Jump to content

Anthony Reid

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Anthony Reid

  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)
  16. Thanks for the input everyone! I knew 5160 was tough but it sounds like its tougher than I thought, the suggestion to have the tines professionally heat treated is a good one as well but given that I'm only making a handful of them and it's a cost saving project for my dad so if it's not absolutely necessary I would rather save the money and hassle as the spring manufacturer deals in literal tons while I work in feet and single digit runs lol
  17. This question isnt really blade related but my dad has asked me to make some replacement tines for his harrow that he uses to dress the riding arena where my sisters practice jumping etc. I have an industrial spring manufacturer near me that can supply 5160 in 1 3/4in by 0.323in bars at a good price. My question is if I were to bend the tines hot and allow them to cool without further heat treating would they be tough and springy enough for the job? It's mostly sand that they will be used in but they need to be able to survive the odd bump or snag. All my experience with 5160 has been in knives with heat treat being the major factor. Does anyone here have experience with this material in similar circumstances to what I am describing? The main reason I want to do it this way is that even my largest gas forge doesn't have room inside for the tines once they are bent full curve. I would tell him to order replacements from the manufacturer but none can be found and what he could order wouldn't be guaranteed to fit and would cost as much per tine as a 20ft bar of 5160
  18. I have been making a few knives lately as I gear up to do more production. These knives have been my test runs as I focus on streamlining certain aspects of my work flow and wanted to share them here. The first is a 30 layer pattern welded rhombic puukko which will be going to it's new owner shortly. The second is a small neck/belt knife I kept for myself 1084 steel forged from a scrap left from another knife, trigger shoe style forged guard osage orange handle and an ambidextrous multi position sheath. Third is a kitchen knife I forged for my wife. And fourth is a hunter in 1084 walnut and copper that is currently available in the for sale forum with more pictures in that post.
  19. Just wanted to share a knife I recently finished and have available for purchase. The blade is hand forged 1084 with as forged flats and ricasso, copper guard/bolster, black fiber spacer, and walnut handle. Sheath is veg tan tooling leather dyed USMC black and waxed with a combination of beeswax and paraffin for weatherproofing. The welt is glued in and saddle stitched for maximum longevity in the outdoors. Every part of this knife was hand crafted by me in my shop and is available for $250 CAD plus shipping. For those that use freedom dollars that is about $185 USD plus shipping. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions
  20. I recently started playing with forging kitchen knives and the one im working on right now is giving me some trouble so I wanted to consult you guys before I do anything else with this blade. Its 1084 with a 5.5in blade distal tappered from 5/32-3/32 near the tip and the tang is tappered to 1/16 at the butt. I heat treated this one right after forging and profiling and ground the bevels after heat treat. It has a full flat grind to the spine. All went well until I went to a 220 belt to remove rough grinding scratches and accidentally overheated the very thin edge in a couple places. My original thought was to make the blade narrower to remove the discolored portions which extend into the blade about 1/8in. But after thinking about it and given the fact that I want to offer this knife for sale upon completion im wondering if the best option would be to re harden and temper again before I finish the blade ? If that is the case are there any tips for success in hardening such a thin blade without excessive decarb and or warping? Current edge thickness is about 0.015in what would you guys advise? Carefully grind out the overheated steel and carry on or re heat treat?
  21. Thanks for sharing this here Alan here is a picture of the finished tongs I made (also posted in my original thread so if double posting the pic is a no no feel free to remove this one) Mine dont look as good as the ones in the video but for my second try ever at bolt tongs I'll take it.
  22. Finished up the tongs this evening overall I very happy with how they came out but of course the next pair will be better
  23. I have been working in getting a forging shop set up after a 3 year hiatus forced on me by life and one of the things I've been thinking about a lot is tong making as I've never quite mastered it. I can make a set of tongs but I'm never completely happy with them so I decided this time around I would focus on tongs to kill two birds with one stone, namely brush up on my forging skills and tool up with the various tongs I will need in the shop. The first set of tongs I wanted to make is a pair of bolt jaw tongs to hold the stock I intend to use for other tongs and small hardy tools (my 100lb anvil has a hardy hole that is about 11/16") My first attempt was made from 2 9in pieces of 3/8×1 1/4 mild steel but I made the jaw section behind the v bit too thin and ended up cutting off the v bits to make a set of pickup/hammer tongs. All the work drawing out reins from flat bar was a pain so I decided to try something different the next go round. My second attempt is still a work in progress but seems to be going much easier. I went with a style inspired by the WCB blacksmithing competition tongs. I made a few changes to the style to match my tooling and work situation (no top fullers and no striker) I used opposing set downs and the horn of my anvil for the big fuller and a 1/2in bottom fuller and my cross peen for the smaller one. Starting material was 18in of 3/8×1 1/4 mild with jaws forged on opposite ends of the bar ( make sure they are on opposite sides of the bar as the reins will be hot cut down the middle of the bar) 3/8×1 would have been just fine but I had the 1 1/4 stock on hand the pictures should give an idea of my work flow on these. They still need tweaking and offsetting, as well as the pivot hole and rivet and general cleanup work but the general idea is clear at this point. For those who are interested here is the video that inspired these tongs I took a look through the tong method thread and didnt see cut rein tongs mentioned unless I just missed it so I thought I would share this in case it helps someone else as it is much quicker than drawing out reins and easier than a drop tong weld for reins and can easily be adapted to almost any jaw type.
  24. Yeah I wasn't really aiming at you Alan just thinking out loud I'll have to take a peek at the other forum you mentioned
  25. I know most guys here are making fixed blades but I see no reason why I cant forge pocket knife blades ... after all thats how it was done in sheffield for a very long time. I am sure it has been posted here before but there is a very cool youtube video of a Sheffield blade forger taking about forging a ridiculous number of pocket knife blades per day for something like 70 years of his career. I have a small piece of pattern weld material that was the first piece I ever made and I would love to use it in a pocket knife at some point. its about 3 inches by 1 1/4 and about 3/16ths thick I think it could be reforged to make a couple pocket knife blades from if I was careful. The last friction folder I made was a forged blade as well made from W1 drill rod forged and filed to precise thickness so its conceivable that very precise blades can be made with a combination of forging and filing to precision fits.
  • Create New...