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Michael Stuart

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Everything posted by Michael Stuart

  1. Looks like a great start, can't wait to see it finished up. Michael
  2. I cut up some cow bone recently (not stabilized, bought it as a dog bone). It cut with a dull bandsaw blade but the smoke stunk up everything. I ground it on a medium grit bench grinder which left a surprisingly well polished surface, but made lots more stinky dust. I finally dragged the grinder into the doorway and set up a fan to blow across it and out the door, which mostly took care of the smell. I would expect some kind of vacuum chamber with epoxy or similar would be used to stabilize bone. Michael
  3. Looks good Bob. Do you have a grip or sheath in mind yet? Now that you can slice Velveeta, you have no excuse not to make a big pot of grits to put it in. I'm really trying to resist the temptation to make a rude joke about cutting the cheese (wouldn't want to take the opportunity away from everyone else) . Wish I could have made it up there this year, next year I hope to attend again. Michael
  4. Hi Karl, Hope you'll have a chance to ship my box soon -- I sent the money by Paypal back on March 6, since you had said above and in an email to me that you still had some available. I hadn't heard from you since before the board went down, so I thought I'd post here just in case your email went down too or something. Thanks, Michael
  5. Hi Alan, I've been thinking lately how handy a metal cutting bandsaw would be. After I finish saving up for the copper cable to run some welder-capable power to my little shop, a saw may be the next big item. With a welder and a saw, I'll be ready to start working on a Grond of my own. Of course, the cable and a saw might cost me a 'grond' so it may be a while yet Michael
  6. Many thanks Don and Daniel for getting the forum back up. I really missed it. Michael
  7. mmm, big axe. Nice. I've managed to get a hole slit and halfway drifted for a small axe. We'll see if I manage to mess it up, but it looks nice and even so far. You're inspiring me to consider splitting the end and welding in a bit. Michael
  8. Thanks all. I'll keep an eye out for the rectifier. Greg, the motor does seem to be enclosed, and if I can leave it mostly as-is it also has a hard plastic cover that goes over the motor and electronics. The motor claims to be rated at 2 1/2 hp, so I'll just have to see how it holds up power-wise. But it almost has to be better than the 1/2 hp motor I used on my previous homemade grinder. With work the way it is, it will likely be a couple of months before I have the time to mess with it, but I'll let folks know how it goes. Michael
  9. I got a broken-down exercise treadmill today with an eye toward using the still-working 2.5 hp variable-speed DC motor to power a grinder. On taking things apart a bit, it's got a lot of electronic stuff inside that I don't understand. Does anyone have good ideas about how to power and control such a motor if I take it out? Or should I stick with the existing treadmill controls, which seem to work OK? I'm not even really sure how it turns the 120V AC into 120VDC, the only thing inside that looks like a transformer doesn't seem big enough somehow to handle that much current. Yes, I am in over m
  10. The nice thing about charcoal is that the CO2 I make burning it can be locked back into trees where it came from, during my lifetime. I've planted a lot of trees over the years, and some of them will probably be here after I'm gone. But I still like coal and propane too. I think I've already saved more fossil fuel with a few years of driving a 4 cyl car (versus an SUV) than I'll use up by smithing in my lifetime. Archie, let us know how the gasifier works, and don't blow yourself up Michael
  11. Nice job on both. Eagle and serpent: Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) was founded on the site where wandering proto-Aztecs (?) saw an eagle, perched on a prickly pear cactus, devouring a rattlesnake. But the big knife strikes me as more Persian, or from one of those places that ends in -stan, than Aztec. Michael
  12. Hi Karl, Email sent. I would like a box. thanks, Michael
  13. Yikes. I thought I was living well. Yesterday I made some skirt steak & onion kebabs on the washtub forge. Fresh lime juice and worcestershire sauce marinade, and black pepper. Absolutely no bird embryos were involved, at all Michael
  14. I just got a copy of this book a couple days ago. I enjoyed it, though it seems to have a few more typos than it ought to. Nice photos of some of the tools (hammers, Japanese bellows with photo and drawing) in addition to a lot of great sword photos. There's a couple of pages of drawings at the end with about 20 steps diagrammed from newly smelted lumps to the finished sword, which serve as a nice accessible summary of the process. Michael
  15. I believe those wispy purplish flames that are the sign of a nice deep reducing fire are actually carbon monoxide burning to form carbon dioxide. Makes sense to me but I don't recall where I heard this so it may not be right. Michael
  16. I haven't tried drying in the oven, but I did try to 'dry' some in a can at the forge a while back. It kind of foamed up a bit at first, then turned into a single solid lump as the rest of the moisture left (but maybe I overheated it?). So, if I were trying to heat it in the oven, I'd leave some overflow space in the container just in case it foams up. OK, I couldn't stand not knowing so I looked it up. There's 10 molecules of water per sodium tetraborate molecule in the 20 mule team stuff. It loses the last water molecule at 320 degrees C or just over 600 Farenheit. I think it actually lo
  17. Unbelievably nice work Jake. And the little guy does look a bit like the good Dr. Bunsen... Michael
  18. I bought it in hardcover a couple years back. Outstanding book. It was my birthday present (note to self: use gollum voice here for best effect) Michael
  19. I was born in the late 60s, before the moon landing though. I've been a chemist and an archaeologist, a science teacher, and last fall I moved to Florida where I am now an assistant professor of education. I get little enough practice forging, so that each time I make something, I seem to repeat some of the same mistakes I've already made. But it's still a lot of fun so I keep at it. The first time I used a coal forge was with Ric Furrer (thanks Ric!), way back when he was still an undergraduate. I like Vikings and most of my forging ambitions focus on small seax-like objects. One d
  20. Sweet work Alan. Got a closeup of the rocket fins? Is the grip turned, then the fin part carved, or is it all carved? I've been fooling with turning some handle blanks lately and you've got me inspired now. Michael
  21. And here I thought I was the only one with a shop spider problem. I changed the wire wheel on my bench grinder a couple weeks ago, and a moment later the biggest spider I've ever seen dropped out and onto the floor with an audible 'plop' sound, then started running across the floor at top speed. I stomped it in a panic, and the front of my size 10 shoe was barely big enough to cover it. Then last week I went to turn on the same grinder, and as my hand approached the switch I suddenly saw eight big hairy knees pop up from just under the wheel. I haven't tried to grind anything since. Mi
  22. Lovely work as always. Could you share a closeup of the handle? Michael
  23. Great news. Thanks Don for letting us know. Michael
  24. Gee, there's only 92 naturally occurring elements, how difficult could it be? As a former chemist/chemistry teacher, I had to say that Seriously, not only is it helpful for the metallurgy end of things, but it helps you understand the chemical safety stuff. Note the safety glasses: As Ric mentioned, it's also good to know some of the 'why' that goes behind the 'how'. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go pick some ferns for the goat, we're fresh out of urine and it's almost quenching time Michael
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