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John Page

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John Page last won the day on May 10 2018

John Page had the most liked content!

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About John Page

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  • Birthday May 11

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    Half way between somewhere and nowhere
  • Interests
    Bladesmithing, blacksmithing, Norse mythology, archery, cartography, woodworking

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  1. While in southern California for the time being, it's up in the air how long I'll be here. Life's good, but I don't see myself being here forever. As to where, the north east holds a special place in my heart but I'm certainly open to other places. I went up to the pac north west for the first time last October and absolutely loved it. I could see myself ending up there too, although at this point it all depends on more factors than I can reasonably predict. For now, however, I'm content with where things are going and I trust that it'll all work out! With the strange twists and turns that have come that I couldn't predict, I'm sure there will be more.
  2. Hello folks! It's been almost a year since I was engaged in the hunt for land, and as may be obvious by the lack of progress on the shop, it was unsuccessful. Not to say that what I am looking for is not out there, but I have not found it yet. Given the monumental investment from a life-perspective it would be to close on a property, I do not want to rush into something that has the chance to be a mistake (harsh wording but you get the idea). In the meantime, life has taken me in an interesting direction, and in many ways it is better that I did wait to pursue the land situation. While still in and out of the forge, I have a new day job working in urban forestry, mostly running a sawmill. In that way, I have already learned a considerable amount about the milling, drying, and preservation of timber, some of the challenges of using wood that does not come from bulk suppliers, and a whole host of other things that will all inevitably play a serious role in how I move forward with building a shop someday. Needless to say, it has been fruitful in a way I would never have imagined and, looking back a year ago, not somewhere I would have expected to be. None the less I am incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to cultivate some of this knowledge and where it may lead. Cheers! John
  3. Love your construction method! I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to put things together, and the result of your layering is awesome! It gives me a handful of ideas for some axe projects of my own... Thanks for sharing!!
  4. For cutting metal, absolutely. But you will need to adjust the feed rate of the band appropriate to the metal you're cutting. See the below chart and if your saw is capable of doing this: Saw Blade Feed/TPI Chart For cutting bevels? Maybe. But why? Not saying it's impossible, but it would be time and labour intensive and I would be very surprised if you achieved a result that was worth the effort. To illustrate the effect, try it out with a piece of wood the same size as the steel you'd be using. On pieces that thin, there is probably a prohibitive amount of deflection in either the bar, the blade, or the way you feed it. The surface you achieve as a result of sawing 2 or 4 bevels (1 or 2 edge) on a bar that is already fairly thin will be more and more difficult as you cut more angles on it. Is the intent to have a finish that is easier to grind after cutting? While there is no scale buildup on the saw method, I could probably get a more even finish out of the forge with a much lower time investment. But, if you want to give it a try, maybe it'll be a surprise for the better
  5. How deep is the thing you plan on clamping to? Less than 3", at least for me, is not generally any use. I have a few 6", 8", and 12" clamps, but I mostly use the 6 or 8. The closer the size of the clamp to all the things being clamped together (bench, sanding block, blade, handles, backing blocks to drill through, etc.) the less cumbersome it usually is, but if you don't leave much clearance, you'll find you always need just a little more room between the jaw and foot than you thought. On some benches, I've had to clamp to only 1/2" of plywood, but on others, the entire 4" of wood, the plywood, and then the project. A lot of variance, but in the end you can never have too many clamps, so I that's just a long way of saying a variety of sizes is best
  6. Also on the vice note, you can probably find a used one for surprisingly cheap. I'd just watch out for any fixes on it (welding things back together, rethreading, that sort of thing) that might be on older tools. Not necessarily a problem, but things that are designed to take larger amounts of tension loading (screw, corresponding outward shear on the jaws when clamping) don't take well to being fixed. If you do decide to go with clamps over a vice to start with (or in addition to), and you don't have them already, it might not be as large a price difference as you'd expect. Either way, a good old all metal C Clamp will do a lot for you. Good amount of torque and fairly indestructible. Those ratcheting bar clamps are good for smaller work, but I've stripped the thin knurling on the back of the bar on almost all of mine over time.
  7. Regular clamps work for a lot of things, provided you have something to clamp stuff to (workbench) and sometimes work better than a vice. Again, it depends a lot on what you are intending to do/make. A post vice is a specialised vice that supports the jaws with a leg that extends all the way to the ground, so you can hammer on things clamped in it. Extremely useful, if that's the work you're doing. But for a lot of shops, not at all necessary. I would avoid, however, hammering on a machinist's vice that bolts to the workbench because they are not typically designed for that sort of stress. I for one would get one, but if it's an expense you are worried about, I'd say start with regular old clamps and see if it's something you need. The operations I would foresee you needing the vice for, such as polishing blades or holding things while drilling/gluing, can all certainly be done by clamping the piece to another work surface.
  8. For hammers, as long as it isn't huge and doesn't have a fibreglass/metal handle, you'll probably be fine. I started with a 1,5lb Swedish pattern hammer from blacksmith's deopt and I still use it fairly often. Great weight to handle length ratio, but for most rough forging these days I use something larger. No sense in going crazy and getting something that would in other places be considered a sledge hammer. The heavier it is, at least starting out, the more you might build up bad habits as far as grip, swing, and other ergonomics that can have compounding health issues after a while. Angle grinders don't need to be anything fancy. I've had the same non-name brand grinder for over 10 years and have never had any problems with the things I need it to do. Depends on how you intend on using it though. For the odd job, almost anything will be fine. But if you need to use it like a chop saw, maybe reconsider. In general, one of the easiest things to do starting out is to keep waiting for the perfect tool or workshop or opportunity, but it is learning to work with what you have and have access to which builds up resilience to things that don't go according to plan. I for one say, if the tools are what are stopping you from getting started, just get what you can and go for it! Because you can get into this craft with a hole in the ground for a forge, birdseed bags and a scrap of metal pipe for bellows, and a rock for a hammer, the barrier to entry is fairly primeval. Not saying that is preferred, only that the rest is mostly just convenience But, welcome aboard, and hope you get situated with what works best for you! John
  9. After a little digesting, and looking more closely into the examinations in the later portion, I wonder how much of a difference normalizing has on those results. It sounds like all of the grain related data is taking the samples as-is and hardening without any sort of thermocycling. It would be understandable that the cold rolled v. hot rolled grain size would therefore influence the post-hardening properties (why we normalize in the first place) but I'm not entirely sure if the summary explanation of the results is what I think it is. Some of the questions I have would be easily answered if I had a description of the process from which the test results came from, but I'll have to try and track down some of the references they cited and see if they explain any of the experiments in that sort of detail. Also, I wonder what the difference in post-hardening/tempering performance is between cold forging, normalizing, and both normalizing and cold forging. I'm guessing there is some sort of hard evidence to suggest which is the best (raw performance, economy, risk of material failure, etc.) but I think it depends a lot on materials. As they mention, the introduction of carbides and alloys which can pin dislocations significantly changes how much and how effective cold forging works with the lattice, so maybe the generic answer is not as all inclusive as it might seem. Even a 'simple' jacketing of hard/soft metals (note the bit at the end about the Japanese techniques) could completely change what's happening at the microscopic level. In any event, a great thought provoking article! I'm excited to run down the rabbit hole of what else they have posted there!
  10. Never seen that site before, but wow! Great stuff, thanks for posting that! Lots of great info there that'll take some time to digest
  11. Andy, Take a look at the dies on the Blacksmiths Depot for a sense of the geometry you're looking for. I've used a set of 3/8" round fullers to set shoulders, then using the edge of the anvil and hammer control to forge the actual tang. You can get relatively sharp corners this way, and it leaves a slight radius at the junction which helps with preventing the nucleation of cracks as you work. That can be taken care of later with files or the belt sander in a minute or two if you really want sharp corners in there. Even with the 3/8" radius however, I can use it as a guillotine on smaller stock. If I remember right, you have a bar of mild, right? I would be very surprised if you would be able to use that long term as a hot cutter. The current geometry will round over, and anything steeper would deform almost immediately. Not to say it won't work for a little while, but I think you would be better suited to round over the points into fullering dies, assuming the bottom die would still be long enough to sit above the lower edge of the magician (even then you could add a spacer underneath). To make a set of the round fullering dies, I would have started almost exactly as you have done already and do as has been mentioned above and just round them over. No need to panic! John
  12. Kerry, Hoping to be able to make it out this year. I was trying to get onto the site but I keep getting an error message. Wanted to throw my name into the mix before it's too late. John
  13. The stairs things is more a problem with a combination of dimensions rather than any single specific measurement. The angle of the roof for the overhead clearance, the width, and the height all combined in the space I'm trying to stick it in along with the minimum landing requirements (had to have a 90 degree bend in it) mean something has to give. Instead of having a stair stick out into the room (because of the 10" tread depth) I adjusted the step height and floor depth to make it so the last stair is more or less flush with the wall. Looked around a bit with some wall systems and it's impressive what they've come up with since the days of simple roll infills. I'll definitely be using some sort of composite wall on the outside of the stacked timbers, then with another wood cladding over the outside. I'm at a standstill engineering wise until a building site is located. Hopefully if the cards fall right, I'll be out in NH the end of next week looking at various places. Site surveys will be a bit challenging though with all the wintery weather happening over there recently. Here's a screenshot of the earlier progress at removing the horizontal stacked ring. Since this was taken, I've done some more cleaning up the remaining line segments around the common rafters and have started a few configurations for windows, being horizontal and vertical rectangles, as well as reconfiguring the common rafter segments to reduce the need for secondary rafterlike purlins. The direction I'm inclined to pursue is having two on the bottom half of each face, plus one in the middle for the top part. It'd mean having to add a second band around the circumference of the roof, but not a huge deal. Getting the proportions right might be tricky along with the safe free spanning loading, but if that's the hardest part of this I'd be surprised!
  14. One last thing- forgot to mention that I redesigned the hot shop rafters (again) to lighten the frame a bit. After some sensible and firm recommendations, I removed the horizontal ring that intermeshed with the hammer beams. It required reconfiguring the hammer beams a little to make them handle the loads differently, but it turns out that the spreading absorbed by the horizontal ring was considerably less than I thought, especially with the whole point of the hammer beams being to turn spreading loads at the tops of walls into torsional loads in the bottoms of the walls (there being thick masonry that can withstand the forces). I'll get some screenshots up in the next few days as well as of the gable end situation.
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