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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

    Mini treadle hammer

    I got this put together today, had to dig a deep skinny hole for the anvil. The hammer and anvil are old axle, the hammer is less than ten pounds, the anvil is 30-40 pounds and resting on a steel plate underground so it doesnt get hammered into the earth. Most of these materials were being thrown away, im pretty lucky to find a bunch or square tubing and this plastic stuff. Its pretty accurate, I can easily forge a tennon onto a less than 1/4" rod but it does take a few heats since the hammer is so small. It will be nice for small knives and stuff that needs tooling. The hammer height is adjustable. Its nice and whippy but when it hits hot steel its a bit slow sometimes, I might grease the hammer. It still throws a bolt every few minutes but ill replace them tomorrow.
  2. steven smith

    More questions on Belt sanders

    Ive been kind of back and forth about my cheap 1x30, its so easy to stall but for working hardened steel its way faster than hand sanding, its also way too easy to overheat a blade. I built a stand for it that I can flip on its back so the platen is horizontal and its been a lot better that way, I can do the same with the attached disc sander by flipping it on its side. What saves me the most time is getting the blade as thin as I can before hardening, I forge blades as close to finished as I can, I try to get them thin enough to harden and then file them smooth so they get even thinner. If you dont forge then just file everything to where you want it and get rid of deep scratches before hardening. I just hardened a 3/8" thick monster chopper with the edge about 1/2 or 1/3 the thickness of a dime, I edge quench in a shallow pan of canola, I think that only hardening the edge is much less stressful on the blade. I wouldnt harden the whole blade with the edge so thin, it would crack im sure. I was going to say ive never had trouble with decarb on those thin edges but if you had to soak your blade at 1500 degrees for ten minutes you would have more decarb than if you just do a simple heat and quench.
  3. steven smith

    Introduction WIP

    I would make the blade pointier and narrower, try and keep the shape of the red outline but not as wide. And I think the bolster area should be between the blue and green somewhere. The pic of the laddering grooves cut in the blade really makes me want to forge.
  4. steven smith

    Naginata Naoshi

    Naginata are cool, ive got a naginata naoshi I need to work on but its a bit long for me to heat treat, I also forged a miniature yesterday with a 5" blade. I dont see too many of them online and ive never figured out exactly how a full length handle is made, but someday I would like to make a full length naginata with all the fullers and grooves and a little red lacquer. Thanks for sharing, im still waiting to find a rail clip but they sound tough to work.
  5. steven smith

    help with brazing

    I have some kind of stay silv flux, I dont know the brand or much else about it but I never got it to work. I use 50/50 table salt and borax with some water, brazing steel is still tricky for me, it works for everything else consistently but not so much with steel. Melting table salt will make hydrochloric acid and maybe some chlorine gas so use it outside, the stay silv flux I have is nasty too,. Everything should be clean with no coatings, heat the tang and place the brazing rod on the tang when its hot enough to flow. The flux should flow and boil when its hot enough, wait for that and then braze. Too hot and it wont work, if your flux is for a different temperature braze rod it probably wont work. The flux has to be molten and boiling to clean the metals, goo wont do. If you have a molten ball of metal on the hot steel you have a flux problem or too much heat, if the ball is solid then you dont have enough heat.
  6. steven smith

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    I have made a few knives with no pins and the blade pressed in all the way, once they come loose it happens a lot, when youre chopping at least. I guess the extra gap is extra tightening should you ever need it. If you dont like it it could be hidden with a ferrule that extends a bit past the handle and over the shoulders. a press fit blade should have a ferrule anyways, you can crack the handle of any sized knife from chopping or carving too hard especially if the blade is loose in the handle. I would tell people the gap is there so you can tighted the handle in the future. when you arent expecting a gap, a gap is not the expected quality.
  7. steven smith

    Help! Can I use this old things to forge?

    The hammer is too big for forging but you could use it as an anvil if you dont have anything else. I use a 2lb hammer for most stuff, a too heavy hammer will hurt your arm. For the vises I would spray them with some wd-40 or some kind of rust remover and if you can get them working you should give them some grease. The material with "chrom vanadium" looks like its chrome plated, dont forge anything that is plated. Some of the tools could have enough carbon to make an alright knife but it would be a lot of work to use large material with the hammer head for an anvil. Look for springs and files or cutting tools to get higher carbon steel if you arent going to buy any, I dont think the scythe would make a good knife though. Rebar can be tricky, I had some air harden on me a while back and I broke it trying to bend it cold. You can use it but each piece will be different.
  8. steven smith

    Random question

    Mokume is tricky and nickel is expensive, its really cool stuff though, I used to make it out of coins. Patteren welded steel is way easier because you can use flux and hit the billet with a hammer. With mokume everything has to be just right so it takes some time and money and luck. I have used copper pipe for ferrules and spacers, be careful if you quench it as a tube, make sure its not pointing at you.
  9. steven smith

    Straightening without denting

    Try hammering the piece over a slightly dished out piece of wood, I think dished out is what I mean, like a really shallow bowl. You need to over bend the steel at lower tempratures for straightening so a flat anvil might not get it %100. If you hit flat with a hammer it shouldnt leave a noticeable dent unless youre hitting it too hard, I like to use a heavier hammer with a wider face to straighten things on the anvil, just let the hammer drop dont put force into it. you can sort of planish the steel this way but you should remove the scale fir I also do a bit of straightening with a vise sometimes, if I can ill just use my hands.
  10. steven smith

    forging 'coated' metals

    Last time I got into one of these recycled steel threads I got tired of it and made 15 carving knives out of a toilet snake instead. I think if the steel called knifemaking steel isnt easily available but you still want to use it you should do san mai or a steeled edge on scrap to save on expensive steel, its the best of both worlds. it looks good and working with scrap shows you have some understanding of the material. If you know what a knife should be able to do then you can figure out if you have good steel or not. I dont know im going to get a good knife out of a toilet snake or 15n20 or whatever, but I make the knife and find out if its good by testing it when its done. I wonder how many people think theyre going to end up with something really good because its known steel so they never test what they have. There is a video of gary huston (I think) forging crusty yellow zinc plated rebar on youtube, no comment.
  11. steven smith

    Sneak Peek, Opinions..

    If you look at the knife with the blade pointing down the handle is like a figure, if the wrap were clothing then you would have something like a long skirt thats been pulled up over the belly. it could be the wrap is a good length but it needs to be moved towards the guard or you might need to add length to both ends of the wrap. It looks better in the post right before this one, everything else looks good to me but the wrap is a little sloppy. Try getting the wrap better before any permanent modifications, that could be enough. Its a bit bulky looking. I like the knife a lot otherwise, I hope you can get it sorted out.
  12. steven smith

    Axe WIP

    I might have seen that 90* twist pattern somewhere before, but its still really rad. It makes me want to make a knife like that. Great job!
  13. steven smith

    Edge thickness pre ht/quench ?

    Edge thickness depends on spine thickness, I quenched a 1/6 scale bowie knife that was basically sharp with room temperature water and it was fine, the spine was a little under 1/16" and the blade was 1/4" wide and about 1 1/2" long. Depending on how long you have to heat the blade before quenching you will get decarb to some degree, if I had to soak my minis for ten minutes before quenching then they would need a thicker edge im sure. Im pretty sure that if you do a differential hardening by only getting the edge hot you can get away with a thinner edge. The edge can crack because of the different cooling rates between the edge and spine, at some point during the quench the edge can be hardened but the spine is still cooling and moving so it wants to tear the edge apart. So for most of my knives I try not to harden too much of the spine.
  14. steven smith

    Brut de forge on kitchen knives

    Time spent fantasizing about dirty dishes is better spent dirtying dishes. Saying one is dirty because the other is cleaner is like saying that were all too short because were not as tall as the tallest person in the world. That kind of "if youre not with us then youre against us" thinking is stupid and awful, there is a happy medium in practice which is cleaning your blade when its needed. There are many things that are much more exciting to think about than food poisoning but if youre squinting so hard that you can see a germ on some forge scale you probably wont ever see any of it. Im not big on sanitization but sometimes I wash off my soap bottle because thats what I grab when my hands are danger gross, I wonder if other people do that too?
  15. steven smith

    Tempering malfuntion

    If youre good at welding you should be able to fix it. but I would break it more, chop nails, that sorta stuff. Maybe keep it on a shelf. I dont harden my tangs because of this. Long ago I broke a miniature sword because the tang was hardened, then I saw I had huge grain and I found this site while learning about normalization.