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Daniel W

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About Daniel W

  • Birthday 08/24/1982

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Pennsylvania USA
  • Interests
    Art, History, Mythology, Iron working and anything that deal with craftsmanship.
  1. Daniel W

    Grinding Wheels on Grizzly Sander?

    Hmm, err, if not for a fatality within my company due to a hard grinding wheel accident. I might say OK, but since that time, I have looked at all my grinding wheels as potential death devices and have limited their use to almost never. I either forge to finish or use a sander, or just file to finish. If the equipment is not made for it, it's probably not a good idea in the first place. I may not have your idea totally visualized but I get an image of either a wheel exploding or it grabbing and throwing something at you. Is it worth the risk?
  2. Daniel W

    Hot Cutters

    As I've been building up my tooling a hardy hot cut was on my list, But I noticed that I didn't need it nearly as much as I thought. I found that an hardy block/anvil block, is something I could use more. When forging leaves (it's similar to a knife) I'm constantly looking for a good spot to bevel down my edges and I'm fighting over the edges of the anvil, the heal the horn *poke* ouch. I try to use the transition point of the cutting plate and anvil face to work bevels, but this usually means I'm getting poked by the horn as I try to flip the piece over and have to work the second edge as I have to walk all the way around the anvil. Where speed is key in hitting it while it's hot, this gets cumbersome. As my work was looked over last time by a pro smithy friend of mine, he suggested the block. With this tool its just *bevel bevel flip, bevel bevel* Plus you can get a much steeper angle. I use hardys when I go off to workshops, it is easier to use but not necessary if your just building your tool box in my opinion. Other than learning how to handle your tongs by your hands, learning how to handle them between your legs is very beneficial. Hold downs never hold quite enough. In my last class of the fall this past year, My friend and teacher had to help me a little with this technique, and I've found it essential ever since.
  3. Daniel W

    Hot Cutters

    Hardy holes are generally, different sizes depending on brand, weight, forged or cast. For just starting out, make your own slitting chisel. Either grind one out or forge one. For working on small stuff, it's all your going to need. But your also going to need to learn how to hold your tongs between your legs. To help with making long cuts, make a radius faced chisel, it will 'walk' a cut instead of attempting to shear off stock with a flat faced chisel. I use both for different tasks.
  4. Daniel W

    Spring for post vise.

    Lol, I'm glad that post is noticed, although it's pretty old and I didn't understand a lot of what I was doing at the time. Would I go and take the time and make the spring from a leaf spring again. No, all that 'spring' needs to do is put a little bit of tension on the arm to slightly push the jaw open. my vise also did not have a 'U' key with it. It has just two wedges that have locked the thing in place ever since I put it back together. My repair has help up much better than I expect, I have however added a section of pipe over the screw to help protect it a little when smashing and banging on the vise. Be glade yours had a working screw/worm gear with it.
  5. Daniel W

    Blacksmithing/Bladesmithing Henderson/Las Vegas

    Look for your local blacksmith group/guild. There out there - you just have to look around for them. Sometime they have facilities with open forge nights, and some training. Classes are a good idea for anyone looking to jump at this. Pay the money for the class lodging etc, just do it. You can mess around with familiarizing yourself by you tube, but there is no better way to get your hands on some hot steel and be taught by another experienced smithy/crafty person. I've been taking about 2 classes a year at my local crafty school for 5 years and have no plans on stopping, and every year I feel like my skill grows so much by just a 1 week class.
  6. Daniel W

    Railroad Spikes for knives?

    Andy when I started going to my local open forge, I bet out of 20 guys there, at least 10 of them were attempting a RR spike knife. I think it's a nice and popular thing because their recognizable. A few of the smiths I've learned from have stated that when using recycled material, to leave a part of it un-forged so that buyers see that it's been manipulated. A blade smith friend of mine forge welds a 1080 carbon steel edge to them to make them into knives. And I have 2 raising stakes I've made from RR spikes. Their quick and easy to make, but are only relatively good for nonferrous metals. Their not an exciting metal they just have a general shape that makes them good for this process. People I know have tried to give me RR spikes thinking that the new ones are a better alloy, but I simply will not take them. Whole question of where did they get them from comes up.
  7. Last year I forged a tear drop drift from a solid truck axle, ford I believe. I think it was a 2004 f-350 duly and the axle is over an inch. If you intent to work with this material, be ready for a work out. I understand it's not the best material for a drift, but it works better than mild steel. I also did a very big chunk of the forging under a power hammer during a class. To break down material like this by hand is possible, just really a lot of effort into it.
  8. Daniel W

    This may be a beginners mistake but....

    0-20 psi is plenty of pressure. I would also think that the open design of this forge would cause a little kick back on lighting because of how open it is. Take one of those fire brick out, and stand it up at the back of the forge. Just to act as a temporary door. try that, but be a little prepared for the burner to cough and burp. You'll have to get it tuned to run nicely, and some times the chamber has to heat up a little for that to totally stop if your working at a set pressure. Mine coughs very slightly during start up (home made 'T' burner) so I either choke the gas back or just put my hand over one of the air inlets on my burner so it burns smooth. This way its burning gas rich to start (green flame)- after about 15 -20 seconds take my hand back and it becomes neutral (blue flame) then continues to burn smooth. If you try the door idea and it still doesn't light this is your next idea. Just take some tin foil and make a nice little sliding choke for that burner. Tuning your burner is going to be a whole different ball game. Mine is set to burn neutral at about 5 psi without changing anything, that's why I just choke back the air with my hand. You may have to play with the depth of the burner tube, where the delivery orifice is stilling in the tube, as well as gas pressure. We've all been there, tuning a venturie burner is a pain! Just a gust of wind can unbalance them and blow it out temporary. I was at a point of throwing mine in the trash until a little help from a friend got it running properly. Get it to light first then, start reading about burner tuning. Its different for everyone due elevation, but once they burn correctly - there's nothing wrong with them.
  9. Hehe, I was afraid of my own forge for a while too. Until I realized one thing. Propane needs air to combust . . . meaning that the line is too rich to burn. So your relatively OK unless your fittings have leaks. I pressure test my system every time I fire up the forge (yes I used yellow Teflon tape until I decide to rebuild it again) Spray down with soapy water on all connections pressurize the system watch for leaks. once I'm sure there's no leaks, I open the forge valve just a hair to make sure everything is flowing correctly. I should mention I'm lighting the forge at 3-5 psi at the regulator and I've got the gas choked back at my forge valve (a ball valve used as an E stop if ever I needed it.) once the flame starts then I keep the ball valve all open. I've been using a barque lighter for my little forge, I make sure it's lit before I put it in the forge and just crack my ball and I do get a little woosh, no pop! a big pop is going to happen if you let gas build up in the chamber. So if for some reason it doesn't light, turn the gas off, let the system air out for a while. Attempt again it does take a little to get used to, but it's better to be caution with it than to think there's no danger there.
  10. I used a harbor freight anvil for a bit, and actually still use it some of the time, I use it for cold work. Crown the edges, it chips up really easily. I cannot remember what a HF anvil is made of someone around here had a post of an attempt to harden its face . . . yeah don't do that. A waste of time in my opinion. Here's the thing, the anvil will dictate the size of work you do. If your just doing knifes and not trying to forge weld a billet an inch in cross section - the HF anvil will get you through your beginning smithing until you come across a good anvil. It will ding up it will get ugly the horn is useless but unless you find something else for free, might as well use it. I've spent the majority of my home learning working off of just about everything. Mild steel blocks, HF anvil, a piece of track all will get the work done. But they are &^%$ to work off of. I'm not a blade smith, I'm more a decorative guy that attempts to make a knife, so the majority of my work does need a bigger anvil and I use every inch of it. If you happen to come across a good 'forged' anvil with a good steel face that's 75lbs, get it. You won't need the biggest anvil in the world. Read and learn about your anvils there are simple ways to identify a forged anvil from a cast iron anvil. The 'real' anvil comes in time. I finally pulled the trigger on one after 4 years of working off scrap metal.
  11. Daniel W

    Things you might not know can kill you

    Hey I'm glad that post was noticed! I believe that Aluminum should just be thrown right out the door. I've seen aluminum forged, have even done it myself in a class - don't recommend it because of how tricky it is. Goes from solid to goop in a second and once melted gives off some nasty fumes. It has it's place in the small metals world in my opinion. Reserved for chasing or raising processes, but anyone who has filed it known it ruins files. Just cut the stuff don't grind it! This is really dumb but I'm kind of shocked that a lot of people my age don't know this, and since we're on the topic of things you might not know . . . when you go to clean your shop and you use something with bleach, never mix it with an ammonia based cleaner. Ever, it makes a pretty toxic gas if you get the bleach and ammonia proportions right.
  12. Daniel W

    Striking anvil question

    I also second the more mass under the hammer. You won't miss the extra striking surface. The more "density" (I don't know if that's the appropriate word to use) you can put beneath the hammer the more work will happen. The force of your hammer blows will dissipate less.
  13. Daniel W

    Basic Safety Equipment (Stock Removal)

    Stock removal and grinding, safety glasses a must, even better, safety glasses with a nice rounded face shield. I use both while grinding and I have still gotten metal sparks in my eye due to some deflecting from my shirt or arm. Some kind of goggles are best as they enclose the eyes. But I'd probably still put a face shield over them too. Aluminum - if you plan on it, use only on a sander not any kind of grinding wheel. The only reason as I bring this up is a fatality within my company where a maintenance worker using a 8" grinder ground some aluminum the wheel got clogged with particles and exploded. The fragments penetrated his face shield and hard hat to kill him. since then anyone seen with aluminum around a grinder has been scalded to no end.
  14. Daniel W

    Propane forge

    In my build, I found that a hard brick, just one in a mini forge, is an absolute heat robbing bandit! I cut my brick in half for the forge floor for durability, that bad boy took almost half an hour to heat up, and would rob heat from the steel once laid on it. I took the brick out and get 10x better heat. You may not have a problem as your flame is making a hot spot on the forge floor, mine was built to have indirect heat applied to the walls.
  15. Daniel W

    Grinder question

    Building or buying the next tool always comes down to the same thing, do you have the time to invest in building one, or are you at a point where just buying it will be a savings in the long run? Meaning if you buy it, will you be producing more product right away and recoup the cost of it. (I'm assuming your attempting to sell these knives you've made?)