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Dan Bourlotos

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Dan Bourlotos last won the day on August 3 2015

Dan Bourlotos had the most liked content!

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Taylorsville KY
  • Interests
    Camping, smithing, shooting and reading

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  1. Dan Bourlotos

    Drow Short Sword

    A good surface is a dead surfacer. This is pretty awesome. Great job.
  2. Dan Bourlotos

    Wedding Extravaganza

    Tonight, I ground off the scale and did the test etch. Needless to say, I like what I see on both billets. The billet on top has several severe welding defects, so that will be the ring/gifts billet, being that I am making a bunch of small things from it, and can cut out the various bad sections. As for the other billet? Well... it is mostly shaped towards the cutlass. It is going to end up a tad shorter than I wanted, was looking to get around 20", but the blade length is sitting at 17.5" right now. The preform is mostly done, and some weld defects need to be cleaned off before I can forge in the bevels.
  3. Dan Bourlotos

    Wedding Extravaganza

    Update: I have only been forge welding for about 4 years. It is not my strong suit, but each time I do it, I feel more confidant than the last. For the most part things went pretty smooth. (Having a 30T press makes this almost a cake walk) I welded the billet, drew it out to 1" square, twisted it and then began to draw it out into the 1/2" bar that was part of the plan when I noticed that a specific layer appeared to not have forge welded, or broke loose while twisting. I went home a bit dejected, thinking I had to start over, but came back at it a few days ago. The first pattern welding I ever did was consolidating motorcycle chain together into a knife billet. The trick that I learned while doing it was that taking it VERY slow is key to getting all that empty space out. Its the same principle I see guys who work with raw bloom use, and exactly what past smiths did. So, I used the same principle here to work all the frayed edges back together. Below is a picture of the billet before reworking, and after (I had to cut it in half to make it manageable to deal with). Then, I took both bars to the grinder to take out any tiny cold-shuts and then drew each one down to 5/16 x 1". Now I just need to figure out which billet will be the cutlass, and which one will be the rings/letter openers/pendants. To be Continued
  4. Dan Bourlotos

    Wedding Extravaganza

    This September I am getting married, and as such, I wanted to make something special for the occasion. I had always planned on making the rings out of damascus, but after really trying to hammer out the details, decided that it just wasn't epic enough. So I came up with the idea of making a cutlass for sabering champagne bottles out of the same billet I made the rings from. That way, my wife and I would have a fun memento we could grab from above the fire place and have some fun with well after our wedding. Then the topic of gifts for our bridal party came up. My fiance and I have a very close-knit group of friends we would follow to Hell and back, and it seemed like gifts from the heart were in order. As such, I thought that making something from the same billet we made the rings and cutlass from would be fantastic. That way, they could also have a piece of the occasion as well. Maudlin, but fitting, I think. So, my better half and I decided on letter openers for the groom's party and pendants for the bride's. As such, this is going to take a lot of damascus to make 5 pendants, 6 letter openers, two rings and a short sword. I am also not blessed enough to have a press or power hammer, but thankfully have friends who do. I have spent the last several months making the individual billets that will be part of the final construction and this is what I have so far. Part 1: The Billet This is easily the most complicated thing I have taken on. Not only is it just a lot of damascus, the pattern itself is going to be pretty complicated too. It is a variation on an asymmetrical twist. A - 50 layer laminate B - 100 layer crushed W C - 10 layer twisted bar D - bar of 1084 All of which is going to be welded and drawn out to 3/4" square and then twisted before being drawn into the final bar. In my mind, I should have a pretty wild twist alternating with the 1084, creating a cool "tiger stripe" pattern. The plan so far is to then take off what I need for the sword, then the rings and the letter openers and pendants last. I have done the math, and I should have around 10 cubic inches of steel, which should be more than enough. I will be welding everything up tomorrow for the final bar using a friends press. We will see how it goes. As a contingency, I have taken cut-off from each of these bars so that I will at least have ring material. Cant be too careful
  5. Dan Bourlotos

    Finally, a Knife For Me

    Alan, it is actually the center of a biohazard coin. My fiance got a bunch of these 1 troy oz copper "Apocalypse Zombiebucks" for some work function. I promised I would make her a zombie chopper if I could have them.
  6. Dan Bourlotos

    Finally, a Knife For Me

    Right when I moved to Kentucky, I purchased my first belt grinder and promptly went to ruin the first several knives I made breaking it in. One in particular, was my first foray into W2, which I ground to thin and had the edge crack in several places after ht. I chucked it in my scrap pile and didn't give it a second glance until about a month ago when I decided that maybe I could re profile and regrind it into something serviceable. Here she is. Blade is W2, copper bolster and pin with the most gorgeous curly black walnut I have ever used.
  7. Dan Bourlotos

    The sound of Blue

    I am loving these Kingkiller references
  8. Dan Bourlotos

    Rebar tongs X3

    I just don't quench my tongs if they have any color to them (if at all). I grabbed a bunch of hex wrenches at an auction that are made of 8650, and have made several tongs from them with no issue. I have also used a bunch that were 4140, 1045 and even "5160" (a friend exclusively uses coil spring because of the convenient sizing). Only high carbon of the bunch is the "5160", but the rest are definitely hardenable.
  9. Dan Bourlotos

    Rebar tongs X3

    That isn't exactly true. Would be true if you were comparing a set of HTed tongs and a set of non HTed tongs made of the same alloy - whatever heat treat would be ruined and they would be indistinguishable. Issue is, many elements present in spring, tool and low alloy steels (tungsten, chrome, molybdenum, silicon etc) impart quite a bit of strength even in a non HTed condition. This is the reason why you shouldn't make hot tools out of mild, even though you aren't actually heat treating them.
  10. Dan Bourlotos

    Does Magical Realism Count?

    This is a common thing in fantasy and mythology - a artifact infused with the act it was used for, or the spirit of the person who used it. In D&D there is often myths about the unadorned blade of a humble paladin being able to cleave through stone and armor alike. Sort of like the Holy Grail - an a potent and obviously magical artifact that is nothing more than a wooden chalice in appearance. I think with the right subtle embellishment, this could totally work. I am going with an almost gaudy appearance because it works for the weapon of a god. The weapons of men though; imbued through honor or desecration, who can say?
  11. Dan Bourlotos

    More kith questions

    I have to give you credit, I couldn't get past book 6. Loved the first two books though. Felt 5 and 6 were losing steam fast
  12. Dan Bourlotos

    Brainstorming

    One of the reasons why I love this hobby is that it allows for me to exercise some of my artistic tendencies. I don't do it often with my smithing because I rarely have the freedom to go all out on a weird idea, but I have hundreds of sketches of random cool designs and embellishments for blades. Most of them fall solidly in the "fantastic but nonfunctional" catagory. Add in my love for fantasy and mythology and you have a perfect avenue for me to really have fun for this years KITH. I have always been attracted by some of the primitive bladed objects of history. Sometimes by the beauty, sometimes by the simplicity, and sometimes by the brutality. Often, we tend to look at weapons as these elegant symbols, but primitive tools in general tend to not have that same level of sophistication. Often when looking at stone or bronze-age tools I get this vibe of purpose over prim. It is one of the main reasons why I have always wanted to make some sort of macana - an "edged" war club. Both the Aztec macuahuitl and the Polynesian leiomano sort of paramount in that regard. Although beautiful in a way, there is something very primal about them as well. The Aztec god, Huitzilopochtli, was the patron god of Tenochtitlan and the god of war, the sun, and human sacrifice. Said to have sprouted from the womb armor clad and with weapon in hand, he slew his other siblings to protect his mother. In his hand, we actually wielded a flaming serpent, Xiucoatl, the spirit form of the Aztec deity of fire. So, I looked at Xiucoatl and couldnt help but think it looked a lot like an obsidian-edge war club. Even being tipped in volcanic glass makes sense with his relation to fire. With a bit of perversion, being tipped in steel - a material born of fire in a way - also makes a bit of sense. Since Xiucoatl translates to "turquoise serpent" I figured I could incorporate that as well. Here is what I came up with. As always, thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.
  13. Dan Bourlotos

    KITH 2018 poll

    I planned on drawing on mythology. I saw it as a magical blade or magical edged tool because of the "/" placement, didn't even consider any of those other options. The power of punctuation!
  14. Dan Bourlotos

    What is this?

    That ever so slight green tinge you see on window glass is actually due to small amounts of iron in the glass melt. Transition elements tend to make funky and unexpected colors in glass depending on the oxidation state. In the case of green-turquoise-blue soda-lime glass, it is usually Fe(II). The fact that it appears as if there is no scale underneath means that it either reduced all the FeO on the surface (which isn't my first guess), or there was some sort of silicate material that was resting on the blade during heat up and as it melted it just picked up iron from the surface. Could be sand, could be cheap ceramic blanket or low-temp fire bricks (both of which have a much higher silica percentage). What I find interesting though is the fact it isn't black. Normally, there is so much excess carbon floating around in a gas forge that any glass you see would turn black, just like the flux used in forge welding. I have used my forge to cast glass before and unless I ran SUPER lean on gas, it always turned black.
  15. Dan Bourlotos

    KITH 2018 poll

    I generally use the yearly KITH to do things I wouldn't normally do. That could be everything from using a weird handle material, to inserting in some wacky design element, to something as simple as just making a style knife I haven't ever done before. I love making axes/hawks, but the magical theme has me intrigued. I have a super weird idea that has been floating in my head for about a decade now, and this might be the perfect time to try it. Then again, it might be too much of an undertaking. Either way, I am going to be kicked out of my comfort zone and that is usually a good thing.
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