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Daniel W

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Everything posted by Daniel W

  1. Quite a few years ago, I found an old Ball pien hammer. It was not my best work, and for many years I threw it in the scrap pile. I thought that it had far too many flaws. There were cracks from forging the blade down just form the material and being too aggressive to make a bearded axe shape. As the past few years have killed a lot of my hot work forge time, I've been turning to my files and doing some little things. I looked at the old axe head, and started to draw file it. It was still ugly however showed some potential. I decided it was time to finish it. The spark test on the little axe was nothing exciting. However it did not file like soft mild steel. I threw it into the forge to just heat treat the edge to see if there was anything in it. I did this as the old fashioned way, nothing fancy, just heat, and dunk into some hot oil. After the quench, the edge had some hardness to it. My single cut file would not bite into it. I tempered it back to a blue then seemed to have lost all that hardness as the file was biting almost as it was before the process. I didn't worry about it too much. I put an edge on it, cracked it into some limbs I had around, and though it was doing well enough to go a little further. I browned it, then put the final edge on it and became pleasantly surprised that the edge is holding up better than expected. Still pretty soft as I did the final edge with a double cut file - then finished off with some 320 paper. The edge was then stropped and its doing well with the abuse I'm putting it through. My first bit of leather work - I just needed something over the edge to protect it and fingers. Not pretty - good practice for another axe mask I have to do. Due to so much scaring when I tried to heat treat it, I paid attention not to let that heat travel up to the spur. The hammer end is normalized. This is a slipped handle and I do like it for this. It easily comes apart to be stored away, it allows the head to be used independently of the handle which with this 'Bearded' design has some advantages. it's 1 1/2lbs, cutting edge is 3 1/4. The spur, really is nothing more than for looks as far as I can tell. It did develop as I worked just the blade and was just further forged for looks. The hammer side of the hatchet was once the pien side it was a relatively large hammer. If I happened across another ball pien, I would not do this again. It is far easier to just make a top tool from them. Eventually, you would need that top tool to make a better hatchet. For the past few days I have been testing it out, the edge is pretty fine but giving it a strop before use seems to be all that it needs as I'm not going around bucking timber with it.
  2. I suspect it is this - as I set this saw up, I set it with the intention of dried timber as a lot of the stuff I have to cut up on my property is this dead dried pin oak. Due to the shape of the teeth on this one, it looked like it was better suited for hard wood. Of the other two saws I have, the giant bucking saw from my great grandfathers time, is more set up for soft wood. The one man with the second handle is also set up for hardwood - and that saw, is surprising. That is a very cool idea! I found that many of the tools to just do the set of the teeth are very easy to make up for ye-old-blacksmith types. If the set is off, it has made a difference in this one. The saw is so rusty and pitted that I set the teeth out pretty far. The filer's guide stated to make the set .009 of an inch for dry wood, but I pushed them out to .012 and the saw worked much better. Taking on doing these few was a pretty big task. I only did about 1 -2 hours of filing at a time during days that I just wanted to forget about my real job. Just learning the little bit that I have about these old saws really makes me appreciate what kind of manufacturing process went into them and so many different tapers in so many directions! I've got a few chain saws around, however they are now collecting dust as I've grabbed the old single man saw more often to cut up what I need. No gas or cords involved, not too much worry about a jumping a cut and cutting your leg off. They also wake up some back muscles you never knew you had.
  3. Maybe because I find the process of filing rewarding, I don't know any other reason why I decided to begin restoring an old two man saw that looked like it should be on a scrap pile. Anyhow the saw - has gone though the entire process. I did not have one of the proper tools but made do with some home made ones that accomplished the multitude of tasks needed. The saw cuts, surprisingly, but does not produce a shaving as it cuts. Makes more dust on the dry oak I'm testing it on. Anyone have any experience with these saws. All the info I've found so far states that the raker tooth should shave wood out of the cut. I'm wondering if I've got something wrong after following the actual guide for how to set up one of these for cutting dry timber. I restored two other saws that were not as bad as this one which cut like grizzly bears.
  4. Fantastic work, and yet, I'm staring at those nifty little dividers
  5. That's a very nice build coming along, a little large in my opinion. I have not tried it myself, but it has always been suggested to me, to make some kind of removable wall within the forge body to block up the space you don't always need. I wonder about what other opinions are about doing that.
  6. remarkable how nice and flat the face of that anvil looks from photos. I agree that vintage anvils should not be refaced unless absolutely needed. Any deep scaring are just places you learn to avoid. Sometimes they can be an advantage if you want a lot of texture in your work. I have a few nice nicks in the edge of mine - over time I've found them to actually be pretty useful. If you really feel like you need a nice smooth spot, you can only work as much metal as the size of the face of your hammer. Therefore, you can always polish up a small section rather than the whole thing.
  7. It has been taking me quite a long time to get to anything at my work shop, but I finally did some simple upgrades to get my garage shop set up a little quicker. I didn't get to work on anything stupendous, just more tongs and getting ready for making some little stuff to gift out over the year. I've been neglecting a tool on my hammer rack that after some reading of an old e book is a little more important than to just leave it hanging there. A flatter for some final refinement. This is a lower jaw of what I'm going to fab up into 1 1/2 box jaw tongs. The other side came out just about as well, but for a little cold shut that I did not totally remove with the rasp. I made these nibs by the twist method thinking it would save a little bit of time. The upper boss and nib, I like to make my box jaws with a bow in them as it give a little bit of variety in what stock sizes it can hold comfortably without having to readjusts them. I find that the other set I made of these set for 1/4 will hold up to 3/8 pretty comfortably. However I'm also showing my lack of practice as I did not notice until the pieces were cooled and set them together that I did not pay attention and twisted the nibs in opposite directions. back in the fire one of them will go.
  8. I thought about the use of leaf spring a few times in this guide. I know from my own experience that salvaged leaf spring, weather it truly is a 5160, when normalized is actually quite soft when used as a struck tool. It may be a touch tougher than mild steel, but de-forms pretty easily. I've only recently made a little bit of cash with my work and should just get some 40XX alloy (a friend of mine always has 4340 and S5 hex bars on hand). I could just as easily forge the working end of the tool and forge a 3/8 recess toward the struck end. left spring was one of those things that I always believe I would find a use for, but with about 800lbs of it, its just in my way. The hooked all purpose knife within that book also gets my interest for a personal challenge and tool. I'd like to apply the steps and try my hands at a brush axe one day.
  9. Since things died down in my workshop I went over reading material. Time and time again this link https://www.fao.org/3/ah635e/AH635E12.HTM had intrigued me. A simple and quick way to forge out top tooling. (other links show the making of swages as well) I started to pick up old cold chisels to use as tong held top tooling. The major complaint I have over them is without a recess for the tongs to hold them by that recess, the tool slips in the nibs of the tongs. Although the plans show to make these as rodded top tools, I would like to try and make them part of my tong held collection of tooling. I'm still trying to save space, and the tong held tooling I think has an advantage in how easily it can be tossed back in the forge and reshape the struck end or even the working end. Leaf spring not being ideal for this type of tooling, I expect it to mushroom out a lot. A 40xx alloy is always better, I'm just looking to use up stuff that I've hoarded. Split finger tongs, (tongs with nibs that cross with two over and one under) I find works best for short round top tools as the tool can never slip out the the nibs. What kind of tongs would work well to hold a piece of flat stock 90 degrees to the work, and also catch that recess. My first thought was something like a chain makers tongs but with a very big and lazy oval shape for the nibs.
  10. I just picked up a throat less bench shear for sheet metal work, a Beverly clone - so far I'm pleased with it. The large bench shear you have linked, usually are rated for mild steel and work up to a certain gauge. However they will also cut a degree of stainless so I image that normalized low carbon may not be a problem. I've noticed over the years I've needed several tools for cutting up stuff. A porta bandsaw is my #1 for mild steel. #2 is my shear which for my sheet metal flowers is quickly becoming a purchase I should have made long ago. #3 is a large cut off saw for low carbon steels. I'm trying to avoid using cut off disks anymore but there is no way around them for some applications. I recently used a plasma cutter at a friends place in order to make some complicated mitered cuts. Cuts very accurately, with minimal loss of material. Plasma torches are suited for bulk cutting in my opinion. The cost of the unit, new wiring, consumables, to me reserve it to when you need accuracy. All other cuts - oxy propane or acetylene.
  11. I also use one of those big 16' rasps, they are monsters in wood work. I have two of them and have designated one for hot rasping and the other for heavy wood removal. I had believed those big rasps were some part of the farriers trade because of how similar the teeth are to a farriers rasp. Those are easily a mate to a draw knife.
  12. I've recently been told to look into a hydraulic press when it comes to shop space. Advantages, no foundation, portable, lots of power. I've never used one before, but for smaller shops and hobbyist like me, its a better option. Cost, they are much cheaper than hammers. Not having to do any additional construction to your work space is a plus too. When it comes to power hammers, I think the stroke capacities are just as important as how fast it hits. I've used a shop built tire hammer which is fast! Can draw out materiel very well at 50lbs, but it's stroke capacity is so little getting tooling under it was tricky. With tooling, any hammer can up its capability to move metal. The trouble with mechanical hammers is size and a short stroke until you get really big. Even a small hammer takes up a lot of space, and proper anchoring for an upright hammer. Mechanical hammers also must be tuned as they are usually one speed with very little variety. pneumatic hammers like the big blu I like it, but with a separate air supply I turned more to a mechanical hammer when I had access to both. They have a great stroke capacity, and can be set for a one solid hit. The down side is the compressors supplying them. Self contained seems to be the best of both worlds, but your still dealing with size of the hammer, its cost and the cost of rebuilding some shop space.
  13. It must be tin then, because the sheets have none of the crystal pattern on them. Just bright and white-ish where I tried to remove some of the plating. I've resolved to just keep that steel on the side I have enough from the haul to make a lot of stuff. Of the other thinner sheets I have, I cleaned off some of the rust to them, and noticed that they are blued. I don't think they are heat tinted as a wire wheel will not strip it off. I had to use a little bit of sanding to strip a section of that. I've thrown automotive springs in the fire before which may be chemical blued, however I think those are just tinted. Is there any risk in heating chemical blued steels as well? Before I've just not known better to ask. With the quantity I'm looking at doing, think its best to ask those who know better.
  14. Yes that is the best option that I have to get use out of what I got. For right now, I'm kicking the sheets to the side to clean up and get the heavier gauge stuff ready for plasma cutting. I have never stripped coating off of any pieces before. Other than looking for black metal to reveal itself, any other things to watch out for to know the coating is totally removed?
  15. I've had this question for a while. Is an induction forge the future of the craft. Is it more economical, safer, etc. I think this video is well done in explaining a lot of these things that I've had questions about. Maybe this can answer some questions out there for others as well.
  16. Jewellery saw. nothing better that I know of to make those jump rings have nice clean butted ends. I normally make a coil, then saw each ring from the coil with a saw rather than clip it. This way there less of a bur.
  17. My little metal working hobby has been pretty much dead since the world went bonkers and those of us who could continue to work did. Then found themselves overworking. As somethings have slowly been coming back to normal, I made plans to make up new sets of tong held tooling. I went to the local guy that I usually get my steel from and there was a pile of sheet metal on the floor that he offered to me. As a decorative flower maker I saw a pile of rusty sheet metal as worth it. I got home and sorted out the sheets, all things painted - tossed to the side as not usable. I then found a few clean sheets of the gauge I usually use for my roses. I never had time to look at it too closely until today. The sheets didn't look right for clean hot or even cold rolled steel, seemed a little too bright. Also the parts with rust on them had a band of white at the edge of the corrosion. At least my brain told me to test it somehow before I got plans together to cut it up and use it. I splashed some vinegar on it to see if it rusted to a known piece of cold rolled that I also splashed with vinegar. Behold it did not rust the same, instead it turned white and cloudy, and indication of some kind of plating. Moreover the vinegar clearly bubbled on these sheets. I have a lot more of heavy gauge material from the haul that is clearly rusted to the point if there was a plating on it, its no longer there. However I fell for a deal on unknown material due to the excitement of having some money to spend and getting a chance to make a dozen flowers or more out of this haul. Now my brain is kicking me saying I've wasted some of my hard earned cash on material that may be unsafe to use. lesson learned, never just jump into a deal if the person who has it - doesn't know what it is either. secondly, as my workshop is so small and I only make about 5 items a year, don't trust the big box store for their welding steel section. I used to get my sheet metal from the local big box store, but in recent years, I've noticed more things are zinc coated or not clearly marked as coated.
  18. that bug is a *&^%, western pa is being stripped of ash due to that bug. There seems to be very little that can keep those bugs in check other than a seasonal pesticide. Ash is on the way of the chestnut that was once everywhere around this area from what the old timers said.
  19. Look at the end grain, and do a search on the good old inter-web. Best to identify by the end grains of the wood. If it is Teak, it's a major score. Teak is very water resistance, carves wonderfully, however I think it's dust is a little more of an irritant than others. Not a huge health risk, but for some reason teak sticks out in my mind as being a little more potent than the other exotic woods.
  20. Vintage anvils are being found in various conditions, and those that have been doing this for a while take them as they can get them. I've seen guys with very dinged up edge chipped to almost dead soft anvils still making stuff. A vintage anvil even in that condition will probably be your first and last anvil you will ever need. Even if you lost the entire foot of that anvil, you could still mount it in a stump and use it for a few more generations. excellent find.
  21. I would suggest as it has also been pointed out to me, to try and make your steel bit the same length and profile of the cheeks of your axe body. That little void behind the bit is a tough spot. Your first weld can be a tap to get that bit to seat it, then work the cheeks. However it's really easy to break that weld working that way. Having a little axe with a poll is nice, but for a user axe, not really necessary. The profile of the blade is what determines a good usable axe vs one that turns out as a wall hanger. The pole is debatable for what reason its there for. Its mostly thought of as a struck end, but its more for putting more weight behind the cutting edge without adding mass to the blade itself. Helps an axe feel a little more balanced in my opinion.
  22. My anvil developed a 'patina' on its working face, and I look at it with an extreme cringe. I sigh knowing that one day things will straighten out and I can get back to working with it regularly again. Every spring I tend to go over all my tooling, the hammers get a little soak if their heads are loose. A touch up with a scotch bright pad. Check for cracks in anything that I welded together. Regrind or reforge struck ends, dress worked ends of tools. I may not be at my anvil as much as I would like, but during these times where I can't set up shop, I look to improve or keep up what I got. Sometimes an opportunity comes up to buy out an entire shop, and there is a tendency to go after it. To have the tool on hand is a benefit if you have the space for it. Of the literature stand point, I've had the opportunity to work along side a lot of really talented people both young and .... up there. Of some of those people that have all those years of experience I wish they did publish a book.
  23. That first one certainly looks like an "old Hickory" knife - which those old knives are everywhere and were once made in good old Titusville pa. Still some of the best kitchen knives you can get your hands on. I could be mistaken there are some features that they have that set them apart. They are relatively soft, which most of them I have or seen are worn down quite a good bit, but they do take a nice edge. Normally stamped, and have a set of depressions along the spine of the knife. The handle fits their design.
  24. I have a few under my belt, they usually take a turn for the worse and wind up in a scrap pile until I just glue them (mig) together at some point in an attempt to make somthing of them. I have 2 that I consider successful wrap welded axes, and 1 that is more for show than an actual tool. However all three of them mis the mark for what I would consider a useable tool. Pipe tomahawks on the other hand, I got about 5 of those sitting around. I use a different process than the traditional wrap for those.
  25. I like it! As I've been gearing up for my own axe attempts, I've read more and more about ditch the 4lb feller, and make a 2-1/2lb boys axe. Seems that you've also hit all the right criteria for a good working tool too.
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