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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. I really enjoyed the hammer-in Larry put on, though I only made it up there to it at his place once I think. He was one of those rare types who seemed larger than life. It was around that same time that I met Jim 'Paw-Paw' Wilson, which was shortly before his untimely death. May they rest in peace. The renaissance in smithing over the last few decades would not have happened without the willingness to teach and share that people like them and a number of others including Don Fogg were thoughtful enough to offer, coming as it did at just around the same time that the Internet took off.
  2. I was fortunate to be able to buy several late-1930s-vintage woodworking power tools from a family friend a number of years ago. A real pain to move but they are build to last for sure!
  3. For what it's worth, in re-roofing and expanding my little back yard shed from 8x12 to 12x12 feet, I found fire-rated particle board sheathing at a local surplus building materials place and was able to use that for the new wall parts and all of the new roof decking. It has a fiberglass (?) coating that is impregnated with some kind of fire-resistant white cement. It is nasty stuff to saw when installing because of the fiberglass, and only a supplement not a replacement for a fire extinguisher, but it will be a nice extra bit of peace of mind for when I get my grinder etc. set up in there.
  4. I was thinking of the cave troll in LOTR after having just cut down a small white oak that was growing in the way of a backyard project, so I dug out a drawknife and made this.
  5. Thanks Alan, I would have guessed it was from around the 30s, but good to have you confirm it. Funny thing is lately I've been finding myself drawn to woodworking planes and sewing machines of that same era, go figure!
  6. Done, the thin diamond-section file did the trick! Here's a picture of starting the teeth that shows clearly how worn down they were, another of the tip end in progress to show the file, and one of the cool hammer-and-anvil logo on the knife.
  7. Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I've found a file with a very narrow/flat diamond cross section that I think will do the trick if I angle it in alternating directions. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow, and will try to post some pictures if it works.
  8. So my mom just gave me the bread knife that we used all the years I was growing up, and I think it may have belonged to her grandmother originally. But it's got tiny rectangular teeth that are maybe 1/32 or a bit less wide and about twice as deep as they are wide. The issue is, most of the teeth in the middle (most used) part of the blade are now worn completely away from so many decades of cutting homemade bread! So my question is, is there such a thing as a commercially available file this small, ideally with 2 safe sides/edges, or is there some other tool I could buy or modify to cut in new teeth to restore this knife to working condition? The grooves between teeth are a lot narrower than the cutting disc on my angle grinder, maybe closer to dremel cutoff wheel thickness, not that I'd necessarily trust myself to do this with a power tool.
  9. I think I've read that the rail track is a high manganese version of a 10xx steel.
  10. Vertical burners will work, but can become extremely hot after the forge is turned off, when they act like a chimney. Avoid having any rubber gas hoses etc. up top!
  11. Very nicely done. We all should be so fortunate as to have relationships of such value, in both directions!
  12. If you line it with brewer's pitch, that will fill small cracks while also being food safe, though it's no good for hot drinks. I've made my own, but it's also available from places like Townsend's.
  13. I second the suggestion of grain growth; you could cut one bar into identical pieces, then do different temperature/time treatments and normalizing/annealing routines to learn what happens. You'd probably need a microscope though, and it's not as visually interesting as the damascus/play doh idea would be, but I think it gives a few more things to measure, and that's usually what they are looking for if it's a science fair. But if it's a demonstration they want rather than an experiment, then the damascus would be a better choice.
  14. Check the gardening section, it's an ingredient for some potting soil mixes. I've also seen it used in the outer part of the double box used when shipping hazardous liquids like bottles of acid. It absorbs liquid in both uses and is fairly inert too.
  15. Ha, I also remember you (and Alan too of course) from Keenjunk! I only posted occasionally, as mstu, but I read it almost every day. I've enjoyed watching your style develop. I hope to make it to more shows and with any luck one day I'll manage to see you and your work in person.
  16. The face, and the tasty bits!
  17. Nice work! Those look like they would be great for shaping bow staves.
  18. Interesting, I was able to read a copy by ILL a few years ago. Not sure what library it came from though.
  19. Nice to see what one of these looks like complete. I have the dogbone-shaped anvil base from one that eventually I'll get around to making the rest of the hammer for.
  20. Depending on the time of year and kind of tree, the bark may come off quite easily. When it's freshly cut in the summertime, I've been able to peel off the bark with my bare hands from black walnut and a few other species. This is very handy when making bows.
  21. Nice work! The nock reinforcement can be a real pain but these turned out quite well. I'd be curious also on the weight of the points and finished arrows.
  22. I think you'll get plenty of air, the ones I made back in 2004 with around those same dimensions had 2 four-inch round holes and seemed to deliver plenty of air. I used a heavy commercial awning fabric that's essentially heavy waterproof canvas.
  23. First, a big thank you for volunteering! I only had to deal with a couple days without power from Florence, which was bad enough, but nothing like they got hit with out at the coast. In my experience, a Hobart electric chopper works great for this kind of thing, and is far faster than hand chopping. It's the kind that has the bowl that rotates, you drop fist sized chunks in one side and after 2 times around they are chopped (4 or 5 times through nearly makes meat paste...). Inside the back covered side there's a vertical rotating blade that chops whatever comes around in the bowl. Drop in chunks, wait a few seconds, scoop it out and add the next chunks. I've personally chopped 800+ pounds of pork in just a few hours with one of these; it's a heavy machine that I can barely lift and that's likely older than I am. That said, I've also watched a whole roast goat chopped into portions in less than 20 minutes using a large cleaver on the end grain of a huge stump, so it definitely can be done by hand, but I think once you have more than maybe 50 pounds or so, it would be faster using electricity. For pork loin, I would think it also could be chopped like pulled pork is, and that might be faster than slicing. A meat cutting band saw might also work, though I've only seen these used on raw/frozen meat.
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