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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    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. Wood stove flue branch

    Not sure what the rules are for your area, but over here the International Mechanical Code prohibits two solid fuel burning appliances from sharing a single chimney. I believe that that would apply to a coke forge and wood stove. Please check with your local authority having jurisdiction to ensure compliance and recognize that if local code is violated in an installation your insurance may be invalidated in case of a loss.
  2. Please critique my process.

    Not worth the trouble to try to harden a RR spike knife with an oil quench (not high enough carbon content), unless you are just doing it to practice quenching. You may get a small amount of hardening with a water solution quench (see Super Quench), but you would be better served for you future projects using a high carbon steel that will harden properly. Videos are not the best source of learning about bladesmithing. There is a nice section on this site with introduction to bladesmithing info: Knife Making class forum. Suggest you do some reading there and come back with questions.
  3. Made a Forge, Doesn't Work

    I haven't played with a lot of stainless forging, but my understanding is that it is far from a beginner material. In addition to the potential issues with difficult heat treatment I believe that you need a special process to shine it up (passivate and electropolish?). Might want to check with an expert before purchase.
  4. Made a Forge, Doesn't Work

    Unfortunately the whole heat treatment thing may be out the door if you just used mild steel from a hardware store.
  5. Made a Forge, Doesn't Work

    With your time crunch and current setup I suggest you temporarily abandon the forge entirely and use a borrowed oxyacetylene torch with rosebud to heat treat your blade blanks (and a kitchen oven to temper them afterwards). Hopefully you used known steel for your stock removal and you have a simple heat treatment required. You won't get good normalization and your grain structure may be questionable, but using a weed burner and hard fire bricks with no regulator is likely not going to get you there anyway (at least as a beginner knife maker). You will also need a bunch of time to finish the blades after heat treatment (assuming none of them fail during the process) and to add handles. Just remember the guys that complete blades in 6 hrs on FIF are experienced bladesmiths working with good equipment.
  6. Press design critique

    Hopefully not a Darwin award... Any hydraulic press that is intended to squeeze steel in the 2,000 deg. range can be dangerous and should be designed by someone with a better understanding of engineering (for example the tensile strength of the wood is only applicable in your uprights, a slight bit of misalignment will also cause a moment stress on your joints, but I'm only a mechanical engineer with very little structural training. I would go to someone with a lot more background in structure to evaluate this) Seriously I would do a lot more research and likely head back to the drawing board. There have been air over hydraulic presses made (small metal ones), but the typical feedback is that they are too slow for efficient forging operation. Here you are adding another suboptimal choice of materials to your design. Wood can fail in bending, tension, compression and twist. Potential issues I see with the soft pine wood include: Off center moment forces putting forces on the joints that you don't expect Failure of the attachment points between the wood uprights and cross members Localized compression of the wood at the corners of the metal distribution plates where the wood cross member will bend and the metal plate will not leading to failure points Slow press operation allowing the hot stock to overheat the metal distribution plates and burn the wood. Differential expansion of the wood due to humidity leading to potential racking of the configuration and binding of the moving cross member
  7. New Workshop (Finally)

    Basically the items you have selected are appropriate for toilet exhaust from a group toilet with around 3-4 stalls. I would never recommend this type of system for the exhaust from a residential kitchen hood, much less a hood serving a solid fuel forge. There are several material and equipment size choices that are just not appropriate. Also, I don't know what your codes are over in the UK, but over here use of that type of system would not meet code and in the event of a fire would likely void any homeowners insurance. I strongly suggest you consider other options and get a local, competent engineer to evaluate same before use. Some of the issues for use of you proposed setup as a forge hood evac system: Corrugated aluminum duct for long runs of hot, product conveying exhaust (fly ash...) is a bad idea both from a material selection (aluminum not steel) and surface configuration (higher friction from corrugations, local spots for potentially collection of flammable materials). The corrugated duct also has a tendency to sag on horizontal runs, which can exacerbate the problem. Your fan is rated at 175 CFM with little or no static pressure. Depending on your hood configuration this may not be sufficient (a good rule of thumb there is for a conventional overhead hood you need at least 100 ft./min. velocity at the opening, i.e. a 2' x 2' hood requires at least 400 CFM. As inlet velocity is the key driver for the effectiveness of a sidedraft hood, you would likely need a much higher velocity at the relatively small opening). The fan also has a plastic impeller and a small motor inside the hot airstream. Neither of these is a good idea for a hot forge exhaust system. The outlet cap is also plastic and has a bird/insect screen with backdraft damper. Again material and configuration are not appropriate for the task. If you are relying on this as general exhaust from your space (not attached to a hood), then some of the previous issues won't be a problem. I would still recommend that you go with a sidewall exhaust fan for general exhaust (more air exchanges as required, figure around 2.5 CFM/SF as a good rule of thumb). Remember that any exhaust you remove has to be replaced from somewhere, so you will also need a makeup air opening to the shop exterior.
  8. I strongly recommend the New England School. It is very well setup with equipment (two power hammers, two treadle hammers, hydraulic press, around 10 stations for either coal or gas forging and a good dozen 2 x 72 grinders from a good variety of manufacturers) and the instructors are knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers. I recently took a class there with Nick Rossi and learned a bunch. Well worth attending if you are that close by (I think we had one student come all the way from Wisconsin for his second class there).
  9. New Member

    Some of those older gas forges are quite robustly built, but as a consequence can be extremely inefficient. Depending on your eventual goals for forging, this forge may not be worth restoring and shipping. It doesn't look like any of the older commercial forges that I'm familiar with, and may have been a home built, or limited production model. Hard to tell the scale from the photo, but his looks like a monster, suited to a production shop or school. Looks like you have some very impressive kit otherwise.
  10. Damascus colors washing away

    Also, what steels were used for the pattern weld? Some combinations are very subtle, and some a lot bolder (i.e. mild/high carbon steel verses 1084/15N20). As Steve indicates, the depth of the etch can have a great effect on it's permanence. In my recent experimentation with pattern welding I have found that multiple short etching baths with vigorous brushing off of the oxides in between each dip (I use an old toothbrush) seems to be more effective than just a long soak in the acid.
  11. Protecting blade's finish

    Not sure if this helps, but you could always call it a patina and try to see it as a feature instead of a defect... Seriously, some folks treasure the patina on their fine carbon steel kitchen knives. If used for cutting food it will continue to develop over time and can lead to a very attractive surface treatment, IMHO. You can even try to accelerate this patina formation using the fumes that rise up from a heated bath of white apple vinegar.
  12. What Did You do in the Shop Today?

    Lovely sets of bolt tongs. Really like the fine details of offsetting and flared ends on the reins. Any chance there is a video out somewhere that shows this process?
  13. Craft fair

    A lot depends on whether the fair is juried or not (and some are restricted to members of select groups as well, say a particular craft club). In my experience the only thing needed is to contact the organizers and either get juried (by photos of your work and booth setup, or rarely actual work submitted for jurying) and approved (then send the booth fee), or just send the booth fee. Note: booth fees can really add up, but the better shows all have them. I'd stay away from shows that want a percentage of sales if you can. Most of the better shows are juried. By better I mean shows where you aren't selling next to the equivalent of paint by number paintings. Again my experience is that the higher quality of your co-exhibitors, the more respect and sales you get from customers. There used to be listings of the better national shows in different periodicals and by promoters or craft consortiums. I'm afraid I don't recall the names at this point, been out of the scene for close to 20 years, but you should be able to find something online these days. My suggestion would be to test the waters and start small with a local church or museum holiday craft fair (farmer's markets are hit or miss IMHO). If you are interested in crafts, you should already know the good ones in your area. One thing I forgot in the above is that you should find a way to take credit cards if at all possible. It was a major hassle back when I started, with bag phones and the like, but these days with smart phones it should be easy. I also used to take personal checks with ID, and in 15 years was never burned by a direct customer (though a gallery stiffed me pretty well once...).
  14. Fuel in medieval times

    My apologizes, I thought you were joking. Very good info from Frank and Charles, as usual. I believe the colliers typically belonged to a kind of societal outcast class, needing to live in the forest areas and tend their large burns. I believe that historically they were responsible for a good deal of deforestation of old growth forests, but would have to research to confirm. Check here to get you started: I can see the colliers being a good source for a main character in a novel. Character development with movement through the steel making trades might be both educational and intriguing. Good luck with your aspirations.
  15. Craft fair

    Couple of additional hints to add to the good advice above from my years of selling at retail craft sales: Engage your potential customers. You need to be ready to discuss in enthusiastic detail a large variety of aspects of your craft without appearing exasperated or bored with repetitive questions. A storyboard showing the steps in making your more popular or elaborate work is a good tool. If you can get a decent video shot of you working in the shop on a couple of pieces that take on the order of 10 minutes to make (or edit the video down to a maximum of 10 minutes), that might be a good tool also. I recommend some kind of walls, or barriers to separate your work from adjacent vendors. As noted above, the more professional the better. Stands or pedestals to get your work more easily viewable from a few feet away from your booth will help. If they more easily show the function of the work, that is even better. Another good trick I've seen is to have large scale photos printed of some of your work and used as backdrops to the booth. This can also be a good illustration of some of the larger commission work that you might offer (grates, gates, furniture...). A 3 ring binder with good photos of previous commissions showing both the work in toto and some detail shots will also help. Don't display too many pieces of the exact same type at the same time. If you have too large a selection, your customers will have too much trouble choosing. Make eye contact with potential customers. Try not to sit down in your booth. If, like me, you have to sit, get a taller folding chair that keeps you at eye level. Demonstrations during the fair are idea, but only if you bring another sales person to deal with the customers. I like to have at least one big eye-catching piece in my booth. They rarely sell (however when they do it can make the show), but if there is a clear relationship between that piece and your smaller work, the large piece can sell the smaller ones (or lead to commissions). Personally I never liked commission work, wholesale to galleries was bad enough, but each to their own.