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John Page

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Everything posted by John Page

  1. Very nicely done! The contrast in materials is beautiful and execution top notch! From the few times I've tried to make a pair it hasn't gone nearly so well
  2. What a wild ride! Glad to hear things are back on the up and up, and hoping they stay that way. Compounding injuries are a nightmare especially when there is no clear end in sight.
  3. Neat to see this come up again! I remember when you were first playing around with this and kept wondering what happened to the final results! Having this as a visual reference for pattern development vs depth in the twist is so much better and cleaner than anything else I have seen. Thanks so much for sharing (in spite of being a little late to the party)!
  4. Nothing much new that's exciting other than leather wrapping the handle. It's the first time I've done that before and I was not quite prepared for how much the dimensions changed after adding some cording to the ends and just above middle. Although the feel is very comfortable, the whole experience was a little haphazard and I may end up redoing it. More than anything however is the change in thickness of the handle near the pommel and now the steel is weird looking in an edgewise profile because it was made based on the thickness of the wooden handle core rather than finished dimension. I think more deliberation is needed but one or the other definitely needs to change. Tweaking the thickness of the pommel will require a secondary change in how the lines flow to make it not visually overlarge compared to the guard. That changing of the pommel may actually be a good thing because the balance is currently a little too far towards the tip for my liking and adding some extra mass down there to blend better with the handle will solve some of that...
  5. Holy dead thread revival!! I can hardly believe that this was 11 years ago now! Looking back I have lived in more than a dozen different places, had half as many different shops between four states, and somehow did not lose this ting. Every few years it seems I would find this sword blade amongst unforged bars of steel in a time old box from the New Jersey Steel Baron. Somewhere along the way, maybe around 2015 or so, I heat treated this at Dave DelaGardelle's first shop in Indiana. I was hoping to find pictures but in the digital age that is virtually time immemorial. The last encounter I have a vague memory of is doing a fair bit of grinding on this around the beginning of Covid when things were slow and not much forging was possible. That vague and inaccurate memory had the grinding somewhere in the rough stage but when I rediscovered the sword in the depths of my trunk I was pleasantly surprised from a profile point of view. The cross section is not bad but has a bit of snipe at the tip, and although the edge needs truing up a little the overall shape is fine for a wee short sword. Inspired to finally finish this blade I forged a rough upper and lower guard, slapped together a handle from the dregs of someone's table cutoffs, and jumped into the laborious trial of hand sanding. It is remarkable how much the character can change from a good 30min of hand sanding to knock off the belt sander finish. Not to say there aren't hours left to go sanding out the deeper blemishes, but ultimately it is starting to finally feel like a sword after all this time. From the same scraps I found two bits of wood that might just be wide enough (literally 1/16" wider than the blade at its widest) that may work for the scabbard as well, so now that all the pieces of the puzzle exist together for the first time, I can truly think over the form of the fittings and how it feels before committing to its shape. For the handle I am thinking of doing a leather wrap, died a dark chestnut to match the dark aesthetic of an eventual bluing of the blade and fittings. Anywho, I thought it was interesting to revisit this old project and maybe before the next decade passes it will actually be done! John Hand for scale- It's a rather short blade, somewhere along the line I reprofiled it and made it a bit sharper in tip geometry from the original rounded nose. Shortly after marking the new guard shape I committed to it and thinned out the tips. Overall much better shape. Before the final fitting I am going to address the shoulders of the blade where it meets the guard and remove those little cuts in to make the termination of the blade parallel.
  6. If you're worried about the consistency of the radius ground in, pick up a cheap set of radius gauges and continuously measure at various positions along the length of the dies to ensure you are sneaking up on the target geometry. However you grind it, I find the easiest way to freehand a radius is similar to forging- square octagon, octagon to 16 sides, etc. until you are mostly round then dressing the entire surface to smooth out any remaining corners. I would assume the dies are some sort of heat treated tool steel in the 4140 range or maybe 5160. A good file might work for the final passes cleaning up the faces, a little slower and safer than grinders for the finesse work. In any case, a radius gauge that you can fit over the dies while you work will go a long way. edit- I would personally keep one of the flat dies as is. Of all the guillotine dies I have that and the butcher are the most used with a fullering die second. Between the three the rest are all very specific (tenoning dies, fluting, asymmetric fullering dies, amongst others)
  7. Beautiful! I agree with Alan, you totally nailed the feel of it. All the details and patina are wonderfully complementary.
  8. I've been using the 3M versaflow for a few years now because of sealing issues with beard that are encountered via normal respirators and absolutely love it. The positive air flow is nice but mainly because the full face seal so there is a 0% chance of debris entering the eyes as well as the lungs. The filter sits behind the back so it's not in the line of fire for the majority of airborne dust anyway but the air quality seems great regardless. I believe they also make a model designed for filtering out welding fumes so whatever that cartridge is must do some serious filtration. It's a bit of a high dollar item but being able to add ear protection onto it, while I'm wearing the thing it covers every safety concern I have while grinding. Much better than the respirator only filters for my situation, at that!
  9. I just finished up a ribbon burner build, the first time I have really spend time using them. The forge build itself was designed for huge billets for a project on the near horizon that requires hundreds of pounds of steel broken into ~15kg billets. Really massive project. Anyway, I made the mistake of using too much castable refractory and although it is good to have the thermal mass when adding that much cold metal, it takes almost an hour to get up to temp and stays hot for more than 6 hours after turning it off even keeping the fan running. I tried the smallest bouncy house blower I could find (around 130cfm, nor sure what that translates to) and even with an inline speed control to reduce the power to less than half it was still far too much. In the end I got a three way valve marketed for pool supply and vent almost 90% of the air out the side and, with the burner in a smaller forge I can get to an extreme welding heat in maybe 15min. Moral of the story for me was having as small of a forge chamber as you can get away with, more kaowool than castable, and devoting a solid amount of time to getting the fuel/air right. It's probably simpler with a blown forge that uses a single or double orifice rather than a ribbon burner but I have otherwise only ever used venturi forges which by comparison are easy.
  10. I picked up a huge plate shear recently and it can cold cut mild up to I think 3/8, maybe larger. The leverage comes from a single gear from handle to blade so there's a little mechanical advantage to help out. Before finding this one, I had my eye on a few different similar machines that were classified as manual iron workers but I don't think that was totally correct. Peddinghaus made one that had passthroughs for various shapes and I believe could handle up to 1" square! In any event, something like that might be more available to you than saws but still have good capacity, especially for non-ferrous but also thin tool steels.
  11. I work at a sawmill for the day job and I find a lot of things that trees grow around, but that's a new one! Needless to say it's a surprise to have a blade explode in the middle of a 5' diameter log because it grew around a rock or a metal fence post 80 years ago!
  12. Good stuff! I've used these with the anvil too and in the right circumstances do a decent job if you don't have someone else to hold/strike for you.
  13. Will do! The minimal consolidation I was able to manage resulted in minimal actual forging, mostly just hammering it slowly into itself at high heats like you described. Welding heat for steel is melting for the cast I was working so it took a bit of trial and error and loss of most of the billet, but what's left is a fairly solid chunk large enough that I'll likely have to cut it into smaller sections to weld into wrought. Now that I think about it I might have tried something similar before but with much worse proportions that ultimately doomed it to failure. The cast was so thick and overall billet so large that it just sort of dripped out the sides. Now that I know better, the results should (hopefully) yield better results!
  14. Really interesting stuff, cool to see some new-to-me steel making methods. That's especially interesting with the widmanstatten patterns, I've only ever heard of those in meteoric iron patterns from the nickel. I have a few hunks of cast iron hearth steel from many years ago that I've never been able to forge into anything, folding into wrought sounds like a worthy experiment to see if I can get anything useable out of the maybe 5-7lb of it that are left from the previous attempts at decarb and consolidation. Thanks for sharing!
  15. No worries! I totally understand, I would absolutely dread trying to long distance (or even short distance!) relocate my shop. There are quite a few things on that list that also jump out, I’ll figure out my near term work schedule and shoot you a dm, I might take a trip out. John
  16. That Paragon sure is tempting! I'm a bit of a hike from you but I may have to make a drive up. I'll be watching for sure
  17. Wow that looks like it might be the exact same machine! From the scale, I think it's the same size, not larger. Would you be able to take some pictures of the linkage underneath? Mine has a bi-directional barrel switch in addition to the on/off switch that seems to have been added around the time of the motor and gearbox, so the clutch may not be needed but it'd be great to have reference to what it looks like. Like you, I've never seen another machine like it so it's neat to know they are out there! So far I've put only narrow stock through, no more than 1.5" wide and taken thin passes but so far so good. With wrought it's awesome, but still testing to do on how thick of a bite it'll handle.
  18. Good luck! Looks like quite an interesting project. Are you doing all the casting? I've been casually interested in getting some sort of either centrifugal or vacuum casting setup. Looking forward to seeing how it comes together!
  19. Here’s a phone picture, unfortunately it’s quite difficult to capture the detail. Please excuse the weird grind that doesn’t line up with the spine bar, not my best idea… The higher layer edge bar twist is somewhere in the range of 45 layers if I remember correctly, the original billet behind around 1” square while twisted then forged down to around 1/4”x1” to weld to the lower layer spine bar. The twisting was not nearly as tight on the edge as it is on the spine, thus a more diagonal line pattern. I think with laddering in there it’d be best aesthetically to ladder a looser twist so it gives a greater difference to what the layers are doing. grinding ladders in a really tight twist I don’t think would do quite as much because the outer third of the billet is already going almost perpendicular to the length of the billet but that’s mostly speculation. anyway, hope the pictures are of some use! John
  20. Depending on the amount of space you have to work with (i.e. moving parts close by) I would find the closest off the shelf valve and modify how it's mounted to the hammer so it fits with the levering that actuates the handwheel. I've replaced all sorts of pneumatic and hydraulic lines/valves/manifolds and as long as the pressure rating of the lines and valves is higher than the actual system pressure it's fine. Mounting profiles are sometimes contained in the part designation, but without the part info it's more of a headache than it's worth to figure out and translate to industry nomenclature. That being said, if you can find any ball valve that has a mounting frame and correct interfaces with your lines, I would try that and if you have to drill/tap a new hole to mount it to the hammer, maybe make a new linkage to interact with the hammer actuation mechanism, you'll be done far quicker than trying to source the exact match. Just my 2 cents, hopefully it's relevant. John
  21. I just recently made a small knife with a small twist bar on the spine and wide twist bar for the edge (3/4 the blade width) and the grind to get the bevel left the edge twist bar as a vaguely diagonal ladder effect but with the starburst of the twist interspersed in the diagonals. There isn't much else visually going on in the pattern, the twist being wide enough and ground into enough that the S shapes between starbursts aren't too visible. I'll grab a picture next time it's handy so you can see more easily. I would think that doing actual laddering might add a little bit of extra chatoyance, but not a crazy amount of pattern development. One way to find out though! John
  22. Success!! The first hot steel has officially gone through the mill, just a little rest piece and reduced only a half turn or so in three passes but all seems normal so far. Still a ways to go setting up the final position of the VFD and moving the motor and reduction gear around, making an infeed table etc. But I’m beginning to understand the machine a bit better now and it’s really a world of possibilities for both ferrous and non ferrous drawing. Also sorry for the weird and probably massive phone pictures, not sure how to resize on mobile
  23. Managed to get the wiring temporarily installed today, enough to turn it on and see what happens. Between the VFD and a neat old mechanical forward/reverse switch, there were a lot of places to get the polarity of the 3 phase wrong, but it's officially running! I only brought it up to about half speed because the motor and reduction gear plate is not mounted to anything and I was afraid the chain would jump off if moving too quickly. But it works! Now I need to hunt down a longer bit of 10/3 cordage and some strain relief connectors for the VFD box, then figure out the motor placement. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions for lubrication on the drive gears? Is there such a thing as dust resistant grease? Or is a more regular application of an oil better to maintain the old iron? Cheers!
  24. The mill has finally come in, early last week and I've only had a cursory look around the beast. It's a very handsome machine all said, I'm very excited to get to use it. The reduction gear is only part of the drive train, it seems. I discovered a handful of other reducing gears underneath and in the back end where the two shafts couple with the power. Spinning the motor by hand is very easy and has me feeling good about the torque output. There's a mystery shaft directly under the rollers on the underside of the table but I can't figure out what it's for. There is a mitered gear with teeth only on half the circumference that looks like it was meant for some sort of limited raising/lowering possibly for an infeed table. But the rest of the linkage is missing and the only other clues are a pair of through holes in the frame that seem like they would intersect with the gearing. More likely than not I'll take out the mystery shaft or push it in a bit to get some space to work with and use the holes to bolt through. That way I can have an infeed table so I can keep my hands well away from the business end. I'm still hunting down wiring and plugs and the like to get it power, but should be able to do a test run shortly. Fingers crossed it goes well!
  25. Does the knife nerds book have good info on the oil speeds required for various alloys? It seems like most documents just "quench in oil" or something similar, but nothing about the speed of the oil. One of the things I've been trying to get better about is understanding the processes and variables outside of the actual steel alloy.
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