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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Alan Longmire

    Is 2 inches in width going to be big enough?

    I can make a 2" wide kitchen knife from 3/4" round bar or 1" x 1/4" flat bar, so that's not really a good question. How thick is your 2" wide stock? How thick do you want the finished blade to be? Forging is a constant volume process (minus loss to scale), you just change the shape of the steel.
  2. Alan Longmire

    Power hammer build questions

    Considering an Anyang or Big Blu will set you back in the realm of $6,000 (and a big compressor for the Blu for another $1500 or so), homebuilt or used mechanical is far cheaper. If you know what you're doing and are a good scrounger you can build a decent hammer for well under $1000. If you're lucky you can find an old Little Giant for $2500 and be ready to go. My 50lb Star was built in 1925 and is still going strong, just used it today. The 2hp motor is more than enough for it. As for the difference between a treadle hammer and a power hammer, a treadle hammer is powered by your leg. They take the place of a striker for slow powerful blows using top tooling (used mine today for that as well), but they suck for drawing long tapers fast, which is something power hammers do extremely well. A treadle hammer will run as fast as you can stomp it, in my case around 1 blow per second to get the full swing. My 50lb Star runs around 3 to 4 blows per second running flat out, but can do single blows or slower lighter blows as well. They both have their uses, but one does not take the place of the other. A really big self-contained hammer like a Nazel 3B can act like a treadle hammer, since they have so much room between the dies and they're so controllable. The biggest Anyang can do that as well, but at less than half the weight, so not as efficient. In other words, a treadle hammer is to a power hammer as a file is to a belt grinder. And the smallest Little Giant is the 25lb, which are cute little buggers at 5ft tall. They run around 330 blows per minute, so they do a surprising amount of work for their size. The head on my treadle hammer weighs around 80 pounds, but since you have to overcome the springs that hold it up the actual blow is more like a 20lb sledge. The 50lb Star hits like a 10lb sledge, but at 250 blows per minute does a heck of a lot more than I can by hand. It puts so much energy into the steel it'll stay hot far longer then it will by hand hammering. It'll actually hold the steel at a full red heat with the pedal to the floor for as long as you care to do that.
  3. Alan Longmire

    Beer = better forging?

    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed...
  4. Alan Longmire

    What did you do in your shop today?

    Thanks! I know S&H, they are indeed excellent anvils. Jim Austin has a shop full of them, but none that big.
  5. Alan Longmire

    O1 round stock?

    Like all good old files, it's going to be a shallow-hardening high carbon steel, either 1095, W1, or W2. And some of my best files are older than you are, , so "pretty old" is relative. There's no way to tell the difference between them by looking, spark-testing, or other easy test, but luckily the heat treatment for all three is the same. Triple-normalize, warm oil quench from 1450 (decalescence for these steels), temper for desired final hardness. The only thing you really have to worry about is that big single fuller, it's going to cause warping. Be prepared for that.
  6. Alan Longmire

    In Dublin

    I've always liked that hilt.
  7. Alan Longmire

    Shop floor grinding dust?

    I am sorry to hear that too, that's harsh. We're as here for you as we can be if you need anything, dude.
  8. Alan Longmire

    O1 round stock?

    MSCdirect, McMaster-Carr, Fastenal, your local industrial supply house... They call it water-hard drill rod, but don't try water quenching it in blade form.
  9. Alan Longmire

    What did you do in your shop today?

    Very nice hammer indeed! But that is a massive anvil! How much does that monster weigh?
  10. Alan Longmire

    Super quench. Some data.

    48-50 Rc is well within the range of medieval blades. Just sayin'. Next you'll say it's not good enough because it rusts. (just messing with you!)
  11. Alan Longmire

    Time flies...

  12. Alan Longmire

    Another Small one

    Love it.
  13. Alan Longmire

    M9 bayonet Phrobis Adaption

    Looks good! Nice polish.
  14. Alan Longmire

    Trying to decide on a standardized process

    If you can get the Trizact belts, they have zero bump. The downside is you can't get them wet or use them on wood. The antiscale I have works, but I don't care for it. If you get it over 1550 degrees f it combines with the steel and must be ground out of the pits it leaves. But that is just one brand. I want to try the stuff Dan O'Connor is selling down in the sales forum, because he's a great guy. To me, foil only makes sense if you're doing steels that respond well to plate quenching, because the risk of accidental bending, warping, or just not guenching fast enough bothers me for those steels you have to cut out of the foil before quenching.
  15. Alan Longmire

    O1 round stock?

    I would go for the W1 drill rod, it is much easier to finish since it doesn't air harden. It's also a bit cheaper.
  16. Alan Longmire

    Culver Inspired (Copied) Slipjoint

    I need to start too, but I have learned not to use a gorgeous bit of stag for my scales. I would have a hard time letting it go too! I hope mine comes out at least a quarter as nice.
  17. Alan Longmire

    boring axe-stuff...

    As you may guess by the above comment, I found the time to watch the second one, and am even more impressed! I had heard of, but never seen, an axe steeled that way. And I used to forge with a corncob pipe in my mouth quite a bit. I rewatched the first one and saw this : Different guys, I think; definitely different methods. Towards the end they show a wide variety of traditional Swedish axe forms. Sorry for the hijack, Jake, I just could't resist!
  18. Alan Longmire

    boring axe-stuff...

    https://www.bnctools.com/pages/making-the-allagash-cruiser Interesting...
  19. Alan Longmire

    boring axe-stuff...

    I have never seen either of those, and while I haven't watched the second one, that first one is pure magic! Everything from the old water-powered hammer converted to run off a belt (electric, steam, hit-and-miss?) to the last frames of him hot-japanning it with asphaltum laquer is just too darned cool! And the hand hammer, that monster would kill me in short order... And never have I seen anyone steel an axe like that. I can see the advantages, but dang, I couldn't believe it when he got the weld on and immediately cut off the rest on the first heat, in one heat. Only with iron! I will be watching the other one and the suggested ones that pop up throughout later when I have time. Thank you for posting those.
  20. Alan Longmire

    This almost killed me

    And now you see why there's a pinned post about axes and mild-to-mild forge welding! Also why I always make the edge steel have as sharp a rear edge as possible. Unless you use wrought iron for the body you'll never get that pinhole behind the edge steel to close up. Great job for your second one, though!
  21. Alan Longmire

    M9 bayonet Phrobis Adaption

    Looks good! Can't say much about the blade, though, as it is mostly absent from that little clip...
  22. Feathered wolf tooth, interesting... I'm gonna guess it represents the tangled swirls of the duality of light and dark the protagonist(s) are struggling with. Just going out on the obvious limb...and you didn't tell me Petr was involved! He is definitely the guy for mythic-level fittings.
  23. Alan Longmire

    Beer = better forging?

    Plato they say, could stick it away, half a crate of whisky ev'ry day...
  24. Alan Longmire

    My initial journey into crucible steels.

    Be careful with that picral, that's some nasty stuff!
  25. Alan Longmire


    That is indeed what I meant, that handle just looked like it was meant to go into a sort of dovetailed receiver lug on the muzzle, at least until I saw the hole. Now I am even more confused... The engraving and gold damascene work does look Turkish. Odd piece, for sure.