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John Ricks

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  1. Sometimes a find needs a little work. This one weighs 147 pounds, some previous owner dummy pounded on the pivot bolt with a sledge (must have been a 20 pounder!) such that the vise was seized up. [/ Umm. Just plain bad news. Could not turn it. Stuck it on the milling machine table. Wacked off with a saws all. Some drilling. Ready for a new bolt. Ready for use with a new square head bolt from Black
  2. Cabinet made from scrap wood, it actually was a keyboard drawer that the old style desktop computers sat on. Added the top compartment and hinged lid, bottom drawer uses the original keyboard tray slides. Keeps all the tooling in one place and protected.
  3. I bought this 250 pound brute last year. Mainly for testing rifle actions but it sure is handy for testing blades. The blades I thought were pretty hard (even worked well for skinning out elk, stayed reasonably sharp) turned out to be 43 on the Rockwell C scale. After using the Wilson Tester for a time I have concluded that there is no substitute for a Rockwell tester when making knives!! And testing military Mauser actions is a hoot, the numbers are all over the place! The action below is a Olympic Arms BBK Magnum action, 34 is a good range for rifle act
  4. 8620 as the guys have said is a case hardening steel. I have a couple hundred pounds of it in 3/4, 7/8 and 1 inch diameter. Specifically they are drag conveyor pins, used for joining the large steel drag conveyors used in industry. Not a knife steel. I have used it for reloading dies and cast bullet sizing dies as it case hardens nicely. I throw the pins in the wood stove with a good fire going and leave in the stove until the fire goes out and is cold. Anneals the pin surface down to about Rockwell 20 on the C scale so I can machine it without killing tooling.
  5. You old timers and experienced gents will laugh, but think about the intended use of the knife, not good artistic looks. Sort of a red neck approach. After all I was born in the swamps of Georgia, USA! I use the skinner with my index finger along the point of the blade, gives better control and reduces hide cuts. The shapes below have served me well in deer and elk out here in the Pacific Northwest. A plus is when you have the knife in one hand, both hands up in the chest cavity cutting out lungs, windpipe and other things you know where the tip of the blade is and do not wack
  6. Elk foreleg bone. Tough and polishes up like ivory. I have some somewhere in the shop, I will did out a few and take a look, maybe polish up one on the buffer. They have been in the stash and curing for over 30 years so should be ready for handles.
  7. If the bottom is recessed or dovetailed a bit, it is a bottom anvil for a drop hammer. The bottom anvil is held in the drop hammer with tapered steel wedges that are hammered in. I have one, in the photos below the dovetails are filled with the wood retainers to keep the anvil on the post. The steel rods are inserted in holes so two people can lift the anvil, it weighs 250 pounds. Came from a big steam drop hammer. If yours is indeed a drop hammer anvil, it is likely cast steel instead of iron. Nice find!!!
  8. I have 4 anvils, one is the 100 pound Vulcan in this photo, similar to yours. Others up to 196 pounds. I am often amazed at the abuse the poor anvils sometimes receive in the past. Especially the chipping they receive from mis-directed hammer blows. I plan on dressing the edges on mine. That bar welded to your anvil completely blows my mind. Why would someone do this?????
  9. Like stepping back in time and viewing the work of the Great Masters. Gary, if you lived in the early 1800's, the Bowie Brothers would be beating a path to your door!!!! You are indeed a Master of our times.
  10. Impeccable work as always Gary. Of all the Bowies the Schively captures my interest the most. Form and function at its best with no "Hollywood" additives. This knife would serve well not only for defense but a good design for butchering a steer or quartering an Elk.
  11. One of my general purpose grinders in the shop. 2-1/2 x 60 belt. Note the step pulleys for changing speeds. I run it in slow most of the time. Cuts great with a 60 grit Norton. Made it over 30 years ago.
  12. Scary. Any more ideas on the cause? 5 years ago I replaced the old wood stove with a new efficient unit. Put in all new chimney parts. Hired everything out to the pro stove shop. When the guys were removing the old chimney piping they found a partially open joint just under the roof peak where the piping penetrated the roof. General opinion was this easily could have caught the roof on fire. We all know when a 3 tab roof catches fire it is impossible to put out. So guys, if you heat with wood, have a pro thoroughly inspect the chimney and roof penetration. Cheap
  13. I have forged few knives on this one. And I like it for forging blades. A lot of surface area. 200 pounds. A bottom anvil from a big drop hammer. The steel rods fit into lifting holes and are used for transporting the anvil, a two man job. Photos taken when it was sitting under a shed behind the barn. Now cleaned up and ready for use. I have three London Style anvils (196 pound, 150 pound and a 100 pound) but I like this flat one for the knives.
  14. Yep if you seriously work with wood you need a moisture meter. 11 to 12 percent is as low as the wood will dry in my area: Pacific NW Rain Forest! My friend in Idaho can get down to 5 percent.
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