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Alex Middleton

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Everything posted by Alex Middleton

  1. The steel market in general is pretty insane right now. Our buyers at work are having a tough time even getting some mild steels. It wouldn't surprise me at all if the tool steel market is even worse.
  2. Definitely cool! Nice work Geoff!
  3. If you're not liking the aesthetics of the clip, one thing you could think about trying would be to radius off the beginning of the clip to soften it. Breaking that sharp corner may help to make it flow smoother to your eye. Before doing it though, either scratch it into your bluing, or flip it over and use a sharpie to sketch out what you think you want to do. With that type of modification, if you grind the material off and dont like it, it's too late to go back! As far as the handle goes, absolutely adjust it to make it feel the way you want it to. One of the great things about making
  4. I've been wondering what you've been up to. Immaculate as always!
  5. During a little google-fu session, looking up different methods for rust bluing, one of the videos mentioned that hydrogen embrittlement is a concern when rust bluing hardened steels with the usual hydrogen peroxide/salt mixture. This was the first time I've ever heard of it. I looked it up a bit, but it's a level of chemistry that is well above my understanding (maybe 20 years ago it would have made more sense!). I thought I would put it out here and see whether or not this is a serious concern if I wanted to use the process on an actual blade, and not just fittings. Thoughts?
  6. Now that's just plain cool!
  7. Nothing wrong with that one. Especially for your first! That'll make a great little EDC blade.
  8. Judging by your KITH project, I call BS!
  9. 312 layers is something to be proud of, especially if you're doing it by hand. The pattern looks really good too! I'm not going to split too many hairs on whether or not it's a true seax. To me a knife is a knife, as long as you're not billing it as a historical recreation, you're good to go. Along the lines of what Billy said, I'd challenge you to focus a bit on defining your bevels/plunges and getting really anal about hand finishing. Trying to rush through to the end can leave things looking a bit washed out from time to time.
  10. Take #3. A bout with covid has kept me out of the shop for the last couple of weeks. #2 just wasn't working either (sorry, no pics). I might have been able to save it if I had put it back in the forge, but that little voice was telling me to scrap it and start over. This time I decided to listen. I only managed about 45 minutes in the shop before I was totally gassed, but managed to get this rough forged and normalized. Looking at the pic, I may end up having to tweak it some more. That little dip in the tang might cause a bit of trouble. Either way it's a start and i
  11. From a safety standpoint, one of the biggest threats with a blown burner is losing power while forging. It results in a large fireball billowing out of your forge. If you are really concerned about it (depending on the reliability of your power grid and how often you walk away from your forge when it's running), there are ways to use an electronic valve that will automatically close if power is lost. I've no clue how to wire it, but I believe that it's pretty straightforward.
  12. Have you ever ordered from that Ebay store before? Their prices beat anything that I've found. I've got a couple of projects that I've been putting off that I need to get around to starting on.
  13. That's a gorgeous profile. Itll make a great little EDC. I do agree with Jerrod about the location of the plunge lines. I think I would either move them back a touch so they come out somewhere in the transition, or move them forward and add a choil. Another option would be to forego the plunges all together and blend it.
  14. You'll definitely need a regulator of some sort. Just having a gauge will not help you. The regulator you have there will certainly work, but I have a feeling that you could save yourself a bit of money and purchase the regulator/hose assembly at hightemptools.com. I believe Wayne sells them as well. With the addition of a needle valve it'll give you all of the adjustability that you need. Price it out both ways before buying one or the other.
  15. Lol. Unfortunately, while there is definitely good info out there, a fair amount of what you have seen is probably questionable at best. If you're going with a blown burner, stick with the design in Geoffs post. It's simple, and relatively cheap. You can always change things up for your next forge if you're not happy with something.
  16. I would build it around where you see yourself in a couple of years. If you plan on taking it slow, building modest sized blades, and working mainly by hand for a while, I would start in the range of 4-5" diameter x 10-12" long. It gives you the ability to heat and beat on the largest stock that you're realistically going to work by hand, and also makes heat treating "normal" sized working blades fairly easily. If you plan on tooling up with a press and hammer, or want to jump right into longer blades, Billy makes a great point. You'll probably want something a bit larger to accommodate yo
  17. It's the total volume of open air leftover inside the forge. After insulation and refractory.
  18. Picked up my new welder today. Amico CTS-180, TIG/Stick/Plasma cutter combo. Of course the argon hose is a different size fitting than my regulator . Should be able to get that sorted out tomorrow.
  19. If you were using the blocks as a forge, it would be a viable concern. For using them just as a stand you shouldn't have anything to worry about, especially if your forge is properly insulated. Take the basic safety precautions that Jerrod has listed above and you should be good to go. Enjoy!
  20. Other sources for refractory are http://www.hightemptools.com/ and http://www.waynecoeartistblacksmith.com/. I've modeled my forges around the suggestions in the linked post above and have been extremely happy so far. Welcome to the madness!
  21. Thanks Doug. Just goes to prove that almost every knife turns into a stock removal project and some point in time. Especially when you are as bad at forging as I am. Getting the San-mai properly centered is one of my goals for this KITH, so I really don't mind starting over again. Hopefully I can forge the next one a bit cleaner as well.
  22. So I'm really happy with the way this blade turned out. The symmetry is pretty decent, and the plunges came out significantly better than my normal. Here's a pic of one side after hand sanding in preparation for hardening: Not perfect, but I'm very happy with that aspect. Then I gave it a test etch to check the symmetry of the pattern. Overall, not horrible, but when I was laying out the centerline there was a little voice in the back of my head that kept saying I needed to bring one side over a touch before I started grinding. I should have li
  23. Lol. Thanks! You should have seen me forging in them a couple years ago. Lesson learned there, still have a perfectly circular scar on top of my foot from hot scale falling through one of the holes.
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