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Al Massey

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Everything posted by Al Massey

  1. I always liked that line from "A Bronx Tale"- "Now youse can't leave."
  2. I can't seem to find a link for Hi temp tools any more...Sad. Would like more bubble alumina.
  3. "The Modern Blacksmith" and "The Making of Tools" has a lot on that.
  4. "The thief left it behind- the moon at my window." -Ryokan
  5. There were almost certainly several different production methods for crucible steel in the middle/near east as there were different centres. The "sloshing sound" I'm taking from a description in Figiel's book. I'd surmise that the size of the desired ingots was often a great variation.
  6. Sometime in the next year I plan to try and do a couple of crucible smelts. I recall reading that the ironmasters of old would pick out crucibles from the fire and "slosh" the contents, listening for the liquid sound. I wonder if some of the difference in patterning between old and new wootz might be attributable to the mechanical action implied- also, wouldn't doing this also help rid the smelter of air bubbles in the material? Just a thought...
  7. They've put up the walls and roof trusses.
  8. It's going to be a standard garage with electric door opening, but with a few mods. I'm going to run the propane from the outside so I don't have gas tanks in the shop, and there are going to be 5 regular outlets for electricity, plus 2 220 volt, allowing me to keep my press and grinder plugged in at the same time. All the outlets will have dust covers. Also, both the windows and most of the lighting will be at the back end of the shop, for grinding/drilling/buffing, keeping the end by the door dimmer for forging and forging at that end will also let me keep the door partway up in summer.
  9. Try using a magnet. It can be a real help if your lighting is too high. At worst case, you might be a little cool to fully harden but you're unlikely to crack it. That grain is a pretty good sign of overheating before quenching. If you can get metal to a bright yellow then forge-welding should be possible. Try and get some time visiting an experienced maker. It'll pay off the gas expense a hundredfold, even a few hours with someone showing things first-hand.
  10. 16 by 24 ft.. Metric system in Canada only went as far as temperature, highway speed and food labels.
  11. Today the concrete was poured and smoothed. Rebar and welded wire reinforcement. Surface is smooth as silk. The guy did a great finishing job.
  12. Yeah, but a lot of difference between a 5" and a 15" blade...
  13. Generally machetes are pretty far down there, high 40's to low 50's. Roughly comparable to most swords and sabres historically and for good reason- they needed to flex rather than break under stress and a bad cut that may leave a bit of a dent in an Rc50 blade might well cause an Rc 58 blade to develop a stress fracture. I have a WW2 Collins bolo knife that's Rc 55, but it's very heavilly built to absorb stresses.
  14. His online thing isn't really set up for international orders. Give him a call using the phone no. shown after Tuesday, he's at the Blade Show until then.
  15. Since when? Aldo's been delivering steel to me for 10 years now.
  16. Your propane hose has started to melt? Seriously? Man, turn that thing off and quit unless you're a big fan of open-air cremations.
  17. I've always used cheap gloves from Princess Auto. If my hands have gotten burns it usually was because I was doing something stupid to begin with. Also, to add to what Alan was saying, get a sprinkler can and keep the coals outside of the actual area you are heating the steel in dampened down. Saves fuel as well.
  18. No, the drive wheel is straight mounted onto the motor shaft. If Don didn't have a problem with the mobile stands I don't think it's going to be an issue.
  19. I like the idea of a moveable grinder for easy cleanup (Bee metal, 1 horse, 2 by 72) but I've heard that even with brakes, the vibration can cause the setup to "walk" in operation. Anyone try this out? I would think that using a wood top would dampen most of the vibes.
  20. To my eye that almost certainly looks like a Solingen-made hunting knife. I'd guess leather washer grip as well.
  21. Well, the old building is finally down. I'm afraid my initial fears were unfounded, in regards to the roof falling in on me. The trusses defied almost all efforts to get them to come down until they used ropes, chains and a pickup truck. The truck was damaged in the process...the term "Overbuilt" came to mind. The initial builder may have done a crappy job on the pad, but the rest of the building could have stood another 30 years. Not one bit of rot in the structural wood either...
  22. I have been watching 3 young fellows trying to take this wooden structure down all day and I have come to the conclusion that whoever built this garage contracted out for the Pyramids.
  23. Same size, but much better organised.
  24. I remembered to save the horseshoe...
  25. When I bought my "house"- originally a modified mobile, but it had its own property, she was just a few years old- in 1991. She had a concrete floor, 5 power outlets, and 220 volt. That made me sign the mortgage. I moved what tools I had into her, hung the horseshoe toes down, befitting a smith's shop, and started working. In her, I learned to forge-weld, to make damascus. I learned arc-welding, a tool that allowed me to make more tools. Over the years- the concrete, never well-poured, started cracking and the shop eventually started warping and twisting- but still she kept out the rain of Eas
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