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Geoff Keyes

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Everything posted by Geoff Keyes

  1. I have made, or at least attempted to make, slip joint folders and the mountain man style exposed spring folders. I made a spring for a pair of needle nose pliers. I also use it for HT small damascus pieces for jewelry. It's not very efficient, a small Kaowool forge works better, I think. It heats faster and is more controllable. I built the 2 brick forge as an experiment. Geoff
  2. If you haven't read this, you probably should. We don't mind beginner questions, particularly when we can keep someone safe(er). Geoff
  3. The Japanese smiths using tamahagane folded it for a couple of reasons. The material is slaggy, folding it refines the material (like running through a rolling mill) and drives out slag. The tamahagne has wildly varying levels of carbon. The smith would use some high carbon and mix that with low carbon to get about .60 carbon at the end (1060-1075 in modern terms) They did both of these things by folding and welding the tamahagane. Because there isn't much difference between the high and low carbon areas, like an addition of nickel, there isn't much contrast, but there is pattern. This is what they call hada. In the polish the polisher makes decisions that either bring out the hada, or not. It has no effect on the strength of the steel, it's part of the aesthetic process. You could get hada by welding mild and 1095, it's very subtle and ghosty. Geoff
  4. I have to agree with everything Alan said. For the space you've got, one, 1.5" burner should be plenty. The bell should be reversed and exterior to the forge case. A leaf blower is too much air by 100 times. You need somewhere between 50 cfm and 100 cfm., like in a bathroom exhaust fan. The fan I use is 100 cfm and I usually have the intake blocked off about 80%. I've never had any luck building a 3/4 burner, 1 1/4" is the smallest I've ever built. Alex says that he built a 1", so there is that. The clear tubing for the gas supply is a HUGE SAFETY ISSUE , don't do it. It looks to me like you've built with a mix of blown and venturi ideas. You need to pick one side, fan driven or not, and go with that. This one won't work as is, IMHO. Geoff
  5. Another issue with the square box design is "cold" corners and hot spots. Curved surfaces promote swirl and a more even temperature. Do not overlook the advantages of blown burners. Venturi systems are techie cool, and, when built and tuned properly, work well and don't require electricity, but a blown system is dead simple and brute force. If you build it with some headroom, if you're not getting enough heat, add more air and fuel. Have a look at this thread I also want to say that you don't need a long forge or a big one (big volume) unless you have a specific need for it. My "everyday" forge has a 6 inch hot zone with two doors. I have forged a 32 inch sword blank in that forge. It would be difficult to heat treat a blade if that length in that forge, but that's why I have a long HT forge. In fact, I have four forges. A HT forge, my "everyday" forge, a welding forge, and a two brick forge I use for tiny projects, like springs.. Geoff
  6. The fire brick is what I call "thermal mass". It's not an insulator, it's a refractory ( it resists heat). For a forge like this to operate you need to heat up the brick to the working temperature and hold it there, all of which costs fuel. What most of us use is one of the spun ceramic fiber blanket insulators. Kaowool is one, but there are lots of others. It's a much more efficient design. About the only time I would suggest the design you've pictured is in an application where it's running for long, continuous shifts, where your startup and run costs are spread over 24 hours. For a hobby smith, a Ceramic blanket forge is a much better design, IMHO. Ask a question and 5 smiths will give you 7 answers Geoff
  7. Why do you want/need to soften the material? The heat treater won't care. That said, there is no way to anneal/normalize ferrous metals without heat, that I know of. Geoff
  8. This is Abi Yoyo (I'll leave it to you to find out who that is), shop built 50# This is Overkill 15hp 3ph 12 GPM about 30 tons There are some tool and fixtures in this thread that I made Geoff
  9. I built (and when I say "I", I mean friends and I) a 50# mechanical powerhammer and a 30 ton press, If you have fab skills, those tools are probably withing reach. Grinders too. The big "if" is, do you have fab skills? All of those tools are dangerous, high pressures, heavy weights moving at speed, small weights moving at bullet speed. Bad builds and marginal welding can kill you or others One of our members here in the 2010's had a bolt shear through on his hammer. It turned the hammer into scrap and shot a chunk of 2000 degree steel up his sleeve. The burns and other injuries put him out of the shop for more than a year. In some cases, building your own is something not to do. There is a tendency for new smiths to go all in, buying every tool imaginable, and often overpaying in the process. This leads to people like me getting tools on the rebound. My advice is to make some knives and add tools to your kit when you HAVE to, not when you WANT to. You're making small knives now, your kit seems appropriate for what you're doing. If your grinder isn't letting you keep up with production, then replace it. When I got started, all we had for grinders were rocks, and you had to make your own. There were few choices, and most of them were very expensive (from the point of view of a guy who hadn't sold a knife). Now there are a dozen or better makers, and more all of the time, so waiting might save you $. Do you really need a hammer? If I had known a bit more, I would have put my build dollars into a press. The hammer is a great tool, and I love mine, but for many things, the press is better. It certainly is the tool for making damascus. So, in the end, buy or build what works for you, for the work you're doing, and for the work you want to do. Don't try to emulate what I have in my shop just because it makes you all fluttery inside when you see heavy iron. Our Founder, Don Fogg, told me once that he had cut his tool kit down to what he could carry in a single bag (not counting anvil). If he needed a big tool, he had friends with those tools. Pace yourself, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Geoff
  10. Trenton's are considered "A" level anvils and Vulcan's are really second tier, "B" level. $3 a lb for a Vulcan seems like a top dollar amount, but where you are informs that. The difference between a 168 and a 200 is going to be hard to notice in any real sense. I know the allure of a perfect anvil, but if this were me, I'd spend the money elsewhere and keep looking for a bigger anvil, if that's what you want. Just my (somewhat informed) opinion. Geoff
  11. It's not that they will hear it, as much as feel it. The sound travels through the ground in the sub sonic range. It's a low frequency pulse. My hammer is 250 feet from the house and you can sort of hear the thump. It's "only" a 50#er, a big hammer makes a bigger thump. Geoff
  12. I got this sword blade as part of a trade of some kind. I just found it while cleaning. I don't really have time for it, so if there is someone who needs a project, make me an offer. Geoff
  13. A big one, I think it was 3ph. It was about as big around as a beer keg. It was like this one, but a 300# not a 150#
  14. I have a friend who bought a 300# Beaudry to put in his shop. Even with a separate 10x10x10 pad of concrete and RR ties, it would make stuff jump off the bench when it hit. Scary! Geoff
  15. The big hammers like Nazel pretty much all had separate foundations. OTOH, my homebuilt 50# has been on a platform of 4x12 timbers since 2000 and never cracked the floor. So the answer is, it depends. It depends on the weight of the hammer, the construction of the floor, and the construction of the base, and probably other things I haven't thought of. Geoff
  16. I want to apologize publicly to Mike Ward. He and I were KITH buddies and I let my natural sloth get ahead of my responsibilities. He delivered a very fine EDC with a very complex handle of interlaced wood pieces. I dithered around and only just got my effort off to him. Hopefully he's not disappointed. I think we're square, and I'm very pleased with his effort. I hope to better in future, but I have only my self to blame for not being prompt. Geoff
  17. I have used most of these. The thing I don't like about the Uncle Al is that the moving die resets to full open when you let off the pedal. This means that you can't use it as a clamp, which I find handy. It may be that there is a way to change that, but the one on the FiF set works. Mine is home built. 30 ton, 15 hp 3 ph, 12 gallons a minute. It's a single stage pump and it's fast (for a hydraulic press) at 3 inches a second. I don't have a gauge on mine, but I'm betting that I hardly ever use the full 30 tons it is spec'd for. 15 tons is probably plenty. I'm North of you, (east of Seattle) but if you want to come have a look, feel free to make a play date Geoff
  18. Geoff Keyes

    Fun time

    Not too bad. I should be back to work next week
  19. Geoff Keyes

    Fun time

    That one is not even going on the table. It's an older piece, a coffin handle gent. I can't even find a picture of it right now. Finger hurts today, but at least it's in pretty much one piece. Geoff
  20. Geoff Keyes

    Fun time

    What is better than spending a couple of hours in the Urgent Care on a Sunday evening? I was packing up the box for Blade West and picked up a zipper case and the knife jumped out and tried to slice the end of my little finger off. Just the blade falling through the air was enough for a trip to UC and three stitches. Damn that blade is sharp! Marianne thinks we should name it Nosferatu. See you in Portland
  21. This piece is nice and solid, so it gave me no trouble. A sharp rasp did most of the work. Geoff
  22. I got a few new things done for BladeWest (table E2, if you're in the area). A 270mm chef, a belduque, and a couple of small integrals, a boot knife and a bird and trout. The chef is forged (in the past my kitchens have been waterjet) and dressed in stabilized mulberry burl and micarta The Belduque is in buffalo horn. It's actually much lighter than the originals. Now that I've gotten better at thin blades, I need to remember when they need to be thick. The boot is in desert ironwood with a bit of texture. The B&T is in elk. Both of these are forged from 5/8ths 1095 hex stock. I'm still figuring out all of the steps to get the shapes I want in these, so these are more progress pieces than where I want to finish.
  23. As I said, there are better places than this forum to find out about this, but remember (as one old guy to another), 50 years ago was the 1970"s. The AK has been in service since 1947. Depending on where it's been, that surface could happen in just a few years. The general form is related to the AK's Plus the short blade places it in the last half of the 20th century I'm still thinking AK, with the manufacture in some third world forge.
  24. I am far from an expert on such things, but a quick image search leads me toward AK's. There are two things that are an issue. Most (not all) AK bayonets have a hole in the blade near the tip that lets you use the scabbard as a wire cutter. It's missing here. There also should be a rear mount to keep the blade stable. This might be a back country knockoff (Afghanistan? ) or just some random variant. AK's were made everywhere, so unless you can find some marks on it, that may be as far as you're going to get. There are collector groups and I'd try one of those. We are more makers than collectors, though there is always a lot of crossover and someone may know more. Good luck Geoff
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