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      IMPORTANT Registration rules   02/12/2017

      Use your real name or you will NOT get in.  No aliases or nicknames, no numerals in your name. Do not use the words knives, blades, swords, forge, smith (unless that is your name of course) etc. We are all bladesmiths and knifemakers here.  If you feel you need an exception or are having difficulty registering, send a personal email to the forum registrar here.  

Alan Longmire

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About Alan Longmire

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  1. Scaffold leg adjustment screw? They're 1" acme thread with a captive nut.
  2. I use mild steel since it's plentiful and cheap, but Peter Johnsson uses 1050, I think. Sad to say I don't remember why...
  3. It does look good! Is the thin stuff shear steel?
  4. We posted at the same time, so: it is not just average quality, it is top notch! Hay-Budden and Columbus Iron and Tool (makers of the Arm and Hammer) are the best anvils ever made in this country, fully the equal of any of the imports right up until the advent of solid cast steel anvils, and I actually prefer a steel-face wrought anvil.
  5. One more time! I finally dug out the book and it is definitely a Hay-Budden, wrought iron with steel face, and the serial number (I was wrong, oops!) puts it in 1905-1906. Enjoy it, and do not try to fix that chip or mill the face lest the spirits of blacksmiths passed return to haunt your every weld attempt!
  6. Sorry, just looked closer and saw it's well spiked down. Don't worry about the base, in other words. Also noticed the very clear signs of steel.faced wrought iron, as in I can see the faceplate weld line, and the weld at the waist. I'm thinking early Hay Budden or Arm & Hammer, which brings it more into the 1892-1915 date range. Look really hard for faint marks on the side! Both companies sold anvils under other hardware wholesaler brand names, so don't worry if it doesn't say one or the other.
  7. Nice! Looks like a Hay-Budden, but the serial number doesn't seem right for that. Look very carefully on the off side (flat side with horn to your right) for any faint makers marks, and check underneath for the shape of the recess in the base, which will be either oval or hourglass shaped. Oh, and look under the heel to see if it's smooth or if it shows forging marks. It's definitely an American forged anvil, probably wrought iron with steel face given the chip at the step, but without more identifying characteristics all I can say datewise is between around 1892-1930s.
  8. The springs are most likely 5160 if the truck is less than 30 years old, but even then they may be something else. The key here is that whatever it is it has to respond to the same heat treatment recipe as 5160 in such a way as to make a functional leaf spring. This means no matter if they are 5160, 9260, 6150, or 1075 they'll work if you follow the same steps and temperatures. So: forge between around 1900 degrees F down to around 1700 degrees F, or a bright yellow down to medium orange in dim light. This helps prevent cracks. Normalize after forging by bringing it to around 1550 degrees F (a low red in dim light) and letting it air cool to totally black in the dark. Do this three times. This refines the grain you allowed to grow while forging at higher temperatures. If you can watch the blade, you'll know it has achieved the phase transformation necessary by observing the swirling shadows in the steel as it comes up to heat. The phase change takes energy, which means the bright blade will darken a bit. This is the shadows. As soon as they are gone, you know the transpormation is complete and you are ready to either air cool to normalize or quench to harden. Note that the phase change happens at 1525-1550 degrees F in 5160, while all steels go nonmagnetic at 1425 F. So a magnet can get you close, but you need about a hundred degrees hotter. Don't try to hold it at heat, it does not benefit from soaking. Always quench 5160 in oil. It will crack in water, period. Mineral oil, canola oil, peanut oil, actual quenching oils, but never motor oil, especially used motor oil. It has stuff added that can ruin a quench, especially used motor oil which almost always has water in it. Heat your oil to around 130 degrees F, just hot enough you don't want to leave your finger in it more than a second or so. You can do this by repeatedly quenching a big chunk of scrap mild steel. This speeds up the quench, oddly enough. Always quench blades edge first or point first, and do not swirl it around or it will warp. Now then, tempering: this depends on what the blade needs to be able to do. Small knives are fine baked at 350-375 degrees for two cycles of an hour each. This gives great edge holding ability at the expense of flexibilty and impact resistance. 400 is good for bigger knives, 450 for small axes and really big knives for greater impact resistance at the expense of a little edge-holding ability. Swords need flexibility and impact resistance more than anything else, so they need a full spring temper of anywhere from 575 to 700 degrees, depending on the type of sword. Temper as soon as possible after quenching in a preheated oven using a good oven thermometer (your oven itself will cycle lower and higher than the set temperature by up to 75 degrees either way, with potentially poor results). A pan of dry sand or a couple of bricks in the oven will add thermal mass and help minimize the temperature swings. Be sure to clean the oil off the blade and wrap the bricks in foil if you're using your kitchen oven so you can be allowed to do so again if you're married. That's the basics. There are loads of variations for different purposes. Look around the site, you'll find a lot of info on this.
  9. WooHoo! I have that same blower, BTW. Love it!
  10. The difference between hamon and a hardening line is one of width and structure. Hamon has a wide zone of mixed structures between fully hard and fully soft that gives that billowing feathery look that can be polished white, and has subtle gradations above and below the "line" like the things called nioi and utsuri as shown here: That is not mine, I borrowed it from the "I want to see your hamon" thread. See all that's going on in there? And in this one: Sorry for the hijack, Chad, and no disrespect intended! I just went into teacher mode for a bit... Anyway, there you go.
  11. As I said a few posts up, I have only worked on one, a TFS 100-lb blacksmith pattern. It was fine. Maybe a hair less rebound than steel, and that will depend entirely on the heat treatment. I am not familiar with the brand you mentioned.
  12. Welcome aboard, Samran. I am going to move this topic to the Hot Work subforum, but the short answer is for stainless you absolutely must isolate the steel from the air. This is usually done by putting it in a square tube with the ends welded shut, but since I have not done it I will let others give thier opinions.
  13. It is a differential hardening line. I wouldn't call it a hamon, though.
  14. I guess I could, but in the past people usually post the slightly off-topic stuff in "The Way" or "photography." Not that we're sticklers for forum purity around here... Matthew: You need a high tension hacksaw like this one: http://www.stanleytools.com/products/hand-tools/cutting-tools/saws/12-in-high-tension-hacksaw/15-113 and some professional variable-pitch blades with actual set teeth, not wavy edged set. Match your blade pitch to the stock thickness you're cutting for best results. That is, you need at least three teeth in contact with the steel at all times, but you don't want more than four teeth in the cut. Less than three teeth will strip the teeth right off the blade, more than four will just slow down the cut, although it does leave a better finish. Variable pitch means the tooth spacing varies along the blade. It sounds odd, but it makes for a smoother cut that's as fast as the coarse pitch. For instance, if you're cutting 1/4" stock, use a 10-14 variable pitch blade or just a 10tpi blade. If you're cutting 1/8" stock use a 24-32 variable or a 24tpi plain. You can cut thinner stock with a coarser blade if you saw at a long angle to keep three or four teeth in contact. "Set" is the way the teeth are offset to allow the blade not to bind in the cut. Regular set means every other tooth is alternately bent out in the opposite direction from the tooth before. Wavy set is what you'll see on cheap blades when you look at the cutting edge and it looks rippled. This is a crap edge. Don't buy them.
  15. That's some serious work! Kudos to you for resurrecting that wonderful old beast, it deserves to live again. Plus I almost spit water on my keyboard when you mentioned stepping on the treadle and yelling "bam bam bam!"