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Alan Longmire

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Posts posted by Alan Longmire

  1. Some of you know I'm an archaeologist. Archaeologists dig with a mason's small pointing trowel, preferably a Marshalltown #45-5.


    My mentor is retiring this week, so I thought I'd make him something special. Here it is:

    A damascus, sterling, and maple trowel with a spalted wild cherry display stand.






    Steels used are 1095 for the center and edge, A-36 for the lighter interior, and a bit of twisted wrought iron and W-2 in between. Harley thought I should call it a "battle trowel!" :D


    4.5 inch blade, 4.5" handle, with his initials engraved on the buttcap even though my photo skills don't show them.


    Would you be proud to dig with this? B)

  2. Thanks yet again, guys! I always use ferric nitrate (nitric acid and water killed with iron filings) on maple. Nothing else seems to bring out the same contrast or depth, since I'm not staining the wood with dye, I'm causing a chemical reaction inside the cells.


    Jake, I'll trade you a fish for that two-handed viking sword! :DB)

  3. Many of the old pattern-welded blades had welding flaws in the center bars, but that's a no-go today. Then again, lots of folks won't take a blade with pure nickel in it either. Diff'rent strokes and so on. I knind of like small flaws, myself. B)

  4. I don't know if it's meant to replace the net, but I have heard of a guy who used a Keen-Kutter hatchet to filet his trout...


    The corian was free to me, it was a drop from a counter shop. It's not a very good fake ivory, in that it has no internal structure that shows up. Antler is better, but I didn't have any tips on hand. B)

  5. Who knows, it may just be welded up but, if so, when etched wouldn't two lines show, one where the two metals meet and one for the "hamon"?




    Nope. It's a plain old high-carbon edge welded to wrought iron or mild steel, most likely quenched by dunking the whole thing. No tool manufacturers in this country bothered with things like Hamon, accidental or not, if they could do it faster by another method. The use of "steeled" edges continued later than folks think. I have a four-pound crosspeen hammer made by Bellknap/Bluegrass in the 1930s that has a wrought iron body with steel face and peen.

  6. Here's my latest hawk, finished last week. Curly maple, pewter, and sterling on the handle, head is A-36 wrapped with a 1095 edge. Cleanout peg is Corian, which isn't quite as ivorylike as I'd prefer, but there you go...


    Made for a fly fisherman who wanted a folky-looking fish on the handle.

    Thanks for looking, y'all.

  7. Holy freakin' Loki-lovers, Batman! :o


    Jake, I think that may well be your finest yet, and that's saying quite a bit. I think I'm gonna go roll around in my truck to see if any of your talent rubbed off in it while you were down here at Harley's... B)

  8. Thanx for the info Alan,  does it have a seal of some type to the face?  is it heavy?






    It's not heavy, only a little more than a standard full-face shield. It has a neoprene curtain-type seal that runs from the temples down around the face, folded in under the chin to accomodate beards and so on, plus a foam seal on the forehead. It relies much more on positive pressure than a true seal to keep dust out, though. If your batteries are charged up, there's no problem, but when they get weak it can let some dust in if you're breathing hard.

  9. Rik, that was in the Woodcraft catalogue. Full transparent face cover, with the intake and filter on top. Looked handy to me, especially if you belch after eating broccoli.




    I've got one of those, and I like it much better than regular masks. Of course, that's because it fits over my beard! The "broccoli burp" removal is a nice feature as well. ;) The filters last a long time, because you can clean them with a shop vac from the outside!


    The only improvements I would add to one would be the ability to take NIOSH-rated cartridge filters for organic vapors. All they do at present is particulates. So, no black boogers, but the solvents will still get to you.

  10. Here in upper East Tennessee the daffodils are in full bloom, the grass is green and ready to be mowed, and the buds are swelling on the trees! It's wet and cool today, but yesterday was hot and sunny and tomorrow is supposed to be as well. Let me pee in the bright green bushes instead of snow any day (just watch for poison ivy :blink: !)

  11. Is the crack on one side of the hole, or is it along the axis of the blade? If it's in the middle of the blade, it's just a remnant welding seam from when the axe was made.


    Nice stuff!

  12. Now that's a purty hawk! I love the filework on the bowl. I also like the mouthpiece. I think you did the right thing to leave it plain, any more would risk gilding the lily, in my opinion. Not that I've ever been able to keep myself from so doing, of course! :D

  13. Thanky, Birddog!


    Jake, glad you got home safe. Let me know when you need more baccy!


    Yep, the ol' steel-making urge is upon most of us now. My pile of wrought iron is looking more and more like blister steel in the raw...

  14. We're maintaining a code of silence so the rest of you will just have to come next year to find out what happened. Just don't be surprised when the black helicopters come a'swoopin' round yer smelters....





    No, really it was a great time. As the mighty king possum himself put it, it was like a postgraduate seminar in steel. Not a lot of basic forging, but boy howdy what a lot of information about smelting, crucible melts, blister steel, wootz, extract of mountain blueberry, and what to do if the air hammer doesn't show up but you've got a sledgehammer and forty burly guys standing around and a hot 4" 52100 roller bearing...


    More great knives and swords than you could look at in three days, more brains to pick than Frankenstein's lab, Coop's $75 photo setup, and even a chainmail bikini top that was sometimes being worn!


    I spent most of the time attempting to assimilate Jake Powning's knowledge through osmosis and a fog of pipe smoke, when I wasn't full to the eyeballs on brisket and BBQ chicken.


    This was one of those hammerins that will take months to fully comprehend, plus I got faces to put with names for many folks, names to put with faces, and more inspiration than I'll be able to deal with for years.

  15. If you decide to make your own grate, I've found that 3/8" to 1/2" wide slots work MUCH better than holes. Of course, that's for coal. Charcoal shouldn't matter that much since it doesn't tend to clinker up like coal.

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