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Geoff Keyes

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Geoff Keyes last won the day on May 19

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  1. If you're thinking about stock removal, there are a number of stainless steels to choose from. I'm a carbon steel guy, so one of the stainless makers will have to weigh in. If you are thinking about forging a blade, stainless is not the steel I would start with. It can be a challenge to forge and heat treat in a hobby shop. I would suggest a 10xx steel, 1080/1075 or perhaps 5160. Geoff
  2. I'll be interested to see the pictures. In general I tell folks to work on an anvil like you are describing for a year. Use that time to identify what things you can live with and those things which you simply can't stand. You may find that you are surprised. Just remember, it's much simpler to take metal away than it is to put it on. Do as little as you can and still have a useful tool. We don't own tools like this, at best, we are the caretakers of them for a while. I have a 30's era Fisher that was abused at some point in it's life. The table is chopped up and there is a huge divot out of the heel where some fool sparked a welder. I really wanted to fix it, or change it. One of my first teachers told me what I just told you. It's fine, just as it is. Geoff
  3. Not to burst your bubble, but I've been doing this for 30 some odd years, and, at least for me, handles are still a fair bit of trial and error. I'm still experimenting with shapes and process. Geoff
  4. Are you making connecting rods for a locomotive? The forge you are describing is sized for jobs like that. I have forge that is 16" long inside with common rail twin burner. I only use it to make damascus billets because I make big billets. And I have a 30 ton press to weld them and draw them out. When they get so long that I can't reach the controls on the press, I cut them off. You don't need a forge this big to forge knives, or even swords. I have forged a 32" blade in the same forge I use to make 3 inch hunters. Now when it comes to heat treating longs blades it's simpler to have a long forge, but in fact, if you're clever, you can do that in a 6 inch long forge, it just takes some patience. A big forge is also a gas hog. But a 100 - 150 cfm fan would still drive it. In short, your forge is about 4-6 times bigger than it needs to be, unless steam engines are in your future. Geoff
  5. How about drill an oversized hole, drop in a piece of square tube and fill weld it in place and grind smooth. I've never done this, but it ought to work. Geoff
  6. Very nice. I hope you don't mind, but I copied your pic to add to my folder of home made anvils. Hy did you make the square hole for your hardy holder? Geoff
  7. I have no proof for the idea of a split shaft, but as a maker of edged objects, it makes perfect sense. The Japanese from time to time, used a split shaft mounting for Naginata. They would take the wooden shaft and split off one side of it, then create a space for the tang and seat the tang in the shaft. They would then pin and bind the split shaft with cord and an asphalt glue. Sometimes these were additionally reinforced with a metal collar. I'm wondering if your example would not have been treated in a similar fashion. The shaft would have been drilled and split. You would then seat the tang, with the hook up against the unsplit portion of the shaft and then glue and wrap the split part of the shaft. The shaft, cord, and glue would be organic and ephemeral, so traces of them would be hard to find. Additionally, the heads might have been dismounted from the shafts for easy storage. I have been told that the builders of siege engines would retrieve the metal parts after a siege and leave the wooden structures behind. You might only build a big engine (like a trebuchet) only once or twice in a lifetime, and you couldn't move a big once it was assembled. The metal parts would be the most important bits. I don't think the head pulling off the shaft would have been the issue The stresses that you have to worry about on a pole arm are the tangential shear lines. If you thrust, the direction of force is back along the line of the shaft, and it's strong that way. But if your thrust is deflected, or you strike with a sweeping motion, then you have huge stresses at right angles to the tang. Pulling the head out of a target would not be much a problem, if your anchoring system was strong enough to hold the head, pulling on it should be the least of your concerns. I don't know if you have had the opportunity to see the US TV show Forged in Fire. In the process of each episode they test (brutally) hand weapons made by smiths. The pole arms have all been the most vulnerable to breakage. Shafts shear or shatter, long shanks bend, blades break or bend. The amount of leverage a human can produce on a 6 foot shaft is much more than one might think. I don't know of any Bronze Age reenactors, but that could be a resource for real world testing. A steel replica would be as good for testing, since you are not testing the material, but the mounting system. I don't know if any of that is useful to you, but please feel free to post more pictures here of your collection. I'm sure that others will be interested as well. Geoff
  8. Collar? A ferrule is usually a piece that goes around a handle, but that sort of fits () as well. A habaki is usually folded and soldered. I have made these sort of thing by milling it out of a single block, like this one Geoff
  9. AS an ABS JS I can speak to the ABS testing. The test is 4 parts, a rope cut (Speed and sharpness) a 2x4 chop, X 2, with no visible damage ( HT , mostly) shave hair (edge retention) and the 90 degree bend (HT and geometry). Personally, I prefer an edge quench, followed by 3, 4 hour temper sessions. That is probably overkill, but every time I shorted the temper, I broke a blade. It would be worth testing the process, but finding the time to do it right eludes me. That said, I have seen blades make the bend test (and that really is the test, anyone with a bit of skill can build a blade that will do the first three tests) that were full quenched. One was torch drawn with an OA torch with the edge of the blade suspended in water. It was drawn to sliver/blue 10 times. A group of us tried for nearly an hour (failed and gave up and had beers) to break that blade, bending it 90 one way, then straight, then 90 the other way. I believe that Nick Wheeler's JS test blade was also full quenched and tempered, but I don't know the process. One of my shop tested blades (not the one I build for the test) bent 90, straight, and 90 the other way 15 times before failing. That one was 1084, I had a number of failures in 5160 and stopped making them in that steel. If a blade bent during the chop test, I don't think that would fail you, so long as you got through the test. The MS's prefer a blade that bends like a spring, rather than taking a kink, but that won't fail you either. I use a stop plate in my quench, so that I can get a nice 3/8 to 1/2 strip of hard steel. You don't need a point for any of the tests, so a square end chopper is what I made, it's easy to HT and easy to get the right distal taper. Geoff
  10. I tried several things to patina the brass. With copper I have gotten nice color just by heating it with a torch and letting cool. The brass just shrugged that off. Then I tried a salt and hydrogen peroxide pickle, and I didn't like the resulting splotchy effect (that could be me not prepping the surface correctly). In the end I bought some Birchwood Casey brass patina, and I like the sort of used look it gave me. They are not pretty, but it will chop wood, dig holes, and I'm pretty sure that it would be a man killer if needed. Geoff
  11. It took longer than I thought to finish this up, I had to source a big chunk of brass and then get the right stuff to darken the brass, and of course my bladesmith ADHD (LOOK! Shiny! OOH! LOOK, Rusty!) got in the way too. The overall dimension are close, within an 1/8th. The weight is nearly dead on at 1.52 lbs. The thing is a beast, it blasts through green Alder as thick as my arm without slowing down. Forged 5160, brass and Ipe. Mine is a bit stabbier and less choppy, but without an actual piece to compare to, I think it's pretty good.
  12. My 50# hammer (tup weight) has a 2 piece anvil. It's roughly 600lb, plus some for the plate it's on. There are flanges welded to the pieces and then they are bolted together. One piece would be better, but this was what we could find when we were building. That gives me about a 12:1 ratio, a little less to account for the 2 piece anvil. More is better, no question. Geoff
  13. Buy the right drill bit, the right tap and a wrench, although a good set of T&D are not a big investment. I have both a straight guide and the integral and I use them a lot. The carbides are nice because a 2x72 belt won't hurt them, you can use them on the grinder to shoulders and plunge lines. Geoff
  14. I use one of these http://www.billbehnkeknives.com/available_items.html. I met Bill in a hotel in Connecticut, he was coming in for his FiF finale, and I was flying out after filming my episode. The guide works great, I love mine. Another way to deal with integrals (and I know of at least one other maker who does this) is to not make a tang at all. Drill into the bolster (pre HT) and tap it. I use a grade 8 bolt for the tang. A bit of JB weld secures it. Then it's a simple matter to make the bolster flat. Geoff
  15. So much for that story, then. Geoff
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