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  2. It's been a busy year, and difficult to keep up with everything. Here's some of what I've been building. It's all 80CrV2 steel with various cord wraps impregnated with marine epoxy and sheathed in Boltaron. I like to focus on getting geometry, balance, and ergonomics right without playing around too much with materials. Apologies beforehand for the massive wall of pictures. Mini-parang. miniparang01 by James Helm, on Flickr Barong. barong01 by James Helm, on Flickr barong02 by James Helm, on Flickr Ko-katana. kokatana01 by James Helm, on Flickr kokatana03 by James Helm, on Flickr kokatana04 by James Helm, on Flickr Wakizashi. waki03 by James Helm, on Flickr waki04 by James Helm, on Flickr Sasquatch for scale. pose03 by James Helm, on Flickr Carcass splitters, two big, two small. carcasssplitter01 by James Helm, on Flickr carcasssplitter05 by James Helm, on Flickr carcasssplitter06 by James Helm, on Flickr Sasquatch for scale. carcasssplitter03 by James Helm, on Flickr Another barong. barong by James Helm, on Flickr An elvish forester's blade. forester by James Helm, on Flickr Snake chopper. snakechopper by James Helm, on Flickr Orange and black bush sword and companion small recurve. orangeset01 by James Helm, on Flickr A tenegre bush sword. tenegre01 by James Helm, on Flickr tenegre02 by James Helm, on Flickr A prototype for an upcoming project. Obviously not a cord-wrapped handle on this one, but TeroTuf slab handles with stainless steel flared tube rivets. ed01 by James Helm, on Flickr ed02 by James Helm, on Flickr ed03 by James Helm, on Flickr Taco Ninja for scale. ed04 by James Helm, on Flickr Another carcass splitter. carcasssplitter01 by James Helm, on Flickr A tiny tanto. tanto01 by James Helm, on Flickr Sasquatch for scale. carcasssplitter04 by James Helm, on Flickr A lamb splitter with TeroTuf scales. lambsplitter01 by James Helm, on Flickr lambsplitter02 by James Helm, on Flickr lambsplitter03 by James Helm, on Flickr Sasquatch for scale. lambsplitter04 by James Helm, on Flickr A small-ish camp chopper. campchopper01 by James Helm, on Flickr campchopper02 by James Helm, on Flickr A small-ish ginunting. ginunting01 by James Helm, on Flickr ginunting02 by James Helm, on Flickr Another small-ish camp chopper. campchopper03 by James Helm, on Flickr campchopper04 by James Helm, on Flickr And finally, a decent-sized bush sword that went to a good repeat customer. I could picture Professor Smolder Bravestone picking this up in the bazaar while outfitting for an expedition in Jumanji. :mrgreen: bushsword01 by James Helm, on Flickr bushsword02 by James Helm, on Flickr And now I feel tired. This is a good bit (not all) of half a year's forged blades (not mid-tech). And, of course, I have any number of projects currently underway.
  3. Today
  4. Good advice pnut. Asking is a very good idea in rural country for two reasons. One, yes, lots of folks have rusty treasure laying around and two, you don't want to be perceived as trespassing in the country! That can be a bad deal. So just be careful where you go. If you know someone as pnut said, you may be loaded up with more than you can handle if you tell them you're wanting to smith. My husband mentioned to one of his coworkers that I smith and he said he's got some old farriers rasps and files he's going send my way. I'll have to make him something as a thank you. Enjoy your journey into the world of blacksmithing. It's more fun than you can even imagne
  5. It looks very good to me. Good luck and I hope you get it and at a good price. Don't let yourself get gouged though. I paid $7.70 (USD)a lb. for a new cast steel anvil and that was the second best price I could find on it. The best priced one was a company that I'd never head of and their website felt kind of off to me. Anyway, hope this helps give you an idea of new verses used prices. That's why I decided to just get a new one
  6. The camping chair is a good idea. That price range was about what I was thinking, I'll stick to my max and be prepared to walk. I'll let you guys know how things turn out. While the seller was unable to find any markings (not sure how hard he tried or if he tried brushing away any rust) he did tell me that his dad got it about 25 years ago from a blacksmith shop in Alaska of all places. It had been used by the guy he bought it from, but after getting it home and pouring a pad for it in the shed, he never ended up using it. There is another anvil for sale at the same auction that has some dents on the surface, as well as some ASOs, so I'm guessing those ended up being his general use anvils.
  7. I just got caught up watching videos this link leads to. They are so fascinating to watch even though I don't understand a thing they are saying. The anvil and nail header set ups are great that are in some of the videos. Too bad it's so late or I'd keep watching. Just have to resume tomorrow
  8. Do you know the owners or family members of any owners of farms. They usually have old machinery and equipment and just good ol junk somewhere on the property. Ask if you can take a look and find some usable steel. In rural areas there's also usually illegal dump sites in hollows or at the bottom of hills along the road. If you can find one you may hit the jackpot. Remember be careful though poking around rusty scrap. You can get cut or get nails through your shoe. Pnut
  9. I’m looking to eventually build a propane forge to go along with my coal forge and I’m looking to make it as efficient as possible. I’m looking to be able to forge weld if I need to but mostly normal forging. Unless there is something better I plan on a forced air ribbon burner Some Things I want to know is best shape, insulation, ect any and all tips are appreciated. -Justin
  10. Hello and thank you every body for putting up with me. Well I did it. It’s a frankenForge but I didn’t rush the build. The shell is an old stainless brewers pot that I cut down to size. First a layer of 1” ceramic wool, rigidized and coated with KOL-30 and left to cure before another layer of 1” wool rigidized followed by the last layer of KOL-30. The kastolite is pretty thin maybe 1/4” a bit thicker around the ports and the floor. But I used less then 10 pounds of KOL30. i used Metrikote over the kastolite and I put it on kinda thick. if I did the math right I have just over 350cu inches for my 3/4” burner. I think the opening should have been bigger but it should work my main issue is the burner in relation to the port. Placement and how close it should be. i currently have it inserted about 3/8” into the shell. The port being about 2” thick and flaring slightly I thought it needed an air gap between the burner flare and the forge wall. Test fired it it for the first time tonight but the nozzle was getting a lot hotter then it did firing the burner by itself. I know it looks crude but is the burner in a bad position?
  11. Mike it seems like you have reduced the number of openings in your 3/4" burner from 4 to 3, what are your thoughts on 2 openings opposite each other? Would it be an improvement or is 3 the magic number for a 3/4" burner?
  12. The main thing to be worried about when using a propane forge inside an attached garage is Carbon Monoxide poisoning. CO is insidious and will infiltrate the whole house so it is a good idea to use the forge outside. Install CO detectors in the garage and several locations in the living areas. I usually wait till the forge is just warm to the touch to bring it inside.
  13. Finally got around to filming the hammer in action, videos below. After building a power hammer, I became very busy making jewellery(go figure), hence the delay. Overall I'm quite pleased how it runs, although my only comparison was a few hours on a 120lb Kinyon that I believe wasn't set up correctly (strange control, underpowered air compressor) There's some improvements I'd like to make: run it a little faster, but I believe the spring needs to be stiffer and I'm not sure I'll get around to it. 150bpm is where it likes to run. Good speed for tooling, but could be faster for drawing out heavy stock. A few notes regarding noise/vibration: this was primary concern as I live in the city with neighbors adjacent. Noise was not so bad(shop's in a detached brick garage, I did some soundproofing, filled all steel tubing cavities with sand). However, even with giant anvil, base plate and concrete foundation you could still feel slight impact in the ground outside the shop. Enough that I decided to put 3/4" of rubber mat under the hammer. I don't like the rubber mat, it feels bouncier, but it's necessary. That reduced it enough that you'd have to have your fingers on the ground to sense the impact, rather than through your shoes. It's amazing the lengths that are needed to reduce vibration. I should have poured more concrete. As a benchmark, forging 1" round mild steel on flat dies: Next two videos show drawing RR spikes. I took off the guard to see the spring. I tried to show the control response, a few single hits and softer blows. The jackshaft/flywheel definitely helps, the hammer starts fast and doesn't coast, but you can see the spring flapping around a bit after the treadle comes up. Maybe it's just the overall stiffness, but I think the leaf configuration might also play a role, I'd like to experiment to attenuate some of those harmonics. It's also difficult to do a single soft blow. You can easily feather the clutch to pull the ram up slowly, however it's very sensitive at the "tipping point" and will too readily deal a hard blow instead. It's easier to first deliver one hard blow and then lighten treadle pressure to deliver series of soft blows. I suppose every hammer has it's own personality.
  14. Hi. So, yesterday I got to play with my newly built forge for the first time yesterday. I have some some new parent questions. 1. My wife is scared to death of my new hobby. I understand, it makes a wonderful growl and fire comes out of it. But she's scared of me burning down the house. I am trying to be reassuring and taking on practices which will hopefully allow her to relax a little... So, I pull the forge outside of the garage so there's no fire risk from stray heat. My question if you do the same, and if so, how long do you wait until you pull it back into the garage? 2. I have heated some metal up tonight. I was impressed how the color of the metal was so... vibrant. So, I don't have a whole lot of time on it, but the tank feels a little light. I need to get the gauge put onto the regulator so I can see psi, but while I can dial it back, it doesn't seem to heat as hot when I turn it down (yeah, I know... duh). But how wide is the variation between general working temps and forging temps? 3. When people talk about soaking the piece... Something I am noticing is how it might glow bright, but then when you grab it with tongs there's a band where the tongs grabbed said object. So does that mean that it's actually not as hot in the center, or is that just because the tongs pulled that much heat? 4. I bought a burner flare from Larry Zoeller. I notice that it is glowing red the whole time the forge is running. Is this normal? I know that the burner should be out of the forge, and it pretty much is... But the flare tip is just inside, where the refractory begins... just the tip.
  15. Welcome aboard and you are doing just fine. If you haven't seen this yet, I recommend it to get the best out of the forum. READ THIS FIRST
  16. Thanks for the info on fruit blades, did not think of the acids in the foods. Mostly I was worried about visible damage from use to the flatware or the wooden plate/bowl I have/am making(initial bowl I was trying to finish up and in my haste put a gouge straight through it trying to take off too much in one go and having to remake it). Appreciate the information. Does not need to be completely accurate, as mostly it is so that while volunteering, if a visitor sees it, it does not look too out of time. I.E. need to look like it could belong. Heck the anvil in the smithy there is ~250#(roughly, its had a few big chunks taken out of it over the years) Fisher and use coal instead of charcoal in the forge, and of course the nice 50# swage block isn't something they'd have back then either, but on a limited time helps with demonstrating and bridging from then to now. I see where I could have included more information and been clearer and will try to do better next time.
  17. Good Morning, Oiled with Vegetable Oil only. Neil
  18. I was in about the 3rd grade, making it 1970 or 1971. Times were different then. Oklahoma has always had and still has the “best justice money can buy”, but it was even worse back in the day. Dad just let it go.
  19. My opinion only: use what you have, then replace it later. That and what Thomas said.
  20. No. Wasp waste is a venturi, a decrease in diameter followed by a widened one. I meant to say your sleeve mount is an adjustable "step" flare as described by Mike, where the thread protector I put on Ts is a fixed step flare. The effect on induction is as you describe for said reason, just not a wasp waste. I've never owned nor had the use of a pyro so if I'm curious beyond perceived color I put a 1" cube of cold steel in the forge and time it till color equalizes. I found using long bars wasn't consistent as different parts of the bar were in different temp zones. However in a ribbon burner forge this may not be an issue. Frosty The Lucky.
  21. Sorry, having issues with posting. Nice bracelet. That was my initial idea. JLP do you mean the bracelet looking thing that seats the bearings as good knife/chisel stock? Thanks for the responses!
  22. ok thanks for the tip i will look around and i should be able to find something as where i live is more rural so i can find some stuff
  23. yes, the outer housing part can be used as a dishing tool. All the parts inside are good quality carbon steel and can be used to good merit. I would shape the axle stub part while it's still pretty easy to hold. I usually cut off the outer ring part and this is good chisel or knife stock.
  24. How did you attach the beams to the existing structure?
  25. I made my daughter a bracelet from the retaining ring:
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