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Al Massey

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Everything posted by Al Massey

  1. My 1796 HC sword scabbard has enough room for a liner and I had little trouble making one and placing it inside. Same deal with the small pieces in the mouth seeming to keep the point from jamming into the liner. I can see traces of brass on the scabbard which is in slightly darkened but otherwise very good condition. I'm assuming then that these were sheet iron or steel, formed around a mandrel and brazed. I want to make one for a 1796 LC I'm putting a guard and grip on but until my sheet metal skills improve I'll probably stick to wood and leather.
  2. 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.
  3. ...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.
  4. 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?
  5. I used green glass as a vanadium source BUT- I also used borax flux. Started cracking early, I suspect graphite formation as you said.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. The fear of losing memories is well understood as you get older.
  10. 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.
  11. Is that kilij grip a frame construction?
  12. I'm with Alex on this. I think your heat is too low.
  13. 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."
  14. Sounds like you're trying to harden a low carbon alloy.
  15. That's the reason I haven't used mild or wrought in layered damascus in 25 years. It's a very labour intensive way to make 1045 bar stock.
  16. 31-32" is fine. Most of the historical examples I've seen are fairly wide but very thin at the foible- 1/10" or so- and 3/16 or so at the root. Look at as many pics as you can for profiles. Fairly flat blade cross-sections are good usually with at least one fuller, usually less than 2/3 the length of the blade and the fullers are relatively narrow.
  17. Alan, I thought that was the other way around, the early Anglo-Saxon swords being less tapering than the ones favoured by the Vikings?
  18. Namikawa is second to none in customer service. Also, a good source of stones is Lee Valley Tools- I don't know if they ship overseas though. Cheers, Al
  19. It shouldn't cost you anywheres near 8K to build a press. I built mine for about 2K, granted, a few years ago, but still...your equivalent of Princess Auto should carry the parts for the hydraulics and then it's just a matter of getting the steel to put together an H-frame.
  20. The only trick to it was gaps were not something they particularly worried about. Gaps could be filled in with pine resin or wax or a mix thereof.
  21. 20 sounds high. At 8-12 PSI I do most of my forging, 15 PSI for forge-welding and I do pretty heavy billets.
  22. I find that if the blade has been ground clean before hardening, that the black scale almost always pops off or becomes so loose it can be cleaned off with a rag after the quench. It also gives you a good indicator of where the blade has been hardened and where not. I always aim for that demarcation to be half an inch to an inch forward of the tang-blade junction.
  23. Very flat convex, or as I referred to it for years, a f-d-up flat grind...and please no "armour piercing" katana-style tips!
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