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Sean Blum

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About Sean Blum

  • Birthday 12/10/1994

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  • Location
    Chicago IL
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, Cooking, and keeping my workspace in one piece.

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  1. To start off with Im no expert either so I'm sure the more experience will show up and correct me later. Generally what you are looking for in the grain structure when you do these break tests is how fine the grain is, how consistent it is, and really if anything jumps out like the outer layer is a different colour from the inner layer. You can get more detailed and accurate info from the grain structure with a microscope so there is a diminishing return on using your eye. Unless you got super vision or are really good at seeing the subtle differences once it gets to a certain lev
  2. I know its a bit late and those are some good looking knives for the family but wanted to jump in and give you my professional opinion as a chef on your earlier questions. So for your question quoted here about the bolster or ricassio extending to the cutting edge you will get different opinions from different users hence why they are fairly commonly sold. In my opinion and the opinion of some of the people I've worked with it is annoying and problematic in use and we would actively avoid using them if given the option. As as stated above it interferes in sharpening and that is an
  3. So after doing some space projects today ended up being a grinding day so I didn't have to travel in a snowstorm. I was able to set the bevel on this knife and will just need to even out the transition line and make it look pretty until the materials I ordered for the handle arrive. I also pulled a do it later project out that I don't think I've touched in almost two years and did some grinding on it to start its bevels. Though its awkward shape and weight are making it a learning experience.
  4. Tool list at what level stock removal or forging? If you are grinding your knife to shape your tool list will be a lot smaller and cheaper than if you are forging the blade then finish grinding it.
  5. Yeah I thought of that right after I posted my response so I'll probably give it a try. I'll leave the question open though in case it doesn't work so if I need to do the original plan I wont need to repost.
  6. I dont know how well it will work on knife handles but a longevity method if you don't want to oil the handle every week or month which depends on usage the more you use it and clean it the more often it will need to be oiled is a oil and bees wax mixture. I cant remember the ratio off the top of my head but if you have display knives or knives you rarely use so periodically oiling them would easily be forgotten it will slow down the oil leeching back out and can last much longer than just oiling. I believe this method is good for passive use as active use will either wear off the wax layer wi
  7. It sounds like it would work but I would worry about thermal expansion of the SS. If it expands more than the refractory does wouldn't it just tear it apart? Or if the castable expands more than the SS it just gets forced out by pressure or falls out?
  8. Something to remember with unstabilized wood is to oil it periodically to prevent large shrinkage. Its what keeps butcher block going to the point they qualify as antiques if done regularly it should prevent noticeable shrinkage. For stabilized woods I don't know if its worth trying as I haven't dealt with stabilized wood in the time frame to give an answer if it works or not I'm sure someone else will. You might try oiling the wood a few times or letting it soak in oil then cleaning up the residue to get the handle back to its hydrated size. I would recommend using pharmacy store
  9. So this is my current forge that I built last year. The chamber size is roughly 7" diameter and 16" long so about 615 cu in. The burner is a 12"x3" ribbon burner made with my brain with a flu approximation of the Wayne Coe method. The problem I am having with it is that if it is used for too long it will overheat the manifold and start backburning. I believe the cause to be that the burner is too large for the volume of the forge chamber so I am planning to replace the burner with a smaller one unless I get some new ideas as to the cause. It is still operational as I tried in
  10. Sorry but I'm gonna blow smoke and it wont be helpful. As I'm sure you know Japanese and European blacksmithing developed independent of each other and there are differences in methods that came out because of different thoughts. The reason its put together weird could be a lost or specialized technique that made this axe fit its intended role. The way its put together could also depend on when it was made as you have to sometimes work with what you got and if I remember correctly preindustrial Japan did not have large amounts of good iron. From what I remember reading on ironworki
  11. The only thing I would add if you haven't already is some way to secure the forge to the table so it doesn't slide around the top. If you have angle iron leftover you can run it long like tracks that the forge sits in and if you leave it long it allows for a table at the front and back of the forge for brick doors or setting something. It looks way better than my welds and should serve you well.
  12. The straws should be able to pull out once its dried since the castable does not bond to plastic I believe dowels are similar. Crayons are just soft and short so its nearly impossible to pull them out so its easier to melt out. It depends on your materials and prep you did as wood dowels with nicks and groves will bind but a smooth one should be able to pull out. You want the cast to be dry so it has some stability and hardness so it doesn't break apart.
  13. Good for you regular eye checkups if you notice anything is important one of the guys I work with went to get a prescription adjustment and the doctor found a rusty piece of metal in his eye. Lucky him no damage but now he has a rust colored eye tattoo.
  14. When I did mine it was middle of winter here so it took longer to dry. I did multiple of mine in one go and the way I timed the drying was I got hit with the flu right as I cast them. Once they sat at room temp above freezing for a week I then put them in our powder coating oven to walk the temp up to 500 and melt the crayons.
  15. It depends if you have a coating that's only thick enough to contain the fibers like its painted on then it can be risky and you might want the brick floor method. With I think most coatings if you rigidize the wool and give it 1/4"-1/2" minimum you get a pretty hard face to move across material directly.
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