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Alan Longmire

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Everything posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Looking good! And yes, they all take their price.
  2. Yeah, low to mid carbon, tempered soft. The few old ones I've handled seemed to be a spring temper.
  3. That's it exactly. I have the utmost respect for guys we're talking about who make the stunning damascus, and I love a good collaboration. It's the dishonesty that chaps my so-and-sos...
  4. If you programmed the CNC machine, no problem. If you bought a program, no difference at all between that and the factory product, except you spent more to get the end product. Application of skill is application of skill, if you start with a bar of steel and turn it into a blade with your own skill all is good. If you buy somebody else's skill and try to pass it off as your own, that's where we have a problem. This is my point. I can buy a cast hawk head for $32. I can buy a set of head, handle, and instruction book for $72. Or I can forge the head and make the handle from a plank. As finished pieces, they all sell for the same price (not from me, on the general market). Which would you want? Or, and this one is just for you, given your belt axe tutorial: https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Categories/PartDetail.aspx/473/1/TOMAHAWK-BRITISH For $40 I can buy a hardened and tempered cast 4140 head with 18" hickory handle. Would you make one for $40? Is it just as good as yours? I know you don't sell them, or at least I don't think you do. It's the same as the King Architectural stuff, though. Some people don't care. But it lessens the value of your product in the eyes of the ignorant masses. Is that important? Or would you put any effort into explaining the difference to a potential customer who genuinely doesn't know if another smith were trying to sell them something factory made, yet representing it as "hand made" just because they slapped a couple of ball peen dents on it? I know you're just playing devil's advocate, but I feel strongly about this kind of thing. For example, I could buy samples of (or just get pictures of) your product line, send them to India or Pakistan, and have them mass-produced and truly hand forged, re-import them, and flood your market with them at a slightly lower price than you can afford to sell at, and still make a good profit. The market is served, what's your problem? Not that I'd ever do that, but there are cretins in the world who use that as their business model. I don't want to encourage them.
  5. That is correct, but in the case Chris mentions these are factory-made blades. Not bad in and of itself, but when the cutler who assembles them then passes them off as "hand made," that yanks my chain a bit. It lessens things for all of us. You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me where I buy my hawk heads, then refuse to believe I make them. But we're digressing!
  6. I like the darker woods, but that's just me.
  7. The Austrian scythes are a lower carbon steel, like 1045 or less, so you can shapen by peening without cracking the edge. I don't know what CV shafts are, but GM rear axles from the 1990s were 1050, sway bars were 5160.
  8. I suspect it would just add a muddy-looking color. It's also much larger than the powdered steels we usually use, and would need a lot more compacting to weld solid. In other words, it would lead to distortion if used for mosaic work. I think it would look like a mistake.
  9. Whoever wrote that was totally wrong. Powder steel for cannister damascus is produced as powder at the steel mill. Grinder swarf is a mix of burnt (highly oxidized) steel bits and abrasive particles. It can be smelted, but not welded in a can. Now then, bandsaw swarf, if kept isolated from the usual floor gunge and so on, can be used. If this swarf came from damascus, you'd have a blend of the steels used, both high and low contrast. By the time it was welded into a solid billet, at best it would be a muddy gray when etched. In other words, I wouldn't bother.
  10. Gotcha. Solder that puppy. Two birds one stone. (Firm attachment and age/heat hardening).
  11. Sounds like a plan. But, why on earth would you want to try and harden the guard? I'm thinking a picture, even a link to the Jantz listing, would help.
  12. How brave are you? First choice would be to make it as tight a fit as possible, drill and file a recess into the back side deep enough to hit the hole, put a short pin through the hole, and use JB weld to attach the whole shebang. The pin will add a mechanical lock for the JB weld, and will be invisible once the scales are on. You could even go pinless, the hole itself will serve as a lock. Second choice would be to solder it without a pin. Plain lead-free plumbing solder will work fine, or use Tix (flows at 200 F) if you're worried about the temper. Third and most hazardous to everything involved: Slide the guard right up next to the hole in the blade, as if you're putting it into position. Carefully mark on the guard where the hole hits the guard. Use a small square to extend that line up the guard, then over the side. Make a punchmark on the side. Drill the hole. Hope it worked, because if it didn't you'll be ordering another one. IIRC this is a topless guard, i.e. the spine of the tang shows on top? The first knife I ever made had a guard like that, but steel. I just soldered it rather than screw around with a pin. It's ugly, but 21 years later it's still hanging on just fine.
  13. The completed package is just awesome, Rob!
  14. Agreed! New hammers look more true to type, hope the wife gets better, and pneumonia sucks. I'm on week seven. Or eight, lost count and don't remember Christmas or New Year's. Mostly gone, except when it isn't.
  15. Hey Jennifer, do you mind if I move this over to the videos subforum?
  16. He wants all the tools. So do I. Seriously though, we use roughly the same toolkit. I have the power hammer and belt grinder, but otherwise it's about the same. If I did fancy damascus I'd want a press.
  17. Your videos are always worth it, Niels!
  18. 1084 and 5160 do not require a soak at all. Get them to critical, quench, and you're fully hardened all the way through, assuming a blade-shaped section. Depth of hardening is dependent on alloy, and has nothing (or very little) to do with thickness or soak times. The textbook example is a 1" round bar of W1 versus a 1" round bar of O1. W1 is a shallow hardening steel because it's just iron and carbon with a trace of manganese. It will harden to a depth of around 1/16" from every surface. O1 is deep hardening because it has a lot more manganese, plus chromium and tungsten for carbide formation. It will harden all the way through as 1" round. Those carbide formers are what require a soak to get evenly distributed. 1084 and 5160 don't have enough of anything that forms carbides to require a soak.
  19. I have not worked with it myself, but the late Larry Harley had a foot-long hippo tusk on his bench for years. He used pre-ban elephant, fossil ivory, walrus, oosik, and warthog frequently, but never the hippo. When I asked why, he said the interior dentin was soft and the enamel wasn't thick enough to shape without getting into the dentin. Sounds like your PH friend just wants it slabbed, which would be fine based on what I was told.
  20. If you drawfile, starting with the biggest file you have, then a smaller one, then a smaller one, then a finer cut, you can knock hours off hand sanding. If I'm going relatively unplugged, it's 16" mill bastard, 14" ditto, 12" ditto, then 6"mill bastard (they get finer as they get shorter) followed by 6" mill 2nd cut, then 6" mill smooth. On a blade this size, the whole progression after initial descaling with either vinegar or an angle grinder, takes about two hours if you go slow and steady and take several breaks. The 6" mill smooth drawfiling leaves you ready to start hand sanding at 220. 15 to 20 minutes of that, then 15 minutes at 400, and it's done for a satin finish. If I'm using the grinder it's much faster, just not as zen.
  21. There's no such thing as too many tools, only too small a place in which to keep them.
  22. Thanks, Jeppe, that is an invaluable resource!
  23. It's really not as hard as some make it look, and you don't "need" a micrometer. A cheap set of calipers is fine. I got some $9 digital ones because I have to wear magnifiers to see a vernier anymore...
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