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About RKM556

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Outside Atlanta, GA
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, metalworking, knife making, architectural blacksmithing, and other things like whip crafting, pistol and rifle shooting, and drumming but those are unrelated.

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  1. Thank you all so much for the time in replying! I will definitely look into these options. I'll post an update with some hammer pics too once all is set up!
  2. Hello all! I am in the process of acquiring a new 250# Murray hammer. I'm really excited, except for the fact that it needs new dies. I was quoted about $1600 from LG to have some dies made for it, but I am unsure if I can afford that right now. I'm looking into potentially making my own as I am pretty confident I can machine my own set. I have a great local source for heat treat. My only issue is finding stock large enough that is not extremely expensive. I am located near Atlanta, and I have received a few quotes for 4"x5"x16" 4140 bar, but all have been just over $700. Do you know of any creative places where I can find large stock suitable to make power hammer dies? I am slightly nervous to use a scrapyard, as I do want to have some sort of idea what material I am working with for safety reasons. Or, should I just suck it up and by the dies from LG? The dimensions I need are 4"x5"x8" per die. PS: If anyone has stock this large and is within 400-ish miles of ATL, I would love to buy it from you and bring you a beer or something. I love meeting other blacksmiths!
  3. Hello all, I am forging 180 bottle openers for a client. He will be giving them to each of his clients as a Christmas gift this December. However, he really wanted the initials of his clients on each opener. Is it possible to do this? If so, where would I find the punches suitable for a job? By the way, I have never made 180 of anything... I am going to be so bored before I hit that 180 line. However, sometimes you have to take something you love and go through the boring parts in order to make it more exciting in the future. Let me know what you think! Your Friendly Neighborhood Blacksmith-in-the-making Ryan
  4. I think you're right. I guess I will use it as a showpiece then. Also, sorry whoever had to move my post to a different area. Didn't mean to trouble you! I am use to it :) no problem
  5. Hey ya'll! If you remember, I was really confused about why my previously annealed 5160 blade was not cooperating with me when I tried to drill some holes in it. Well, after annealing and learning a ton of awesome info from you guys, I got the holes drilled. I got a bigger problem this time I think though. Same blade, I sent it to Peter's heat treat cause it's a big boy blade and got it back this afternoon. For the very last step, I was making sure my bevels were very straight at the ricasso. However, I had a severe mishap. I cut into the blade much much further than I meant to. Like, way. I evened out to opposite side with the same amount of cut in, and it turns out the groove I cut was nearly .1 inches deep (.05 inches on either side of the blade.) This blade has some cash put into it. Like 80 bucks. (that's a lot for me.) Since this is a giant blade, basically a sword, I wanted to know if you guys think this blade is toast. The entire blade is heat treated to a spring temper. When I force the blade to bend, it does not bend any sharper at the point on the ricasso than any other point, but the bend spreads evenly and smoothly along the blade. If there is any way to save this blade, please let me know. It has been many hours and a bit of money. The calipers point to the exact spot on the blade where I made the mistake, and the other picture is of the mistake, (which, if savable, will be very cleaned up) If I need to scrap it, thats always an option. Just throwing that out there. Would rather have it scarpped than to be playing around with a blade that could snap at that weak point.
  6. Wow thank you all very much for you help. I will look into carbide bits. I am trying to drill 1/2 inch holes, which is super thick, but I have been able to do it before. I also tried using brand new drill bits that I have never used to drill through, and that didn't work. I will try spot annealing as you all said, then I will try using a carbide bit. If this doesn't pan out I will just drill a smaller hole. I have drilled through 5160 a whole bunch, but uually after forging the blade so I anneal the whole thing. I guess my problem is that it hardened when I worked on it, or it came a bit hardened. My RPM was about 460, as slow as my drill press can go.
  7. That's exactly what it was doing. How strange. I guess I will need to resharpen my bits then?
  8. Yes, and yes they are sharp. I spent an hour and 15 minutes on one hole.... Still not through...
  9. Hey all! So okay, I am trying to learn to make swords, since I can make knives pretty well at this point. So instead of forging my first sword like I normally do my knives, I decided to go ahead and try just a stock removal sword (yes I know it's cheating. I am not selling it or anything) and see how it went. Made a few jigs... ect. ect. My problem happened this evening when I tried drilling a couple holes for the tang to secure it very well. I am doing a full tang just to experiment because like I said, I am not selling it. Okay so back to the problem, my drill bits decided that it would be impossible to drill through this material. I have never had issues with this, my drill bits are sharp Cobalt coated bits that were very expensive. My drill press is 3/4 hp. Shouldn't have too much of a problem drilling, it would seem. However, none of it worked. The steel is 5160 from Aldo. Maybe it was pre hardened or something?? I have no idea. I don't usually do stock removal. I was nervous to anneal just part of the blade (handle) because I have to send it off to Peter's Heat Treat because the blade is too big. But, I did it anyways... twice. I don't think it will help a second time, but it is cooking in ashes right now. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to drill my two holes? (that sounds absurd...) Thank you for any and all of your help! Your Friendly Neighborhood Blacksmith-in-the-making Ryan
  10. I think you're right about the heat. However, when forging carbon steel I only keep it out of the forge until it loses its orangy-red color so I don't stress the steel too much. Also, I actually didn't know that. I have always word what my eye doctor tells me is best (I actually wear polycarbonate glasses full time because I only have one good eye), so I didn't even realize they naturally protected against that. By the way, Rich, I love that quote.
  11. I would like to share a chain of events that could have been avoided. I was not aware at the time that what I was doing was incorrect, mainly because I am just starting my 15th month of forging. There are many, many amateur smiths like myself and I hope that they read this just so they won't have to go through the pain and trouble that I did! So I was down in the shop, just like every day. I was finishing up a blade I had started a month before and I was using flat jawed tongs (Mistake I) while I was working on the project. I had always used them since they were 1/8th in tongs and they worked great. So I was wearing my normal gear; apron, glove on the left hand, and very high end safety glasses (mistake II, for a beginner at least). They were high end because I am actually blind in my right eye, so I made sure to spend extra cash on glasses that fit very close to my face and offered UV protection. I was drawing out the tang of the knife, when suddenly it seriously flew right at my face, hitting my face and burning it, also kicking off my safety glasses in an unknown direction. (I didn't find them until two weeks later) For a millisecond, my brain said "Well geez, that sure was close!" Then, I looked up. I couldn't see. Not well at least! The only thing I could make out was the light coming in through my open shop door. I couldn't believe it, I had hit my only good eye. So, I ran outside and sprinted as fast as I could up to my house from the shop. Luckily, since I practically live in my shop, I could do this without seeing. I could feel blood running down the left side of my face and I knew this was VERY serious. The final mistake is that I was home alone, so calling 911 was a pain and trying to explain that my driveway was 1/2 a mile long while experiencing excruciating pain wasn't the best way to spend an afternoon... They arrived and took me to the hospital. Long story short! I had received a centimeter long corneal abrasion (OUCH), and my vision was 20/400 (besides the right eye... ;) ). Three weeks of the most pain I have ever felt and being super light sensitive, I'm back working just like I used to (with good eyesight again! I just wanted to say, however to all the beginners: 1. Please heed my advice and use goggles! The piece went UNDER my safety glasses!" 2. Use THE CORRECT tongs! Don't use tools that weren't meant for their original use. This is very tempting for a beginner who doesn't have a bunch of money to spend on tongs. 3. Keep 911 on speed dial! (at least if you are blind in one eye already, like me :D ) The only purpose of this message is to keep others safe. Learn from me; I sure wish I had known this stuff three weeks ago from today! Stay safe you guys and happy smithing! Your friendly neighborhood blacksmith in the making, Ryan
  12. Hello all, I am in the long process of saving up to buy a KMG grinder, because my mentor recommended that I don't build one because my time is too valuable and it would possibly end up being "an odd looking anchor." I would LOVE to be able to use my 3hp 1750rpm 3 phase motor that I already own, but I don't know if it is possible to use a 230 volt motor on a 115 volt connection, the only connection currently available in my shop. The reason I want to use the VFD and my own motor is because I could buy the KMG without a motor, and still get variable speed for "only" 300$ more. Is it possible to use a 230V input VFD on a 115 volt outlet? If not, what are some alternatives that have worked for you? My shop is almost 50 feet away from a breaker box, so it could be very expensive to run a new outlet. Let me know what you think! Any and all help is greatly appreciated. Your friendly neighborhood blacksmith in the making, Ryan
  13. Oh wow! Yet another bunch of replies. Lets get started. Thanks you for that thread. I hadn't seen it before and it actually gave me a site to find a contact wheel for cheaper than I would have been able to get it. See I would get a KMG, but 2,000$ or so is a bit out of my budget. Also, I have spent quite some time looking at the Grizzlys, and they just don't seem to match up to everything I'm looking for. Also, I like the idea of building my own. Andy, thank you for for the links. Now that I look into it, I think I'll be getting rid of that motor.... That grinder building link looks fantastic, also. I'm very thankful for all your help everyone. I am trying to make it along with scrap parts and such. When I get most of my supplies ready to be welded I'll start a build page! On a *completely* unrelated note, is anyone interested in a 3hp 1750rpm 3 phase motor? :D
  14. Hello all! Just wanted some opinions as I have not been able to find any specific topics on this forum concerning the following. I am starting a larger project of building a KMG style 2x72 inch grinder for my knives, including interchangeable 10 inch contact wheel and a platen tools. I have a few plans picked out that I am going to pick and choose designs from, but if youi guys have any ones that have worked well for you, I would be very happy to hear about them. As usual, I do have a few questions though. I acquired a 3hp 230V motor, but it is three phase. I know absolutely nothing about electric motors besides the fact that it is apparently difficult to get one of these running. Is it even possible to do this cheaply or should I just go ahead and try to get rid of it for something a bit simpler? If I need to get rid of it, what's a reasonable price for a 230 or 480V 1750rpm 3 phase motor that presumably runs well? Along with this, is it reasonable to assume I can complete this project under 500$ if I have contacts who can machine the contact, drive, and slack wheels for me? Let me know your opinion if you gave build one of these before or have any tips. I do believe this tool will be worth the effort and I hope to build it solidly. Thanks for any and all of your help! Your friendly neighborhood blacksmith in-the-making, Ryan
  15. The size of my forging steel is much bigger than my practice steel. that very well may be the problem. I'm up for round two! It's just been dangerously hot to forge in Georgia these past four days. 90 degrees with humidity thrown in. Just waiting for it to cool down later this week back to normal temps before I sit in my shop for hours on end.