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Isaac Myers

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Posts posted by Isaac Myers

  1. I've recently attempted to jump on the "make your own iron/steel" bandwagon, and hope that I might get some pointers here. I live in southeastern Ohio, and evidenced by several standing (and less-than-standing) furnaces in the area, there was definitely a substantial amount of iron production at one time. I looked into mindat, ODNR's website, and a few other resources, to see if there were records of any iron mines in the area--but with very little success. Yesterday, I spent the day driving around, and walking along river/creek edges, and found about 25 lbs of partially magnetic...stuff. WP_20160426_13_17_15_Pro.jpgWP_20160426_13_17_44_Pro.jpgWP_20160426_13_19_23_Pro.jpg

    It's only magnetic in parts, and in those parts, fairly weakly.

    I'm wondering if this is worth collecting--it seems that there's plenty of it--or are there better resources to look for? Or a good place in North/Western West Virginia to go collecting?

  2. Thanks everyone! It's been slow going in the shop this summer, and it's about to get slower, due to an upcoming move.


    Here's another wrought iron/1095 knife; but this time, it's a tad more sensible (I was really in need of a kitchen knife, not a pile of seaxes). A bit more shaping on the handle, and a few scratches to be buffed. I like how it's turning out, I'll try and finish a full set eventually.



    Here's the progress on the seax. The plan for is sort of an amalgam of the Gilling sword and the Beagnoth seax. Alot more work to be done on the handle. I'm due for a camera soon, so hopefully future pictures won't be so atrocious.



    Another pretty crappy picture, but I managed to figure out how to inset my maker's mark in a satisfactory way.


  3. Very nice, I'll keep an eye on this WIP. I'm working on a very similar sword, at the moment, and have encountered a few of the same issues. I've seen solved is freeze up. I have a propane fill hookup to a 500 gallon tank, so keeping propane topped off is no issue, however, in other situations, I've seen people use waterbaths. Get a trashcan/50 gallon drum with your tank, and fill with water. In the winter months, unless you have a heated shop, a low temp antifreeze should keep your barrel from freezing. Good luck on the finish work!

  4. I like it! A spring fuller? I've noticed, on a few of my practice pieces, that nice wide fullers like that are difficult to keep consistent dimensions; kudos. What's your plan for the hilt?

  5. Hi all, below are a few of the projects I've been dorking around with, the past couple weeks.

    The first from the left, is a wrought-iron pattern-welded seax, with a 1095 edge. I intentionally over-etched it, to really define the layers, unfortunately, it had some really heavy pitting in a few spots, that maim the aesthetics. The second-over is a file-knife that I've been procrastinating; It's effectively a test piece for a later project--it'll have "dagger-ized" Petersen L hilt, when finished--it needs a bit more draw-filing before HT. Next is my KITH Puukko, and a test knife (trying out Aldo's steel); experimenting with how it works. Last one is another fiddley knife; just playing with negative space, etching, and handle-work.




    A bit more of the seax






    My KITH puukko is a 4 bar composite--a layer of wrought, two opposing 1095/"refined" wrought twists, and an edge of 1085. The inside twists were my first attempt at Damascus; really interesting to work with. I haven't found an etchant I'm thrilled with yet--once I do, some pictures will be posted. Sadly, I think I deleted my WIP of this knife, I'll try to take some more as the project progresses.





    More detail of the junker knives, both etched in sulfuric acid (~4M). The first, like the seax, was left in the solution for a couple hours.




  6. I should modify my previous post a bit--wire wrap is fine, but I've had issues with several things; wires becoming loose, wires burning through, sliding, sometimes difficult to remove, ECT. They work much better with nice, flat steel--that quickly welds. But I've had alright success with thicker, stainless wire. I still stand by my earlier bit-- if you have access to a welder, I'd take advantage of that. For me, it's much easier to tack the billet together, and generally won't burn through :rolleyes:

    One thing that's happened to me, twice now, is once you get to forge welding close to the handle, the electric weld can become pretty brittle (if your handle isn't a comparable temperature), which just makes the day a bit longer--but that's likely because I set my welder shallow, to conserve losses. So pros and cons to both methods, in my experience, I've had more success with just MIGging it. I wish I'd seen Dave's video when I first tried! Pretty solid tutorial, if memory serves.

    Saftey's a big thing. Wear saftey glasses, face shield, or even welding goggles--you're going to be generating pretty substantial UV. A leather apron's not a bad investment, if you don't already have one. I'm right handed, and generally only wear a right glove (cuts back on a bit of the jumping scale), but usually wear both gloves--if there's space in you billet, the spray of molten borax is pretty intense. Happy welding!

  7. I've done a bit of casting over the years--but usually pretty small pieces--fittings like that are quite an undertaking! Greensand casting is probably your best bet--if you don't have a vacuum chamber, spincaster, ect. I tried plaster of paris for awhile, and I would get about 60% success. But the big thing there is making sure it is very dry (like put it in the oven at 150 for 2 hours, then up the increment by 50 or so degrees per hour for 5 or so hours). I usually do the wax burnout and drying at the same time with that. I think the recipes Dan posted have some merit--I think I'll play with some of those, too. Another thing everyone forgets is have upward vents, and have a hot mold! Helps prevent inclusions, exclusions and wrinkling.

    I've heard good things about silicone molds--but it's pretty expensive (about 10$+ a cast, for something as large as you're doing). Another option is to--I haven't tried it, but it's an idea--cast pewter in plaster of paris--which should be fine (it casts like a dream, unlike it's finicky sister), then plate the bronze onto the pewter. Plating that is a different story--you might have to play a bit with Zn and Cu salts to get the mix right. I'll try mucking around with that next weekend.

    Enough on that.

    If you're doing smaller things, cuttlebone casting is beautiful--and I personally think it goes great with damascus--though it wouldn't be traditional for something of this style, but I've had 95%+ casting success with that, without prior experience.

    For straight bronze, in this style, and this big, I'd do greensand, for sure. It generally does require a bit of cleanup--but wont give you bubbles like plaster will.

  8. I might be biting off more than I can chew, but I have always been in love with these horse head pommel puukkos:



    I would love to make one of these for my first KITH entry. How difficult is it to get into lost wax casting? I am assuming that would be the best way to make the pommel. Also, anyone have an idea of how these things are attached? Threaded onto the tang maybe?

    As the most of the heads I've seen are pewter, you could form wax into the shape you want, and cast directly onto the tang, as seen here:


    Pewter is low heat enough that you could do this straight into plaster of paris (that's very very dry). A Pd/Pt/Sn cure silicone will work too, just a lot more expensive. Or you could cast a blob of pewter on there, and carve it down, as well.

    Pewter, depending on alloy, also cold enough to cast onto wood directly--generally. I'd do a test piece first.

  9. 1.Rudolf Harmse

    2.James Fuller

    3.Gabriel R. Paavola
    4.Emiliano Carrillo
    5.Kevin Hopkins
    6.John F. Ellis
    7.Michael Lenaghan
    8.George Ezell
    9.Nate Runals
    10.John Kruse-Kanyuck
    12.Dan Bourlotos
    13.David Fischer
    14. Derrick Phillips
    15. Gary T. (jajimi)

    16. Pieter-Paul Derks

    17. Christopher Price

    18. Juho S. Voutilainen

    19. John Page

    20. dylan holderman

    21. Brian Dougherty

    22. Tre Asay

    23. Sean Finlayson
    24. Hunter Lottsfeldt
    25. Isaac Myers
  10. I'm by no means an expert, but I've played a bit with it. Make sure your steels are compatible--I tried to weld about a meter long strip of 1080 to patterned wrought, and nearly lost everything, because as the materials cool, they shrink differently. Someone more experienced could probably get something out of it, but that's a quite some time down the road. Another big thing is cleaning materials beforehand. I have varied size steel/salvage--so I often resize. I've noticed inclusions, delamination, ect are much more common if you don't grind off the scale. Also, especially for your first few tries, plan small, and make start with more (much more) material than you'll need in the end. I know with my first few attempts, I did around 60 layers, all on the forge (started with 4 layers, weld, twist, weld, repeat), and lost about 40% of my starting material. My more recent damascus attempts are somewhere around 25% loss. Another big thing is forge type. I've had much better results with welding in propane--because unless you have a massive forge, it takes quite a fire to get enough steel to weld (and not delaminate). I also tried the whole "don't use any modern tools" approach, and used wire to bind the steel, instead of tack welding. That's a terrible idea, till you get good with welds.

    Anywho, that's my 5 cents--I have no idea where you're at, skill wise, just my own failings.

    Also! I keep seeing "don't use flux with filings" in it--I've played a bit with it; I've had pretty solid results--I used filings from the material that I was welding together (usually the softer/lower melt layer). I have not noticed a major performance difference between anhydrous and stock borax--not worth the 3 hours to make it. Sorry for the rambling! Good luck!

  11. Thanks everyone!

    Really cool, looks like the real thing.


    How did you go about aging the fittings on the sheath?

    I recrystallized copper sulfate, and mixed with large grain salt, then brushed the copper with brine, and applied the salts. I put it in a fume chamber with more-or-less pure ammonia, and let it sit for about 45 mins. It came out a really nice, vibrant blue--classic aged copper look, with plenty of character, if that's what you want. Problem is, the wax I used to seal the leather was really dark, and just completely lost the original look. Eventually, I may strip the wax off, and try again--and seal with a clearcoat. A little side note, I've been playing around a bit with fume aging, and as far as I can tell, and acid will work--H2SO4, HCl, CH3COOH, ect--and using copper salts to start with make the blue more vibrant--had copper sulfate on hand, copper acetate worked as well, and my copper chloride should be crystallized by next week or so. Also, the finer the grain salts, the less it patinas, and more it paints, depending on what you're looking for.

  12. This is my first post here--I've been playing around with blacksmithing and casting for the past 7 or 8 years, and actually spent some time over the past few weeks to finish this project out. Even though I've made loads of knives in the past, this is my first big big project that I've managed to finish. I had some wrought left over from SOFA, and thought it might make an interesting blade. Blade is god-knows-what-wrought iron and 1080, fittings/handle are cast bronze, wrought and black walnut. Forgive the sheath and handle carvings, both first tries. The sheath fittings are copper sheet, fume oxidized, but when I sealed them, they lost all the really nice blue--should've run a test piece.



    Here's the blade first off--about 3 inches shorter than I wanted.




    Fittings and all that jazz, pre-carving






    Sheath, inspired by the survivng find from Coppergate--not entirely finished in the photos here. I realized, after finishing, that I need to invest in some leatherwork tools--I did all the shown bit with a rounded nail.








    And here's the finished seax--but again, I did a bit more sheathe detailing, after I took these pictures.

    I set out to be historically accurate, but ended up being more historically inspired. I l made more mistakes than I'd like to, but learned all the more.

    Oh well.

    My next project is a pattern welded seax, about 45 cm blade, but it's in the draw filing process now--I'll post that project as I go.

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