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Ted Stocksdale

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Everything posted by Ted Stocksdale

  1. I've made my own heat-treating kiln. Had to adjust a few things, but today I was able to do my normalizations, heat for quench, and temper on 2 different batches of blades. I'm thrilled!
  2. I like the ScotchBrite belts a lot, myself. But yeah, they'll beat you up if you point the edge the wrong way... those things are thick.
  3. The cart really isn't as bad as it looks: it doesn't wiggle while pressing and there only a tiny bit of movement while rolling it around, so I haven't bothered reinforcing it. And yep. I made my own width-drawing die out of a 2-1/2 inch 1045 round I decided I didn't want to make a hammer with after all, so that's not a problem anymore. I've made five different sets of my own dies now (seven if you count two that didn't last). I tried A36/1018, but the dies on the 12-ton are so small they get destroyed almost immediately, so I've been using hardenable stuff at least as a surface pl
  4. Finished my first damascus knife. It isn't perfect, but it makes me very happy to have finally completed one.
  5. That's really nice, Alex. Love the lines of the handle.
  6. Ah... very likely. After the relining, my forge gets hotter (and gets there faster) than it used to. I bet I slipped back to my old settings and got things too hot on Friday - thanks! Things worked just fine today, thank goodness. I made a new version of the chopper that fell apart on Friday, and it went without a hitch.
  7. I made a combo flat/drawing die, not much to see but changing between gets annoying. Yesterday, I made not one but three knife-shaped pieces of metal full of cracks that fell apart. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I did it very wrong on that batch. I made another tiny 3-inch knife today just to make sure I wasn't crazy - it turned out fine, so I guess the recycle bin was just hungry yesterday or something.
  8. I bring works-in-progress in so the rust-fairies don't get to them.
  9. Don't know how many of the newer people check this thread, but I'll preach to the choir a little bit I'm a Christmas forge-baby, and unfortunately I built mine befor I ever met you fine folks. Like a great many people probably do, I looked at the ceramic wool and said "surely that will fall apart in a day without the proper magic to keep it safe" and went with soft bricks because they seem like such an obvious choice if you don't know better. (At least I knew the difference between soft and hard bricks). After getting here and learning that my forge was sub-optimal, I chose to sti
  10. Fortunately, that was a cut-off end scrap not the actual billet, so it's not too tragic. My wife has claimed the snapped-off blade end and wants me to clean it up and sharpen it - she has something in mind for it for use with her quilting. For the tang, I think I'll clean the scale off and chop it up for canister scrap. I had stuck it in the oven last thing at night for an hour so it didn't sit overnight at room temperature (I remembered that much!), but I really don't have a good reason why I picked 275 when I fully intended to temper to 425. I chalk it up to "scurrying to finish
  11. On the bright side, the grain looks to be nice and fine (I wish I had noticed it broke before it spent two hours at 425, but meh)
  12. Sadness. I ended up grinding it much thinner than I had intended to while tring to get all of the press-marks out, and so when I quenched it, it was very wiggly. I tempered it to 275, then clamped it to a bar to try to straighten it, but it was not to be. I'm contemplating still sanding it up and etching it and supergluing it back together since I never had any intention of using it as a knife. But maybe best to just toss it in the Hall of Fail and move on.
  13. I was thinking of that piece of steel because I have it sitting here and I don't have anything else in particular planned for it . I saw it at a really good price a while back and grabbed it, figuring that if nothing else I would take slices off like a loaf of bread. Another thought struck me, though: The dies are bolted to the frame on this press, don't I need to be careful that it doesn't make enough of a lever to shear the bolts off? So in the worst case that would 14 tons times half the length of the die (though hopefully I wouldn't be that careless) divided by ... bolt cross
  14. Hm. I have a big piece of O1: 3/4 x 3 x 18 inches I could cut that in half, drill and countersink holes for the bolts, and harden it to just be a pair of thick blocks then I could have a pair of (up to) 9-inch "long" dies. Would 3/4 be thick enough for that, or do you think it would need more bracing somehow?
  15. For anything larger than a reasonable stack of flat stuff getting welded, I can see it being too small of a press. (But that's what I wanted it for ) They have videos of people making hammers and such on it, but the clearance really is a bit short for that and I don't see how the great long punch set they have would work even with the OEM cylinder. The only hammer I made so far got its hole on the drill press, and while I am considering making another, I was intending to do the same thing to it. I was intending to try a canister. I got 1-1/2 inch square tube for it, so
  16. Had to go measure it: five inches. Coal Iron's site said it had 6 inches of space before, so I guess I only lost one rather than two even though the cylinder is longer... the bolts must be aligned slightly differently or something. I hadn't measured the clearance before the swap, so I have to go by what they say it was before the replacement. But it's 5 inches now.
  17. Thank you! Oh yes, I am absolutely keeping the OEM cylinder: it now lives on the bottom of the cart in the narrow spot leftover because the Container Store shelves didn't quite fill the whole space. And yes, the larger cylinder did take about two inches of space. For damascus bars and general knife-sized work it doesn't make any difference, but I could see it being annoying for a punch.
  18. They are quite narrow - only 1-1/2 inches wide. I haven't had a lot of exposure to hydraulic presses before, so I didn't really know how that compared. I've made two sets of my own now that I used 3/8 by 2 inch plates for, and KenH said he's used 3 inches wide without trouble so I'll probably be upgrading from the factory dies. I had contemplated putting things between the dies to stop them but wasn't sure how advisable that was. It's very good to know that is "best practice" and something to move ahead with. And yes, GREAT fun. I very much wish I could play hookey fro
  19. I couldn't help but get a little something ground far enough to maybe show a pattern... it's FAR from finished, but... My first "damascus"
  20. Yesterday morning, my replacement cylinder arrived. Following KenH's advice, I bought the Wen 4 x 8 inch cylinder, which takes the press from 9 tons to 14 tons. (The "as shipped" configuration has an undersized cylinder and doesn't actually produce the advertised 12 tons). Replacement was basically trivial (once I realized I needed to move the swivel fittings from the gray one to the black one. I got some shelving to live on the botton to provide storage for dies and other tools. I'm going to put my hardie tools down there too. The oil finally arrived
  21. Thank you all! I certainly will post more, once I have the oil! And that is the cart that Coal Iron sells for this press so hopefully it is sufficient, but I have angle-iron aplenty if it ends up needing more bracing! We'll see.
  22. It is a heavy thing, and comes in two boxes The smaller one is the press frame itself. I got the grey paint option The other box has the tank and power plant, and any dies you ordered. It had the most fascinating packing material: old cardboard boxes that had been run through a shredder. It took just a bit of excavating That thing is HEAVY. There was no lifting it out, so I had to cut the box (with my nice shiny new 52100 EDC!) I work in my garage, so this thing must be able to relocate. To do that, I go
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