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I Forge Iron


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About Latticino

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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. Magnet will tell if galvanized steel
  2. Modern kitchen table tops will almost definitely be Stainless Steel (either 304 or 316). I'm afraid I'm not familiar with vintage/antique ones, but what you are describing could be galvanized steel (as currently used for sheet metal ductwork). I personally wouldn't use that for direct food contact.
  3. May be totally wrong, but if I recall correctly these self contained hammers have two sets of pistons. Sounds to me like the pump piston section is making a knocking sound when under load. Could be slop in the crankshaft bearing, but hopefully not that. Alternately, it could be the top of the ram is colliding with the top cover. Might just have to replace the top gasket to get the buffer working again. I'd try bubble testing the joint to see if there are any air leaks. That would be a pretty easy fix.
  4. Set I forged for my in-laws that are letting us crash at their lake house while they are abroad.
  5. Absolutely. I used to blow glass into graphite molds and even cast molten glass into a couple as well. Have to be careful regarding over chilling the glass to prevent cracking, but if it is not cracked and you get it up to around 1,200 deg. F for a moment before the annealing cycle you are good. Note that the graphite I got back in the day was from a local shop that produced graphite molds for epoxy potting I believe (was a long time ago). These were all cut-offs and scrap, so I got it for free. The binder holding the sheets together would break down over time if allowed to get too hot. I would preheat a little to avoid contact cracking, but typically kept down under 300 deg. F. I used some of the sheet stock for the custom molds I made when I developed these blown tumblers:
  6. As you noted, molten glass will stick to red hot steel very nicely, but the difference in thermal expansion coefficients makes it likely that the glass will be under significant stress when the two cool down. I am most familiar with soda/lime/silica glass (hard glass typically used in "off-hand" glassblowing) rather than borosilicate glass (soft glass used for torchwork. These have different properties, including thermal expansion and resistance to thermal shock. All glass melts at different temperatures depending on whether you are melting from raw materials or remelting preformed glass frit (sort of like the difference between smelting and melting iron I guess). All glass should be carefully cooled in an annealing process to remove the cooling stress it is subject to by virtue of being an insulative material. You also have to be careful of keeping glass for a long period at elevated temperatures. I'm not sure what the parameters are for soft glass (though I suspect somewhat higher temperatures are involved), but hard glass will devitrify (lose some transparency) if kept for a long period of time between around 1,000 to 1,500 deg. F. Annealing is usually slow and controlled cooling from just over 900 deg. F down to around 200 deg. F. This is usually done overnight in a temperature controlled electric annealing oven. A couple of notes: As mentioned glass thermal expansion coefficients are more compatible with copper than steel for most glasses (I spoke to Al Paley a couple of years ago and he was working with Corning to develop a formula for a glass that would be more compatible with steel for some of his sculptures. I saw some of the results of this experimentation, but don't know if they ever developed anything that he was happy with). Retained stress in your embedded marbles would worry me. Glass under stress that gets scratched or thermal cycled can spall out pretty aggressively. Research "Prince Rupert Drops" for an interesting example. Molten glass will not stick to cold steel at all, though an interesting wrinkled chill mark pattern will form on the rapidly cooling glass. If the steel surface is thick enough not to get heated to the point where glass will stick, it should work fine to cast against. Other "resists" for casting glass to use if you want a clean release include graphite spray (make sure no molybdenum in the spray) or just a coating of soot from an acetylene torch. Float glass is another interesting process where the molten glass was cast onto molten metal (tin or lead) to produce sheets, but I wouldn't recommend that. Glass casting from frit is typically termed Pate-de-Verre, from the French. There are some beautiful examples of this work still being done today. Like casting metal Some glass colors have radically different thermal coefficients and are not compatible with others. The "hot" colors like opaque red, orange and yellow are often not compatible with the "cool" colors like blue or green. Glass colors are produced by the addition of metallic oxides to the raw materials during the initial melt. Some interesting reactions between glass colors can be added by use of silver nitrate or silver bromide powder during remelting, but beware of the fumes.
  7. Frosty, I do the same as far as procedure. The air gas mixture keeps the burner head cool while firing and the airflow keeps it similarly cool during forge cooldown when the retained radiant heat of the walls affects the burner. My chambers had very little thermal mass (just a skim coat of Mizzou on the bottom and directly opposite the burner head), so the stored heat dissipated quickly. I theorize that one reason his burner heads worked so well in turndown is that with less thermal mass in the delivery tubes from the mixing tube, preignition happens in a relatively smaller zone inside the burner head, so is less likely. They did tend to get somewhat brittle over time for some reason (maybe caustic environment), but mine typically lasted me 5-10 years.
  8. Mike, I used his high alumina ceramic multi-port burner heads in hot glass glory holes (no joke intended) for years without any problems. These warm up quickly from room temperature in the morning and ran typically for around 4-6 hours (until I ran out of steam) then were allowed to cool to room temperature. Of course with blown burners I always ran air through them both in the pre-fire cycle and afterwards, during shutdown, so they may not have experienced the same level of thermal shock.
  9. Options for blown burners from Giberson's site:
  10. Will be taking the hammer rack class at Peter's Valley in July with Peter Braspenninx. Long time admirer of his sculpture (check it out if you want to be wowed by super clean and precise forging) and feel lucky to get into the class. Decided to try one of his wedged tennon joints in a piece of 1/2" mild I had laying around. Pretty happy with the results except the length of the double set down used to make the tennon. Hope he has a trick for making it closer to the required 1/2" length. Maybe using 1/4" thick stock for a spacer to do the setdown and let it expand to the 1/2" length when the width gets fixed?
  11. Provided you have decent grain from heat treatment and no stress risers due to design or construction, flexibility without snapping is primarily a function of the blade thickness. If your material selection or heat treatment is off you may have other problems (difficulty keeping an edge during use, taking a set after bending, corrosion concerns...), but it looks like in your trial piece you have hit the thickness target.
  12. George is on point, as usual. So many different versions of a seax are available. Typically the modern full tang blades with clip points (and ricassos, plunge grinds...) that people call seaxs are only loosely based on the historical originals. For a 13 year old, who may be more influenced in his design work by video game versions than historical references, I wouldn't be overly concerned with accuracy. I can tell you that the trapezoidal tang crossection makes it rather difficult to fit a spacer/bolster (as I have done on some of the ones I've made). Presumably you have already seen this: For what it is worth, I was also one of those who shot up to 6'-2" by age 13 and had a similar experience to George's as well.
  13. A no-no in terms of what? In your experience do they hold up to use, or are they wall hangers? If he is forge welding the sections together prior to heat treatment, that is an acceptable method of construction. Historically there are many axes that are constructed from multiple parts that are forge welded together. Typically only the bit and poll surface were a high carbon steel suitable for hardening, and the balance was cheaper wrought iron or mild steel. Even today many smiths use a variety of forge welded configurations for making axes. On the other hand, if he is arc welding the high carbon blade to a mild steel eye after the former is heat treated, I would find that unacceptable. However, if the correct welding procedures and materials are used, and he properly heat treated afterwards, the axes will likely be functional. Aesthetically I'm not a fan of the grind marks he leaves at the join between blade and eye sections, but that is subjective. I think it detracts from the hand forged look of the piece and certainly makes me think he is arc welding the sections together, but he could just be having trouble blending his forge weld. I'm also not a big fan of pinned axe heads. You can see where it apparently split the haft in the photo.
  14. It is very nice to have a swage block with the same size square hole as your anvil hardy. Not only can you share tooling between them, but you can also forge anvil tools in the swage block. Jon's response covers this as well. I'm in exactly the same boat and will look into adopting something like this.
  15. Also, make sure that the quick connect you are using is rated for flammable gas use, not air. The latter are not acceptable for this application.
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