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James Spurgeon

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Everything posted by James Spurgeon

  1. Very good advice! Thanks. If I do mention anything I would exclusively present my work restoring antiques. Such as: Given the level of research required to accurately restore such pieces, would that be appropriate/beneficial?
  2. Hey all! I am heading to Switzerland for the next week and one of the stops we have planned is to the Historical Museum in Bern, which I hear has the largest collection of Wootz Damascus swords. I doubt they have the entire collection on display, so I would love to see the back room archive. I have seen posts from several members here that were able to achieve that access, some sounded like they just got lucky, but I'm thinking that many had to plan ahead to make that happen. Any suggestions on how I should approach that, or who I should ask to speak with (specific name or usual tit
  3. Hoping someone has some experience with using Neodymium magnets as clasps for sheaths and/or jewelry. Anyone aware of a source for polymer bonded Neodymium magnets for reasonable prices? Or if I am stuck with nickel plated, how can I prevent the nickel plating from chipping off?!? I have thought about just buying the magnets and re-plating them with additional nickel, but I don't know if that will be effective (at increasing the thickness or making it stronger...) I appreciate any input... James
  4. This is what I love about this place! I like long winded answers, it's where I learn the stuff I didn't realize I should ask about... Besides, you think like me:
  5. Thank you all for the compliments! This is something I "refused" to make a mistake with, so it felt like a very slow process with more time spent researching than actually doing the physical restoration. I have added the final piece of content to the 3rd section above (the chisels I made and the process I followed to stop the blade from binding). Well then, thanks Alan! It's good to know I was at least in the right ballpark. I must say, this is absolutely the cleanest shear steel I have ever seen, if the ricasso had been ground rather than forged to shape,
  6. Oops, forgot to post down here so people get the notifications regarding new content. I also just noticed that I skipped an entire topic in the restoration. Adjusting the scabbard so the blade could seat without getting stuck once again! I will add that as soon as I can get a pictures of the 2 looooonnnnnnng chisels I made for the purpose. James
  7. I added the 3rd section and the first half dozen images for the fourth....The rest of the 4th section will come tomorrow.
  8. The Restoration process part of this thread concluded with the "English Polish" section above. If anyone wants clarification on any part of it, pop in and ask! This section is for 2 things: before/after images, heavily weighted to the "after". And, to start a discussion regarding the date this would have been made. Became: Became Became OK, no more comparisons...just the finished Walking stick: OK. Best starting point I have towards figuring out the age, would be the fact that style of small sword bla
  9. When last we met: A sword had been reborn, but was a little crusty from the passage. Now may be a good time to mention some dimensions: the full stick is just over 36 inches long. The blade is a triangular cross section and hollow ground on all 3 sides for the entire 30 inches of blade! What gets me, though isn't just the length; at the mouth of the scabbard, the stick's diameter is 3/4" and it tapers to just under 1/2" at the cap (and yes, I mean exterior dimensions). Can you imagine drilling (or even burning) a hole 30 inches long through a stick that is only 2x the diameter of the
  10. After pondering the information gleaned; I forged a tiny, spade tipped, pry bar from 1/8" high carbon steel rod stock, pressed out the indentations holding the loose cap to the stick, and inspected the wood covered in an oily looking goop that was actually dry and hard to the touch. [Hide glue] I used a series of drill bits [without the drill, I held and turned them by hand!] to remove the hide glue plug: until I felt a 'tink' and saw the glint of steel: the tip was entirely encased in hide glue, so the next step had to be steam. However, I didn't want to make the w
  11. I haven't been posting much on here recently, mostly because I've been too busy... BUT, this commission was too good not to share: A regular customer found this "Victorian Briarwood walking stick" in an antique shop. (for $40 USD) [It's not actually bent, my phone just refused to accept that fact.] He of course noticed this: The blade, if there was one, was absolutely frozen in the stick/scabbard and it wouldn't even wiggle. It rattled slightly, but the sound was just from the loose cap at the tip. When he asked about it, the antique dealer said "I bought
  12. Looking good. Open the damper a tiny bit and should look like a supersized pencil torch with a reasonably defined blue cone. What size propane tank are you planning to use with the final setup? (The barbecue tank will freeze over after about 30 min of forging.) James
  13. No problem, glad to help. Another reason I like the Venturi is that it works even if you lose power. James
  14. No need to toss anything... As a blown burner just leave off the mig tip and plumb your air to the open side of the T. Hair dryer could work, but I haven't done much with this design as a blown burner because it works so well as a venturi. The air source info on Geoff's thread (to which Alan linked) should apply directly to this burner as long as the final burner tube is the same diameter. James
  15. Warner, Joel was spot on with his answer to your earlier questions. The quarter turn valve at the burner is a safety feature, but it also helps when lighting it. I use a longneck fireplace/grill lighter that allows me to keep my hand out of the way, but I'm still close enough to operate the valve and air damper. A paper ball or other such solid fuel is a great alternative. Just be sure to turn the gas on slowly so you don't blow the paper back out of the forge. Looks like you have a reasonable assembly for the injector, even if your bushing options were less convenient. Make sure the
  16. I am passing this along from my local Blacksmith's guild; The coal is located near Richmond Virginia, sorry I don't have the exact location. If you can get there to pick it up this is a nice opportunity. My name is Scott. I have a extremely large amount of bituminous type coal for sale. This was removed from a historic warehouse that had a coal vault room. This facility went up for sale and is being converted to usable space, so this is a one time deal. We have until July 15th, 2017 to get it completely removed from the site. I have a backhoe with a 1.3 cubic yard or
  17. Old thread, but I finally have real progress. I work in the Emergency Department of our regional hospital doing independent psych evaluations (in the hospital but not for the hospital). Point being, they built a new wing onto the hospital a little while back and had pavers from an outdoor employee break area that had to be pulled out. The pavers all got stacked on a back lot where I've been eyeing them for a while now. I finally went to the VP in charge of the facilities/maintenance etc. and asked if I could aquire some of them. He asked how many I needed and I said my shop area was abou
  18. I have 30 throwing spikes and knives stuck in a target near my forge...all are Normalized not hardened! I once made the mistake of hardening one forged from 5160 and giving it a fairly springy temper above 500f. First throw was minutely off of "perfect" and the wood target refused delivery. The knife rapidly became "return to sender" at nearly the same velocity I threw it! Most of my early ones are mild steel spikes and leaf blade patterns I made for forge practice and I lean towards that for any I make for myself. If a customer wants a "better" steel, that is fine, but I will never harden
  19. Gabriel, Glad to see you tested it hard before thinking about sending it off. Just curious if you did any hardening sequence tests with extra pieces of the same steel before heat treating the final blade? As to pricing: It's hard to put a price on someone else's work, but since you are asking, I will tell you what I did when making knives for close friends when I was relatively new to the craft. By "relatively new" I mean I could make a reliable blade, but my "fit and finish" were best described as passable. I would make the knife they wanted and give them a minimum price that I fe
  20. Here are the actual numbers from the test I mentioned earlier. Cactus Juice stabilized block 3/4 in thick (-26 in/Hg; convection oven dried before stabilization) Block sawn in half lengthwise after stabilization, prior to testing 79g ~75ml displacement (slightly long for the graduated cylinder) 79g after dunk for displacement. 80g after 30 min submerged in tap water. 79g after 10 min air drying (room air no fan). Un-stabilized, convection oven dried block 36g 50ml displacement 38g after dunk for displacement. 39g after 30 min soak in tap water. 38.75g after 10 min a
  21. I have a Turntex chamber that I paired with a 220V pump reclaimed from a heat pump system. Works slowly since the CFM is minuscule, but it pulls -27 (slightly better than -28 when adjusted to sea level). I did a test a year or 2 ago with a piece of Yew. Stabilized a full sized handle section, then cut it in half as handle scales since I wanted to test penetration of the stabilizer. The test was weighing the stabilized pieces and some plain dried wood from the same board then placing them in water for a quick dunk, weigh, then in the water for 30 min weigh again. Air dry for 10 min weigh
  22. Sounds like a solid plan to me. And if you forged the edges of the face without knocking the face off, you welded it quite well! For the heat treat, I would just normalize, or oil quench and imediately temper around 600-700f. You are going for toughness much more than hardness. James
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