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Alan Longmire

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Posts posted by Alan Longmire

  1. 10 hours ago, Joshua States said:

    Do you have any idea what 113 and 15% humidity does to your sinus cavity?



    Oh, yes.  I love the Southwest, but after a day or two my wife and I get spontaneous nosebleeds from the change in humidity we're used to.  


    I've been to many places as well, and so far my favorite climates are San Francisco (not the whole bay area, just the city) and the south coast of Cornwall.  Not too cold, not too hot, plenty of moisture.    So, on the cool side and slightly damp seems to be my thing.  Guess I'm a salamander? :lol: 


    14 hours ago, Dick Sexstone said:

    Days are getting shorter now Alan


    Only two days past the solstice! Not that noticeable at my latitude yet. B)

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  2. 38 minutes ago, Aiden CC said:

    imagine that small knives were both much more common and more likely to be preserved in their entirety. 


    If you get a weekend off, take the ferry over to England and visit the Museum of London.  They have an amazing array of Roman kitchen cutlery as well as the medieval stuff we know from the Knives and Scabbards book.  The Roman stuff is far better preserved, for some reason.


    I'm sure there are museums closer to you with decent collections, I'm just not familiar with them.

  3. The underlined word looks like "shumitting" to me, which doesn't mean anything to me either...  But, as Geoff said, it's a description of putting a new iron tire on the wooden wheel.  The general method, as shown in that first video link, was to measure the wheel (not the old tire!), and roll up and forge-weld a new tire ever-so-slightly smaller than the wooden wheel, like 5/8" less diameter than the wheel the tire is to fit.  The tire was then heated to around 800 - 900 degrees F. The iron expands as it heats, allowing the undersized tire to be forced onto the wooden wheel rim. It was then quenched either by rolling it in a tub of water or just by throwing buckets of water onto it. The iron tire then shrinks back to size, pulling all the wooden parts of the wheel tight. If the spokes were fitted correctly, this shrinking of the tire causes the wheel to "dish" so that when the wheel is mounted the lower spokes are vertical from the road to the hub, but the top of the wheel looks an inch or three outboard of the bottom. The axle hubs (later patented cast iron "skeins") were tilted down to allow this.  The dish kept the wheels tight and true-tracking.  A flat wheel is easily broken and will "wander", a dished one rolls true and can stand a lot of abuse.  


    Farm wagons used iron tires well into the 1950s where I live. One of my local guild members had a grandfather who ran the last wagon shop in Greeneville, TN.  It closed around 1967.


    I've driven a 1924 Ford with wood-spoked wheels, and my dad has a 1931 Hupmobile with wood-spoked wheels.  They have pressed steel rims and rubber tires, though.

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  4. 14 minutes ago, Don Abbott said:


    I'll soon turn 59, but I'm still willing to put myself up for adoption.


    Same here, if the Gatling gun needs a home...

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  5. Plain polycarbonate (with coatings) has always been good enough for me.  Trivex isn't necessarily more impact resistant, it just meets the ANSI Z87+ specs at a slightly lighter weight (read thinner lens) than polycarbonate.  Unless your regular glasses are coke bottle bottoms you probably won't even notice the difference.  I did the glass lens mistake once, and the ultra-high index plastic (+$40!)mistake once. Glass is too heavy with my scrip, not to mention the other issues I already said.  The ultra-high index plastic are technically lighter than poly, but I couldn't tell the difference with those frames.   Once I hit early middle age and my vision started heading downhill fast I started needing a new prescription every other year or so, so I've had time to experiment.   

  6. Your research is correct, that's exactly what happens.  I'm sure it will work with 15n20 / 1075.  


    If you want to go down another rabbit hole of research, that flux formula is also a good stoneware pottery glaze.  The sodium in the salt will combine with the silica and alumina in the clay to produce a glass. The color of the glass depends on the kiln atmosphere and whatever impurities it absorbs from the clay.  When you put that on steel, it will then absorb other elements from the surface of the steel.  The chlorine (and everything else) combines with oxides and hopefully leaves the forge as a relatively harmless vapor.


    In the pottery kiln, they use a LOT more salt, and the excess chlorine leaves as a VERY harmful vapor.  Once in the open air it will combine with atmospheric hydrogen to produce a weak hydrochloric acid, but fresh from the kiln chimney it's just chlorine.   With the small amount of salt you're using I wouldn't be concerned.  

  7. I was wondering why you didn't darken the ground...  That explains a lot, thanks!  And good to see you back here!  I think you did a great job, especially around the edges of the ground where it meets the blade.  VERY clean lines.  Bravo!

  8. Plus you saved it from a couple of junior bush-ninja!  :lol:  I have seen a wakizashi of unknown age and an Ames model 1850 foot officer's sword that were reduced to sorry wrecks by such treatment. Little boys and decent swords don't mix without supervision.

  9. Definitely go polycarbonate. Lighter (MUCH lighter if you have my miserable vision), more impact resistant, and flux spatter/sputterballs from electric welding don't stick.  They do stick to glass, and will lay your finger open when you try to brush them off.  


    I get these:  https://rx-safety.com/shop/master-safety-glasses/prescription-safety-glasses/prescription-safety-glasses-rx-75/


    I'd like the ones Geoff uses, but I also like the retro nerd look of mine.  Plus they're cheap enough not to worry about messing up, unless you get progressive lenses.  I get the UV and IR coatings just for fun, and anti-fog because in the summer I tend to fog lenses pretty badly.  


    If you do need bifocals, be sure your eye doc gives you the segment height you need.  That's the point on the lens where the magnification kicks in.  Too low and you can't use 'em, too high and you have to look down to see distant objects.  

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  10. Well, that outcome was always a possibility. :( But!  As you said, you have learned more about how this works, and that's worth the price of admission.  It can be a large hit to the ego, but accept it in good faith and you'll go far. 


    I learned enough at my first big show as an exhibitor (Contemporary Longrifle Association, September 2001) that it really changed my perspective of what is expected of art and craft.  My table was right behind one of the biggest names in the field at the time, and he was a blast to talk to.  I still use some of his tricks to "antique" objects, and also to identify fakes.  If you know how it's done, it's easy to spot! I also learned just how much a name can account for in pricing.  That particular gentleman could sell tomahawks for $10K all day long, while mine at the time were lucky to get $250 for the same level of quality.  

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  11. Use a xx slim triangular file to cut a sunburst pattern on the head, leaving the slot intact enough to be functional. Chase some patterns.  Lots of ways to dress up a slotted screw head.  Look at flintlock lock bolt heads for inspiration.   A xx slim taper file and a 120 degree push graver let you do what's basically chip carving in metal.


    And I like the design!  B)

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  12. 5 hours ago, Francis Gastellu said:

    my original source was this.


    And that's a good source! Especially the part about why true anhydrous, while slightly hygroscopic, will not revert to a hydrated form unless fully dissolved in water and recrystallized. People sometimes ask me, why bother with anhydrous since it's just going to revert to 20-mule-team after being exposed to the air? The answer is, it doesn't.  It gets a little sticky, but it cannot reabsorb the chemically bound water unless dissolved. That's why those expensive fluxes like Iron Mountain, EZ-Weld, etc. never "go bad."  It can't.


    11 hours ago, billyO said:

    what was the difference between this and if I had a vacuum furnace? 


    Without doing it in a vacuum you get atmospheric impurities, which is why yours was dark greenish-black.  Every impurity it absorbs from the atmosphere is one it can't absorb from the steel.  So it still works, just not as strongly.  Pure anhydrous borax is transparent, but looks white due to dust from grinding it up.   The glass that spatters off a weld is that greeny-black from all the stuff it absorbed while keeping the steel clean.

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  13. 3 hours ago, Francis Gastellu said:

    it could always be cooked into anhydrous if one cares enough (though that's a bit messy... Ymmv!)


    There's a bit of internet mythology that you can make anhydrous borax by baking the decahydrate at 320 C / 600 F for a few hours.  This is false.  That method will give you a slightly less hydrated borax, perhaps the pentahydrate, but not fully anhydrous.  For that you need a vacuum furnace and must bring the decahydrate to a fully molten state. After cooling it will be a solid block, which then must be ground into granules.


    Since I can get anhydrous almost as cheaply as the decahydrate here, I don't worry about it.  I get mine here: https://www.soapgoods.com/borax-anhydrous-p-887.html. A six-pound jar lasts me several years.  Note the price of one pound; $4.75.  Compare that with a certain blacksmith supply house that sells it for $20/lb.  

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  14. Eexcellent! Je suis ravi que cela fonctionne si bien. B) J'ai pris la liberté de traduire, car cela aidera les autres!


    I took the liberty of translating, since this will help others!


    I tried this flux, composed of:

    2 parts clay reduced to powder

    2 parts wood ash

    2 parts salt

    1 part charcoal


    It was really very efficient! I was able to weld pieces 1095-1095, 1095 - mild steel, mild steel - mild steel in two batches.

    You just have to be careful not to inhale the fumes that are created when you sprinkle the flux on the billet.


    The advantages are that the salt helps the flux adhere even at low temperatures (lower than quenching). Unlike sand which requires very high heat to stick.

    I opened one of the welds, let it oxidize to scale, fluxed, then welded again...Without cleaning, it worked. Except for one piece that was too dirty, I simply heated it to yellow, cleaned it with a knife blade, then refluxed it, heated it again and it welded perfectly.


    I think this is an interesting feed for those who don't have access to borax. It really is much easier than ash or sand alone. I was even able to open a 1095-1095 weld, let it oxidize, flux without cleaning, and weld again... Something impossible with sand because the temperatures are too low and the flux is not powerful enough to dissolve the scale of the weld. the first heat...


    Alan this recipe is really cool!

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