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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. First, be very careful using the term "silver solder." That refers specifically to the high-melting hard solders used by jewelers, the softest of which flows at about twice the temperature of silver-bearing plumbing solder. Stay-brite is a soft silver-bearing solder, it is not a silver solder. It has around 2% silver, 96% tin, and 2% antimony. It is fine for large areas like guards, or the bolsters on pocketknife liners, but it may be a little too soft for the chape. It will break if bent. I had to look up SSF-6, and it's pretty much what I use on tomahawk bowls (I use Harris Safety-Silv 56). Both are a 56% silver brazing rod, but the Safety-Silv is much smaller diameter than the SSF-6 I see on Amazon. It will not break. In fact, it will outlast the brass. It has a slight brassy color, and matches well when fresh, but when the brass eventually tarnishes the braze line will stand out like a sore thumb. So will the Stay-Brite, actually. Which leads me to... Sil-Fos. This is a rod that is mostly copper, with from 5 to 15% silver and a good hit of phosphorus. It flows at temperatures in between soft solder and hard solder/brazing rod. It's mostly used by air conditioning and refrigeration companies, because it needs no flux (although flux never hurts), flows well, and fills gaps better than other alloys. It will also color match the brass better than the others because of the copper content. https://www.amazon.com/MILHAUPT-SIL-FOS-Silver-Solder-Sticks/dp/B016C2ONKC/ref=pd_cp_328_2/135-4027940-4541910?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B016C2ONKC&pd_rd_r=c50b1dae-8634-4c97-9f3d-87c15337ce51&pd_rd_w=O8Hp6&pd_rd_wg=gWgun&pf_rd_p=e44de6bb-cc27-4696-9c22-3a1bddefabbd&pf_rd_r=XWAQQ30CG3Z3NPCPQM6E&psc=1&refRID=XWAQQ30CG3Z3NPCPQM6E I'd go with Sil-Fos for brass fittings, because the ones I've done with any true silver solder tend to show the joints after a while. Thickness: This is a personal thing, but I tend to use 0.025" / 22 gauge / 0.65mm, but you can go thicker if you want. I wouldn't go any thinner.
  2. Nice work! Did you make the Damascus too?
  3. Dude! Sir John, rather: you must post a pic of this logo for those of us not on Instagram, Facebook, etc.! And I see what you did there...
  4. Nice! He looks a bit more laid back than our Bald Eagles and Ospreys.
  5. 26 inches in propane. 54" in charcoal. It's all in the stroking it through the hot spot. Randal Graham used to do 28" katanas in a vertical forge with a 4" hot spot. It works fine if you have the patience. Hardening is the easy part with long blades, it's tempering that gets hairy. I now have a 60" heat treat forge that is technically a single burner (1" T-rex venturi), I just haven't fired it up yet.
  6. If you want to get REALLY technical, a "traditional" katana would be made from tamahagane smelted from titaniferous iron sands (don't get excited, the titanium just runs off in the slag), with the edge steel and body steels being parts of the same bloom with two different carbon contents. This is what makes the hada, the visible grain you see on traditional katana. You won't get that from any modern homogenous steel, but you can come close by welding up cable. I'm with Geoff, it sounds like you've done just enough reading to get yourself into a difficult situation. If this is not the case I apologize, but we've seen it all too often when it comes to the Japanese stuff. And if you want indestructible, look up "Howard Clark L6 bainite katana." Not traditional in any way, of course. But then neither is Howard.
  7. I wouldn't get too carried away. Read the following article: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/10/01/super-steels-vs-regular-knife-steels/, it helps explain a bit about the tradeoffs with hardness (edge retention) versus toughness in fancy steels. If you filter the graph you posted through the BS meter, it looks surprisingly like CPM D2. See also https://knifesteelnerds.com/2019/05/26/new-micrographs-of-42-knife-steels/ for further enlightened nerdiness. And yes, I've been meaning to make some octagonal plows for the #45 for about 15 years or more. I have most of the full set of standard plows from 1/4" to 1", a couple of beading irons, and a tongue-and-groove set. I was inletting octagonal rifle barrels at the time, using the plows to cut the main grooves and cleaning up the bottom angles with a scraper. I haven't had the need to inlet barrels in a long time, thus the #45 just sits in its box.
  8. No, power hacksaw blades usually are HSS. I was talking about Alex's bandsaw blades. Unless yours have markings?
  9. I think it's great. The exaggerated birdshead is exaggerated enough to show it is a deliberate choice. The slanted lines are well done. Congratulations!
  10. No idea what alloy it is, but this reminded me I need to make some irons for my Stanley 45...
  11. You sure about that? M2 teeth on a nickel steel band, yes. M2 alone is not flexible enough to make the whole blade...
  12. I was told a long time ago that patience (or specifically the lack thereof) is why few young craftsmen are true masters, even if they've been doing it for a few years. I am a lot more patient than I was when I started, but I'm still waiting to be patient enough... That's where hand tools are better than power tools for some things. It's hard to be patient grinding a blade when you have the ability to blow through steel as fast as you press it to the belt. Me too.
  13. I wouldn't. Gerald just mentioned it (but then he's also wanting to pick up Canadian gals ), so there you go. I might use it on a cutting board, but not on wooden scales. Why a cutting board? BLO is poisonous, and veggie oils go rancid. I've used walnut oil, and it never ever dries, just like mineral oil, but it doesn't wash off the surface and stay in the wood like mineral oil. Plus it is pretty much free of flavor. The mineral oil, not the walnut oil. That stuff's nasty after a while... same with olive oil.
  14. The stars start at around 20% and continue through about 40%, so I do those the normal way. Only for the loops do I use the split and weld backwards method, since they are in the central 10%. Look at Niels' visualization here: and here: Only if I am after the bottom pattern do I split. And as far as I know, the twist is the only pattern that works with. Laddering and raindrop only go so deep and can be ground right out. There a bit of difference between cut grooves/drilled holes forged flat and using a press to press grooves and blisters that are then ground flat, but both methods will go away if ground too much. And you just took a mosaic class, so you know how much that process wastes...
  15. Only when baked on. It's more of a metal finish for kitchenware.
  16. Nice one! I have yet to do one of the later plains style, I just prefer the eastern woodlands look. I have to ask, though: what's a horse going to do with a hawk?
  17. When I want the eddy effect found in the center of a twisted bar, I split it down the middle with a bandsaw, turn it inside-out, and reweld. Much less grinding.
  18. I get the gallon jug from the feed store for $10. If it's good enough for a colicky horse, it's good enough.
  19. Looks good! And yeah, there's a lot of waste in some patterns. One more reason Damascus is not cheap!
  20. I once smuggled 20 Kg of 15N20 into England for a certain smith... even split between two bags that don't half weigh you down!
  21. Try it now. If it still doesn't work, let me know.
  22. You might need to clear your cache, delete cookies, and re-favorite the site. We had to set up a whole new address for some reason, sorry.
  23. Yes, it's spreadable plastic. But it works as advertised.
  24. Too long to explain, computers are evil, but Niels and Dave saved the day.
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