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    • Alan Longmire

      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  


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About ethanknott

  • Birthday 10/06/1988

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Pensacola Fl
  • Interests
    good movies, good books, smithing, leatherworking, woodworking, guitar

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  1. HT prob

    San mai blade, 15n20 and 1084, normalized 3x, heated to critical, quenched in 140° oil, barely hardened at all. Repeated whole process, same result. Did everything a third time, but quenched in water. Got a bit harder than the oil quenches, but still noticably soft. Am I going too hot, or not hot enough? I work nights, so I do all my forging by day. Got a thermocouple which I use as best I can, but my setup is pretty ramshackle, so I do most of my temp measuring by eye and experience. Never been able to spot descalescence since my forge is basically in the sun. Going to try to stay awake till sunset and give it another try, see if I can't spot this mythical dancing shadow in the blade. Till then, any suggestions? I feel like I did everything the same way I always do, and I normally get a pretty fair hardness. Just quenched like 7 knives a week ago and they're all good and hardened. Used the same forge, oil, quench tank, everything. I dislike when things don't do exactly as I wish them to >:(
  2. tendonitis/joint issues exp?

    Nights at a gas station. Left hand might be carpel tunnel, feels much better today. Right hand is definitely tendonitis. The tendon for my middle finger at the first knuckle, right where palm becomes finger, is about 3x the size of yhe one on the left hand. It's getting much better, doesn't hurt as much or for as long, but it's still pretty sketchy. As best I can tell from my reaearch, its pretty much rest and hope, or surgery. Can't afford either lol
  3. tendonitis/joint issues exp?

    Right hand is hammer hand, left is dumb hand. Best I can tell, the right hand is from gripping too hard, always hurts more after using the bigger hammers/bigger hits. The left seems to be from the hand filing/sanding. Using the thumbs to brace the file, probably forcing my left thumb into crappy positions. My right hand seems to be getting better, only flares up during the hammering, left hand just started.
  4. Ways to practice

    Tongs are great practice and always useful. If you're having issues getting the bosses right, get some cheap or free chunk of metal you don't mind wasting, and just forge all your step downs and faces and such, then chop that bit off and repeat. Your super basic flat bit tongs only use about 3" of material to get the jaw and rivet section, so you can practice 4x oer 12" bit o metal. Also, getting the bosses right is the only important part. All tongs are crazy different from each other, jaw shape/size, rein length, etc. But all of them pretty much have the exact same boss... So get that bit right, and you'll be golden for all your future tong needs.
  5. tendonitis/joint issues exp?

    So I've definitely developed tendonitis in the middle finger of my left hand. It's manageable but sucks. Recently (last couole days) it feels like it might be starting to develop in the thumb of my left hand. Wondering if anybody has experience dealing with persistent hand issues. I know this profession can be pretty hard on the hands, and I'm not gentle with myself at all. Any exercises or preventative measures I can take while still being able to forge and such?
  6. Ways to practice

    If practice is what you want, just start making stuff. Every project will teach you something and show you several somethings you need to work on. I know I speak for a lot of the guys on here when I say that I have never made a single peice that didn't teach me at least one lesson. Every piece is better than the last, and in pursuit of mastering your craft, nothing is a waste of time. Try new things, screw up, and try again. Have fun with the stuff!
  7. handle epoxy

    What kind of epoxy do you guys use for your handles and other bits? I've tried the loctite 5 minute stuff from Home Depot, worked fine but set up too fast for my liking. Got a 20 minute epoxy, 2:1 mix, from System Three. It could totally be from my inability to measure simple ratios, but I've been having issues with the epoxy letting go of the wood and/or metal. I clean and rough up all surfaces before glue up. I don't put any holes in the tang except for the pin holes, which may make a difference. Normally I use a liner of black construction paper/felt stuff from the hobby store to fill in any uneven bits between metal and handle material, also makes it look good. So basically, not sure if it's me being an inferior epoxy-er, or if I'm using an inferior epoxy.
  8. Sand paper

    I got the cheapest 4.5" angle grinder harbor freight had, I think it was 18$, been doin just fine for over a year now. I've left it outside, I've dropped it, gotten epoxy and oil and all kinds of other stuff on it... Best $20 bucks I've spent on a tool so far. Does everything i want it to, and couldn't care less if I had to go get anothet one tomorrow. As such, I always suggest going with the cheapest model of whatever first. You're almost definitely gonna screw it up somehow, and probably not always gonna use it as intended. I find it's much more comfortable to screw around with the cheapo tools, then invest in the good ones once you know what you're doing with said tool.
  9. Cable prep Q?

    Swage is a tool, either a hardy tool (things that go in the squarr hole of the anvil) or a swage block. Google swage block and it'll make more sense. In this case, it's just a striking surface with a half round shape cut out, so you can hit the stock and keep it staying round.
  10. Propane Forge Question

    Build mine from a 15# propane tank, cut a 4x4 hole in each end as doors, 3 layers of 1" wool, and like 1/4" layer of refractory. Single blown burner at a fair tangent about center of forge body. Inside is about 3.5"x15" ish cylinder. Honestly could have gone with 2 layers of wool and there'd still be plenty of fire for the size. As is, it'll hold a steady burn at around 2300. (It loves trying to get hotter, hence the idea that my internal chambet is a bit too small.) Pretty easy builf overall, considering I can barely construct a functional sandwich. Using the right tools is important though, trying to cut an angled 1" hole into the side of a round tank with a 4.5" angle grinder is... Let's just say it was a learning experience. Got the hole cut tho, and still have 10 fingers
  11. Starting a smithy...

    So an engineer friend of mine has been combining ideas and playing with a few things, and he's managed to make a blown forge that welds at 1 psi. It's about time for me to rebuild my own forge, so he and I will put something together, and once I know a bit more of what I'm talking about, I'll toss some info up somewhere on here about the build.
  12. sandpaper for handsanding

    Awesome. Thanks guys, exactly what I was lookin for.
  13. sandpaper for handsanding

    Does anyone know of a good resource for large amounts of sandpaper? I've tried checking stuff like 3M, but everything's under classifications I don't understand. And Home Depot isn't great for the amounts of paper I go through. Lob me some links, lads!
  14. Starting a smithy...

    I threw together a blown burner based on the one shown in the blown burners thread by Geoff Keyes, he was super helpful with my dumb questions. A friend of mine has helped me make a few modifications to be able to run things more efficiently, but the basic blown version will work just fine. Try to avoid having too many connections and pipe-size changes, it messes with the steadiness of the flame a bit. This is most of the modified setup (the blower is kinda cut off there...) With a ball valve (which i need to change to a gate valve) for fine air control, and needle valve for fine gas control, with interchangeable nozzles for different temp setups, but thats a whole other thing.
  15. Starting a smithy...

    As for forges, I have a propane tank forge. Works great. I cut a 4x4 square out of each end for doors, then 3 layers of 1" inswool, and some mizzuo (same idea as satanite). I ended up purchasing enough stuff to make my forge twice, and it all cost about $120 with shipping. Also incredibly easy to build. It's been going for about a year and is still working great.