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joe pierre

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joe pierre last won the day on April 22

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  1. your normalization cycles should be at decreasing temperatures, not just critical each time. like the guys said, look for the decalescence more than the color. it's easy to overshoot or undershoot based on color alone. make sure you're at least past magnetic if you don't have a thermocouple. good luck.
  2. i meant to suggest that it's very hard to go by color alone, especially if you are a relative beginner. know your steel (what are you using?) and the proper temp for critical. listen to what alan and the guys are saying about decalescence. do several rounds of proper normalization before you HT. and what's your forge set up? can you leave the steel in there for an even heat, or are you doing the "move it back and forth" method?
  3. also search thermocycling aka normalization here. you should not be doing that at critical during each cycle, but doing it at successively lowers temps. as for forging temps, don't worry about that. the point of normalization after you're done forging is to decrease the grain size.
  4. bright yellow is probably much too hot. smiths often suggest "cherry red" is more like it, though my critical temps usually look more orange. if you are not that experienced, i highly recommend using a forge with even heat distribution and a thermocouple so that you can monitor temps reliably. doing it by eye is "cool" and traditional, but can be a steep learning curve. you need to learn the proper color first with reliable monitoring of temperatures. also, don't try to gauge the proper color in a well-lit space (like they always do on Forged in Fire). that's asking for trouble.
  5. i like them and how they feel in the hand. i also think they look cool. i have a few saw doctor's/dog's head hammers which have an acute angle between the shaft and the head. i like that for creating the primary bevel on shinogi zukuri japanese blades, but for other applications that angle can feel funny. i got them all on ebay, most of them originally made by disston. beware of ones where the shaft is very thin -- i think that might have been conducive to correcting saws, but not so much forging. i also have a more traditional japanese hammer (from japanwoodworker.com -- see my profile pic) that has a 90' angle. that's become my go-to for most work, but i also use a standard ball pein for some tasks. several "western" smiths make nice ones including Owen, Nathan Robinson at Jackpine Forge, and Sam Salvati. Taro Asano was also recently making/selling them.
  6. Some hamon from my latest projects: IMG_2735 by drjoe4, on Flickr more here: IMG_1680 by drjoe4, on Flickr more here:
  7. Bowie with hamon in W2. Copper fittings with antler. The plan for the hamon was for it to look like flame -- I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I've been in semi-retirement from bladesmithing now that I'm a father with a full-time job. I miss bladesmithing. This is my last unfinished project with help from Josiah Boomershine completing the polish and Two Drunken Celts doing the sheath. I got a lot of help from folks here on the handle assembly -- much thanks forumites! IMG_2761 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2733 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2747 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2751 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2750 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2749 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_2757 by drjoe4, on Flickr
  8. just auto paint. not my strength -- very hard to keep the black lines straight!
  9. i should have mentioned that I didn't do the polish. well, i did, but it looked like crap, so i sent it to be fixed by Josiah Boomershine who did the final clean up and kissaki polish. props to Josiah!
  10. Mini osoraku tanto in W2 steel. A project conceived of several years ago, in tribute to my childhood hero Bruce Lee, and finally completed. IMG_1836 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1680 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1835 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1832 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1673 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1677 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1682 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1825 by drjoe4, on Flickr IMG_1668 by drjoe4, on Flickr Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 7.05.05 AM by drjoe4, on Flickr
  11. aside from sanding down all the sharp bits, how are folks finishing the outer surface? do you use something to sand the "grit" out of the low spots? do you use a wax, oil, or lacquer coating on the outside?
  12. yeah, lack of proper equipment problem i think. what's the minimum kind of torch one would need for a brazing job like this? $80 MAPP torch from home depot?
  13. i noticed today that it was a zinc plated bolt. probably didn't make a difference because i ground the bolt down and had heated on several occasions, but still... actually, the more i think about it, i think the problem is that i was heating the joint area with direct flame instead of allowing the metal to melt the flux. then, once the flux melted, it took on that gummy/dirty look. probably should be heating underneath and letting the metal melt the flux and then the solder. but that was never happening with the propane torch.
  14. thanks guys. well, the flux definitely boils off (perhaps more from the flame than the steel itself), it's just that it kind of leaves a residue and the solder isn't drawn to it. but the solder isn't instantly melting on contact the way it should, so i still think the problem is not enough heat, heat that is too uneven between the tang and the bolt, or maybe there's a problem with scale that forms in the flame of the burner which i'm using as a torch. i could put the burner into the forge and then the tang into it, but this is on an already forged piece, so I'm trying to keep heat off the blade and don't want it sitting that far in. this is frustrating because i've attempted this several times now with the same result. i'm not confident that i can repeat the process and change conditions enough to get it right. and we know what they say about repeating the same thing expecting a different result. it's also frustrating because my original plan was to use the more mechanical method, connecting the two pieces of metal with the mortise/tenon/cross pin method, that i wish i'd stuck to now. i could at this point cut off the end of the tang (and my losses) and do that with a longer bolt. the joint is also partially connected now by friction and what may be some very small successful solder points. in fact, if i try to break the joint by hand with light pressure, it doesn't budge. so i could just fill the rest with JC weld or epoxy. it would probably hold just fine, though it would probably annoy me to leave it that way.
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