Iron Bear

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About Iron Bear

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  • Location
    southern Illinois
  • Biography
    Happily married with two great kids, 2 and 5!
  • Interests
    Fishing, reading, writing, and blacksmithing
  • Occupation
    currently a full-time locksmith

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  1. I am interested in making my own clay mixture to try differential quenching. What are some different types of clay one can make? Which one is best for knives, swords, etc.? Which one is easiest to acquire/make? I know the basics behind the differential quenching process, but almost no idea about how to go about acquiring or making the clay application itself.
  2. lol I sent an email to you already, Woody, but after reading through the rest of the thread I see you guys linked one of them there. I actually have links to the some of Verhoeven's papers dealing with Damascus, and I'll link them here. I already have them linked in another thread but I'll have to track it down, so I'll just link them again. The Key Role of Impurities in Ancient Damascus Steel Blades Continuing Study of Damascus Steel: Bars from the Alwar Armory, The | JOM | Find Articles at BNET Those are two separate articles that are sequential in dealing with a series of studies that Verhoeven did. They are quite interesting.
  3. I looked at getting a Stanley blower utility fan for a while when I was looking for an air source. Rotating head, 4 adjustable speeds, , small size, $55, and it moves an extremely large volume very quietly. Only problem for me was it was a special order item from the local hardware store and would've taken several weeks to get. Also I didn't have the $55 at the time heh. I would check ebay etc. for small utility fans of the same type. This one was basically a much smaller version of the large rotary blower fans carpet cleaners use to dry carpets.
  4. I almost bought a cast iron anvil waaaaaay back years ago when I was in my teens and extremely interested in making a lot of noise and taking my angst out on a piece of hot steel. Luckily, I was with a few friends one of whom pointed out the now-obvious disadvantages of the cast iron, and advised me to go another route. My dad, a structural engineer, gave me my first anvil which was a chunk of high strength structural I-beam. My second anvil which I acquired a year ago but only got around to using a month or two ago is a 12" section of railroad track. I am actually looking to buy an old forged iron anvil off of a local metalworker that I know hopefully sometime soon. It is quite old and might need re-facing, but it's large, has a horn, pritchet hole, and hardie hole which is more than I can say for my setup right now. I do not know the brand or weight, but my friend definitely concurred when asked about the reliability of cast iron vs. forged iron or cast steel or iron with faced steel. Cast iron = not good.
  5. TYVM for the link, Matt. I was looking forward to the info that you had to pass on. I will try that method and post the results as soon as I gather the ingredients and I have a project I need a rust-proof finish on. Ty, again. And I am having fun, Bentiron! I am now 5 projects into my list of Christmas presents to make, and I have made a few more tools as well. I have found invaluable help from other blacksmiths, articles, and books. I have also found some great bargains! Picked up a 18" European style tongs at an antique store for only $10, which I can now use as templates to make more tongs. I am having such a blast and the work is such a great outlet for excess energy and creativity. Even my wife is getting into the spirit and coming up with ideas of projects I can make. I love blacksmithing!
  6. sweet, now all I have to do is find some of these titles. Ty for the suggestions everyone.
  7. gotcha, ty for making the explanation.
  8. Vanadium as an impurity present in the iron used IS a carbide forming element. If you look up what vanadium is mainly used for today, it is as an additive to steels in the formation of specialty steel alloys such as high speed tool steel. Vanadium adds stable nitrides and carbides when it is added to steel as ferrovanadium. Regarding all this, though, wasn't the bulat steel similar but not the same as the wootz steel? I remember something about the bulat being developed in Russia by a guy, but wootz was originally from India wasn't it? The point is moot, I guess, seeing how close the similarity is and seeing how far away I am from making either one! Good luck to all studying and/or attempting this aspect of blacksmithing! I hope to learn more and eventually attempt it myself.
  9. lol you all are making me feel old. I love reading, and have since I was a child (I snuck into my dad's study when I was 10 and read "Hunt for Red October" all the way through). I'm actually hard up for resources right now to read that aren't on the internet. I'm tired of perusing Wikipedia for blacksmith-related articles that may or may not be validated, and forums are great but I don't always have time to be on the internet (watching the kids) and I would love to have something to read on lunch breaks at work. I can't really borrow a bunch from the library because we're trying to get ready to move to a different town within a month or two. However, I COULD ask for blacksmithing books for Christmas! I just don't want to have someone blow a whole lot on something that turns out to not be so good. Several questions: Where did you acquire those titles you mentioned? How much were they? If you have read any yet, where they worthwhile? I would definitely appreciate your feedback, K. Bryan Morgan, and happy reading to you!
  10. Matt, thank you for your kind advice. I'll have to say that my first foray into knife-making actually went pretty well considering I just dived right in. I find a lot of things that have to do with art or crafting intuitive, but you're right - I should research more for safety's sake and for better results/time. I tried following that link by both clicking and by search engine and it wouldn't let me follow it for some reason. Something about "server connection interrupted - page error". As it stands at the moment I have a beautiful finish on it at the moment. After I found I couldn't blue it using the method I had in mind, I had decided to just finish the darn thing. I heated the blade to a brownish color up to the edge before coating it with hydraulic jack oil, then heated again after it was on. The oil film coated beautifully, making a nice slate color on the blade. I put the handle on and gave it a final touch-up and now all I have to do is stain and finish the handle. It was a good starting project, and if I somehow learned something wrong with this project I have plenty of time to do my homework before the next one. I'm going to try searching "black oxide" on a forum aside from the one you mentioned and see if another forum will let me view it.
  11. CurlyGeorge, I'm one of the fulltime locksmiths at the largest lockshop in our region, and my boss has been a locksmith for 27 years. I know he has an antique collection of his own (as do I), and I think he might have a couple old padlocks dating back to the 1880's. I'll have to check with him, but I can see if he has any exploded view diagrams or perhaps him and I can sit down and sketch one out for you. It really shouldn't be too difficult - older padlocks varied in design but they were all fairly simple owing to manufacturing limitations, limited types of metal available, and wider statutes of tolerances. I'll see what I can find out.
  12. wow, a hardware store that carries coal? I wish we had something like that around here. I've resorted to either making my own charcoal if I have time for it or buying bag hardwood charcoal (not briquettes).
  13. srry, those links I didn't quite link are as follows:The Key Role of Impurities in Ancient Damascus Steel Blades Continuing Study of Damascus Steel: Bars from the Alwar Armory, The | JOM | Find Articles at BNET sorry about that lol
  14. Some more interesting reading material include:http://Continuing Study of Damascus Steel Bars from the Alwar Armory, The _ JOM _ Find Articles at BNET.htm,http://verhoeven-9809original paper.htm. There a couple other pdf docs I have that I couldn't link, but they refer to the research done by the same people, Dr. John Verhoeven and Alfred Pendray. The research is fascinating, and I wouldn't mind giving it a try in a year or two after I've nailed down the basics. It seems that starting out with sorel iron or another iron type with the necessary vanadium impurity is key to the whole process, but chromium or molebdenum impurities also contributed to the formation of the bands, but to a lesser extent. Since vanadium-rich iron is hard to get a hold of, one could possibly try chromium-rich iron, since it's probably more readily available. idk. The whole idea is provoking, mysterious, fascinating, and tempting. For other sources look up Dr. Verhoeven's papers additional papers on the subject. He's written several more since the original discovery back in the 90's.
  15. I just finished my first pair of tongs yesterday (yay!), and they look pretty good... for a first pair of tongs. Nothing like yours, Aeneas, but they are even and rotate fine and grab stuff fine as well. One problem. Can anyone tell me how to groove out the jaw without a fuller or hardie for the purpose? Even more sad, my anvil is a 12" piece of railroad track, so I have no horn. After all is said and done, I have a nice matching set of tongs I made pretty much by the seat of my pants that can't hold on to round stock at all, or anything else that needs a grooved jaw to grip it for that matter.