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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. It's all in what you're used to, and Fahrenheit is much more precise... I am fluent in all metric/SI measurements except temperature. They didn't start me young enough, I guess.
  2. I'd try the oil not quite as hot, say 70 degrees. It gets faster as it gets hotter.
  3. Noah! Welcome back, man! How's the leather business going? As for the crack, yeah, 1095 and mild san mai will do that almost every time in a fast oil or water. Nice lines on that, btw.
  4. If you go with a short, angled handle, you can go much heavier than you do with a long straight handle. Takes a bit to learn the movement, but they really move some steel! I have a 3.5lb of that type, and it's as easy on the arm as a 2lb ordinary hammer. Just a different movement.
  5. Once upon a time (ca. 1880-1950), Nicholson made 24" files. Disston did as well. They show up at flea markets on occasion, but usually have big chunks of teeth missing.
  6. Ooh, I didn't notice that! And I don't know... in theory all it should do is increase turbulence, which is a good thing in that kind of burner. It will also make it harder to avoid the chimney effect, but that burner style is fairly good about not burning off the hose connector. If I had it, though, I'd add a set of quick-connect fittings (rated for propane!) and just unhook the gas line after shutdown.
  7. Yeah, it was 18 degrees here (that's -8 C for the rest of the world).
  8. That's why the ones Nathan the Machinist used to sell were water-cooled. Internally. Probably why he stopped, they were expensive to buy and I imagine quite a pain to make for the low demand.
  9. What Joel said. I was surprised only because I use gigantic files with a very coarse cut, but I understand those are hard to find. I also have 22 years experience using them, and I started out slow and steady because of the dread of getting a big gouge across the blade. I think my first fully-filed hawk head took me something like two full days to do. Now that's about half a day. Since Nicholson has discontinued my beloved big 16" and only makes the Magicut in 8 and 10" lengths (mere toothpicks!), here is what I suggest until fortune smiles upon you on eBay: For drawfiling, get one of these: https://www.travers.com/american-pattern-mill-file/p/51-731-515/ and for stock removal, get one of these: https://www.grainger.com/product/SIMONDS-Flat-Multi-Kut-File-38RJ73 and one of these: https://www.travers.com/long-angle-lathe-machinists-file/p/51-732-565/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm8rUysWV5wIVmZOzCh35kgxgEAQYAyABEgIXO_D_BwE. These are all 14" files. The mill bastard is a general-purpose file, and I generally grind one edge flat. The Multi-Kut is a hybrid doublecut with chip breakers, which cuts fast yet leaves a smooth surface. You can use it for drawfiling, but it leaves a pretty rough surface. The long-angle lathe file is surprisingly fast at stock removal, but can leave a wavy finish if you don't apply pressure on those big teeth. It's not ideal for drawfiling because of the tooth angle. It works well with ordinary push filing, especially if you use a sweeping stroke from left to right across the blade. Clear chips often, though, they make big chips and leave gigantic gouges if you're not careful. I have noticed that the really good files are hard to find individually, but often available in boxes of six or 12 files. This might be a business opportunity for someone...
  10. Nice! I've always liked those.
  11. Excellent forging, as usual.
  12. Their rasps are good, but I've never seen their files. A quick look online shows they're too small for what I usually want, though. Their largest flat file is only about 12" of teeth. That would be fine for small blades, of course. I notice they claim they are unbreakable and will never wear out (https://www.bellota.com/en-es/workshop/files-and-rasps#files-and-rasps). Challenge accepted!
  13. Of course you can post them in the tailgate section. You can post just about anything there.
  14. That side, oh, 2004? I did the machine tool side a couple of months ago. The forge side may get the treatment when the scale gets deep enough that I can't see that wrought hook... Then it'll just get dirty again. Why bother?
  15. Dude, you've got to get better files! That should have taken half an hour to do one side.
  16. I don't know about the converter, but a VFD will work fine. They take single phase and make it three phase. You'll need one with a 220v input for that 440 motor.
  17. When Matt makes damascus, the starting stack of material is often up to eight inches or more thick. Plus the extra height gives you room for handheld tooling or specialty dies that take a lot of space, like large squaring dies. I'm not trying to step on Matt's toes, but I've used that press a time or two to make big billets.
  18. That does look pretty solid. I prefer dog clamps to chains just because then there is no chance of movement. I could have sworn I had better pics, but look at the feet of the anvil here: There's four of those 1" x 3" x 3/8" bars, each one with a 1/2" hole in the middle, with a 6" lag screw snugged up tight at a 45 degree angle into the stump. No ring, no movement. I know you can't do a permanent mount, but this one is bolted to the slab floor and held with Liquid Nails. Hasn't moved in the twelve years or so I've had it. For a portable stump, the more weight you can add the better. Edit: Found the pic!
  19. So, you're saying that is the very hammer that forged all the Merlin cranks for every Spitfire, Lancaster, and Mosquito? First, wow! Second, that's a heck of a lot of cranks! Even going 24/7 that's pretty impressive! That thing belongs in a museum if it ever gets retired.
  20. Thanks for the reply! If you don't mind starting with round bar, Aldo sells 1" round 5160, and most industrial suppliers have W1 rounds (as water hard drill rod) from 1/16" to 1.5" or so. Starting with big round bar I bet you could do a full-on colichemarde blade. For those who don't know that term, some late 18th century smallswords had triangular hollow ground blades that were very wide for the first 2/3 of the length, with the final third being a thin triangular needle. This gave them a very stiff forte for parries with a flexible tip for poking holes in the opponent.
  21. Exactly. If you want to do damascus at any level beyond low-layer twist patterns, the press is the most efficient way to go. You will still need the hammer, though. A press is good for everything until you get down to a fat 1/4" thick or so, then the steel cools too fast to get a lot of action. Plus it's easier to draw out fast on a hammer than a press. If you want to get into mosaics or crushed Ws or feathers, a press is about the only thing that will do the job. I've had a 100-lb Columbian anvil with no edges and great rebound, a 143lb Peter Wright, and a 220-lb Refflinghaus. The Peter Wright is by far the best of the bunch, and I regret selling it to this day. The Columbian is an old family tool and will not be sold, and it's flat out dangerous to forge on as a missed blow will plant the hammer in your forehead. It just has had all the edge knocked off and the horn isn't as sharp as I like.
  22. I strongly suspected you knew exactly who that was and where. That 12-ton drop is no joke, but the counterblow boggles my little mind. That's a serious bit of forging equipment I had never seen. Is that steam, pneumatic, hydraulic, or a combo, and how does the counterblow action work? Seems like it would be difficult to balance?
  23. Neat-o! Did you forge a triangular section blade in a swage and then grind it on a small wheel? Nice work on the hilt, too.
  24. Daniel: look closely at the face pics. There's arc welds all over the edges, and maybe an entirely rebuild pritchel hole. Jesse: Gerald is totally right. Especially about having it solidly mounted. A loose anvil will feel much more massive and the rebound will greatly improve if you bolt it down tight to an immovable object. It's easy to get sucked into the "bigger is better" mindset, but in my own experience, once you get over 150 - 200 lbs it makes little difference to a smith working alone. If you were making anchors with a team of strikers you could use a bigger anvil, but for blade work you really don't. Oddly enough, smaller anvils tend to be harder with more rebound than larger ones.
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