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Sword Making tools and equipment.


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#1 Drq

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 03:42 PM

Just starting to think that making longer blades would be fun to get into and have been wondering what equipment do you have in our shop that you use specifically for making swords. For clarity I'm talking forged blades here. I already have most of your basic material movers; #50 Canadian Giant, #6 fly press, and working on a rollling mill, and I can heat 12 inches at a time in my forge. I'm also building a kmg grinder clone, and have a modified 4x48" sander that I stuck a 1.5hp motor on.

Is there anything you would add to forging equipment ?
Or material removal ?
I've heard that you need a 4" wide grinder for grinding swords, but is it really necessary, or just nice to have or not worth the money ? (a 2x72 seems to work fine...)
Any special little jigs or toys that you've found unexpectedly helpful with the longer stuff ???

Thanks

Drq

#2 Steve Sells

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 07:12 PM

a larger quench tank is nice :) as for grinding I love my Bader B-3 2x72 its plenty for me.
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#3 Ed Steinkirchner

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 09:57 PM

well if your going to forge in fullers instead of just grinding them, you'll need some top and bottom fullers, spring style, so they stay lined up. and i second the long quench tank, and add a long heating forge just for the heat-treat would be very helpful. if your into hand work, a sen and fuller scrapers are nice, but a grinder is soo much easier. i think most folks use a 2 inch belt if i'm not mistaken. that is what the grinder i am building runs, so i hope it is enough. but it seems that you got pretty much all you need. on a side note you may want to make a drift of a standard sword tang or tangs so you can forge guards more easily.
whatever you make remember to keep us posted.

hope my rambling helped some :D

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#4 Drq

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 11:01 PM

For a quench tank I've got a solvent tank that's about 14" diameter and 40"ish deep, I'll have to fill it up to be able to quench the small seax I'm hoping to make for my first largish blade. Any have any experience using hydraulic oil for a quenchant ? We've got tons of it kicking around work.

Hey Ed, what exactly is a sen scraper ? I've been thinking about fuller scrapers, I've got lots of slightly used carbide inserts from work so I think I'm going to russel something up that will hold a nice radius insert for me. If anyone wants to try one I've got tons of inserts.


I like the drift idea ! I like the look of punched and drifted holes on more natural blades.

#5 Ed Steinkirchner

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:10 PM

a sen id a flat scraping/cutting tool used to make long flats, it has a handle at both ends

sen

and a fuller scraper is used to scrape in or clean up forged fullers. i would just search the forums here for info on that.

i like the slot drift to be the shape of the blade-tang union and slightly small, so the guard can either be heated and press-fit on, or filed slightly for a sliding fit. definately make them out of high carbon steel or they just don't hold up.

Ed Steinkirchner
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#6 nonjic

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 02:42 PM

the biggest headache is getting the whole shebang up to an even heat for quenching !

~ The artist formally known as John n ~


#7 ThomasPowers

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:10 PM

Now can your forge heat a length smaller than 12" in the middle of a piece of stock?

Generally you only want to heat as much as you can work at a go, saves on scaling, decarb, grain growth and all that jazz.

Except as mentioned the heat treat! Having a dedicated heat treat furnace is a big help. The swordmaker I worked with had a *vertical* inert atmosphere electric heat treat furnace with the fancy controls for things like D2. 36" of blade is awful like cooked spaghetti when hot so a vertical furnace and quench tank helped warpage a lot! (he used a 2x72 Bader as well)
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#8 Drq

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 11:31 PM

My main forge can't heat less than full lenght, but I've still got my "Pile o' firebricks with a burner stuck in it" forge that I use every once in a while, so yes, I guess you could say I have the capabilities. I've been trying to figure out something for heat treating, I'm not planning on doing anything completely crazy, but I would like to do at least a 36" blade. Last time I tried to HT something like that it involved the burning coals left over from burning a 45 foot wooden cow....but thats another story...

#9 ThomasPowers

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 11:15 AM

Trench forges fueled by chunk charcoal are an easy/cheap way of getting a long fire for heat treat---if the wife/parents/neighbors don't object....
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#10 Tiapan

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 11:44 AM

AS a wise person once said "it is easier to ask for forgiveness then for permission" as the conversation goes, "what do you mean honey, its just a little 4 foot by 1 foot ditch with a pipe in the bottom, you wont hardly notice it there at all, i mean i'm the one mowing the lawn right" :rolleyes:

#11 ThomasPowers

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 03:13 PM

A nice thick flagstone can hide quite a lot!
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#12 Drq

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 12:06 AM

What do you think about using coal in a trench forge instead of charcoal ? I have about four tons of coal and a distinct lack of charcoal...(that being said I have a pretty big pile left over from a burn pile under the snow). Also thanks for all the ideas ! Its a pretty big step !

#13 Tiapan

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:21 AM

holy cow thats a ton of coal (well 4 but its a pun for a reason) I think a lot of people use charcoal because of cost, if you have easy access to free wood, charcoal is basically free. But you seem to have plenty of coal, so that would make more sense, my only concern is the difference in using coal vs. charcoal. You need to have a specific shape to a coal fire to get the best results from what i have read, where charcoal needs less air and consumes fuel faster and therefor will be burning a little more evenly. Someone with more experience please chime in, but those are just my thought. but hey you got a lot to work with, im sure you can figure something out.

#14 ThomasPowers

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 01:23 PM

I've used coal in a trench forge before. It's a bit trickier to keep the entire length fairly constant in temperature---what you are trying to do in heat treating. I'd strongly suggest coking it beforehand and be quite cautious with it for a long blade.

Actually while forging the blade with coal is not that big a deal I would suggest using charcoal for heat treat anyway,
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#15 Drq

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 04:38 PM

To tell the truth I'm not heat treating anything at the moment, have plans in the works to do a blade with about a 30" section to be heat treated. I might have to play with both fuels. Yeah if anyone is ever in Northern Alberta and needs some coal tell them to come talk to me ! We've got to decent sized mines within a couple hours here and I've done a fair bit of work for one of them. Crap, even before I had done work for the mine they we're really good about looking the other way when a guy needed a truck box full of coal. Great coal too, burns crazy hot.

#16 Drq

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 02:49 AM

So I'm kinda half way through my first big blade build. (BBB ?) And here's what I've built so far to make it easier:

1. A 6"x48" wood sander modified for steel by mounting a bigger motor (1.5 HP) and new pulleys to crank the speed up. (and new bearing after a couple of hours hehehee, they were pretty beat up with the seals gone so I planned on it)
2. A new 2 x 72 sander with an extra long tooling arm to run longer 90" belts that I got for free from work.
3. A filing guide for tang shoulders I made by drilling holes in two pieces of HSS lathe tool blanks. Work great but good luck drilling if you don't have a solid carbide drill bit and a good rigid mill.
4. Deep quench tanks for water for grinding. Used pieces of abs pipe with end caps. (as a note make sure then end caps are on tight, it can be cold on your toes if you lift the tank full of water up and the end cap doesn't come with it. A 4" pipe 48" long holds a lot of water)
5. Deep oil quench tank. Used a caustic drum which is basically a small oil drum.
6. Deep etching tank again made from abs pipe.

The blade isn't actually that long so I was able to use my forge for heat treating.

Things I still want to build:
A rolling mill for pattern welding.
A vertical heat treat oven.
An insulated shop. (It was -37 this week and my shop is a 102 year old log cabin)
A better electrical system for my shop so my lights don't go out every time I start my sanders.


This is the blade; 23 layers of L-6/1018 on the outsides sandwiching a layer of 1018 over a cutting edge of L-7.
I was trying L-6 and 5160 before and was just having no luck what so ever getting it to stick. Using the 1018 makes a huge difference.

The picture is just after tempering. I don't think it turned out that bad for my first blade over 6".

Drq

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#17 Tiapan

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:28 AM

I think its looking great. I am glad i live more southern then you, its in the 80's here in houston the last few days. come summer time it might be too hot to forge, but i doubt it. Just wont be doing it after noon lol.




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