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John N

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Everything posted by John N

  1. Looks nice! Hard to critique without giving it a test run - proof of pudding is how well it cuts, everything else is quite subjective. It is really the 'thickness behind the edge' that has the biggest effect on how a chefs knife cuts. I grind & stone the bevels on my chefs knives pretty thin before sharpening (so the edge is say 0.004" - 0.006") - its a funny one, as a 0.012" edge can seem thin before sharpening, but its triple the thickness of a 0.004" edge ! Like you say it does not have much distal taper (thin tip is important on a chefs knife for 'swishing' through onions etc), and to my eye there is quite a lot of handle there for a kitchen knife. Looks great and well sculpted for a 'Stab Grip' , but how does it feel in hand for other grips, like 'pinch gripping' which is used a lot. The other thing that I have found to be very important on kitchen / chefs knives is 'board clearance' for your knuckles when chopping etc. You don't want to be working with your knuckles over the edge of the board all the time, which you do if there is not enough clearance. It might be the angle of the photos, but it looks like your knife would be a bit tight for clearance. If so kicking the angle of the handle up a couple of degrees, relative to the back 2/3rds of the cutting edge would make it much easier to use. My knives tend to be all in a more traditional Japanese style, which is very minimalist. I dont have much experience making 'western' type chefs knives so my ramblings might be off the mark for this knife though!
  2. I really don't like the deflation of going from one step to the next, thinking i've knocked it out of the park, only to realise the step before was not quite as good as i'd hoped Forging 'yeah' neatest forging ever ! - heat treat ......... 'crack' Perfect forging and heat treat ! 'yeah' straight as a die. Rough grind says bananna! Perfect forging, heat treat, rough grind ' yeah!' - delam in steel on finish grind! etc etc. I am getting better at seeing them to the finish post though. Incremental improvements.
  3. Extinguishers by the exit door are a good idea if your brave enough go in to investigate! These are my personal top tips, as a new found expert in the matter (not that any of it would have made any real difference in my shop fire, as there was a very large fire front by the time it hit my buildings) 1 - make sure your insurance coverage is adequate. 2 - make sure your insurance coverage is adequate !!! 3 - Fire breaks. If your shop is separate to your house, don't park a vehicle, or pile a load of crap between them. 4 - Have a good honest look around your shop at all the piles of crap that are in there, that can burn. Stuff you don't really think would burn, burns really well once a fire gets going. Dont give it a chance to! Have a massive clear out, and enjoy the zen of a minimalist tidy workspace. (basically do a fire risk assessment!) 5 - Document what you have done to minimise the fire risk in the shop. Imagine you are having to show it to someone, even if its 'just pretend' conversation. Are you happy? or do you have a cringe at what you meant to get around to doing, but did not have the time ! (I am happy I did what I could on the prevention side, if there was a fire under different circumstances)
  4. The thing with making a forge is, you start out with all the best intentions of making a clean looking, beautifully crafted thing, and after the 20th modification, it works perfectly, but looks like a burnt pile of crap. The sooner you accept this inevitability the happier you will be Eventually you end up with basically a pile of firebricks, with a burner poking into it ! I would strongly recommend a CO alarm in your garage or the building where the forge is sitting outside. Badly tuned forges pump out a massive amount of carbon monoxide. Might be the best $20 you spend! (and CO poisoning is cumulative) edit, there is a good book if you are interested in the workings of burners (sure you can find it cheaper! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gas-Burners-Forges-Furnaces-Kilns/dp/1879535203 ) I learnt loads about making burners, and make some good ones on the back of the information in the book. If I had 'my time' again, I would have just purchased an 'Amal' burner and concentrated on the forging! (although the 'Amal's' were not really known about for home forges 'in the olden days'
  5. Thanks Guys ! Its still a complete fubar situation, but we are unpicking it a bit. I have not been able to retrieve any of my 'industrial' work in progress, or 'mildly scorched' machines as the building is condemned, and the various insurance companies involved need to collectively agree to tear it down. Hopefully it can be 'made safe' enough for me to get out what I need, before it is fully flattened. Its a bit surreal with the factory gone, covid lockdown etc. Like a big life 'pause'
  6. lol, famous last words from me there. Had a total loss fire 5 weeks ago in the main workshop premises!
  7. Little Sam was so far beyond economic repair its a miracle hes still going ! - I learnt a lot from that re-build, which will hold me in good stead when I start to re-build the poor little Woody!
  8. Sorry your hammers broken. I remember when you got the hammer, and it did not work properly. It was basically a very low cost / low quality lump from the start. Its done well to last as long as it has, I suspect it is a re-badged Rufna hammer. You should contact the person you purchased it from and see if there is a claim on the frame. Negative publicity might force their hand a little. The repair you have done will not last long, as the bending moment on the frame is still concentrated in the area where the frame is obviously weak. You have moved the load points out a couple of inches, but concentrated the load across some bolts. = same result again. Probably the best chance of the hammer lasting long term is to run a couple of tie rods, down from the top cover, to the sow block, so they are in tension. This will minimise the load on the 'hinge' (crack in the frame). It will restrict your access to the dies, but you can probably rotate the dies 45 degrees so you work from the front of the hammer. (if you look at really big flypresses you will see they have, by original design, a tie rod from the top of the frame, to the bed, for this reason) From my experience, any attempts at welding / brazing the crack will be a complete waste of time and money. edit, I now see the crack runs around the back of the hammer, so tie rods wont work - You might be able to buy a new frame for not much money?
  9. Knowing fly presses are not a cheap item in the states (here hauling them costs more than the press!) I would look towards converting a little horizontal log splitter press into a metal squasher as the cheapest way of getting some metal moved on a budget. I have a little 'el cheapo' 3 ton electric / hydraulic thing I use occasionally for its proper application, that I bet would move 1" sq stock with a bit of beefing up on the frame, and 'aggressive dies' (like pieces of 1" round stock)
  10. pretty well nothing left of the material stuff Alan. Got 10 years worth of drawings we have used as PDF's though. I bought an A0 scanner, and our rule has been if you get a drawing from the archives, you scan and label the file, both by drawing number and hammer type / part description. We tried as best we could. The rolling mill might be OK so long as the crane does not land on it from 40' up! Im pretty stubborn, and want it running, so one day, running it will be!
  11. Im gritting my teeth, and sifting the debris in a still smouldering building for tooling etc, got another couple or 3 days before the demo crew hit my bay, as they have started the 'make safe' 4 bays away, ie mine will be the last to be levelled, back end of this week at a guess. Demo lads seem great, are supportive, and have said they will do what they can to save the stuff I care about rather than just 'mashing' through the whole lot.
  12. They are OK! they were in the 'reception' lean to at the front of the building, which you can see standing in the video
  13. At the moment, this is too big to bounce back from. There is a demolition company coming in tomorrow to knock the remains of my factory down. I hope to salvage a couple of my personal power hammers if possible form the rubble.
  14. what fire does not take, water will. This is the best bit of the shop thats left. i could not access the rest as the building as is about to collapse. (all the day light in the back of the pic, used to be the roof of my main factory)
  15. Thanks for the nice words everyone! Looks like its pretty well 100% gone. Demolition crew are starting knocking down the remains of the building in the morning. There is a tiny glimmer of hope that I might be able to salvage a couple of power hammers once the building is down, they look scorched, flooded and sad, but might live again. My little knife finishing shop on the other side of the estate is OK, which gives me a bit of comfort.
  16. all gone I think. Heading down there in a bit
  17. Nice to see you back ! I saw a facebook post from you recently that raised loads on interesting stuff on globalisation, and regimes of different countries, and nearly commented, but did not want to break my own no politicking rule on FB! - hope its a bit more restful for you on here for a while
  18. At a guess its about 5mm thick x 25. (it might even be 6 x 30 mm) - just what was lying around when I made them. Its way too thick though, makes it tricky to get the workpiece in there. I am going to cut the 'U' off the end, and weld a new 'U' piece in about 3 mm thick to make them a bit more forgiving.
  19. In my finishing shop (which I regard as more likely to catch fire, grinding with dust extractors etc) I have a dry powder and CO2 outside the office, which is at the furthest end from the door, and another CO2 and Powder by the entrance / exit door to the yard. My hot shop has a large CO2 and Dry powder in the forging area. I pay a company to advise what is needed, buy them from them, and pay them for an annual inspection & report they have been inspected. They also ensure the correct signage is by the extinguishers. Using a pro company is not much more expensive than guessing what I need, and sourcing them myself. The annual check on them is not expensive, might be 10$ each. Gives me piece of mind, and one less thing to worry about !
  20. When I do it, yes, it stays on. I generally have a very high success rate and the stub stays on until it ends up effectively forge welded into the long flat billet. I am very aggressive forging damascus on larger power hammers, you just need to be mindful to not stress the weld, IE, keep everything square.
  21. Whist I am rambling on about this, in my feverish, sore throat, and dry cough stupor.... I have a lot more success with welded on handles if I can lay down the weld in a straight line (not welding round a diameter. This also maximises the weld area and penetration. So, in your example, you are welding, say, 1/2" rebar to 3/4" sq. Forge the end of the rebar down so its, say, 3/4" x 1/4" thick flat, grind the end square, then weld the handle to the work with 2 x 3/4" long fillets. You can then orientate the workpiece to the anvil so the stick welds are vertical, ie, you are not flapping the weld joint like a hinge.
  22. If a starting billet is 6" long x 1.5" high x 1.5" wide, you would need a pair of box jaws to securely hold 1.5" square. A pair of 1.5 sq tongs will also suck heat out of the bit they are gripping. Not desirable. You would not then be able to weld the full billet in one pass, as the tongs are gripping one end of it, so you would need to take a 2nd welding heat, grip the already welded end (possibly with a different pair of tongs, as the section has changed) and forge weld the other end. Much easier to weld a stub on the end, say 3/4 - 1" dia, and grab that with a simple pair of tongs !
  23. Mig is just a glorified glue gun. Tig way to much finesse required. A decent stab with a 6013 with the amps wound up is my method of choice ! I dont bother with pre-heating, by the time Ive shoved the rod in, the whole weld area is red hot. deep penetration from MMA is the boss for this application! Let it cool slowly, A couple of tricks ive found help, - Maximise the weld area, for example instead of welding a re-bar cut at 90 deg, to a piece of spring cut at 90 deg, cut them both at 45 deg. - I try and scarf the 2 materials (like the 45 deg thing above) so the first thing I do when out of the fire is forge weld them together! - The main separator of welded handle on material is overloading the weld joint through poor forging practice (technique). On a power hammer I can keep a grip stub attached for many heats, by ensuring the work piece is kept flat to the dies, so its not flexing the weld joint. Same on the anvil with a hand hammer. Ive prepped billets for other people when teaching / showing how to do something (and worked an identical billet myself), and my welded handle lasts the duration of the project, Theirs is flapping about after a couple of heats. Practice!
  24. I use 6013's - you can dry them out a bit if they are splutery!
  25. Thanks Alan, hopefully I will start making acceptable hammers and axes in a few weeks. I suspect I might be better at making tooling than 'stuff' though! I am looking forward to getting a grip on the making. I suspect I am too impetus sometimes still.
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