Maillemaker

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About Maillemaker

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    Antigo, Wisconsin

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  1. Maillemaker

    Call A Hammer A Hammer

    Technically, what most blacksmiths do is "open die forging", where two relatively flat faces shape the material. Closed dies have shapes cut or pressed into them, and matching top and bottom pieces. Modern drop forging is a closed-die operation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YobXFODkp50
  2. Maillemaker

    Wood Ash

    Anyone have their ashes stick to the workpiece after annealing? Like superglue stuck?
  3. Not necessarily the worst.... I was forging at my boy scout camp on my day off, just as a massive storm front was rolling in to the north. The darkest clouds I have ever seen, and the thunder growling low in the distance in time to the rhythm of my hammer. I felt like I was forging in Thor's workshop. It started to pour at exactly the moment I was getting ready to weld the reins on some tongs, so I did the only sensible thing: Finished the weld as the rain came down on the uncovered smithy, and then went inside.
  4. That is excellent. I really enjoy how you welded the three together to use all of the material. It shows creativity and imagination. THANK YOU FOR NOT MAKING KNIVES.
  5. Maillemaker

    wrought 'rubbish'

    Wrought iron is relatively rare now, which makes it desirable. It is not produced large-scale anymore, so the only way to acquire some is to salvage it, buy some from a smith that smelts it, or smelt it yourself. It has a significant percent of silicon impurities, which give it a "grain" when worked under the hammer, that makes it tricky to work with. However, it welds very easily (the silicon acts as a self-fluxing agent), and works best at a very high temperature. A lot of smiths are attracted to it for sentimental reasons: it was the smith's bread and butter for thousands of years.
  6. Hello, all! I'm looking into the history of flowers in metalwork. I make metal roses, and I want to know more about when we first see them in history, if they mean anything, and their general construction, and if it differed from place to place in the same era, et cetera. Does anyone know of any books, sources, or research material that can provide me with more information?
  7. Maillemaker

    Wisconsin newbie

    From one Wisconsinite to another, welcome to IFI! What's your current project?
  8. Evening all! I'm in the process of writing a grant for my Youth Agencies course, and I've chosen to write a it for blacksmithing facilities at my local Boy Scout camp. Right now, I'm stuck on budgeting: the materials aren't difficult to source, but training the staff is something else entirely. Let's just say, hypothetically, that you are a smith who works around central Wisconsin, and you were approached by a camp director to train two to four staff in basic blacksmithing techniques such as drawing, upsetting, punching holes, slitting with chisels, and making U- and L-shaped bends, as well as coal fire management and extremely basic metallurgy. What would you charge? Let's say that you'll have a place to sleep, and three meals a day for the duration of your stay, and that the camp would also pay a percentage of your gasoline expences. Thanks!
  9. Maillemaker

    Turpentine hack

    neat looking, but how does it work/what does it do?
  10. I've heard those called "wrap and weld" axes. I would think the technique would differ depending on your purpose. If you're making a brand new axe, it makes more sense to sandwich the HC bit material in between the softer body, but if you're re-steeling an axe, and don't want to split the body, then making the V with the HC would be less fussing around.
  11. Maillemaker

    The weight of blacksmiths hammers through history

    Look at the Mastermyr find. I know it has at least one or two hammer heads.
  12. Maillemaker

    How many swordsmiths out there?

    pretty much. Edge packing is an old and pervasive idea; look in The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer, published in the late sixties, and it's still there. While edge packing doesn't actually affect the molecular density, it does help refine shape and contour, though. Brian Brazeal calls that planishing.
  13. Maillemaker

    How many swordsmiths out there?

    The key phrase in that section of video is "while the external layer gets denser..." In no way, shape, or form can you increase the density of any solid by hand hammering. This erroneous phenomenon is also called "edge packing".
  14. Maillemaker

    How many swordsmiths out there?

    Professional swordsmithing is an extremely niche market. The required knowledge, skill, and equipment is a huge investment, resulting in beautiful, well-constructed, and EXPENSIVE swords. Off the top of my head, Ric Furrer from Door County Forgeworks, and David Delagardelle from Cedarlore Forge are two that I can think of. These gentlemen hand forge the swords they produce. There are companies that make "quality" swords with modern machining technology: Albion Swords in Wisconsin produces high-quality swords, but do not forge the blades or fittings. One reason you don't see many "quality" swords is that there are not many people who are willing to shell out thousands of dollars for an accurate recreation when they can pay $40 USD for a cheap stainless fantasy wall-hanger made in Pakistan. Basic economics.
  15. The phenomenon you are describing is called temper coloring, or the temper spectrum. Essentially, as the shiny steel is heated, a clear layer of oxide forms over the surface. This layer bends the light bouncing off the steel, changing the color. It starts out as a pale yellow, then deepens to gold, bronze, peacock (a brownish-purple), indigo, blue, light blue, and then a pale grey-green. The color depends on the temperature the steel is subjected to, as well as the duration. This is purely a cosmetic treatment in this case, but the temper spectrum is really useful in toughening steel that has been made hard and brittle from quenching. If you would like more info, take a meander through the heat treat section.