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Will Wilcox

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Will Wilcox last won the day on August 15

Will Wilcox had the most liked content!

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About Will Wilcox

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    Heavy Handed Hammer Head

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    New York State
  • Interests
    Any kind of metalworking, the history of bladesmithing, smelting, gunsmithing and shooting, traditional archery.

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  1. Would a leather wrapped handle be acceptable?
  2. @Joshua States it is mostly used for aluminum, yes, but is also used for magnesium and a few niche applications. It can also be used for rusty steel, but youre better of just cleaning the steel and using DC. The reversing polarities of AC have an inherent cleaning action, cutting through the oxide layers which melt at much higher temperature then the base metal itself. One assumes you could just clean metals like aluminum or magnesium before welding, but they form an oxide layer immediately on contact with air, which means any time between cleaning and welding just builds more oxide, and these metals are very touchy about welding with oxide layers present. During the electrode positive (EP) portion of the AC cycle, the current is flowing from the workpiece to the electrode, thus "blasting" or "pushing" the oxide layer away. The electrode negative (EN) portion of the AC cycle then has a clean section of metal to fuse, free from oxide, when the current pushes from the electrode to the work. The shielding gas used (argon or helium usually, depending on the situation) prevents more oxide from forming by pushing away the ambient air, forming a cloud of shielding gas, essentially. Keep in mind that many, many AC cycles are happening every second, and you can adjust the number of cycles per second on most higher end machines, as well as the balance control, which is whether it favors more cleaning or more penetration (EP or EN, respectively.) You want to use as little EP as possible, if you can adjust it. EP tends to cause excessive heat build up, which is not good for your tungsten or your material being welding. A quick note on shielding gases; argon, which is heavier than air, is typically used when you're welding downwards, like on a welding table. This encompasses 90% of all TIG welding, I would bet. But this is so the heavy shielding gas is pushed down onto the weld. Helium is used if you're welding above yourself, so the light helium rises up into the weld. Hope that wasn't too long winded. I'm having flashbacks to welding school .
  3. As many do. Its preferable that the fence melt and not burn, I assume. It doesn't take a big area. My whole retort setup is probably 4'x4'. They are smoky and noisy and hot (depending on design) so that's a consideration. Also should have added, on top of opening that airflow being a priority, shortening the forge with clay, also like Zeb recommended, would be a big help. Why burn more fuel than you need to, ya know? No sense in your hot spot being way larger than your steel is.
  4. Lowes carries a brand called Cowboy charcoal. It's pretty decent. Some of it is in really big chunks, but it's easily broken up. Check there if you havent already. Open up that slit. I recommend drilling holes like Zeb said. Maybe a 1/2 inch hole every 1.5 or 2 inches. That should be priority #1 in my opinion, if you want to continue using charcoal. Are you sure it's not anthracite that tractor supply has? It would be odd of them to carry bituminous, I'm not saying it's impossible, just odd. I tried anthracite coal when I first started smithing, and it was nothing but a sulfur smoke filled pain in the rear. I switched to charcoal and never looked back. Have you looked into making a charcoal retort? So you can make your own charcoal? It's actually really easy.
  5. I will assume you're using lump charcoal? Not briquettes? If not, I'll repeat the mantra; charcoal briquettes are far less than ideal for forging, they are designed to last long and not get too hot, head over to your local hardware store, or Walmart, and get lump charcoal. Burns much hotter. Big problem is that it's a coal forge. Designed to burn coal. Coal likes air pressure, charcoal likes air volume. Open up your air flow a little and I bet you will see better results. It looks a bit restricted for charcoal. Also, that steel frame is acting as a heat sink. Try to clay the inside if you can, it will help divert heat in the proper direction.
  6. I was thinking TIG as well. I've never ran one on bronze. Should be pretty straight forward. TIG would be better than oxy-acetylene. Brazing melts the filler, while TIG will melt surface material as well as filler, results in a stronger weld. Set it to DC, I would imagine AC would be a little aggressive on bronze, might end up blowing more away then you want. This is all assuming you have access to a TIG welder.
  7. The parts I ordered from them were the same way. Packaged very well and exactly as advertised. Good company to work with. I got my VFD off of amazon, as well as my 3 hp motor. Your VFD looks very similar to mine. It's a bit of trial and error to get it programmed and running totally properly, but once you do, they're so nice. Luck to you. May the Colonel run hard and true!
  8. I know the poll isn't over, but it seems like the blacksmiths knife won, or will at least. I'm going to start work on mine tomorrow .
  9. @Zeb Camper is that the OBM model? Looks good. I built one a few months back using some of their parts, quality stuff.
  10. Hmmm.... With the correct rod (corresponding alloy, one assumes) you should be able to braze that. Fill the hole in and grind it flush. Do you know the exact alloy of bronze? That will be crucial for color matching.
  11. Dude! Very nice. Tongs are a bugger to make, and those look great. Clean work.
  12. Very nice indeed! Makes my 150 lb Fisher look like a toy
  13. I've never chopped bamboo, not a lot to be had in my area. That being said, I think a full flat with a convex edge is a good plan. That usually results in a pretty solid edge.
  14. Very cool pattern, and I like that long fuller.
  15. Really awesome story and blade, Emiliano! You're living my dream .
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