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I Forge Iron


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    Professional woodworker
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  1. Thank you for your advice, the anneal made it easy.
  2. Thank you, I am enough of a novice, that I was unsure where to search. Thank you for your help, I will let you know the results of my file test. If it is still too hard, I will try the "Sub-critical anneal" technique. Thomas, I'm sorry, I don't know what the maximum temperature on my forge is, or for certain what alloys the damascus was made from. It is hot enough to forge-weld, though I'm not much good at it. -Randy
  3. I realize that I am probably in for a terrible experience here, but I am trying to tap a piece of damascus steel, and running into trouble. I have a knife with a damascus pommel, and the pommel was poorly ground and misshappen. I forged it into a more satisfying shape, with a piece of steel threaded into the existing hole as a handle. I expected to have to re-drill the hole for the tap (since the threaded handle obviously could not be removed), and that was not difficult. The problem arose with drilling into the base metal(s), as they seem too hard to drill. I havent even tried to tap it yet, as I'm sure it would break the tap. Is there a way to soften this metal enough to drill/tap it. The necessary details trying to tap 1/4 28 thread piece is about 1 1/2 inches square, and around 3/4" thick I heated it to full temp in my gas forge, and hammered it to the new shape, then let it cool in wood ashes Thank you!
  4. Heated but not beated. Makes me smile : ) If you are looking to buy a good burner, search "jf# burner propane" on ebay. I bought one for my little forge, and it works well. Tig welded stainless steel nozzle, venturi style burner. Comes ready to burn Frosty is right about the firebrick. It acts as a heatsink, but it can get you up and running quickly. I built a kaowool insulated box, and it devolops "beating heat" 4x faster than the brick, even though they are the same size. It also maintains the required heat at 4psi, so you can save a bunch on propane. Djhammered has some great how to videos on youtube that show the entire process, and even if you go with a different design, are a great tutorial I use firebrick for doors, and coating the exposed edges with Plistix seemed to help, but I could be imagining that. Good luck with your project, you have found a place loaded with very knowledgable blackmiths!
  5. The pompous sanctimony and self adulation aside, there is so much good information available here. Sometimes I think I might drown in the condescension though
  6. I do have a forge, but the effort doesnt sound worth the risk. I will learn about tempering on something else. It is one of those annoying little things that I thought I could possibly remedy if I knew what I was doing. It works ok as it is, I just constantly have to straighten the claws. I actually have one of their brick hammers, though I dont use it for brick work. It has a nice shape for adjusting things that I am welding. It is great for levering things into alignment, and even for chipping slag when it is at hand. I have never had any of their rubber handles come off
  7. Archiphile, as you observed, tankless will not satisfy. I have installed several systems that ran off a dedicated electric hot water heater (running glyserol or something similar) for areas the size you are talking about. Depending on the specifications, a small 12 gallon unit might be enough btu's to heat that room. Just hook a regular thermostat to the circulating pump, and you are in busness. Still, you would have to let it run all the time for satisfactory results, which will never be as efficient as just turning on a space heater in a room that is used infrequently.
  8. Joshua, Than you for answering my question, the head is near the plastic handle, which connects it to the fiberglass handle. If I need to get it red, I could suspend the head out of a bucket of water (so the plastic is in the water and doesnt overheat)? Do I want bright cherry to re harden?
  9. Frosty, your clarity is appreciated
  10. I don't know what type of equiptment you plan on mounting, but we have great success with "drop-in anchors". They are essentally an expanding nut that requires less depth than "red-heads" with the same pullout values. Typically a 6" slab is only nominally more expensive than a 4" slab, since there is basically no difference in the finishing or forming. You just have to pay for the additional concrete. That way you have 50% more thermal mass, and at least 1 1/2" depth to the rebar. The anchors are very resistant to shear and uplift, but im not so sure about vibration. Frankly, unless you insist on it (and you should) the rebar grid will rarely be on what we call "chairs" (they look like a bigger version of the tripod that prevents your pizza from touching the top of the box). The rebar grid is often set on rocks and other crap spaced so far apart that it barely supports its own weight. Then the concrete guys trample it during the pour so that the tubing is smashed to the gravel. This should be prevented if you want the best performance from your system. I am seriously understating the importance of this step. Photos are nice, but rarely provide enough detail to be sure of the tubing location. Especially since you can't measure to the outside of the slab once the walls are built (except in doorways). It really is easy to find the tubing with a digital thermometer if you know which direction the loops run. That being said, it makes me vibrate a little any time a hole is drilled. Best to section off mounting locations. Good luck with your project!
  11. Having designed and installed many hydronic slabs, I will chime in on this. A boiler can circulate warm water through zones and provide the BTU's you need. You can use a wood stove to provide heat. Forced air, geothermal, whatever you choose, based on your heating requirements and available fuels, can work great. As long as it is designed for your application. In Montana, if you use rigid foam under your slab, and around the perimeter you can drastically reduce the heat loss into the ground. In southern Florida it would be less important, because the ground doesn't freeze. In my shop, I have pex tubing and a boiler, but I rarely use them. Unless I want to heat the shop 24-7, it just isnt as efficent as heating with a wood stove. The response time for the boiler is too slow to be useful, and I have a wood shop, so basically free fuel. In my opinion, heated slabs are more senseable in buildings where people live, rather than shops, because the heating requirements are constant, and the relatively slow response of a heated slab can be benificial. The perception that they are more efficient is debatable, since it takes the same BTU's to get a space to the same temperature no matter what delivery method you use (negating the difference in efficency of individual systems). My 1200 foot shop never gets below 45 even when I don't heat it for a month in the winter. I attribuite that to the insulated slab preventing the ground from freezing under the shop, and the perimeter being insulated to 4 feet deep (along with the normal wall and ceiling insulation). My neighbor's shop drops below freezing every night. It takes more fuel (and time) for him to heat every day, because he starts at a lower temperature. To me, a well insulated envelope is more important than the type of fuel and delivery method. So, to get to the meat of my answer, tell your builder to insulate the entire slab area with 2" of blue Dow foam(or some equivilant), and as deep at the perimeter as you can afford. As an aside, it is easy to locate the tubing after the pour with a thermal camera (if you have access to one), or within 2" with a simple laser thermeter while the system is circulating as hot as possible.
  12. Hi Casey, Home Depot carries different products reagonally, so you would need to read the label and see what temperature rating it has. Home Depot does not sell refractory cement in my area.
  13. Your axe is nice, I would like to try that approach sometime
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