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Al Massey

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Al Massey last won the day on July 10 2018

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    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Swords of all kinds, damascus steel (all kinds), fencing, redheads, fiddle music both listening and playing, good Chinese food, pretty Chinese waitresses, Martial arts flicks so bad they're funny, redheads, really bad horror flicks, home-brewed beer and wine, and Futurama. (did I mention redheads?)

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  1. Other way is after the basic forging and prior to HT, curve it laterally around the horn of the anvil and then clamp it in a vise when cool and cut it in with a half-round file and then straighten out the blade. You should have a nice nail nick tapering in width towards each end, no problem.
  2. ...Does anyone have more info on this? I know he was around my age. Complicated man, I considered him a friend, gave me lots of useful info wrt press building and forgewelding. Sad to see people disappearing, have to get used to it now that I'm over 60.
  3. Just had my right knee replaced a little over a week ago. Legally I cannot drive until at least mid-Febuary. How long should I stay out of the shop for?
  4. I used green glass as a vanadium source BUT- I also used borax flux. Started cracking early, I suspect graphite formation as you said.
  5. Someone asked me the other day if someone, who because of injury, body size or other reasons could not sit low to the ground in the Japanese manner couldn't do "workarounds" so as not to be in agony, which tends in my experience to also detract from the quality of finished work. (I have upcoming major knee surgery and the remark was "good thing you forge western style swords!) I know that there are guys forging Japanese-style swords in traditional styles, with hamon and using home-made steels but working in typical Western forge setups. I honest to gods can't see why someone who can't kneel like that couldn't "jig up" a setup where they could do stone polishing in a more user-friendly position. Not trying to start a flamewar here, but I really can't see an issue if the traditional stones and steps are used by someone with the training if it matters a damn whether one or both legs were folded up when they did it or if they were sitting on a comfy chair. Hell, sitting here writing this I've been able to picture a rig.
  6. Subject pretty much says it. Although my forge is a beast ultimately I'm going to want a proper melting furnace. I don't see too many commercial ones available for the temp range I want, if anyone has a line on them let me know. I'm probably looking doing about 1 kilo ingots or a little better, tops. Also, I've had great success with forging with Rex Price's T-Rex atmospheric burners. He also has a 1" dia. foundry burner, curious if it would suit my needs if I built one. Definitely will need to invest in hi-temp rated Innswool though if I build- I think I'm looking to get 2500-2600 and the regular stuff is out of the game at 2400. Any advice for this guy catching the bug? (No, not THAT one- double vaxxed personally. 60 yo with pneumonia damage and older coworkers and relatives, ain't taking chances.) Another question, anyone ever use metal powder as in cannister damascus as a wootz melt?
  7. This is my first attempt at a melt. Looks okay to me, going to do thermal cycling a few times before taking it to the press. 250 grams 1084 steel and 150 cast iron, borax-flourspar flux topped with Grolsch Pilsener bottle glass. Figure approx. 1.5 C. Mini ingot, only 380 grams.
  8. The fear of losing memories is well understood as you get older.
  9. I just use a couple of pieces of fairly rigid angle iron with chunks of softwood gorilla glued to each one- after being in the quench about 15 seconds just take it over to the angle iron chunks which are loosely clamped in my post vise, slide the blade between the pieces of softwood and tighten down the vise.
  10. Is that kilij grip a frame construction?
  11. I'm with Alex on this. I think your heat is too low.
  12. I recall an anecdote about the British machining expert, Joseph Whitworth, where an elderly factory foreman remembered him working as a mechanic in his early years, where according to the old man Whitworth was "Good with all hand tools but simply a wonder to watch with an 18" mill file."
  13. Sounds like you're trying to harden a low carbon alloy.
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