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Posts posted by RobertMunford

  1. I do not know if this is the correct place to put this or if it has been discussed here before, but here goes.  Alan if this is the wrong place put it where it belongs please, of if it can not be posted at all delete if need be.  I have tried to grind blades free hand and have ruined more than I have finished.  Granted that is not a whole lot but I just can not seem to get the hang of it.  I have made a couple of simple ones and they are a pain in the a**  so have thrown them away.  I used this one before painting it and found it very simple to use, and I am able to change sides of grinding very quickly with repeatable results.  I did not engineer this at all, Mr. Alexander Bol posted the video and plans on You Tube.  He states in the video that all welcome to use his idea as long as no one sells them.  He also is selling them already made for those that have the where withal to buy or the inclination not to make.  LOL  Being as I am technically challenged I do not know how to copy a link to this so best I can say is go to You Tube web sight search for Alexander Bol and in the results you will see the video.

    This video by Alexander Bol on how to make and use a grinding jig is very comprehensive.  I have spent the last couple of days,  about 6 hours total making one.  I made it using some 3/8 in  thick aluminum, a couple of hinges, a turn buckle and various nuts and bolts.  I used only a jig saw, drill press/drill, hack saw, my home made 2x72 grinder, files, and my welder.  I used the welder to make a couple of brackets to hold the turn buckle.  The brackets could have been made from angle brackets but I went the hard way.  LOL  A couple of things that I am going to add are handles to hold on to while moving the blade across the grinder.  I am also going to buy a cheap white plastic cutting board from Wal Mart and put it on the bottom of the base plate.  It will make it easier to move on my grinder table.  Adjusting bevel angle is very easy, and the way the blade it held it makes it very easy to change sides and maintain same angle.

    I am including some pictures of the one I made.







  2. 4 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Bob, it's just any kind of tubing with one end welded shut that extends the length of the forge.  Mine is some squashed 2" pipe, but rectangular tubing would be even better.  Get it hot, push a little bit of wood or charcoal to the far end, and you have a reducing atmosphere for no scale plus a clear view of the blade for observing decalesence.


    thanks got just the thing.  bought some 11/2 x 21/2 3/16 wall tubing the other day.  the 6' pieces were 5 dollars apiece.  

    thanks again

    Robert aka bob

  3. 6 hours ago, SteveShimanek said:

    Forges in which the burners are directed onto the work tend to oxidize the steel, not ideal for blade smiths. The flame should be off center to create a swirl effect. A muffle pipe in which the work is placed can help.


    do you have a source where you can see how a muffle pipe is made?   I want to make one.

    thank you in advance

    Robert  aka bob

  4. ok getting it ready to harden.  everyone keep your toes crossed.  LOL  got the propane forge working better so hopefully will have it go correctly.  will give an update as soon as I find out good or bad.  

    Robert  aka bob

    Picture 857.jpg

  5. Update  since the last time on here I have found a 15 psi regulator to replace the 10 psi regulator on my propane forge.  Geoff you were spot on when you said not enough gas flow.  took the half brick out and run it for 15 minutes.  not one single spit or sputter.  

    thanks to everyone who responded to my questions.

    Robert  aka bob 

  6. 52 minutes ago, Jerrod Miller said:

    You should be fine, but in general that tends to make things worse rather than better.  Still air cool is all you need (for this alloy and other simple ones).  

    thanks next time I will hang in shop.  it is cold in there so thought the vermiculite was the way to  go.  well that is what I get for thinking.  LOL  what is they say  "live and learn"  and I learn something everyday.

    thanks again Jerrod

    Robert  aka bob

    • Like 1
  7. On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 2:26 PM, Alan Longmire said:

    I would normalize x3, fully harden the blade, leaving the tang out of the fire as much as possible, then temper (400 or even 450 for a hard-use blade), then do a soft-back draw by setting the edge in a pan of water and heating the spine with a plumber's torch until it runs past blue into grayish.  Let cool with the edge in the water.

    As for quenching after tempering, it doesn't really matter.  Slow cool or air cool or quench, from 450 degrees it really doesn't make much if any difference to the steel.

    what the blade looks like after third heat for normalization.  I cooled in vermiculite hope that was ok.

    going to look for all the nics that I missed and clean the blade next.  then keeping my fingers crossed I am going to harden as you suggested.


  8. 8 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    Dangerous is not the right word.  It's a personal preference thing; some people don't like the oxidizing hot spot coming straight down on the blade.  With a square forge, there will be that hot spot somewhere, and you get to choose.  The only safety issue is when you turn it off.  The burner tubes will act like chimneys and pull the heat back up.  If you have rubber gas lines too close they can melt.  

    I need to post a review of my new forge soon, I think you'll like it.

    Thanks Alan you have answered my question well.  I had an issue with it popping and sputtering at first but by raising the floor with a half brick it now seems to work well.  I have done two normalizations on the blade that I asked about and today did a third.  It seems to stay nice and smooth with very little scale.  I have to keep it moving so there are no real hot spots developed.  Going to finish sanding and cleaning it up and then the truth will be known.  Did I do it correctly.  LOL 

    Thanks again Alan. 

    Robert aka bob

  9. No sir Vern and Geoff above shudder and get the willies when they see it and I was wondering why.  Thought maybe it was dangerous.  Just asking as I am new and don't want to blow myself sky high.  LOL   I only use my propane forge for heat treating and normalization so I have never had much to do with one.

    Plan on staying with my coal for the heat and  beat portion. :)


  10. I give up I have looked and looked and can't find the video I seen somewhere keeps an old mans shoulders arms from falling off, by moving the blade back and forth while you hold the sandpaper on it.  I want to build on as Aurthor has come to visit and hasn't left.  LOL  I hate when I see something somewhere on the net and then cant find it again.  Guess that is a sign of old age.  LOL

    Thanks in advance

    Robert  aka bob

  11. 13 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

    Never question the way the gods of the forge enlighten you. If the answer comes to you as mysteriously as the problem did then chalk it up to the gods whimsical nature. Remember that when you see someone forging with a pair of Fruit-of-the-Looms on his head and a peacock feather in his hip pocket--- he found something that worked for him!

    I go with what ever works best at the time.  letting the smoke out or FM   LOL

    Thanks Vern

  12. OK I run across what I think is a solution to my problem.  Quite by accident I have to add.  I was heating a blade and when I kept it up off of the floor about an inch the burner began to behave.  So today I bought a half brick and put it in the forge.  I did two heats of two different blades for normalization and it behaved.  I don't know the reason that it began to work properly but it did.  My uniformed opinion is it needed a little bit of back pressure.  Other than that maybe it was the old FM working.  I thank all for their opinions and suggestions but as the man said I would rather be lucky than good.  LOL  If someone knows reason why that narrowing of the forge height worked I would love to know.

    BTW I plan to use the propane forge only for heat treating and normalization as I can control the heat a little better.  Maybe after I learn how to control my heat better with coal I will dismantle this  gas hog.

    Thanks again everyone 

    Robert aka bob



  13. wow sure like the way you did it from start to finish.  thanks for all the pics and directions.   :)

    gave me lots of ideas on how to make the sheath for the big camp knife that I am making.  long ways away from the sheath though.

    keep it up the great work mason

    Robert aka bob


  14. 28 minutes ago, Vern Wimmer said:

    I just have a wild hair theory that just maybe a venturi burner coming in at top dead center of the chamber may be subject to a choking effect as the heat in the chamber creeps up the burner tube and meets the air coming in the tube.. hot air trying to escape meeting cold air coming in basically. Natural airflow and pressure changes in the work area might accentuate the problem. 

    That is just a "first blush SWAG" soo.....



    OK what do you think 6 or 8 inches longer tube on burner, heat shield about 6 inches above top brick, or both.  it would be ugly but if ugly works I don't care.  lol

    btw haven't heard SWAG used in a long time.  :)


  15. So here I am again hope y'all don't get tired of my questions.  Searched high and low and probably in places that I shouldn't have and did not see the answer to my question anywhere.  Sometimes my eyes cross and I don't see info in plain sight so don't yell to loud if I missed it lol

    I put together a simple propane forge out of fire bricks and a homemade burner.  it is sitting under a lean to and has whatever breeze there is at the time blowing on it.  it has a nice healthy roar to it for most of the time and seems to heat rather well.  but every now and again it will stop roaring, flutter and pop softly while still burning and then start roaring again.  anyone have any ideas.  to much breeze blowing across it or ??? if it is a simple fix I am thinking about adding a second burner so can head longer objects more evenly.  thank you all in advance.  

    Robert aka bob




  16. 6 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

    I would massively complicate your life by suggesting that you have some hole or holes available for a lanyard or thong. I do not like them on my general use knives but they may well have a place in a dedicated chopper and the option is nice to have.better to have and not need than need and not have.


    You just massively saved my A** Vern.  I had already asked him if he wanted a hole for a lanyard, and he said yes.  So now I will put one in before I do anymore to the blade, as it is still drillable.

    Thank You Vern

    Robert  aka Bob

  17. 7 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

    I would normalize x3, fully harden the blade, leaving the tang out of the fire as much as possible, then temper (400 or even 450 for a hard-use blade), then do a soft-back draw by setting the edge in a pan of water and heating the spine with a plumber's torch until it runs past blue into grayish.  Let cool with the edge in the water.

    As for quenching after tempering, it doesn't really matter.  Slow cool or air cool or quench, from 450 degrees it really doesn't make much if any difference to the steel.

    Thank you Alan  I think I over read and over thought, and over planed on the last one.  I had never heard of what you suggested on the soft back draw using a plumber's torch.  Sounds like the way to go.  Will post more pics when completed.  

    Thanks Again Alan

    Robert aka Bob

  18. I have been asked to make a heavy camp knife for a gentleman.  I know the handle design is a little on the strange side but I have made a wooden mock up and he is thrilled with the size and weight of the blade.  My problem is the two pictures are of my fourth attempt at making the blade.  The first time I let my attention wander and burned the handle off, was going to punch holes in handle.  The second time I got the blade so hard that as I was cleaning up my tools and shutting down forge when I dropped a 3 pound hammer on it the blade snapped in two.  Third time I couldn't get it hard at all.  So  "HELP".  I have learned all the foreign languages that I need for know.  I have since built a propane forge in hopes of controlling the temperature  a little better.  I used a leaf spring for the blade and am assuming that I am working with 5160.  Yeah yeah I know what assuming means.  LOL  This blade is going to be used to split kindling and chop with so it will be taking some abuse.  My question is should I harden equally front to back and top to bottom, or do what I have heard called differential hardening.  Next question "assuming" again that I successfully get the metal hardened I understand from all I have read that 2 one hour stints at 400 degrees does the best job of tempering.  My question is, when cooling after the hour is up do you allow the blade to cool in the oven with the oven turned off or hanging at room temperature, or is a quench required?

    I would appreciate any an all comments, and if I ever get the knife completed I will post finished pictures of it. Don't anyone hold their breath though as it may take awhile.  LOL

    Thanks in advance Robert



  19. 2 hours ago, Vern Wimmer said:

    Don't worry about pulling the blade out of the tempering oven as soon as its "done" . It is really about getting the alloy/blade UP to a stage/temperature and holding it. Coming DOWN from there is not critical. 

    Thank you Vern appreciate the very timely response.  Have a Merry Christmas and a Very Prosperous New Year

  20. Ahhh thanks to everyone here I hit the jackpot here.  a lot of the questions that I had about annealing, normalizing hardening, and tempering have been cleared up.

    but the one question that I have that has not been addressed in any thing I have read (and I have read until 1 or 2 in the morning several times :) ) has not been answered yet.

    and that question is do you let the metal cool slowly back to room temp after the tempering cycle, if it has been addressed somewhere then I missed it and I am sorry.  I will put the blame on cancer treatment that I have received.  LOL  

    btw cancer free for 8 years as of August this year, and am now totally retarded or retired depending who you talk to. :)


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