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Jess Harris

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About Jess Harris

  • Birthday 01/12/1960

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    SW Phoenix, AZ
  • Interests
    History, guitar, woodworking, and of course, BLADESMITHING!

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  1. So, I've been using it for a couple of weeks now, and so far I'm very happy. I've been working on Mokume and shop/forge tools, and it's working great! I haven't created any dies yet, so it's really just a simple squishing machine. In that role, however, it has been excellent. Just to be safe, I am going to reinforce the lower support and the sides in that area by welding in some material before I apply dies.
  2. So, adventures in Mokume are going nicely. I'm trying some different things for different patterns. The smooth one is going to be used to make the guard for the drop point I'm making.
  3. Thanks Joshua, that was an excellent tutorial!
  4. The wire didn't work well for me, but I think I let it get too hot. Then I saw a video where a guy used a tig welder. So I gave it a try with a stack of 16. It took some experimenting to get the settings right, but I got a nice weld down three sides the length of the stack. I didn't have time to complete it tonight, but I did get a few heats and squishes in the press. So far so good! The stack pressed down about 50%, with no hint of sliding or delams. I'm really looking forward to working it out and getting a pattern in it.
  5. Great comments, everyone. I will indeed be cautious, and stop at any hint of movement in the frame. So next I guess I need to figure out how to heavily reinforce it. Learning is always a work in progress.
  6. Wayne and Steve, great comments! I did a small practice piece with a stack of 4 quarters in a vise with a propane torch. It welded pretty well, but I got a separation when I started working the edges. Lots to learn, and nothing takes the place of practice! I'm doing a stack of 8 in the forge using a wire cage today. Again, thanks for the tips!
  7. I bought a 20 ton shop press from HF ($200) and a 20 ton air over hydraulic jack ($75). Not hard to install, with a little drilling into the support plate and the base of the jack. I immediately swapped the hand operated switch for a foot switch ($15, + $12 for a 6' hose). Then I added 300lb locking casters ($29 for a set of 4). Next I'll improve the release valve so it can be opened and closed with a foot operated rocker. I'll do that with stuff I have on hand. When that's done, it'll be ready for dies!
  8. I'll give it a shot and if it works, I'll submit pics. I just thought it would be easier/quicker than building a wire cage.
  9. I'm looking at doing a Mokume Gane guard for a clip point Bowie I'm working on. Has anybody tried brazing a quarter stack to put it in the forge?
  10. Thanks, Brian! My wife is very fond of that one as well. It slices tomatoes thin as paper!
  11. That's a beautiful dagger. I hope it's done sooner than later!
  12. Thanks for the info, Joshua and Alan. I have a fair amount of mild steel on hand, and have access to plenty more (cheap) from a local steel yard, so that's a much cheaper and easier way to go than I was thinking. Joshua, the hinge idea looks great! It's certainly not hard to find old hinges, and then I won't have to worry about getting the spring set right. Great info, guys.
  13. Here's a better pic of the bowie:
  14. Here are my first four blades. Two little kitchen choppers, a cigar cutter, and a clip-point bowie. The bowie isn't quite finished, because I'm putting a stacked leather handle on it and I'm waiting for the leather to arrive. I suggested to my wife that I could use a couple of her old purses and belts, but for some reason she was not receptive. I'm also working on a stacked quarter mokume gane billet for the guard. Each blade is entirely different from all previous, and mostly using cheap materials. At his point, it's all about learning.
  15. This is my anvil stand. I put the anvil and vice on one stand, which I often find helpful. The legs are bolted into a 3'x4' base of 1" plywood (two 1/2" sheets laminated together.) This thing is rock-solid. The only really tricky part was cutting the compound angles on the legs. So, I cheated. I made it a few inches long, then chalked out lines at precisely 2" from the floor all the way around each leg. Then I was able to cut them correctly with a skill saw and some Kentucky windage. I hard-faced the cheap HF anvil by welding on a 1/4" piece of 1095. It's been holding
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