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Mike Blue

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Everything posted by Mike Blue

  1. What?!, and miss out on driving through the Annual Wisconsin Knife Show Blizzard??? I'll be there and bringing Kay Vikstrom along with me.
  2. If they are bimetal they will have an M series (-2 or -42) welded onto the tips of the teeth. The backing metal will mostly likely be in the 6100 series (I'd estimate 6150 so you have something to calculate against for carbon content in the final billet), flexible, springy and tough. Grind off the tips of the teeth, the cobalt will only frustrate you later when you try to cut the billet with another bandsaw or the grinder. It will make a shiny layer against a 10xx series steel.
  3. No locks. The blade tension is adjusted by peening the pin. You will need some washers proportional to the pins to support them. Some folks will put a third pin in under the tang to stop the blade from peeking out the other side of the scales and cutting someone. Sometimes the hollows in the blade are enough to stop the blade from slipping through too far. I've Rockwell'd old blades that were reportedly good shavers and found everything from Rc 50 on up to 65 and very brittle. It all depends. Your assumption about hardness and ease of sharpening is a good one. A wedge ground ra
  4. There are two sites of note: www. straightrazorplace.com and www.badgerandblade.com There are good FAQs and tutorials on both. The proper spine to blade width ratio is 1:4. If the blade is 0.25 inch wide, it should be 1.0 inch wide across the blade. Blades are measured traditionally in eighths, eg. a 4/8 blade will be one half inch wide an 8/8 blade will be one inch wide, and so on. This ratio sets the angle for the bevel for shaving performance. All of us here should be able to make a blade that shaves hair. Making it "right", according to straight razor criteria, is a much d
  5. On the upside, is spending a day or several with some good friends, likely something very good to drink and attempting something frought with uncertainty compounded by the weather and a host of uncontrollable variables, learning. Priceless.
  6. You guys also left out the "cost" of heartbreak when the steel you wanted to get isn't quite what you wanted to get. Two to three days plus consumables gone then. It always has been easier to simply get a bar of some good steel than to do it this way... It's a bad disease.
  7. Many years ago I dug around and found that the backing metal used in saw blades of this type and metal cutting bandsaw blades, the steel that the carbide teeth are welded to, is 6150 or something similar. Tough, heat treatable, not a super steel but suitable for its intended purpose.
  8. A worthy exercise Owen! There are many pieces to put together. I always imagined a village, perhaps just off a main road. No body notices except those who know it's there and those who wander in having heard the anvil chorus or smelled the smoke...
  9. Those are good sparks. To my eye, more than 0.7%. Maybe 1.0%, but you've already solved the hardening question. Good stuff anyway. Howard taught me years ago to start keeping aside smallish bits of "Known" materials in a spark test kit. Don't forget to mark them with something durable, like paint or stamp them with numbers that won't go away with time. Then you'll have something you can touch to the wheel alongside the unknown stuff you are trying to estimate. When the sparks match up, you'll be fairly close to where you are. Spark testing is nearly a lost art.
  10. If you're making damascus for other people, you will have inclusions at some point. Impeccable shop practices while making your billets, and a boatload of confidence are the only cures, and then, you will still have inclusions from time to time. After that, the only way out of a dilemma is to always stand behind your steels and replace them when things like this come up. A "new" buyer of pattern welded material will be more likely to find this kind of small stripe to be disconcerting because any flaw is a huge flaw. They are used to working with flat bars of mill steels that rarely (n
  11. http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/phasetrans/2002/widmanstatten.Ali.1991.pdf http://www.fmet.ugal.ro/Anale/Anale%20%202-2004/9Radu42-45.pdf In situ observations of Widmanst├Ątten ferrite formation in a low-carbon steel. Materials Science and Engineering: A, Volume 407, Issues 1-2, 25 October 2005, Pages 127-134 Dominic Phelan, Nicole Stanford and Rian Dippenaar Iron and Nickel are the two heaviest elements present in the solar wind.
  12. Widmanstatten patterns can be recreated in the laboratory, or shop. Like the other phase transformations us smiths get excited about, time and temperature control are all that's required. These patterns, and dendrites, are not unique to irons or steels.
  13. Of the iron pours I've helped with at the University, there is also a preference for high phosphorus irons, like old bathtubs and radiators. The phosphorus lowers the melting temperature and improves the "flow" so that the molds are completely filled and they get a better casting of high art objects and things. Phosphorus would not be helpful for forging. Still, gazing into a 400 lb ladle filled with glowing molten iron is an experience not to be missed...
  14. There are stories told of the huge stone wheel grinders of Europe unlimbering from their mounts and wandering through town wreaking havoc. Makes a 36 grit 72 inch turban look pretty tame...
  15. Using old techniques like forging close to shape and then draw filing will give you time to observe the necessary techniques that you will build on in the future. There is a lot to be gained in the early days of your craft by doing it this way. Starting out on the latest greatest powerfile (KMG, Bader etc.) is great, but you don't learn the fundamentals very well. Patience is important.
  16. If you can follow Ed's direction, the square tube-internal spring-better tracking-tensioner is a much better set up. Mine is admittedly stock parts bolted on and used as is.
  17. Not so hard I think. Depends on what you believe is possible I guess. http://www.peerlesssteel.com/productlist/carbonsteel/
  18. The last time I looked for Parks #50 it was take your breath away expensive for even one gallon. That didn't include shipping. Just to stretch out your thinking a bit. Why not use a lower carbon steel in the 1060 range and practice in water? Success using water (the ultimate quenching boogie man) will only be built upon quenching in water. Yes, you will lose blades, but eventually time and experience will reduce that quantity. Having blades fail means you will gain more experience making more blades etc. Use a less expensive steel with a carbon content that will form very nice hamon
  19. Very Nice Niko. Next you'll be doing chevrons...
  20. You will need one of these: http://www.kalamazooindustries.com/images/bigpics/2fs7221.jpg and get a good mag-chuck, a good one. There is a tapered spindle inside the drive arm on one of the little surface grinders that will need to be duplicated to accept the shaft for the Kalamazoo head. You won't need the base or the platen for the grinder. If you're lathe fellow does the right job it will index in perfectly and square with just that one part. I must tell you that adjusting the tracking can be really exciting the first time. The belt slack is taken up by a spring inside the
  21. Yes, it's possible with hand tools. I am going to recommend you contact these fellows: www.rockymountainsmiths.org This link came from ABANA, under affiliates. They will have basic classes that will shortcut a lot of the stuff you will need to know to be successful. Besides you can't really get dirty pecking at a keyboard. Just getting a fire built right is a huge part of being successful welding. We can look at pictures here and try to help, but one of us standing next to you watching will really shorten up the learning curve.
  22. Sometimes things just happen. This one is from a demo blade. While still not polished it was showing up some interesting stuff. I didn't do a traditional polish, the owner wanted a patterned surface and the layer count was low cause this knife had to be done in one day. I count about five discrete lines. There are some interesting structures hidden in between things. Happy accident!
  23. The disease of steel is all-consuming. Get used to it, you'll never get over it now. If you can tune the fire to run hot, you should be able to carefully balance lower fuel input and air until it runs cooler. You won't need screaming white hot all the time. Sometimes for heat treatment you'll want almost a soft muffled burn.
  24. Sometimes you have to let the fire run until the brick warms up and helps improve the efficiency of the fire. I wouldn't say it was tuned until it was hot and running smoothly. Some folks will pay close attention to gas pressure and the volume of air flowing through the system. The burbling and popping really sound like this forge wants to be tuned like a musical instrument. As has been said, twiddle only one thing at a time until you get the sound to smooth out into a good harmonic....keep an ear open, the fire will tell you if it needs changing.
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