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About Latticino

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    Upstate NY
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    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. Personally I like rectangular faces for all hammer faces that are not the ball on a ball peen, rounding face on a rounding hammer, or cross, straight or diagonal peen (though arguably these last are rectangular in crossection). I prefer rectangular because I find it easier to dress this kind of face to the profile I need for more or less aggressive forging.
  2. Yes it is all about size, specifically BTU output per crossection area of burner outlet. If you look at the older furnaces you reference you will see relatively large banks of burners. I expect if you were to line the entire interior of a smaller forge with castable multiport burners you could get away with using residential pressure natural gas and NA burners. Of course that might provide a problem for insulating the chamber... By all means build one and try it out. Would love to hear back on your results.
  3. Haven't been to Portugal in over 25 years (great place, went there on our honeymoon), but if I ever get back I'll have to take you up on that. Good luck with your swamp cooler.
  4. Never got that hot here in upstate NY, but I am somewhat familiar with design for heat control from my glass blowing days. Of course the ideal solution is to build an insulated enclosure around the heat producing equipment that is exhausted to the building exterior. Since you need openings to access your forge area, size your exhaust for 100 '/minute air velocity at those openings (ie. if you have a 3' x 7' door size opening to get close to your forge, you will need 2,100 CFM of exhaust to keep the forge heat out of the rest of your facility). Needless to say this is easier with a gas forge than a coal one that you constantly have to tend. Then the next step is to replace that air in your forge with the coolest air you can source. When I had a glass studio in a large industrial building I was able to "steal" the cooler relief air from the rest of the building (large concrete thermal mass didn't heat up that quickly and gave me plenty of cooler makeup air). Other glass blowers thought my studio was air conditioned. Of course if you can mechanically cool the air that is even better. Assume that you will need around 56 BTUH of sensible cooling for each CFM to bring your 122 deg air down to a more comfortable 70 deg. Unfortunately that works out to quite a lot of energy cost (the 2,100 CFM from the earlier estimate needs around 10 tons of Dx cooling). If you have a local source of cold or cool water you might be able to rig up what they call a swamp cooler, where a water spray on the incoming air evaporates and cools the air, but the effectiveness depends on the ambient humidity. There are other options, but most depend on your resources and what you are willing to spend. Edit: cross post with Thomas, who has lots more experience in dealing with forging in hot climates.
  5. Being from Hungary I wasn't sure that the baseball bat analogy would fly, otherwise I would certainly have used it . That is the term I was searching for... Thanks for reminding me.
  6. If you look carefully at the entire burner assembly for your stove, I think you will find that there is a section at the back of the burner where air is induced into the mixing chamber to join with the gas prior to the burner face ("flame point"). These often have adjustable chokes to allow you to properly balance burner operation for stove configuration and burner size. See "air shutter" in the image below:
  7. Think of the vibration as a sine wave moving along the length of your hammer, from the head down to the handle. Since the hammer is of a fairly stable construction (very stable in your case) with all parts tightly bonded and struck in the same place, during impact the typical vibration of the hammer should be also in a fairly consistent pattern along its length. If you are still picturing the sine wave you can see that there are locations of large amplitude of vibration and ones of relatively minor vibration (for the major resonance of the hammer, not the minor harmonics). The node that Thomas mentions is the location of a minor amount of vibration (where the amplitude of vibration approaches zero). This is a good place to locate your handle, as when the hammer strikes an object your hammer will not "buzz" with the vibration created, potentially hurting your hand. This is also a critical element of good sword and pole arm design.
  8. I saw that as well. Also noticed that even though he was obviously young and fit that he struggled quite a bit with the effort it was taking him to forge the Viking sword. Made me wonder whether he could have done better with a more conventional anvil with some more mass under the hammer. If you looked closely you could see that he had both an "I-Beam" anvil for straightening(with no sound deading, bet they turned down the mike volume for that one) and a rail track anvil placed horizontally. Another time this found me talking to the screen, trying to get him to put the rail track anvil on end and used more efficiently. Don't disagree with the judges decision on this episode, but do think that Clarence could have made very good use of the prize money to upgrade his shop. Thought he said that he came from a family of smiths, or at least one relative was one. Don't know why his shop was so sparse regarding tooling. Seemed like a real nice guy, especially when they reprised his first appearance afterwards, and we saw him helping out one of the other contestants in "unwrapping" a particularly thick piece of spring steel. Still would have loved to see JD Smith's home shop though. Based on his work I bet he has a great setup.
  9. You have gotten a ton of useful response from more accomplished smiths than I, but if I can still be of any help... If you want to practice your welding I would recommend using the spring steel to hardface mild steel hammer bodies. Several reasons for this: Difficulty of welding the presumed 5160 to itself to make a monolithic hammer due to chromium content Difficulty of upsetting the 1" thick 5160 stock to the 2" size needed for the style rounding hammer you describe Ability of a composite hammer to have the desirable hard face with soft eye without differential heat treatment (you will still need to temper the faces, but it will be a lot easier) Trust me this will still provide plenty of challenge getting successful forge welds for this specialized hammer making. Getting the two faces welded on (do it before punching and drifting, obviously) will test your speed, accuracy, forge atmosphere and temperature control skills. You will be welding fairly thick stock and will need to use a number of tricks to do that well also. Your welds will be tested in use with fairly severe shock loads, so they will need to be good. I have made hammers with wrought iron bodies and 1075 faces, 1045 and 4140 monolithic construction, and wrought iron and 56100 faces. The only style I would caution against is the last. I have to assume that a proposed mild steel with 5160 would behave most like the first. I like my wrought hammer with the 1075 face a lot and use it regularly for forging. For whatever reason it has a "thwack" sound in use rather than a "ping" (for want of a better description), while still having a hard face and good rebound. Works for me, but make your own and tell us how it goes...
  10. Guess that dates me as well, since I remember that also...
  11. Here is a view of Brent Bailey's cheek plate (or bolster) and hammer eye drift (on the right). Similar can be made for axes. I think he also sells hammer and axe drifts as well as other amazing quality tools...
  12. Completely agree with Thomas on sizing for commercially available handles. I have several axes I forged still waiting for handles as I am so slow custom fitting them. Cheek plate is set below the item being drifted once the cheeks are drawn down. Keeps them from being crushed. They can be punched with an opening that will fit a drift. Aspery has details on making them in his second book. I think Brazeal uses some cylindrical supports set around the hardy hole and used under his fullered heads to accomplish the same thing.
  13. Looks like you are on the road to making some very fine tools. Have you used them as yet (best test for functional tools)? Is the axe mild steel with a high carbon bit forge welded, or mono steel (and if so what kind)? Up to you, of course, but personally I like to see the axe cheeks drawn down a bit. Of course you will need a cheek plate to finalize your eye in that case. Might consider using a different drift for the axe rather than the same flattened oval you used for the hammer eye. I've certainly done the same, but these days prefer a thinner, wider eye for an axe head (more like a commercial axe eye). Just my personal aesthetics, these look very functional as is.
  14. For the other point of view, I like classes, but for me it is my favorite form of vacation. I'd rather spend a week in a class, sweating away and learning new smithing techniques, than the same week in Vegas, lying on a beach somewhere, or off on a cruise. Each to their own, of course, and a lot depends on your finances. Joining a local group is typically a lot cheaper, and you can set yourself up to forge at home for a nominal investment. Just remember that the experienced smiths in your local group are not being paid to instruct you, and though they are usually very generous with their time and advise, a good show of respect, enthusiasm and careful attention (not to mention a periodic box of doughnuts) will go a long way.
  15. I am hardly an expert in pattern welding, but the procedure I listed is one of the ones that is successfully used for exposing pattern welding "texture" on knives that are layered with high carbon and nickel steels (i.e. 1084 and 15N20). It may be for Cable Damascus you can get away with just an acid soak as Iron Poet indicates, but I would at least finish the surface to get rid of the scratches. Those will certainly reduce the effect of the pattern.