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Alan Longmire

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Alan Longmire last won the day on April 18

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About Alan Longmire

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    Forum Gatekeeper

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    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
  • Interests
    World Domination

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  1. Alan Longmire

    Shear Steel; The Experiment Begins

    Looking good! As for the layers, if you were to etch a piece of the original stock it would look like that too. Remember wrought iron is a composite material made of thousands of strands of iron and slag. The Byers manual states that well-refined wrought contains around 250,000 strands of iron per square inch in cross section.
  2. Alan Longmire

    Staffordshire Hoard inspired earrings

    Thanks! Wait until you see what I just finished. Maybe tomorrow I can post pics. Anyway, the bronze is 24 gauge, 0.020". I use 0.025" sterling for inlays and such, and that seemed too thick for the cells. Are you still rolling down round wire for yours? I have cracked a few "stones," yes. More often I just chip the edges. You see that on some of the originals, so I try not to get too annoyed. And finally, where are you sourcing your garnets? I can never seem to find any the right color large enough to cut.
  3. Alan Longmire

    Handle info section

  4. Alan Longmire

    Handle info section

    Oh, there's all kinds of pyrotechnical stuff you can do with strong nitric acid, that's why it's hard to get since 9/11. For the record, if you have any, do not let it dry on paper or cloth. Burn it wet. Or better yet neutralize it with a strong solution of washing soda. Nitrated cellulose really reacts poorly to heat and shock.
  5. Alan Longmire

    Handle info section

    Nah, I'm just that big a nerd.
  6. Alan Longmire

    registration hiccup, sorry...

    Yes! I just made a dummy account and it went through perfectly. Thank for saving the forum yet again, Niels! Only the sixth or seventh time in the last couple of years... Everything seems to be working. I may need to redo the registration announcement, but that's no big deal. You da man!
  7. Alan Longmire

    multi bar mosaic Damascus Dirk

    Dayyum, Matt! I remember the falchion. Perfect companion piece.
  8. Alan Longmire

    Table knives

    Same here. Your work is appreciated! Plus I'd never have thought to repurpose a spatula that way.
  9. Alan Longmire

    Lindsay Air graver.

    Yes, and I have played with those, the GRS magnagraver, and the Lindsay. They all work fine, but the Lindsay is the Rolls Royce. In my opinion, of course.
  10. Alan Longmire

    Handle info section

    Aqua fortis is ferric nitrate. Dilute nitric acid "killed" with iron. You can buy dry crystals on eBay, or if you are lucky enough to have access to reagent-grade 60 degree Baume nitric acid (just shy of fuming strength) you can make your own both easily and dangerously. First, get a large glass or ceramic jar to mix it up in. No metal. It will eat it, even stainless steel, and the heat produced will melt plastic. Dilute by pouring one part acid into three parts water (if you add the water to the acid it will blow up in your face. Danger #1). Use distilled water because the minerals and chlorinating compounds in treated tap water can mess with the end color, usually lending a greenish tint. Add your iron filings SLOWLY. You can use filings, de-galvanized nails, scrap steel, or whatever, but I like #0000 steel wool because the fine filaments of steel dissolve fast. Note I emphasized "slowly". If you add too much too fast, the heat created by the dissolving steel wool can break the container you're mixing it in or even cause the excess wool to catch fire (danger #2). Do this outside with excellent ventilation, because the reaction will also produce clouds of dirty orange smoke. This smoke is nitric oxide, which, while differing from nitrous oxide only by the lack of an oxygen, is not laughing gas. It is lung-melting gas. Do not breathe it lest it be your last breath (danger #3). I usually mix up a pint or so at a time. It takes a few hours to slowly add as much steel wool as it will eat without getting it too hot. Once it has stopped visibly eating the wool, I add another pad of it, loosely cover the jar (if tightly sealed, the pressure buildup from the remaining reaction will blow the jar. Danger #4), and leave it alone for a few days. If, after a week, there is still steel wool floating on top, it's done. Strain into a clean jar, it is now harmless except for the power to stain skin. To use it, take your wood to as finished as it's gonna go. raise the grain and cut it back several times. It needs to be almost shiny before applying the stain. Wipe on a thin layer of stain, let sit about 30 seconds, and toast if off dry with a propane torch or heat gun. Finish sand, apply finish, and done!
  11. Alan Longmire


    That is indeed what I was trying to say. And to clarify a later post of Will's, when he said vertically, he did indeed mean with the layers rather than across the layers. At this point all you're trying to do is get a lot of layers into a bar. If you cut it across the layers and continue forging, you're not getting a lot of layers, but you will a variety of smushed W's. If it holds together. A 1" x 1" x 5" bar can be drawn into a 1" x 1/4" x 20" bar by hand. This will take a while, but it's doable. Cut that into four pieces, restack into a 1x1x5" bar, and weld and draw again. This with quadruple your layer count. If your starting billet is five layers, after the first cut-n-stack it's 20 layers. After the second it's 80 layers. It adds up fast.
  12. Alan Longmire

    Lindsay Air graver.

    That, sir, is a brilliant idea! I've wanted one of those Lindsay Air Gravers for as long as I've known about them. I'm just not good enough at hand chasing to justify the expense. Yet!
  13. Alan Longmire

    registration hiccup, sorry...

    Well, that didn't work, it just opened my email up to about two hundred spambots. Sigh... Well, registration is down until further notice, sorry, guys. I'll keep trying stuff, and I've told Niels.
  14. Alan Longmire

    Any Suggestions I'm stuck....

    Of course, if you have a trigger-start propane torch, light that, aim the flame into the forge, turn on the blower if you use one, then slowly open the gas. No boom, no lost hair, no flaming wad of paper shooting at your head.
  15. Alan Longmire


    Ooh, yeah, if I'm drawing by hand I limit to five layers of that thickness. That stack would be rough not to buckle even with a press. You might want to split into four or five pieces, draw those out, then start welding them into a larger billet.