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Wesley Alberson

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Posts posted by Wesley Alberson

  1. 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.

  2. 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.



    SkIBokK.jpg aLEbW06.jpg



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  3. 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.



    • Like 4
  4. On 10/12/2017 at 2:52 AM, Justin leonard said:

    man these are awesome

    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. 

  5. 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:

    1. The anvil has to be completely solid all the way to the concrete base.
    2. 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. 
    3. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.



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  8. 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?

  9. I think that will work! Even with a low friction mechanism, the spring will rub on the inside of the liners, but it's not an issue if the inside surfaces are smooth. Just make sure that the button isn't too wide so it can fit in between the handle. I would love to try that design, I can think of a way to easily forge it. This design makes much more sense for a pocket knife. The one that I made was a test for a blade section of a folding sword. The locking mechanism is on the spine because the next piece connected to it is another blade. 


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