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What did you do in your shop today?


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Didn't sleep after 3am Monday morning, so to get through yesterday was a chore....

So much to do, but not on this Monday......

My bachelor pad is bad enough since knife making gets priority over domestic chores, kitchen counter taken over by completed and WIP knives.....

......so to make matters worse I dyed some Hessian (burlap) red. I've got another coffee bag that I'm going to dye blue, both for making Micarta.

 

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Finished another folder.  Little bitty bugger, 2.5" / 63mm closed, 4.5" / 112mm open.  O-1, brass liners, nickel silver bolsters and pins, ebony scales.  Still needs an edge and some cleanup, but it's

Yesterday, and not my shop.

Finally got my bench cleared off and back on some knives. This one was fun, but glad to see it done.   My oldest grandson turned six this weekend and I promised to make him a box for his tre

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My guitar project is on hold....I had some issues with the cheap electronics that came with the kit, and had to order some decent ones from Stew-Mac, as well as reordering the Bigsby tremolo as the original order off Ebay ran into issues. So I was mowing the property and noticed the deck brackets were ready to fall off; rolled out the welding cart and got that fixed. My welding unit is also an Everlast, but it is a multi process unit that does stick, ac/dc TIG, and plasma cuts. Handy to have when stuff breaks or i need to fabricate something.

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5 hours ago, SteveShimanek said:

My welding unit is also an Everlast, but it is a multi process unit that does stick, ac/dc TIG, and plasma cuts. Handy to have when stuff breaks or i need to fabricate something.

All in one. That's good. I have a TIG/stick and a separate plasma cutter and two MIGs and a spot welder and not much bench room!

Sometimes I wish I had bought a more versatile unit rather than all these individual pieces of equipment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today I got a little further in the fabrication of my latest addition to the shop equipment. I've been putting this project off for too long.

Fabrication (6).JPG

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I may have mentioned that this forum inspires me to try new and wonderful things....... :ph34r:

Yesterday after work I carried on with a handle that's several firsts for me....

Dyed so Hessian blue, made a really thick slab of micarta, somehow managed to drill through from either end roughly matching the tang.

Bolster/guard is brass, and I wanted to try a rounded brass buttcap.......man getting that and the micarta to match is a mission! 

I didn't snap off the tang in the process so I know the knife is strong!

 

Even more respect for those that make it look easy!

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I'm making my first attempt at a mosaic pattern.  This bar has 30 layers of crushed Ws, restacked with an extra bit of 15n20, and then 4-way welded.

I'm mostly focused on getting through the process the first time, but it would be a hollow effort if I wasn't trying for a specific effect.  This was going to be an attempt at a basket weave, but somehow I messed up the orientation doring the 4-way.  

I'll do a flip next and see what it looks like.

IMG_20180811_203534_200.jpg

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I wasted the best part of Saturday on prep-work.

Cleaned off a nice chunky motorcycle chain, turns out it has little rubber(?) spacers/washers which I had to painstakingly remove. Divided the chain in 3 parts welded up and handles welded on.

Made a billet consisting of a file, bandsaw blade either side of that and mild steel on the outside. 

The first chain billet started problematic, just wouldn't stay together and weld, chucked it for now.

Despite using a small file I struggled a bit to get heat in the back part of the billet, but everything seemed to weld OK.  Ground away some of the welds and etched the billet, and I was very happy with the results.

During the night I planned out exactly what knives I would makes with this billet, got up and inspected my handy work, only to see some FeCl bubbling out of a crack :angry:

 

Counted my chickens too soon it seems.....

Coal forge is good for a lot, but I need a gas forge that can reach welding temps if I'm to play this game........

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23 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I started next year's batch of Dandelion wine.  About four gallons, twelve hours after pitching the yeast:

20180812_102853.jpg

I would like to hear more about this. Is there enough ferment able sugar in the dandelion's? How does it compare to regular wine taste wise.

What percentage do ya end up with. I have never had much luck getting past about 5 or 6 percent with beer.

I dont have the patients for bottle conditioning......I have an old coke a cola keg and a co2 tank.

Been a couple years....might have to blow the dust off and make a batch of hefe.

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Ray Bradbury said it best when he described Dandelion Wine as "it tastes like spring."  It's a little sweet, although you can make it dry if you want, and it has unidentifiable floral and grassy notes with a topnote of sunshine.  And no, the flowers are not sweet enough by a long shot, they're actually considered a bitter herb.

To make one gallon, pick one gallon of wide-open blooming dandelion flowers, no stems.  Put in a pot and add one gallon of boiling water, cover tightly, and let sit three days or so until the flowers float up to the surface and it smells like the underside of a mower deck.  Strain out the solids and wring all the liquid out you can.  Put over medium-high heat and add the juice of four oranges and four lemons.  When it starts to simmer, slowly stir in 4 pounds of sugar for a sweet-ish wine, 3 for a dry wine  (and note this recipe is for one gallon, the batch above started as 3.5 gallons of flowers, the juice of 14 lemons and 14 oranges, and 14 lbs of sugar).  Cool to yeast-pitching temperature of below 80 degrees F, pour into a big bottle, add yeast and airlock, and forget about it completely for about a year.  You can rack it off the lees in six months if you want, and certainly rack it before bottling or it'll have sediment in the bottles.

If you use a good white wine yeast like Red Star Montrachet (now renamed "classic cru" or some such nonsense) and a fruit wine yeast like Lalvin K-1111, you'll get more of the fruit character from the citrus juices, and thus more "sunshine" effect.  Both of those yeasts top out around 13% ABV.  You could try champagne yeast if you wanted to get to 16%, but you'd probably need to add more sugar to get there.  This stuff isn't very good if it's too dry.  It does need to ferment out completely, thus the year in the fermenter.  It'll keep in corked bottles for years.  

Finally, it's not a table wine.  It is a digestive or aperitif, almost strong as port or sherry, so use aperitif glasses.  The dandelions have a strong action on the liver and gall bladder that promotes good and complete digestion.  Have a single glass of this after a too-heavy meal when you're feeling bloated, and in ten minutes you'll be ready to roll again.  Mix it half and half with club soda or seltzer over ice and you have a lighter version that works even better.  My wife calls it "The Recipe," as she's always had iffy digestion. 

I made my first one-gallon batch of this from a recipe in Foxfire 2 around 22 years ago or so, and it helped her so much I've made at least a couple of gallons every year since.  It's a pain to pick all those dandelions, but it's worth it.  We seem to have overharvested the yard over the years,  so where we used to get a gallon of flowers a day when the season started, we now only get a few cups per day and freeze them until we have enough for a big batch.  I'm one of the few people in the world who wants more and bigger dandelions in his yard! :lol:

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53 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I'm one of the few people in the world who wants more and bigger dandelions in his yard! :lol:

Wow, that is a lot of work!  I've always heard of it, but assumed dandelion wine was made from the leaves.

FWIW, I encourage them to grow in my yard.  It is one of the best things for my tortoises to graze.  Like you, I don't seem to get as many anymore, so I have to pick them out of the neighbors yards now!

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Looks great Mike.

If I'm not mistaken the purpose of a choil is to make sharpening easier.    I personally can't stand them since they always seem to get caught in something,  Clothes, guts, boxes, etc.. Sharpening doesn't look like it'd be a problem for you :)     

I'd say go with yer gut.

-b

 

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Having a girlfriend already limits free time a lot, but that's nothing compared to a little one. So last 6 months I've barely done any metalwork whatsoever. However once in a while I get a few hours, and it looks like I'm getting another piece finished soon. Last Sunday I got all of the file work done, and polishing in the first grid of sandpaper. One or two more weekends like that, and this one is done. 

39123620_2150733688482970_8665288466063425536_n.jpg

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Mike, I'm not a fan of choils either for the same reason as Bruno.

Jeroen, glad you're gettng a bit done here and there!  Looks good from what I can see.

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I cant figure out how you guys can get your plunge lines even without a choil. I use it as a bulseye of sort.....and still struggle to get em even.

 Havent got much done the last week. Ordered belts on the 6th and they didnt show up until yesterday =/'

 

comp.jpg

Edited by Kreg
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I usually don't do plunges. ;)  Look at Gary Mulkey's thread on his hunters, and in post #4 you'll see his carbide-faced file guide: 

These are so incredibly handy I'm surprised I don't have one.  I just grind edge-up and eyeball it.

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18 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I have seen guys use those freehanding. I am still using a grinding jig.....I dont THINK one of those is an option for me.

 

 

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I envy you guys that can do that.....I still have to constantly adjust even with the jig.

But am getting better. After a leaf spring or 2 the 1/8" kitchen blades seem like a breeze.

The last couple of blades I made a physical stop on my jig. The plunge lines on this chopper are as close to perfect as I have done....so far anyway.

I honestly cant fathom how you could free hand and get the exact same angle on each side of the blade.

You guys that can are true craftsman.....

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Start ahead of where you want it so that you have room to get it right. I made a hill-billy file guide by c-clamping a straight piece of mild to the back of the blade so it hits the platen. For the other side, just line it up at the spine and edge. Then clean it up slowly.

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Speaking of plunge lines.   I'm almost finished with this one:

Stabby1.jpg

stabby2.jpg

I did this one free hand as a practice.  Don't have any jigs.  Haven't made anything in too long a while.   In process of sharpening it now.  It's a bit tricky.  It's hard to tell, but I the blade is hollow ground all the way up to about 2.5" before the tip.  Then the tip is convex/appleseed ground.

First real double edge.   I think I'm getting better.    Still have a problem with evenness between left/right sides.   I think I need to remount my belt sander somehow.  It's a coote, with a small drive wheel.  6" I think.    Have a problem with clearance, as when I grind to the left, my hand's get awful  close to the step pulleys that drive it.   The leather broke while wrapping is why I finished in paracord.

I meant to make this a quick build,  but dang it the ocd won't let me stop grinding sometimes.

Edited by Bruno
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1 hour ago, Kreg said:

I envy you guys that can do that.....I still have to constantly adjust even with the jig.

But am getting better. After a leaf spring or 2 the 1/8" kitchen blades seem like a breeze.

The last couple of blades I made a physical stop on my jig. The plunge lines on this chopper are as close to perfect as I have done....so far anyway.

I honestly cant fathom how you could free hand and get the exact same angle on each side of the blade.

You guys that can are true craftsman.....

I like jigs, and think that they helped me understand how the blade geometry forms.  However, I really think grinding freehand is easier once you understand how all the faces of the blade form and come together. 

For example, making slight adjustments to the bevel angle is a matter of where you place your thumb.  If the edge is grinding away too quickly, place your thumb closer to the spine, etc.  You don't have that sort of freedom with most jigs.  

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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