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Bill Schmalhofer

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Bill Schmalhofer last won the day on February 20

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About Bill Schmalhofer

  • Birthday April 26

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    Carmel, IN
  • Interests
    Family, Blacksmithing, blade smithing, woodworking, camping

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  1. Second that! OK so no borax! Maybe that's what I was actually watching - not steel turning liquid but all the slag and extra borax leaking out. Still was really cool to see. Just wish I could have videoed it. VERY neat stuff. Again, second Alan's comment "That's just too cool". I was wondering where Na and B fell on the graph. Do they fall above or below Cr? This is a serious rabbit hole that I'm going to have to go down - but not tonight. Been up for 17 hours on 4 hours of sleep. Thanks to you both for all the information.
  2. Very interesting chart Jerrod. If I am reading it correctly (and my pyrometer is correct – when I am consolidating the pucks down and folding, I’m running the forge flat out as possible and the temperature pegs the meter at 2400+F), this could explain some of the loss. So, the metal lump that I pulled out of my forge when I re-lined it probably had high carbon, high chromium, and high everything else. Maybe I shouldn’t run so hot next time. But it was really interesting to consolidate the puck down to a bar. Basically I put the puck in and almost watched it melt into a solid lump.
  3. So, I finally received the analysis of the two consolidated bars of steel I made. Several observations and questions: The first and most depressing is that at some point during the folding, I “lost” almost all my carbon. This was pretty unexpected as during the folding I was running my forge at a fairly reducing atmosphere as well as having exogenous carbon present (I always run my forge with several large pieces of anthracitic coal present). Feedback on possible reasons always welcome. After getting the pucks to initial bars, they both sparked nicely. Then I didn’t che
  4. Garry, your country is absolutely beautiful! It is the one (and ONLY) place my wife wants to visit outside of the States. It is very high on my list too. Late 2019/very early 2020 I had been thinking about taking her there for our 30th anniversary (which would have been in late 2020), but that obviously fell through. Your pictures (both this thread and your last) just cement that trip IS going to happen sometime. Thanks for sharing.
  5. Been working on getting the new forge cart set up and re-lining the forge. Decided to try something different than the "standard" 2 inches of inswool 2600. Wanted a bigger space to work my hearth furnace pucks so went with the old forge body but only 1 inch of inswool 2600 (except for the bottom - went with 2 inches to make a nice flat surface), then 1/2 inch of cast-o-lite 30, 3/8 inch of bubble alumina on the floor (to protect from flux), and then a judicial coating of ITC100. Redid the air / gas flow also. With this configuration the flame is MUCH easier to control. much better air / gas m
  6. My wife was gone all day Saturday, and as it was a beautiful day, I decided to pull out the forge and get some work done. Started at 8:30 AM and shut the forge down at 5:00 PM. No breaks and unfortunately no action shot pictures, but got a 205 layer billet (41 layers cut in 5 and re-stacked) of 15N20 and 80CrV2 welded up and rough forged into a war hammer head. Then got a 196 layer billet (28 layers cut in 7 and re-stacked), also of 15N20 and 80CrV2, welded up and half of it rough forged to a chef knife for a customer. The other half forged to a 10 inch long 3/4 inch diameter bar then, in the
  7. Thanks Emiliano and Alan. Much food for thought. @Emiliano Carrillo In the thread you linked, you said the starting billet was 8 inches long. How wide was it, and how tall? From your description, I'm guessing it was 1/2-3/4 inches wide and 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 high. Thanks again. And for clarification, when you say 4/inch that means if you have a 10 inch bar you give the entire bar 40 full rotations? If so, I SO need to go back and re-twist...
  8. Ok so I'm already seeing a pattern (HAHA pun intended). I definitely DON'T twist nearly tight enough. Thanks for the feedback so far.
  9. These questions are probably going to be those that "get 10 answers from 7 bladesmiths". 1) Are there any rules of thumb for determining how many twists to do and how far out you can draw a twist before the pattern starts to distort? I am trying a multi-bar - two bars of 1/2" square twist and one 1/2" bar of solid as the cutting edge. The twist bars have four twists over 10 inches. I welded up a billet 5" long (cut the 10 inch twist bar in half for the two twist layers) and then drew it out to just under 9" x 1.5 x 5/16". Cut the tip at a 45 degree angle and forged out
  10. If you don't have a local welding supply either, McMaster-Carr sells them too. Single and double gauges.
  11. So what I've been able to gather about using anthracite coal in smelting of iron is that it started in the late 1830's. Probably the crucial step / discovery was made by Neilson in Scotland with the invention of the hot blast furnace. He may or may not have know the importance of his discovery, as I think he was actually working on this for a different process, but he is credited with it. Basically due to the difficulty in getting anthracite to ignite and burn the idea was to pre-heat the air being blown through the furnace to about 300 degrees F (although hotter is better) which allowed the a
  12. I've just been using standard hard fireplace brick 9 x 4.5 x 2 and I still slag them. Regular brick as Alan said will melt in a heart beat (or explode if they are a little wet on the inside). The little blower I'm using I actually have to have full bore open during the actual process. I think is it rated 75-100 CFM.
  13. Great advice about forges. Here's a (not great) picture of my creature. Welded up some 16 gauge plate into 7 sided shape. Threw a 1.25 inch blown burner on it (go with the 1.25 not the 1 inch if you can. WORLD of difference). 2 inches of kaowool, lined with 0.25 inches of cast-o-lite 30. In the picture below, I had just taken my thermocouple out from checking the temp. Maxed it at 2400F. Interior dimensions are about 4.5 inch diameter and 13 inches long with an exit hole out the back for long stuff. I have done 4.25" high x 4 " long x 1.5" wide Damascus billets in this and worked it out to 30
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