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About freeman

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    Durham NC
  • Interests
    Metalworking, leatherworking, rock climbing, kayaking, hiking

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  1. Absolutely gorgeous, I would love to have something like these in my kitchen.
  2. Now that the Anvil's Ring is bringing back their gallery you should consider submitting photos of this project. Amazing work.
  3. Frosty You make a good point. I guess when it comes down to it I don't know what my goal is at the moment beyond improving my skills as a blacksmith. I guess I don't have one yet.
  4. I'll see about getting some photos together for a tutorial next time I fire up the forge. It's a fairly straightforward process but I'm not real sure how to describe it.
  5. My pleasure, I hope it comes in handy.
  6. Update: I haven't been able to get Fred Pugh on the phone lately and I'm running low on coal again. Does anyone know if he's still an active supplier of coal? If not I would sure appreciate any tips on a new local supplier. Thanks in advance.
  7. Dunno if it's something in the water or what but I, too, have ventured into forging bottom tooling. One of the local smiths who is just starting out stopped by the shop yesterday morning with his anvil in tow. The last time we'd talked he had complained about not having a hot cut so I offered to help him get one together. After rummaging around in the scrap pile for a while we can up with some round stock that was beefy enough to fit the hardy hole on his anvil and fell to beating on it with hammers. Here are the results: While it's definitely not as pretty as the ones Mr. Brazeal makes it turned out better than anything I have for my own anvil. Another case of the cobbler's children I guess. Earlier that morning while I was heating up the forge and waiting for the other smith to show up I decided to experiment with a chunk of pavement breaker bar I picked up from a flea market a couple months ago. I had been dreading trying to work the material by hand with no striker but I got impatient once the forge was lit and decided to give it a go anyway. After hammering myself nearly senseless, I managed to hammer out what may be the weirdest looking v-block I have ever seen: I'm on the fence here. On the one hand it definitely functions as a v-block (no complaints there) the only straight lines on it are in the center channel. Definitely there is room for improvement. The way the sides flare out at the top is especially distressing. I'm thinking I probably should have knocked in the sides at the top of the block before hammering in the channel. Thoughts? Oh yeah, while we're on the topic, should I bother heat treating bottom tools that are made of tool steel?
  8. 15 minutes sounds about right, maybe a little faster than my way. I'll have to experiment.
  9. Link for those interested: And yes, those are some very impressive ginkgo leaves.
  10. Any idea how long it takes you to make one?
  11. I appreciate the advice Frosty. I'm still on the fence on doing trade shows and the like. I patently dislike "production" work and they seem like quite a hassle for the $$$, but if I do decide to go down that road I'll definitely keep this in mind.
  12. My pleasure, I hope it helps! By the way, round stock should work just as well, you might try either upsetting your bar or just go ahead and start working it same as above. I typically use round stock when I'm doing smaller leaves like towards the end of a branch.
  13. Here's how I do them: Start by spreading the end of a bar by peening, then knock in the corners to begin defining the outer curve of my leaf: Then using my guillotine swage I isolate the body of the leaf from the rest of the bar. I then start drawing down the section of bar behind the leaf. This eventually becomes the stem. I repeat the steps listed until I've got the leaf fanned out to about 90 degrees and the stem necked down to about two or three times the thickness of the finished stem. At this point I start working the leaf in the vise. With the stem locked into the vise I start upsetting the outside edge of the leaf. This pushes down the "wings" and builds up enough material to continue spreading the leaf using a cross peen. While upsetting be sure to work both sides of your leaf evenly and keep an eye out the outside curvature of the leaf, you'll want to keep this roughly in line with what you want the finished product to look like. Also, be careful not to curl the leaf over on itself while upsetting. Now I take the upset leaf back to the anvil and spread it further with a cross peen, going back and forth between upsetting in the vise and spreading on the anvil until I have the overall leaf shape and thickness I'm after. Once the leaf shape is where I want it I isolate the stem from the rest of the bar and draw it out. At this point I'll finalize the veins on the leaf using the sharpest cross peen I've got. I go with a low heat and lots of light rapid blows while turning the material on the horn of the anvil. Then chisel out the center notch (some ginkos may have more than one notch) Last I take a low heat (medium red) and using the step of my anvil I add a little curvature to the leaf to give it a little life. I also typically brass brush mine but that's entirely optional.
  14. freeman

    Mokume help

    I didn't take any pics of this batch unfortunately. I ground the billet on all sides looking for obvious delamination and didn't see anything and had worked it hot for a couple heats, again with no signs of delamination.