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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Alan Longmire

    What did you do in your shop today?

    52100 does that, yes. It also air hardens a bit if it's thin.
  2. Alan Longmire

    Time to say good bye to the Break Drum Forge

    You need at least twice that much coal in there. It should be mounded up three or four inches above the rim of the pot. This ensures a neutral to reducing atmosphere level with the table, where the steel will be. A too-shallow fire like that is oxidizing, which can actually prevent welding.
  3. Alan Longmire

    Making a Paring knife

    Oi! What time is it in Queensland, mate? It's a bit late here in Tennessee, which means it must be way early for you! And I don't know if you can get 1mm 1075 from Gameco, but for kitchen knives, the thinner the better, other than cleavers. We've a few Aussies and Kiwis on the forum. (insert southern American accent ['cause I have one]) Y'all need to talk!
  4. Alan Longmire

    Starting a New Mosaic

    Nice! I think these tiled mosaics work best on contemporary Bowie styles myself, BUT: how do you think a Bowie #1 would fly with that sort of pattern and a totally traditional handle? I suspect if the pattern is clean and the hilt immaculate (which you are very good at doing, BTW) that it would be a great cross-trend piece.
  5. Alan Longmire

    WIP - A pair of dueling longswords

    Looking lovely, Florian!
  6. Alan Longmire

    Falchion class in Phoenix AZ.

    For the record, Peter is from SOUTHERN Sweden. Well, central...and Sweden is way north...nevermind. You know I get it. The three of us shared a little 'shine in Ashokan last time. I am so glad you're using his ideas! That realization of ratios is so simple, yet powerful, in design from hand tools to architecture, and yet until Peter thought about it, nobody had ever applied it to the other main product of the medieval world. Josh: I know the illustration you got that falchion idea from, I just can't spell it at the moment. Excellent choice. Next Sword Ashokan we should all show up. I might even have another sword to show by then, but don't hold your breath. Oh, you have, my unmet friend, you have...
  7. Alan Longmire

    Making a Paring knife

    Not bad at all! I would suggest starting with 1mm stock for a paring knife, loads less steel to remove, and leaves a much lighter feel in the handle area. The third knife I ever made (in 1999 if you're keeping score) was a paring knife for my grandmother to replace the one she'd used since 1946. The blade had finally worn in two, and I made her an exact replica (crooked-finger profile and all) from some 0.4 mm bandsaw blade. Made myself one (without the crooked finger profile) as well. My gran loved it, and used it 'til the end. My wife won't use mine because it's not stainless... Point is, you did a good job, it's just way too thick. Plus everything Zeb said, minus the socks comment. Those are nifty socks! Curious, though: Was the dropped bare steel at the heel of the handle the original plan, or did the wood just not fit? Design feature or accident, in other words? It's not quite clear just looking. If it was intentional, amp it up a bit. If it was an accident, read this in an Eric Idle accent: Don't do it again. One final observation: Nice beard! Mine is about as long, and used to be that color. Gray's not bad, though. The issue is: a friend of mine with similar facial hair, albeit a bit longer and bushier, got too close to a drill one day. About a week before I met him for the first time, actually. Turns out an electric drill can rip a fist-sized hunk of beard out of your face before you can let go of the trigger. Beard safety first!
  8. Alan Longmire

    Refining Bloomery Iron into Hearth Steel with Hurstwic

    I had that same thought back around 2006 or so. The gurus of smelting at the time didn't think so, but nobody ever tried it. For the record, on your path to the Fiery Beard you will read some rather obscure Norse sagas, including one in which the protagonist was told to feed iron filings to his geese and smelt the poop. Modern theory is that would add Phosphorus to the now-oxidized iron, more or less making a high-P bog ore analogue with additional organic contributions from the other (ahem) solids. Got any geese?
  9. Alan Longmire

    Pattern welded broken back long sax

    Congrats, and Ryan, you got a steal!
  10. Alan Longmire

    Heat treat oven??

    You can, but it would take some fiddling with the controls. They are not nearly as user-friendly as kilns. You usually have a pair of them, the high-temp for austenitizing and a low-temp for quenching/tempering, as Jerrod said. The risk and rust factors are what keep me from using them. I just don't have the proper space for them Oddly enough, I am in the same boat. I want to get into folders and kitchen knives, those sell best if stainless, and stainless doesn't do well in my muffle pipe setup because it's hard to control the heat precisely. I would like to hear from people who have used both the Paragon and the Evenheat (or any other brand, those are just the big two). I don't really see the need for the extra-wide double barrel since I don't do big production runs, and I suspect the 18" length is the maximum I'd want. I have a gas-fired drum forge for swords already, and I don't plan on making stainless swords. There are also a couple of WIP builds here, one from Daniel Gentile and one from Dee Hedges (both in the pinned Tools and Toolmaking forum down below The Way). I am electrically challenged, however. I'd rather have plug-and-play for this sort of thing.
  11. Alan Longmire

    Time to say good bye to the Break Drum Forge

    If you can get bituminous, do so. I think you'll like it better than anthracite. It will take some getting used to (it smokes more at first, and puffs up like a marshmallow as it cokes, among other things), but there must be a reason it is the standard smithing coal.
  12. Alan Longmire

    ...And so it begins!

    Just be sure to get the Satanite cured before the freeze hits. It could get ugly, otherwise.
  13. Alan Longmire

    ...And so it begins!

    That's remarkably similar to one of my ideas. Guess I'll have to go with the folding seax now.
  14. Alan Longmire

    Wootz Khanda help!

    I'd try a strong solvent first. It really looks like old shellac or something to me, and WD-40 isn't the best remover of such stuff. Maybe have a go with lacquer thinner or methylated spirits? Abrasives would be my last resort. I don't think it's related to tempering or etching, since it didn't appear until you tried to clean it.
  15. Alan Longmire

    Wootz Khanda help!

    Is it some kind of wax or other protective coating? That would be my guess.
  16. Alan Longmire

    Hunting knife

    Is she home yet? Are you still alive? I can't help noticing nobody has said "Dude, why were you staining wood in your new, unfinished kitchen?" That's 'cause we're guys. We all do stupid stuff like this. And we never have a good answer...
  17. Alan Longmire

    Beginner blacksmith

    I just use a cheap stainless one like this: https://www.amazon.com/TEKTON-7076-Handle-Brush-Scraper/dp/B000NY8PMI Block brushes are great for heavy ornamental forgings, but a bit overkill on a knife blade. Brush it vigorously right out of the fire as needed. And don't get one with a plastic handle, for obvious reasons.
  18. Alan Longmire

    Brittle blade after tempering

    No need. Getting it to forging heat erases all prior heat treatment.
  19. Alan Longmire

    Drying Curly Maple

    Depending on the species. Some maples move with humidity more than others. Silver maple, red maple, and bigleaf maple all move a LOT more than sugar maple.
  20. Alan Longmire

    Beginner blacksmith

    It will leave pits in the blade, but you're going to grind it clean afterwards anyway. It doesn't create impurities. It's just ugly. The way I deal with it is to do the last couple of finishing heats at a bright red heat with soft blows, after wire brushing it clean first. This leaves a uniform, smooth coat of scale that gets removed with vinegar or an angle grinder before belt grinding or filing, because scale is harder than steel and will quickly dull belts and files.
  21. Alan Longmire

    Brittle blade after tempering

    Yes, just do the normalizing. The "bury it in sand, ashes, lime, vermiculite, etc." is an old myth that won't go away.
  22. Alan Longmire

    Hunting knife

    Not that deep... but it is permanent. Oxalic acid can get it out, but it'll bleach the wood. Oops!
  23. Alan Longmire

    Brittle blade after tempering

    That "anneal" is the problem. What you did was basically cause massive grain growth followed by a lamellar carbide structure. The large grain combined with segregated carbides made for a blade that would be brittle no matter what. Large grain is more hardenable, but it is a weak structure. The lamellar carbides (which aren't that bad in 1084 since it doesn't have a lot of excess carbon or carbide-forming elements) will make drilling holes difficult. If you have any more of that steel left, you can fix it by doing three or four normalizing cycles to reduce the grain size and redistribute the carbides. This is just taking it to critical (a little above nonmagnetic for 1084) and letting it air cool to black. Do that three or four times, then do your shaping. At no point should you let it soak at heat, not even (especially not even) the final quench.
  24. Alan Longmire

    Falchion class in Phoenix AZ.

    Looks like fun!
  25. Alan Longmire

    Beginner blacksmith

    An overnight soak in vinegar will take the scale off. Wet forging works, but it's messy and loud. I don't recommend the upset idea, high carbon steels don't like being forged at lower temperatures. Scale is just something we deal with.
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