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R. Alex Dorris

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  1. Hey all, Quick question, what is the best type of welding rig for general bladesmithing? Tacking billets together once I have the means to forge weld, welding rebar to your steel to hang onto it while forging, etc. I'm seeing some wire feeds for a few hundred bucks, will that be sufficient? I understand that's the easiest type to use as well. Thanks!
  2. Hey y'all I have a (probably stupid)question about forging bevels. I understand how if one wanted, say, a sort of standard hunting knife profile, where the belly of the blade is straight and then tapers towards the point, you might start with a straight or even recurved profile. Then when you forge in the bevels, you end up with the proper shape. But what if you're making a "hook", or sickle sort of blade, where the edge curves in? How on earth do you maintain the inward curve? I suppose you could just grind them in, but I imagine there must be a way to forge it to shape
  3. Nice, I ordered mine. I've never used an anvil other than my harbor freight cast iron one, and before that, a sledgehammer head set into a stump. Looking forward to it. I had a similar issue, I ordered a cello recently, it took forever to arrive, and I got home from a long week of work on the road and was excited to open it. The box looked like it was dragged behind a car down the highway, and the neck was cracked in half. They sent a return label, but still a bummer. Especially since it was the only used one of that model they have, so now if I want that model cello, I'll have to fork over another 800$ for a new one.
  4. How did it turn out, did you get it? I'm thinking of ordering this one myself
  5. I have an atlas forge, which I'm happy with, and I was going to ask you all what you thought of their anvils! That brand actually has another anvil thats 117 lbs with a small conical horn. It also appears to have swages along the bottom, and it has a similar square, blocky shape like the one you mentioned. 500$ new. Seems to be about as good a deal as I'm likely to find. I'm gonna be making jewelry and miscellaneous other stuff in addition to knives, so I think I'm gonna go for something with a horn to keep my options open.
  6. Ah ok. I'm not dead set on that price, or that size anvil. I just want something serviceable. For some reason I thought the rule of thumb was a dollar a pound? But that doesn't seem to be accurate haha, I must've had faulty intel
  7. Hey all, hopefully this type of post hasn't been made a thousand times already. I looked, but couldn't find what I needed. I currently have the old harbor freight cast iron 55#. I'm looking to upgrade to something decent, can anyone point me towards a good source/brand of anvil? Nothing too elaborate, I'd just like something that doesn't take a dent so easily, maybe 150-200lbs? I'd like to keep it under 500$ or so. I make mostly small to medium size hunting knives and the like, and I'm in southwest Florida. Thanks!
  8. Hey guys, so I've been using a ball peen and trying to leave a forge finished, peened texture towards the spine of my blades. I'm happy with the results when I do the first side, but then when I flip it over to get the other, the anvil mostly flattens the texture out and erases it on the first side. I tried using wood instead of my anvil for the second side, to try to preserve it, but of course it just burst into flames. I feel like there's probably an obvious way around this that I'm not seeing. Any ideas?
  9. Nice! I loosely followed something like this, but much less methodical and precise haha. I have a bad habit of pushing ahead without concrete plans, and trying to improvise my way through a project. It's definitely nice to have it written out step by step in one place, I'll reference this for my next full tang.
  10. I also like the tool you initially use to forge in the bolsters. What's that called exactly? I'd like to do some research and maybe build one
  11. Ahh, I was worried about that. I was thinking I'd just try to fit it tightly, and line the sheath with leather so it would grip it. But a magnet sounds better and easier. Maybe just inlay it in the cavity where the blade inserts?
  12. Spent an inordinate amount of time fitting up the brass spacer, and got the handle cut out. Sanding and heat treating the blade tomorrow, and epoxying/peening the handle on if I have time. Bonus shot of the insane numbers of no-seeums in my shop, in the south Florida swamp. Normally I light a fire and smoke out the whole area to keep em off, but I skipped it today.
  13. Haha it was like magic! Just straightened right out.. I also quenched it in the sink between heats, at 400F. Is that advisable? I read something about that reducing cold embrittlement, but I dont think that'll be an issue for me in south FL. I was just impatient, and I read that it wouldn't hurt.
  14. Hey guys, not sure if this is the right category for a wip. Gonna build this and post pics as I go, let me know if it should be moved elsewhere. I've only made a handful of knives, and each one has been smaller than the one before haha, my first was probably 12", now I'm all the way down to a 3" OAL neck knife. I attribute this to my almost-worthless grinder. Trying to stick with things I can forge as closely to shape as possible, and cut down on the grinding, until I can upgrade. Anyway, this build is a small, leaf shaped neck knife, in 5160. It'll be a through tang with a peened end/steel buttcap. Copper fittings, probably cocobolo for the handle. I'll make a matching wooden sheath, which is what will hang on a necklace, so that you can pop the knife out and have it free in your hand. If anyone has any experience with this type of knife, or any ideas, this is still in the design stage and open to change. Ive filled a few pages with sketches of handle shape ideas already. I'd like to make it so when the knife is inserted in the sheath, it kind of looks like a rounded seed shaped "pod", if that makes any sense:
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