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Bill Schmalhofer

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Bill Schmalhofer last won the day on November 23 2021

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About Bill Schmalhofer

  • Birthday April 26

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

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  1. You'll definitely want a baffle plate on the bottom. Something to make the flame shoot up the sides Like you I was shooting in the dark when I made mine, but I found (by accident) a 3/8" thick baffle plate works great. With the thermal mass of the plate, when I heat up to the correct temp (and "over shoot" by about 5 degrees), I can turn the gas off and have enough residual heat (checked with thermocouple) to give me a 1-1.5 minute soak at temp before pulling the blade out. Takes freaking forever to get up to temp originally though. Of course mine is just a little 10 inch in diameter 20 inch l
  2. This. Any time I have a "cosmetically flawed" piece, I let the buyer know and sell at a slight discount. At least enough to make back all (including machine wear) material costs and a little for time. Helps keep the hobby going (which makes me happy) and empties out the growing pile in the closet (which keeps the wife happy ). BTW, both those axes look nice.
  3. Thanks! Will take it smooth and give the mineral oil another go before the expense of Parks.
  4. I'm going to jinx myself here but I've actually never really had an issue with scale. I think the coating of carbon I get on the blades during the HT process helps. I do kind of wonder what that carbon is doing to my oil though...) My main issue is going to be the guard fit up. I'm going to take the blade back down to smooth again before HT ( the etching that did happen is really deep - can almost use it as a washer board in a banjo band ). Don't think it is a good idea to HT with that much topology. Let me know if I'm wrong on that count though.
  5. I was just looking up past posts on mineral oil (as I remember you said that's what you used - which is why I got the mineral oil from work when I could) and saw I was too cold. Things are starting to make more sense. When I was doing the crosses, I started at 100F but by the time I was done the quench tank was positively hot (basically quenching the equivalent of 7 3/4 x 3/4 x 6 inch bars of steel in relatively rapid succession). The crosses I had issues etching were the first ones I quenched. The last 3 actually etched fine.
  6. Probably... Depends on how much I have to take off the ricasso to clean it up after quench. Hope I won't, but I'm never that lucky . Minimally a new guard.
  7. NJSB for both the 15N20 and 1084. Both 0.07 inch steel. 1084: C:0.825 Si: 0.200 Mn: 0.726 P: 0.0059 S: 0.0020 15N20: C: 0.730 Si: 0.320 Mn: 0.389 P: 0.0045 S 0.0010 Cr 0.137 Ni 1.980 Mo 0.038 I'm beginning to get the feeling the consensus is not hardened spots. My shop is "split". Hot work is done in my back yard as my HOA won't let me put up out buildings. All my finish work is done in my basement (usually). When I was having issues with the crosses, I took my etching outside when I was "boosting" my FeCl2 with the 34% HCl (WOW, potent stuff!). But it was
  8. Don't know if hamon would be the correct terminology, but I am wondering about my quench oil too. I have use this oil on: 80CrV2 CruForge V 15N20 5160 8670 4140 15N20 / 80CrV2 pattern weld (all "slow quench" steels) and it works great. Just saying that my "problems" only started when I started using 1084 in my PW. Additional note, all my steel recently has been coming from NJSB so no weird, questionable steel sources.
  9. Part of my anal-retentive scientist nature. 1. 36 inch tall, 4 inch diameter PVC tube filled to three inches below the lip with FeCl2. 2. Fish tank bubbler with a 36 inch long tube (goes to bottom of the tank) and bubble stone (thank you for the suggestion - works wonders!) 3. usually 10 minutes in, then wipe down with cotton pads. Repeat until deep / dark enough for my liking. Final sanding with 1500-2000 grit wet/dry wetted with 100% ethanol and a hard backer. The 100 % ethanol SEEMS to set the oxides just about as well as boiling in water for 10 minutes. Bla
  10. Thanks for the compliment. Not quite what I was shooting for but close. Still has too many layers in this one. Thanks for the reply but I'm going to have to say probably not on the de-grease suggestion. The non-etch pattern is basically the same size, shape, and position on both sides of the blade. As for de-greasing, my standard protocol is: wash down with a 50/50 mix of isopropanol / water with a little dish soap, followed by 90% straight isopropanol, followed by 100% ethanol, followed by 100% acetone... all while wearing nitrile gloves. There may be fingerprints the
  11. Recently I went to using 1084 in my pattern welding (changing from using 80CrV2), and I have been having issues with etching. On another post I showed the crosses I made for Christmas presents. They were made of 1084 and 15N20. What I didn't say is that they took over 4 hours to etch and that is after I boosted my FeCl2 with 34% HCl. For clarity, the crosses had been fully heat treated as I know there can be issues with etching non-heat treated steel. This brings me to my latest etching issue on the knife that I have been working on every now and then. I started etching it this morning and got
  12. I actually decided the etch wasn't dark enough so I went and did a rust blueing on them.
  13. Sounds like I do a hybrid... I chuck up a super heavy duty leather needle in my drill press and then use that to get the holes 90 degrees. Similar to Alan's awl, the needle is triangular in shape with sharp edges. I think it makes it easier to punch through too.
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