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Don Rooker

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Posts posted by Don Rooker

  1. On 11/23/2019 at 5:07 PM, Jeremy Blohm said:

    That's a great looking hammer. I will get that hammer sent to you this monday. I have a bunch of stuff I need to send out. I keep forgetting to do it!!!

    That will be great! Can’t wait to give that one a swing. 

    I finally got a chance to try mine today. I just played around beveling some mild scrap pieces. I refaced it twice to get it where I wanted it and by the end I was beveling without any marks it just ran together smooth. Odds I’ll reproduce that when I get a blade under it are probably pretty slim but I’ll try. 


  2. I made it from 1” mild steel that I upset to get the face 1 3/8”. I am planning on this being primarily a beveling hammer down I don’t think the mild will be a problem. I could be wrong but I didn’t want to waste good steel on my first attempt anyway. 

    I want the face flat but could someone suggest how much beveling on the edges I should have? I’m not sure how to properly face it. 

  3. I didn’t even notice the background but my wife sure did when she saw it! Lol


    I’m hoping to try it later today, I’ve got a busy Saturday. I’m afraid the head is going to break off with that small eye. Some fingers shall be crossed...

  4. I made a dogs head hammer yesterday, my first hammer ever. Pretty much eyeballed it and it turned out decent. I will find out later when when I fire up the forge. It’s roughly a pound and a half maybe a little more, my scale ran out of batteries. The eye was made with a 3/4” drift. I tried enlarging the eye a bit but I didn’t want to loose the handle angle. Anyway it’s a first shot I don’t plan on making a lot of hammers but any advice/critique is welcome. Have at it!






    • Like 1
  5. 12 minutes ago, Ross Vosloo said:

    Very very nice. Also just made this same milestone recently. It feels so awesome, right?

    It was an amazing feeling! I remember stepping back thinking “HOLY SH$! Its working!!!”. Blew me away

    • Like 1
  6. 50 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

    I thought that's what it was.   I have made pipe stems out of it.  A little flexible for that use, but since it won't chip it's good for spacers and such.

    I would use it as a spacer for sure. I may use it again as bolster for a kitchen knife. I don’t think I’ll use it again as a bolster for a working knife. 

    Also Allen, a while back in spring you explained decalescence to me. I have experimented quite a bit and played with different temps, thickness of the muffle pipe and lighting. It took a while till I really saw, as opposed thinking I saw, what was happening. It’s been really helpful and a good experience.   

  7. I’ll try turning it down and running a lighter bead, makes sense. The bolster material is some type of acrylic I picked up at the exotic wood store here. It seemed very tough, I smacked a dull chisel into it and not much happened but then when working it sanded very easy. I guess I’ll see how it holds up.


    i also used blue construction paper between the bolster and the walnut but it doesn’t stand out as much as I hoped. 

  8. I can’t tell you all how excited I am about this. I want to thank everyone for all the posts and information I have been able to learn from on this forum. 

    I have been working on my forge welding here and there and in between projects. I finally felt I was ready to give Damascus a try, just a small billet. I did 8 layers and folded it once leaving the 15n20 on the outside. Everything was going great until I tried to twist it. I didn’t clean it well enough before twisting and I should have twisted it tighter. To save what I could of the billet the twist is now in the tang and beginning of the blade. I ended up cutting and grinding to shape so that I could make sure the rest was salvageable. So it’s a first attempt and salvaged from a mistake. Let me know what you think 












    • Like 1
  9. Started just fooling around in the shop last night when the wine kicked in... I meant inspiration. What started as cleaning up and thinking about a new touch mark turned into making one and then making a blade to test it out on. 

    My old touch mark was too big causing me to have to set it multiple times giving me bad lines a lot. Sometimes instead of chancing it I would leave it too light and almost sand it away. I am pretty happy with this one and the blade I made to go with it. 

    the blade was a piece of 5160 that was going to be a hatchet, I set it aside as scrap long ago. I did do a differential heat treat. You can see the color near the tip. I’m curious if this will give me a homon. I haven’t been successful with one yet. 




  10. I have been busy with work and kids so This one piece is the culmination of my summers work. I didn’t go for historical accuracy. I wanted a working blade to use as a machete for hiking and to butcher all the damn prickery raspberry bushes encroaching my lawn that snag me when ever I’m not looking. 

    The blade is standard 5160 but the handle is this grey/blue marine plywood I happened to snag some scrap of. I really like the look of the stuff. 





    • Like 2
  11. Ok, so time for the noob question... how exactly do you use the thermocouple to check the temp of your steel? I mean I’m assuming you can’t just touch it to the blade and get an accurate reading right? I watched some videos on decalescence, they’re really very interesting but I’m curious if I can pull it off without over and under shooting and missing the good temp. 

  12. 42 minutes ago, Doug Lester said:

    Don, I think that you did a good job for an early blade.  Take the constructive criticism as pointers on how to improve.  None of us has made much improvement without having our work picked apart.  Adopt the personal attitude that close enough isn't.  If it looks like a blemish, it's a blemish.  Do something about it or at least don't do it on the next blade.

    Your handle looks interesting but it has too much going on.  I think it would have been better if you used the burlap micarta before and after the accent section.


    Yes the handle is busy. I like the way it looks but Josh was right, I didn’t pin it together. It was also a huge pain to do and I think I will keep the handles simple for now. 

  13. Wow, lots of great comments and suggestions. Looking at through honest eyes and not the “Oh my god look what I made goggles” I can see you guys are right about almost everything. I am definable going to work in my heat treat and do some experiments to ensure I’m creating a quality blade. 

    The lines and booger’s your seeing is a vinager patina after taking 000 steel wool to it. 

    I will be posting more blades when I get the time to make some more. Lots to process and play with here 

  14. 12 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

    Hardening the steel is one thing. Properly doing it is a bit tricky. If you overheat, the grain of the steel will grow and the blade's toughness will drastically drop. If you underheat you won't get full hardness or it won't harden at all(1095 will usually do the later). There are various ways of monitoring the temp but an infrared thermometer should not be used because it's not accurate on red hot steel. You can either practice with decalescence of use a thermocouple in a tube (or both). 

    I hope I did not sound too harsh. You have a lovely little blade here ^_^

    I expected a worse beat up then that to be honest. I’ll look into your suggestions, I need to be more accurate I need to be more accurate in my quench. I should practice and break some to see how they look. 

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