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Everything posted by ethanknott

  1. Got me some chunks of cable, generously slathered with grease. Whats the best way to get the crap out of all the crevices? Friend said soak it in kerosene, that a good idea, or is there a faster/more reliable way?
  2. Even taper as best i could manage. Itll lose a fair bit of weight when i put in the bevel, which I'll forge to get the curve and angles, then grind the rest. Also the handle is thicker as a bit of a counter weight. It'll still be fairly heavy but it's not particularly designed for like dexterous fighting, more choppin stuff in the back yard for funsies.
  3. Yeah its a practice piece, working on my distal tapering, beveling, fittings, balance, etc. I'm not good enough yet to get a sword as thin as it realistically should be, so I figured katana-ish would give me enough thickness to work with so I don't screw up too much. As the math goes right now, its a 28" blade, about 1/4" at the hilt, and just a bit over 1/8" at the tip, 6.5" handle for hand and a half grip (since its still pretty heavy) and 1.25" from spine to blade. Its a chunky bastard but if all goes well, I think itll look pretty cool
  4. Thats where I'm finding the difficulty. Doing a scimitar, but with katana-ish geometry, so kinda playing around with some things. That post is super helpful, thanks guys
  5. Working on a sword, and can't find any like general rules for dimensions/geometry for the blade. I.e. I remember somewhere reading that the geometry for a katana is something like distal taper = tip is 70% of the base thickness. So are there general rules for the thicknesses and such, or do I just kinda wing it and make it look right to the eye?
  6. Might I suggest a pair of fireplace tongs, or some bbq tongs? Sounds like you just need something to get the piece far enough away from the fire to comfortably grab it. I keep a chunk of cinderblock about a foot in front of my forge so i can grab a piece and pop it out of the forge real qyick before my hand melts, set it on the cinder block and situate my gril at my leisure. Also, coming in from the side of the fire instead of reaching straight in helps.
  7. Started the profile forging. This is gonna take a lot longer than I thoughy it would. Gonna look great tho. I'll post pics n such once it's ready. Thanks Alan, you're a hero
  8. So basically if I quench in oil I want to forge in a bit of extra curve? Also, how much movement should I expect? I was thinking something about 30" overall, with a fair bit of distance between blade and spine (leaning towards scimitar shape at the moment). So over 30", would the tip shift by like 1/4" off center, or more like a couple inches? Also also, how dangerous is the water quench? Is it worth risking water for the positive curve, or should I stick with oil and try to balance out the loss of curve? This is my first attempt at a (short) sword, so any and all info would b
  9. I used scissors... Seemed to work just fine, just poked them thru and snipped till i had a relatively round hole.
  10. Thinkin about going for a sword with a hamon, made from w2. Was wondering how much blade shape change I could expect? I know katanas get their curve from the differential heat treat, but tamahagane isn't w2, so I don't know the difference in behaviors. Let me know if I'm a crazy person or not
  11. Looks like maple or something similar, maybe white oak, but I'm no expert. Who cares what it is, as long as it's purdy
  12. Whats the ambient temperature where you are? If it's really cold, your tank might be freezing up
  13. No idea if it would work, never tried it myself, and no clue about the properties of antler, but could it be possible to steam/boil the antler to make it pliable? I.e. the same general concept as a horn bow? Or would it not work? (Not sure if it only works with chitinous horn, such as ram/gazelle type stuff) As for elk antler, yeah they're much meatier. I have one chunk I've been saving for a big machete or some such, perfect size for something big and angry.
  14. To minimize losing material from grinding all those little spots out, before you finish your billet, hold it at a dull red temp and give it a whole bunch of smacks with a light hammer. Helps even things out, and scale doesn't form nearly as bad at the lower temps. Also, soak that thing in vinegar for a couple hours, wire brushing the mess out of it every 30 mins or so, it'll eat the scale right off. Also gives you a peek at the pattern, and any hard to see inclusions/delaminations/etc. I have a tank of vinegar always ready to go to facilitate my laziness
  15. Eyyyyy thats me up there! I just got my gflex, havent used it yet tho so no verdict from me there. As for files, if you get nicholson, MAKE SURE you get the made in USA ones... The mexican and brazilian ones are crap, as in they dull before youre done filing blade #1. So don't waste money on inferior tools, spend the big bucks on the good files, they'll definitely be worth it. Also remember to get all the scale/crap off the blade first, only file clean steel. Scale will dull a file faster than hardened steel
  16. I use regular 20 mule team borax, put it in a little bottle with holes punched in the lid as a shaker. With the shaker, I've noticed a huuuuge reduction in the foaming and messiness of the borax. Seems like the mess comes feom clumps of borax melting at different rates, if it's broken up really well, it melts with a quickness. I also seem to waste a lot less. Also, I've had pretty great results using 1084 and 15n20. Good contrast, no weirdness with forging or heat treating. Welds together nicely.
  17. What I meant was, is it relatively efficient on gas? Like can I HT one knife per tank, or 10? And is it worth using the map gas, or is propane fine? I threw together a lil baby forge, flat bottom, half circle top. 1" inswool and some refractory. Like 2" x1" x8"
  18. Bought me a bernzomatic ts8000, for a few diff. things, but I was wondering about its feasibility as a heat treating deal. I have some extra inswool and mizzuo so I could easily make a little heat chamber to insulate the knife. Is this a waste of gas? (Using the map gas the torch came with, but it'll work with propane and I have plenty of that) Forge is out of commission till my new blower comes in next week, so trying to find ways to still get some work done in the meantime.
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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 ri
  23. 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?
  24. 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!
  25. 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
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