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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Yep, that's the frog. And also yep to seeing original examples. You won't find a stitched scabbard or grip on any of them. Well, some later rapier and smallsword scabbards are stitched, but they're also not rigid. And some of the Germanic single-edged large blade (messers, baurnwehr, hauswehr, etc.) scabbards are stitched and not rigid. But never the classic cruciform double-edged sword scabbards.
  2. Epoxy and cross-pinned work well too. Bruce is right, threading will always loosen. When I do attached a pommel with threads, I always epoxy and peen it just to be sure it's not gonna move.
  3. Welcome aboard! You'll get a lot of help here, but first read the pinned threads about gas forges. We've got a LOT of info stored.
  4. Thanks for posting! Glad things are going well for you.
  5. For this piece, that's not a bad idea. For $10K and under, a handshake deal is the norm in the knife world. But this is a special piece. No guarantee it'll sell, that's up to luck.
  6. Also forgot to address this. Set a price and stick with it. You can knock off a little if you want, but don't take "best offer" unless you're desperate for money. Do not auction, it'll break your heart. As great as that piece is, you're an unknown in that world. This is a fabulous introduction to that world, though! At the price we're looking at, you will not be getting cash or check. If you did get cash you couldn't take it on the plane anyway, TSA will confiscate anything over $10,000 assuming it's drug money. That leaves you with bank transfer as your best option. Have your bank info with you. It'll cost the buyer between $80-$200 to make the transfer, depending on what each respective bank charges. International transfers are not cheap! Inexplicably, it also takes three days to a week for it to clear. Since it's all electrons anyway with no physical objects moving hands it should be instantaneous, but it's not. It is polite to knock the cost of the transfer off your final agreed-upon price, but not required. It may be that that sets the deal, though.
  7. It was! Especially since I've been too busy to do much forging since January. But the elbow held up, so I was happy. Yes indeed. So's the poker. The hacksaw frame is not, but will be in Aspery's Book 5. Had I been a member of ABANA, he offered to sign off on my certification as a level one instructor of the curriculum, but I'm not a member, so there. Very nice indeed! Is the knot applied, or chased? Looks applied, just asking. I like it.
  8. I forgot to add, all makers know where their flaws are and can't help but see them as glaring errors. The customer rarely sees them at all, and sometimes sees them as a particularly attractive feature!
  9. Exactly. It is art, and art valuation follows a different set of rules. I don't pretend to understand those rules, but I know art costs what it costs, and that cost has nothing (or very little) to do with the materials or time invested. It usually is. Not always, Mr. Hands' engraving is staggeringly good, but he's a professional engraver. You're not competing with him, you're competing with other sole authorship makers. That's what they'll tell you. They lie. They aren't collectors, they're dealers. They're just trying to get it for less than they know it'll sell for, and will keep the profit. Once upon a time there was honor in the knife world. There still is, but it's not with the dealers. You are the artist, they are parasites. In this internet world, "dealers" like that are increasingly irrelevant and they know it. The proper response when someone asks you for a discount is a stony glare, like Dick said. Personally I have been known to tell them to go commit improbable acts of self-stimulation, but that's rude and uncalled-for unless they're really being a jerk.
  10. Looks like a North German two horn pattern Kohlswa? Never seen one of those, even though I knew they existed. What's the weight? As for me, four-day class with Mark Aspery ended yesterday. I took it because if he's teaching in your area it'd be stupid not to go! Class emphasis was on forge welding and upsetting, with three projects. First was a fire poker made from several parts in which a basket handle was welded from two pieces of 1/4" round, a collar weld of 3/8" square on the end, a shaft of 3/8 square welded to the other end of basket, point and barb forged from 1/4" x 3/4" flat bar in which the point was forged, a 1" long section of undisturbed 3/4" was left for the barb, and the rest drawn out to 3/8" square. The barb was upset from the 1/4 x 1 x 3/4" tab, then the whole thing was welded to the shaft which was then tapered from 1/4" square at the barb to 3/8" square at the basket. As one participant put it, "This seems like we're doing this the hardest possible way!" to which Mr. Aspery replied "Yes, that's the idea." Second project was a gate latch of 3/8" round. The barb on the hook is a type of jellyroll weld in which the end of the bar was given a very short taper and notched lengthwise on the edge of the anvil, then nicked and folded over twice. The idea is that the short tapered wedge when folded in becomes the wedge shape of the barb, with the thick edges of the notch acting as filler on the sides which you wouldn't get from just folding and welding the round bar. The rest of the hook is just precision bending that would be simple with an oxy-fuel torch, but was done in a coal forge. The hasp without backplate (that's our homework assignment) is a staple with tenons forged on the end to fit a pair of 1/4" holes 1.25" apart, and the drive staple has the pointy bits forged on the diamond, which allows you to draw the points sharper after the staple is bent. Make sure to leave one leg about 1/8" longer than the other to aid in starting to drive it into the post. Final project is a hacksaw frame forged from an 8" bar of 1/4" x 1.5" flat bar. First make a punch mark at 7/8" from one end and 1.75" from the other end. Forge the bar ends to a half-octagon profile, then upset the bar at each punch mark to be 1/8" wider than the parent bar. Set down the 1.75" end of the bar to form a tab that measures about 1" wide x 1/4" thick. Chisel a slot from punch mark to punch mark, punch a 1/4" hole at each end of the slot, taking care to capture the very end of the chisel cut, then make a chisel cut at 1.5" from the end of the slot on the side where the 1" tab is to creat an opening from the outside edge to the slot. Unfold the long end and forge to a 1/2" x 1/4" flat bar, cleaning up the bevels from the chisel cuts by upsetting them back into the parent bar. Then unfold the short end to be at right angles to the bar. Cut the short end of the T thus formed to be 3/4" long, then upset that to 1/2" long. Hot rasp and file round, then saw a slot longways to hold the blade. Bend the frame to look like a saw frame that will take 10" blades. Put blade in slotted end and adjust bends until it fits with 1/8" to go, cut off excess from far end, if any. Round far end with files, cut slot for blade. Draw out tang to fit a file handle. Done! Homework on this is to drill a 1/8" hole at the tang end and pin the blade on with a 1/8" rivet. Drill the hole at the far end 1/8" too far away, then insert the blade, bend the frame until the blade can be pinned, and let go. Add file handle, instant hacksaw. In about six hours' work, that is. As you can see, I got the poker a bit wonky at the basket/shaft junction. This called for a drop-the-tongs weld and I didn't have my anhydrous borax/cast iron powder with me and it took eight attempts to nail it with plain 20-mule-team. I brought my mix the next day and never had a welding issue again, nor did anyone else who used my flux. This doesn't look like a lot of product for four days of work, but trust me, it was not easy! One fun thing is that part of the assignment on the gate latch and the saw frame was that there be no obvious hammer marks on the finished product. This is a holdover from the days when everything was hand forged. Nowadays we like to see the hammer marks as proof of a hand made item. Back in the day, though, proof of excellent workmanship was no visible evidence it was made by hand. Kind of like what we try to do with most of our stuff, brut-de-forge excepted. Nine people in the class, three of whom were bladesmiths. Guess who produced the most mark-free work...
  11. I'm sure someone has, but I don't know off the top of my head who that may be. You'd have the usual problems with welding stainless to carbon, i.e. wildly different welding temps, wildly different HT temps (assuming a hardenable stainless), plus the tendency for stainless to oxidize just enough to not weld, made worse by using powder with its far higher surface area. If you want the look of dark spots in a bright ground, why not just use 15n20 powder and a coffee etch? That'll give the same effect and be hardenable. Or if you're looking for hard spots in a soft ground, pure nickel (nickel 200) powder. I don't do cannister so I don't know all the available powdered alloys. I do know that mixing hardenable stainless with hardenable carbon steel usually doesn't work. The alloy most people use for stainless cladding and san mai is 304 stainless over 52100. Theoretically you could use 304 powder and ball bearings (52100 of course) in a cannister, but you'd have soft spots along the edge. That's assuming you're thinking of making a blade out of this. If it's just for looking cool, go for it!
  12. I second this statement! This set is absolutely top-tier work.
  13. Well, that certainly segregated the carbides!
  14. Gotta do that of you want to make proper swords and other historical items. As for me, started a four day class with Mark Aspery...
  15. Good! Sorry I couldn't help, never worked ivory.
  16. I have a couple of pettys I made, but they're not great. Bad handle geometry on one and a rusty hamon on the other. But I also have and love this one: Some guy named Aiden made it for Iron in the Hat last year and I won it. That CPM Magnacut is no joke! For such a big knife it acts like a laser. Sad to say my other kitchen knives are commercial ones.
  17. I see you chose the hard way to do things... Much respect, most people doing full integrals leave that bolster curved in front. Very rarely do you see anyone sculpting it to look like an added guard. I approve of that much filework.
  18. Those hooks, both past (after about 1950) and modern, are going to be a medium carbon like 4140, something that will harden into the low 50s Rc, but still be tough enough to pass any OSHA test. Grab hooks like that are designed to bend when the rated load capacity has been exceeded so you know it's time to replace them. And they should make a great beater machete!
  19. I've been on a couple of groups like that. Great promise, but if they aren't aggressively marketed they do nothing. Looks like Lorne was last here five months ago, on December 31, 2023. Wonder if something happened to him? if there's no change in another month or so let me know and I'll remove this section. We don't need to be promoting something that doesn't work.
  20. Good old Despair.com, providers of the finest demotivational posters! Looks like your IT people are indeed messing with you... hit 'em back with this one:
  21. Yep, those will do the job well. You might have to heat them up and hot-fit 'em, but they hold great.
  22. Mine too. I like box jaw and V-bit for railroad spikes. You'll need them to fit 5/8" square. Another fun thing, since you're new to this: when you're a smith, you adjust the tongs to fit the work by heating them to orange and squezzing them to fit the work with another set of tongs or a vise. Let cool (don't quench unless you're positive they're plain mild steel!) and you're good to go. Later you can even make your own tongs. It's not that hard, and for some things like specialized rr-spike-head-holding tongs it's the only way to make sure you have what you want. Spike tongs that hold by the head are available, but not cheap. Glad you found the choke! Start with it wide open and then close it slowly until you get a pale blue flame coming out the doors. Closing off the back is also good, but this type of burner has to have enough opening to exhaust or it'll start sputtering. As long as you leave about a half to a third of one door completely open it should work. You'll probably need to tune the choke every time you change the size of the opening. You want jet engine noise and solid pale blue sheet of flame coming out the opening, no billowing or yellow flame.
  23. Actually, let's see the whole burner. Vevor is not the best at the best of times.
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