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Mike Blue

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Everything posted by Mike Blue

  1. Don't worry too much about shape or size, they come in as many different configurations as there are doctors who think their design is something better than the other guys. Does that sound familiar or what? The classic Lister knife was all of 12 inches of blade length so the surgeon could get a leg completely undone in one circular cut, leaving only a little bone saw work to finish up. While your doc might think your idea of operating with a hand made knife is cool....it will last about three seconds. Then the sterilizing staff will start objecting about not being able to get
  2. We all know you're a wacky guy.
  3. Next time try cold hammering the bloom first. Or some form of other mechanical deformation. The bloom will fracture along the slag/glass lines and much of that crud will break off. Then you don't have to work to clean up your forge later. If the bloom continues cracking, you probably still have too much crud intermixed. Once you have the iron pieces isolated from the slags then they should start welding to each other. This is the part where all the work pays off. But it means you are only into the next part where there is a lot of work. No one at this point retains any illusions t
  4. Geez Ric, that alloy is older than you are! Same formula as 12C27 basically but manufactured by BU rather than Sandvik. I heard Soligen was working on something called "wunderstahl..."
  5. I've used it for sealing the pores of, and coloring, masur birch on scandi handles. Kay Vikstrom introduced me to the medicinal aspects of the pitch. That use is not for the faint of heart. Apparently his village makes pitch by the barrel every seven years or so. It's quite the process. Most of that is sold off to shipbuilders and woodworkers.
  6. eh? What's Colin know about fullers? 'Cept that they are some kind of brush. There are some very interesting things going on there John. Well done.
  7. Lovely, just lovely. Looks like an ordinary rude lump on the outside, but all sorts of stuff happen inside where most folks never look.
  8. Nope, not trying to make wootz. Wootz forms dendrites for the same reason. But the dendrites form as a result of a physical change characteristic in the s-melt.
  9. Looks pretty good to me. Nice colors and grain. Etch a flat polished window and see if you got dendritic stuff yet?
  10. Okay, burning through the wall of the smelter without me being anywhere near the neighborhood...bonus. Now I'm not the jinx any longer. Which one of you is it now?
  11. Why not build a cave of green coal and then feed the coke into the bottom? I can speak from experience that works quite well. By the end of a day I'd have a whole pile of halfway decent coke from the crappy forging coal we used.
  12. Passivate. Ric is used to pacifying things with his big hammer and is easily confused...
  13. It is possible to have the same hydraulic guys make hoses to fit that are flexible armored hoses. But, hard lines are a great idea too.
  14. Ah, but Professor, would it? Is this not something you've tried yet? How about another twisty bar to think about. Take a piece of good cable (enough carbon and one that will pattern when etched) weld it up and twist it tighter during the welding. Then square or round it and reverse twist it. What kind of pattern will you get?
  15. You're getting some good feedback. There is no such thing as an original design for a knife/tool. If you think you found something that nobody has seen before and your customers are knocking your door down to buy it...the original designer of your shape is probably long dead and forgotten and you happen to be the one to recreate something that resonates with the portion of the nervous system in human beings that responds to a good looking knife. There are numerous examples of drop point blades in museums all over the world. Some folks have gotten famous for that particular feature, but
  16. I build the flare into the refractory lining. The end of the venturi tube stands off the outside of the main tube. This leaves a variable gap from contact at the metal edge to about 3/8 to 1/2 inch as the tube aligns to the right angle for the internal swirl. There's a little scale on the very ends of the burners, but some of these forges have been running for years without even the spot weld holding the burner breaking down. You don't really need a flare unless you plan to use the burner as a standing torch. The back pressure from the forge will keep a standing flame inside.
  17. I'm right there with Don and Howard. I have a 1.5 hp DC and 3 ph AC from 3 to 5 hp on VFDs. I can slow down the DC motor at low rpms with enough pressure. I think I remember somewhere that the only advantage was the 3 ph VFD setup allowed you to have close to 100% torque at low rpm where you give that up on the DC systems. The VFDs have gotten a whole lot cheaper and more compact in the last ten years. I think it's a good option if you can do it. I talked with another knifemaker this past weekend and he's very happy with a step pulley setup on his KMG clone.
  18. One of the fellows in a knife class I'm hosting this weekend has 40 years as a railroad blacksmith. I asked him this question and related my investigations into the subject a long time ago. HC as a headstamp is the manufacturer's initials. Also found on track spikes are DC, HS, WS and others according to Bill. The only other letters required by AREA specs are CU for an alloy containing copper. Anything else is likely a subcontractor or lot number or factory location or other identifier for the requirements of that company. High carbon, as assumed by the AREA specs and the railr
  19. 1030 Steel. Not at all surprising you won't get a hamon.
  20. Carbon uptake requires time at temperature. You might have the right temperature just before you quench but that's not going to last long in the oil. And you'll probably carburize only the least skin of the decarburized layer from when you heated it to temperature before the quench. Two steps backward for one step forward. I give a second vote for old knowledge and misunderstanding.
  21. I remember one from Clifton Ralph: "If it's in your way, move it." Anything heavy should be on wheels so space can be rearranged if needed. 'Cept maybe a big hammer.
  22. Todd, you're on the right track. The next step in the process is to get rid of all the slag and dross in the bloom, and close up all the holes, burn off all the leftover charcoal. That's the reason for all the forging and welding and forging and welding again. You're kneading bread dough (harder blacker and not so tasty) but the same general mixing idea. As the bloom heats to welding temps, the slag will start bubbling and boiling. It acts as flux until most of it is driven off. Once it starts to ring through to the anvil and act like steel, then you can start introducing a little b
  23. One of the guys up here works for Northstar Steel. He says when they are making rebar, the stuff comes out of the last roller at about 90 miles per hour. When it balls up it takes a whole day with torches to cut up the nest and get running again. It's kind a amazing the sixth sense of the shop floor guys who stepped once or twice to miss that hot necklace landing...
  24. Close. Heat the bar until non magnetic and quench in water. The cooling down part needs to be quick. Then if it snaps, it's capable of being hardened to where it might make a good edged tool. Some folks will also spark test the steel. http://shopswarf.orconhosting.net.nz/spark.html Each little test you have merely adds information about an unknown material.
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