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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. I second John on the tray behind the vise. You can even make one that swings out of the way, but any tray there is worth its space in gold. I learned two things today, one good, one not so good but informative nonetheless. Under the "informative but not so good" heading, I learned today that I need to pay more attention when making a run of folder blades/spring sets. Turns out if you're off by 0.030 in a certain critical dimension (distance from pivot hole to bottom of tang), make sure you notice before you spend a day doing the HT on a set of three. One set worked perfectly, o
  2. That grain does look a bit better. That helps suggest that it's the steel condition when you got it rather than overheating on your end. Other things: I like a preheated oven myself. Your oil doesn't need to be that hot. 130 degrees is plenty. Nonmagnetic is 1425 degrees F, unless you soak for more than 10 minutes, at which point it starts drifting lower. It can get as low as 1375 during a long soak. The phase change in O1 happens between 1550-1575 degrees. Thus, a magnet doesn't tell you much, other than that you're in the vicinity. That's
  3. Personally, I'm diggin' the pointyness.
  4. You've definitely got the PW imitation of inlay down to an art! I think the old guys would appreciate that. Just as blingy, much more durable, and the pattern goes all the way through!
  5. I think a few normalizing cycles would help. That may just be large grain as-supplied. It's not huge, just bigger than desired.
  6. That grain indicates overheating, or holding at heat for way too long. O1 is pretty forgiving of minor overheating, but it gets ornery if you go over around 2100 degrees. What was your heat treat process, including forging times and temps?
  7. I'm glad you took the time to document all that. I love crappy wrought, and I appreciate the time spent to make it work.
  8. Excellent idea, and good to see you here again!
  9. This will happen with any acid etch, for the reason Jerrod mentioned. When people use etching on hamon, what they often don't tell you is to either re-polish the edge OR only apply the etchant to the area above the line. And use the powdered abrasives on a soft backing. Traditionally it was ground iron oxide scale in clove oil.
  10. What you are seeing is what that steel is capable of giving you. The chromium and manganese levels make it a very deep-hardening steel, so while you can get a basic line, you will not be able to get the wispy cloudy look of true hamon with that alloy. The dark part is fully hardened, the muddy part is not quite hardened, but not capable of showing the mixed microstructure of ferrite/pearlite/martensite that is the cloudy part of hamon, and the part that stays bright didn't harden at all. Also, you can try rubbing with loose abrasive powders above the fully hardened part to try and bri
  11. Personally I like to leave them with a drawfiled finish, that's how most originals were left. If you want a slightly better polish done the old way, use small stones (modern EDM stones are a good substitute for natural stones) or go to bits of leather charged with loose abrasives. A flap wheel on a dremel mimics that look fairly well if used with a light touch and great care. Or there's always going to sandpaper and just stopping at 400 grit. That's a nice satin finish.
  12. Agreed, and the apple knife is pretty cool too!
  13. At the site of Pigeon Forge (there actually was a bloomery forge there!) the scale buildup was about five inches thick. It had turned into a giant iron concretion not unlike concrete, in fact. If the Old Mill Restaurant would let you dig it out, it'd be excellent ore. If you do save scale to smelt, let it rust first. Fe2O3 is much easier to reduce than Fe3O4.
  14. One year and three months smoke-free, still miss it in the shop. But I don't have heart palpitations anymore either. There was probably as much nicotine in one bowl of the stuff I was smoking as there is in a whole pack of cigs, though. An added bonus is the extra $500/year I'm not spending on tobacco...
  15. All part of my nefarious plan, heh heh heh.... And yes, it does. Alchemy! Well, just chemistry, but still pretty cool.
  16. And get a copy of this while you're at it: https://bluemoonpress.org/hammered-symbols.html
  17. Fire scale is Fe3O4. Magnetite. Adding that into the hearth will steal carbon from the steel when it gets into the reduction zone. As your steel is passing the tuyere it's in oxidation, which steals carbon as well. Once the semi-molten steel is safe from oxidation below the tuyere, if there's excess scale down there surprise! More oxygen to take carbon is lurking below, being released from its bond with iron in reduction. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the fire...
  18. Wow, that's a big one! Not maker's marks, though. Just decorative punch marks. Norwegian axes are usually covered with them, as are many older continental axes.
  19. If neutralized properly, yeah, that's okay. I just find a lot of people don't do it properly, just rinse with hot water and call it good. The vinegar tends to form pockets of iron acetate, which is harder to get rid of than some things. Nah, I have enough iron in my blood. Seriously. I have a bunch of scale embedded inside my right middle finger from the time I used a sledgehammer to drive a piece of hot steel through it (it's in the safety subforum). Shows up as a constellation of bright spots on hand x-rays, much to the amusement of my rheumatologists.
  20. First, that's a great axe! Second, yeah, don't do the vinegar. It'll get into the deeper pits and never stop rusting. I also dislike power wire brushes, having seen way too many classic hand tools ruined by an overenthusiatic application thereof. That said, that axe is crusty enough that hand brushing is advisable. The rust neutralizers like evaporust are good, they convert tight rust to black iron oxide. But, they need the loose crusty stuff removed, so we're back to gentle brushing. Other options are electrolysis, sandblasting with walnut hulls rather than sand, o
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