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Paul Rohrbacher

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Everything posted by Paul Rohrbacher

  1. Thank everyone for identifying the cause of my forge explosion, (I have been formally initiated into a large Forge Explosion Club). I ask very knowledgeable Blacksmiths about the explosion. (Interesting, that all experienced the same forge explosion under the same set of conditions.) The forge explosion is caused by adding green or wet coal over a hot fire and not running the blower. I received a response from this forum, Mark Aspery and from ABANA, Bob Valentine. All the responses are basically the same, keep the blower going when green/wet coal is added to the fire. The green coal over a h
  2. F This is the forge. The blower is connected to the tuyere by a long flex hose. This is the hood/chimney sucking the flames from my start up fire. This picture shows a little smoke being drawn into the hood. Today, the green coal was putting a significant volume of smoke! For the third time today, I fired up my just finished Side Blast forge. I had a good fire going and decided to add a couple shovel full of Bituminous Coal. I was getting a lot of smoke from the new coal that was placed around the edge of the fire to coke u
  3. From what I have read, Brass wasn't available during the Viking times. Bronze was the metal that they had to use. If the Brass was exposed to Ammonia fumes it would tarnish in a few hours to look like old Bronze. I have a good supply of Copper Sheeting and old 1" copper pipe. I think that it could substitute for Bronze if aged with Ammonia fumes. does anyone have any other comments or ideas for the metal work in the viking Sheaths?
  4. This is an overall view of the Forge and Hood This is smoke being drawn into the supper sucker Hood. The draw of the chimney system is much better than I anticipated. This is the Duck's Nest with the tuyere to the left and the hood to the right. This view shows the bosh that is connected to the tuyere with hoses. the blower is mounted on the table with the forge. The flex pipe can be removed to clear any blockage that mite occur in the Tuyere. The heated antifreeze flowed thru the tubing into the Bosh. the t
  5. Chimney -10" grain auger tube that was scraped, now repurposed. This is the rear of the tuyere. The Hot water pipe goes out the top and a similar pipe goes out the bottom. The Guillotine air Controller is used. This is the flames being sucked into the Supper Sucker Hood. The Bosh is connected to the Tuyere with Hot and cold piping. I am using antifreeze as a coolant. My Smithy is in an unheated building where the temperature can have a minus sign infant of the temperature.
  6. Gerald, I used your instructions to make an Axe Head. Your instructions were great! It took me one try failure to get the process down. Then, I made two successful axe heads and have the third axe head ready for the Bit to be welded in. After hardening and tempering, the edge is ground and honed. The hammer marks are removed by grinding, draw-filing and finish with sanding to 600 gr..
  7. Please go to the "I Forge Iron" forum where I just posted pictures and a description of my Side Blast Forge, Mark Aspery design, and a Supper Sucker Hood. By using antifreeze, I hope to avoid rust out of the water system. I will collect more antifreeze to replace the evaporated antifreeze. More thinking, it may be possible to replace the Bosh with an auto radiator in a closed system. A fan can cool the radiator. When I was building the Bosh, I filled it with water to find then leaks, many leaks were found. the water started to rust the interior of the Bosh. When the Tuy
  8. The forge rebuild, top topic, is from gross rust out of the components that are part of the water cooling system. From what I have read, the water filled components will last about 7-10 years use before rust thru becomes a problem. I decided to cool my forge with antifreeze because the forge is in an unheated out building. 1, Antifreeze won't freeze in my unheated out building blacksmith shop. 2, Antifreeze has rust inhibiters so the life of the Side Blast forge should be greatly increased over using water. 3, Antifreeze can be gotten FREE from your local car dea
  9. I have just finished building a Side Blast Forge (Mark Aspery design) with a Super Sucker Hood and 10" chimney. Now for the testing of the forge. The Bosh is connected to the Tuyere with a bottom cold water tube and the top is connected to the hot water tube. I am using used antifreeze as a coolant for two reasons, 1, shouldn't rust the Bosh and Tuyere, 2, my shop is in a unheated outbuilding. Tonight it will approach 0 F. The Hearth is covered with firebrick and wood ashes are being used not sand to fill the Hearth. The 10" chimney was salvaged from a grain auger tube that had blown over and
  10. This is my Seax imitation sheath, first try. The copper trim is formed over the top. The question is the copper trim is formed over the top of the sheath traditionally correct. Or is the trim just on the sheath sides and riveted in place? The leather edge would now be seen between the copper sides. On Youtube one of the better videos has the trim in three pieces. The pieces are soldered together to make the "U" trim over the top and encompass the top and the entire end of the sheath.. This is the copper trim removed from the sheath. The trim was m
  11. I have been looking at Seax Knife sheaths. They usually have a Brass or Copper edge over the Stiching. My question is: The metal fooled over the sheet top to male a "U" shape the length of the stitching. Or, is the metal just riveted to the sides over the sticking. This will leave the edges of the leather exposed. Which method is correct? Or are both methods correct?
  12. This is my approach to forging Copper Wire Rivets. You will need Number drills 45, 35, 32, and 20, steel blocks, 3/8" threaded rod, nuts and Wing Nuts, a spacer card (business card), 3/8" x 16 Tap and marking number punches. The drill size is marked on the block so when drilling the sheath, the correct Number Drill will be known. I am in the process of making a test sheath for my prototype Seax style knife. The Rivet Swage is now made. The next jig will be a Bending Break to bend the Copper sheeting into the hardware around the top of the Sheath. In the Viking period,
  13. Please view on Youtube "That Works" "How to forge Bevels on a Blade-The right Way". The video shows how to forge the blade bevel without making the blade curve and the correct way to use a hammer. My question is they dipped the hammer in water and wet the anvil face print to forging., While forging, the hammer tapped the anvil to get water on the hammer's face. There wasn't any POP or evidence that the water turned to instant steam. I am assuming that the water removed the scale from the forging peace. The water didn't appear to cool the blade either. Can anyone comment to forging
  14. Thanks for the mind blowing information. The best way for me to make a blade with carving would be to make a laminated blade. The 1018 outer layer could be carved and an inlay applied after hardening. With experience, the 1018 could be forge welded in the Damascus pattern where the inlay would be located. One of the patterns showed a laminated section where the edge steel is located. Thank you for the guidance information.Tthe blades were significantly more complicated than I ever would have imagined.
  15. I have been searching information on the Seax knives and sheath design. My search has come up with you as an Expert on the correct design of the Seax knife. Could you point me in the correct direction to the dimensions for the "Honey Lane" blade? The Honey Lane blade as shown in the British museum pictures doesn't give dimensions other than the overall length, including the Tang as "266mm". The Honey Lane knife has twisted silver/copper wire embellishment inlay. I would assume that the original blade was Iron or unhardened steel of the day. Is there any way to make a harden
  16. Viking knife progress report. : Blade: 15N20/1080, 15 layers, Twisted, forged flat, flat sides forged blade to a "V" shape, back 1/4" thick, length 6", sanded with 1000 Gr. Handle:Curly Maple, 5" long Etch: 10 Min in FC/water, 50/50 solution (Too Strong) There is very little contrast between the layers. I tried Cold Gun Blue thinking the 15N20 would not blue-Wrong. The entire blade was a very dark blue. I used the 1,000 gr. wet sandpaper to start removing the blue from the 15N20 and hopefully leave the 1080 alone-wrong. Finally, the blade was buffed with White rouge
  17. I again thank everyone for their "How to do it" processes. The responses are very similar which leads me to conclude 15N20/1080 or 1084 is the way to go. Thinking, since the 15N20 stands proud of the 1084 and the 15N20 has nickel in the composition, could the hardened/tempered blade be polished and then hot blued? The 15N20 shouldn't take the blue while the tool steel should blue nicely. Has anyone tried the hot bluing idea on their blades? If so, what were the results?
  18. Thank you for the information, I will be using my almost finished being built Side Draft Forge. My home built propane forge won't reliably reach welding heat. However, I have a aspirated two burner Mankel forge with three open sides. With 2" thick brick stuffed into the open spaces on 3 sides and the open side choked with another firebrick, it just might be able to hit welding temperature. I will need to get clay type kitty litter to fill the bottom depression that is about 1"deep x 3" wide and 12" long. It uses a blower that has a regulated air flow flap. I got the forge alm
  19. I am new to making Damascus blades. 15N20 seams to be the desired steel for the silver appearance in the Damascus pattern. Other carbon steels such as 1080/1084, O1, W1, 1095 are all listed as good steal to partner with 15N20. Looking thru the knife blade material suppliers shows various thicknesses of each of these steels. The thinner the steels, the more layers can be forged in the initial billet. Can you recommend what your favorite steel type numbers are for the billet? What is the best thickness for each steel? What is a good pattern sequence of these steels as stacked into t
  20. Thank you for the information.  


     I am currently building a Side Blast Forge with a Super Sucker Hood.    The forge is water cooled, see the tank to the left with hoses attached. The blower is now on top. The Tuyere controls the air with a ,Guillotine. The gate ,leaks enough air to maintain the fire.  A hand crank blower can be added to replace the power blower for fine work such as billet welding.P1040734.JPG                                                                                       

    This forge is made with no part weighing over 50#. The Hearth is a Mark Aspery design. However, the Water Tank is connected to the Tuyere with a top and bottom hose.


     I also have a stationary forge that is traditional bottom blast. I can make a deep fire in this forge. This forge is set up with an electric blower plus a hand crank blower connected in parallel to the electric blower. I have had good luck welding 1018  and A36 steel in this forge. I haven't tried a stack of knife steel in this forge.


    My hope is the Side Blast forge will work better for welding because the clinkers will drop below the air blast. 


    I have a small amount of Blacksmith coal. Most of my coal is from house basements left over from when they burned coal for heat. Some of it is stoker coal but most is in baseball to football size chunks. I take the chunks and line then up around the fire. Then the stoker coal or blacksmith coal is piled up inside the ring of chunk coal. As the chunk coal heats, it will look greasy when it is ready to break up using a Coal Hammer. Then, it is fed into the fire and more chunk coal is placed around the fire to repeat the process. 


    I have found that by placing a large flat piece of chunk coal on top of the fire, the fire below the chunk gets much hotter. I tried placing a sheet of steel over the fire and got the same results, a hotter fire.



    I just got the Shatto & Son 25# power hammer running. The power hammer is located about 6' from the forge. So, after the weld is set using a hammer and anvil, the weld can be finished using the power hammer. DOES ANYONE HAVE INFORMATION ON THE SHATTO & SON HAMMER?


    My plan it to place an anvil directly in front of the forge so little time will be lost from fire to anvil. A second anvil will be placed conveniently for all other forge work.


  21. I greatly appreciate the great information concerning pattern welding. From the information I have received, using coal throws a huge snag in the welding process. Namely, there is a huge risk of overheating the blade.on the outside of the stack and having the interior too cool to take a weld. Just thinking, the size of the stack may be a major contributing factor in coal forge welding problems. If the stack is kept thinner, then the interior would have a much better chance to reach welding temperature at the same time as the exterior. Of course, thinner stack mean more cut and wel
  22. Being new to knife making and forge welding Damascus knife blades, I see references to Welding with no flux, welding with Borax, welding with WD40, and Kerosene. Could some of the experts members detail how they prepare the blade material stack for a, Dry welding (no flux) , b, borax and other commercial welding compounds, c, WD-40 and, d, Kerosene. I use a coal forge for most forge work including welding. To determine if the metal is hot enough for the weld, should I look for the first spark and then weld or match the color of the wet looking billet to the coals under and around
  23. charcoal making using 30 gal. barrels and dirt. Cut the top and bottom out of one barrel. second barrel remove the top by cutting it off about 2" down on the side and for the bottom cut small holes all around the bottom,. Fill the bottom barrel with small pieces of wood. Light a fire on top of the wood in the bottom barrel.. Place the first barrel with the end removed on top of the bottom barrel. throw more wood on top of the bottom barrel as the charcoal volume will shrink when the wood becomes charcoal. When the fire is seen in the holes cut in the bottom sides of the bottom barrel, knock th
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