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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. Looking great, you have really made it your own. Like the terracing in the peen section, bet the limited annealing we did helped make it softer to enable that . Make sure you radius the end of the peen to where you want it before heat treat.
  2. You are off to a great start. Keep up the good work. Very nice anvil and stand. What are you using for a forge? A tip: if you don't want to fight the "upwards banana" curvature of your blades, pre-curve them in the reverse direction before starting your bevels. The steel will always attempt to curve up and away from the edge being thinned out.
  3. While a combination of mill quality 1084 and 15N20 appears to be one of the most widely used modern choice for forging pattern welded billets for blades, I believe that some folks use bandsaw blades (from large lumber processers) and pallet band strapping in combination with leaf springs to create their Damascus.
  4. The cross peen is your friend as far as making your blades wider. You can gain a lot of width, relatively speaking, using it to draw the metal "down" rather than lengthwise, but it will reduce the thickness, of course. Not a problem for a slicing knife, like a chef's knife, but can be a major issue for a chopper like a kukri. You likely need to start off with a larger piece of leaf spring stock. I would recommend at least 1/4" thickness and 2-3" width stock material. I think many traditional kukris are forged from truck leaf springs (and traditionally most of them have stick tangs). Note that is a lot of work to forge 5160 at these dimensions. No insult intended, but from what I'm seeing here you need more practice with smaller blades before attempting something this large.
  5. Very glad to hear your mom is recovered John.
  6. Your concern is merited. The red heat is likely the sign of combustion inside your flare and the flame leakage of a bad joint in the assembly (though I suppose it could be unburned air/gas mixture leaking back around your flare inlet to the forge). Neither should be the case in a properly running forge burner. You have not provided enough detail on your burner design to properly evaluate it, I suggest you go back to whoever designed that particular burner and ask them for assistance. Some of the forge issues that are fairly obvious though: I assume you have two identical burners in the forge, does the other one do the same thing? Are you certain you need two burners? Why do you have a flare at the burner exit? It may not be required for operation inside a forge (1) layer of insulating brick set with the minimum thickness as the wall is not all that great an insulator. Your forge will be more efficient with more insulation Hopefully you used 2600 degree insulating brick instead of 2300 degree brick. The latter will melt down at higher forging temperatures. The threaded rod at the front of the forge will be subject to high temperatures and will expand. This may loosen the compression on your forge roof and allow the brick to shift. Compression on the top half of the brick for the roof in combination with the thermal expansion of said brick will likely lead to the roof failing sooner than it would if the compression was more balanced. In my experience precombustion in the burner flare is related to the air gas mixture not moving fast enough at the burner exit. In a NA burner you most likely will have to make physical changes to your burner to adjust this. You need to make the correct balance between gas orifice size and placement, combustion air openings, mixing chamber size and length and flare opening diameter and length to get it all to work correctly. This can take some experimentation. I strongly suggest you go back to the burner designer and get their help with tuning.
  7. Agree on the bluing as a preference. How durable is that though (most folks who get hawks want to throw them at a target eventually...)? I have gotten a similar finish from using the hot apple cider fuming method, but I'm not sure if that would be any more durable a patina. I'm very interested in what you come up with. I think one of the potential advantages of an acid generated patina would be to reveal the joint between the low carbon steel body and the high carbon steel bit (if that is you construction method).
  8. There is an excellent welding school in my city, with a variety of class levels, systems and certifications available. I suspect that you will have something similar near you, but if not Rochester, NY and Ontario are not that far apart I personally would not recommend an online course in welding, unless there was nothing else available. In person training is a better option for learning trade skills in my opinion, and you might be able to pick up something more of what actual work in the field is like (though I'm sure it is very different depending on what type of welding you might end up doing. You have already gotten good advice, but I would also caution you that a career in welding, while laudable, is not necessarily going to be as attractive from the inside as it is from the outside.
  9. While there are a number of professional welders who frequent this site, the main thrust of most of the posts here revolve around forging steel (the forum is "I FORGE IRON"). There is a lot of great information on this site, but you may do better learning about a career in welding on a forum more like this one: (2 second Google search), or one of the many run by some of the larger welding machine manufacturers like Miller, Lincoln, Hobart...
  10. Of course, that makes perfect sense. Now I should be able to better trim my 1/2" Frosty Tee for my paint can portable forge. Probably need to source a smaller orifice than the current .023 MIG tip though. In lieu of Leurloc needles, has anyone tried to swage down a mig tip around a piece of music wire? Sorry for thread drift...
  11. Catholic priests with Roman weapons? Isn't that some kind of conflict of interest?
  12. The lamp worked glass you are using is most likely borosilicate glass, which I have admittedly less experience with. On the plus side it has a much more forgiving (larger) working range and if I recall correctly it's thermal expansion ration is closer to that of metal. However, in my experience, fusing glass into steel sets up stress conditions that are potentially an issue, if not immediately then down the road. If the glass was clear, then use of a crude polariscope can show this easily, but with colored glass I think you are in trouble. Glass is subject to thermal shock from both cooling quickly and heating quickly, primarily due to its brittleness and status as an insulative material (the outer skin of glass heats or cools more quickly than the interior, which sets up stress conditions sometimes leading to fracture). This is what you experienced when you put the glass into the forge and it exploded and flung itself everywhere in your shop. The only way to avoid this is to either enclose the glass in a container while heating or heat it up very slowly. Molten glass is basically the same thing as molten flux, so it will eat away at your unprotected forge interior as well. Not sure why the sheet refractory paper didn't work as a resist for you. You may have gotten the glass too hot. I have used that paper, and refractory board, in the past to slump glass over, but there the glass only goes up to around 1200 deg where it starts to fuse and deform, but does not go to liquid state. If I were doing this project I would use the following steps: Switch to copper for the cross (better thermal compatibility with glass, but not perfect, so must be tested - consider enameling frit instead of lampworking) Punch the "heart" location partially through the copper stock, so there is a depression that can be filled with glass rather than a hole Slowly heat the assembly in an electric heat treat oven (ideal), enameling kiln (fair) or gas forge at a very low candle to about 1400 deg. F (depends on type of glass, borosilicate frit may fuse at a lower temperature) Hold at the fusing temperature for around 15 minutes. Rapidly reduce the temperature to between 875 and 925 degrees (annealing temperature, again depends on the glass). Note that the rapid reduction here is to limit devitrification (kind of like decarburization in high carbon steel, but more visual). Hold at that temperature for at least an hour. slowly cool down from the annealing temperature to around 300 degrees (by slowly I mean no more than 50 degrees per hour, this is where a programmable oven shines) crack open the enclosure and let it cool to room temperature. Good luck
  13. Frosty, Molten glass won't stick to anything appreciably cooler than it is, but that will also lead to the glass cracking due to cooling on contact. I probably need to know more about the process you are planning on. If you are thinking of casting molten glass into a metal mold, a lot will depend on the relative temperatures of the two materials as well as the different thermal expansion ratios. Timing also plays a role. I've cast molten glass into sand, wood, aluminum, brass, plaster and graphite molds, but it needs to be removed from these at just the right time (set to rigidity, but not cooled down too far) and then put in a temperature controlled chamber to get annealed. To achieve clean castings (into say sand or plaster molds) I've often used a layer of carbon deposited on the surface. We used to either put on a layer of lamp black using an acetylene torch (which also preheated the mold), or used spray on powdered graphite. The carbon works well as a release and can easily be cleaned off the glass surface. I was using soda/lime/silica glass (hard glass) as opposed to borosilicate (Pyrex, soft glass) so that is also an issue. Different glass compositions behave just as randomly as different grades of steel.
  14. Not familiar with the term "stop valve", but what you installed does seem to be a globe valve, which covers what I had originally suggested to allow metering of your gas supply. My best guess is that the correct gas/air mixture is required for stable flame at various forge running temperatures and geometric configurations, and this valve allows you to adjust same. Keep the ball valve for a quick safety shutoff, but use the globe valve for metering. Ball valves suck at metering gases as they are pretty much full flow until closed quite far then have a very small adjustment range before they are completely closed. Glad it is working.
  15. As a former professional glass blower I have to say I got a bit of a laugh out of this, no insult intended. Of course you can use a NA burner like Frosty's for glass blowing, and a propane forge will work just fine as a glory hole (in fact the ones I've used pretty much just looked like larger versions of what you would see as propane forges. Unfortunately that is just one half of the glass blowing equation as regards heating glass (reheating). The more important side is the furnace that melts the glass from either batch (dry materials) or cullet (pre-melted glass that gets broken back into shards then re-melted). This furnace needs to withstand very high temperatures and a very corrosive atmosphere (imagine a high alumina refractory crucible full of molten flux for example). Corning uses platinum lined furnaces to melt their high end leaded glass, but the rest of us make do with lesser cost/quality glass contact liners. It also, due to the nature of the refractory, needs to heat up and cool down very slowly, as cracks in the refractory can destroy the furnace. For that matter you pretty much require a computer controlled annealer to slowly cool the glass after production, as it is also subject to thermal shock if it just air cools (want to see more cool videos, look into glass Prince Rupert drops). I can carry on for hours regarding glass equipment design, and I'm sure it is more than you want to hear. The learning curve for glass blowing is also quite steep. Having done a bit of both at this point, I would say it is even tougher than smithing to pick up. I suggest you try it at an established facility before going out to set up for yourself.