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Dan Hertzson

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  1. While I haven't used it yet, I have a strong suspicion that my vintage electric model train controller should work very well for doing metal etching. It's not a collectible name brand unit, so I have no qualms repurposing it. It even has a variable power control and "forward/reverse", so polarity and power changes should be easy. Just have to dig it out of the "saved for I don't know what pile"... Anybody use anything like that for metal etching before?
  2. Joel, Type S thermocouples are made of two dissimilar metals, like all other thermocouples I am familiar with. In this case a platinum/rhodium alloy and pure platinum (which gives you an idea of why they are so expensive). Your's may be covered by a high alumina ceramic casing, but the operative parts are the wires. Please note two things: The ceramic casings are quite fragile and also can be prone to thermal shock. Avoid any impact or rapid thermal cycling. If the casing cracks the wires can be vulnerable to the forge atmosphere (especially if you are using a lot of caustic flux). For an accurate reading you must use the correct thermocouple wires for the particular type of thermocouple between the actual thermocouple and the controller or gauge you are using for a readout. Regular copper wires will give a false reading.
  3. One of the first axes I made was a slit and drift out of a solid block of 5160. Lots of work getting it all done. Once I got better at forge welding I found that I much prefer fold and weld as well.
  4. Definitely on the road. A good first forged blade. Make sure you keep it to compare to subsequent knives. Things I like about this one: General proportions of blade (flat spine and drop tip), handle lengths and handle width to length ratio Domed rivets! Subtle curve on front end of handle close to the blade. Things that I can see you improving on in the future: Primary bevel grinding (a tip: get more grinding belts and replace them often or look into draw filing for a couple of blades - if the latter, don't forget to anneal...) Improved plunge grind Better defined riccasso General fit and finish (hand sanding; you will learn to hate it, but there is no substitute)
  5. Oh, it will move air in the shop. That is exactly what it was designed for. I thought from your earlier post that you were planning on using it in a burner assembly.
  6. The GE motor pictured is labeled for 120 V single phase power at 7.1 amps. This should run off any normal 120 V household circuit connected to the terminals designated as "LINE". Note that typically capacitor start motors should not be connected to dimmer switches to attempt to modulate flow rate. This unit may have an integral speed control, the box on the wiring diagram, but you would need more information before attempting to use that. I personally don't like squirrel cage fans (forward curved centrifugal) for forced air burners, as they are designed for relatively high volumes of air at low pressure. Combustion air fans are more typically centrifugal blowers with radial blades. Depending on it's flow characteristics this fan may be appropriate for a solid fuel fire air supply.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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...
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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