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About alexb

  • Birthday 02/24/1967

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  1. alexb

    The merits (or not) of PW steel

    Fantastically well said. I would say have fun with it,we only get one shot at this thing called life. As I get older I get less and less willing to take on non essential projects that I dread doing. I'm mostly a hobbiest so customers requests aren't an issue,if they like it they can have it.
  2. alexb

    welding heat, or not? it's got to be...

    15 or 20!?! I usually weld at 9 in a double burner with on of the burners plugged so it's really a single.
  3. alexb

    Best Hydralic Press to purchase

    I'll second the diamondback forges,I have a two burner and don't have any complaints. I usually use it as a one burner unless it's a really long billet.
  4. alexb

    were to find curly birch

    I've had some really good luck finding woods on ebay. I don't have any birch but do have some curly ipe if you want a piece just let me know.
  5. alexb

    Wood in the Kitchen - a test

    I use boiled linseed oil in a mason jar in a double boiler,bring up too temp then seal so it creates a vacuum.I let it sit for a week then air dry on a rack. Takes a few weeks too dry out but goes all the way through pieces 2"x2"x6". Works great for stuff like buckeye and walnut,not good for really dense and or oily woods like afzelia or ironwood. I really like it for buckeye as it keeps tearout too a minimum and finishes real easy. My understanding is you can get the same results using minwax wood hardener for a more plasticy finish. Also works with tung oil but way more expensive.
  6. alexb

    Hand Grinding Sucks

    When everything drops away and you are not you. When whatever you are making just appears before your eyes without any real conscious thought. Yes,this is the key too most things I think,well said.
  7. alexb

    Problem Etching Cable Damascus.

    I use straight white vinegar,usually takes multiple soaks of a couple hours with a good wipe down in between for the pattern to really pop. I wipe with a soft cotton cloth or a new sponge to remove the oxides,then polish with toothpaste. I just keep repeating until the patterns showing like I want it too.
  8. alexb

    One perfect cut

    Brushhooks are just primevil when it comes to making the cut. When I was a very young child,maybe 5 or 6 I found my Dads skinning knife on his dresser. I took it into the living room and was sitting on the couch looking at it.I went to set it down on the cushion(blade down)and that thing just sunk into the cushion like it wasn't even there. So...............I picked it up and touched it to the cushion again and again and yet again.The way it effortlessly parted the fabric and foam was just the most amazing thing I had yet too experience in life. I can honestly say that moment has too a certain degree shaped my life too what it is today. My folks were pissed,took all my pocket knives and got a whipping..................but it was worth it. I gotta say that was my very first experiance with the cut.
  9. alexb

    One perfect cut

    I also started before edm's,data collectors and osha. I don't mind snakes a bit,we're all god's creatures after all. I have seen some horrendous self inflicted wounds caused by swinging through the item being cut.I had to pack one fella out on my back,he had buried the blade so deep in his shinbone we had to leave it in till he got to the er............just didn't want to come out.
  10. alexb

    One perfect cut

    Both take practice like everything else in life. I was a land surveyor in Florida for a long time and few things in life beat a sharp machete and a line going through a GREEN stand of brazilian pepper trees........till ya hit the deadwood then it's chainsaw time.
  11. alexb

    The ideal kitchen knife

    My wife says..............thinner. No matter how thin it is,I think she's looking for see- through myself. So I made her a couple under 1/16 for veggies and a couple at around 1/8 for meat and such. I had a dickens of a time with warp on the thin ones,a thin claycoat with solid normalizations really helped with that.
  12. alexb

    Why Hello There

    Well hello there. Normalization is bringing the piece up to critical(roughly 1450 F) then letting slowly air cool till all the colors gone.I normally do 3 normalization cycles after all the grindings done just prior to heat treat. Swords are a monsterous undertaking for a first try,knives are hard enough on their own. Read the forums till you understand...............then read some more. Scrap steels another unknown in a sea of confusion,I strongly suggest using a known steel, as it'll help eliminate some of the many,many further questions that always come up. Good luck on yer research,this place is a veritable goldmine of info and assistance.
  13. alexb

    Precision Tang Fits

    Thank you very much,a brilliant idea that is so simple yet effective. Do you use any epoxy on the tang for the final fit?
  14. alexb

    Fiery Pants?

    I light myself on fire often enough that the wife and kids don't even bat an eye anymore. I especially like how hot flux can end up in the oddest of places.............
  15. alexb

    Is this a good price for ironwood?

    I also liked them,bought a buch so thanks for the link.