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Bill Schmalhofer

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Everything posted by Bill Schmalhofer

  1. Thanks so much for the confirmations. If you don't mind me picking your brain a little bit, was the knife you pictured in the book all stock removal or was it forged a bit (tip, handle, etc)? Also, if you flattened it a bit before removal, did you flatten on the sides or the diagonals? Hope your recovery goes quickly!
  2. I was thinking the same thing. Would be quite cool looking. Went back and looked at the subject matter on the site and figured out what I was doing wrong. Should be able to take the present guard and work it down. All I would be getting is a bench top lathe. Found one at Harbor Freight for 699.00 on sale. The problem is ALL my under-bench space it taken up already and the top bench space is pretty full too . If I had a three or four jaw chuck for the woodlathe it wouldn't have been so bad but I was doing a conglomerate work by drilling a hole and threading it, putting th
  3. This evening I picked up a boot dagger blank I had forged out a while ago. Started grinding the flats on it and the fresh 36 grit belt was having a hard time cutting. Finally got the ricasso on both sides flat and tried to scribe the center line only to have my carbide scribe skate over the surface. I then remembered the blank was from CruForgeV. I guess I didn’t normalize as well as I had thought .
  4. Interesting way to skin the “cat”(bar)!
  5. That would be a trick as "that part of my shop" is in the basement!
  6. Thanks Alan! I've seen Niel's diagram, just never thought about a low layer count and doubling up the middle. Know what I'm doing this weekend if it's not raining! The guard is something I'm not really happy with either, but after screwing up three of them trying to go thinner and bends (two of them snapping while pounding on them) I went with simple. I'll have to take the time and go through the archive to learn how to form brass. Once I do that (and get that lathe!), since it is a take down, I can re-do the guard and nut. Additional thought as I sit here at work wait
  7. Thanks for the compliment. Thought about the drill press idea but the stock was 3/4 inch and that won't fit in the chuck. I'm limited to 1/2 inch max. Trust me, I spent a long time trying to figure out a way to do the drill press. In good news, I was complaining about the turning to the "financial officer", and I think I have her convinced that I really need a metal lathe to "go to the next level" . But as @Joshua States has commented about a band saw and needing space, so do I need space for a metal lathe .
  8. Here is the latest I made. It was a first for me on so many levels: First full tang. First multi-block construction on a curved tang. First metal turning (turned the brass pommel nut on my wood lathe using hand held carbide cutters - would not recommend this...). First take down. Took four tries on the wood for the handle, four times on the guard, and two times making the pommel nut. Still not totally happy with it as there are some cosmetic defects (not shown in the picture) that I just can't seem to fix (thus the reason for so many attempts on the
  9. Do you have one of these? Got one for my porta-band saw and love it. https://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Portaband-Tables-Accessories_c_35.html On a different note Josh; I can't believe that anyone who can weld up a nine bar block like that has any trouble welding up an ax or hawk body....
  10. Update on my forge and exposure to flux. Did a bunch of forge welding today (making tomahawk blanks) and needed to use flux. Seems the bubble alumina really is flux resistant. 4 hours of forge time and about 20% of a box of borax and the forge floor still looks great (except for the little puddle of steel that has welded itself to the forge floor).
  11. Has been a busy weekend and going to be busy vacation day tomorrow. Yesterday got the stout all bottled. Today, got four tomahawk bodies and two tomahawk shaped axe bodies forged up. Tomorrow bottling the Imperial PA.
  12. I armor plated my forge because i’ve started consolidating hearth furnace pucks in it. All kinda pointy bits and there can be a lot of slag leak. One thing I did on this re-lining is I drilled a few small holes through the steel outside shell to relieve gas expansion. I noticed that on my last two forges every time I fired the forge up I’d get these areas that would expand into the forge. Was the major reason the hard lining cracked. Started thinking about heat expansion of gas and thought it couldn’t hurt to give that gas somewhere to go other than through the inside of my forge. I don’t know
  13. I just entirely re-did my forge lining. 1 inch of Kaowool, 1/2 inch of Cast-o-lite 30, 1/4 inch of bubble alumina on the floor and up the walls just a bit, and then topped it all off with a layer of ITC100. I've cranked it past 2400F and it hasn't been fazed. Of course I don't use flux in my welds so I don't know how well it will hold up to that, but it has been rock solid.
  14. Actually, most yeast will handle up to 10-11%. Once you get over that, then you need to start looking at special yeast. But the yeast I used is Safale05. And started batch #2 - Irish (bribery of the wife) Stout -much more your style @Alan Longmire . SG is 1.051 (but I have a LOT of specialty grains so it's probably pretty high in dextrins) and only about 37 IBU. I have to admit that I am not much of a dark beer drinker, but this one... Normally I always take a sip of the wort out of the hydrometer jar. I know, pretty gross... usually. This one, I took a sip...and then another...an
  15. Yeah the one I go to is Great Fermentations. It can be on my way home from work... 1.093 is high even for an Imperial. It was supposed to be around 1.08. I ordered it as a half recipe but the guy at the shop putting it together kept mixing full recipe amounts (I'm easing back into it by doing some pre-calculated recipes before starting my own experimentation) with half recipe amounts and so the super high hop amount (will be getting 4 ounces for the dry hop in a couple of days) and the slightly higher SG. I have a friend who is an international beer judge who has offered to critique it. W
  16. After a 12 year hiatus, I've taken back up my third money suck - I mean hobby - home brewing. Starting back out with an Imperial IPA. Will be approximately 100 IBU after dry hopping (serious hop heads ONLY!) and had a starting specific gravity of 1.093 - which means if I get it to ferment to completion will be about 10.5-11.0% ABV. Next one will be a stout.
  17. Very nice. I’ve been thinking on how to modify my long heat treat forge as I have a horrible temperature differential. Mine’s vertical now but I’m moving it to horizontal. Nice idea with the plate baffles. How thick are your plates? I’m assuming the temp probes are under the baffles, or is the burner under the baffle?
  18. It was fun coming up with the "art" aspect of it. The etch issues didn't really go away with this - it was brute force (though souping up the FeCl with HCl helped!). I just etched a chef knife I'm working on in the same solution and it etched great - 3 - 5 minute dunks and topology. Just something about this hammer head that didn't want to cooperate. Thanks Dave. It was a very fun project. The best part was having it come together so nice. I didn't show it but the middle two bands go straight through the middle and meet right at the point on the spike. That was pure luck,
  19. Second attempt at a war hammer and I think it turned out pretty well. 70+2 layers of 15N20 / 1084 in a twist. White oak handle. Final weight on the head is 680 grams and length of handle is 620 mm. Please indulge me in this post as this project has a bit of history. A friend of mine contacted me after seeing a number of my knives and asked if I take commissions. I assured her I did and what was she thinking. Her response was she was looking for a present for her husband and a chef knife didn't seem the thing as he didn't do much of the cooking. During the course of our c
  20. There is a HUGH amount of information on this forum that I have not even scratched. I found a whole bunch of stuff about the chemistry of ferric chloride by Mike back in 2003. The (bio)chemist in me was really interested in reading it. Unfortunately, based on the instructions from that thread, my ferric chloride is fine. I still souped it up with some more HCl anyway and did another 40 minutes of etching. I now have SOME topology on the part from the eye to the head but the spike is still pretty smooth (although it did etch some and I think I'm good to go). I'm now wondering if it
  21. Ok my my wife had a doctoral advisor who had a sign on his door: “Think before you knock, then go away” Practicing the ancient art of necromancy I dug this up. Going to follow the suggestions (which is basically what Alan suggested - just a bit more scientific) and see it it helps. I did stir up my etch tank last night and it is quite murky. Will let you know how it goes. If anyone else has ideas please post just ic case the recharge doesn’t work. This also has some suggestions on how to safely and environmentally get rid of our waste product.
  22. I usually make my Damascus out of 80CrV2 and 15N20 and usually harden at 1550 with really good results. This time I used 1084 and was thinking of 1500 but the hammer had over 1 inch cross section. I only have a muffle pipe in a gas forge ( with a thermocouple to check temp) to heat treat so I took it up to 1550 to make sure the center got hot as it’s hard to hold a super even temp in my forge. Also the thermocouple was on “the hot side” of the muffle pipe so the actual temp of the hammer was probably a bit lower. It was quite an adventure trying to evenly heat the whole thing.
  23. You were too fast Alan...Adding in things as I'm making dinner... Just used the same ferric on the last knife I posted (Graduation Present). Almost over etched in 30 minutes. Very good and deep topology. Don't think it is that but will give it a try. Part of the 4 hours was a 40 minute soak in straight 20% HCl. Nothing. Have also tried the fish tank aerator for 1 hour. The whole time I've been wiping off the oxides every 5-10 minutes and then right back in. Not trying to be difficult (Thanks for the suggestion Alan), but this has me absolutely st
  24. I am working on a PW war hammer for a customer and I am having a serious issue. Hammer is NJSB 15N20 and 1084. Hammer has been hardened (1550F - quench in oil) and tempered 3 times at 425. I just spent 4 hours in ferric chloride trying to get a decent etch and I still have NO topology. I've got some color and I have definition, but If I gently sand with 3000 grit to get it shiny, all the contrast gets washed out. This is where I am after, as I said. 4 hours. It looks pretty good and the customer is pleased as punch, but it is ALL surface. Normally I can run my fingernail backwards over the etc
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