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Mike Blue

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Everything posted by Mike Blue

  1. There's some famous steel. All built from the Roman slag pits because they figured out how to build a better smelter and recover the wasted Roman iron. Hmm, Professor, you haven't mentioned the Franks. It's been rumored that their steel blades were even more desirable than wootz, by the Persians. Care to refine our lecture a might more?
  2. Rehder's book, about fire in antiquity, has a really good chapter that calculates the amount of acres of woods that a smith needed to support smelting operations and a smithy. All in order to produce the necessary charcoal on what we would refer to now as a sustainable process, 26 acres. I think his point was to put to rest the myth that iron industries denuded northern Europe. More likely the trees were lost to the charcoal needed to fuel Napoleonic era armies need for gunpowder. But the old smiths also knew about the level of the fire to set the newly bloomed steel into to change i
  3. That would pretty much define Jack's! On the plus side all the attendees seem to be fairly well adapted to that state. I missed Colin's up-a-tree episode.
  4. Don't give up. It only takes more practice. There is no reason not to forge to shape. Consider this picture. http://www.forgemagic.com/bsgview.php?photo=1634&cat=&by=Dave%20Hammer Then later consider this was done on a power hammer...
  5. They seem to be a pretty good outfit. I admire them for recycling all those old good materials. It's more expensive than just scrap, but the materials are good from those that have spoken about it.
  6. These folks have a LOT for sale. They've been salvaging a whole bunch of stuff from an old elevator. Its' supposed to be pretty clean stuff from the smiths in my local guild who've used it. http://www.wisconsinwoodchuck.net/price_list_wrought_iron.pdf
  7. I really like your plan. Keep that perspective as long as you can, and return to it when you forget. Annoying questions can be very helpful sometimes. I would be the last person to tell you not to search for the knowing of this craft. You've already got the disease you might just as well have a fatal case of it.
  8. There are two things I'm picking out of this thread. You and your buddy are having a good time making pattern welded steels that are working out satisfactorily for you. If you're having fun and the blades work well enough for you to like them, or your customers, family friends or who ever you sell or give them away to...so be it. Keep moving and don't worry about all the technobabble about what material does this or that or where your source of scrap comes from. Lots of great historical knives were probably crap. Yes, I left off the s. They worked and the makers had lots of fun and d
  9. It would be helpful to know what the band saw blades are made of and that can be inferred from whether they are metal cutting or wood cutting saw blades. If they are wood cutting blades, how big are they? Generally, the larger width lumbering blades (say 4 inches wide or more and up to 30 feet long) are 15N20. The banding material is most likely either 1075 or 1095.
  10. Generally, the process of thermal cycling the blade or billet before the final heat treatment will relieve or eliminate the stresses imparted from forging. The idea is to reduce the grain structure. Doing so will also show whether or not the blade will warp due to the grain reduction and can be straightend easily enough with the next heat. Each subsequent heat to normalize will show less and less warpage or wandering. The final go should be mostly straight. The potato chipping I've had has been from grinding the edge too thin and then trying to heat treat the blade. Then again, st
  11. Here's the two listed ABANA affiliates in Georgia. http://alexbealer.org/ http://www.ocmulgeeblacksmiths.org/ If you're serious about forging: Start by learning to use and make tools, run a fire, make metal move according to your will. Then when you get to chisels, you'll have all the basics down to make knives.
  12. 15N20 is simply the steel mill's nomenclature. If you calculate the amount of 15N20 in a billet and use the same amount of 1095 for instance, you wind up with a steel billet that averages about 1085. That sets you up for desirable effects in the heat treatment. Pure nickel is a barrier to that carbon averaging.
  13. The C frame can also take a set over time unless you massively overengineer the build. Then your dies won't be as straight and parallel as you could wish for. But all you have to do to adapt is flip the work over and give it another pass. It's no different than hammer dies that are uneven and cause your work to take a banana shape. Ford or Chevy they all have wheels.
  14. I'll try to keep this short and use plain English. This is also called tennis elbow, wrench turner's disease. The height of the anvil, the weight of the hammer head and the amount of time in front of the anvil hammering are minor components of this problem. The medical name of this problem is lateralizing epicondylitis and it's cause is the grip applied to the hammer handle. It is the natural tendency of the human hand to grip tighter when the object being held feels loose in the hand. This is nearly always influenced by some reflexes, so I will dare to say that you are trying to over
  15. Several of us saw him last summer. He was in fine fettle. He has a little sample of a new pattern he should show off...
  16. January 16th will be the rescheduled Christmas meeting at the CSPS Hall in St. Paul. Noonish. It's technically a pot luck, but new folks are not held to any tight rules about bringing anything. Be there if you want to fall down the rabbit hole in Minnesota... Bring some stuff for show and tell if you have it.
  17. Jeff beat me to it. I remember Chris discussing this subject at one point. The legend is true in that the nihonto tosho discuss the use of nanban tetsu as an interesting experiment. Much like we would discuss forging CPM-V4 or the like when the engineers said it can't be done. But, if I recall correctly, it was not a steel that made it into the um, canon of acceptable materials generally.
  18. There was a show on TV called "Forge and Anvil". Now for the most part there were some good folks in there who were working the craft. But one episode had me flying for the remote. It was the Ren Faire smith talking about forging swords in a coal fire, while working the bellows a bit. When the close up of the fire showed a pile of briquettes, I couldn't change channels fast enough. I can't figure how they let that one slip past the editing.
  19. Very cool specs. Can you do some O-2 next?
  20. But there are other questions to answer yet. What are your steels in the PW? Sometimes there is enough difference in coefficient of expansion/contraction that movement can occur. What was your pre-heat treatment routine? In this case, what is the heat history of the billet and blade? Did you thermal cycle the blade before quenching?
  21. That's a good idea Erik. But I really wanted (need to) over-engineer something....
  22. Generally pellets are too heavy and travel too fast from the top to the bottom. They also have a much smaller surface area compared to powdered or granular irons. They are a high concentration of iron, usually in the 94-96% range and the binder is bentonite clay. John and I still have close to a ton of pellets leftover. It's more work to crush them up into a more granular form. Next we'll build a ball mill to take care of that I suppose. Always making tools! The big smelting ladles don't care what size the ore is and the pellets flow better for loading and unloading from the iro
  23. Is is possible to get over your fear of water? Or is that non negotiable?
  24. Look here: http://www.asminternational.org/portal/site/www/AsmStore/ProductDetails/?vgnextoid=1f7b2b41ce0f8110VgnVCM100000701e010aRCRD
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