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Francis Gastellu

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Everything posted by Francis Gastellu

  1. Wishing you the best for your recovery, and thank you for the reminder, I do feel we sometimes get a little too comfortable, particularly when working with belt grinders.
  2. Wonderful! Anybody wants to try this with 24k gold?
  3. Very cool, makes me want to try some of these processes. Thank you for sharing this experience!
  4. What an incredible piece! Absolutely beautiful.
  5. There are even 1-phase to 1-phase VFDs, though they are rare. I just bought one to convert 50Hz power to 60hz for my engraving compressor, which would otherwise lose just enough CFM in Europe to be under the specs required by my pneumatic engraving machine (this doesn't work for all types of load, but as far as I can tell, this should work for a compressor, *fingerscrossed*). Also, even though slowing down the motor will result in power losses, it remains useful because you can still do the work, you just need to reduce the load (i.e, don't press so hard on the belt). It takes correspondingly longer to do the job, but you're a lot less likely to overheat a blade that's already been heat-treated. There are also cases where I just want to grind a tiny tiny little bit of material, and that's a lot easier to control with a slow belt.
  6. I don't know much about knife history but I would not have expected burl wood to have been used for a handle. I've seen the argument made before against reproductions (though not of that era) that burl wood for knife handles is really a modern thing. Shocking that someone on the internet could have been wrong!
  7. Yep, looks familiar. It's interesting that this is only the case in oxidizing atmospheres. This could explain why it's not an issue for the smith who produces it, as he works with a traditional japanese charcoal forge, while I use a propane forge. Thank you Alan. Between that and the excessive quenching, I believe I have my answers. It doesn't matter for this blade anymore but it is hard to correct mistakes with only ambiguous data, so this feels like a resolution I can learn from. I'll forge the third stack accordingly. I'll also likely look at setting up a charcoal forge in the new shop, as it's an all around better match for this kind of forging.
  8. What a great collaboration! Well done to the both of you, it's a real beauty!
  9. That's a big sword! It's about my size (and by that I don't mean it'd be the right size for me, *ahem*) Very nice indeed, I really enjoy your work!
  10. Phew. Definitely closer to the edge than I'd like, but considering... I'll take it. I see hints of bright nie waiting for a good polish. Quench was in brine, 3 Mississippis in, 2 Mississippis out and repeat. Sori is very slight, a little above 1/16". I also got a slight warp that I'll correct on the second tempering cycle, the blade is currently in the oven at 400F. Clay was for suguha but the tip chose otherwise. My guess is that the carbon content there is a bit more heterogeneous, as it made a very similar pattern on the previous attempt. If I had more time and more guts, I'd go for a fourth yaki-ire a tad hotter on the edge. As is, I'll call it hoso-midare and move on I actually had to pack the forge on Friday so that I could finally start moving the heavy equipment this weekend, so I made a makeshift one with refractory bricks and a mapp torch. This is actually not too far from what my first forge looked like 4 years ago Other than some preliminary polishing, this project is now on pause until I find myself in France and I've received my shipping container. There won't be space for a shop initially, as we'll be at a temporary location for up to a year while we look for the house we want to live in for the long term (a large barn is on the list of non-negotiables!). I'm hopeful that I'll be able to set up a small space where I can work on fittings.
  11. Some companies can make them for you, they seem to last for 2 to 300 etches (source: https://youtu.be/QzQN7CPzuEs?t=204) so it shouldn't be that expensive. My issue with etched marks is that they look too perfect, all identical and "printed out" on the blade so to speak, which can feel a bit impersonal. Punching can be problematic as you pointed out. I engrave but that just does not scale, and it has its own challenges. I like your design!
  12. I've had (some, not a lot of) sparking on the initial stacks, as I wanted them well hot for consolidation, but little to none after a fold or two. I've had copious spraying but have no reason to suspect it was cast iron droplets rather than flux and impurities, like I normally get when forge welding wrought iron to high carbon. For the most part those billets have forged fine, other than the cracking, which I expected during folding from the repeated quenches, but did not expect during final forging (right now I think the quenches may have been the biggest culprit, but I should know soon if something else also contributed). Thank you, I do wish that big noticeable weld line across the length of the blade was a little more subtle, definitely the result of my struggle at weld #9. It's now part of that steel's history so as long as it still stays together on the third quench, I'll be happy. Well as long as it's hard too
  13. Different kind of hammer here, so that doesn't directly apply, but I have my pneumatic hammer on a VFD and like Jeremy said, although it's fine to control my fixed speed (i.e., what would be your max speed on a mechanical with a clutch), I don't think I would want to link the treadle to the speed controller, that would be too laggy for top tooling, which would be my main reason to do it in the first place. For me this is even limited to about 75% of the normal speed: if I go under that, the pneumatic action doesn't have enough force to lift the ram back up all the way and it start to creep down with every blow until it sits on the bottom die. It's still nicer to work 25% slower with top tooling though and being able to go a bit faster than normal on occasion is also nice, so I don't regret doing the conversion (especially since that means it's ready to run as-is once I'll be in europe). Another thing to consider is that motors will see reduced lifetimes if they mostly run slower than about 70% of their rated speed. Part of the issue is the reduced cooling from the fan, but I've also read that it will cause or increase internal sparking (which a VFD can make more likely in the first place, even at rated speeds). It looks like "spark resistance" for newer AC motors is now fairly standard, but that does not help the cooling issue. I can't speak from experience to the loss of power on a mechanical hammer, but I would expect it once you reach significantly slower speeds, like it clearly happens on my grinder. As a replacement for a clutch, the speed of dynamic speed adjustment sounds like the main issue to me. Then again it wouldn't surprise me if someone out there is working with that limitation and has learned to live with it.
  14. Started moving some of the heavy stuff. Putting as much as I can in boxes with plywood floors and roofs in order to maximize stackability in the shipping container. The movers are going to hate me. If they ask what's in the "heavy duty tall wardrobe box", I'll just say I'm taking my collection of suits of armor.
  15. Lincoln PowerMig 210mp -- Multiprocess welder with accessories and gas cylinder. You will be able to weld immediately. This welder works on both 110v and 220v, does mig, stick, flux cored, and tig (tig kit is not included). The 80cf cylinder of 25% Argon / 75% Co2 still has about 25% gas left in it judging from the pressure gauge. There are 6 unopened spools (2x 0.35, 2x 0.30, 2x 0.25), 4 packs of 0.35 contact tips, 2 leftover 0.25 contact tips and 1 replacement nozzle. The grounding clamp is brand new. I will also include a cylinder truck ($140 value) and the 2ft by 2ft steel plate I've been using as my welding table. It breaks my heart to part with this machine, it is an awesome welder and I would never have sold it if it had been compatible with Europe 50hz power input. Available for $1200 on https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/1145787376247204 $900 for members of this forum. SOLD
  16. I decided to forego ashi lines this time and aim for a more humble suguha. It almost looks like it'll be alright... But nope. Notice how there's no sori at all? Yet this was a full brine quench. That black tip is the only bit that's really hard, it skates a 65RC file. The rest of the edge only skates 40, which I take it would have been above the hamon line if there was one. I was in denial for a bit hoping that decarb was messing me up but I don't think so at this point, the tip was probably just hotter than the rest of the blade. I will give it another go before putting this project on ice but I really need to pack the forge very soon, and I'm clearly not very good at doing this by eye (and yes, I have read many a post about decalescence, i swear...!). At this point I feel I had better results with the HT oven, but I realize that's been allowing me to miss out on the fundamentals for a few years now. That was fine with known steels and a definite temperature target, but this is something else and I'm beginning to suspect that I'm trying to bite a little more than I can currently chew. Then again, nothing worth doing ever comes easy.
  17. Well, it seems that this project is intent on kicking my behind at every opportunity That nie is showing up just enough to tease me! I was aiming for about 1500F but I must have been on the cold side. I'll try again tomorrow and wait for nighttime, daylight made it hard to see much and I had to rely on my pyrometer more than I'd like to admit. I know, I know, another beginner mistake If anything, this project is giving me a renewed respect for the modern steel alloys I've been using until now, and how forgiving they can be.
  18. Metabo 5" Variable Speed Angle Grinder $100 on https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/5123586491032793 $50 for members of this forum. SOLD
  19. Metabo Die Grinder - Variable Speed 10,000 to 30,000 RPM - 710 Watt $180 on https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/495156862315940 $90 for members of this forum. SOLD
  20. Very cool. Even with some understanding of the art, most of us don't always fully appreciate just how much effort has _really_ gone into a beautiful piece when it's all finished. It's great to see it at this stage and get a sense of how daunting this would be for us mere mortals to even contemplate, let alone do. Thank you for sharing your progress.
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