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Alan Longmire

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Alan Longmire last won the day on June 2

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About Alan Longmire

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    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
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  1. The plus side is the grinds are very even, which is hard to do with that low a grind line. Full flat or at least 75% flat would look and perform better. I see what Chad means about the ricasso, and I see what you were trying to do with the handle stopping halfway through the finger cutout. It would look better if the scales ran all the way to the end of the cutout. Finally, although it adds a level of complexity you may not be wanting to face, a strongly tapered tang does wonders for looks and handling characteristics on that size of knife.
  2. Not sure what you mean? How have you been grinding it so far?
  3. Nice one, Troy! That's about as good a line as can be gotten on 1084, well done.
  4. Barrel hoops are mild steel, some are galvanized and some are not. If yours has ANY trace of silvery flaky stuff on it it's best not to use it for a great many reasons. If you must, then soak it in vinegar for a couple of days before you grind it absolutely clean. For the core, I wouldn't use AEB-L. It is a great steel, but it's too low in carbon for a san-mai with mild steel for my tastes, you'll lose too much carbon via carbon migration. 440-C, 154CM, S30V or any other 1% or higher carbon stainless would be better. But, as Will mentioned, all the layers must be chemically clean, in tight contact, and sealed from oxygen for the weld to take. There is really no such thing as a forge-weld friendly stainless, they will all use any excuse not to stick. You can TIG the edges, or do as a friend of mine does and seal the billet in a short length of aluminized exhaust pipe and weld that shut. And you will have better success using a hydraulic press to set the first weld. For what you want to do, I'd take Will's suggestion of using some 15N20 as the core, welding on the hoop steel, and then finish by stock removal with a saber grind (grind goes halfway up the blade) to show the core versus outer layer. It's not stainless, but as Jake pointed out the barrel hoops are not either, and as such will require the same maintenance as if you'd used a carbon steel core to begin with. I like the concept, by the way. Barrel hoops are mild steel, some are galvanized and some are not. If yours has ANY trace of silvery flaky stuff on it it's best not to use it for a great many reasons. If you must, then soak it in vinegar for a couple of days before you grind it absolutely clean. For the core, I wouldn't use AEB-L. It is a great steel, but it's too low in carbon for a san-mai with mild steel for my tastes, you'll lose too much carbon via carbon migration. 440-C, 154CM, S30V or any other 1% or higher carbon stainless would be better. But, as Will mentioned, all the layers must be chemically clean, in tight contact, and sealed from oxygen for the weld to take. There is really no such thing as a forge-weld friendly stainless, they will all use any excuse not to stick. You can TIG the edges, or do as a friend of mine does and seal the billet in a short length of aluminized exhaust pipe and weld that shut. And you will have better success using a hydraulic press to set the first weld. For what you want to do, I'd take Will's suggestion of using some 15N20 as the core, welding on the hoop steel, and then finish by stock removal with a saber grind (grind goes halfway up the blade) to show the core versus outer layer. It's not stainless, but as Jake pointed out the barrel hoops are not either, and as such will require the same maintenance as if you'd used a carbon steel core to begin with. I like the concept, by the way. Oh, and you might want to test etch a bit of hoop before you do anything. Being mild it may not etch dark at all, even in coffee.
  5. I think the blog post is about right. Some hatchets of that period were absurdly small, and yet meant for use.
  6. I'd worry about that saw notch. That's not a place you want a stress riser. Just don't harden it there and it should be okay. Better yet, take a round needle file or tiny chainsaw file and make the notch round with no sharp edges.
  7. Yeah, but you can't ban stupid people. Unfortunately.
  8. The traditional wa handle is just a friction fit. The tang is tapered like a wedge and is driven into the handle, traditionally tipped with horn to reinforce the joint and prevent splitting the wood. The handle can be removed for cleaning/polishing the blade.
  9. Cool! Tell me more about this handle construction method, it sounds like a good thing for some styles.... Nice-looking shop space, too.
  10. I do indeed know Randal, but he has fallen off the face of the Earth in the last few years. I think he's somewhere in either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. He is one of those guys who makes it look easy. I also know when he moved from a location with soft water to a place in Wisconsin that had hard water he went through a string of catastrophic failures for months before he got the technique dialed in for the water he had. I sometimes think about that theory of soaking just below critical to austenitize. It worked well for him, and he got spectacular hamon. I'm just not sure what's going on there, metallurgically speaking. He mentioned 5160 in the text you quoted, but if you look around here way back in the beginning of the forum he was talking about doing W1 at 1380 degrees f. He was also judging by eye, and heating katana for hardening in a 6" inside diameter vertical forge by stroking the blade in and out of the hot spot, and quenching in an 8" pipe at a 45 degree angle, none of which is generally recommended practice. It certainly worked great for him, though. I think I could probably do a tanto of W2 in water, since the geometry was developed for that. My issue is that I was trying to do kitchen knives with hamon, and in that geometry I just couldn't make it work.
  11. In the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds there is a "scared straight" type display about knife violence in the UK. Sort of "Honest, I barely cut him and he's dead!" stuff. Myself and the other Yank with me had to laugh. Not that knife violence isn't an issue, particularly in the north, it's just that when you run the risk of being shot by just about any random idiot you meet throughout the day knife violence seems rather tame. As an aside re: Brian's comment, that's how Chinese food evolved and why they use blunt chopsticks. All food prep is done in the kitchen with non-pointy blades (think Chinese cleaver) so the staff is less able to attack the hosts, and as there are no pointy OR sharp things on the table, there is no risk of being cut or stabbed, the peasantry can't rise in armed revolt, et cetera ad nauseum...
  12. I'll just say every W-series blade I've water quenched cracked spectacularly, and every 1075 blade did just fine. I know it can be done, but I'm just not good enough to do it.
  13. (Picks jaw up from floor) Now THAT is cool! It's not easy to absolutely gobsmack me with a damascus pattern, but this one did. It's just so clean! And while I think I know sort of how you did it, I'm not entirely sure... that hasn't happened in a long time! Plus it's pretty...
  14. I think it was the Copper Cellar, something like that. Last restaurant on the right as you're leaving town going towards Sugarlands. It was definitely Copper something. Not, as far as I know, affiliated with the Copper Cellar in Knoxville, however. Looking at Google Earth Street view, it's not there anymore. I was last there in 1989, so it may have been gone for quite a while.
  15. Got that one for the first time yesterday. Not a clue why, especially the email address which does not exist and never did. But yeah, just back up and try a different way in and it goes away.
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