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Alan Longmire

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Alan Longmire last won the day on April 7

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About Alan Longmire

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    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
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    World Domination

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  1. Alan Longmire

    Practicing the bearded axe

    I suspect welding is easier, at least it is for me. The economics of upsetting, especially on a stone anvil or tiny iron anvil, do seem as though it would be more involved. But, if you don't have the extra steel lying around, you do what you must.
  2. Alan Longmire

    Practicing the bearded axe

    Yes indeed.
  3. Alan Longmire

    Practicing the bearded axe

    Chris Price has an original bearded axe from Lithuania or somewhere in the Viking-travelled Baltic regions. In the interests of science we sandblasted it to see the grain and spark-tested the edge and the bottom of the eye. The grain showed it was made with an asymmetric weld for the eye, much like Jim Austen's method, and the beard was formed via a 90 degree upset square corner, and the whole fullered and drawn down. I have tried a few that way, but without the success you have there. Mostly due to poor starting material size choice, and as I was pressed for time I used a different method for the production run. Still lots of upsetting and fullering work, though. And hooking the beard under and over the horn is a most satisfactory way to get things going. The (very gentle) spark test showed the whole head was a medium-carbon steel. Sparked like 1045, yet had the distinctive grain of well-refined wrought. This suggests it was made from natural bloom steel rather than hearth steel or carburized iron. The beard showed traces of quenching as well. Pity we didn't have access to a metallurgical microscope (much less the skill to use one or interpret the results). I suggested sectioning it, then polishing and etching, to which Chris wisely replied "Get your own, this one is staying in one piece." My solution ended up to be starting with seven inches of 1" square, upsetting it to 6 inches by 3/4" by 2 inches to start the beard (leaving the eye area at 1" square), then slitting and drifting the eye, forging the langets down over a mandrel, further refining of the beard, then using Jim Austen's method of steeling the edge. I was still never thrilled with the overall proportions, but the customer was happy. 16 of the buggers...
  4. Alan Longmire

    2x72 belt grinder to buy

    Those have a good reputation. A lot of guys on this forum use one.
  5. Alan Longmire

    Cutler's anvil

    I am quite jealous now, thank you! . What a wonderful haul...
  6. Alan Longmire

    Practicing the bearded axe

    Looks better than any of mine!
  7. One door only, venturi burners do not work with back pressure from closed doors all round.
  8. Alan Longmire

    boring axe-stuff...

    Nice! I need to try my hand at a larger axe one of these days. I think you are spot on with the construction. While not about axes, this book is absolutely essential for those who study old American iron: https://www.amazon.com/American-1607-1900-Hopkins-Studies-Technology/dp/0801868165 Lee Sauder turned me on to it.
  9. Alan Longmire

    Drilling Question

    And yet some people still sell it as "beginner friendly."
  10. Alan Longmire

    What did you do in your shop today?

    What, no spear socket mandrel?
  11. Alan Longmire

    Meteorite Damascus

    Campo de Cielo is a nice nickel-iron meteorite that welds well, if a bit hot-short. Nantan is more of a pure iron, and it rusts back to oxide quickly. I saw the original hunk mine came from in 2006 (it was that big 10-lb lump Larry Harley had), and at that time it was very solid. By 2016 it had decomposed to what looks like plain old iron ore. The owner put some in iron in the hat at Bowie's hammerin that year. Campo makes a great high-contrast layer, though!
  12. Alan Longmire

    I want to see your Hamon

    As for when to quench for hamon, that is complicated by the clay hiding the decalescence in the spine. Since hamon is produced by different phases of crystal structure, it's a good bet to quench as soon as the shadows are gone from the edge. That guarantees full hardness on the edge. With the shallow-hardening steels you have to use for hamon, this will ensure a band of transitional structures along the clay line. That said, on super-shallow hardening steels like homemade steel, you will get hamon without clay.
  13. Alan Longmire

    Drilling Question

    Probably not enough pressure. If the bit is not making chips, it's work-hardening the steel.
  14. Alan Longmire

    Puukko-ish WIP

    That's what the pipe is for, dude!
  15. Alan Longmire

    Meteorite Damascus

    That's pretty darned ambitious, but if anyone can do it, it's you! I have a tiny piece of Campo I'm saving for the right project, and some rusty Nantan that will go in a smelt one of these days.