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Mike Blue

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Everything posted by Mike Blue

  1. Despite everyone's efforts to keep reusing parts of the furnaces, this seems to be a rule of smelting. "Don't get your hopes up trying to save the furnace, it's a consumable item." There are some old Japanese blades that have chemical specifications that include titanium as an alloy. It's fairly certain these were natural to the ore source and Ti disappears from the analysis as more common, or durable ore sources continued to develop. It's listed as a carbide refiner when you can get it to remain in the material. Better in carbon steel than irons.
  2. OJ's not buying any more knives Peter...other than the fact that your market timing is off a little, it's just as d*** gorgeous as the rest of your stuff.
  3. John and Carol Adams at Tunnel Mill MN have me scheduled to teach a pattern welding class. There was a cancellation and this is a most excellent venue. It's easy to get to from I-90 in south eastern Minnesota Here's the link to their website with the course description: http://www.tunnelmillcrafts.com/ Call or email Carol if you are interested. Email or PM me if you have questions. The class is scheduled for July 8-9-10. Planned as an intermediate pattern building class, beginners with an interest can attend.
  4. Very cool. That simply "looks" magical.
  5. That leaves a much bigger hole in the smithing world than will be properly accounted. I give complete attribution to Bill as one of my teachers as often as I can. I think he was one of the most significant smiths of the early present generation in this country. I'm happy to give him that accolade even though more fellows were more famous than Bill. His work speaks for itself, and is evidenced in the work of his students. The quality of the man cannot be measured except by the people who know him as friend. He had a large soul.
  6. I rebuilt a 100 lb LG under the guidance of two older and wiser smiths. I was truly an education that I do not regret. The benefit for me was an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of such a beast and all the things that could be done to really make those old mechanicals work like they were intended. The advantage the old guys had was being able to tell me how to clean everything. If you can imagine Gunny telling you your rifle is not clean enough, you will have the general idea. Pouring babbit was a piece of cake once the dams were made correctly. I had a machine shop turn the c
  7. There was one of the space probes that failed to perform a while back once it reached where ever it was supposed to go. The electrical switching contacts that were intended to open did not. They'd become welded during the trip. Not because of the electric current but because NASA engineers required really clean surfaces and intimate contact. I bet that was within the short angstrom distance Ric mentions. I think room temperature is much lower in outer space. Maybe all you guys who are busy with liquid nitrogen should be more careful.
  8. No apology needed if it was unintentional. Passion about what you believe is acceptable but it can lead things astray. Using my name and the recommendation to avoid my advice, does imply that I, as a person, am not reliable or my advice valid. And, all we have here is the written word, which takes away any kinesthetic bandwidth for communication. I was simply listing common folk remedies. They are entertaining, possibly effective if folk keep using them. It's not for medical people to immediately discount what the patient says. We are not gods, nor all knowing. Confidence can be constru
  9. Bill Fiorini used a venturi with a blower if I remember correctly. It was larger orifice than is usual for a high pressure venturi and packed into a 1/4 diameter attachment. It was one of the quietest forges I've seen running for a welding fire. I have one inch tubes x 2 on my forge. I suspect, as brian and Greg do, not enough pressure into the orifice.
  10. In a professional academic world, the accuser bears the burden of proof. I did not accuse established medicine of failure and therefore bear no burden of proof to do so. You accused me of bad advice. Now you are trying to avoid the responsibility of proving that my advice is flawed. Where you began to fail was to accuse me personally, attempting to imply that I am not credible. That is the first sign of someone losing an argument, whatever the subject. You should attack or defend the argument, not the person. None of the alternative treatments I have mentioned have been reported a
  11. That you interpret my list of folk remedies as advice is entirely up to you. I specified that in the course of my life I have collected a variety of folk remedies. This thread had others expand into that dimension before I made my comment, yet you do not take them to task. I have not advised any specific course of action as others have. I pointed out contrary evidence to a commonly accepted treatment. I am not in a position of authority in this place and expect no one to follow me. In any regard, all advice on this forum is free. That should be enough to determine its worth. Rather
  12. Another variation on this theme is using vinegar (pretty much a pickling juice itself) on things like sunburn.
  13. I think you've distilled the whole exercise to it's essence, Mick. A good buddy of mine never bothered with the charts or the weights, but listened to the fire in his unique way and played the furnace like a musical instrument. Each of your friends will bring something different to the fire each time. Time with friends is never wasted.
  14. Yeah, me too. But despite working inside the wards, I like collecting a lot of different ways of knowing things. You never know when you won't have what you're used to having and need an alternative. I've been in this business long enough to remember packing wounds with pure sugar to help them heal and kill infections. There was a study questions the usefulness of silver sulfadiazine. See here: http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/conditions/wnd/1903/1903_I7.jsp The retardation of wound healing by the silver compound, was interestingly counteracted by nystatin and aloe vera.
  15. I have two things to add. Aloe makes sense and works. 1. A homeopath taught me to run the burned part under hot water. Not blazing hot water, just hot tap water. I can say that I think this one works, there was a lot less blistering than I expected. I have done this for simple kitchen burns and some salt pot splashes and forge flashes. Yes, it's completely backwards to commonly accepted advice. It was no xxxx xxxx painful too, but the pain abated fairly quickly after my eyeballs stopped spinning around. But, I'm crazy, so there. 2. The next one does not involve contrary th
  16. The Guild of Metalsmiths keeps a calendar posted of gatherings. www.metalsmith.org They are a regional group in ABANA.
  17. It's too bad he didn't know about the Guild of Metalsmiths in MN. They had their April meeting at the Oakshotte Institute, operated by the Arms and Armor fellows. Not only a bunch of really cool old swords (11th century and newer), but I got to handle one of Howard's and Bob Engnath's swords after dinner. +1 on what Howard said, and he should consider simply taking the time to get good at smithing first. Just the basics of fire control, moving metal around, making simple tools and such. A lot of folks want to jump right to blades. When they do, they leave behind a rich world of oth
  18. The steel is 1030. The search function on this site will reveal several lengthy discussions about track spikes. It's good for forging practice and does look nice when finished like these two, but there are way better steels out there for knife blades.
  19. Nice picture Niko. That looks good.
  20. The rail's heads are induction hardened to Rc 40 approximate, leaving a ductle rail body. There is a studied effect of the heavy rolling gear running over their surface where the work hardening comes from. Martensite is strictly avoided as too brittle a structure to make a safe rail. Here's one article. http://www.volpe.dot.gov/sdd/docs/integrity/bainitealloys.pdf Copper's not mentioned at all.
  21. If we could get Daryl to comment, I remember a variation on this type of burner in his forge. I recall it being quiet and of a good even heat.
  22. It is the difference in size of the crystalline structure of martensite at the hard edge and the pearlite on the softer (relative) spine. There have been several discussions as to whether the martensite is compressing the pearlite or the pearlite is collapsing and pulling on the martensite. Either way the hardened edge is under tension and this leads to at least one of the reasons that blades crack in the quench. It'll happen in longer blades more often and in steels that are simpler alloys more often. RR rail is a high manganese steel that is meant to work harden at the surface where
  23. Another thought, since this is a very good thought problem. Iron melts at 2700 F. This is well above the 1200 F point where iron begins to absorb carbon. The rate of carbon absorption is faster the higher the temperature and the longer the iron is exposed to a carbon rich atmosphere. To smelt iron, a 2700 F temperature is necessary. I don't know how you can have a hot enough fire to melt iron and avoid carbon absorption, unless you shorten the time of exposure. A short stack makes the most sense if you want bloomed irons. But you will also need a hot enough fire to get the melting wo
  24. I wasn't at Lee's and I'm a smelter. The stack height is important. Because iron is affected consistently by time at temperature. Stack height cannot be simply tossed away as a variable. You acknowledge that it has a significant effect on a naturally drawing furnace, how can it not affect a blown one? Part of this problem is a misunderstanding of high temperature iron chemistry that persists in some circles. Iron absorbs carbon at 1200 degrees F after liberating the oxygen. Rehder describes this process succinctly. I've confirmed this with several conversations by folks whom I bel
  25. Easy: Toledo Steel in Spain. Modesty and humility are worn very well by a goodly number of fellows I know in this craft. You're doing just fine Alan. I was trying to be encouraging. I'm going to ask a buddy of mine and Howard to see if I can get him to sit in here. His lectures are really fascinating for the old steel stuff and this is right up his alley and much better than mine. I think the point made about Japanese style steel being so popular was a good one. It was my motivation at the time. But now I really like the craft aspect where at the end of the fire, you're at
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