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Joshua Snead

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Everything posted by Joshua Snead

  1. Hey Caleb, I feel like I've seen a number of first sword posts lately, which excites me. I'm planning to make my first sword starting next year as well, and will be posting some designs soon. I like the first design with the antler, it has more character stylistically; the other seems a little plain Jane. I'm also curious about Peter's comment regarding weight and balance. You might consider adding some kind of a guard or bolster of copper or brass to the antler to make a nice transition and add a little weight. One thing I would recommend is working on your design skills. The more
  2. I walked into an antique store a couple days ago looking for a pocket watch for my brother. Lo and behold they had a Goodell-Pratt 2 speed breast drill for sale. I've been looking for just such a drill for a while so naturally I couldn't leave without it. I did not, however, leave with a pocket watch, funny how that happens. Here are some pics. The speed on the drill is adjusted by pulling out and turning a little knob which slides an internal component that will engage one of the gears while the other turns idly. My drill had a problem however, it wouldn'
  3. Thanks all, The Folk School is a great place. I was a work study there in summer 2010 and got to clean out the slack tubs as they were moved into the new forge. Those welding goggles were my second metalsmithing project (the first to involve solder joints). They took two long weeks and plenty of late nights to finish, and in spite of some minor flaws I'm very happy with how they came out. I have two great instructors actually. My metalsmithing/jewelry instructor is an amazing craftsman; he does jewelry as well as cutlery and other great pieces, in a modern, scandinavian inspired st
  4. Hello Everyone, I have been hanging around the forums for a little while now, and really enjoy reading about the amazing work of fellow smiths and crafters. Anyhow, I think it's about time I post some images of my own work. My focus is on bladesmithing, but some metalsmithing will show up here as well. Please feel free to comment and criticize or ask questions about materials and processes. First, a little info about me: I took my first blacksmithing class in 2010 at John C. Campbell Folk School and I realized this was more than just a passing interest. After a 2-year lull period I was
  5. I have the same issue, but in my case I think it is due to a web content blocker on my computer. Some parental control programs like K9 web protection can block photos from offsite hosts if they are set to block. I cannot see any videos here on my home computer due to the blocker. My computer is also quite old, which may be part of the issue.
  6. Thanks Scott, I made a pair of steampunk welding goggles last year which inspired a number of odd ideas like mechanical chess. And yes I was referring to the lack of a complete historical reference to the rules, there appear to be plenty of interesting modern variations though. Thanks for that game site, and interesting article too. Concerning your castings, it seems like those pieces would be difficult to mold in sand with all the undercuts and detail. Do you have a way of making that work without damaging the sand upon removing the model? Would your latex molds work for pouring wax m
  7. Those old chess pieces are great! I love old board games like chess, mancala, and go (especially go since I'm halfway decent at it). I have made some chess pieces from twisted copper wire, nothing representational but still fun. The board was made by a friend and excellent woodworker from school. This post has got me thinking board games again, which is something I'm really interested in but don't really have time for . I've had the idea of making a chess set with pieces that move mechanically when picked up by the force of an internal weight that falls when the piece is lifted
  8. Excellent work so far Mark, that's a beautiful pattern! I wish you well in the quench. ~Josh
  9. I second Otto Frei. It's a Swiss jewelry supply company and sells the same selection of Grobet files for about 2/3 the price of Rio Grande and MSC. They also have great customer service. Here's a link to their files page: http://www.ottofrei.com/Files/. The site is easy to navigate and clearly shows the difference in the various file types. I ordered this needle-file set, as part of a jewelry toolkit for school and it has worked out great (in spite of the fact that I let them get a little rusty ). In order of preference, I find myself using the barrette, flat/equaling, knife, round, square, t
  10. Looks like some very precise handwork, very nice! This design has a lot of potential for embellishment, engraving, flush set stones, pattern welding, etc. As is, it looks very compact and modern. I especially like the fact that it doesn't require a painful nail nick, or awkward pin on the blade to open it. This isn't the first time I've seen this design, but it's one I've been curious about since I made my first folder. Actually, not the Barry Woods design but earlier, 17th century puzzle knives. Puzzle knives open in the exact same manner, but instead of the halves being held together by
  11. I am not an expert at forge welding by any means, but here is a description of my process when trying to perform a weld. (If a more experienced smith notices an error in my process, please let me know.) Clean the metal: If it has any dirt, scale, paint, rust, etc. this will act like a barrier between the two surfaces and needs to be removed. This can be as simple as a good wire brushing or as involved as grinding the area to be welded down to bare metal. The cleaner the metal the easier it will weld Clean the forge: If you use gas, this isn't much of an issue just be sure the atmosphere i
  12. Lookin' good Mark! It's amazing how much of a difference the charcoal makes. I gave a demo last week on hearth melting for the local knife club, and used Cowboy charcoal for the first time (before I had been using homemade stuff). It was like a volcano, we had to put a shield over the top of the furnace to keep the sparks from melting the ceiling. It burned really hot too; some of the steel completely liquefied and ran down to the bottom of the bloom. I'm assuming that part would be cast iron, haven't forged it yet. Overall it was a good run though. I'm curious what effect the Ti has on th
  13. I came across this video at school, when a fellow blacksmithing student heard I was interested in smelting iron he brought a copy to the school. The video is titled "From Iron Ore to Iron Hoe: Smelting Iron in Africa," and the DVD is available on Amazon for $24.95 (http://www.amazon.com/From-Iron-Ore-Hoe-Smelting/dp/B000GYI25A) Other retailers sell it too but I don't know if it's available in any other format. I highly recommend this video to anyone interested in traditional ore smelting processes, or smelting history. The video follows an African smith tribe whose elders used to smelt ore
  14. Very interesting, thanks a bunch Alan! I'm still not a 100% on the numbers though. I'm pretty sure I can lift 140lbs but I can't lift this anvil by myself. (The 1/2lb seems oddly accurate to me too.) Looks like I need to get a scale. It's pretty amazing to me that this old of an anvil was dug out of someones yard in an old suburban neighborhood. If I remember correctly, story is they ran into it with a lawnmower one day and it took a crew to dig it up. You can see where it's heavily pitted at the base, I imagine this was the portion sticking up out of the ground. Kinda makes me wonder if t
  15. This is an old anvil I picked up in Durham, North Carolina a few years ago. It's actually the first anvil I ever bought. The square in that pic is 12" x 8". The hardie hole is very small, 1/2" square or less, and there is no step. I don't know exactly how much it weighs, but I would guess around 250lbs. From what little research I've done I believe this anvil is from the late 18th century. There is an odd chunk taken out of one corner. It looks to be intentionally cut out but I don't know why. Maybe someone desperately needed material for a weapon or tool during the Civil War... A
  16. Just fed one at a time, but I may have tapped tapped the bars once or twice (maybe more...) to get them to fall. Next time I will be more patient.
  17. I made a few modifications to my furnace (and my process) and the result was a successful melt! Thanks for all the advice....Now I only hope I can do it again. Instead of tie wire I used about 9' of 3/8" round mild steel stock cut into 2' lengths. I made a couple modifications to the furnace. First I plugged up the old tuyere and drilled a new 1/2" tuyere horizontal about 5" from the bottom of the furnace. The outside of my furnace was crooked and the blower wouldn't sit flush against it so I sealed it off with some wet newspaper (shielded from sparks by a copper plate). I also ran
  18. Thanks for the specs Mark! I've got plenty of material, so when I get some time I'll construct something similar and see how it compares. Philippe, I've used tie wire very successfully before, but then again that was a different furnace. It did have a tendency to hot short on me. A quick Google search shows the chemical makeup of tie wire is something like this: С=0.06-0.12, Si≤0.05, Mn=0.25-0.5, S≤0.05, P≤0.04%. Could the small amounts of sulfer or phosphorus be an issue, I think I've heard these impurities can cause problems when forging? Perhaps the wire is just too small and burns up befor
  19. Thanks all, I am still a little iffy on where the line is between a hearth and a smelter or Aristotle. Mark, if you don't mind it would be really helpful for me to know the dimensions (length, width, depth, tuyere height & diameter) of the more open hearths you are working with, or anyone else's for that matter. It really didn't seem like cast iron to me or my instructor. I've never forged cast though so I could be wrong. I will try to get some picks of the spark test again. The bloom looked very slaggy to us, we really couldn't tell what was metal and what was slag, not sure if th
  20. Well I'm at it again. I finally got a small hearth furnace together and ran it this week. Unfortunately the results were not as successful as before. The goal was to produce high carbon, instead I got... something else. Here's a pic of the new furnace. It's about 14-16" high, and the inside expands from 5" in diameter at the top to 6" at the bottom. The theory behind that was to allow more room for the charcoal to fall so it wouldn't hang up in the furnace. The 3/4" diameter tuyere is about 6" from the bottom of the inside of the hearth and is angled downward 30 degrees or so. We r
  21. Thanks Mark & Lee, That clears things up a bit. I hadn't considered the time factor, that makes a lot of sense though. Looks like it's time for another experiment! ~Josh
  22. Thanks, everyone, for the links that helps a lot! And yes, I'm definately hooked! However, I'm still unclear on how to manage the carbon content in a hearth. Is the height of the tuyere the key factor or the carbon contents of the scraps/material being melted, or both? Mike, I got your PM and just replied. Let me know if you got it. ~Josh
  23. Hello all, I came across this forum a few times as I was researching this project, and just recently joined. Earlier this year I attempted (along with a lot of help from my blacksmithing instructor) to re-melt and carburize some mild steel in a furnace to make high carbon. My instructor had done this once before with a fellow by the name of Dick Sargent and he still had the furnace so that was what we used. Here's a pic of the furnace at full blast: While researching, I came across a great article on Aristotle Steel by Lee Sauder. I was wondering if this would be considered an Aristo
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