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About ThomasPowers

  • Rank
    Senior Moment Member; Master Curmudgeon

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  • Gender Not Telling
  • Location Central NM/El Paso TX Area, USA
  • Interests Iron Smelting


  • Location Central NM
  • Interests Iron smelting
  • Occupation bit herder
  1. My first blade....

    (a gentle hint to test before investing the work into it...We've seen a pretty good number of posts that read something like: "Now that I have spent an immense amount of work and time making a blade from an alloy that will not harden---how do I harden it?" They are generally not happy with our replies...)
  2. Vise missing a leg

    very nice screw in great condition!  You might turn the screwbox up and fill it with cheap non detergent oil and let is set a week and then drain it---I like to run a big bottle brush on a drill up the screwbox then and then refill, shake and let it drain for another week just to remove any hardened gunk in it.
  3. Bush Sword/Something for the Zombie Problem

    More like the Dha and parang than katana
  4. Material and design for a gas forge on the cheap

    suggest searching on "bean can forge" and "micro forge" "one firebrick forge"  So far the answer to most of your questions is: Yes, No, Maybe depending on information you didn't include like: hard vs soft firebrick; how the burner is positioned depends on how you build the forge; how hot do you need it? (forge welding is a stretch goal!) but again it depends on how you build the forge.
  5. Listen to the Curmedgeons and be patient...

    Hmm need to get you a T-shirt with that on it...
  6. Listen to the Curmedgeons and be patient...

    how about "Abuse" ?  or "Strong Medicine" or "Be Specific"  
  7. Listen to the Curmedgeons and be patient...

    I've got cousins in Cedarville, Son in law in Westfork; Brother in law in Siloam Springs---where did you say you were at????
  8. My first blade....

    is it a high carbon steel cable?
  9. High speed wootz

    might look into alloy banding too and read the maker forum over at Sword Forum International---if the old posts on wootz and faux wootz are still there
  10. Listen to the Curmedgeons and be patient...

    Yup; his spelling has been so good lately I've been figuring we should send one of the salt fork fellers out to check for a pod out back of his shop....
  11. Skull forge of Michigan

    I got my first two propane forges by attending a local ABANA affiliate's gas forge building workshops; one blown one dual burner NA, both  under US$125 Now I have no idea if you are in Australia or South Africa, or Wales so I can't make a suggestion to other locally sourced ones.  I will say that I am Very Very against mounting the burners vertically; not only due to the chimney effect mentioned around here recently but also for the greater possibility of re-running exhaust back through the burners creating massive amounts of CO.  The excessively long burner tubes perplex me too as there is usually a "proper length" for such burners and those look way over.
  12. How big an issue is fire proofing ?

    Funny thing I ran a coal forge in a decrepit 1920's detached wooden garage (had dates burned into the walls with a stove poker!) that had a lot of dried leaves in it for 15 years without any fire problems; though I was free with sloshing water in inaccessible places when I was worried.  A couple of months after we sold that house it burned down mysteriously.  (no power to it; not sized for modern vehicles so no cars in it--- so no reason for it to catch fire)
  13. High speed wootz

    Wootz is funny stuff and the percentage of the carbide formers needed is very low indeed; in earlier times they were considered part of the "trash elements" and unimportant.  I'd read everything you can get ahold of by Verhoeven and Pendray It's not just what elements it's how much----like carbon can make mild steel, high carbon steel or cast iron depending on how much is in it.
  14. Vise missing a leg

    Pirate envy        (I'v seen postvises that had the lower part of the limb cast in concrete in the floor and were chopped by a new owner so they could be sold off; ones chopped short to be welded to a specific stand, one ran over by a bulldozer when they bulldozed the old shop where the leg was so mangled that I could understand someone trimming it so it would fit in a trunk; etc and so on...
  15. Problems Quenching

    A36 or even better 1018 or 1020 to learn smithing with and when you are ready for knifemaking I suggest getting a low milage car or pickup coil spring and cutting down a diameter with a cutting torch, angle grinder with a cutting disk, or even hot cutting it so you end up with a dozen ( pieces all of the same steel (generally around 5160 but with any scrap steels you really don't know...) This allows you to practice what temps to forge at and what temps to heat treat at; and what quenchant gives the best results and destructive testing to see if you are getting the best from the steel---all with the same steel Please put VA, USA in your profile; don'r need closer than that and lets other smiths in VA make the offer to let you come over and hit hot metal!