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Nick Wheeler

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Everything posted by Nick Wheeler

  1. I've seen some pics of Norway and New Zealand... some stiff competition for sure Just kidding... no competing here... it is flat out gorgeous over there though. I am blessed to have been born and raised here. I really can't think of anywhere I would rather live (no offense to other places ). Mark, you know I'm just josh'n ya. Colville is actually quite different from much of Eastern WA. My uncle has timber behind his house, and the area right around his home is filled with elk, deer, and wild turkey. I think Snoqualmie pass is one of the most picturesque drives around here. Thanks for adding the pics guys!!! -Nick-
  2. Thanks Guy- Some folks get really anal about keeping the hot metal directly under the ram at all times, saying you'll get an unever billet if you don't. But I've found no deflection problems with this press. I do try to stay more in the center of the dies (as much as I can) but I have no problems. Almost all of my dies are combination dies now. It's just so much easier to draw something, and then be able to slide it right over and make sure it's flat all in the same heat, without switching out dies. -Nick-
  3. The advantage to W2 over the 10XX is that is has Vanadium in it. It helps to get a fine grain and abrasion resistance. Well, there's quite a bit more to it than that, but that's it in a nutshell. All of the W2 I've gotten from Tremblay has been very clean, which is another huge thing. There are a lot of steels out there that are "dirty." W2 will ruin a bit if it's not thermal cycled back. A couple of normalizing cycles should soften it up enough to drill okay. After I've taken it through several thermal cycles in my salt bath, it drills like butter. I really like W2, and I'm glad to see others trying it. It used to be a "big name" as far as steels. Look in the old knives annuals, and many of the forged blades were W2. Most of the damascus blades were W2 and 203E. It sort of fell into obscurity once it got so hard to find. But I think it's a GREAT steel -Nick-
  4. Hey Dan- If I had access to a bunch of free or cheap 4140, I'd probably use that. But all of my dies are mild steel (except for the two I made from RR rail) The mild steel holds up pretty well, unless you get a wild hair and start pressing cold stuff. I had a bolt I needed flattened once. I knew it would go cold under the press... unfortunately, I had the bolt threads DEEPLY imprinted on my dies after that. Also, I momentarily forgot about that incident, and straighted a rebar handle that had gotten pretty cold. I then had that cool rebar pattern in my dies. The indentations were bad enough I had to just remake the dies. It was faster than grinding out the divots and getting the dies flat again. -Nick-
  5. Thanks Lin! Guy, I actually ground these down from rectangular bar :banghead: With a fairly new 50X ceramic it didn't take too long actually. But my lateral drawing dies are nearly the same size, and I made them by slicing a piece of round-stock in half lengthwise. The round for the lateral dies was 2" round. I'd say I'm somewhere around 2.5- 3" diam. on the drawing dies. Here's the two for comparison.
  6. I'm fortunate to have a lot of nice equipment... but then again it's been a long road getting it all. I started buying tools for my shop at 18, and I'm 27 now.... so they didn't all show up overnight Thanks Matt, actually the tool in the first pic is a Jeff Carlisle hydraulic press. It runs at 1" per second (travel) opposed to a power hammer that moves very very fast but with much less downward pressure. With the right dies, and quick, precise movement, you can move metal VERY fast on one of these. I changed it a bit, so it doesn't look exactly like it did when I got it, but not much different. Thanks -Nick-
  7. Great snapshots guys! Man, that Don guy sure seems to be organized -Nick-
  8. Thanks guys The steel I'm using is Timken Latrobe W1... I get it in 12' bars... I have 5/8" and 1" round, this is 1" It's a shame it comes so nicely turned and finished, I just ugly it up in the forge The slide show Don put together about completing a bowie is one of the coolest things on the internet (IMHO) so being able to do the junior version is lots of fun. Thanks for look'n guys! -Nick- http://www.wheelerknives.com
  9. Hey Mark, that side of the state you want to live on looks just like these photos... but without all the water, and the snow-capped mountains, and all the fir trees, and anything green... but other than that, just the same -Nick-
  10. Well, it's probably completely useless to you Phillip, but they make awesome bells. When I was too little to free-drift the river for salmon/steel-head, but still wanted to fish with Dad, he would take me "plunking." Just cast out your rig with a heavy weight on a slider, put the pole in a rod holder hammered into the ground, then sit and wait. To allow some more freedom on the bank during the wait, most everybody used bells on their poles, so they could hang-out and not have to watch the pole every single minute. (this translates to kid and lazy man fishing! ). Most guys had little sissy bells you could buy at the sporting goods shop for $5. However, my Dad made them up out of those little propane cans, some construction wire, and a big nut for a dinger. Probably zero help for you, but thanks for prompting a little walk down memory lane -Nick-
  11. Well, I'm in love with this thing.... 450 lb. is a lot of anvil, and this one's a keeper Since this is "hot work" I figured I'd inundate you with some more shameless pics of me working in the hot shop Hopefully when this project is done the collectors will be able to put all the 1000's of pics together I'll be sending them into some sort of thread... but here's a few just for fun -Nick-
  12. Great pics Bennett! I have a ton of film pics from around here, but only recently started toting my digital around. Here's a view to the left, and a view straight out as the sun was going down. That small lighthouse is no longer in use... but it is a mausoleum now.
  13. This was taken at Ecola State park right above Canon Beach, Oregon. This is a fairly short trip from the shop, my family and I went down on Saturday. Edited to say- It looks cloudy, but it was just a bit of fog that floated in and away. It was completely blue-sky on Saturday.
  14. Great piece Don!!! -Nick-
  15. There are lots of things you can do, but there are two that I know for a fact work VERY well. First is to get some big magnets (like out of old speakers) and slap a couple on the sides. In your case, it would be on the "web" of the rail. The other is a tip I got from Russel Jaquay, owner of Nimba Forge (Italian pattern anvil maker). GLUE the anvil down to your base with Silicone glue. The glue will hold it down, AND it takes a very very large amount of that high pitched ring, right out of the equation. Some guys wrap a chain around the base, and this helps. But it doesn't seem to do nearly as much as the magnets and silicone. The silicone works so well you really don't need anything else. -Nick-
  16. Hi Jake- I just took two great big bolts, cut the head off of one, and welded it to the other one... then ground the taper on my belt grinder. I have buckets full of bolts that came from my great-grandfather's saw mill, so I use them when I can It's been working great for about 2-1/2 years. Like Mike said, I just give it a dozen raps with a copper hammer and it comes right out. -Nick-
  17. I was asking this not that long ago. What I ended up doing, was take the fittings to a very clean 600X hand-rubbed finish. Then I etched the fittings in a 5:1 Ferric-Water mix. I did several etches at around 5 minutes each. After I got the depth I wanted, I cleaned them up with 2000X paper, then cold-blued them with BirchWoodCasey super-blue. Then went over them again with 0000 steel wool and gun oil. -Nick-
  18. I typically use Kydex now if I'm gonna use spacers. It doesn't shrink, move, etc. You have to hand-plane it or surface grind it to remove the texture and make sure it's flat... but it sure holds up well. -Nick- http://www.wheelerknives.com
  19. I forged on a 110 lb. Hercules for 5 years. I took a head-first plunge recently and bought a 450lb. Gladiator. Some have said I got it for some sort of clout, compensating, blah blah blah. But the bottom line is the heavier and better the anvil, the more efficient every hammer blow is. 450 is definitely more than is NEEDED for blades... but you'd have to pry it from my cold, dead hands at this point. I am absolutely in love with it. With a 4 lb. hammer I can move steel in a serious way on the new anvil. As has been said, quality is key. Check the anvil for rebound, good clean edges, and sag. If he has a good anvil in the 150-200 lb. range at a fair-price, I would definitely pull the trigger. -Nick-
  20. The ability to flip that forge up for storage is just fantabulous. Great idea! Seems both of you have really clean and organized shops... I like that a lot! -Nick-
  21. Amen to that! Great forge you've made! -Nick-
  22. Lin- Yep, it should be in the $7-10 range for red deer antler. If you want the real deal (sambar) it's going to be in the $45-100 range. There was a lady with 3 PERFECT pieces in Oregon this year, and they were $175!!! I couldn't quite get myself to pay what would get me a piece of decent ivory in the same size (or put a good dent in the price of a piece anyhow). The red deer isn't going to catch as many collectors.... but it is a nice antler with good enamel and fairly small pith. I like it, and have some really nice pieces that I won't hesitate to use.
  23. Thanks guys! Looks like there are several little blowers at surplus center for about $10 that would be the ticket. Thanks again -Nick-
  24. I need to build a new stand for my forge, and figured that while I'm at it, I can build in an "air knife" to cool the area right in front of the door. Can anybody tell me what a good CFM range for this would be? I'm thinking anything pretty light would work, but I'm confident at least some of you reading this already have done it and know for sure. Thanks! -Nick-
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