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Alex Middleton

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Alex Middleton last won the day on December 7 2020

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About Alex Middleton

  • Birthday 07/23/1980

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    Middleville, MI
  • Interests
    Fishing, Hunting, spending time with the family.

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  1. I put one together a few months ago using a thermocouple and a PID. Pretty simple to do, and not horribly expensive.
  2. You can do a pretty large billet in a forge made from a 20lb tank. I dont think you would be disappointed.
  3. Either should serve you well. Just remember, if you're hammering by hand, you're only going to be able to work 4-6" of steel at a time before you have to reheat anyway. Honestly, I would utilize the smaller one to build a general forging/welding forge, and save the bigger one for when you want to build yourself a separate heat treat forge. You'll save yourself a bunch of propane, and the forge will get up to temp much quicker so you'll be able to get more work done as well. I think you'll find a pretty even split of opinions when it comes to blown burner vs. venturi. If you're
  4. I waited way to long to take a class with an experienced smith. Ended up learning more in two days than I had been able to figure out for myself in three years. Like Charles said, the pinned topics are a great source of basic information. Spend some time reading them, especially in Design and Critique, Tools and Toolmaking, Heat Treating, and Beginners Place. You probably wont find all the right answers, but you likely come up with some really good questions. Welcome to the madness!
  5. I take the time to make a wood or steel template and use layout fluid to make a tracing. That way if I want to make another of the same blade I have a way to easily recreate the shape. Another option I see used from time to time on youtube videos is to cut the overall shape out of paper, lay it on your steel, and then go around it with spray paint. When you remove the template you're left with an unpainted area in the shape of your design.
  6. I thought that I could use an old wooden table with a layer of kaowool on top of it to insulate it from my first forge. I was wrong. Things got exciting one day.
  7. Theoretically I believe you can salvage a failed weld by letting it soak at welding heat in a reducing atmosphere for 10-15 minutes and then resetting it. To me it would be the same idea as fluxless welding. I can't say as I've ever tried it though. Check out Geoff Keyes thread in Tools and Toolmaking called "Blown Burners a Care and Feeding" he details out a super easy method of building a blown burner that will suit most of your needs.
  8. Three things jumped out at me. The first was that your fifth roller is going to get chewed up pretty fast as the grit side of your belt will be making contact with it. The second is that you would have to wire your motor backwards in order to get it to run the proper direction. Lastly, while I was confirming the direction thing in my head, I noticed that it's going to be a royal pain in the butt to get your belts on and off with the motor sitting on that side of the grinder. I would highly recommend flipping the motor over to the other side of the unit. It would solve the last
  9. Assuming you haven't already hardened the blade, my guess would be that is a combination of your file and your technique. Some files will remove metal faster than others depending on the cut and the quality of the file. As you go you'll also learn how much pressure to apply to get your file to cut optimally. Are you keeping your file clean? Running a file card across it every 4-5 strokes will help to keep it from packing up with swarf, as well as help to minimize the number of massive ugly gouges you put in it.
  10. Kinda makes me glad I haven't pulled the trigger on getting mine fixed yet. I'm going in to get a herniated disc fixed on the 19th (between L5 and S1, impinging on the sciatic nerve), makes my 6-8 week recovery period seem like no big deal. Loving the blades too. The fit and finish is spot on. That's some pretty curly maple, hopefully you can get the sheath to match up the way you want it.
  11. I'll echo what Charles said. That's a great blade for a first, or even a fifth. It's a bit hard to see details on the fit and finish without some closer up pics, but in general I'd say you have it pretty well nailed. It certainly runs circles around my first 10 knives. Welcome to the madness and keep up the good work!
  12. I think tha could be made to work as well. The more time I spend thinking about it, the more I'm leaning towards having 4 good contact points instead of three. @Brian Myers and @Brian Dougherty comments have gotten me to thinking a bit deeper, and a little bit of overkill isn't going to hurt.
  13. Yup. Actually planning on bolting it right to the base plate from underneath.
  14. @Jaron MartindaleI think I follow what you are saying. With what I have pictured in my head, I think it would have a hard time holding the motor on a consistent plane without making thins overly complex. I might be picturing it wrong though....... @Bill SchmalhoferI had played with that idea. With the rear pivot point design, you would have to leave a bit of slop in the motor bracket where the head of the bolt passes through. I'm afraid it would end up being in the same boat as the original design and not quite sturdy enough. After wasting waaay too much of my bosse
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