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Rob N.

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Everything posted by Rob N.

  1. One of the best WIPs I've ever seen. Great job and a great looking knife.
  2. I have been trying to get a hold of Larry Zoeller to purchase a couple of his stainless steel burner flares for 3/4 inch pipe, but haven't heard back from him. So, in the meantime, I thought I'd see if I could make a couple burner flares myself. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
  3. Very, very cool, Jesus. I'm pretty much done with my big HT forge (and due to advice given, a little one for smaller blades), yet I have another hot water tank that needs to be made into something. Now, I know it's destiny
  4. Well, Geoff, I'm 7'3" tall JK, but yes I have thought about that, however I feel I have that figured out. I do share your concern in regards to efficiency, though. Hence, the two inches of kaowool, cast-o-lite, plistix configuration. Or do you think, given the length of the forge, that it still will be fairly inefficient?
  5. Ok, so I'm making a heat treat forge, based on Jesus Hernandez's hot water tank HT forge. I had access to an old 50 gallon gas water tank, so I started to rip that bad boy apart to get to the tank. The tank is a lot bigger than I thought. After cutting the long 4 inch pipe out of the belly of the beast, I have an approximately 40 inch by 17.75 inch steel tube. I am planning on reusing the ends of the tank as I know they'll fit I was also planning on lining the tank with two inches of Kaowool and a coating of either Plistix alone or a castable (such as cast-o-lite) with the plistix on top. I plan on having my forge vertical as opposed to horizontal like Jesus' forge. Why? Because when I get better at this smithing gig, I do want to make bigger blades, and from what I've read, taking a 30+ inch blade at 1500 degrees out of a horizontal forge to the quench is tricky indeed. The steel bending, etc...Or is that overblown? Anyhow, my question to the experts here is where would be a good place to set my burner inlets? Can I get a way with just one? Or, given the size of the forge, should I have at least two burners? In my novice estimation, I'm figuring I need at least two, so the question again is where to put them? Thanks in advance.
  6. Ok, I'm going off topic on my own thread , but I have a 15 inch long piece of 1020 steel. It's approximately 5" x 6". I did a little forging just to see how it would handle the steel, and was frankly disappointed in the number of dings it got. They weren't all from missed hammer blows, either! So, my question is, should I get a piece of 4140, which I have been told makes a nice anvil face or should I go the more inexpensive route and pick up a piece of 1045? Is the cheaper price of 1045 worth foregoing the better 4140? I would have either of these two pieces (I'm thinking 1/2 inch thick) welded to the existing 1020. Again, thanks in advance.
  7. Thanks for the tips. Wayne, I'm using a 7 gallon air tank. Dimensions are roughly 10 inches in diameter by 16 inches in length. I should be good with just 1" Kaowool, as opposed to the 2" I had planned? Because I was concerned about the size of the chamber to be honest, but if it's your opinion that 1" of Kaowool and the Kast-O-Lite plus plistix would make for a tough inner chamber capable of welding heat, I'd go that route. Thanks in advance.
  8. Ok, so I'm building a gas forge. It's going very well. I am using Larry Zoeller's side arm burners as my heat source (it's a two burner furnace). I am going to line the inside with (2) one inch thick layers of Kaowool. I've got my fire brick for the bottom of the forge (rated 3,000 degrees), so I should be able to do some forge welding with little worry of ruining the bottom of the forge. My solicitation for opinions is concerning the topic title. I will be coating the Kaowool with one of these products for increased heat performance. Is there any real difference between any of those products? Is one really better than the others? Should I use one and then use another on top of that one? You get the idea. I want the best product available, hence the request. Thanks in advance.
  9. Thanks, Christopher. As a fan of your work, that means a lot to me. Kind of like Mean Joe Greene giving that kid a bottle of Coca-Cola
  10. Excellent Shawn, thanks for the info. I thought A36 might not be the way to go, but it was cheaper and I'm all about cheap right now. However, I want to move UP from the rail anvil, so maybe the 4140 is the way to go. I have a crap load of rail anchors all ready to be made into knives/swords. Thanks to all who have contributed their advice. This is truly a cool community. BTW, there is a Fisher #135 pound anvil for $125.00 in Pittsburgh (about 2 hours away) available on craigslist. It has a damaged horn, but nothing (I think) a little grinding can't rectify. If I don't get the 4140 6x6 piece, that may be the way I go. Again, thanks to all of you.
  11. Yeah, looking like you belong there as well as having cash on hand is always a good idea and one that I am still weighing. Alan it's a 12 pack if you want the garbage men to take something bigger than normal (and possibly you didn't have a city permit to do away with ) to take off your hands for you. That QUAD state event looks fantastic, too. I'm out of town that weekend, though. There's an anvil in Pittsburgh (about two hours away) that someone on another forum showed me. It's a 135# Fisher and they're only asking $125 for it. Here's a link: http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/tls/2544511511.html What do you think? Is this something you could take a grinder to and bring up to snuff?
  12. I've just about given up (but not completely )trying to find that anvil "steal". You know. The anvil that you get for pennies on the dollar because someone didn't know or care what they had. Presently, I'm using an 18 inch piece of rail on it's end as an anvil. It works pretty well, but the surface area is just not that big. Now, I know I'm going to be told to go around my local scrap yards to see if I can find some bigger (and heavier) pieces of steel and that's a great idea. However, I have called every scrap yard around my county and the two adjacent counties and have been told by everyone that they do not sell to the public anymore due to liability issues. Yes, you guessed it I'm in a northern state with approximately 10,000 too many lawyers. So, as that is not an option (or so it seems), my next stop will be at a metal store looking for a piece of 4x4 or 5x5, around 6 inches long. I've got one close that sells hot rolled (A36) and cold rolled (1045 and 4140). My question to you gentlemen and gentle ladies is which would make a better anvil (i.e. harder face, etc...)? Also, in lieu of the fact that it seems I can't get any scrap in this hole that I live in, what other options are there for me to look for used steel, before plucking down cash for a mild steel? Thanks in advance.
  13. Well, Grant I went with one of yours. The V-Box. Can't wait to get it to start using it. Those anchors are unwieldly with channel locks and vice grips, at least to this amateur.
  14. Thanks, Alan. That was kind of what I thinking, too. I'll go with the V-Box then, at least to get started straightening these things out.
  15. Great thread for me. I'm presently looking to buy my first pair of real tongs. I have some rail anchors that are screaming out to be made into either knives/swords. However, I have forged (or more to the point tried to forge) one with both vice grips and channel locks as my "tongs". Neither of these tools worked well with the thickness of the anchor and I had more than a few occasions of flying red hot steel. The anchors are 5/8 inches thick and 1 1/8 inches in width. I asked this same question at the Blacksmiths Depot website and I'll ask it here, too. You can never get too much solicited advice, imo. Which set of tongs would you guys recommend for working with these anchors? Obviously I'll be drawing them out, so both the thickness and width will change. I am looking primarily at the 18 x 1 1/4 OC V-Box tongs as well as the 18 x 1 1/4 OC Double Box tongs as I think they would work great with the initial thickness of the anchors. I have a very limited budget meaning that I really can't afford to get two pairs right now, so another part of the question would be which set of tongs (not just those two) would be best to work these anchors for the whole forging process (from initial width/thickness to finished width/thickness, eg. 1 1/8 inch width by 5/8 inch thick to say 2 1/2 inch width to 3/16 inch thickness)
  16. Doug, RR spikes are like forging butter. They really are nothing to move, so maybe that is why I'm finding the anchors a little more difficult to forge. I'm hoping that after working with them for a while I'll find them easier to move.
  17. Definitely true about both the learning process and the quality of the steel, Doug. That is precisely why I used the RR spike, however. No matter how bad (my assumption) it turned out, I wouldn't be too upset at the outcome. Now that I have that first blade behind me, I'm moving on. I have access to quite a few rail anchors, which after inquiring here and at least one other blade forum, have found out are anywhere from 1050 to 1060 carbon steel. This would make a nice blade I've started on another blade using one of these anchors. I think it was Chris Anderson who said that working with them is tough and I'm here to concur, at least after the relative ease of working with the RR spike. I already have one 2 pound cross pein hammer and another 2 pound engineers sledge that worked great with the RR spike, but this anchor is a lot tougher to move. I saw a 4 pound cross pein that I was thinking about getting. In your opinion, or any other person's for that matter, is that a good way to go? Or should I just man up and enjoy the time forging!
  18. Thank you for the kind words. It definitely was a fun process. It's funny. I've been looking at it quite a bit and I am seeing so many things I could have done differently (read: better). I don't have access to a belt sander or grinder, so I, to the best of my abilities, draw filed the blade. I think a hollow grind on a dagger like this looks great. When I make the bigger cousin of this blade (the aforementioned sword), I definitely want to be able to put a hollow grind on it. I also took too little time to properly shape the handle, but I got a little impatient and wanted to see the finished product Oh well, live and learn! Again, thanks for the kind words. It's very much appreciated. Oh and Jacob, I didn't say she wasn't annoyed because at times, especially when I'm at the forge, I have a peeved better half thinking I have more important things to be doing with my time I just disagree!
  19. First off, a wonderful and happy New Years to all members of this great community. Now onto my first knife. It started its life as a RR spike. There was no marking on the top, and through working with it, it was definitely not a high carbon steel. So, in that sense, it's more of a knife like object, but it does cut. I found that out the hard way! Anyhow, the handle is maple. Part of a tree that fell on my neighbor's house. They got a new house out of the deal and I got a LOT of wood material for handles. The guard and pommel are mild steel. They were some kind of RR tool. It was a long L shaped piece with a hook at the end. I know the handle, in relation to the blade is too big. My wife told me repeatedly, but in a very nice way But I had to have a leaf shape for the pommel. Oh well. The overall dimensions are 12.75 inches long. The blade is 7.25 inches long with a 5.5 inch handle. It was so much fun to design and then execute this knife. I understand the addiction so much better now after having gone through the knife making process. It's a leaf shape because I just love that shape for a blade. The reason I got started on this in the first place is that I have always had an interest in bladed weaponry, but more pragmatic to my situation, I have had a design for a sword for some time now and have gotten quotes from some incredible blade makers. However, the quotes were all too high. I am absolutely positive that the makers are worth every penny they would charge, but I just don't have that type of cash to spend on swords/knives. So I figured, why not give it a go myself? This first knife of mine is similar to my sword design. Anyhow thanks for looking and again, a most happy New Years to all. Rob
  20. Hello all, I was reading up on some ways to make home made adobe and well, it's easy as dirt but I did the recommended soil testing (the put it in a glass jar, shake vigorously and wait til morning kind) and I came up with around 70% clay and 30% sand. I have read that a good clay/sand ratio should be 30% clay and 70% sand. My question to you fine people is how can I make my "dirt" more suitable for an adobe lining in a solid fuel (charcoal) forge? It's the Tim Liveley design, but this one will have a side blast tuyere. Is it as easy as just adding more sand? A follow up question is can I use sand from a beach? This is dirty sand off the shores of Lake Erie, not gleaming white sand from the ocean. I'd sift it from the used hypodermic needles and other assorted unmentionables, of course! Thanks in advance. Rob
  21. Thanks, Matt. I've read that other places as well in regards to the rail track. I did grab, when I grabbed the 14 inch piece, a smaller piece of track also. It's about 4 inches long. I may use that one in the manner you suggest. Best of both worlds. Thanks again for the advice. It is appreciated.
  22. I have a follow up question. I picked up the piece of rail road track and brought it home. It's 14 inches long and 55 pounds. Now, I know heavier is better and was wondering if 55 pounds may be just a bit too light. Now, here is my question. What if I bolted it to a 45 pound cast iron bar bell plate? My thought process, and without a doubt it could be terribly misguided, is that it would add mass plus weight to the rail track. The plate is close to 18 inches in diameter and the thought was to bolt the whole thing into a large tree stump. Is this crazy, misguided or just plain stupid? Or would it be an effective way to add a little mass and weight to my little rail track anvil? Thanks in advance. Rob
  23. Thank you so much for the replies. Mr. Anderson, that is indeed the type of rail anchor that these are. That's great to know. In my lurking on these and other forums, I have read of many blades being made out of that type of steel. Well, I have a great supply and as a complete beginner that is good news indeed. The spikes have "MC" on the top of them, so I'm guessing they have even less carbon than the "HC" spikes. It will still be great practice for me, though, in shaping and forging. As a beginner, practice is everything, so that's a good thing. In regards to the rail track, I may have gotten very lucky. The surface of the rail is great. Very smooth with no pits. In regards to the carbon test, I may just do that with the plates. I'll have to cut them first of course as they are kind of big. But, when I do, I'll report back. Thanks again for the replies and the information. It is greatly appreciated.
  24. Thank you everybody for your replies. The spikes actually have the marking "MC" on the tops, so I'm guessing that's not a high carbon content spike. But there are plenty of them and it will be great practice in forging and shaping for a novice like me. I can't wait to start on those. I'll move up to the rail anchors after getting good on the spikes, as I do have a lot (or can get) a lot of them, too. This is exciting to me as a rank novice to have found a supply of steel to begin with. Steve G described my situation, too. My wife isn't too excited about me bringing home a bunch of steel, but the price is right so she can't complain too much, right Thanks for the reply about the rust, too. I figured that was the case, but wanted to ask the experts! Again, thanks to all who replied.
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