Nobody Special

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About Nobody Special

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Oak Harbor, Wa
  • Interests
    Smithing, casting, running, almost anything involving historical engineering. A shiny new hobby or bit of knowledge a day practically.

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  1. And then I say that and find some just like on Google. Dang it.
  2. Yah, would think they wouldn't have been made for hot work with those teeth, no idea what it's for. The nail clinchers I had had one flat jaw with teeth and one that curved up in a "C".
  3. Dang it, missed the post, but I may be down there again at some point. We don't have anybody working the area. If I do, I will absolutely throw a pm your way...BEFORE I travel. Thank you, and sorry I missed it.
  4. Waste good daikon radish on bluing? I mean, I love metal, but waste potential Korean carrot and daikon? Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.
  5. Anvils are expensive in the NW, but for that? I would strongly consider a new anvil first. But while we're yaking, I'm on Whidbey Island, and was thinking of starting a " generally North of Seattle" blacksmithing group. Would you be interested if I get any further? Or if there's one I don't know about, I'd love to join. I'm thinking everywhere from Everett to Lynden. I know there's a couple of other smiths on the island, and there' got to be a mess of wannabes in Bellingham.
  6. Hola, so you have a ridgidizer and a coating? Breathing friable kaowool sucks. You also want a drain in your furnace so if you have crucible failure the metal goes out the bottom. Always be prepared for crucible failure at any point in the process. Cans are a lot more work than they're worth. Thin cross section so lots of surface area, meaning lots of slag from oxides. For aluminum, I liked to drag home car parts from the junkyard. Busted transmissions have a loooooot of aluminum, although you have to break up large pieces first. Some of my earliest castings started life as aluminum piston heads.
  7. Small, fast, and cheap? I like icicle Christmas tree ornaments. Light square stock, put a point on both ends, twist, close one end into a pigtail or a loop. You want them to be fairly light, so the stock should be fairly small. If you wanted to save time, I suppose you could twist a long piece, then cut, and put your points on after, but I've usually done them one at a time. The finish takes longer than the forging. Look good brass brushed too. Also, make sure the loop is centered so the icicles don't lean.
  8. TSP will break it down if it's too strong or goes too long, the artificial stuff they're selling as a replacement at the paint stores seems to work fairly well. I wasn't using it on horn though, it was cow femur, and really, I was trying to get the grease out of the middle where the marrow was, rather than bleach it.
  9. Sure, why not? Sounds carthargetic...., very libya-erating. Almost Tunis to be true.
  10. Dali? That would be surreal, wouldn't it? I just go wherever the puns Rome.
  11. Ft Nisqually's in Tacoma, right? A bit far, but not outrageously so. I know there's groups that meet some in the south Seattle area, and towards Olympia, but I was hoping to start something I didn't have to drive three hours to get to. Not that I wouldn't, but if there's already smiths in the area, and I don't have to dress 17th century to play...I know there's a lot of beginners interested too. I need to do a propane set up, there's tons of the coal in the area (they used to ship heating coal to Hawaii. What the heck do you need heating coal in Hawaii for?), but no active mining, best you can normally do is pay a fortune and drive a long ways, or maybe Tractor Supply type anthracite (blech) and I got tired of mucking around with charcoal. Most of the available wood is fir and at best alder, and you end up with really light charcoal and spend too much time tending to the fire. Got another tip of a "historic village" in the Eureka area, called the Blue Ox I may check out. Website looks like there's another blacksmith shop, but mostly it focuses on woodworking. Still kind of fun, but ain't smithing.
  12. Hi all, On TDY in Eureka, CA through Monday or Tuesday, then Medford, Oregon, then time allowing around Eugene. Bored and looking to play. Anybody know any groups holding meetings I could visit over the weekend? Any ironwork worth going to see? Google is being vague, although I found a forge in Ferndale, Ca I might check out tommorow after I burn up the last of my work hours for the week. Thanks. For that matter, anybody want to start a group up around Whidbey Island, Mt Vernon, Bellingham, etc in north Washington? I know we've got smiths, I ran into a guy I saw on FIF at Safeway in Oak Harbor. All the groups I know of are in Seattle or further south.
  13. Depends on a number of things, as I said, if you can post pics, easier to tell, some of the propane forge guys will be able to tell you faster than me. It's getting hot in the furnace, so I assume you have fire in the furnace. If it burns almost entirely out of the furnace, you can count on overpressure, and venturi issues. You'll get some flame out the top a lot of the time regardless, dunno, can't see your set up. The point of the venturi is that it allows the gasses to slow and mix as they exit they burner, if they don't, then the furnace acts as your venturi, which works poorly. Common easy fluxes include crushed shell, and charcoal. They make a chicken feed additive that adds calcium and is mostly crushed shells. I used to use borax too, but I like it better as forging flux. Silica sand and dirt dauber nests (yes really) work well for forging, but I have no idea what they would do in a crucible. I would think the sand at least would make weird inclusions. Aluminum needs either a lid and reducing atmosphere, or flux, or both, or you'll lose a bit. It oxides extremely easily.
  14. Good evening, That's a considerable amount of aluminum. Not sure what you're using for a crucible, but general rule is preheat everything, furnace, mold, stock, etc before using. Cuts down on those nasty steam explosions. And yes, despite the stupid youtube videos, they absolutely do happen. Also, aluminum is kind of funny. With the pure stuff, sometimes the slag goes to the bottom and sticks to the crucible. And it eats some crucibles, much shorter life in a steel crucible for one. Not to mention you get inclusions from the iron scale. I usually used to use either crushed shell as flux, or charcoal, and charcoal was easier tell the truth...especially after I put some CaCl in a forge to see what would happen. Turns out a forge gets to limelight temps just fine. First time I ever got a welding burn forging. Reducing atmosphere and lids are nice for cutting down on slag too. I dunno, one to six ratio seems kind of high for slag, I never was able to recover a lot, but usually didn't end up with that much either. Are you fluxing? Flame - easiest is post video or at least pics. Sounds like you're having "dragon breath", but hard to say without seeing it. Could be burner set up, mix, too much pressure, or not running with a proper venturi. Important to adjust everything with the burners installed. With them out of the furnace, completely different back pressure. Venturi or too much pressure would be first guess. Might look up Sculpture Trails, in Indiana, not sure how close, and I know the Indianapolis Art Center has iron pours sometimes, might be able to point you towards other casters. Oh yes, and for ingots, angle iron troughs, or sand cast will be a lot less frustrating than muffin tins. Sand cast is what I prefer, but honestly, I switched to forging 10 years ago and have done very little casting since. Favorite now is to inlay pewter into a handle.
  15. Yah, crucible block, or plinth. Refractory tends to be fairly brittle, use caution. Molten flux can eat firebrick. And you need to have a coating over your kaowool, or you will be breathing friable bits of kaowool with every breath, nasty, nasty, nasty silicosis. I second the seek experienced aid, unless you have a fair amount already. I learned casting the stup...hard way, and I would recommend to anyone as something not to do. Got the funny looking scars to prove it, and glad that's all I have. That's a very, very large home foundry. How are you set for burners? You might strongly consider lump charcoal, it's a lot faster, and a bit less frustrating, especially in something like a 33 gal foundry. I would strongly suggest considering playing with much smaller melts until you get some experience under your belt. One might know how to drive a car, but if they came in asking how to change tires, oil, or air filters, I might be suspicious, especially if the car would explode if you took a turn too fast. Casting is really really fun, until your crucible or your mold explodes in your face or you get zinc poisoning. It doesn't happen often, but once is enough to cause a really bad day. We see a lot of people come in asking construction questions after watching incredibly dangerous and foolish methods from youtube. Where ya at? Might be able to find someone experienced in your area for you, if ya like.