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Daniel W

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About Daniel W

  • Birthday 08/24/1982

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    Pennsylvania USA
  • Interests
    Art, History, Mythology, Iron working and anything that deal with craftsmanship.

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  1. I had an older file that I was using in a pinch when I needed it, wasn't in too good a shape anymore. I remembered this posting and gave it a try on that old file. To me, in that old file it cut about the same, but what I did notice right away was that I did not seem to need to clean out the file at all. I normally flip the file every dozen strokes or less and tap it on a wood block to knock the filings loose. When I did this on the grooved file, almost nothing came out of it.
  2. Leaving the bark on is a good thing if you want to keep it from shrinking and checking. However, critters may be in a fresh cut that you don't want near your home or living space. Having termites or even carpenter ants can cause a muck! My home has had both, luckily the home is under a warranty from the first infestation. I had some lumber drying in an old coal bin for a few years, this past fall I went threw it and found critters in one of the cuts that was not debarked. Maple, I thought the bark was thin enough nothing was in it. I was lucky in that the bugs only liked that one cut, and chucked it in the fire. Depending on that lumber you are getting once debarked, even checked it will probably last you years. Stumps are not that hard to find. Personally I still like my bundle of 4x4's best, a sand box would be a little better, but probably would not be able to move it. Also, the heavy bark Andy, its not going to be like a hacking and slashing event, it will just shave off with little effort. You don't need to go all the way down to the sap wood, just get the heavy outer bark off.
  3. I was thinking along the lines of de-carbonizing steels. My thoughts on the subject were always that the next heat, continues to degrade the steel deeper and deeper. Therefore to get as much forged as possible in as few heats as possible. I realize I do not have enough experience with using salvage carbon steels, and new carbon steels to give an accurate statement as I did in the beginning. In regards to that I need to get to work a little (much) more often.
  4. I had the same problems as well, but then I did this method and the rebar holds much better. These days, I usually only weld enough on just to get tongs on the stock. It seems to me that the tongs dissipate some of the shock from the hammer.
  5. Got a big knife? Done cautiously, if you have a long knife, you can use it similar to a draw knife. Small hatchet probably better. You just need to shave the heavy bark off as that's where most the bugs will be if there are any. Treating the stump, I've never done before, but I bet you some linseed oil would work just fine. I think that you will find that it will check (crack) due to the loss of water since it's cut. If that's what you are thinking about treating it from its pretty hard to prevent.
  6. I've been working under the impression that every time a piece of steel is forged or even heated to forge temperatures, it is degraded. However minor that may be. I have no hate for used steels, nor do I believe anyone trying to get a good start would. Every tool I have to make is from scrap. And it comes with the price of time invested in testing the steel before I even start to use it to ensure that it is serviceable for what I need it for. For the time being, using scrap is good enough for me and my projects I make for myself. However if I want to make something better as my skills and confidence grow, I'm truing to new known steels.
  7. I'm a fan of the leaf spring, I've been using it to make my first rounds of tools. It is tough in the way of flex. Left normalized it should retain a good deal of flex strength, meaning it will return to true shape if it bent. Putting it though a heat treating process only adds to its ability to retain the shape you put it in, but comes at the cost of brittleness. Right now, you may never break the tip off that thing, possibly bend it a little. Heat treated, there is a better chance of it shearing off. There are a lot of factors that can cause a failure like that. If you did the HT correctly, temper back to soft enough, general shape of the tip. I personally planed to one day make a corrugated Saxon spear with some spring I got around, once I know I can achieve the shape in it, I might try for a pattern welded bit of craziness. That's far into the future but on my list of things to make.
  8. I also suggest using mild steel to learn the process. it's not hard to find, rather cheap, and comes in about any dimension you want from wherever you might find it. Trying to find usable scrap steels is like treasure hunting. You may or may not find a usable alloy. Even if you do find a usable alloy, once forged, it's quality is less than a new steel of the same alloy. I do use it 'scrap', but that's only because it's available and cost me nothing for my own tooling as of right now.
  9. mild acid. I've seen both mokume done successfully by both methods. Quarters a few times, the more extensive was copper and sterling sliver. Quarters seemed to produce and have a lot of the same qualities of a random pattern weld in steel. You can manipulate the surface to ladder patterns or 'rain drops' cut it to shape. However, the mokume made by copper and sterling I've seen was much more durable. That I had seen twisted, and made up like traditional pattern welds into rings. If I could have afforded one I would have snatched it up in a heart beat! It's always looked like a simple process when I've seen it demonstrated, the hard part of as I've seen is to keep it clean at every step. Secondly it's like working with aluminum, there is a very short window of time before it fuses and it just becomes a puddle.
  10. In testing out the spring swages last week, I gave them heck and stuck them under a power hammer. The little 50lbers at my local club. After two heats, I found a minor flaw in this build, I knocked the dies out of alignment because there was some play in the rear hole drilled for the bolt. It was just enough that could shimmy the dies totally out of alignment. So back to the work bench with them to see what I should do. I decided to thread the bolts all the way through for 5/16 bolts. I know there would be 0 play if they were threaded, and if I needed to I could still drill this out to accept a 5/16 carriage bolt if I feel like it needed it. I'm no machinist, but once I put the nut on the bottom this held extremely well. Probably the greatest benefit to making these come apart that I did not realize, was pointed out to me by another guy at the club. I can redress the dies as often as I want to with very little trouble. I had to do a good bit of crowing, but also note that too much crowing will make the dies work out of alignment. The faces of these dies are rather flat to avoid that from happening. Next time, They go back in the hammer again.
  11. Looks much better than my second one, or third, or forth. I do like the profile of it.
  12. That's a beauty! You cannot go wrong with a Trenton, and the face of it looks in really good shape! I'm a advocate of do not resurface the anvil face until you have worked with it a little bit. Wire wheel and scotch bright pad only.
  13. For a permanent bond for brass to steel, there is only 2 ways that I could recommend. #1 is an inlay process what Alan's post is about. Any mechanical process will make a long lasting fit. #2 would be to braze it. If you under cut that notch just a hair, (as having any kind of mechanical join will help) once brazed, the brass should never come out. Since I learned how to braze, I like the process a lot as you can join dissimilar metals to each other. Epoxy meh, I'm not impressed with glue. However for this project I would not over think it. It might be safer and less technically difficult if you just cut the handle shorter. Or, make the flaw the focal point. incorporate it into a file work pattern. Your fix is something possible, but I think it's a harder road to travel than other options.
  14. I have not put too much time into forging recently, life at home, work and forge, trying to get a better balance. Although I passed up a project, I'm still building tooling. My approach to tooling is that if I take a day to make a tool that will cut down at time at the fire, then my craft become a little more affordable. Secondly, will that tool that I take a day or week to make, will it have multiple uses. Little by little, I've been building another set of spring sawages, fabricated as shown above, so far these are my results. I'm following a practice that's outlined in Mark Aspery's 3rd book, (because I jumped to the last book not the first), on how to build fabricated hardy tools. Mark's book shows a method of welding a section of angle iron onto the base of the hardy tool to use as the hardy shank. A nice easy trick instead of trying to work down a big piece of steel for my hardy hole, and so far works good. The lower spring set up. At first I was just going to make a more narrow set of fullering dies made up by a section of 4140 to a riser, then welded to the lower spring. Sometimes I'm glade it takes me so long to get to things as I had a better idea than to weld up the piece of 4140. I've had good luck so far with some leaf springs, so I cut and ground them to what I believe are 'sculpting' dies. I've used sculpting dies on a power hammer and even as top tooling before. These might be a bit too aggressive at this point, I have to use them and possibly redress them. This set needs cleaned up, I photoed it shortly after I welded it up. I don't know if there really is an advantage to making them bolt together like this. My first thought was that you can stick any size stock in the spring with the addition of a spacer plate instead of adjusting the entire spring. Unbolted, I do now have two tools where I would have only one with a common loop or bend over. If it can be used that way, I don't know. I'm debating on hardening them until I use them and see if I like them like this first. I may only normalize them to destress the old leaf spring. So far, the leaf spring I've been using for my guillotine tool is normalized and works fine. As these are all shims from the spring, I am worried about hardening them and they just crack all to heck.
  15. Working with both coal at work shops, and having propane at the home: Working on small things, hooks - little trinkets, flowers etc, coal is the way to go in my opinion. It has the versatility to do all jobs with just the manipulation of how the fire is built and fed (type of fire pot also helps). 1 five gallon bucket of coal will last me about 8 hours + and cost me ( due to where I am in the world) probably less than a dollar. Where propane shines, is in the quantity of work it can do all at once. If I want to make 5 hooks, it's propane as I know it will not burn the steel as 5 hooks sit in the fire. It can get big stuff hot, and It's also a little more available. Biggest draw back I have with it, is you do not have isolated heat, and I can't work something bigger than the forge opening. I also empty a 20lb tank in 8 hours. Say what you will about coal being more hazardous to your health, but propane is just as hazardous and can pose immediate danger. You're working with a compressed gas (although the tanks have built in safety) the the carbon monoxide build up is really something to consider. Ventilating a shop for coal is one thing, for propane, you might as well work without a roof over you.
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