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Buzzkill

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  1. apex, In general blacksmiths are known to be frugal problem solvers. I don't want to kill your dream here, but if there was a cheap and effective way to build a suitable forging press it would have been done many times. That is an area with much interest and lots of people putting their minds and effort into it. In my opinion you are trying to reinvent the wheel from ground zero. You may come up with something no one has ever done before that works well, but the odds are against that. In the end my prediction is you will have spent a fair amount of time and money on something that do
  2. The temper colors visible on any steel are superficial. Any sanding, grinding, or even rubbing can quickly remove those colors and afterwards it would appear the same as an untempered piece. Also, there is no one correct color for the tempering of a rasp. The temper color (temperature) is highly dependent on the purpose of the object being made. You could make a tomahawk, a camp knife, or possibly even a straight razor from a rasp. Each of those should have a different temper which is suited to their purpose. A picture of a rasp tempered for one of those purposes would not be bene
  3. I have been using a D shaped forge with a floor mounted NARB for the past couple years. As with most things, there are benefits and drawbacks. Benefits: Can quickly remove the shell while leaving the burner in place. This is great for repairs or in theory for placing a differently shaped shell over the flat floor. Reduces the amount of fittings/hoses sticking out and around the forge. On mine the T and mixing tube runs under the forge so not very much sticks out. With the burner mounted on one side of the flat floor naturally aimed at the curvature of the shell abov
  4. I considered it, but there were 2 main drawbacks in my opinion. 1) It's difficult to drill a lot of holes in kiln shelf without breaking it, and 2) Most kiln shelf isn't very thick and a portion of that has to go down inside the plenum to get a good seal (unless you tried to do a surface seal). So, you potentially expose the plenum to really high heat, which potentially causes premature ignition. I'm on my second insulating firebrick burner head for my NARB now. It's easy to drill. I just used a piece of 1/8" welding rod that I ground to a chisel type point. However, it is easy to c
  5. Assuming that the "nozzlettes" are pretty much identical in all dimensions I would conclude that one of 2 things is happening: 1) More heat is reflected back up at the burner in the areas where they are glowing inside (not that likely), or 2) you have less fuel/air flowing through those openings. Since they seem to be in a group I'd guess it has to do with how the mixture is swirling inside your plenum before exiting the holes. If anything is somehow diverting more of the mixture to one side or the other of your plenum, it could cause this effect. Unfortunately there could be several
  6. I would recommend using a regulator regardless of whether you install a needle valve. Ideally the regulator is directly attached to, or as close as possible, to the propane source. The reason for this is it drops the pressure in the lines going to the forge. If something unfortunate/catastrophic does happen, do you want the full pressure and as much volume as the fittings and lines can carry from the tank spewing into your work area or a significantly reduced pressure and volume? The reduced pressure also somewhat decreases the chance of a line or fitting failure between the source and the
  7. It sounds like you plan to use an electric welder to improve the tang rather than forge weld. I'm not sure if 5160 benefits from a preheat before welding. It probably wouldn't hurt even if it's not necessary. If you do that, get full penetration welds and normalize it should be fine. You obviously don't want brittle heat affected zones that will cause the blade to separate from the handle in use. It's looking good to me so far. I'll be standing by to see pics of the finished product. I know you have prepared yourself for failure and I don't want to jinx you, but to me it looks like
  8. 350 cubic inches is pretty much the recommended size for starting out, give or take a little. A 3/4" delivery pipe should be about right for that volume. A flare can help keep the flame on the end of the burner, or you can run your burner turned down until the forge stats to glow and then bring the heat up.
  9. Yes. I ran a forced air burner for a short time (I didn't like being tied to electricity to forge), but I would tune by adjusting the gas or air to get the loudest roar then back the air off just a bit to get a slightly reducing atmosphere in the forge. Of course your air source does need to provide enough volume of air to ensure combustion of the gas. An air compressor is not ideal for instance. You want low pressure high volume air as opposed to low volume high pressure air. You should also use the correct size for the final length of pipe to your forge. You would not want a 1 inch d
  10. It's well known that the search function on this site is less than desirable. That is covered here: https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/53873-read-this-first/ You'll have much better results by using your favorite search engine with the site name and some key words. I'm not sure how much of a difference humidity would actually make, but a forced air burner will typically have fewer issues dealing with wind than a naturally aspirated burner. Forced air burners are probably the easiest to build so you most likely won't find a lot of detailed information. You need a constant a
  11. If you're just starting out I would also recommend using 1060 to 1084 rather than 1095. 1095 benefits from a soak time at a controlled temperature, which is a bit difficult to with a backyard forge. It's better to use alloys that are very forgiving in the forging range and in the heat treatment specs until you get a handle on the processes.
  12. You may want to consider using weight as a guideline. If you want to end up with a 2 pound sword you'll need more starting weight to compensate for scale loss and grinding. To me an eighth of an inch thickness near the hilt would be a bit thin. I like more meat than that for large knives that are about half the length you indicated. Stretching 10.5 inches out to 24 inches can be done of course, but it's a lot less work to use starting stock closer to your finished product dimensions. You may end up burning enough fuel to equal the cost of new stock. On the other hand you can get i
  13. I can make that dimension more or less whatever I want it to be for the final product since it will be made from a pattern welded billet. I'd prefer to waste as little material as is reasonable of course, but I'm not stuck with a particular size of starting stock. Unless/until I get more proficient at slitting (or punching) and drifting large holes in thin stock with relatively thin side walls afterwords I'll probably stick with the hole saw.
  14. That's pretty much what I did on my more successful attempts. However, I still get a minor amount of material distortion where the punch/drift makes contact with the material. I start on the pritchel hole until the drift is too big and then move to the hardy hole. I usually flip the piece after 3 strikes to the drift, but I still end up with a small section where it is just a bit thinner than the surrounding material. Your advice was helpful in getting me close to what I'm after, but I think I'll need to upset the material a little before and/or expand the hole a bit by driving the stoc
  15. Somewhere on here we have a supplier list. I've used the double syringe style 5 minute epoxy you can get from big box stores on some handles. IMO the fit is critical. If your pieces fit up nicely and you have a few pins for mechanical connection in addition to the adhesive to me it doesn't seem that the epoxy is that critical. Lately I've been using 15 minute epoxy I got from Pop's Knife Supply. I haven't noticed a significant difference in the outcomes with any of the expoxies I've used. I moved away from the 5 minute stuff so I don't feel I have to rush to get everything in place
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