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Larry Garfield

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  1. Larry Garfield

    Dust collection for belt sander/grinder

    I'll look into that respirator, thanks. I also have a fire extinguisher in the hallway closet just outside the room in question. (It's my place, not rented.) For eye protection, I wear glasses so my options are a bit more limited. I've been wearing these basic things, which seem to work aside from the fogging problem. I'm open to better as long as I can comfortably wear them over glasses. As far as my current work, I've only written up my first 2 pieces so far, because I'm a lazy bum. I'm on blade 7 at the moment, I think. I posted my first blade here on the forums last year, and my second earlier this year. Most of my collection is in this picture, minus a chef's knife and a push dagger I made as a gift for a friend. (I build the shadow box itself, too. The Sgain Dubh blade on the far right is just tempered; I still have to polish it and attach the handle.) One of these days I'll do proper writeups of the rest of them. Some have delightfully self-deprecating stories to go along with them...
  2. Larry Garfield

    Forged in Fire

    Ah! So they temper and then polish, or let you polish? I always wondered how long it took to shoot an episode. I figured one long day would be tough, but I didn't realize it was three. That makes sense, I suppose, although it makes it all the more amusing when they make fun of a contestant for mistakenly using 24 hour epoxy if they really are waiting 24 hours anyway! :-) Do they overlap shooting for episodes, or do they really take 10 days for just one episode and then move on? (I always figured they were shooting the first 2 rounds for another episode while the finalists were off doing round 3 at home.)
  3. Larry Garfield

    Dust collection for belt sander/grinder

    Kerri: Thanks. On the subject of magnets, I have been highly amused to see little dots of steel dust sticking to my wall at very regularly spaced intervals. I'm guessing they're attracted to the studs or something. I love the baggie-and-magnet idea. I have some welding magnets I can do that with, too. Regarding respirators: I have been using the firm white semi-disposable face masks from Home Depot religiously when using the grinder; I'm not sure if it's the best option, though, and it does have the problem of that, combined with my goggles, the goggles fog up in about 90 seconds so I have to pause a lot to take the goggles off to defog them. Is there a respirator you recommend for hobbyist level wood/steel working, preferably one that is less likely to fog my glasses instantly? I'll check for the Polywall sheets the next time I'm at the store, thanks. I already have a HEPA-grade air filter I'm running while working and for a few hours afterward to take care of most floating crap.
  4. Larry Garfield

    Forged in Fire

    I can only imagine what actual chefs feel like after watching one of the cooking elimination shows. Probably much like folks here do watching FIF. :-) The thing that always bugs me with FIF: When do they temper? Tempering takes a hours, and we never see them even doing post-temper sanding. Do they just not do it and use brittle blades? Do they hide it well? @Geoff Keyes If you can fill that part in for us I'd love to know. It's always bothered me. :-)
  5. Larry Garfield

    Dust collection for belt sander/grinder

    Yes, steel, at grits from 60 to about 600. Also wood, mostly maple so far. There are sparks but they're dull gray by the time they hit even the table underneath them. So far no fire, or any damage other than a dirty wall. I'm trying to keep it that way.
  6. Larry Garfield

    Dust collection for belt sander/grinder

    Jeremy: I've been using a cardboard backing behind the grinder to keep dust from splattering the wall too much; it' mostly works. Yes, I run the grinder in the house. Engineered bamboo floors in there. It's either that or carry the thing outside, which is 1) Very heavy and 2) Not something I'm going to do in December in Chicago! (So far no problems other than lots of dust in the room, but...) I have a plastic tarp I can put down underneath it if necessary. Owen: When you say "Extractor", which part do you mean exactly? The bucket? Wouldn't the water in it put out any embers on contact? That's kind of the point of it... I've been using it on and off for a few months now (not daily, maybe every other week on average), and I've yet to have anything come off of it that's even slightly ember-ish. Mostly just fluffy and hard to clean. Since I don't have a purpose-built workshop space, any recommendations on safer configurations if this one is problematic?
  7. Greetings, fellow makers. I have decided I need a better dust collection mechanism for my 2x42 belt sander than the air filter in the corner, especially since I don't have a proper workshop but have a repurposed spare bedroom. My previous searching of the forum turned up a couple of examples of people building multi-hundred-dollar contraptions involving sheet metal and welding; that's thrice out of my scope. I'm looking for something more low-end. My current plan is a shop vac with a bucket catcher, with some water in the bottom to avoid explosions, and a wide-mouth utility attachment on the end, positioned underneath the belt sander. It won't be perfect, but I figure it should at least catch the majority of grinder dust, both steel and wood. Right now I'm looking at: The wet/dry shop vac just attaches to a bucket, which is good because I can remove the filter it comes with and let the dust just hit the water in the bottom of the bucket. The wide mouth attachment there is the wrong size for the hose but I've found one on Amazon that looks like it should fit it. It's a bit hacky, but it's also about $50 and doesn't require anything more complex than a clamp or two. So my questions are: Is this viable, or am I setting myself up to burn the house down? If it's not a completely stupid idea, are there any changes I should make to this plan before trying to use it? Any way I can filter the air coming out of the exhaust better? If this is an incredibly stupid idea, what's the next recommendation that doesn't involve welding sheet metal and running duct work that's out of my skillset or budget? Thank you for helping me not win a Darwin Award.
  8. Larry Garfield

    Use for brass bullet casings?

    I don't have hunting clients, or other kinds of clients; I'm just a hobbyist making knives for fun arts and crafts as a break from my otherwise all-digital existence. :-) Using the shell casings as handle pins is an interesting idea. They'd probably need to be filled with something though to give them better rigidity, no? Or is there enough glue that it's just decorative?
  9. I recently came into possession of a decent quantity of brass bullet casings of a few different sizes. I know brass isn't cheap, so I figured "gee, I wonder what I could make out of these in the forge?" Of course, brass isn't the easiest thing to work with, and from my 5 minutes of googling it's not an easy (or even safe, necessarily) thing to just melt down, especially bullet casing brass. So, any suggestions on what to do with it for knife use? Anyone done anything decorative with such things before? Is it easier to melt than I thought? Is this just a stupid idea and I should send them to be properly recycled elsewhere? (I give it 50/50 odds on the latter.) (I've no idea what the right topic is for this thread; Mods, feel free to move elsewhere if I guessed wrong.)
  10. Larry Garfield

    Straightening without denting

    Thanks folks! It sounds like a very clear consensus on "rubber/wood mallet and black to dark red heat only". I'll have to see if the forge I go to has such mallets, and if not then probably buy one for them. :-) (Probably a small one; that's all that's needed here I imagine.)
  11. Larry Garfield

    Straightening without denting

    Hi folks. On a couple recent blades I had a slight bend or wave going into heat treatment. No problem, normalize it a few times and use that to tap it back to straight before quenching. Problem: every time I do that, I end up with new hammer dents (I've already ground/filed/sanded at this point) that are just deep enough to be unrealistic to re-grind out post-heat treat. (It's even worse if I let the forge mentor do it, as he likes to smack it really hard while cold for straightening.) Any advise on doing that tiny restraightening after grinding without denting the crap out of the blade again?
  12. Larry Garfield

    Design and size of a Dirk? Single or double edged?

    Oh dear god, what have I done! :-) I'm definitely not up for a fuller at this point. I need more practice before I even think about that. I recall that link being one of the ones I found via Google previously. I don't care for the phallacy of the bollock dagger myself. It also seems like the double-edged design came in with the dudgeon, them went back out of style, then came back into style in the 1700s? Silly Scots. It sounds like I'd be looking at something of a cross between these two (minus the fuller and damascus, of course): https://www.museumreplicas.com/damascus-dirk https://www.museumreplicas.com/primitive-scottish-dirk Unless I wanted to be a bit more loose historically and make it double-edged for kicks. Length, whatever it ends up being. Sound about right?
  13. Larry Garfield

    Design and size of a Dirk? Single or double edged?

    I suppose to an extent it only sort of matters, seeing as I'm not allowed to take the blade out except in a few places. :-) The Ren Faire near Chicago plays fast and loose with the timeline but is vaguely Elizabethan. The rest of my outfit is a Nightwatch pattern kilt (dark blue/green) and simple white shirt.
  14. Hi folks. The next project I have on my todo list is to try and make a Highland Dirk. I'm using 1075 steel for it but in practice it will be a Ren Faire costume piece. :-) The main question I have before I start is whether I should go for a single edged or double edged variant. From what I've been able to glean from googling, both versions existed historically but single-edged was more common. I've seen conflicting reports of which was the later development. I doubt I will be making an especially fancy handle because my woodworking skills are still beginner level, too. :-) I've made 3 single-edged blades and 2 small double-edged blades so far. Aesthetically I prefer double-edged pieces but I also acknowledge they're harder to do. (My first 2 had reasonably OK ridge lines, but they were not perfectly straight.) Any recommendations for a design to work on? Related, what thickness/width should I be targeting if I want to be kinda-sorta authentic? The stock I'm starting from is, I believe, 12x1.5x0.25 inch 1075, so I figure it will probably be somewhere around 12-18 inches after tapered and tanged, but I don't know how thin I should be going (which of course is also related to the single vs double question). Any good guides on what makes a "good" (or straightforward to make, which is an entirely different question) Dirk?
  15. Larry Garfield

    Curvey blade (my second)

    At this point I'm still learning, so it's likely not a daily-use blade. It was more an excuse for me to practice with curves and scale handles. :-) I suppose if properly sharpened it would work for cutting salami or cheese or something, but I don't think I'll be taking this one to the kitchen. :-)
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