of cold water? Granted if it doesn't have much carbon it will not be brittle - but if there are spots of higher carbon content, would it not make it easier to break apart ( not to mention give a better idea of how homogeneous it is )??? I'm not suggesting that it actually be done ( unless you want to ), I'm just throwing it out to test the idea.
  21. Jan, When you say " refine the metal a bit ", did you have any particular method in mind?
  22. I have to admit that I have had the idea of a small scale converter poking around in the back of my mind - wondering if it could be pulled off.
  23. Niko, I did some research after another discussion wandered into the chemistry of hot carbon and water. Yes, the water will combine with the carbon when above ~1500*, but that reaction is endothermic, that is to say it takes some of the available energy to occur - the reaction also increases fuel consummation, because not only is the fuel burning, but water is combining with it to make H2 and CO and generally the amount of heat given off by the burning of H2 and CO is less that it took to make it in the first place. Yes, in theory the CO and H2 from that reaction should improve reduction, but whether or not the furnace in question is tall enough and hot enough for the reduction with the H2 to take place higher in the stack - if it is not hot enough the the H2 will generally just burn off at the top, where free O2 becomes available.
  24. Mark, I think that I came up with something that I could use if my losses of the iron oxide powder become excessive, but that was primarily major concern with a furnace that had a 6-8 inch bore ( less so with a 10-12" ). I ran across something about a month ago, where the smelters mixed the iron oxide powder with just enough flour and water so it held together like dough, it was then dried and broken up into 1/4" pieces. I figure that much the same can be done only forcing it through window screen - instant sand that is not likely to get blown out. Like I said, it was something I came up with I was still contemplating a 6-8" furnace.
  25. I'm not an expert and have not made a bloom yet, but I can think of some reasons. 1) Problems digging the bloom out of the furnace. 2) Need to dig out the entire furnace to make repairs. 3) Some times to much heat can cause problems with the bloom ( in a general sense the more heat the more carbon will infuse the iron and you go past steel into cast iron ). 4) Problems tapping the slag. (edit - I wouldn't want to be working around the top of such a furnace, as if it does give way, that means an instant 1500-2000* hole that I would have to try to keep from falling into ) This is not to say that such furnaces have not been used - I recall a old issue of Scientific American ( back in the 70's IIRC ) that documented the manufacture of iron and steel by some fairly primitive tribes, and it was done on a hill side that had a lot a wind - the disposable furnace was made by digging a narrow shaft down into an embankment, and then a short horizontal shaft out the side - it was then filled with fuel and ore, and allowed to run - the wind blowing over the top of the hill would draw air through the shaft, like water flowing over a limpet would draw water through the shell. When the smelt was complete they let the entire thing cool and then dig away the portion of the embankment that made up the side of the furnace shaft to reach the bloom.
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