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John N

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John N last won the day on June 20 2016

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About John N

  • Birthday 04/18/1975

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  1. The solid stainless machined burner flare on my welding forge has pretty well eroded to nothing due to how hot it gets ! The burner stays cold at the gas injection end though, I assume that is because of all the cold propane, and air that is whistling down it.
  2. I have found success improves greatly if, after you have done your initial welding passes you chuck it straight back into the forge, let it get back up to welding heat and let it have a good soak at temp for 5 mins or so. Gives all the layers a chance to get to know each other before you start putting more work into the billet.
  3. When I purchase big lumps of die steel, from the big boys, they specify the grain flow direction so you can machine it in the correct orientation. I don't know enough to discredit this - I think they know enough to back it up http://www.somersforge.com/assets/public/pdfs/Somers%20Forge%20Die%20Steels%20Handbook.pdf
  4. Im with you on this one Stew, the grain looks like crap (might have been you when you heated it to break it ?) - When ive snapped 15n20 / 20C (similar to your claimed recipe) Its looked homogeneous. Those horizontal lines look like bad welds to me. Normalise it a few times and make a knife !
  5. It was probably induction hardened originally. The 1/8" that matters heated up real quick, and got cold real quick. If I was to have a guess at material I would say 1040 / 1045 ish for that kind of tool. I have flame hardened en8 die blocks for power hammers (which is basically the same process / material as induction hardening) and got 60Rc from the quench before tempering back a bit to make them usable. - I did not undertake this process myself, used a pro heat treat firm. Your process is not dropping the temp fast enough, or the steel is auto tempering from the core, if I were to have a guess at whats going on.
  6. Looks like crap, so good job its from a reputable source ! do you have decent power tools to reduce it ?
  7. The cracks are probably not bad luck, but caused by forging too hot (overheating the steel during forging process). Spring steels can be a bit more fussy to forging temperature than simple carbon steels. Some steels 'cottage cheese' when you get them to hot which can be interesting ! If you overheated a few times, and then quenched without any normalisation cycles the grain the steel may have been moohasive when you did the oil quench, which would not have helped with it remaining homogeneous ! It would be interesting to break a bit of the billet and have a look. If the steels in a billet are very different you can also get problems with heat treatment when they have different contraction (or expansion!) rates on quench, and the billet will tear itself apart. Both Owen Bush and Mick Maxen (whose skills I am in awe of) told me in my very early days of pattern welding, when I was messing with 'unknown' steels, that known steel was very cheap in the overall scheme of things. They were 100% right. I still think I learnt a lot more about patternwelding from having to ponder what when wrong when welding the back of a filing cabinet to a landy leaf spring than I would have done if I just got a load of compatible 15n20 & 20c from the outset though !
  8. Ive found if you try to hard, and the metal knows that you care it won't weld. Try and catch it by surprise
  9. Have you done much work with mono steel blades ? the principles are exactly the same as patternweld, and the p/w will act exactly the same a mono once its had a few heats as one piece. The only time ive found this not to be true is with very dissimilar materials, like san mai with stainless dammy cladding where it can pull every which way.
  10. As a wild card, I just got one of these radiusmaster rip offs, a versatile machine for the money. I can see it being my 'go to' grinder. Seems reasonably well put together and it runs very smoothly. http://www.baileighindustrial.co.uk/belt-grinder-bg-248-3-1
  11. After heating to normalising temp are you letting it cool, in still air, hanging from a pair of tongs or similar ? How are you measuring your temps ?
  12. You could use a large tupperware container if you bought some cable glands etc, and put remote 'run / stop etc on it. Of course it would not pass muster in a regulated working environment but I would not have any concerns if i was the only person operating it.
  13. Thats a fine looking blade Jake ! hope you are well, missed you at owens this year, raised a glass to you in your absence
  14. Its something I pondered when I first started trying to make knives. After a while I decided I did not care that much. A few ramblings below..... When I was starting out a 'bladesmith'' visited my shop to show me how to forge knives. He mullered a bit of o1 GFS, and trued it up with a grinder when the forging went wrong every now and again. I kept playing around with forging, and my moment when I though 'yes, I can forge knives' was when I made a 'feathered 'w's' blade. The reason for me thinking that was the billet was like a matchbox, stood on end, and ended up blade shaped. I had to understand a bit about it to get it from shims of steel, to one shape, to another shape to blade shape, to heat treated in one piece. Like plasticine, I can move (predictable) metal how I want to. I would never refer to myself as a bladesmith though, I'm an engineer (well actually accounts trained, but nearly an engineer), who can forge a blade. I had another guy visit my forge after I had my 'I can forge a blade' epiphany. My skill level was comparable to the o1, ground flat stock forger who visited me a couple of years before, by comparison, (a chap called 'lemmythesmith' (Graham) who I think has posted on here in the past.). It was quite humbling. Ive since met lots of people (through forge ins mostly) that make blades, who have a depth of understanding so deep I probably could not understand the concept of what they 'get'. I respect these people. I have also met lots of people who are forging blades with passion, and minimum equipment. I respect these people. The fact we all post on 'bladesmithsforum' means the bulk of us will be somewhere on the curve. At some point you will probably stop worrying about badges, and what other people say. I did ! edit, I suppose to make sense of the ramble above, what I am trying to say is only you will know when you are, and what you are, and what badge you want to wear.
  15. The top die does not look square or perpendicular to the ram (manufacturing problem). I think it might cause problems with the dies working loose, Which is the other problem with how you have orientated it, you have no access to knock your die keys in tight. Really you need to re-drill another 3 holes in the hammer frame so the bottom die receiver can be orientated by 60 deg increments (like the ram guide box can with its 6 location bolts) at the moment with only 3 holes you are restricted to 120 degree increments. - you want the position to be the mirror of what you originally had to be 'left handed' hammer. Anyang locate the die receiver with 4 bolts, and the ram gland with 8 bolts, but drill and tap the frame in 8 equi-spaced holes on a p.c.d (bottom) and 16 holes (top) so you have much more flexibility in rotation of the die receiver and ram. Have you checked if the dies have been hardened yet ? might be better to find out now if they are not.