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Wesley Alberson

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Everything posted by Wesley Alberson

  1. It could be something that has made-up or real lore behind it. It can also be inspired by ceremonial knives or video game weapons. It looks like the magic theme will win, so the people who wanted to make tomohawks can still make them. Perhaps they can be tomohawks blessed by a Cherokee god or wielded by a great warrior in the past. Maybe the edged tool has an inscription that gives it a special power, or even an unknown language on it. Those are just a few ideas, but your imagination is the limit.
  2. I love the handle carving, bravo!
  3. Lets just make this poll voting deadline new year's. The popular vote at the start of the new year will be the theme we pick. I hope I got everyone's choices here. If there is something that isn't in the poll that you want, let me know.
  4. The vegetable peeler that I'm thinking of is called a dao bao, a vietnamese kitchen tool. It might be a little too related to last year's KITH.
  5. Some things that I noticed people were talking about were tools that people can find a use for nearly every day. Among the tools are hatchet/tomohawks, scissors, and forged dividers. Even though KITH is usually something with an edge, it might be fun to do something that doesn't have an edge.
  6. How do people figure out how long to quench their sword blades so that it just crosses the martensite start point (to straighten blades right after quench)? I have heard that people do it about 7 seconds or so, but I'm planning on quenching something on the thinner side. I know I might break the blade in the process if I get it wrong, but I'm willing to sacrifice a blade or two in order to learn.

    1. Jerrod Miller

      Jerrod Miller

      You may want this as a thread instead of an update, but for starters you don't want to get to the Ms before straightening, you want to get past the pearlite nose then hopefully do all of your straightening before you start forming any martensite (which is virtually impossible unless you are using a salt bath, so living with a little martensite formation will have to be tolerated).  This will all be very specific to alloy, blade geometry, quench media, and the like.  I would recommend studying the TTT for the alloy you want to use.  Then if you can embed/attach a thermocouple to a test blade, run a few quenches.  You can do multiple quenches on your test piece, and it doesn't have to be finished nearly as much as a proper blade would be (since you won't really care about cracks, warps, etc.).  Your test piece could even be mild steel.  It just needs to be pretty close to the blade geometry and run through the heat and quench cycle as if it were your blade.  

    2. Dave Stephens

      Dave Stephens

      Jerrod is a real professional that works in a foundry (or whatever you call it) . . . but he's the real deal, so listen to him for sure.  But here's a simple answer: Quench until it stops vibrating. Don't forget . . . pull the sword out too soon and it'll be hot enough to flame, which is dangerous, so err on the side of quenching too long.  In general, however, after it stops vibrating you'll have enough time to fix warps, etc. Also, if you're really worried about warping/sabering/corkscrewing, you can HT at uniform thickness and grind in your bevels. If I have a profile that I really want to be precise about, I do that.


  7. Even though I posted these blades in show & tell, I'll post them here because they are the tenon design. The major improvement here was using high carbon steel for the wedges that I then heat treated to a light blue to get maximum toughness/springiness. One problem that has happened with mild steel wedges is that even though I round over the inside of the tang hole, I can only drive it in so far until the tang scrapes on the mild steel wedge and keeps it from going in further. A heat treated wedge gives me the ability to drive the wedge in without scratching any surface. I had to make 2 wedges for the large chopper because I barely tempered the first wedge, and there was enough pressure on it to snap it right in the middle.
  8. I completed a commission for a knife that I got during the NC state fair. A man gave me a piece of twist pattern welded steel that he forged in his late father's shop and wanted me to make a knife out of it. The blade is made with my wedged tenon pommel design. The butt plate is made of an off cut of the billet, but that was too thin to make the groove in the middle, so I copper brazed a piece of mild steel to the end. the pin is made from a hardened and tempered piece of 5160. The handle is stabilized curly maple. I also made a skinning knife for a different commission, as well as a small utility fixed blade. The smaller one has a recessed tenon with an aluminum wedge. The handle is paduk and zircote on the end for wear resistance.
  9. Are the screws on one of the sides of the frame reverse threaded? Also, what is your process to getting those small chevrons into the guard/handle?
  10. Thanks! I sold all but one of my folders at the fair, and I sold 4 of the fixed blades. People seemed to like the classic American style of my friend's fixed blades more than my style. Dan's knives have brass guards, leather stacking in some of the handles, elk antler, and small colorful spacers. Very much like older style skinning knives, so the older customers probably like that more.
  11. There are a couple of leaf springs on each side. When the ram is hanging on its lowest point, the arms want to go down due to the weight of the ram, but the springs create an outwards pressure that keeps the arms at a more obtuse angle. This creates a similar springyness that the dupont mechanism has. http://www.anvilfire.com/AnvilCAM-II/index.php?video=x1-test1
  12. I am beginning the search for parts for a home made power hammer. I will base my plans on the Anvilfire X2 mechanism, although I am making the tower out of I-beam (and the dies at a 45 degree angle) instead of having a hole pass through the tower. I like the design because it has the same whipping motion as a dupont mechanism, but there is no "spring of death" that can pop out and kill you in the face. For the base I have found some truck spring billets. They are 41 3/4" long, 70 lbs each, and are 4" by 1 1/4". If I buy 16 of them, I can have a 9" by 9" square anvil that is 1120 lbs. It will probably need to be shortened so it might be around 980 lbs instead. I was considering just buying 4 and having a 5" by 4" anvil, so about 280 lbs, but If I follow the general 10:1 anvil-to-ram ratio, I would only have a 28 lb ram. I don't know if that would be enough for me to make damascus billets or work on larger ironwork. I have done a little research on the whole anvil-ram ratio deal, and it seems that there is no consensus among smiths. To me, the logical explanation of the anvil and ram relationship seems to be more about rigidity and the base. Here are the general rules that make sense to me: The anvil has to be completely solid all the way to the concrete base. The anvil has to be rigid (thick) enough so that the force of the ram doesn't want to bend the anvil so the side, like how steel always wants to curve one way when upsetting. The concrete base needs to have good contact with the bottom of the anvil, this way the base acts as an extension of the anvil, allowing the anvil to behave like it is heavier than it really is. Should I go with the 280 lb or do the 1120 lb anvil? The cost for the 280 would be $140 and the 1120 lb would be $560. it seems pretty expensive to get the 1120, but it is one of the major components of the hammer, and one of the most expensive. It's a lot cheaper than getting a 100# Anyang, LG, or Blu, that's for sure. There is an 81" long 8" square I-beam at the scrap yard, too, which would be a good tower.
  13. I love the handle and blade style! That one will be magnificent.
  14. I'm getting ready for the state fair, finishing up some handles for a few knives. A large hawksbill, an all-wood tenon knife, and a puukko-ish knife. I also made a fighter in this style On an unrelated note, I made a few kitchen knives and some folders.
  15. Ever since I heard about diamonds being able to turn back into graphite over millions of years, I have wondered if the same happens to steel. Now, diamonds and graphite consist of one element, and steel in its most simple form has both carbon and iron, so I don't know if this would still apply. Unless you get the steel to absolute zero, there will still be some atomic-scale movement. All of the processes in chemistry start with a stress, and a reaction to reduce that stress, so would the stress of martensite/tempered martensite eventually turn back into a crystal structure with less stress? A blade that is left untempered can reduce the stress of martensite formation by cracking, so if it somehow doesn't crack over millions/billions of years, I wonder if it could change crystal structure without heat. Now, I will be long dead before any of this matters, but I thought it would be cool to know.
  16. Wow! I love how clean your work is. What did the sword look like before you worked on it? Did you have to forge a new tip on the old blade?
  17. I love that blade shape! What is your process for fitting a curved butt plate on the end of your handles?
  18. That is totally wicked! I have never heard of aluminum bronze before. Can you forge it or normalize it and hammer cold?
  19. The first knife that I have ever made was forged on my railroad track anvil 3 years ago. It is a stick tang knife with a handle & scabbard made from some red cedar. It has the worst edge geometry, extremely convex, but it could still cut/split things. I ended up putting 2 magnets on the face of the scabbard to keep it on the blade. Even now when I open the knife I can still smell the cedar.
  20. I'm not aware of any way to actually see the new, smaller crystals taking the place of the larger ones as it normalizes, recalescence is just an indicator of it. If you polish the steel after every normalization, etch it with special chemicals, and look at it with a powerful microscope, you could potentially see the grain being refined without destroying the piece. I wonder if it is possible to record crystal structure transformation in real-time? If a piece of steel was placed in a vaccuum and heated to critical with a heat -resistant microscope pointed at it, I wonder if you could see the change on a red-hot but polished surface. It would have to be recorded with an extreme slow-motion camera because the change occurs at the speed of sound. Maybe the test was done already, because how else would they know that it occurs at the speed of sound without viewing it?
  21. I upped my knife production after I got my 2x72 running. All of the fixed blade knives have the wedged tenon design. I have also started to drill and broach my handles because I have some nice burly stabilized wood that I got from Blade Show.
  22. I think he is using the really thin wheel that is in some of the Man at Arms: Reforged YouTube videos. I think that it is a flexible belt that has been split in half, and the wheel is like a blunt pizza cutter. It must take a few tries to get it to track!
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