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I Forge Iron

Bob Brandl

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About Bob Brandl

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    Western North Carolina, North of Asheville.

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  1. Just use a less diluted solution of the ferric. May not get the best results from cable as stated, but a stronger solution will etch just fine.
  2. Looks pretty solid. Well done. I generally do a thicker core vs outside bars when doing any kind of cladding or whatever, but didn't see this post before now. Sorry about that. You'll be fine for sure, but it helps to have the extra mass for the core of the billet. That's how I look at it, anyway. It has a lot more to do with what steels you're using than anything. I've done several stainless "san mai" blades, and with the stainless you have to account for it wanting to move less under a hammer at temp vs. your high carbon core, so you can get away with thinner stainless and a thicker core tha
  3. Railroad clips fall in the dead mid-grade carbon content to the low end of high, so water works alright, but oil is generally better. It's not as hard on the steel. Go buy a few liters of canola oil. And like we had talked about before, free steel is great, but it's always preferable to work with a known alloy if you're making a tool out of it.
  4. As an addition to the three pins, you might also think about this: depending on the alloy you're using, as well as what you're quenching in, you have a small window after the initial quench to straighten the blade while it's "hardening." No, that's not at all the technical term, but I'm trying to keep this relatively simple. And by small window, I mean something in the order of 6-10 seconds, if you're Super lucky and careful. I usually leave a blade in the quench for a 6 count, check for straightness, and if it's warped I'll stick in a vise, or if I haven't gotten rid of them again, I'll put i
  5. I've heard of people using steel from heavy duty and older bed frames for all kinds of tools and such, but having never done it myself, I can't attest to it one way or another. Don't know that I'd fool with it, even if it were. You do you, though, haha.
  6. No worries at all. Always glad to help.
  7. Check out Burt Foster's how to videos. He's about the best bladesmith around, and has the teaching background necessary to Actually teach people some things. Jason Knight also has videos on YouTube that are very informative, and he's crazy good, too.
  8. I'm inclined to wonder the same thing with regard to the forge atmosphere. I've been using kerosene for a while when I make damascus, and have had no problems with it. Hmm...
  9. If you take the tooling out of the picture, the Little Giant is a better hammer for general work within certain parameters, and I personally never liked working tooling under any Blu I've ever run. I've run several different iterations of the Blu, and it not only seems to me like they get more complicated with each version, but there's also the issue of the air compressor, and that they choke at the drop of a hat. Honestly, if I were going to use tooling at all, I'd hunt for almost any 100lb+ mechanical. But, it's not my money, haha. Either one will be fun and work.
  10. Little Giant, definitely. Using tooling on either one is kind of a pain, in my opinion, but given the choice I'd definitely go with the Little Giant.
  11. Yup, they're right. That's a fixer upper for sure. But, it ought to be worth the work and all to get it back into shape.
  12. That's definitely not a bad price for it. it's a fuzz higher than what I paid for mine, but I bought mine a good while back, and this one is in a little better shape than mine was. John Brooks anvils have become my anvil of choice over the years, and I have (and have had) more than a few. I'd buy it, especially given that it looks to be in pretty good shape.
  13. You know what makes me want to slap people? People whining and fussing about what other people decide to do with their tools, and stating opinion as gospel truth. I'll grant that whoever worked on that anvil does appear to have wrecked it, but that was their decision and they have to live with it. I've done more than a few repairs on anvils and other blacksmithing tools, and more than a few of those times I've used a mill or grinder. Should someone work with mills, grinders, or other cutting/grinding/welding tools without knowing what they're doing and the particulars of what they're working o
  14. I second the welding of the seams, as well as the drill rod in the pipe and all the prep. you can do on the steels. I've had an air pocket form on me with the welded seam before from getting in a hurry and not getting as flat a grind on everything as I should have, but I lucked out and managed to power through it. Mostly because the bubble was isolated to the very end of the billet, though. Anymore I mostly leave a little bit of the seam exposed on one end and soak in WD-40 or kerosene (I prefer kerosene) before I weld. Works like a charm...most of the time, haha. Also, and I doubt it has
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