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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

AJ Chalifoux

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    Swords, Knives, Polearms, Daggers, Western Martial Arts, Over-Engineering Stuff...

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  1. Following the manufacture of the latest longsword project

    Absolutely stellar. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Lathe and milling machine ?

    Abene and Deckel were made relatively close to your neck of the woods, and are supposed to be some of the best mills ever made. You may be able to find some for a decent price (not sure what they go for near you). The important things for any mill are: 1. All spindle speeds and power feeds (if it has power feed) work without any grinding, binding, or tightness 2. The table moves freely without much backlash 3. There are no broken castings, bearings, anything like that 4. There are no funny sounds when the machine is powered up 5. The ways are all in good shape 6. The spindle has little or no play 7. It comes with tooling (because that's often as expensive as the machine itself) 8. The motor is the right voltage and isn't too big for you to power Lathes are much the same as far as testing. I personally have never looked at a machinery dealer unless it's industrial surplus, as they charge insane amounts for stuff I can get on Craigslist for 1/3 the price. Spend some time on Practical Machinist and you'll learn a lot.
  3. Hear ye,hear ye I have been perusing

    This one got me.
  4. My first real sword! Type XVa longsword complete

    Love the shape on that!
  5. Straightening Long Blades

    I'm thinking I'll have to take it one step at a time with a vise and torch/localized heat, but I just want to know if there's any neat tricks anybody picked up along the way to make the process less tedious. I haven't been brave enough to straighten directly after quench while it's still hot. How long is the blade submerged in oil before you pull it out? I generally just let it go and take the warps out during tempering with a propane torch, a heavy vise, a steel tube, and a foul mouth. Worst I've tried to take out was sabering of a longsword. The worst I've actually been able to take out was excessive waviness on the edge of a messer by clamping the spine in a vise, heating the edge to blue/purple, and attacking it with pliers and my full body weight. Never could get it all out, though...
  6. Straightening Long Blades

    Hi All, I'd like to see what other people do to straighten sword-length blades out of the forge. Correcting warps post-HT is simple enough and has been covered numerous times on this forum alone, but getting a long blade perfectly straight in the first place has always been a challenge to me. I find it especially hard on curved blades. My go-to is generally to find a flat surface, heat the blade up for normalizing, and either gently tap with the hammer down the length on the flat surface (flipping occasionally), or lay the sword down and press down on it with a heavy piece of flat steel (or thick board). Does anyone have anything better? On straight blades this works okay, but if I clamp the tang to a flat work surface afterward I'll still end up with more clearance between the surface and the tip on one side than on the other. Curved blades have been giving me trouble recently... Best, A.J.
  7. Welding on Double edge Spine

    What Sam said. Plenty of medieval swords are .20 thick at the base or less. Some of them even longswords... As far as the actual welding, yeah It'll work as long as the weld is solid enough. In the future, a better (and easier) way to improve stiffness is to play with the distal and profile tapers, though. Or start with 5/16 stock.
  8. Critique my setup please

    You need a "bowl" to trap the heat. My first forge was nothing more than a pile of wood ash that I had wetted down. In the center I made a bowl maybe 12-18" I diameter and 10-12" deep. I stuck a hair dryer in the side and let it crank. It got so hot that I once put in a room temperature bar of mild steel and left it in for a minute and a half or so, and when I pulled it out it had started to melt... A friend of mine used to use the bottom half of a propane grill through the bottom of which he had ran a pipe with 1/4" holes drilled along the length. He lined it with patio bricks to make a "V". The dimensions were maybe 10" deep X 15" long X 10" wide at the top. He used anthracite coal, which has no sulfer and burns forever and is cheap to boot, but getting it lit is equivalent to lighting a rock on fire. We had to build a small wood fire in the center and carefully turn the air on while slowly piling the coal on top... Man, propane forges are great.
  9. European guard attachment issues

    Heating it will be inevitable in order to harden all of the blade, just try not to quench it past 1/2 inch or so onto the tang. Since I have to temper all my swords using a propane torch and some patience, I'll stick the torch onto the tang about 2" from the blade base and watch until the colors turn a purple-blue color. That way I know if any of the tang hardened it's at least tempered and very tough. Round shoulders are critical, but remember you don't have to go crazy with it. The diameter of a chainsaw file is generally sufficient. Some makers do more, some less. The same is true of historical examples. As long as there's some radius and a beefy tang, it'll stand up (especially with 5160).
  10. European guard attachment issues

    It won't crack anything unless the tang is hardened, the shoulders aren't rounded enough, and/or the slot is too narrow. It's good to have a tang profile that is an even width for the first inch or so from the blade and then tapers in toward the pommel. It gives you a nice even seat for the guard, and as Alan said if you want to stake the guard from the backside it gives you enough material to do it.
  11. European guard attachment issues

    Some are also fine with guards that just slide right up to the blade shoulders and then they slide the grip over to hold it in place. Usually, this kind of fit is done on take-down constructions involving threaded tangs and pommels/pommel nuts, so it can always be tightened more. I've never been big on these as they tend to rattle and come loose easily after heavy use, and prefer to drill and file or else mill the slot so that the slot width is slightly less than the tang thickness. I test the fit as I go to make sure I don't remove too much material. As soon as I get to the point where I can drive the guard all the way up with a 3-4 pound hammer, I remove it and don't drive it on again until the final fit. Repeatedly driving it on and off will widen the slot and make the fit more loose.
  12. Possible Belt Grinder Questions

    Actually, I just realized the custom belts can be cheaper. A standard 2x72 ceramic belt of 60 grit from one vendor is $5.99, which comes out to $0.0832/in, whereas a 2x82 belt of the same type was quoted by the same vendor at $6.80 per belt, or $0.0829/in. Perhaps something for everyone to keep in mind should the need arise.
  13. Possible Belt Grinder Questions

    Thanks for your response, C. To answer a few questions, it's made by a company named G&P Machinery. Motor is 2HP 3 PH, and adding a VFD is no big deal as long as it runs (no plug, no way to test...). It's currently 2x72, but adding a 12" contact wheel without modification to the arm requires a 2x82 belt. Getting quotes from a few vendors revealed that custom belts cost almost the exact same amount per inch as standard belts, so I'm not losing anything. That revelation actually may have convinced me to give it a go, as adding a flat platen is cheap and custom belts are, too.
  14. Hi All, Trying to wrap my head around something. I'm looking at a belt grinder (see below) with a 6" contact wheel and, 6" drive wheel. It was made to specifically have this setup, though I'm pretty sure swapping the 6" drive wheel for a 4" would let me have up to a 10" contact wheel. The price is right, so this is extremely tempting. My concern is trying to fabricate a flat platen setup for this. The contact wheel also serves as the tracking wheel. Is there a downside to swapping the contact wheel for an idler wheel and setting up a flat platen right above it? Will the tracking throw the belt off so it won't sit flat on the platen? Are there any other solutions? I've looked into making another arm, but that may get pretty expensive. If I can't, are there any good places for custom belts? What kind of prices would I be looking at for something in the 2x75 range?
  15. Chinese Jian

    Thanks guys. Steve, I believe the handle is jobillo, but I'd have to retrace my steps to remember what the scabbard is. Wes, yes that's exactly what I did haha. Coated them in nail polish, drew designs and scratched them out, then let them sit in a salt water bath while hooked up to a battery to etch. Brass is very stubborn when it comes to etching, so I had to let them sit in the bath for about 10 minutes each.