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  1. Long time, no post. I used to give a blade a long etch, a hour or so soak in the Ferric Chloride, before polishing, but I've found that the time makes very little differance. Once the etch is started the layer of oxide that is built up inhibits the further action of the etchant; the more you etch, the less affect the etchant has on the surface in question. Once you've etched for a few minutes the rest is really up to you. The world is the metallurgical molusc of your choice
  2. I've never really done true wet forging, with the little explosion of steam knocking the scale off, but I do find that slopping water over the anvil is a good way of cleaning away scale from the previous hammering, and it keeps the anvil nice and clean.
  3. Monty, check out British Blades for specific UK resources; post a question there if you can't find what you need. Stubbs' Silver Steel and the silver steel from West Yorkshire Steel are quite close to W1 and are serious cutlery steel, if you are prepared to forge from round stock.
  4. If you go to Anvilfire Tutorials you'll find several tutorials on making various types of tongs, many of which do not require having tongs to start with.
  5. I've also noticed that etching can lead to quick rusting; I etch, then sprinkle baking soda onto the blade, rinse with cold water, then dry and immediatly douse with WD-40. Only then will I start really removing the oxides and polishing to reveal the hamon. On the other hand, once this process is completed I find that rust resistance is improved; after all, etching is a process of forming Iron Oxide on the surface of the steel, and rust is iron oxide, so what you're really doing is rusting the metal, but on your own terms.
  6. This'll only make sense if you've played Baldur's Gate II for the PC, but doesn't Don look uncannily like the cunning artificer Jan Jansen?
  7. Dunno, I heard that the Alaskans want to split their state in two, so that Texas is only the third biggest state
  8. Just as a side note, don't be too quick to dismiss working round stock without a power hammer/press. 3/4" stock is very versatile, it can be drawn out to the thickness of your choice without widening too much , or can be flattened to 1 1/4" by 3/16", with all variations in between. All this can be achieved with a 4 pound hammer, and breaking down stock is a good way to learn hammer technique before getting to the detailed stuff!
  9. I had this problem making a couple of blades for small folders; with a big fixed blade you can hold onto the blade while grinding the tang, and the tang while grinding the blade. I settled on using vise-grips, padded with card or bicycle inner tube rubber. That's okay with a blade, when you can do one end then the other, but for smaller parts I just keep a pot of water nearby, and quench it briefly when it gets uncomfortable; just a few seconds usually suffices.
  10. Does anyone out there use aluminium (or aluminum) for fittings? Â To my hobbyist's mind it's ideal; easy to work, corrosion resistant, and will take a scratched, satin, or highly polished finish (which I've done) and that's before you get to the possibilities of anodizing (must try this sometime), but I've not heard of it being used, except as scales on some production folders.
  11. Thanks Randal. I'd heard that venturi burners will work without a flare if the chamber they are burning into are small enough, but because I've used castable for my forges with a built in flare I've never risked not including one. Redneck or not, (I've always thought of myself as a yokel) I've got to get some sort of welder. Can one weld with propane?
  12. I remember seeing somewhere on the net pictures of a press that used a low format (with the ram below where the hot iron sits) but which pulls the upper dies down onto the lower dies (I guess with a double acting cylander there isn't much difference). Or maybe it pushed down but pulled the upper dies behind it, downwards? It's kind of difficult to describe, does anyone know what I'm talking about?
  13. While there are questions for Randal; do your burners incorporate a flare or flame holder? Also, how far does the burner extend into the forge, and how is it held in place (is it readily removable?). By the way, I like the way the burner enters from below, giving the flame more time to spread out before it contacts the steel. Its a nice feature that's obvious once you see it, but that I haven't seen on any other forges. Cheers, David.
  14. For the benefit of a foreigner, what is the SCA? A reenactment organisation?
  15. Eye have know eye dear wot yew aar wry ting about
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