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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. I had some wood I cut for walking sticks and one day I actually heard the beetle larvae inside a piece chewing on it, but couldn't tell which piece(s) were the problem as they stopped making noise when I moved anything. I had coated the ends with wood glue when I cut them, but the beetles lay eggs in the bark crevices and I hadn't debarked them. So I put the whole stack in the back of my black car and parked it in the sun for several days in July, and that seems to have fixed the problem.
  2. I think the liters to moles conversion depends on the concentration; HCl is actually a gas dissolved in water, so it comes in various concentrations unless you buy it as a gas (unlikely). I think if I recall correctly, concentrated HCl is around 37% or 12 molar, while what you can buy as pool chemicals etc. is usually already diluted somewhat. So check the label, then convert percent to molarity if molarity isn't given, then figure liters of HCl to react with moles (convert to grams) of iron. Another way to think of this might be, how much rat has it got in it?
  3. That is amazing. I've been waiting a long time to see someone document the wire inlay process like this. Please post more about the chisels if you have the chance.
  4. The post vise is sold, thanks Jack! Other items still available. Michael
  5. I'm trying to downsize a bit before I have to move my smithing things yet again. I have a Champion blower with stand ($225), a 4 inch post vise with stand ($180), and an English-made anvil, marked 1-2-11 which is 179 pounds, $600. The anvil has a small chip off one edge near the heel, and a groove in the side of the horn, probably put there for some specific job that is now unknown. The blower turns freely with good airflow and keeps going when you let go of the handle. The vise works fine but I have a larger one I prefer to keep. Not pictured I also have a double chamber great bellows ($2
  6. And if a magnet doesn't take care of everything, vermiculite often will float on water, especially small pieces. Iron generally won't
  7. An interesting idea. I poked around a couple of sites and found this list of ingredients. The cellulose and polypropylene would burn off easily. I'm not sure what problems (if any) might result from the NaCl and the vermiculite, though both have high melting points and are probably (guessing here) fairly unlikely to decompose even at crucible temperatures. Air-activated Hand warmers are made of Iron Fe Cellulose C6H10O5 Activated carbon C Water H2O Polypropylene sack C3H6 Salt NaCl Vermiculite (MgFeAl)3(AlSi)4O10(OH)24H2O
  8. That is pretty awesome Alan. And I bet the next one of these you make will be a piece of cake after all that practice!
  9. Wow, the P content adds a whole new set of hues to the mix. And this blade shape flows really well. I look forward to seeing this with the fittings! Michael
  10. I was wondering about this one from the Vikings exhibit at the Field Museum, but it looks more like weld lines than ornamentation?
  11. n.b. Heat rock slowly; some types, especially sedimentary ones, will explode with some force when water inside them turns into steam. This can throw chunks of hot rock around unpredictably.
  12. I tried rolling a socket this weekend; got almost enough material, but there's a quarter inch down the middle where the 2 sides don't meet. I'd be curious to see someone who knows how to leave enough material at the neck joint to do the whole thing in one piece, as mine was OK when I started rolling it, but I managed to break it there just as I was finishing the rolling.
  13. The pottery supply place in downtown Charlotte also has the EPK, or at least they did last fall when I stopped by there.
  14. I'm just running across this now, but it occurs to me that it might be less trouble to just press the mark into a relatively soft metal like silver. If it's on sheet, maybe run it through a rolling mill with the stencil on top, and that might be enough. Or tap it in with a small punch, as the punch marks would be hidden by the niello once it's completed, and they might also give it a better bond. Michael
  15. Those are very nicely done, and not an area I see reproduced very often in Viking-era work.
  16. We used to have a huge vine of that growing on the house where I grew up (and in fact, it's probably still there). Who knew it looked so nice inside!
  17. Alan, as a former archaeologist, I salute you! These are excellent. Not that they need anything else, but if you ever got bored, you could always add 'Marshalltown' (or maybe Alan-town?) in very tiny, individually-welded runes Michael
  18. Very cool project overall Chris. Not that it's of much use this time of year, but in the summer, a few days in a car parked in the sun will dry wood this size pretty rapidly. Crack the windows to keep from having too much moisture build up inside.
  19. Great thread! But I have to say, making arrows and starting to make bows has been keeping me away from smithing for far too long. I'm just finally getting back into smithing this past year. I've been making cane arrows lately, mostly with turkey fletching, and need to get busy and take some photos I guess. Cane (my source may actually be arrow bamboo) is nice because with careful selection it comes in any length and stiffness, even up to atl-atl size.
  20. It's a nice surprise to see myself in the background occasionally! This was great to watch. Thanks again Mark. Michael
  21. To add to what Alan said, the plain borax has ten water molecules chemically bound in the crystal structure for each sodium tetraborate molecule. All that water is driven off by somewhere around 400-500 degrees (F I think; look it up if you want to know the exact temperatures). That's why it foams up so much. Anhydrous borax is hygroscopic, meaning it will suck moisture out of the air to replenish some of the missing chemically bound water, so if you pay more to get the anhydrous kind, store it in an airtight container if you want it to remain anhydrous.
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