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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. Not at all bad for a third forged blade, but... What grit did you grind your bevels to before quenching? As Thomas said you have a ton of surface issues, most likely due to scale to clean up, and now after being hardened it will be much more difficult. You may have similar issues with your tang. Depending on how you plan on attaching a handle the curve to the tang, lack of hole for a pin, and the geometry of the tang/blade connection may prove a bit of a challenge also. What is the blade size? If in proportion to the plug in the first picture it looks pretty small for a tanto. You may want to peruse this site which goes into some detail on classic tanto geometry:
  2. Nice paring knife, especially for a first effort. Great to hear that someone is actually doing their research and using the stickys to achieve success. Hopefully you also tempered the knife after quenching. I assume you mean the tang is 1" wide, not thick. For a paring knife of that size you probably don't need such a substantial tang, 1/4" x 1/2" in crossection should be more than enough, but it never hurts to go big. For your next effort, consider adding a mechanical pin to the tang/handle construction to avoid using epoxy as the only means of keeping the handle on. While epoxy is certainly strong enough, it may get challenged by long years of use/abuse and regular washing a paring knife can experience.
  3. As regards your theoretical question: I would quench in oil. My logic: I have hardened W2 and O1 in an oil quench before (in separate instances, not together), and wouldn't anticipate that A2 would suffer from a more accelerated quench rate (nor would it be particularly better for the knife edge anyway, so who cares how well it hardens...). Of course, I can't see a reason to use A2 as part of a knife billet anyway, so it really isn't all that interesting a question.
  4. A couple more minor issues regarding safety: NEVER light a blown burner without the air source operating. This can result in having the gas both at the burner outlet and at the blower (especially if you have a flow restriction at the outlet, like a pipe reducer or multi-port/ribbon burner block). If you have a blower motor that is not "sparkproof" or even worse has heating elements, you can get combustion in the blower when you finally turn it on. Disable the heating elements in your hair drier for this application and develop some way of modulating its output more than High/Low (waste gate/inlet shroud...) Don't use plumbing putty to seal up the connection between the gas inlet and mixing tube. If you don't have the ability to weld or braze that connection, find a way to do it with gas rated swaged fittings. Leaks at that location are bad. Another method for getting the turbulence that Frosty and Thomas mentioned is to have your gas port pointed back towards the blower (which will always be on when the burner is operating, right?) You may want to rethink your choice of materials, depending on how you eventually use the burner in the forge. Currently they are fine, if you keep the blower on all the time the burner is in use and afterwards until the entire assembly (burner and forge) cools down. Otherwise there is a chance that the radiant heat from the forge will backfeed into the burner after it is shut down.
  5. In my experience hitting a billet on edge will stress a new forge weld considerably. Even if you are sure it is welded sufficiently you should endeavor to keep it up to close to welding temperatures when forming it by hitting on edge.
  6. If left as pure iron would be extremely soft. If processed into steel it would most likely lose the bulk of the interesting/magical/spiritual/whatever characteristics you are looking for. You might want to clarify a couple of things: who is supplying the iron, what size/type/quality sword are you looking for, functional or a wall hanger, what kind of price range are you considering... I have heard of bladesmiths that incorporated a small amount of meteoric iron into their knife forging, but not exclusively. Hope you have very deep pockets if you really want something like this.
  7. There is a straight line just begging for a pun...
  8. Will be interested to hear the feedback from the manufacturer. From my limited experience with high alumina castings I think you may end up having a problem with the relatively rapid thermal cycling potentially cracking the high alumina tile, depending on your installation details, use and forge design. The high alumina castings I've used didn't like any kind of quick temperature changes. A crack is not as big a deal for a forge floor as it might be for the walls or ceiling, if either are used for the forge structure support. If you do try to line your forge interior with the shelves I'd love to hear how it works, but I'd suggest you make a kind of ceramic fiber blanket "gasket" to allow differential movement of the shelf at any ends that rest against other hard substances (other shelves, forge frame...)
  9. I remember those old Johnson Natural Gas forges. They still have one in use over in the Metal Sculpture shop over at Rochester Institute of Technology (where Bill Moran taught a class back in the '80s that I unfortunately missed). As Frosty says, horribly inefficient, huge thermal mass, with a ribbon style burner with a metal slide to change the outlet length (if I recall correctly). The best that can be said about those forges is that they are pretty much bulletproof, which is why they ended up in so many educational institutions (back when they were actually teaching tradecraft that is). There is a young man over there currently who is turning out some nice pattern welded billets and making knives from them. I'm not certain if he is using the gas forge, but I don't recall seeing any other forges in the shop.
  10. Yes, Buffalo has an active chapter of the NYSDB (Niagara region). There are quite a few talented smiths in that group with plenty to teach. Unfortunately Theo, in Brooklyn if I recall correctly, is a good 7 hr drive away. New York may not be as large as Alaska Frosty, but it is no Rhode Island either...
  11. Suggest you look at Ken's Custom Iron, who make their "Quick Tongs" in a similar method. Not sure if, including the cost of materials, labor and utilities you would be able to beat their pricing:
  12. I have also tried to contact Euclids to get more information. One thing that concerns me is the composition of what they are calling a high alumina kiln shelf. Their site says it is Cordierite - Mullite. According to other research on refractories I've done this material combination may only be rated for 2,150 deg. F, which may be an issue in some forges, and certainly for flame impingement. Of course, what the material is rated for doesn't necessarily mean we can't use it for a forge floor at higher temperatures, just that it may not be able to be used as a wall or ceiling element at elevated temperatures. This is the site I used for additional info:
  13. Welcome to the site. Fantastic job for a first try at tongs, wish mine had looked that good. I suggest for the first couple of tongs you drill the rivet holes rather than trying to punch and drift. Timing gets tricky for that operation, if you don't have a more experienced smith nearby to guide you through it the first time. I recommend that you practice punching and drifting on bar stock first (say 1/4" thick) to get a feel for how it is done. Typically I do my "front" punch at almost an orange heat and hit the punch no more than three times before cooling the tip of the punch in water (to keep the tool from overheating and deforming). Rinse and repeat until the punch feels like it "bottoms out" against the anvil. Steel should then be dull red at best, possibly showing no color. Flip billet and look for the cold black mark from your front punch. A quick punch on that side should knock out the plug. This needs to be done at a black heat or the plug will just deform to the other side. Needless to say it is easier with thinner stock. From what you are showing I can only expect that you were working the steel too cold. Remember as the crossection gets thinner it heats and cools more rapidly. I don't see any sign of your punching the bolster in the photo. Also check the steel to see if truly mild steel. Using mystery steel from the scrap yard is always a bit of a challenge. Test it with a "snap test" to be sure before putting too much more work into it.
  14. Just to clarify, though I don't disagree with any of Thomas's points, the site the OP has referred to is not a forum, per se, but an informative site setup by a fellow who is extremely generous with his time in posting about blacksmithing and associated tools. His site is chock full of great information, in particular on old post drills, and was extremely helpful in assisting me to get mine arraigned to function well. My guess is that he got a bit upset with the, likely manly insistent newbie questions from folks assuming that because he was kind enough to post some great background information that he would be available to walk them through any equipment repairs. Here is the site: Link removed as the post was a long time ago (1999), and does reflect well on the site.
  15. Suggest you seal the frax with before coating with Plistix to avoid wasting the expensive IR reflective topcoat product.