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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. Definitely not finished yet. But it survived the quench without a hitch. Came out hard, and dead straight. Except for a little kick at the end of the tang which will get ground down anyway. Since I was out in the shop anyway, I took the opportunity to do a test run of Saturday's Thanksgiving dinner dessert. Smoked bacon encrusted with maple syrup and brown sugar. Used a bit too much sugar, but came out pretty good.
  2. Patience, and lot of temper cycles. Work on one warp at a time. I got lucky, the one I just quenched came out dead straight.
  3. Thanks Josh, great observation. Between the two pictures there's 4-5 hours of additional filing and sanding, back and forth, on each side of the blade. I was trying to fix that exact issue. I ended up getting them to match up as best as I could. It's also a little deceiving as I filed in a radius to the spine in the last pic (you can't really see it) that wasn't present in the first one. My plan is to heat treat it tonight after I take one more look to make sure I have everything even. As I look at it, there may still be a bit too much material up towards the tip on the side shown in the
  4. Thanks Gary. I spent a lot of time filing on this one. My goal was to have nice crisp plunge cuts, and an even transition line from bevel to spine. I've always struggled with those things so I made it a point to focus on them this time. While it's not perfect, it's a far cry ahead of anything I've pulled off before.
  5. Hand sanded to 180 and ready for heat treat.
  6. WARNING!! There may be just a tiny bit of bragging in this post. My 17yo son just came out to the shop and showed me his SAT scores. 1530 out of 1600! Puts him in the 99th percentile of all SAT takers! After almost losing him several times last year (Teenage depression is no joke. My wife and I both agree that 2020 has been a cakewalk compared to the hell we went through in 2019). To see him apply himself and come through it like this has been amazing. His experiences are driving him to go to school and become a psychiatrist so that he can help people deal with their issues
  7. Well, I got nothing then. If you were starting from new stock, I wouldn't think that the grain would be that large. Unless you accidentally overheated it, I dont know what would cause it. Hopefully someone else can shed some light.
  8. Not what I meant. Normalizing is the process of thermal cycling the blade after forging, but before hardening (quenching). If you do a forum search you can find many threads that describe it in great detail. I'm not extremely familiar with O1, but it does wonders on 1084 and 5160.
  9. Did you normalize the blade to refine the grain before you hardened it?
  10. I managed to get the blade shape, and bevels filed in. And a quick test etch because I can't ever resist looking at the pattern. The edge is 3.5", it'll be 4" to the guard.
  11. That looks to be a pretty straightforward bend. You should be able to straighten that out by counterbending it and running another temper cycle. I typically usea piece of angle iron, shim behind the apex of the arc, and then draw the end down tight with small c-clamps. I usually try to counterbend it about the same amount as the existing warp, maybe a touch more. Run another temper cycle and then check it. You may have to repeat a few times until you get the hang of exactly how much to counterbend. One note. Run at least one temper cycle before doing this. Trying to counterbe
  12. I'll preface by saying that I am by no means a hamon expert. I would say that your blue area hardened up nicely, but my gut feel tells me that your green area hardened a bit as well, especially compared to the red area. My guess is that there was inconsistencies in the thickness of the Satanite that caused the green area to get hotter than intended and harden a bit more than you wanted. That's just a guess, I'm also going to very interested in what the hamon experts have to say.
  13. Got my copy of The Master Bladesmith today. Time to tuck in and figure out how much I dont know.
  14. Thanks Alan. I'll have to get so SiC sheets on order. I've had both The Complete Bladesmith and The Master Bladesmith on my Amazon wishlist for quite some time. I guess it's time to move them to the cart. I'll just tell the wife it's my Christmas present for the year .
  15. I fired the forge up today for the first time in months. I managed to weld up a small billet and get it forged to shape. It really felt good to get back in the saddle again. FWIW, a simple residential fan speed controller didnt work very well on the forge blower. It didnt seem to hold a very consistent speed. I may try to find a more purpose built rheostat, but for now the gate valve continues to do the trick.
  16. It's been quite a while since I've started a new project. I thought I'd post this as a WIP so hopefully somebody can chime in and point out my inevitable mistakes before I get too far. I started with a 42 layer billet of 1084/15n20 that was around 3/16" thick. I cut it in half and sandwiched it around a piece of 3/16" thick 1084. It's my first try at a San-mai type construction so we'll see how centered it turns out. I ground some grooves into each side after welding to give it a little bit of pattern disruption. I didnt forge the bevels in to this one. I'm thinki
  17. As an option, check out Garry Keowns hot waxing technique. He's posted a couple of videos on here somewhere. It gives you an opportunity to fit the sheath at the same time you waterproof it. I've done it a half dozen times or so and dont see any reason to try anything different.
  18. Thanks Don. I'll pick up a rheostat and see what happens. I appreciate the help!
  19. Finished stabilizing a couple pieces of curly maple and a beautiful piece of figured walnut. I also rewired a different blower for my forge that I salvaged off of a discarded water heater. The old one was just a touch too small to get my forge up to welding temps. This one is probably quite a bit too big. Has anybody ever tried running a blower like this on a rheostat? I have a gate valve on my burner assembly, but it seems like I would have even better control if I controlled the fan speed instead.
  20. Carefully. Honestly though, take your time and go through them one at a time with small pieces of sandpaper. Maybe even consider wrapping them around a flat stick to give you a bit more control. Go slowly and stop often to compare from one side to the other.
  21. I do like that stabilized OSB. I'm making some popcorn and cracking a cold one. Getting ready to watch the goat rodeo!
  22. Most definitely, thank you. The current motor I have set aside is a 1/2 hp 3450 and I'm worried that it won't quite be big enough. I guess time will tell.
  23. The pic doesn't even come close to doing it justice. The entire sky was lit up light fire.
  24. Thanks T. Motor size is the biggest unknown on this whole project. I'm sure theres a way to calculate it, but what fun would that be? In the end, all I'm looking to do is replace my arm when drawing out normal sized billets. Tendonitis kept me sidelined for several months this year, it's not something I really want to repeat.
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