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Dan O'Connor

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Dan O'Connor last won the day on July 23 2015

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About Dan O'Connor

  • Birthday 04/10/1953

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    Swordmaking. Kendo, Iaido, Housebuilding , Guitar, Fiddle and Grandkids.

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  1. Geez! I kinda skipped out on this thread. Maybe because I was waiting to have a definitive answer. I don’t know about definitive but more to add to the conversation. This is a redo of the small knife above. Polish to 1200 redline paper. Brush on 2% nitric acid. Polish off with 3M Trizact 3000 and 5000 paper. 3 times. BF23BF32-F54B-4837-AA15-CD9620645EB8.MOV
  2. Citric acid etch and post etch polished seems to be dialed in. Still optimizing pre-etch polish. All NJSB W-2. Hamon1800 clay and Paragon furnace.
  3. Clay based Anti Scale and Hamon Compound NoScale good to 2000 degrees on all steels. 16oz of either $28 32oz $52 $13.65 flat rate shipping in US-can fi (4) 16oz and (2) 32oz in box
  4. Alan, The last picture shows the hamon clay after the quench. Most of it pops off in the quench. The residue can be scraped of with the edge of a piece of wood, plastic etc. Just about anything takes it off. The clay never vitrifies unless you do a for real anneal. (slow cool 50 degrees per hour) The NoScale pops of clean in oil or water. The very thin layer that comes off is just hard enough not to dissolve in your oil or water tank. When doing stainless with its longer, higher temperatures and plate quench a white coating remains. Can be scrubbed off with a nylon scrubby and water. A wire wheel whisks it right off. Was not a target feature but in all cases, carbon or stainless, a surprisingly durable black coating remains on the steel. Some kind of oxide coating I am guessing. First video is kind of long. Both are promotional pieces but gives oyu the idea.
  5. I suppose this qualifies as new work and show and tell. It is indeed my newest work If this needs to go somewhere else Alan please move it. I have played with this over years but about 2 years ago I got serious about it. I'll not make a sales pitch here but basically it is two products. A thin, paint-able (brushed or sprayed) clay to prevent scale on all steels-carbon or stainless to 2000 Degrees A thicker Japanese style clay to aid in creating hamons. If you want to know more go to the Nuclayer Systems page listed below. The YouTube channel has a couple of basically promotional videos. More instructional videos in the works. Thanks for looking.
  6. As so often happens with all of us, life happens. I have been away for a while, but it is time to rekindle the fire so to speak. For the last 8-9 months I have been stoking the flames. I will share what I have been doing but I thought I would begin with in fact- a beginning. I built this knife almost 40 years ago for my Uncle Jim O'Connor. All stock removal in stainless steel. He in turn gave to a friend of his. This friend has passed on and the knife found its way back to Uncle Jim. And in turn back to me to spiff it up a bit. Here is how it came back to me. Some deep scratches on one side but otherwise-not bad for an old knife. This is how it went back to him. Not as good of photo as the first but you get the idea. Jim presented it to his son, my cousin Tim O'Connor-who has sons himself. So, a knife with our name on it will pass on down through the O'Connor Clan.
  7. Hello Brian. I have been on a mostly self imposed exile from bladesmithing and forging. Several factors led to it but it is not permanent. I use pine charcoal exclusively. I use a side blast Japanese style forge and pine is essential for an efficient fire. It does burn hotter that is true, but the main element for success is the almost complete lack of ash. In a standard bottom blast forge where the ash can fall thru a grate, hardwood charcoal is feasible. I could not make it work in a side blast. I have make my own pine charcoal for 20+ years. For my purposes any pine, spruce, hemlock etc. is better than hardwood. I have made a huge amount of charcoal from construction scraps. But as Jake has already detailed, there is big difference in the "pines". The Japanese use Red pine- Pinus Densiflora- exclusively. It is a fairly dense pine. Below is average densities of various pines. White pine- 26 lbs/ft3 Red pine-33 lbs/ft3 Yellow pine-40 lbs/ft3 I live in close proximity the sawmills of East Texas and now use non-kiln dried yellow pine scrap. There is a significant difference from it and the kiln dried white pines from construction sites. But in reality, any pine is good. The bad news is what you have already discovered.-you cannot buy it. Hence the reason I make it. You can find some of the methods I have used here; http://www.katanabuilders.com/katanablog/charcoal/ Good luck.
  8. Great video Daniel. As outsiders we can appreciate the technical difficulties and skills displayed. But we cannot feel the depth of emotion attached to this work. The juxtaposition of suits and ties against the elaborate but incomprehensible to us traditional dress and ceremony is lost on all but a few of us. What is clear (to me anyway) is that it is the process that is the focus. The blade is just a magnificent by product. Regarding the straw and clay. Life has kind of gotten in the way lately but what I do know is that if you apply the clay slurry to bare hot metal it just slides right off. The straw kind of fuses to the hot metal and allows the clay to stay put. The tamahagane or any primitively made steel is is more or less self fluxing. The rice straw/clay combo is more about excluding oxygen than anything else. I think. Excluding oxygen reduces material loss and helps the welding process. Wheat straw or even Johnson grass char may serve the same purpose. The jury is still out if the higher silica of rice straw is a factor. Note in the video that the straw is not burned to ash but to more of a char. I find this to be a common factor. This is facilitated by the high silica content. Rice straw is hard to come by here in the US. There is almost no commercial value, so farmers (here in Texas and Louisiana anyway) just plow it under or burn it off. Rice hulls however, have a much higher silica content than the straw and can be readily available if you find the right rice mill (Bagged up and cheap). Testing is underway.
  9. Well-I was going to suggest Hostgator until I saw that you had problems. I have used them for about 6 years and I don't seem to have any issues with AOL or Yahoo users. I use Dropbox for a backup. There are several WordPress plugins available for it. Up to 2Gb on DBOX is free. I have the paid version ($9.98 a month) for 1Tb. Everything I have on my computer is also linked to DB. Word of warning. If you are changing computers and want to purge files on your old computer. Uninstall DBOX BEFORE the purge. If you don't, it will also erase them on the DBOX cloud storage and then when you link to your new computer it will erase them from that as well if you had previous downloaded to it. Luckily for me, DBOX keeps a backup of itself that I restored the files from. I also have an Amazon AWS account. Looking at that as well as a secondary backup. Just now exploring the Amazon thing. Can also host on demand videos from there using JW player.
  10. Stained and waiting to dry. Oh yeah! And actually finish building the openings to hang them.
  11. Yeah Buddy on the great care. Memorial Hermann Northeast in the Houston area was the place to do it. Fabulous people. Not a single bad experience while I was there.
  12. Thanks Kevin. Closest I ever came to maiming myself was with a table saw. Luckily just nicked the top of my fingernail. I don't count the time I Zigged when I should have Zagged on a big grinder and threw a 200lb piece of steel over my head and into a wall 20 feet away. There would have been no maiming on that one.
  13. Thank Dave, Yep -space is a problem. My current covered open air space 16'x24' is our future outdoor kitchen. My wife is tired of the future part. Hence the current construction project(s). I started out working wood-making bolt action rifle gunstocks, carpentry apprentice etc.Then about 1974 I picked up a good quality handmade knife and the stage was set. Somehow this led into the machinist trade which got me comfortable with precise tolerances. I go back and forth now. You are right working wood is a nice break from sometimes intractable steel. However I tend to use dial calipers (non-digital) as well as a tape measure.
  14. LALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!! Yeah. I did the same. The surgeon said he was scooping me out. It never occurred to me though that it would not all work out. Had a really funny nurse and once I was more or less up and running again she said "Ya know, we have never had someone this bad not die on us. We are all pretty proud of ourselves." Mighty damn proud of them myself.
  15. I am officially calling this my lost year regarding blade smithing but also a celebration. A year ago this month I walked into an emergency room in Houston with a ruptured appendix. I had walked around with it for a couple of days. I was basically a toxic waste site by the time they opened me up. It was a near thing. Obviously I recovered. So, I have gotten a few things accomplished in my forge but I have turned some of my attention to my long neglected other long term project-the building of my house. I am moving my office downstairs and adding some space to the shop. I am not sure anymore if it is a blessing or a curse knowing how to make stuff. I am easily disgusted with price and/or quality of available products. In the end, it is that most precious of commodities-Time- that I am spending. Be that as it may, these are new doors for a new office and shop expansion. Knotty alder bought straight lined but otherwise rough-a 12" wood planer is a beautiful thing. My Little 10" portable Bosch saw is a trooper. 40lb buckets of crushed, and sorted magnetite in the background. Soon my pretties -soon Bits and pieces milled out. Home made drill jig. Oak dowels and heavy screw Laying in the planks Coming together Two down, one to go. Yes, they are upside down. Note to self-don't hang them that way.
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