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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. It's a height gauge. They come in single or double column, vernier or dial. They are not cheap.
  2. That very thought just occurred to me, I came here to post it, and boom! Jerrod beat me to it!
  3. 14C28N (and several other stainless alloys) really require cryo to get best performance. 13C26 can be finished off in the freezer to gain a couple points of hardness. And while it certainly won't hurt to use cryo on 1084, it probably doesn't do a whole lot IF you've done the rest of the HT properly, as retained austenite is more of a high-alloy hypereutectoid thing. In the event the 1084 was quenched from too high a temperature it might have some retained austenite, of course. The following articles will make your brain sweat, but they get the idea across, particularly the first one: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/12/03/cryogenic-part1/ https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/12/10/cryogenic-processing-of-steel-part-2/ https://knifesteelnerds.com/2018/12/17/cryogenic-processing-of-steel-part-3/ And for the Sandvik steels and nitrogen alloys, these two: https://knifesteelnerds.com/2019/03/04/all-about-aeb-l/ https://knifesteelnerds.com/2019/09/23/nitro-v-its-properties-and-how-to-heat-treat-it/
  4. That works too, just keep an eye (or a bare finger) on the blade to make sure it doesn't get too hot.
  5. That is indeed a handled top fuller. You see them quite a bit anywhere there were mines or railroad shops. And on the drawknife, yes indeed! It's astonishing how much wood they can remove in a single stroke if you're not careful.
  6. It's easy (relatively) with W2. Polish it up a bit, or at least get the scale off the tang. Wrap the blade in a wet cloth or stand it in a can of water so it's submerged up to where the handle starts, then hit it with a torch until the temper colors run all the way out past blue into gray, up to a low red glow if you can get it that hot. Let cool slowly. Drill holes.
  7. Yep, that was good. You can see why he has his Mastersmith rating.
  8. A frame lets you have a guard that couldn't possibly be fitted to the knife otherwise (apparent tang too wide, etc.) plus it's usually made of a material that's easier to add filework or other decoration to than the blade steel.
  9. I am so stealing that perspex template idea! And that solid "click" upon opening is pretty sweet.
  10. The rule for public demos is keep it short and simple. Hooks are great, as are steak flippers. If it takes more than four heats you'll lose most of your audience. No forge-welding, either. You can do horseshoes, but if there's an actual farrier there expect to get serious grief. A simple drive hook with a twist impresses the heck out of folks who aren't used to seeing it done. People like to see you make a sparkler out of 1/4" round. Nails are good, but if you're not good at doing them don't demonstrate them. One of the newer guys at my guild volunteered to demo at an all-day history thing a few months ago. Made something like 40 steak flippers and sold them all. I haven't done a public demo (i.e., not for a guild or at a hammer-in) in almost 20 years, though. If the organizers let you do blades, have some to sell. A pile of Blacksmith Knives, say. Expect a lot of ignorant questions. I used to have a FAQ sign years ago that said things like: 1. Yes, it's hot. Coal burns at up to 3500 degrees F when you blow air through it. 2. Yes, I get burned. 3. The black rocks are coal. They used to mine it near here. 4. Yes, I can make swords. Got $1,500 and six months? [used to be $750, but inflation, eh?] 5. No, I won't brand you. Not for free, anyway. I'd add to that now 6. No, I wasn't on "Forged in Fire." 7. Because I didn't want to be.
  11. Fair enough, the regulator is easier to get repeatable settings with. Good to know, thanks! I'm getting more into using gas now that coal is so hard to find, and every bit helps.
  12. For wider scales, don't buy scales. Get planks or turning blanks and cut them yourself. https://www.woodcraft.com/products/cocobolo-2-x-2-x-24 https://www.bellforestproducts.com/thin-stock-lumber-1_2/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3NPZjMy45wIVgYCfCh2gnwX8EAQYAyABEgIA_vD_BwE That last place has 1/2" x 3 x 24" for $38. That's quite a few scales, especially if you have a bandsaw you can split it down the middle with.
  13. Oh, yeah! That ivory really sets it off.
  14. Love that head-on view! You have got to have the missus take a pic of you holding it in the "en garde" position!
  15. You absolutely have to block off one end of the pipe or it doesn't do anything about oxidation. A plug of dirt is fine. As long as air can't flow through it, that's all you need.
  16. More good advice from Jerrod! For a forge that size, which is indeed huge, a 2"x6" ribbon burner is more than enough to melt the lining. This is with a 100cfm blower choked almost closed. You really, really do not need that much air.
  17. This is a blown burner, right? The way I was taught to adjust those is with an air gate on the blower and a needle valve on the propane. Tank pressure never even registered on the gauge, since the fuel line was 1/4" copper dumping straight into the air line. Or am I missing something?
  18. I have had fine luck quenching Aldo's low-Mn 1075 in hot water, but I've only done a couple of tantos. Kitchen knives might risk cracking. I would not recommend Admiral's 1075, it has twice the Mn level and is thus more likely to crack. I would not attempt 1095 or W1/W2 in water. Well, I did attempt a W1 kitchen knife in water. I still have the pieces somewhere... Have you read this thread? Not for the faint of heart, but it works.
  19. We have a thread for that: Go read it. Now. Watch the video. It's pinned in Shop Safety for a reason! Keeping in mind I wrote my responses to it five years ago, I no longer have to wear the strap every time I forge. Proper technique, with not even a single slip, is the only way to get out of that hole. You will also have to just stop for a while. For me it was a few months.
  20. Well, that sucks. But I guess that's what happens when tool making companies are bought by MBAs who don't know what tools are supposed to do, only where the cheapest place to make things that look like them is. But I have never used a Honduran file, maybe they're heat treatment is better than the Mexican ones. Same with the Indian, but I have less hope there.
  21. Okay, now we're talking! Yes, Aldo's W2 is very low Mn and makes a great hamon, even in hot (hotter than usual, like 150 degrees or more) canola. If you can get the clay to stick, you're golden. If not, an edge quench with agitation will give you something decent. There is a style of hamon called gunome which is just a gently billowing line without anything fancy going on. This is what an edge quench in agitated oil will do. So, when you see the decalescence in your pipe in the forge, quickly pull the blade and quench the edge in the oil, making sure both the tip and the heel are under the surface at all times, even if you move it up and down. Count to four slowly and then slide the rest of the blade into the oil. Then you get the fun of polishing for hamon reveal, which is a whole 'nother thing. On normalizing: It won't hurt to do at least one normalization to even out the carbides and refine the grain. Finer grain equals lower hardenability equals better hamon. If you toss a piece of charcoal into your muffle pipe it will prevent any decarb. Your pipe does have one end closed, tight? If you do get the clay to stick, you don't need much. The thickness of a nickel is plenty. This is W1 quenched in hot canola, clay and no agitation:
  22. First, what steel is it? Some steels don't do hamon. Second, If it's a shallow-hardening steel like W1, 1095, or Aldo's 1075, hot canola oil is fine. Of those three, the low-Mn 1075 is the only one I wouldn't be scared to do in water. Which brings me to... Third, with water-into-oil it depends on the steel and your overall karma. It's usually recommended to go into the (hot) water for a count of three to get the hardening started (beating the nose of the TTT curve, getting to Ms Start in the right amount of time) then immediately into warm oil. When I try this with W1, it invariable cracks before I get to three. "One, two, t (TINK!) hree..." which tells me I have poor hamon karma. Fourth, the clay. The only way to tell is to experiment. Make up your mixture and spread it on some scrap mild steel, let it dry as much as you can stand (I warm it over the forge to dry it) and see if it sticks when brought to heat. Try a starting mix of one half clay and one half ashes and powdered charcoal. Just enough water to make a thick paste. Fire a bit and see what happens. Fifth, you can always edge-quench to get a line. It will not be as fancy as a clayed hamon, but you might be surprised, especially if you can keep your cool well enough to sort of agitate the blade up and down in the oil without letting the spine go under until it cools to black. If you're using 1084, 5160, 80CrV2, etc. this is about the only way to get a good line.
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