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Tim Cook

Many many thanks to everyone

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Hello all.  My first post to this forum, and it is to say thank you to everyone who hosts and posts.  I got the fever back in the summer to do some bladesmithing but had no clue on anything involved with it.  This forum is where I spent most of  my time learning.  As a result, I now have (I think?) a rather robust forge.  Its specs:

- old 1970's propane tank cut to make the forge body

- 3 inches of Maftec 3000 degree insulation blanket

- 2 sidearm burners from Larry Zoeller.

- 1 inch of satanite and then coated with itc-100 and the bottom 1/3 with bubble alumina. 

- Final diameter of firebox is 6.5 inches in front and 5 inches in back.   It is conical to allow flux to drain out

- A removable drip tray when forge welding (filled with kitty litter) and an adjustable tool rest.

- Thermocouple installed at about 2 o'clock with the tip at about 3 o'clock.  The pic shows the PID reader mounted on the wall. 

  I had to build everything from the ground up including the anvil stand and workbench.   The anvil and vise were my grandfathers.  My grinder was a kit build from Oregon's.  The forge will hit 1000 degrees in less than a minute.  I turn the psi up to 12 and it will hit 2000 degrees in about 6 minutes.  Then I turn it down to 5 psi and it will stay at around 2000 degrees.  If pushed it would prolly hit around 3000 degrees.  Not gonna try that however lol.Anvil Stand.jpgForge Not Running.jpgForge running.jpg

Edited by Tim Cook
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Great gear. Apply the same skill to your knives and you are on your way.

Now, let's talk about hammers and tongs.......:P

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Lets!  Lol.  I only have three hammers.  The one in the photo, a 2.5 lb cross peen, and a 12 oz ball peen.  I don't have any tongs, been using vice grips.  Will post a pic of my first knife when its done.  Still getting things ordered and whatnot to use for finishing it. 

    

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Now that's a gorgeous setup! Gotta love the orange (not too close to that wall right?). Can't wait to see your work. I find the two hammers (heavy cross and light ball) do pretty much all the work you need, and you develop a bond to them pretty quick. 

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     Heh.  Nah its not too close.  Even at 2100 degrees I can still touch the back of it (lot of insulation).  Plus I scoot it to the front when I forge.  I only moved it sidelong so could get the tiger in a pic  /grin.  Being from Mo., I had to give a nod to the Mo. Tigers college football team.   Thanks for the kind words about the artwork everyone. 

     I have read some recommend a flatter hammer.  I wonder if its worth the price for knifesmithing?  Also with which tongs should I start?  Looking for one that will be the best for a beginner.

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Nice looking setup!

As for the flatter, I'll say this:  I've had one for the last 20 years and used it twice, and not on a blade.

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I second Alan on the flatter. My "heavy" hammer is a 5# double face with one face flat and angled to get all the face on the anvil when normally held. As close to a flatter as I've ever needed. Of course, in my "style" making flat isn't a "tap, tap, tap" procedure.

For tongs I have two suggestions 

Scrounge at flea markets and learn to modify to suit.

Contact JJSimon on the forum for new.

There is also IIRC a pinned topic on making your own. It helps a whole lot to already have a set as a guide however. I have often wondered what the failure rate of new 'smiths, making their first tongs, without someone showing them how, is?  I know I failed gloriously.

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Ok its done.  Finally got my health back and work slowed down so was able to finish it.  The handle is walnut with brass guard and pins.  I learned a lot of what to do next time but even more of what NOT to do next time :D.  Any thoughts and honest criticism is welcome.  I was happiest with the handle.  I need a lot of practice with learning beveling on the grinder.  Speaking of which, why is a "jig" considered a 4 letter word?  It would have helped someone as green as me.  Next project, an Arkansas toothpick.

20180119_161825.jpg

Edited by Tim Cook

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The jig is sometimes considered "crap" because what you can do with it is limited. But why not use a tool just because it has limits? Do what you can with it and finish the rest free hand. 

Now for the critique part, I would have aligned the pins, cut off the upper part of the guard and shrinked the lower part. The rest is just finishing issues. 

For your next knife, I would advise you to sketch it first and post it in the design and critique topic. I received a lot of precious help there for designing my knives.

Edit: this is a knife I did with a file jig. I don't believe a crap tool would do that.. 

P_20171013_121911.jpg

Edited by Joël Mercier

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Wow. Beautiful knife.  Perhaps I will look into getting a jig.  Any recommendations?  I will also do a sketch and post on my next one.  I didn't with this one.  I knew the main user of this knife has small hands and gave me some design ideas, but didn't sketch anything.  Tyvm for your help!

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Check this out. I did mine 6" longer. I also put two tiewraps on the eye bolt to reduce noise. 

 

Edited by Joël Mercier

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Great setup Tim . Wow your forge is 100 better than my rough as guts chook show. Look forward to seeing your work 

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On 1/19/2018 at 6:50 PM, Tim Cook said:

 Speaking of which, why is a "jig" considered a 4 letter word?  It would have helped someone as green as me.

Don't read anything into this.   Some people who have developed a hard earned skill will automoatically knock somethign that helps someone achieve similar results without all the practice.  I was the same way in my youth when auto-focus cameras started comming out.  I was knocking them one day to a pro photographer that was a mentor of mine.  He shook his head and told me that you don't get any extra points for manually focuising. but you sure loose a lot on that one shot that comes out soft.  One of many lessons the man taught me...

Anyway, I found that a simple jig made from a piece of angle iron helped me a lot at first.  Then once I started to understand the geometry of grinding a bit, I found the jig limiting.  By then, however, grinding free-hand wasn't so difficult for me.

Use a jig if you want, and use it with pride :)

 

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