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Al Willis

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About Al Willis

  • Birthday 12/29/1992

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Close-to-Houston, Texas (Which sounds a lot cooler than League City, yes?)
  • Interests
    Hunting and fishing, history, anthropology, archaeology, and causing mass mayhem and destruction.

Recent Profile Visitors

721 profile views
  1. Finished making a handle for a hammer I reforged recently.
  2. Well, here she is. Not the prettiest at the moment and in need of some serious restoration, replacements, and repairs, but this lil’ hammer WILL live again!
  3. Following an exhausting 600 mile drive, the destruction of a cheap come-along, the loss of a poorly installed taillight on a rental trailer, and my front gate being damaged courtesy of my attempt to back up at night in heavy rain, the hammer is home! Detailed photos to follow after I get some sleep. Totally worth it, but I am BEAT.
  4. Well, it would appear that I have encountered a few speed-bumps on my path to owning this hammer. First and foremost, my brother(who owns a trailer and a much better truck than mine) has the flu and is thus unable to help. In addition his trailer’s springs are shot and not suitable for a long drive. Upon learning this, I was swift to offer my hopes for his swift recovery before calling a few friends who had been able to help before. No such luck this time. All of them had to work during the time I would be making the drive. Not being so easily discouraged, I resolved to make the trek and load the thing myself. After all, that’s what rollers are for! That’s when I learned of Uhaul’s policy to not rent trailers to anyone driving a Ford Explorer of any year or subtype... I have every intention of continuing my attempts at getting this hammer, but I’m beginning to think that the Fates may have other plans.
  5. Thanks for all the replies! If all goes well(fingers crossed) I should be driving to get it on Tuesday with my brother’s help. Now to clear some space for it in the shop. Maybe next to the lathe that I need to finish rewiring...
  6. I’ve been looking off and on for a power hammer in my area and within my admittedly limited budget for quite some time now. The other day this ‘lil fella cropped up in my search for $750. I know it needs a fair amount of work, but aside from a few of the more obvious issues(lack of a motor, etc.), I’m not quite clear on just how large of an undertaking getting it running would be. So, a question for the fine folks of the forum, most of whom would know better than me: Worth the price and effort? To buy, or not to buy?
  7. Thanks Alan! I'll have to give both a shot later this weekend. The stain is fairly bold though, so I'm not going to hold my breath.
  8. While sorting through some old boxes of my father's things, I found an ivory knife handle that would look great on a bowie that I've been working on. However, the box that it had been sitting in also contained a large amount of brass casings which had oxidized and stained a patch of the handle green. Is there any way of leaching the color out or otherwise removing it?
  9. Al Willis

    What a haul!

    Several days ago, I was watching Craigslist for new tools as I always do, when an interesting post caught my eye. Someone was selling an old blower, a pipe vise, and some tongs for a more than reasonable price. Several emails and a 30 minute drive later, I was talking with the seller about the items and she happens to mention that there are a few more things that I may be interested in. A Midway spiral-gear blower that turns smooth as can be, despite not having been touched in 45+ years, a Toledo 3" pipe vise in similarly awesome condition, 4 pairs of tongs, a small Trenton anvil with 85-90% rebound, and 3 100lb. bags of coke. Oh, and she says that she and her husband will call me first if they find any more old tools in one of the several barns on their property. Total cost: $100.
  10. Thank you Jerrod! I'll have to take a look when I get off work.
  11. I've been looking into making my own steel recently, but unfortunately, due to my new job, I don't have the time to construct/operate a stack. Luckily, I have several close friends who are more than proficient machinists and electricians. So, would anyone happen to have a link to a set of blueprints for a decent induction furnace? Thanks in advance, Al
  12. Thanks Sam. That's about what I had expected, but some of the pieces of the heartwood that I have seem unusually hard and dense for Spanish Cedar, almost as much as the Red Oak I have. -Al Willis
  13. Hello everyone. A friend of mine owns a cigar shop and has given me quite a few pieces of nicely quilted or otherwise figured Spanish Cedar. Has anyone used this stuff for handles? And if so, how well does it work? -Al Willis
  14. Al Willis


    As I was walking to work this morning, I just happened to notice a large, green, steel box on the side of the road. Being unable to turn down free metal at ant time, I walked over to take a look. Cool box huh? I called one of my friends to help me get it to my house and decided to take a look through the other stuff these people were throwing out and found the REAL good stuff. A bunch of fairly large drill bits, wood bits, an adjustable Irwin wood bit, Stanley wood chisels, and some Proto cold chisels. Amazing the things people throw away these days.
  15. Hey everyone, I've been lurking around here for quite a while but due to my working 6-day weeks and having unpleasantly long work days, I haven't had much time to get out to the forge and make anything to post. Business has finally slowed down a bit and I had time to get a few blades started. The specs of these "blades in progress" are: Langsax-ish Thing- Material/ old Nicholson file OAL/ 13.5" Blade/ 8.85" Tang/ 4.75" Width/ 1" Spine/ .125" Pukko-like Knife- Material/ another old Nicholson file OAL/ 7.25" Blade/ 3" Tang/ 4.25" Width/ .75"-1" Spine/ .125" Sorta-Santoku Blade- Material/ old mower blade (Usually not the best material in the world, but the batch I have seem to be decent stuff.) OAL/ 9" Blade/ 5.5" Tang/ 3.5" Width/ .5"(Tang)-1.75"(Blade) Spine/ .215 Now all I need to do is convince my boss to let me take the next few weekends off to finish forging, grinding, heat-treating, handling, and polishing these things.
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