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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. hmm, try to put a heavy bevel all the way around the bar your welding on and try to fill that gap with your welding filler. Secondly, as your tying to weld to a carbon steel, you can try to preheat your stack to see if that helps with penetrating the stack. I've always had the same trouble with welding a holding stick on. Something I noticed that helps a lot, weld the stick on but only long enough to get a pair on tongs to grip it. The tongs seem to dissipate some of the shock from the hammer blow so it doesn't seem to shear away. Depending on what I've used them for I have always broken off a holding stick that has been long enough to hold by hand. With tongs They last a lot longer, and most of the time stay on until the forging part is done. If you can get a clearer picture of your holding stick, it looks very porous. If you were welding with gas rather than flux core I would think you don't have enough shielding gas for what that looks like.
  2. I have a little bit of silver maple that I planned down just a few months ago after a 2 year drying spell, I agree it is far too soft. I also only got a quarter of wood from it I was expecting due to checking. I wasn't thinking tool handles for that, just an in general wood working project. At least there are other potions out there. I tend to like ash, although it's dying off in the area which makes me want to avoid using it or going to a mill and asking for a few planks of it. If my wood working tooling can handle a locust tree, I'd have not problem chopping up some of that lumber.
  3. I also thought a little of the same thing, London pattern? I watched the video, and I believe the pattern was chosen as it's a little more familiar to people. I get to see some really really nice south German vintage anvils. The gent who has them has said how much he likes them in comparison to London patterns. Unfortunately, I have not used one, but I do see a lot of advantages to them. I thought that if I ever go after another anvil it would probably be a south German pattern. Either the Rigid, or the local guy who is also making them out of one of the small mills around here. Both are awful expensive.
  4. I've never attempted to make a handle from anything other than ash or hickory, some maples for pipe hawks that's it. Worst I can do is give it a try to see what happens, there are some specificity wood working store popping up where I can find some ash or hickory. Their prices are a bit high but all lumber seems to be that way. I've been finding some local mills, but they are usually supplying very large orders. Rough cut is just so much more affordable if you have the tools to work it.
  5. You have to start somewhere! But don't put coated or painted metals in the fire. Too many coatings can be harmful so its just good practice not to do it in general. There is no reason why if you find some mild steel, that you should not use it to practice with. And maybe start a little smaller, try to make a 3in blade then work up to 16. Your local big home improvement store should have hot rolled 'welding steel' in various stock sizes to get you working on something. It's not blade steel, as it does not harden, doesn't mean you should try to make a shape with it. Once you get a proper fire, then start thinking about going after some low carbon/mid carbon steel. I also don't recommend to begin to forge aluminum. It's tricky, its forge temp is very low, and very short, and it hardens as you strike it past certain point, you almost have to feel it or listen to it. It also goes from forge temp to puddle in a second, and it is toxic to breath. Most of the aluminum I've worked is either big in order to do that, or you work thin sheets of it cold. My personal opinion is that aluminum has no place in a blacksmith shop, I've worked it with others during classes for the experience.
  6. I know it's usually stated that hickory is probably the best hardwood for tool handles like hammers and axes, and just about every other implement. Ash seems to be a strong second. But are there other hardwoods out there that are considered as reliable? Always heard the wise tale that hickory has a good spring for how hard it is. I'm not thinking over the exotic hardwoods, nor curled maple or iron woods. Thinking about what you may be able to find a little easier at a local mill if you can find one that my be pretty common. Ash is around but it's getting harder and harder to find an ash tree. Elm I hear is good, and there is a good bit of it locally. Locust is everywhere and a complete menace. Maple is also pretty abundant. I have some white oak or pin oak limbs that recently came down, I pondering if they may be good for something other than fire wood.
  7. I've tried it, I didn't care for the method. An oven or toaster over, is just a nice way to get a good even heat, and also some soak time without outrageously overshooting your temp. For most of my tempered tooling, I usually do a temper right off the heat of the quench. Quench the tooling to where I need the harden steel, watch for the red to vanish. Pull the tool out of the quench and hit it with some 220 sand paper then watch for the temper color to bleed in. Once I got the desired color, plunge it back in until it has cooled. For looking at the best chance at a temper, put it in an oven at a lower temp than what you want, and lightly increase the temp of the oven until you hit the temper you want. You can always temper to a higher temp but not the other way around.
  8. The conditions where a bond fire where the next morning I found the axe stuck in a locust trunk of about 1 1/2 foot diameter. My friends and I put the axes away after the craziness would start. I almost suspect that someone slammed it into a rock and didn't tell me. Or I did something I don't remember . . . thank god those days are done. The blade had a flaw in it to begin with. Sometime in it's life, it was stuck with a steel hammer to either remove the head or just abuse. From the bottom edge about 1/3 into the body, there was a minor mushrooming, from it a crack that extended to the blade. I lost about an 1 1/4 of the bottom of the blade, the crack extended beyond that. Since that time, I cut the bottom of the axe off completely, and now it sits on my project bench waiting for a time I can try to reforge it into something piratical. Your axes are certainly made with use in mind, that's defiantly something I'm wanting to work toward as I dabble with some green wood working from time to time. I think I'd take that hatchet in a second!
  9. I always thought there should be a weight parameter included in the final challenge. There's enough data on historical blades to produce something more . . . accurate that what I used to see on the show. I haven't watched it in many years now. My hats off to anyone that has done the show, I'd never attempt it.
  10. I always wondered if I was correct, or at least if someone out there could confirm with me about that. I first noticed the oval shape when I was rehanging an old turn of the century axe head. I wondered for a while and was convinced it was intentionally done. It was an old warren axe, which since that time, bit the dust and broke the blade in a black locust tree. Today you see some commercial axe heads made trying to copy the idea with big recess cut into the cheeks of the axe. A strong leading edge and a nice arch was something I noticed with my own little fabricated build. A nice arch seems to bite right into wood, where a bigger heavier axe at twice it's weight just bounced off.
  11. It's pretty impossible for it to be liquid propane. LP gas is only a liquid under pressure, and as soon as it hits the atmosphere it vaporizes. Firstly check to see how full your tank may be, I would suspect like Alan that it's the liquid chem as there is so much in every tank. Your propane yard will be able to tell you the empty weight of the tank. To be even more secure, take the tank to a trusted bottled gas supplier, and ask about having the tank inspected. When using bottled or pressurize flammable gas, I would say take no chances. 10-12 psi is not a terrible high pressure. However I usually run mine at 5, and will push it up to 10 periodically to get a heat a little faster. I'm taking a guess that your running a venturie burner?
  12. I like the central ridge you've incorporated. A detail that is usually missed in making felling axes is that oval shape that have they have in cross section. I always believed that was done to act as a release so the head wouldn't get stuck in green wood. Your handle also looks nice and springy!
  13. Don't undervalue yourself, and have some confidence. From photos that is a well made piece and I think I would be getting a deal at $300 for it. Unfortunately, I'm selling decorative things, knives are so much a harder thing in my opinion as you know your time is valuable and so much time goes into them. First advise or opinion would be, if you think you can sell one, then make at least 3 at the same time. Think about making 'batches'. When I make flowers, I usually make one as a test. Then I think of the process and make as many as I think I can handle at once. That then somehow works out that I made 3 or 4 in just about the same time as I made one. I sit on them for a while but I do sell them form time to time. Also as a hobbyist, I through out thinking about an hourly wage. I track my time at the project to get an idea for if I truly want to think about adding it in one day. Thinking about it that way has freed me to enjoy it more than make it a task.
  14. Also remember to look for your local blacksmith groups. It's not as easy to meet up with a group at the moment due to the situation. When things free up, look around as there may be open forges near enough to you to go and meet up with some local smithys. Internet has a wealth of info, but finding the local artists for some one on one advise can't be beat. You can also run into some fantastically skilled craftspeople that are every bit as skilled as some of the big names out there. Groups can open up opportunities to take some training, sometimes you just make new friends and get some hand-me-down-tools.
  15. Looking good, I find that sculpting dies like this are wonderful. They are sort of the same idea and are crowned on the edges of the dies so that they have an effect like the peen of a ball peen hammer. You can pull in almost any direction with them. One small suggestion, flatten out the tops of your fullers just a bit. As these two curved surfaces will tend to want to pass each other once struck. I don't know if I ever used a pair under a hammer that did not start to have the upper die bend away. If your not afraid of cutting the upper arm of the spring about half way, and just bolting the rest of the arm on with the die, I understand that its pretty easy to redress the dies over time. I haven't done this myself, but I did make a set of spring dies like this to be stuck at the anvil that are bolted at the half way point. If you chose to do that, it does seem to take heavier material. To use that spring at the anvil it takes at least a 3lb hammer to get them to do much, depending on stock size.
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