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About RustyLaidlaw

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    Mission, BC, Canada

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  1. I melt copper in my forge no problems. I use old electrical components and wire as well as salvaged MIG welding tips and oxy/fuel torch tips. I don't use charcoal but I do flux with borax. Going overkill with the borax tends to carry over the pour and cause inclusions in my castings, so I've had to find a happy medium by feel. I built my forge to burn propane (atmospheric), I just tuned the oxygen out as much as possible. Here's a pic of what it looks like, works fine for me. I use fused silica crucibles and often forge my ingots into copper bar stock for making copper nails and roves for boat builders. Never had a problem with spongy or porous castings, and I cast in sand. As usual your mileage may vary. It's always best to take advice and then run with it and figure things out in practice. Yours - Rusty
  2. Thought I'd show a quick picture of the way I forge oak leaves. This one in progress started with a 1/4 x 1" flat bar which was forged to 1/8 or so thick and then cut with a hacksaw to separate the lobes (this could also be done with a chisel. The lobes are then drawn out with the peen of the hammer shown and finished with a little sort-of rounding hammer, then a file to clean things up some. When finished they look like the ones on the branch in the second photo. Hope this helps someone! Yours - Rusty
  3. Hey Benton! I swedged it out with my straight peen. Started at the base of the socket working a taper in from 1/16 (or so) from the edge of the socket to the blade, thinner at the base and thicker near the blade. I formed it without a mandrel rolling freehand and forge welded it over a 3/4 inch bar with a rough taper forged in. If I had taken the time to make a mandrel it would have turned out way more even. It was supposed to fit a 1" shaft, so doing the circumference calculation C=2 x pi x r, you end up with 3.14. Spear sockets are wonderfully easy. So I flared the end with the allowance for the lap for welding, and off it goes.
  4. Hey Gergely! I hardened it at non-magnetic and then tempered it back to a spring temper, in the blue color range (round about 490F). This works good for me with this batch of steel and gives great edge retention and awesome toughness to handle lots of abuse. The slightly softer edge makes it easy to sharpen in the field too, which is a big bonus. The socket is welded but not hardened, I only quenched to the base of the blade and then drew the temper on the whole piece. Thanks for the compliments! Yours - Rusty
  5. Forged a spear for my buddy's Viking wedding. He called me a week before the big day because he had ordered enough stuff for his groomsmen but forgot a spear. It only took a few hours to knock it out from 3/8 x 2 5160 flat bar. Pics show the flat bar in the forge, spear head tapered and socket swaged out, socket rolled, grinding done, getting to hardening heat in the forge, and the finished spear. And a shot of the forge and anvil etc in there too. Wedding was awesome, it was nice to have some of my work in the spotlight. Enjoy! - Rusty
  6. I charge $125 for mine. Forge-welded hips, etc. I get orders for bouquets for 50th wedding anniversaries and such, as well as funeral arrangements. Here's a shot of some fresh forged ones. I make mine from old autobody steel and any scraps that are lying around. Make sure y'all don't charge too little! Roses are a lot of work. Yours - Rusty
  7. I've acquired some ground clamps from old MIG welders. Melting them down is a treat, but I was wondering if someone knows what alloy of bronze they may be? In the forge the pieces melt beautifully and it's self-fluxing - all the junk floats away to the sides and the molten puddle looks like a mirror. I wanted to see what would happen if I threw some flux in there and it foamed up and oxidized like crazy. I know it's bronze and not some kind of red brass because there is no zinc boil at higher temps. Anyone know any specifics about this stuff?
  8. Looking for a gauge for my regulator now, Tom. Sharpshooter - I opened the choke on my second burner and I guess the extra O2 coming through helped burn off the extra fuel in there. Works like a charm (for now). Frosty, I've turned the pressure down and by fidgeting with the regulator then fine-tuning with the ball-valve at the burner I can pretty much get it perfect. Once I have the gauge so I can tell what the heck I'm doing I'll be able to come up with a system to actually regulate it and not have to guess. Thanks again for the help guys!
  9. I just lined my forge with some 3100F castable refractory, and the dragon's breath is excessive. I have no pressure gauge on my regulator, so I have to adjust by sound and feel. I'm feeling this issue is because there is too much fuel, but maybe the experts have a better idea? I have the back blocked off for now. Will adjusting the accelerating tip up or down help? My nozzle is in the flare at a height to make a great flame, but I'm worried that I am losing too much heat out the front. Advice??
  10. Update! Needs one more firebrick in the bottom (local supply didn't have enough) and a back door made, but here she is on two burners! And a video! (If it works)
  11. Thanks Frosty! You always have awesome advice! I tried it today with just one burner and got some 1" square to forging temp in no time. I'm not convinced it'll get to welding heat, or am I missing something?
  12. Howdy! Just started building a gas forge cause it was about time I switched over. I currently reside in Lower Mainland British Columbia, in Canada, and coal is proving very difficult to locate. I called up a local coal company and they basically said (very paraphrased) "We hate small local business passionately, and we'll only give you coal if you make a minimum order of literally 50,000 tons". The lady I talked to cited safety concerns as the reason why I couldn't just drive on up to the mine and load a pickup truck. All in all it's been a pretty crappy reception to the coal industry here, and I was stuck purchasing 50lb bags for $65 each from the local farrier supply! I've done some research and decided to go with a propane forge for now. I liked the idea of the sidearm style, but my local plumbing supply didn't have the gear for a 3/4 inch burner so I figured "Hey! Why not step this thing up to a 1 inch"? I like how it works! I welded up my forge body this week, and I'm gonna make it a two-burner. Outside Dimensions: 12" wide x10" high x18" long Inside Dimensions: 8x6x16 roughly. I've lined it with a local refractory blanked called "Fiberfax" which is used in pottery kilns and should be good up to around 3000F or so. No word on what flux will do to it, but I'm gunna put a firebrick bottom in that bad boy anyway. I've attached a shot of the burner in action! Hopefully this works, I'm not 100% on posting videos. I have it on my photobucket too, hopefully one of these things works! My two 1" sidearm burners will be evenly spaced at around 6" center to center, and 6" from each end (18" divided by three, right?) Oh! Edited because I forgot to mention the burner flares! I pressed them from stainless steel tubing on my hydraulic press over a mandrel machined from an old spline shaft. The taper is 1-in-12 and it kicks butt! Does this all sound good? I fired it up with one burner and it looked hot enough to flash fire an elk in probably around 15 seconds. Lots of dragon's breath, I think maybe I need to choke that baby down a bit, but I won't know till I pipe in the the other burner. Thanks guys! - Rusty IMG_3229.MOV
  13. Very nice stuff oldtimer! Are those turnscrews for muzzleloading?
  14. I get my boric acid for $5 a quart at the local pharmacy. It comes in a powder as a burn remedy. Suits me just fine, as I wash my hands with it at the end of the day. If it's good for burns then it's good for me!
  15. Found this guy hard at work outside my shop this morning. Seems to be some magic in that old shop apron I found...Happy Holidays everyone!