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steven smith

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steven smith last won the day on January 31 2017

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  1. steven smith

    An excellent video on hand filing.

    Just cut teeth onto the side of the broach, if you cut teeth on one side and want to cut them on the opposite side as well you can place the already cut teeth on something soft like hard wood or lead, that way you dont just flatten out the teeth you just cut. I have one file that is 1/16" thick and 5" long with straight file teeth on one side and rasp teeth on the other, it was not tempered, all of the worry I had about making files went away real quick after I made a few. A broach needs a thick head and thin neck for clearance but the teeth of a file stick out of the stock with the cutting of the tooth, you can make super aggressive teeth that cut on the push or pull. A file/broach hybrid works very well.
  2. steven smith

    An excellent video on hand filing.

    That same guy has videos about making files, everybody should make a few files, you just need a chisel with the right grind. Handmade files cut very well and you can make any shape you want with any kind of teeth, I have made super tiny files and broaches andeven saws for making miniature knives, you can make super aggressive rasps as well which is great for burl wood if you dont use a belt grinder. It really takes just a few minutes to make a needle file and they can save you lots of time compared to other cheap needle files. Starting with clean flat steel you chisel in the teeth, straighten with a soft hammer and anvil, then harden the file, I have some that are untempered which eat steel but can break so more delicate files might need some tempering. There are a few pictures of file cutting chisels ive seen online, I havent experimented with chisel geometry much but I think its like a wood chisel with a bit of a bevel on the underside.
  3. steven smith

    Suitable axe handle material?

    I have some wood that looks like snakewood but is softer (lacewood maybe) for one of my forging hammer handles and its holding up fine. But I think that if I missed a swing and hit the handle on something it would break easily. It can be burned and wire brushed for a nice color and texture. Same goes for oak, I have a hammer and a three foot long handled hatchet with oak that have been well used but could crack with a missed swing.
  4. steven smith

    Help Identifying Stump

    Its oak!
  5. steven smith

    Ok, crazy idea. Has anyone

    Im working on a two wheel grinder right now (my fourth attempt.... my motor has a heavy gearbox and the mount flexes) They can be simple machines, you need a motor and a tracking wheel and a tensioner. Using the tracking wheel or the tensioning wheel (which can be the same wheel) as a contact wheel can throw off the belt. I think making a mount for a motor that provides tension and tracking adjustment would be perfect, you bolt down your motor and you could have the contact wheel anywhere in space as long as the wheels are reasonably aligned and you have a long enough belt. There is a guy on youtube who made one with a skateboard truck and a 2x4 that is very inspiring.
  6. We learned in the bug wars on klandathu if a blade isnt utterly sharp that a thrust would just glance off the hard exoskeleton of an arachnid beast and you might not get another chance at it, or maybe those were roaches at my friends place... Either way I dont know why we were fighting them like that, we should have just bounced out of there and gassed them from the sidewalk.
  7. steven smith

    Things you might not know can kill you

    If cadmium plating is that yellow/gold titanium looking stuff then it seems to be pretty common, I think ive got some in my pocket right now...
  8. I have been wondering what happens to the carbon that is not dissolved and doesnt contribute to hardening. If you have .84% of a blades carbon hardening a 1% carbon blade do you have .84% of the max hardness or 99.16% of the max hardness from that blade? If there is left over carbon what does it do? Does the extra carbon just stay in the grain boundries with no effect? Because o1 would have extra carbon with a simple heat treatment, does that mean 1084 will preform better because it is all hard with no waste in the steel? If 1084 preforms better than o1 with a simple heat treat then 01 is making a bad blade, but if they both preform as you would expect a simple heat treat would then you arent losing anything. So from the simple heat treatment on o1 steel, do you get what you would expect from 1084 or are you going to get less than the highest possible results from 1084 because there is extra stuff in the blade? While using my knives made from mystery steels of all types, I have noticed when a steel did not have quite enough carbon but I havent noticed the opposite.
  9. steven smith

    Lets see your makers mark....and a Q

    Before hardening I dont really care about the finish of my blades as long as there isnt deep galling from files or really really deep scratches, I try to harden blades with an edge thinner than a dime and they havent been cracking in oil. They are usually file finished and usually not a fine finish. I do knock the corners of the blade edge down with a file, usually I round it out, I also get my profile and tapers set up with files so the blade is at its final dimensions aside from the sharpening. After hardening there is still plenty of stock reduction to do, lower grit belts work faster and produce less heat than higher grit belts So you get less overheated edges. I have hardened a few miniatures with the edge basically sharp and it made sense to me that the finish should be better before hardening but a fine file finish was fine. If you can harden an edge at its finished thickness then do it with a nice finish, but the thicker the spine of the blade the more force there is pulling on the edge during hardening so it works with a really thin G.I.Joe sized blade but I wouldnt try it on a 3/8" thick chopper. I mostly do full height flat grinds with a microbevel and I quench in canola. how you prepare for hardening depends on blade thickness, quenchant, and grind type.
  10. steven smith

    The old leaf spring debate

    I think the topic comes up so much because springs are the most exciting form of steel stock and we have to talk some sense into ourselves when springs are mentioned so that we dont go tresspassing to get a spring we saw on an abandonded train car 15 years ago even though it was about 1" diameter and nobody would waste their time on a piece of metal so its probably still there..... If a simple heat treat doesnt work well enough then dont use that steel, but you can know what a steel is and still not be able to heat treat it correctly, if my bar of wrought iron doesnt forge well do I just leave it in a drawer? I have used blades that werent totally hard and I never noticed until I chopped into a nail, even a low quality knife is an incredible tool if you make it yourself. My best hardest sharpest blade was a drill bit. It may not be the "best" but it still can be desirable. Like how bladeforums has more members and pictures but here you dont have any jerks calling everybodies knives paperweights just because they can make a distal taper with a grinder, not even a complex one, which you dont always need on anything shorter than 12" anyways (but it looks nice). Who knows what would happen to the world if you had to swing something balanced like a hammer. Naginata and seax can be thickest closer to the tip than the tang, and if you made a bowie knife that way it would be that way too. So to sum it up, springs are wonderful, we all want to make better knives, and we want eachother to make better knives, but we all have our own ideas about what is best. as long as we dont just say "NO" we are on the right track.
  11. steven smith

    using an adjustabke torch

    Mapp gas stinks too much, but it does get hotter than propane,i thought it ran out a lot faster than propane and its more expensive so I wouldnt use it. I have used the portable torch heads on my 20lb propane tank and it works fine, I have also refilled the 1lb propane bottles which I read is dangerous to do as they can be over filled easily, I dont try to fill them all the way just enough to do what I need. I normalized and hardened I think 9 small blades one night with a 1lb tank that didnt start out full so you can get some work done if you capture the heat. That was done with my open topped forge.
  12. steven smith

    using an adjustabke torch

    I use an open topped taco shaped forge to heat treat some knives, it is fantastic if you only want to heat the edge of a knife for differential hardening. It is also my preferred forge for heat treating miniature knives and swords because you will not get an even heat on a 6-8" blade that is 1/16" thick if you stick it into a regular forge. I use a handheld torch for that forge and I usually move the blade and the torch back and forth in the forge to get the heat where I want it. You can add insulation to the ends on the forge to trap the heat more, mine is pretty small, about 8" long and 2" deep. I have done a regular small forge with a handheld burner but I like the open top, you lose some heat for sure but you gain control, even heating was tricky for me With a regular small forge. A more open forge will expose more of the super hot insulation which is very bad for your eyes, be careful. I sure miss forging minis with the torch, sometimes the steel would be too cold to work by the time I put the torch down and found my hammer, 1/8" round might be a little small for forging.
  13. steven smith

    Sand paper

    The guard does nothing to protect your eyes, there is so much mess thrown off by a grinder that you cant see because its not a spark, I have had stuff hit around my eyes while wearing safety glasses and its not enough. Im sure I wasgetting plenty of stuff in my eyes but you cant always feel it. Angle grinders are a special tool. treat it like a chainsaw, it will kick back at you when it binds and if your body is not positioned to deal with the kickback it can hit you in the face, like a gun. my dad wont ever be able to grow a unibrow again because a grinder bit his face, "at least it wasnt a cutting disk". when the grinder kicks you are likely going to bend at the elbows, if you let the grinder come straight at you it will hit your face. Its stupid to stick your face too close to the work but I know its hard to see through the grinder. the problem is leaning forwards, your center of gravity is forwards so you cant move your body back and all the force goes to bending your elbows. If you can, lift the grinder and turn to the side a little bit when it kicks, ive never had a bad kick but ive still got stuff to grind today. A full face sheild is the only thing i trust and you still might need glasses. the guard is only there so you can make the tool more dangerous by taking it off. Aside from all that even the cheap harbor freight angle grinders can be a great help, I would like to try one with variable speed and a paddle switch, im not fully confident with the "push forward and hope it locks in place" type switch and if you need to drop the grinder it would be nice of it to turn itself off. I have been pretty happy with the 3M brand sandpaper I get from home depot, its got a sticky backing, it lasts a very long time on wood and its fine with metal, but the sticky backing makes it harder to pull it tight on a sanding block and it also makes it a little thicker which I think is a problem if you need accuracy. there are trade offs but its nice stuff, I think home depot only has up to 400 grit so I have to go to auto zone to get higher grit paper. You can do a good finish with 400 grit but 600 is much better.
  14. steven smith

    Is this a fraud?

    If you take one cast forgery of a cast anvil and cast it into a shipping container of of these "forged anvils" wouldnt one anvil falling on another forge them both into forged cast anvil like anvils? Or does the forging come when all the hammers get dumped in to fill the empty space? Looks like theres a little nubbin of flash on the ground work surface towards the horn. To me that says its cast, forgings can have flashbut I havent seen any anvil with a bump there. I dont know, but one thing I do know is that I need a little 2 pound anvil shaped hammer for when I forge with my sledgehammer anvil!
  15. steven smith

    Low layer damascus

    Here's part of a Japanese style kitchen knife I made with some 1075 and about ten layers of some really thin steel that I might keep secret for a little while, just for fun. It looks like the thin steel has a grain to it and it makes the blade look to be more like 500 layers, I think it would look super nice on a tanto or a miniature katana. Anyways, the knife isn't too pretty so I might not show it but I might be able to file the spine down a bit to get a better profile. I don't think I've seen this before in other steels so I thought I'd share. It's a bit hard to see but there is some funky stuff going on between the bright weld lines.