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steven smith

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Everything posted by steven smith

  1. Thanks for sharing, ive been using too much and it does hardly anything.
  2. I really like my atlas 30k burner, I got it with a regulator and hose for $50 I think, it was probably less. Its nothing fancy but I cant complain. My forge is about 4" wide and 10" long internally and it gets plenty hot. Sometimes I harden blades with a torch, its nice because you can have a little more control but sometimes there just isnt enough heat, on the other hand, its easy to get a blade too hot with my atlas burner especially if I only want to heat the edge and not the spine. I had a hose that connected a torch head to a 20pound tank but it caught on fire. Just use the little propane cans that the torches are made for, I have an adapter to refill them from a 20 pound tank but the cans warn against refilling them so thats probably a bad idea. I dont think I would mind getting exploded to save a few dollars, at least I would be able to understand why it happened, but im sure most people would disagree. But, uhh, yeah dont do ANYTHING stupid or weird with propane. Im pretty sure the torch-to-tank hose almost got me killed, somewhere along the lines of checking for a gas leak with a match. I can be pretty creative in most parts of my life but I never consider fooling around with my propane tanks or burner, I do what everyone else does.
  3. Edge quenching is the bees knees, for most stuff at least. Though, sometimes the blade will curve down. Normalizing does seem to help with warps, ive had blades warp in the first cycle but not again or to a lesser extent after the next normalizings. I dont try to straighten hardened blades, ive done it a couple times, they have to be at least 400°F hot. Or if you really want to push your luck, you might be able to straighten after tempering by bending the blade until it takes a set, I wouldnt suggest anyone try that unless the blade is heat treated very well in a way that the blade will take a set before breaking. I would guess that would damage the blade some, so trying to straighten a blade after hardening is probably one of the more difficult and risky things you can do. Sometimes I can straighten a warp during edge quenching but you dont have much time for that, you can pull the blade from the oil before it gets below a certain temp and straighten then, its not easy to do if you quench in the dark though. As mentioned before, just a little unevenness in a blade can cause a warp. Are you moving the blade around in the quench? Sideways movement is asking for a warp.
  4. I just try to work more than one thing at a time, that way im always heating something, its very distracting when the forge is running and I dont have anything in it. It costs about $1 an hour to run my forge, but mine is small, only 4-5 inches wide on the inside with a little atlas 30k burner so its not too big a deal for me. I try to run it with the least amount of fuel that it can and I have very little air coming through the back of the burner. Most forges I see look huge to me for blade forging, you need a bigger one sometimes but for something like a hunting knife you only need a space in the forge about the size of a fist. I can still forge a 3/8" thick 2" wide blade in my dinky little forge.
  5. You can find large blocks online, but I would hesitate to buy wood I couldnt check out in person. Leave some blocks at 4x4x12.
  6. South east asian sword/machetes are simple enough. I think the only hard part about making a wakizashi is the habaki, everything else is pretty subtle but not very complex, it seems to me like it can be done with a more primitive setup than most stuff. Check out the true philippino weapons website, theres some good inspiration.
  7. Ive been wondering if you could use a fan to blow away some of the swarf, it can be a pain and it makes filing take twice as long if you have to knock/brush it clean every few strokes.
  8. Ah, maybe its not 40 feet http://www.austinexplorer.com/Locations/ShowLocation.aspx?LocationID=1952
  9. It could be a kiln, theres one here at a place called reed park, I have some hard fire bricks that might have come from there. Its huge, I used to climb it with my dad, it was 40+ feet tall.
  10. Did you do a japanese or viking style tang? I couldnt tell the handle was carved at first, thats really nice.
  11. I never knew they actually got made and I forge miniature knives
  12. Swearing is a subprocess of burning, which yall forgot.
  13. Thats why you dont bring a knife to an alligator fight
  14. Those can still stab and penetrate for sure, looks like they even have a guard to keep your hand from slipping.......... They should remove the handle from the blade and make the entire profile sharp except for the tip!
  15. In forging a blade I would taper the preform and then draw out the blade, they are very similar terms. Tapering could be done by grinding but drawing out can only be done by forging.
  16. Its kind of hard to tell without looking down at the spine of the blade, the spring looks slim because its got the corners knocked off whick made me thing the blade was slim as well, but now I dont think thats true.
  17. I built a plywood base for this thing so now it sits facing up, I can see my edge easier this way, It made the sander much nicer to use. It can also be turned on its side so the disk sander is horizontal, which I like but its not much different than if it were vertical.
  18. Heres a couple things I made recently, bulk trash pickup happened not too long ago and I scored a whole bowflex as well as some wood. There are two pictures in this instagram post, im not sure how thats going to work here though. The aluminum channel is just what ive been looking for, I can run 2x72 or 1x30 belts and any other size that fits. It tensions fine without any spring. The platten is just clamped on for now but when I get some more carriage bolts ill make something nicer. Its a bit long and awkward but it works well. The treadle hammer has a bow flexor for the spring and the pulley keeps the hammer running straight up and down. The anvil is resting on a railroad track plate buried underground and the rest of the thing can be moved so the hammer can hit in different spots. Its a pretty light duty hammer, maybe 15-20 pounds with a 50 pound anvil, its nice for miniatures or adjusting tang height on full size knives. I plan on doing some integrals from 1/4" round and smaller stock which was the main reason I made the thing. The best part is the simple hammer driving mechanism, theres no extra weight and the hammer moves as fast as your foot, its pretty quick. I could add a lever to the foot pedal to drive it faster but I dont have much space. The grinder is so simple, hopefully it will help some other poor fool like me.
  19. Its been a while, I was hoping to try a larger mercer brand file, the curved tooth file is absolutely not for steel. Its got delicate teeth. But I got a little 4" bastard file and its really nice, only four dollars too. Im going to get a 12" flat file next, I think specialty abraisives sells the mercer files. The 4" file cuts curls of steel when I draw file and its been staying sharp. Im really happy with it, the curved tooth file is a different sort of thing, not for knifemaking.
  20. A few years ago I think I had some problems rehardening blades that were hardened before, they cracked in a canola oil quench. One was 1084 which I read doesnt like to be rehardened and the other was 15n20 that was destined to become saw blades and was hardened when I got it. With the 15n20 I edge quenched without annealing (I think) and the edge peeled off, no beveling was done, it was just a profile. So I can believe some steels should be thermal cycled before working them. I think aldo sold some 15n20 that was hardened, but I wouldnt expect other steels to be hardened. It was only one thickness of 15n20 that was hardened if I remember correctly.
  21. I think the blade could be thicker, the handle is a nice thickness though. The thickness is as important as the profile of the blade when it comes to how big the knife looks. It doesnt need much more, maybe 1/32" or I could even be seeing it wrong. The pivot pin is okay. But it would be nice if the scale pins were matching. Or, if the liners and the pivot were the same material as the blade. But with the blade and spring matching and the pivot and liners matching, maybe if the bolster and handle pins match that would tie it all together nicely. Part of the spacer/spring is not relieved and it made the relieved bit look like a gap to me. If it was not relieved at the front and back but still relieved in the middle I think it would be much better. It looks like what you did was done well, the knife has a consistent look from head to toe, as though you did what you wanted to and didnt take any uncomfortable shortcuts. I like an ugly blade with a matching ugly handle better than an ugly blade with the most attractive burl because a wholly ugly knife has a feel to it. Im not saying your knife is ugly, its pretty darn good. Its like you knew what to do, but, being your first folder you dont quite understand what to do. It makes me think of a nicely camouflaged snake, it has a feel to it. Its not just a handle and a blade, its a complete knife. You are close to having something with no problems at all, and really, there isnt anything "wrong" with this knife. Ive made a few attempts at folders, they are not the same as fixed blades at all aside from the blade.
  22. My buddies friend, who is homeless, wanted a knife. He does yardwork for my friend and doesnt just ask for money, he will ask for jobs. He seems nice and grew up on a farm so he knows a bunch of useful stuff. Some of the people that wander that area are very sketchy.... Anyways, I had an old knife I wasnt going to sell so I made a sheath for it, sort of a 4" blade drop point with a not so great handle, the leather for the sheath was from a couch cushion I found in a creek, it smelled like butt but I gave it a bunch of mink oil so its more like mink butt now. Thats not great but im running out of my good leather. I dont think ill get paid, but I might ask the guy to find me a pecan log or something like that. If propane were free I could make more knives for free, ive never been rewarded for doing nice things but its so easy to get punished for doing anything wrong. I would like to reward people for being good, but not so much that they expect rewards. More like if I saw someone picking up trash in a park or any of the little things anyone can do I would like to give them something, say thanks, and tell them it might never happen again.
  23. Try rounding over the top and bottom edges of the platen so the belt cant catch on it. Its been a couple years but I used to never have problems with my cheap 1x30, then it started killing my belts. I suppose the variables would be: Belt quality, doesnt seem to matter to me but I havent used many different belts. Platten condition, I think rounding the leading and trailing edge helped me some, but that was a while back and I cant quite remember. Platten height, most people have the platten in contact with the belt. Not sure if this helps/hurts the belt. Belt tension, I have read that you should be able to pluck the belt like a guitar string and get a sustained vibration. Leaving the belt on or taking it off and proper storage, this is probably a big deal, you should take the belt off when not using it and hang it up for storage. Aggressive grinding, grinding on a sharp corner can cut into the belt and give you a flappy belt or just rip it. A sharp platten could do the same. I made the mistake of hating my 1x30, it made me much more hesitant to use it and meant I got less done. I should have stuck with it and fixed the thing. Something similar happened with my bicycle innertubes, ive had close to ten flats this year, my valves get cut or rip out so I dont like pumping up my tires. The tires get low and get flats when I bottom out the tire anyways and I start to hate something ive done for 20 years. Turns out bicycle rim manufacturers dont deburr the valve hole and a two minute fix cost me $70 and lots of confidence. Sounds like youre really burning through belts, hopefully you will get it sorted. You can get a lot of work done with a contact wheel and it should be much easier on belts if you have the option, mine is just a longboard wheel. I still clean everything up on the platten.
  24. Belt bump happens because of varying thickness of the belt, they are thicker at the seam because of the tape and there could be glue as well. Does the platten have sharp edges? I rounded mine so it wouldnt catch the belt seam/tape. My 1x30 sander seems to have this problem pretty bad. Ive had plenty of belts die early, wish I could fix em. I had a dull 80 grit belt with some water dripping on it do a good bit of work for me, it was a 2x72 decent quality belt but the tape snapped. Maybe belt bump comes from the grit side of the belt, are you snapping the tape or ripping the belt? I have ripped a few belts, it could be uneven grit at the seam. I only have a trizact belt for my 2x72, but its working fine. I would imagine a thicker backing might have less bump. I was thinking you could grind down the grit at the seam, just read it somewhere else too. That might work. If you are tearing belts it could be from the belt catching a sharp edge, you can damage the belt this way at the seam on the grit side and it will raise a slight bump.
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