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Dan Hertzson

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  1. I used a similar trailer to move my 33. Rented it along with a truck to pull it from U-haul. Worked very well, but needed a piece of 3/4" plywood to load using a pallet jack.
  2. Strongly recommend you review Nick Rossi's videos on the NESM Youtube site. He has a couple of very good ones on forging kitchen knives showing all the pertinent steps and indicating the stock size he works from. Note that he forges very thin and clean, so you may want a bit more material, or a smaller blade, for your first couple. Also note that a lot depends on whether you are making a full tang blade or a hidden tang. 2" width should be plenty for most kitchen knives, IMHO, provided you are thick enough. 0.07" is under 1/8" (closer to 1/16"), so I wouldn't expect you to have any material for doing actual forging, but you could make a reasonable kitchen knife by stock removal. Unless you are very patient, even forging in the tip on a 2" x 0.07" stock will be a bit of a nightmare.
  3. I'm a big Gilliam fan. He may have a slightly weird perspective, but I feel that most of his films are a lot more cohesive than the Python originals (with the possible exceptions of Life of Brian and Holy Grail, which were brilliant - and Gilliam co-directed the latter). Gilliam's themes typically seem to revolve around a kind of existential philosophy where the a perceived reality either triumphs over objective reality, or is vastly more attractive (staying with the King in Time Bandits, defeating huge samurai and flying free in Brazil, overcoming the Turks in Baron Munchhausen, the eternal Don Quixote...). I've appreciated this perspective ever since reading a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and the Narnia series early in grade school, and Gilliam's films seem to resonate for me. I certainly won't argue that he is a little twisted, and Gilliam would probably laugh and agree as well. Still what would Monty Python be without their token former American? You know he did all, or at least the vast bulk, of their animation. He also directed some more "mainstream" films like 12 Monkeys, the Fisher King, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
  4. I've tried it with a bearing I got from a QC shop that rejected some that were to be used as tank turret ball bearings. Even with a striker it was a nightmare. Did this a while ago, so likely not in good control of heat, but still...
  5. Depends on too many factors that you haven't shared: Size and type of stock available Your familiarity with forge welding or punching and drifting Configuration of axe desired (I find drawing down long lugs easier on weld and wrap than punch and drift) Tools you have in hand (do you have an axe drift or a slitter, how about a slot punch). Do you have tongs correctly sized to hold the stock in its various configurations. Strongly recommend you start with a tomahawk rather than an axe. Many of the similar steps, but a little easier to manipulate. There are good guides for same on You-Tube, and Alan Longmire has posted an excellent guide on this site if I recall properly
  6. Hope you appreciate how generous this is. I've been to a blacksmith school where I was paying to attend training and was told that I couldn't use the hydraulic press because I had never used one before, and it wasn't part of the anticipated curriculum for that class. Of course they were probably just being safety conscious, but I sure wish they had adopted your forge owner's policy. Hopefully no one ever gets seriously hurt and it comes back to bite him. Some of those tools can be dangerous if used incorrectly. As I mentioned earlier, with good direction and the right tools and equipment you can certainly forge a hammer as a fairly new beginner. It will likely take a fair commitment from an experienced smith, so be sure to thank them (at least) for their efforts. Perhaps you can learn to strike first and offer to assist them with one of their projects in return for the training/supervision. Good luck and post the results of your experiment.
  7. Hammer making is a lot of fun, but is deceptively difficult to do well. If you aren't machining the eye for the head it is a fair challenge for a beginner. That 2.5# chunk of metal puts off a whole lot of heat when you are trying to punch a hole in it. Unless you are Brent Bailey it is nice to have a striker, press or treadle hammer to assist with the hole punching. Then you need some tooling to do it safely and efficiently. At minimum a punch/slitter and hammer eye drift (which arguably could be the same tool, but typically is not) and set of tongs sized to hold the billet securely will be required. Your group may have some of these things, but improper use can damage them, so you may not get a loan without some supervision/training. After rough forging you need a way to grind the final shape. Of course you could hot rasp it, if you know how, and have an adequate vise, but it is still a lot of work. Finally the hammer should be properly heat treated for safety and quality. Unless you have an experienced smith on-hand directing you I expect your first few won't measure up to a cheap Harbor Freight engineer's hammer. Gerald is certainly correct that making a hammer out of mild steel is easier for a beginner (easier to form and punch) and ultimately safer (as it is unlikely to be hardened without being properly tempered, leading to potential failure). Initially a soft hammer face (as made out of mild steel) is probably better for a beginner as well, as you are less likely to damage your anvil with miss strikes. Forge welding a high carbon face on is certainly an option, but in my opinion more difficult than forging a mono-steel hammer. To be clear, 1045 and 4140 are great choices for hammers and I've used both making some of mine. I have also forged them out of wrought iron and forge welded high carbon faces on. It is a great feeling to make your own tools and use them. I highly recommend it, just think you need to get more experience forging before you jump in the deep end. At least you should try a couple of different styles of hammer to see which one you would like to make.
  8. Looks identical to the Chinese machines sold at our Harbor Freight. I ended up going with a Milwaukee Portaband and table (and been quite happy with the choice, though it would be nice to have a larger throat) due to my research showing that folks complained a lot about reliability and tracking on the Chinese bandsaws, but there are a bunch of posts online that give recommendations on improving same. In reference to that, is there some reason why you have the upper guide/guard set so high up? When I learned bandsaw use some 45 years ago they indicated that the machines usually worked better and safer if the guide was set in fairly close proximity to the stock.
  9. Hopefully you were clear that you needed a decision and deposit in a specific timeframe to make sure you could deliver for her event. I've had plenty of experience in both the craft field, and in my full time job, where clients are given an estimate and sit on it for a while in deliberation. Then they get a hold of you, last minute, and expect you to be able to drop everything and work exclusively on their order to meet their deadline.
  10. Anneal your steel before cutting with bandsaw. Will also make it easier to grind profile and bevels.
  11. I believe that Jennifer, of JLP services, an excellent smith who does onsite demos as well as production work, has a setup in a trailer. Lots of good ideas for a portable shop in her posts: https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/47208-portable-blacksmith-shop/
  12. As far as I know you won't get any hamon etching a stainless steel Pakistani sword.
  13. You have dug deeper into this than I have. Use of dataloggers is certainly helpful. I end up sitting and watching the output parameters on the controller as it goes through ramp cycles. I'm not completely sure I have my PID constants optimized, but I have gone through the process of tuning to try to get them close. As I'm sure you are aware, the thermal mass, insulating value and heating coil characteristics have a large effect on the system dynamics for a heat treat oven, and some tuning of the constants should be expected to get accurate, or even stable, operation. My old controllers are West units (I think 2050 series controls) that are fully programmable for multiple steps of ramp and soak as well as PID constants, but don't have auto-tune. I've also misplaced the manual, so struggle with setting up programs. Can't recall what cycle time I have set, but expect 2 seconds would be too short for effective operation, even with the mercury contactors I use. I do have the system choked down somewhat, so I don't overheat and burn out the coils (as I did the first time I futzed with it after repurposing the unit from a glassblowing hot pickup oven running at a maximum of 960 deg. F to a heat treat oven that reaches 1575 deg. F when necessary. I don't worry about initial overshoot since I typically wait till the oven achieves stability at the desired setpoint before I put the blades in. I have enough thermal mass in the oven that the quick opening and closing of the door doesn't effect that too much, though my top access is less effective than a side door would be at higher austenizing temperatures.
  14. If the blade wasn't differentially heat treated, you are unlikely to get a real hamon just from etching (25% Ferric/75% distilled water seems to work well for me for etching). You can fake the hamone by putting a surface resist on the top half of the blade and letting the balance etch, but any knowledgeable viewer will be able to tell. Remember to bring the blade up to a good surface finish before you go to etch, as abrasion after the fact will ruin this fake hamon. Even if the blade was differentially heat treated, there are a lot of steps to get a hamon that "pops", and some types of high carbon steel are not particularly suitable. Hopefully someone with more experience with hamons will chime in with more detail. A more worrying issue is that you "don't intend to use it just as decor". Many of the Pakistani swords are not particularly well made and could be extremely dangerous to use. Please take care with any cutting exercises. Ignore if your sentence is just missing a comma after the word "it".
  15. My systems are so old that I use 1/4 DIN controllers and contactors rather than solid state relays. They are fairly robust though, got them from a liquidator, used, over 20 years ago and most are still functioning.
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