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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. What Brian said. You can order the hose and regulator already assembled here: https://www.hightemptools.com/propaneregulators.html, but it would be cheaper to source it locally. There has to be a propane supply place near you, or you could use the hose and regulator off a turkey fryer. A grill doesn't go high enough. You also don't need a pressure gauge, but they are nice to have. I also found this for half the price, and it will work just fine: https://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/collections/bayou-classic-propane-regulator-kits/products/bayou-classic-stainless-steel-0-30-psi-propane-regulator-kit but you will need to get an adaptor thingy to hook the hose to the burner. This hose has a female connector, as does the burner. A simple male-to-male adaptor will do the trick. Don't use teflon tape, use propane-rated assembly paste (about $3 per small tube). The tape tends to end up in the gas line and clogs the burner orifice.
  2. If there was any oil on it, that may have made it blue. Otherwise you'd have to have spiked to around 550 degrees, which I doubt you did. Check the edge, I bet it's hard.
  3. Classic 1930s bread knife! Good save, Michael.
  4. Man, I knew about Bill, but not Doug. Gonna be a bit different this year for sure.
  5. Or maybe it's the other way round? I get those shakes too, from time to time. Well, it's always there a little bit, a thing called Essential Tremor. But if I'm tired while working it gets worse. Sometimes a hot water soak helps along with food and water.
  6. Found it! This is the long version, given at Arctic Fire. Although, I've seen it in person at Ashokan and Owen Bush's. Still mind-blowing no matter how many times I watch it.
  7. Here it is in Video form: This is the wordless, blow-your-mind-slowly version. It starts slow, but by about minute 4 it will start to make sense. Then it will blow your mind again. And there is an Arctic Fire talk about it too, I'll see if I can find that...
  8. I remember the last one of these you did, and I still think it's pretty cool.
  9. I think I see the issue. The hammer should do the work, you shouldn't have to. Snapping at the end of the stroke is okay for small hammers trying to do big work, but doing it with a decent-sized hammer of 2 - 3 lbs is asking for trouble. It should rebound back to at least 45 degrees with zero effort on your part as well. Watch someone like Peter Ross work. He's not going pedal to the metal, flat out. He's letting the hammer do the work, taking his time to plan the next blow, not rushing to keep the heat, and so on. Being Peter Ross, he makes it look easier than it is. I find I tend to hammer at around 120 beats per minute with 2 to 3-lb hammers, a little faster with lighter ones, a little to a lot slower with heavier ones as they get heavier. Also, I find "normal" handles are too big for my ordinary-sized hands and make me grip too hard. I shave down my handles until they feel good. I'm six feet tall, glove size 9 (large), and I don't have stubby fingers. I can span one full octave plus one key on a piano, in other words. Normal sized hands. And I take at least 1/4" off my handles thickness compared to factory handles. Makes a big difference to me, it may help you!
  10. Man, best wishes and good vibes for the dog! As for the hammer handle, in my experience a gloss finish makes it stick (as in gives you blisters) until your hand gets sweaty, then it squirts out like a greased lightning bolt. I just sand to 80 or 120 grit, just enough that there's no splinters. One coat of boiled linseed oil or just leave it as-is. Or char it and run it back with steel wool.
  11. 8" was the standard for 50 years or so. The bigger the wheel, the easier it is to do a flat grind. The real question is smooth or serrated surface. Serrated cuts faster and cooler, but leaves a slightly rougher finish. I run a 6" smooth or a flat platen with a serrated 2" top wheel. I wouldn't mind a 12", but I can't justify buying one.
  12. This is a perfect project to use Peter Johnsson's geometrical design technique to get the proportions just right. It works best on straight double-edged blades with symmetrical guards.
  13. In general, and in my opinion (and there are many!) a Bowie has a mostly parallel blade for the first two-thirds of the blade (usually!) and has a symmetrical (usually!) handle. Nobody knows what the knife Jim Bowie had at the Sandbar Fight in 1828 looked like, it was described at the time as "a large butcher knife." I base my opinion on the so-called golden age Bowies of 1829-1860. These have a lot of variation, and some did have slightly sculpted handles, but more in a sabre-esque way. A few of the earliest did have more of a curve to the edge, some even had a blade that widened out to the clip or spearpoint. But I'm a classics kind of guy. You can find the exact opposite opinion from people just as qualified as me (which is not much more than most unless you're talking historical stuff). To some people any large-ish single edged knife with a guard is a bowie. To me, a "fighter" has a pointier profile than a bowie, and always has a sculpted grip. But that's me. In other words, it's not in any way important! This is a great design Joel has come up with, and that's all it needs.
  14. I'd call that a fighter rather than a bowie, but that's just a matter of opinion. And I think it's a cool idea in the north where sapping is a long tradition! Plus it looks like you could use the bucket hook as a bottle opener if needed.
  15. This is true. Even at those events that involve adult beverages for those adults who want one in the evening, I have never been to one where any person of any age would be threatened with anything except greater learning. Every smith I know gets downright protective of the younger ones, including me, and I'm allergic to children! A hammer-in is the safest place you could possibly be, in my experience.
  16. A little hype at the start, but a good video about a great guy. I met Al at a hammer-in in 2006 or 2007, and he let me borrow his optical pyrometer to check the temperature of a bloom still in the furnace, didn't even tell me to be careful with it. Just asked if I knew how to take a reading, then showed me ("point that spot where you want it, push that button. Sorry it's in Celsius, got a calculator?"). Not many people would do that for a guy they'd never met. Unfailingly patient, polite, and just plain nice.
  17. To be perfectly honest, I just eyeball it for everything but pins. Those I measure and mark. Otherwise ( and this was touched on in another thread), no center scribe, no height gauge, just a short ruler when needed, compass/dividers and calipers when required. And they would be required on that handle to get the layout right! Then again, I'm not that good a knifemaker. Axes, tomahawks, swords, seaxes, I'm competent to decent. Knives like this, I'm average to below average. All that said, it seems my eye is calibrated in such a way that the ratios just show up. On a brokenback seax, the handle to blade ratio is 2/5 : 3/5. Usually. On smaller ones it approaches 1:1, on larger ones it slips a bit the other way. On a classic period bowie, the ratio of handle length to average handle width is usually around 4.5 : 1. Opinion warning : Just make it visually harmonious to you and don't worry too much about it. Sometimes an unusually proportioned element makes the piece, sometimes it throws it off. That's the art part of it.
  18. Golden ratio, Fibonacci sequences, 3:5 ratio, and it has to be comfy... Only the last is a fact. Use of the ratios does tend to make things more pleasing to the eye because it imitates nature, but it is not necessary to make a "good" knife. If you think that's wild, wait until you try wrapping your head around Peter Johnsson's sword design techniques using geometry! They work, but your eyes will cross the first time you try it...
  19. This all goes back to the metallurgy articles I linked above. The reason simple high carbon alloys are considered to give a finer or "sharper" edge is that the high-alloy steels tend to have huge carbides by comparison. That was the idea behind the introduction of powder metallurgy steels, that method of manufacture produced much finer carbides than traditional melting methods. Note they are still huge in comparison to something like 1075 (which has no carbides). They're just finer. Look at the micrograph article. The ones with big carbides or a lot of small but hard carbides will be extremely wear resistant (hold an edge longer), but it will be difficult to get as fine an edge with the large carbides versus the small. Plus big carbides do not wear down, they break off, leaving a microscopically jagged edge. Add all that to the thicker irons on Veritas blades versus Stanley, and A2 or O1 is sure going to feel like it's superior to the original 1095, even if it isn't, simply by the reduction in chatter. And Don: I suspect they are pushing the edge-holding thing because guys new to hand planes tend to be freaked out about pulling and resetting the blade, so the fewer times you have to do that the better. We of course know better...
  20. If you were using soft solder that would be a problem. With brazing it's a bit different. Do the tube seam first with it horizontal, then do the cap vertically, heating from below. With brazing you get a new alloy in the joint that has a slightly higher flow temperature than the rod alone, allowing you to do adjacent joints without melting the first one. You just have to be careful with the torch flame.
  21. I can't tell from the pics. Try getting a shot with the blade reflecting a black t-shirt or something else dark, that tends to show it better.
  22. Yes, on small things like that your torch is more than enough. And Sil-Fos is almost as strong as the 56% silver stuff.
  23. Ah, gotcha. And now that I'm looking at them on a big screen rather than a phone, I can clearly see that, oops... It's a nice look, though. And yes, stainless damascus is stupid expensive.
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