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Alan Longmire

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Posts posted by Alan Longmire

  1. 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!

    • Like 2
  2. Je pense que ça marcherait! Peut-être moins de charbon de bois, car il y a du carbone dans l'atmosphère du feu. Un peu, c'est bien, cependant, cela crée une atmosphère réductrice pour aider à reconvertir les oxydes en fer.


    I think that would work!  Maybe less charcoal, as there is carbon in the atmosphere of the fire.  A little is good, though, it makes a reducing atmosphere to help convert oxides back to iron.

  3. Oui, vous voulez quelque chose d'assez alcalin pour tamponner l'oxygène et quelque chose de vitreux pour maintenir les oxydes en suspension.


    De la cendre de bois, ou surtout de la cendre de fougère, et un peu de sel suffiront dans une certaine mesure. 


    Vous voulez du sodium pour le garder alcalin. Le borax pour flux est du borate de sodium. L'aluminium, le carbone et le silicium peuvent agir comme le bore à cet égard, et le calcium ou le potassium (dans la cendre de bois) peuvent agir comme le sodium, mais pas aussi fortement. 


    Essayez donc d’ajouter du sel et de la silice à vos cendres de bois et voyez si cela aide !  Vous voulez faire un verre alcalin, et c'est une recette...



    Yes, you want something pretty alkaline to buffer the oxygen, and something glassy to keep the oxides in suspension.

    Wood ash, or especially fern ash, and some salt will do it to a degree.  

    You want some sodium to keep it alkaline. Borax for flux is sodium borate. Aluminum, carbon and silicon can act like boron in that regard, and calcium or potassium (in the wood ash) can act like sodium, just not as strongly.  

    So try adding salt and silica to your wood ash and see if it helps!  You want to make an alkaline glass, and that's one recipe...

  4. Je viens de me souvenir d'autres informations sur les raisons pour lesquelles je n'utilise plus de spath fluor ! Non seulement le danger, mais aussi parce qu'il est tout simplement trop agressif lorsqu'il est mélangé avec du borax. Il ronge littéralement les aciers à la chaleur de soudage. Je l'utilisais sur une soudure difficile sur un seax multibar, et quand je l'ai sorti du feu les barres ressemblaient à une bougie fondante.


    I just remembered other info about why I don't use fluorspar anymore!  Not only the danger, but because it's simply too aggressive when mixed with borax.  It literally eats the steels away at welding heat.  I was using it on a difficult weld on a multibar seax, and when I took it from the fire the bars looked like a melting candle.

  5. La fluorine est effectivement très réactive, mais elle est aussi très dangereuse. Le problème est que lorsqu’il se vaporise, il se mélange à l’hydrogène et à l’oxygène de l’atmosphère pour créer de l’acide fluorhydrique, qui peut transformer vos poumons en liquide s’il est inhalé.

    S'il est utilisé en petites quantités avec une TRÈS bonne ventilation extractive, il est relativement sûr. Je ne l'ai utilisé qu'avec du borax, mais j'imagine que cela fonctionnerait avec du sable ou du verre en poudre.

    Pouvez-vous obtenir de l'acide borique ? On le retrouve fréquemment dans la poudre anti-cafards, souvent comme seul ingrédient. C'est un flux décent en soi.

    Je reçois mon borax anhydre dans un magasin qui vend des ingrédients pour fabriquer du savon. Peut-être que tu peux le trouver de cette façon ?


    Thanks, Google Translate!  For the English readers here, I said


    Fluorite is indeed very reactive, but is also very dangerous.  The issue is that when it vaporises it mixes with the hydrogen and oxygen in the atmosphere to create hydrofluoric acid, which can turn your lungs to liquid if inhaled.  

    If used in small quantities with VERY  good extractive ventilation it is relatively safe.  I have only used it with borax, but I imagine it would work with sand or powdered glass.  

    Can you get boric acid? It is frequently found in anti-cockroach powder, often as the sole ingredient.  It's a decent flux on its own.  

    I get my anhydrous borax from a plce that sells ingredients for making soap. Maybe you can find it that way?

  6. Looks good, but just use the Cast-O-Lite for the floor if you're planning to weld using flux.  Hot flux eats insulating brick like boiling water on cotton candy.  If you want a wear surface that isn't the cast-o-lite, get a piece of kiln shelf.  The insulating bricks make great sliding doors if you weld an angle iron track on the ends of the forge body.  

  7. 59 minutes ago, billyO said:

    it's the result of having too many lawyers here in the States.


    Exactly.  And they're all looking for the slightest pretense to sue.  It's why jars of peanuts are required to be labelled "Caution: Contains Peanuts."  And why you can sue a restaurant if you take a big drink of the coffee you just ordered and it happens to be hot!  They do have a few uses, which is why they're still a necessary evil, but the greater majority of them are parasites.  We have several that even advertise they'll take your case for free if they think they can get money from it, regardless of the merits.  But that's another subject.  


    I wish you the best of luck in Atlanta!  I wish I could pop down and say hello, but I don't have time. Only six hours by car, 35 minutes by air, but I have too much to be doing here. :(

    • Like 1
  8. I'd just change the line to say something like "the buyer assumes all responsibility for any and all eventualities relating to the Goods upon receipt of the Goods."  


    When people ask me if they can throw one of my fancy pipe hawks, I tell them once they buy it it's theirs to do with as they please, but there are no warranties implied or expressed. In other words, if you break it or knock out an inlay, it's your own damn fault and I'm not replacing it.  

    • Thanks 1
  9. I second Geoff, you're fine.  I usually leave sword tangs as wide as possible, but for a thrusting sword it's not that important.  You definitely don't want a rat tail tang due to the extra leverage a long blade will have, but it doesn't need to be full tang either.  


    When you heat treat it, you want the blade to be a full spring temper, around Rc 45, all the way to the ricasso, then slowly transitioning softer back to the pommel end where it'll be as soft as 5160 gets without a furnace anneal.  A sharp transition in HT around the ricasso/tang junction equals a snapped-off hilt and possibly a flying loose blade.  I'd do it with a torch.  Harden the whole thing and temper the whole thing at around 750-800 F, then starting at the tang end you're gonna peen, hit it with a torch to around 1200 F, blending that smoothly into the ricasso at around 950 F.  DO NOT QUENCH the tang end.  1200F isn't enough to harden 5160, but you want the excess heat to overtemper the rest of the tang.  

  10. One thing that'll help that burner perform better is to replace that Y fitting with a Ward brand reducing tee, 1.25" entries to 3/4" exit. This one. Ward uses a tapered design that increases airflow over a straight tee with a stepdown.  That translates to better air/gas mix and entrainment, for a much more stable and adjustable flame.  Might have to shorten the gas injector a bit to put the MIG tip in the center of the open port, but that's not a big deal.  



  11. 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. 

    • Thanks 1
  12. 47 minutes ago, Alveprins said:

    Should I prepare a sales contract for this?


    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.

    • Thanks 1
  13. 7 hours ago, Alveprins said:

    set price


    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.  

    • Like 1
  14. 19 hours ago, Bob Ouellette said:

    Looks like it was an intense class.


    It was!  Especially since I've been too busy to do much forging since January.  But the elbow held up, so I was happy.


    19 hours ago, Bob Ouellette said:

    I know for sure the gate latch is part of the ABANA curriculum. 


    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.  


    19 hours ago, Bob Ouellette said:

    This is probably the nicest one out of the bunch.


    Very nice indeed!  Is the knot applied, or chased? Looks applied, just asking.  I like it.

    • Like 2
  15. 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!  

    • Like 1
  16. 2 hours ago, Alveprins said:

    I am selling a piece of art here


    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.


    2 hours ago, Alveprins said:

    If it's 20% smoke and mirrors - that'd make my day!


    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.  


    2 hours ago, Alveprins said:

    I don't quite understanding this "giving exposure" for "30% off". These are collectors that want to buy the piece at a discount, and in return they'll give me this "exposure" you mentioned?


    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. ;)  



    • Thanks 1
  17. 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... B)

    • Like 8
  18. 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!

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