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Everything posted by MichaelP

  1. Forging with wood is essentially forging with charcoal. It's helpful to build a ground fire and collect the hot coals from that fire and transfer them to the forge/fire pot rather than putting unburned wood directly in the forge. The moisture in the wood, even seasoned wood contains moisture, will spit and pop like crazy when you shoot the air to it. Charcoal forges work better with a side blast configuration than bottom blast and require very gentle air flow. A bottom blast coal forge will lift burning charcoal and ash like a volcano and makes a huge mess in your work area. Having said all that, wood is fine. Gentle, side blast air on already burning wood embers will do anything you can do in a smithy. You can forge and weld using wood as fuel. If you're interested in going that rout, do some reading on solid fuel forge design and be prepared to follow age old, proven designs. You wont have to spend any money unless you chose to. If you live on fifteen acres of partially timbered land then everything you need to build a side blast wood burner is already there. Do some reading and post some pictures if you move forward!
  2. Hi Richard, I can tell you what little I know about Condor products. The temper is drawn back on all the ones I've handled and worked with to the point that they should be suitable for throwing. None of them hold an edge particularly well but that should be a plus for a thrower as it indicates a lower edge hardness which could cause chipping when subjected to impact forces. The thinning you refer to is called "back grinding", meaning you are narrowing the angle of the primary edge bevel. I would not do this to a knife I intended to throw. Having a thicker, more robust edge geometry, particularly at the tip, will make the tool stand up to the impact forces better. Wet grinding will be a safe bet and even some dry grinding provided you don't get too hot. Don't wear gloves while grinding. When the metal gets too hot for your finger tips to hold comfortably give it a dip in water before you continue grinding. It will become too hot to hold long before you reach the temperature that would affect the temper.
  3. MichaelP

    Celtic Iron 3

    Great work as always Ibor! I've told you this before but I'm always blown away by those central ribs. I had a go at forging them on the edge of the anvil on a pugio project and it is one of those deceptively simple ideas. Simple in theory, complicated in practice!
  4. Welcome Rabbi. Speaking as someone who loves to ponder the unanswerable questions regarding time and eternity, I'm glad to see theology in your Interests column! Hopefully we can talk ancient weaponry too! Welcome to the coolest place on the web.
  5. The other variable you haven't mentioned is the drill rod. Are you 100% certain it's O-1? Probably a silly question but I couldn't tell from your post if the O-1 blades that did not crack were made from the same drill rod or from your O-1 flat stock. I know it's frustrating but you will figure it out and I hope to see those blades finished soon!
  6. Purple Heart is one of my favorites to work with but those are all good choices.
  7. Everything looks top notch. I really like your color choices on the handle. Did you make the tooling to flare the tube? It's a nice touch.
  8. Thank you for the information, again, well done. They should be proud to take those to the forest!
  9. Very nice. What is the blade steel?
  10. In my case I wasn't talking about putting my mark on something I didn't make. I get asked to make reproductions, aka fakes, of Civil War artifacts. My refusal to make them without adding my mark and a production date really irritates the potential clients who claim they only want an authentic repro. In my opinion, the only reason they are turned off by a makers mark on an otherwise well done facsimile is because they plan to pass it off as authentic for an absurd amount of money.
  11. What Alan said! There is no better, easier or faster way to forge closer to final shape than practice. If you don't have a hi power 2x72 that's all the more reason to hone your hammer skills. I mention this because most often when I hear this question it's because someone isn't happy with their metal hogging equipment. If on the other hand you have the best grinders and want to speed up production you may be ready to build a rolling mill. Hot rolling is a form of forging, usually at the level of heavy industry, but I have seen some really slick ones built from industrial parts for use in a smithy. A rolling mill wont give you a bevel but it will bring the stock down to uniform thickness suitable for grinding to shape, or final hand forging of tangs and bevels etc. For most people the best fix is simply dressing their hammer face and practice.
  12. Maybe it's because I live in the south and we have lots of American Civil War shows here where private collectors buy sell and trade artifacts. I get asked at least once every six months to make a repro of a D-guard Bowie complete with original markings. Go figure. I always tell them a price for the piece and add that my touch mark and date will be proudly displayed and none of them has ever wanted to move forward. I occasionally get a knife brought to me without a handle but with a story about being passed down for a hundred or so generations. After cleaning up around the ricaso there will inevitably be a stamp that says "Pakistan".
  13. You can't buy one made anywhere near that well these days! I would clear a dedicated space for it and put it to work. Even if it sits idle a lot of the time you will eventually see a need for it and if it's gone you wont be able to replace it easily without searching for another older Powermatic or even a vintage 1960s Craftsman. The new stuff isn't even close.
  14. Thanks Zeb! I need advice on pretty much everything with this build! It's not meant to be historically accurate but if several things I've never done before go well my next piece will be a long tang, short broad seax. This little blade is 15cm and I'm planning to make the handle 10cm to 13cm. What I'm wondering about is whether or not to put a pommel with a peen block on it or just do a hidden tang. I made a couple of small chisels today and I'm going to do some practice carving on poplar because I have a bunch. I'll be checking with one of my knife maker friends to see what woods he has on hand but I may end up sending off for maple.
  15. That's heavy! Every state has different regulations on poundage but everywhere I've checked so far is ok with 45lbs for whitetail. 45lbs will certainly bring them down with sharp blades.
  16. I don't know about Nietzsche but I've heard it said that when the ships were made of wood the sailors were made of iron. Once the iron ships came around the sailors became wooden.
  17. Thanks Brian! I would be scared to try it now on something I had 50 or so hours in but I started out with this one wanting to try some things I haven't done before. I'm pretty happy with the blade but I may end up cursing before I'm done with the handle. Tomorrow I plan to forge and grind some simple wood carving tools and start some test carving in preparation for the handle.
  18. It's a reflex/deflex limb, no hand shock at all and with string silencers very little noise. I bought mine second hand back around 2000 and it shoots sweeter than custom bows I've had built to spec. They are pricey but knowing what I know now I would take it over any of my customs. The Fred Bear Montana long bow is nice, and worth the money they sell for, but I wouldn't trade ten of them for the Savannah. I know what you mean about "real hunting". I don't harvest as much game as I used to but I never have a bad day on stand with a bow. You get to watch some monster bucks walk away because they are a few yards too far or wont give you that perfect quartering away angle but it's a lot of fun. If it came down to survival and my family needed the meat I'm grabbing a .308 with a giant piece of glass on top, but as long as it's just for my own spiritual well being I'll take the stick and the string for as long as I can. If you're not too far from a Bass Pro they will let you shoot the Savannah, or anything else, on their indoor range, but after you take one for a test shoot you're probably better off buying it elsewhere I love to window shop at Bass Pro but I love to actual shop with whoever has the best price!
  19. Gerhard, I know what you mean about being irritated with inaccuracies in film and television. I have spent a fair amount of time learning the history of the fur trapper days in North America and I can offer one insight you may not have considered. The idea of one "super tool" capable of being a knife (which means a cutting tool intended for use only on materials considerably softer than the knife) a pry bar, axe/chopper/wood splitter, or any of the other abuses we subject "survival" type knives to is a purely modern concept. Knives, all knives, must be re sharpened with repeated use. During the fur trapping boom knives were viewed as consumable tools with an inevitable end point. As such the trappers/mountain men would never range far from a re-supply camp without multiples, sometimes a dozen or more knives. He may have had a favorite that was kept shaving sharp and held in reserve as a last ditch defensive tool but the bulk of the mundane cutting chores were left to the thin bladed, slightly flexable blades we would call a butcher knife today. In the early fur days most of the cutlery was European made, Sheffield blades shipped to the Americas and Canada by the crate without handles attached. Much later American companies started making those kinds of blades here and there are still a couple of companies making and selling the old pattern knives today. Most use 1095 for the blades. I like "Old Hickory" brand, made by Ontario cutlery Co. They average around $10USD each which keeps them in the consumable category as far as I'm concerned! They are thin and easy to sharpen and I do things with them I don't want to subject my finer blades to. If I had to sacrifice one of them to staunch a fount of gushing blood I would feel like it was a fair trade even if I only had the one
  20. Traditional. Martin Savannah, 55@28, Port Orford Cedar shafts, three feather right helicoil and Z-Wicky Eskimo broadheads
  21. Thanks Alan. I don't have a proper etch on it yet but from what I can see this is some really fine grained wrought. Very few inclusions and the ones I can see are tiny. It has a beautiful grain but its very tight. I wonder if this stuff would be a better candidate for making blister?
  22. Man that's a beast, you have to be proud of that! Can't wait to see it in action.
  23. This is where I got to today. The blade is hardened and tempered and the groves cut. This was my first time using a guided edge scraper and here's what I learned. If the parallel lines were going to run straight out the point end as in some of the broken back sax types it would be a snap to do. The way these lines meet at a point following the profile of the point is tricky. At least it was tricky for me and the tool I made to do it. It's unforgiving and these lines are far from perfect. Still, I'm encouraged that it can be done. I can't imagine putting in the work on a complex pattern weld and then losing control of the scraper and having it run wild (that happened a couple of times on the tang end. Now that I'm looking at the photos I took I realize I didn't flip the blade between photos but the lines turned out about the same on both sides. As I move forward fitting the handle I'll be sure to add photos of both sides of the blade. I literally have too many irons in the fire! I'm not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow but before the week is out I'll try to have an update on this and my KITH project. Happy forging!
  24. Thought I might as well include my entry for tiniest rack
  25. Nice looking deer Randy! I got two doe this year and whitetail ended for me Feb 1st. When I get back up to the shop I'll snap some pics of some past hunts.
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