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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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    Upstate NY
  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, bladesmithing, glassblowing, restoring and playing antique flutes. HLG and boomerangs, recumbent bicycles, sea kayaking, white water canoeing, reading SF/Fantasy

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  1. Tools look like they may be mushrooming at the end, which is pretty easy to do with a power hammer if tool is too long, gets too hot, or bottom section of stock gets too cold during the punch. Also bottom edges on the one you show the business end of don't look well configured for cutting of the "plug" from the stock once you flip it over to punch the obverse side. I suspect you may need to keep your tool colder during the operation (or possibly consider a hot work steel like H-13, reportedly Uri Hoffi uses tungsten from recovered ordinance for his, though I think he uses a hydraulic press), be careful about "bottoming out" and adjust your tool end configuration. I know some folks use a round crossection punch under the power hammer for their hammer dies, you might want to try that. What type of power hammer are you using? I expect there is a great difference in punching eyes between use of a small, fast, self contained hammer (like an Anyang 33) as opposed to a slower, heavy hitter (like a Bradley 300). You might want to check out how Brent Bailey uses his slot punch under a power hammer in this video (note in particular how he turns the stock 90 between strikes to release the punch, his use of coal dust for lube, and that he doesn't try to punch the eye in a single heat):
  2. 1) Name: Dan 2) Location: Rochester, NY 3) What type blacksmithing do you do, what do you make: Mostly tools (hammers, knives, axes, chisels...) 4) How and when did you get started in blacksmithing: Did a little smithing when studying for my MFA in glass at RIT back in the mid 80's (metals minor), but had no instruction. Took a long hiatus, unfortunately, and got back into it around 5 years ago. 5) What object or thing did you use as your first anvil: Unless you count the concrete floor I used as a kid to straighten nails (good early smithing practice), the first anvil I used was a 300+# London pattern at RIT. Didn't know how good I had it. First anvil I owned was a modified rail track anvil I got from my father in law and used for minor non-ferrous metal work. 6) Tell us about your first forge, hole in the ground, camp fire, brake drum, stacked bricks: The first official forge I used was the old natural gas Johnson monster at RIT. I made my first forge (which I still use) from parts left over from my glass equipment (also self constructed). It was, and still is, a forced air/natural gas forge made from a cut down 11 gal compressed air tank. 7) Who assisted you or encouraged you in the craft: My brother took a knife class from Bill Moran at RIT and got me excited about the possibility of picking this up as a hobby. I have been lucky enough to take classes and watch demonstrations from lots of excellent teachers, really too many to list. 8) What event changed your attitude about blacksmithing: Attending a hammer-in at Ashokan. 9) What tool has changed or made your life easier in the shop: Tough call. Probably my treadle hammer, so far, though the used baby 33# Anyang will likely pass that once I get better with the power hammer. 10) What advice would you give those starting out in blacksmithing: Look for classes, join a local chapter, get some direct instruction, it will flatten the learning curve enormously. 11) What advice would you give those already involved in blacksmithing; Teach the beginners what you have learned. Keep an open mind for alternate solutions. Seal your refractory blanket!!! 12) What are some of the interesting things that have happened to you in your life as a blacksmith: Attending hammer-ins, SOFA, Mid-Atlantic Blade, and an ABANA conference. Participating in a smelt overnight at Ashokan. Touring Albert Paley's studio. Teaching the Buffalo Sabres team some blacksmithing at the Arc and Flame school.
  3. Something weird about the photo then, because if that is a 9" blade the handle looks to be at least 4.5", not 3.25". Nice profile and grind for the blade. Pretty unusual handle shape. What is the logic behind the rear finger notch? Heat treatment?
  4. Before you resort to reforging the guard, if it is truly made of wrought, or even mild steel, you may be able to carefully chase the opening back in using hand held chisels and butchers. The top and bottom surface will get irregular, but that can be incorporated into the design on one side and hidden by the handle on the other. This can even be done with the guard in-place, using a post vise (work from back first), but unless your blade is completely finished, I would fix the taper on the tang first so you can get it off. Another option, after you have your tang ground to a proper taper, would be to heat the guard up and hit it on end to squeeze in the opening. Then you can hot fit the guard to the blade tang (blade point down in a post vise, held tightly at the ricasso. Heat guard up and force down onto tang using a steel pipe of the correct diameter and hammer. Needless to say, work fast to avoid ruining the blade heat treatment). See this Nick Rossi video for details:
  5. Not sure, but my gut tells me that cutting out a ~3" length of 12 g sheetmetal in one blow will take a significant amount of force. Is this a manual fly press or motorized? If an irregular cut you will need top and bottom cutters. This sounds like a good application for a punch-press.
  6. It is hard to tell from your description exactly what you are planning on doing with the fly press and sheet metal. If you are planning on cold punching out shapes, I agree that H-13 would be a waste. You would probably be better off with a shock resistant steel (possibly S-7). I've seen commercial pill punches made out of that. You will likely also need a female die to punch into, which can call for some rather precise machining. The previous owners of my small fly press intended to use it to blank out custom fishing lures. To my knowledge they were never successful, which is why I was able to get it so cheaply. I'm sure it can be done, it just needs some careful planning. I've not seen a fly press used for chiseling out sheet metal shapes, if that is your goal. I suppose it is possible, but feel a treadle hammer is better optimized, since you can more easily switch out chisels to get different radius curves, or longer and shorter straight lines.
  7. H-13 can certainly be forged, hot, but you need to take some care with temperature control. In my experience, if you get it too hot (yellow white range) it crumbles like cottage cheese, but it is tough steel to work below a cool orange as well. Bottom line is that it has a tight hot working range. Annealing is also tricky since this is an air hardening steel. I would not try to bend it cold.
  8. I expect the shear edge on these snips is high carbon steel that has been heat treated. If used for hot shearing you would most likely ruin the heat treatment, softening the edge and making them less useful for their intended purpose.
  9. Could be some confusion regarding types of glassblowing. In off-hand glassblowing there is a tank of molten glass that under working conditions runs at around 2,100 deg. F for soda-lime-silica (hard) glass. The glass is worked at that temperature , or below. For torch work with borosilicate (soft) glass you need to work much hotter, and have the blue/white torch flame to contend with as well. I understand there are some glassblowers that are now melting borosilicate for off-hand work, but that wasn't very common back when I was a professional glassblower. At that time I used prescription didymium glasses for my off-hand work, but had an additional tinted shield in front of my glory hole so I could monitor the work during reheating (unlike forging, you can't just throw it in and wait till it gets heated up . Unfortunately my prescription has changed over the years, so I can no longer use those glasses for forging. I try to avoid staring into the forge when reheating, especially at forge welding temperatures, as taught by Mark Aspery in a recent class I attended. Makes a big difference on how well I see things in the shop after heating. I know some smiths who work longer in the forge than I do use tinted glasses, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Worst eye damage I got in my glass career was using single part optical grade glue systems that had to be "set" with UV light. Didn't have side shields on my didymium specs and the high intensity black light I used got in around the corners. Sunburn on your eyes is no laughing matter...
  10. Actually it is a bit more complicated than that due to boundary layer dynamics and the fact that fluid flow in a tube is not uniform at a certain crossection (as your equation would indicate). That doesn't even take into account laminar vs turbulent flow, sonic constraints, combustion air induction details and free jet dynamics. Still, your comment is certainly valid as regards the relative effect of a small diameter difference being somewhat disproportionate for burner design.
  11. Any time I cast refractory I keep a couple of small cardboard boxes (like the small or medium fixed rate postage boxes) around to put the extra material into (better to have too much than too little). If I want to be more precise I throw a plastic bag inside to further optimize the cure rate. These become blocks for later use as stands, doors...
  12. Good question. A well designed naturally aspirated (ventauri) burner should not need to induce secondary air at the entrance of the forge. In that case the forge opening should be carefully sized to suit the particular burner. In my mind the best design will have a initial opening that the outside of the burner end fits closely into. Then there should be a slight narrowing of the opening diameter that will protect the front of the burner without obstructing it in any way, no more than the thickness of the burner end tube wall (Though I also have a stainless steel flame retention nozzle on my home forge). Then the opening should flare out in the standard 1 in 12 ratio to allow the fame to spread out and slow down as it enters the forge. To clarify, this lists the desired opening diameters from the exterior of the forge to the interior.
  13. Not sure what you are asking Thomas. To date I've only used mine to coin a couple of spacers, so I guess it worked great on a curved surface for me. I'm sure the woodcraft set works, I just have trouble picturing how based on the image on their website. OK, I found a video. Wow that sure is a lot of work to get a complicated, curved surface cleanly checkered... Makes sense now.
  14. I just use an adjustable grinder stand from Harbor Freight (was in a rush to setup and the floor model was discounted). Still it is heavy duty and works well for support. It is also great when I need to swap out gas forges, as my burner is hard piped. I also finally cast some Kastolite 30 for forge doors (into fabricated angle iron frames) and have been very happy with the utility of those. Rear door swings open (reluctantly) for longer pieces, and front door is on a sliding track.
  15. Actually not always the case, coming from the A/E world where we often do plan and spec designs for flat, negotiated fees. In truth I get irritated every time we need to price our design work as a function of the overall construction cost. Not only does it often not reflect the actual effort involved (a 15 million dollar new apartment building with multiple sets of identical apartments is vastly easier to design than a 15 million dollar hospital renovation), but it gives no encouragement to design for cost efficient construction. And don't get me started on "Value Engineering " design phases... If you can lay your hands on some of the recent issues of "Hammer's Blow", the ABANA publication, I remember there being a series of articles on blacksmith design, design sketching and the like. Great stuff in there.