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Anthony Reid

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Anthony Reid last won the day on January 26 2017

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    Alberta Canada
  • Interests
    knife making
    bushcraft and wilderness skills
    generally making things
    brewing beer and mead

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  1. Daniel, I say go for it! This started as 4in of 1x2 hot rolled mild steel and finished at 1-3/4 lb I have another one in the works that has been drifted and rough forged starting with 4-1/4in of the same material that is still just above 2-1/4lbs so i would say depending on your target weight maybe try a piece 1×2.5 ×4in ish ? I usually figure .288lb per cubic inch for steel it's usually close but no substitute for weighing your stock before you start. I make hatchets out of 1.25in square 1018 with a bit welded in and they usually come out in the 1-1/4 to 1-1/2lb range depending on grinding and scale losses. If you haven't made an axe yet I recomend starting small and working up for sure. I'm pretty new to axes and this forum has been a big help for sure
  2. I am not familiar with that title but I love Patrick McManus I'll have to look for it .
  3. Thanks Joshua, I used a piece of Damascus I had made a while back and there wasn't a lot of material to forge the bit from unless I restacked the bar . I had originally planned to etch with ferric and coffee to really show the pattern but I ended up just doing a deep ferric etch and leaving it at that as I worried that it wouldn't stay looking nice with use
  4. this is the latest culmination of my experiments in axe making it is a 1-3/4lb head composed of mild steel body and 384 layer damascus cutting bit on a hand carved slender hickory handle. I am quite pleased with it I made it to be what i consider an ideal general purpose axe for camping and bushcraft : slightly bearded for fine crafting cuts, full wedge profile for splitting and throwing chips out of the cut when chopping, heavy poll to keep the cutting edge close to the center of gravity, 28in handle keeps it light and packable but allows maximum work to be done with a light head. the handle shape is taken directly from a vintage axe in my collection that I love using I dont think i have a picture that shows the whole shape of the handle but it is a thin oval shape with a gentle classic curve. let me know what you guys think
  5. thanks for the info Tim, I am familiar with the threads mentioned above from my previous research but will go over them again for sure! today I went to my local packaging supply to pick up some plastic buckets and lids for my wife as well as a metal pail for this project and ended up leaving with 2 30 gallon oil drums as well. I'm wondering now if I should stick to my original 5 gallon plan ala the "jizzer" or try the 30 gallon drum to be closer to the original Don Fogg design? I ordered a pyrometer and type k thermocouples with ceramic insulation tubes to protect them. I ordered 6 in long thermocouples with mounting blocks and wires etc but I'm thinking now that may be too short ? there are also 16in long versions available from the place I ordered from but Im sure I can use the shorter ones in my smaller ribbon burner forge anyway if they are too short for this project. space is at a premium in my shop but if a larger drum would make a big difference in evenness of heat I would find somewhere to put it I guess. I seldom make large blades but I suppose it never hurts to have the extra capacity. I primarily make hunting and outdoors knives, kitchen knives, and the odd axe. I have built my own burners for every gas forge Ive ever owned except one that was a commercial model and ironically I sold that one on within a few months as I wasn't happy with it. my plan for the burner is to build something like the burner Alan recommended based on the sidearm burner design. I am in Canada so as far as availability of material etc its pretty much like the US only less so in terms of easy access to specialized components ready made burners etc. I still have the better part of a roll of cerablanket, rigidizer, castable refractory etc left over from my last forge build and plumbing supplies and propane regulators/hoses etc are all available locally so the only thing I had to order from away is the pyrometer as getting one from a pottery supply locally would be about twice the price. to recap 2 main questions : 1) in terms of performance and even heating is a 30 gallon drum going to be far superior to a 5 gallon pail using a single 3/4in burner? 2) how long of a thermocouple should I use and where should it be placed ? (I presume it should be as close as possible to the area the blades will be in but should it be inserted from the end or along the side/top somewhere?) thanks for the help guys I really appreciate it and if anyone has any further thoughts or suggestions I would love to hear them
  6. I've been using my ribbon burner forge for heat treating but it's really difficult to maintain temperature low enough to be appropriate for heat treating so it has become a bit of a dance and I have been thinking about other options. Something like the Don Fogg drum kiln appeals to me but I don't have room for anything that big. I took a look in the stickies and see that someone else has done something similar to what I am thinking of but I wanted to check in with you guys before I start just trying things. The basic outline of my idea is a 5 gallon metal pail lined with 1in of kaowool. I have read that keeping a smaller volume an even heat requires baffling to creat convection currents and I wondered what material and placement would be best? Also my plan would be to build a small burner to heat the kiln and wondered if there is a pattern of diy burner that would be suited to this project? I was just thinking to scale down a standard 3/4in pipe burner to 1/2in pipe and try that. Also burner placement is a question as well as I have read that having the burner enter the forge from the top of one end and the door of the forge at the bottom can help with even heating but most similar builds appear to have the burner at the bottom and the door near the top with stainless steel hangers to support blades. Would a kiln shelf hung with ss rods be a suitable support for the knives to allow ht of shorter and odd shaped pieces that wouldn't fit well in standard hangers? I plan to buy a thermocouple and PID to monitor temperatures but want to keep it cheap and simple as far as possible so no actual temperature controll circuitry/solenoids etc for the time being. Any ideas or suggestions are welcome I know I'm far from the first person to suggest/try something like this but info online seems pretty sparse
  7. Been slowly plugging away at some hatchets, I'm still struggling with the mild to mild weld in a wrapped eye axe but I've made a few slit and drift heads that turned out ok. I borrowed a technique I saw In A video on the new England school of metalwork YouTube channel I basically use a slitting chisel to pierce my starting stock and then forge down the eye section to the finished poll thickness which stretches the eye. Then reopen the slot and drift as normal. I have a buyer for the one in the first picture, my wife has claimed the second one and the unfinished one in the last picture had the drift go off and flare the back of the eye at the top and I haven't decided how or if I'll fix it
  8. My second and 3rd attempt to make this style of wrap and weld hatchet both had issues with the welding so I bought a piece of 1/2x1.5 1018 which I cut into 9in lengths so I can try again with better material but I haven't had a chance to try that material yet . I did do some more work on a slit and drift head I have been working on though. This one I made with a 1inx2inx4in piece cut from mild steel plate and slit with a hot chisel and two 1/4in guide holes at the ends of the slot. I ended up with the eye a bit crooked as I worked to center the blade so I had to do some work to straighten that up. Between the hammering to straighten the eye and the grinding to remove the hammer marks I ended up with a strange boat tail shaped poll but I kinda like the look of it . Chalk it up to a learning experience. I am pretty focused on axes lately because I have several friends who I would really like to be able to make axes for but I think I'm getting closer to the goal slowly but surely.
  9. I have tried a commercial Flux with metal bits in it I believe it was antiborax brand but it didn't work with this mild steel either I may have to break down and buy some known 1018 rather than this A36 as I've successfully welded 1018 in this forge before but the random mild steel I have just won't stick
  10. Thanks guys, I will have to try the cast iron powder , I am a machinist by trade I could have saved some chips from the last cast iron job I did if I had any idea I would be wanting them later. Unfortunately I'm not working at the moment but I'll see what I can come up with. When using Flux with cast iron powder in it do you need to open the joint to apply the flux ? Borax wicks itself into the joint but it doesn't seem like that would pull in the powdered metal meaning it would have to be fluxed prior to the pieces being brought into position right? Would powdered steel like for canister Damascus work or does it have to be cast iron ?
  11. ¹This one is 5/16in thick an inch back from the edge so it could definitely be made thinner for sure. I'm going to try another one today and see if I can get closer to my ideal. I was just happy to get a functional head after all the trouble I've been having lately with punched eyes and trying to get mild to weld to mild in my gas forge... I may have to break out my solid fuel forge and try it with charcoal to see if that makes any difference in welding mild steel to itself.
  12. I went with a flatter kind of symmetrical oval eye as a change of pace on this one and I think it will be a bit easier to make a handle for but that's just a theory I have. When you say wider and flatter towards the edge do you mean it should have a longer cutting edge and not be so thick behind the edge? I think I may try that on the next one , I stopped early on this one as I was worried my cutting edge would get too thin or possibly off center if I pushed it too far as I started with a piece that was around 5/32 thick so it got super thin quick! I did find that the length started to get away from me a bit even with using a cross peen to widen the blade. I did very minimal trimming of the profile just to get rid of the bit of the mild steel coming around the core at the edges and true up the shape a bit
  13. This little hatchet was today's project, it is actually the second version I made today as I had trouble with the first axe when the mild steel just would not weld to itself no matter what I did so the solution in this case was just to extend the blade steel all the way back to the eye. The body was forged from 9in of 1/2"×1.5" basically following the Gerald Boggs article and I used a left over piece of low layer pattern welded steel for the cutting bit. I had to make a new drift for this project as well. So the next one should go quicker. I'm still debating whether I should flatten the top profile or leave the shape as it is.
  14. Thanks for the info Alan, you may be right about the forge atmosphere I had it running about like I do for Damascus with a bit of dragons breath out the front of my ribbon burner forge but I did have my air gate a bit further open than usual. (I built a diverter blast gate between the blower and the ribbon burner) Do you have a picture of your punch /slitter ? Drifting that hatchet eye from essentially a hammer eye punch hole to a 1.5x.5 axe eye took probably 10 heats ...it got quicker when I figured out how to do it at the anvil rather than using the post vise as a bolster but it was still slow. I was cooling my punch in beeswax and occasionally using charcoal dust to lube the punch so that could have been a big issue too.
  15. I recently added a 33lb anyang air hammer to my shop and have been working toward some projects that I was disinclined to attempt when I had to do everything by hand. One of the things I've been interested in pretty much forever is axes I've made a few tomahawks over the years but now I'm turning my attention to proper axes. This afternoon I forged out this tiny hatchet head . It started as a 2x3x3/4inch piece of 4140 which I punched and drifted with tools I made for this project . My main issue was with the eye the punching went ok except that my punch seemed to stick in the part and took some work to free a few times and ultimately bent the punch. Also I wonder if my punch to drift size ratio is off? It took many heats to get the eye to even a small hatchet eye size. Is there a rule for sizing a punch to a drift for optimal ease of forging and a clean finished eye? I have included pictures of the tooling I used so if anyone can see an issue I missed or can recommend anything I much appreciate it. The repeated heats to drift the eye caused me to loose quite a bit of material to scale so that by the time I had ground the head I had gone from around 1-1/3lb starting stock to 0.8 lb does that seem excessive or about right? I would like to make a couple more of these mini hatchets and then attempt some larger axes so the more I can get figured out now the less frustrating it will be later So to sum up: 1)is there a rule of thumb to scale punch size to drift size for axe eyes? 2)What size/shape of punch or slitter do you use? And do you drive it by hand or with a power hammer or press? (I would like to be able to do this with my power hammer but having only about 6in between the dies limits my tooling options) 3) how much material is typical to lose to scale and finish grinding?( I tried to forge close to finish dimensions but there was some trimming to flatten the top and true up the bit profile)
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