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Posts posted by Borntoolate

  1. when u say scrap iron do you really mean "IRON".   Or do you mean scrap modern day steel?   I think we assume the latter.  


    Tho in the end I think the answer is the same.   YES.  


    But.   Are we talking Plate, Rod, squares, etc...   A "lot of scrap" is not real clear.   Once again tho the answer is probably YES but knowing what you have is a bit more helpful.  Especially since you have not started yet.  If you have a bunch of plate steel that is different than having a bunch of 1/2" or 1/4" rod for example....


    As for it being something lying about and all rusty...   I don't see a problem.  The forging process will burn away and or hammer/scrape away most of the rust/scale.   And give you good practice making something useful from something that looks like scrap/trash to most folks. 


    Got a pic? 

  2. I have A LOT of scrap iron around, I want to make things like decorative weapon pieces and usable pieces, I have 0 experience in the craft but want to do it as a hobby for my lifetime and when the time comes, pass my knowledge on to others(possibly my children).

    I am curious.   With zero XP I am wondering how you have decided that this will be a lifetime hobby that you will pass down to future generations?  Don't take this as a challenge but rather just a simple question for added clarity. I am genuinely curious.

  3. Life is too long to go through it without all your parts... working.


    I am no doctor but perhaps think of a much lighter grip.  Grip is probably a bad word even...


    You may be clenching too hard.   observe yourself as you hammer...   are you clenching?  Gritting your teeth is a dead giveaway.   Observe yourself for other tells.  Tools are meant to minimize the energy required by your body to get work done.   My 2 cents

  4. Oh PLEASE let me beg you, as a newbie, to pass on your "scrap" to us poor metal-starving newbs!   I was at one of my instructors shop a couple weeks back, he let me raid his "scrap" bin, I couldn't BELIEVE what he was scrapping.  Example - 8 perfectly fine pieces of 3/8 round about 8" long each.  He makes very specific items, those are truly scrap to him, to me they are PRACTICE making perfectly good hooks.   Somewhere a fledgling blacksmith near you is pounding a hammer forlornly against an anvil or piece of rail, dreaming of your scrap.  Throw us a bone, guys!!    :o



    Even if you buy it it is pretty cheap.   BUt you should not have to.   It's great practice hammering it to square.   It is a mystery metal tho.  BUt if you get the word out people will bring you their "trash".   It may be rusty and twisted...   BUt you can fix all of that.   Then, after awhile, you will tire of re-bar.   But it should sustain you early on when you are starving.

  5. you are welcome to raid my scrap bin, it is a 2 gallon bucket and it takes months to fill up ( I dont throw away much over 1/4" long )

    I have a similar scrap bucket.   Tho I would say that I have scrap well over 1/4" long!   Heck you could maybe find things up to 3 inches long in there!!!  


    The rest of my "larger" scrap lays in the "hot Pile" area in front of the far side of the anvil.   Whenever I make anything this is the first place I look.    It has been mostly growing...   but it grows and shrinks...

  6. One thing I did notice watching someone using a lighter hammer and they were just wailing away.   Wailing meaning a lot of faster hits.   With a bigger hammer and a full swing you can move a lot of metal fast...  or do a lot of damage fast.   I was watching him use the light hammer and he was slowly, methodically creeping up on his final shape.   Probably going as fast as someone with a bigger hammer but with a lot more motion. 

  7. You want to see something really fun, give one of those twisted belts to a kid and ask them to straighten it!  Half the time is spent trying to untangle himself from the belt.  :)

    Exactly! If I had a tail it would be like chasing it. I was thinking about one of those bar toy puzzle thingies.

  8. Well, in another thread folks said to quit typing and get out in the shop.   I did.   Was doing some pre quench and temper sanding and got into some belts I had bought a few weeks back.  OH MY GOSH.    I did not expect to see this.   Pull a belt out of the roll and bam it turns into a coiled mass.   Two arms, an elbow and the back of a chair plus one knee is needed to untangle....   At least at this point on my experience curve.





  9. There are a numerous threads on this theme.   And it looks like there are many ways to skin a cat.   I don't have a power hammer so that isn't an option.   Most of my work therefore is 3/4" thick or less.   Preferably and usually less!   Accept when a striker is involved.    A few weeks back we straightened four 1" Allen wrench ends.   The bent ends had been cut off into fairly symmetrical 90s.   I got to be the striker.   I actually enjoy striking (12 lb hammer).   It went real well.   we straightened them babies out in about 10 minutes.   


    But anyway...   I recall when I first started all I had was some store bought hammers.  My hammer technigue was prolly not all that great but...  what I remember is that my 3lb hammer used to wear me out.    At first...   Now, it seems like anything less than a 3lb hammer is too much work, most of the time.  Also seems best to use a full swing when dividing things up.   Hammer high, above the head, let it fall, catch the rebound, a fairly slow, deliberate, accurate cadence...

  10. i second the get into the shop note is soo easy just to type a question in here..but shop time solves questions and the answers stick with youi.



    Born too Late!!


    You need to do some experimenting with similar material and figure out what works and what doesn't work. If you have a habit of forgetting, write your findings in a book so you can refresh your memory in a year or two (or more).


    Git your hands away from the keyboard and do your own leg work.

    Yeah, I can resemble that remark.   Sometimes I spend more time thinking than doing.   This pesky day job also gets in the way.  They expect me to work like 50+ hours almost every "normal" week!  Plus I work at an oil refinery and we been in turnaround for the last 3 weeks...   if you all know what that means?   Then with 6 acres and 70 year old house there are always distractions from shop time.


    But I got a path forward.   Got my Quench oil.   Got a target temperature.    Got knife #1 pretty close to ready for quench and temper.  Got some learnings from others quicker than I could trial and error it with shop time...


    Most of ALL!  I am now on 9 days of Stacation.     ;)   And it looks like rain and more rain.   :)  Oops, prolly not gonna be able to seal coat that asphalt driveway... :P  Oh well!   DARNIT!!!!!   :rolleyes:  i do wanna get that 24' forge smoke stack put up tho....   :wub:  shhhh.   Got help... er company coming. :D

  11. I stir my quench tank (made of 6 inch dia tube, soon to be replaced with 12 inch dia) with hot iron from the fire, 2.5 gal dont take a lot to rasie the temp 50 degrees F

    Red hot?   Black hot?   White hot?   Seems how hot, like frying might make a difference in oil life, degradation, fire, smoke...  or maybe not???

  12. Alright!   We gettin somewhere!!!    :)  :)  :)



    What temp does Mc carr suggest?

    I have not been able to get any info from them.   I may need to hunt that harder  


    Please send in your payment for fire insurance before you even consider this method of heating quench oils. If the oil catches fire and it spreads to the house, I suspect the insurance company will say you were doing something out of the norm and refuse to pay.


    Clear a 10 or 15 foot radius of all combustible materials, wet it down very well with a garden hose and put 9-1-1 on speed dial. Remember Safety First and do it outside.

    LOL.    OK!    I was thinking this would be in the 130-150F range and if so it would be much lower than a typical fry pan temperature.  Then transport outside for quenching.   But good point.  Long term I need to be self sufficient in my shop and or outside.   To be honest I have been watching several of the youtube Trollskyy videos and I see him just quench in oil next to his oven with little to no smoke and or fire.   Though He has a preheat oven except in one video where he uses the forge and in that case there is a bit more smoke and fire because it is obvious that he might be a bit hot.   I would never quench in the house!   Yikes  :(  I like the Trollskyy vids BTW.   If you have not checked them out do so.  I would be interested in your thoughts on that?



    First:  since the NJ steel baron is Aldo Bruno and company I see your statement is very odd.

    Second: most posts I have read from people that know what they are talking about give a range of between 120F and 160F for pre heating quenching oils, and why ( I prefer the lower range but I think the point has been made)

    Third: if you are not concerned about metal temp prior to quench dont ya think there may be problems resulting from that ?


    so I ask Why bother?  just hire it out, its much safer.

    I did not know that NJ Steel Baron Was Aldo!  I mean, that is not like super obvious?  Now I do!!!!   Thank you!  Maybe He should be like "Aldo the NJ Steel Baron".      Just checking... just now...  if you go to his site and hit Explore/about the Baron...   Then I see it.   ;) 


    Basically I took some advice from somewhere on this site that the NJ Steel Baron had good stuff and good prices and I went with it.   In other words I trust folks on this site and I went with it BAM!   A knifemaker friend of mine at work confirmed the price bit and he actually increased my order just so he could get some too!   


    So Third...   I did not mean that I was not concerned about achieving the appropriate temperature for the knife to be quenched at.    What I meant was that I was not asking about how to do that nor what that temp was.  I feel confident I can achieve that with what I know and the equipment I have.    I was attempting to limit the replies to ONLY that which was in bold and underlined.   And my bold and underlined was not meant to be angry looking tho I was a little frustrated.    :)   But that's my problem cause I am a curmudgeon wanna be!   Seriously.   Other folks would say I am already there.   I don't want to hire it out.  I want to learn how to do it properly and safely myself.  


    As far as heating up the quenchant, depending on what it's in and the amount, you could heat a RR spike beforehand and drop it into there.  I'd strongly recommend using a metal container with a lid AND using it outside!  My quench tank is made from an old steel scuba tank I got from a dive shop for $5. 


    Whatever you do be careful and think it through beforehand.   I started a greasefire in college thru stupidity and got 3rd degree burns on my hand and luckily didn't burn down the apartment.


    attachicon.gifquench tank02.jpgattachicon.gifquench tank04.jpg

    Yup, need to figure out my metal tank.   And how to pre-heat is still an open issue.   I am not sure I want to heat it as you suggest though that makes me think...  Long term, if I do as you suggest, toss in hot RR spike, that this may degrade and or impart excess impurities/degrade  the quenchant??  Once again just my thinking which might be wrong...     

  13. I have been searching, and I may be dense, but I am having trouble getting guidance on the proper pre-heat temperature for a quench oil.    I am guessing that this is probably because there are NUMEROUS variables.   Possibly because none is needed...  But some guidelines on this would be great...!


    My specific question:

    Material  1084 (ordered from NJ Steel baron not Aldo...)

    5/32" thick

    6" long blade with full taper.

    2" wide max part of the blade

    McMaster Car Quench 11 second...

    Local conditions: southern Louisiana, July.   Current ambient/oil temp ~80F - 90F


    I am not concerned with ability to get the right metal temperature for the quench nor the tempering temperature. 


    Do I need to preheat this oil for a proper quench?


    If so...  What temperature?


    As a bonus if preheat is needed I would be interested in how you achieve this.   Though I suspect a kitchen stove and a thermometer is quite adequate. 


    This is my first knife and I just want a good quench.  I am not looking for anything special here on the quench.  Just a good, properly done quench that will deliver what you experts would want for hardness.  Or at least well within that "expert" ballpark.


    I have hunted the stickies and the site and if I am missing the easy answer somewhere I apologize.  


    Actually... May be dense is perhaps an understatement... at least at first...  But when I "get it" I generally get it as good or better than most.    :unsure: 


  14. Google "slab leveling Jig"


    Adjust size to your equipment and needs.    


    Having a good chainsaw person is a plus to get you close!!!


    That would include sculpting the sides to the right shape, taper, Side flatness, knee room, potential attachments or what have you.


    I would do all this before it dries.  As it dries it will crack all to heck.   And a huge slab / stump will take years to dry so if you trim it down some it will take less..  years...   But, it will still crack unless you band it tight!   Not sure if coating the ends will prevent much cracking...   And if it did I think we still talking many years to dry to the core!!!   You can use the banding for attachments.    


    My stump is not banded and it is cracked but it is still pretty solid.   But it is a matter of time on the cracks I think...


    On the bottom I think you want to also route in three supports.  In other words rout away, after leveling, to get three smalled raised surfaces as legs.   Say 1/4" to 1/2" high...   The magic self leveling three point contact.   You will never make it flat enough to sit on a non flat floor especially over time as it dries and moves.  Expect to use some wedges to support it...  over time.

  15. Do I need to heat the quench oil?   If so what temp?   I now have in my possession mcmaster carr fast 11 second quench.  


    Somewhat unrelated...


    Though the gallon jug does not say that exactly...???    :unsure:   That was a bit annoying.  Though the delivery from McMaster was quick.  


    I also ordered some stainless and brass Rods from them.   Came in a huge box with all sorts of packing.  NO damage!


    Incidently I did not get shipping charges til later.   They were on the highish side.   BUt that is kinda how that goes online...   Sounds like they have a ton of stuff and if yu want it then order and they bill for shipping when they figure it out.   So far I am good with what I got from them.   I think I ordered on Friday and got it today (Tuesday)   Not bad.   Two gallons of quench and six 2 foot 1/4" stainless/Brass rods.

  16. Rich, you may be a journeyman now.   You may not have read my post or perhaps your reply is to a previous post.  


    I did google the quenchant and it sounds like quenching in water below 1/4" might be a bad idea.   And it would need to be heated to perhaps 130+...   depending on who you talk to.      Sounds like oil is better and give a better quench but even then from what I read it also needs to be heated.

  17. I been forging for a few years and my slack tub has water.   Haven't really needed oil so far... mostly.   Just tried knifemaking with 1084.   2" x 5/32"   I used a full bevel across the full 2" on a kitchen knife about 6" long.  No forging, all stock removal on a 2x72".  


    Is there any issue with a water quench?   I should be able to hit the right temps with my gasser or coal forge and a magnet.  


    Do I need oil for the quench?  


    Right now we are in the 90sF in Louisiana so my water aught to be in the upper 80s.   I understand in colder times that a 40F quench in water can make a difference...    If oil is preferred can I instead heat the water somewhat instead?  Or is water just a bad idea.  During grinding I kept the 1084 cool without overheating.


    Just trying to be clear if I need an oil quench set up or can I do just fine with water?

  18. Jeremy is quite correct!    They are ok when they hang but they definitely stick out more than the others.   I guess I could do a bit of major adjusting to the handles at the boss to reduce this...    


    These will require slightly more metal make...    I could possibly see that the stresses at the boss from the handles could be spread over this extra metal at a bend which could help with that issue if it were a problem.    Plus some added flex...    Working hard to see an upside!


    I could also see where you could help yourself reduce tong hand stresses by holding somewhat as shown and use light finger (Maybe even a single finger) grip at the bottom rein to hold the piece.  This is really what I am doing in the pic with only my finger next to my pinky holding the bottom rein.   This grip reminds me a little bit of a relaxed pool stroke.   I shoot a lot of pool and on the break the grip should be loose with gentle finger control and your wrist in a rather relaxed state.  


    Yeah I know, blacksmithing ain't pool.   However, with anything repetitive there are huge similarities in proper grip and so forth.

  19. Gripping strength is fine.    Not so much a unique idea as much as a mistake.   Not even sure how I ended up here.    These are to hold about 1.25" by ~3/16" flat bar.   Due to the fact that the business end fits this size very well I would say holding strength is great.    

  20. They work fine. I kinda like them... in a way.

    In case it was too hard to see what I was trying to show is that the reigns and the business end are on the same side of the boss. This confused me a lot when I first assembled them. They work but they are wonky. They work kinda like chopsticks.

  21. I beleive somewhere in this post there was a caution about making a bottle opener that can break off the top of the bottle.   I took note of that and had the chance to do "some testing" this last weekend.  Actually it was a bit too much testing but nevermind.   I had a lot of bottle openers that needed testing u see.   A safety thing really.   One must make certain sacrifices.  Anyway.....


    I was able to do just what I had been cautioned against.   To expand on the caution, that I have now proven to myself to be quite possible, if not potentially likely with our hand made items...   


    The question becomes what is the design flaw that makes this likely and how can we avoid it?   


    I think the answer is that if the distance between the small smashed indentation on the handle and the far end of the opener (the inside dimension) is too great then you risk having a bottle opener instead of just a bottle cap remover.   Hope that makes sense.    Put another way if the inside dimension of the opener end in the axial direction of the handle is to great.    


    Anyone have any guidelines or dos and don'ts in order to avoid this?    Does my theory sound correct or do I need to be corrected or refined?


    Anyone have a max min dimension they shoot for?