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Mike Blue

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Everything posted by Mike Blue

  1. The bad news is that the class is being rescheduled for next spring when we can get a good time organized. I'll update with an new announcement when that will be. Thanks for the interest. Mike
  2. And, most katana are in the 0.6-0.7% range for carbon. There is such a thing as "too high carbon."
  3. I'm hosting Kay Vikstrom at my shop for a four day workshop. Dates: September 10 through the 13th, 2009. The goal of this class is to forge out a working knife in the puukko style, mount a handle and complete a leather sheath in the traditional manner. The second class scheduled for Duluth is already full. Cost of the class will be 150 USD plus materials. Steel is cheap, the leather and handle (masur) are the expensive consumables. The basic outline of the class: first day forging/grinding, second day finishing blades/heat treatment, third day handles and leather, fourth day co
  4. I understand where you want to go Joe. For a long blade you want to make sure that whatever quenchant you're using will produce the sori (curve) that would be appropriate for the blade you're making, or as you've said, preform some of the sori to compensate for the quenchant. Rather than try to match the oil to some list of stuff, quench a few blades and test them. See what the oil will teach you. I say this from the perspective of a fellow who has most of a 55 gallon drum of Parks 50, who has never used it, and sticks to the relative magic 15 gallons of old Wallie World Canola Oil th
  5. My experience is that with an oil you can get a hardening line, given that the steel will produce one in the first place, but it is not as "crisp, or eye popping" as one produced with a water or water based quenchant. But some oils are nearly as fast as water. If you or your customers are happy with the product, it's not for any of us to criticize anyhow.
  6. Which should not be confused with tongue-fu , a wicked weapon of an entirely different sort.
  7. I'm in on the tong side of the equation too. The craft of tong making is as lifelong as making blades. Start by making tongs that work, then worry about how good they look. Tongs are like hammers, you can't have enough.
  8. Tate, you live very near a fellow who makes hammers to order. Try Nathan Robertson. jpine (at) paulbunyan (dot) net
  9. Coking coal is used to make coke. Steaming coal is used to generate elecricity. Unless you mean coking or steaming as a verb, then you are talking about the process of taking coal and forming coke by cooking or steaming off the impurities and leaving only the carbon behind. Coke is a much more efficient and less dirty fuel for the smith.
  10. Sheffield Steel Corp recycles a lot of steel for track products. They even run a mini mill in Oklahoma somewhere. Likely a manufacturers mark. There are a number of companies making track spikes now, many more than before.
  11. That link is nearly ancient history as far as the internet goes. The basic information I ran down in 1987 or so, if memory serves. As has been said, they are useful for practice, and for your criteria, cheap and disposable, and will make a tough edged tool. Contrary to the common claim, is that "as manufactured" they are not going to be capable of a typical knife edge hardness without jumping through some very specific hoops to make it so. There is nothing wrong with found materials, so long as you discover their limitations and don't advertised them for what they aren't. Cool work d
  12. Fool's gold is iron pyrites. Iron is a very common element planet wide. Those rocks look rusty. Get busy with a magnet.
  13. A minute seems like forever when doing something fundamental. A great way to spend some time I might add.
  14. Reviewing your plans again, you should be able to heat that sufficiently with two 3/4 inch diameter venturis. Adjusting them for operation is not complicated and really will only have to be done once, unless you are prone to packing up your forge and moving it from place to place frequently when things would be disassembled or moved. Either way, a blower or venturi system will work well. If you can find black pipe, use it. There is no reason to fiddle around with the galvanized stuff, it's not worth the risk.
  15. You should be able to find black iron pipe at any of the home stores that sell plumbing supplies. That's all you need. The flame holder is a good idea for a blower driven forge and that setup will work just fine. You could also substitute a venturi burner that would be an equally feasible project. A little more searching is in order. http://www.dfoggknives.com/venturi.htm
  16. I was going to use the work "tetched" instead of affected. Wasn't subtle enough.
  17. It's a defect in a forging or casting where there is a non union of the materials. When you already have one, the best solution is to cut or grind it away so you have solid material again. It is possible to avoid this sort of defect by paying close attention during forging to avoid the formation of the ears that eventually lead to a cold shut when they are hammered together. The most common occurence is when forging down on a bar to make it pointy. It can also be a spot in between layers of material that the smith is trying to weld but missed.
  18. What Ric said. There isn't anyone who meets Larry who doesn't leave the encounter, affected in some way.
  19. Mike Blue


    How about going to the source? http://www.oakeshott.org
  20. High speed steel. See here: http://webuycarbide.com/SparkTest.html Old methods like spark testing are still valid boys. Okay, next test, heat treat and quench a sample. It'll break like glass and a file will simply skate. Grind a knife out of it, heat treat the blade and you should be able to cut other knives with it.
  21. Based on the sparks I can see in the pix, plus your description of the color, red, long, straight, ... it's high speed steel.
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