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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Nice! My spalted plum turned out to be just kind of rotten plum. A little spalting in a small area, otherwise blah. Is that saw a Jonsered? We don't get those often down south.
  2. The grain does look good! If the break was in the middle of the blade, though, that's pretty thick. It's normal to be over 1/4" thick at the guard, but that usually tapers quickly to almost half that by 1/3 of the way along the blade, then tapers on out to almost nothing at the tip. That is for one of these longswords, tapers vary quite a bit on different styles. If any are still available, you should get a copy of "The Sword: Form and Thought" by Peter Johnsson. It is ostensibly the catalog for an exhibit of the same name at the Deutsches Klingenmuseum (German Blade Museum) from a few years back. It includes his geometric design methods, but more importantly it has diagrams of the tapers for assorted types along with graphs of the vibrational nodes. Having that info at your fingertips is the next best thing to being able to hold an original to understand how it's supposed to feel. Ha! It's in its second edition: https://shop.histofakt.de/product_info.php?products_id=64&MODsid=0v1e8b0h1t0go1nvtdpdral7e7
  3. Congratulations on your perseverance! I have used a couple of methods to align the front of the eye, one being to forge the short side wall on the drift (which rarely works well for me) and the other what Jim Austin does, which is go ahead and make the weld, then use a curved chisel to remove the excess. Or just file it out later. I get that little dip ahead of the eye too, and fix it by setting the top on the anvil and hitting just ahead of the eye. Of course, then adding the edge steel raises it again... Inspiring work, sir!
  4. They made us wear kevlar plastrons ( sort of an armored half-vest worn under the white jacket for you non-fencers out there) for just that reason. The club owned a bunch that rarely got washed. Took a truly brave soul to put one on on a hot day... which is why I eventually bought a jacket with the whole right side made from thick kevlar.
  5. I know the feeling. My KMG has three-speed step pulleys, which are fine as far as they go, but my new disk grinder has a VFD which is way more fun. I just keep telling myself that all the first generation of custom knifemakers ran single-speed grinders and got by just fine, so I don't need a VFD on the KMG. But boy, wouldn't it be nice to have... And no, the VFD for the disk grinder is too small for the motor size I'd want on the belt grinder.
  6. The tang end, assuming you stay out of the blue-brittle range. If you break the tip off in battle you still have the rest of the blade. If it breaks at the guard the outlook is not favorable. And yeah, nobody is fighting with swords anymore. But we'll just go with the assumption that they do. I am going to have to fire up my oven one of these days. The pipe burner runs the entire length of the chamber for theoretically more even heat...
  7. Horn is too slippery for my taste. Look at Peter Johnsson's leather wrap tutorial, it works well and no sewing is required. 50 Rc should be fine. No harder, though. You still need to bring the weight down a bit. Shoot for 30 ounces or less including the hilt parts. The balance when finished should be around 6 to 8 inches ahead of the guard.
  8. Yep, one large barramundi is required for the next step!
  9. I think this one's a keeper. Fullering the eye did the trick.
  10. As usual, Tim has a better idea! Scavenge the elements from a junked kitchen oven and install in your box.
  11. Probably more carbon in your thumb than you'd think, just not enough iron to spark... An etch will tell you for sure if it's shear steel, but I think it is. It doesn't have the fibrous break that wrought iron does because it's hard and just snaps off. I wouldn't mind a pile of that stuff!
  12. I always defer to Kevin, but in this one case I like my answer better too!
  13. I'd love to, and I suspect I know what will be unveiled. That damned virus is causing problems, for sure.
  14. Indeed. Do all the fuller shaping and finishing pre-HT. Hockey pucks make great fuller sanding blocks.
  15. With your insulated box, putting them off to the side would be fine. The trouble with gas for tempering is keeping it cool enough, which is why mine is not insulated at all, and is in fact full of holes. I'll get a pic soon.
  16. The way that works is (keeping in mind what I said about sounding like I know what I'm talking about) that grain size is directly related to hardenability and depth of hardening in a simple shallow-hardening steel like 1095. The smaller the grain, the more shallow the hardening, and thus the thinner the depth of hardening. As I understand it, when you get that kind of auto-hamon in an oil quench, you are teetering on the precipice of having to go backward in time to beat the nose of the TTT curve and achieve hardening. You know, that thing where you have less than one second to get 1095 from above 1425 degrees F to below around 1000 degrees F? That's assuming a grain size of 9 or 10 (units don't matter, the larger the number the smaller the grain). Say you refine the grain to 13 or 14 (industry stops at 10), you have now moved the nose of the curve closer to the Time = 0 axis of the graph. We had this happen at my February guild meeting. A new guy had a 1095 blade about 3/16" thick, not bevelled, that he wanted to harden. He had done numerous normalizing cycles, like eight or ten. I fired up the club gasser and guided him to decalescence, whereupon he quenched in fresh warm canola. No effect. Didn't work the second time either. We were thinking about going to water, but the only water we had was ice cold and that seemed like a bad idea, which is when I realized that we'd probably refined to grain to the point that it was physically impossible to harden it with the setup we had. The solution? Take it back up to critical, go a little hotter, hold for one minute to grow the grain a bit. Quench. And bam, it hardened perfectly. Once he gets it ground it will probably have a bit of auto-hamon in the center of the blade. I know about this because I know another guy who cycles 52100 so much that it has to have a water quench or it won't harden. And that's supposed to be impossible...
  17. These are easier: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Char-Broil-2-Pack-17-75-in-Adjustable-Length-Stainless-Steel-Tube-Burners-4507/123712238789
  18. I was in physics before I was in archaeology, remember.
  19. The last time I thought I knew something completely I was 18. The older I get the less I'm sure I know! I just know how to sound like I know what I'm talking about.
  20. Now that's just diabolically clever!
  21. Nope. VFD requires a 3-phase induction motor. Trying it on a single-phase with the start capacitor removed would give you one third of the desired impulse. If you have a VFD now, try this: Get it running, and turn the speed control down to 5% or so. Notice how the motor is now "stepping?" As in, it goes click every time the output from the VFD kicks in and energizes one leg of the three in the motor, rotating the armature 1/3 of a rotation? IF you tried it with a single phase motor you lose two of those legs, and the motor can't move fast enough to stay running. Single-phase brush-type motors can be speed controlled by variable resistance, like a router speed control, a variac, or even a dimmer switch for low voltage stuff. That's how you can use a vacuum cleaner blower on a router speed control for a forge blower. Unfortunately, the 1hp and larger motors we use on grinders are brushless and need the full current. Brian can explain what I got wrong about this later, but that's the short and almost sort of right version.
  22. Overkill is almost enough, eh? The easiest way to make one is to get an old water heater shell or other big metal tank, cut one end off to make a door, then get a couple of long burners off a gas grill. Plumb the burners in exactly like a gas grill, holes in the bottom of the tank and all. Make a rack of some sort to hold the blade near the top, with vent holes in both ends of the tank and maybe a couple on top if you have trouble keeping an even heat. What you're after here is just a big gas grill. No insulation needed. If you want to go slightly more difficult, Jesus Hernandez's design (and the one I have, obtained from Dennis McAdams) uses a 1" black iron pipe running the length of the tank, one end capped, and one end connected to a Ward reducing T- type venturi burner. (your turkey fryer plenum would work fine too). There are 3/64" holes drilled every inch down both sides of the pipe to make a long thin grill burner. You're going to need an accurate thermocouple to tell your heat no matter what. Remember for swords you generally want a full spring temper. That's going to be just above the blue-brittle range for your steel, anywhere from 575 to 800 F depending on alloy assuming simple or low-alloy blades. Now then: Your materials stockpile will make an excellent electric tempering oven, those do need insulation to work well.
  23. In addition to that link Joshua posted, I use a 2" serrated rubber wheel for narrow fullers, and a 6" for wide ones. Look at Sunray polyurethane and AMK for cheaper wheels.
  24. Looks like auto hamon to me! That shows you normalized very well indeed. And got the quench just right.
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