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About Latticino

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    Senior Member

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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. What happens when you modulate the air intake by covering the inlet holes from the "back" of the burner first rather than the "front" as you have been doing? My understanding is that the shroud may be too effective so close to the fuel orifice to allow you to tune it with the relatively gross adjustments that the slip joint allows. By this I mean that a relatively small change will have a large effect on the mixture proportion. Might be easier to tune if you go in the opposite direction.
  2. Extremely impressive. That's some clean, well proportioned work.
  3. Looks more like a Dave Hammer design burner to me: The multiple offset air ports are the give away.
  4. I thought the same thing, then I heard that Ryu used his winnings to help out his family in the Philippines and set up to teach other bladesmiths over there. From all accounts he is a real stand up guy.
  5. Thanks for this, that was the word I was grasping for.
  6. Mmmm, Beaudry, now that's a nice mechanical hammer.
  7. Typically you don't use a release agent at all if the molten glass is being held inside the high alumina crucible. The crucible gets a thin coating of glass that does not get gathered during the blowing operation (the dross glass on the bottom of the crucible was typically discarded or made into "fancies" like paperweights, glass canes and the like by glassworkers for private sale, it was usually too cordy from dissolved crucible material to be used in fine production). Note that unlike metal casting crucibles, glass crucibles are rarely removed from the furnace, glass is gathered out of them with preheated rods or removed with a cold casting ladle (I used a 6" pipe cap welded onto a 6' long 1" pipe for a ladle). The glass will temporarily stick to the preheated steel for blowing, then crack off once done if suddenly cooled due to differential thermal expansion of the glass and steel. For casting, ideally the glass never adheres to the ladle at all, but it needs to be poured out pretty quickly. For casting glass into molds, the typical release agent is a thin coating of carbon. This can be applied using an acetylene torch (finally a good use for soot) or spray graphite powder. I have also used block graphite molds, but it can be a challenge to use those effectively. If they are too cold they suck the heat right out of the glass, putting chill marks and sometimes cracks on the surface. If they are too hot the bonding agent in the block starts to burn out and they start to exhibit porosity and break down easily.
  8. "best quench media" "Railroad spike knife" "first project= sword" "Harbor Freight/Princess Auto Anvil" "6-burner forge" "budget belt grinder" "Casting Steel" "welding anvil edges" "grinding anvil face"
  9. It will certainly help. I have done no specific empirical testing, but the theory holds and that is what I've done with my shelves and half crystallite bricks in the past (the latter are great for flux (glass) contact, but quite expensive. I wouldn't kill a knife sharpener (though I did certainly use my wet diamond lap wheel on some brick as well and it worked). I think the high alumina shelves are more in the glass range than sapphire, but have no real idea. Either way silicon carbide belts will do it, and a spray bottle wielded by a friend can keep your belt wet enough (watch the spray around your motor though).
  10. Actually one of the best sword het treating forges I've seen is the 55 gal drum "Don Fogg" style vertical forge with a single burner. Since you don't really want to get up to forging temperatures you need much less burner. Line the drum with 1" of frax blanket. Make a lid with a hole in it for the vent and sword. Modulate the heat by moving the burner closer and further away from the burner port and opening or closing the vent hole some (get a pyrometer for accuracy). Advantages: large volume relative to the sword heats very evenly for the full length. Can use same burner for your small forging chamber and forge the sword efficiently (as noted by others). Unless you have some fairly sizable machinery (at least a press, power hammer or rolling mill, you are unlikely to need to heat more than 6" of the sword blank at a time. vertical orientation doesn't lead to sword bending from gravity during heat treatment Feel free to ignore this advice and buy a 3-burner Majestic, NC Tool Whisper, or Chile forge. You will likely be happy with any of them, but I don't think any hit your price point.
  11. You can belt sand (I used silicon carbide belts when I beveled mine, anything less "hard" will result in the shelf abrading the belt instead), but it helps to keep it cool while sanding. I used a wet belt sander. Just taking the corners off should be helpful, mostly you are trying to reduce the crack initiation points. The manufacturer's do say that the mullite/codierite shelves are more thermal shock resistant (presumably than true high alumina, but they don't necessarily specify), but they are also less flux resistant. Molten glass is a pretty aggressive solvent, which is why the big Corning Glass tanks are lined with a layer of platinum. As I understand it alumina is a more cost conscious alternative. Perhaps a good coating of kiln wash would do the trick. Personally I think I'm going to go back to a thin layer of Mizzou cast in place (though then you don't have the alternative of easy removal when the forge floor gets loaded up with molten flux). The issue with thermal shock is pretty complex, and hard to generalize about. The thickness aspect is pretty interesting, and mostly has to do with the interior of the shelf cooling at a different rate than the exterior skin when the forge gets turned off resulting in stress on the shelf surface. Since the shelf is not a particularly good insulative material, it may not be as big a deal and the extra strength of a thicker shelf may offset that mechanism. Just remember that typically the kilns these are made for warm up and cool down pretty slowly. And now they have those new hollow core shelves as well. I have no idea how those respond.
  12. You also might consider relining it. Most of the Johnsons I've seen have lots of thermal mass in their lining. Not sure if the older ones have any asbestos insulation (outer layer). Take care if you work with it. I've not seen one with a loose side unit before. Looks like a safety sensor on the front and some kind of variable blower control on the side. Way cool. Can't wait to see how it works.
  13. Most likely for natural gas firing. If want to run on propane will need to replace orifice
  14. Note that all "high alumina" kiln shelf is not created equal. From my research the lower priced shelf cordierite/mullite will not either withstand the same temperatures or glass contact, as a true alumina shelf. Paradoxically the thicker the shelf, the more prone it is to cracking from thermal shock. I'm not sure how you shaped your shelf, but any significant surface irregularities or edge defects can turn into locations for crack initiation. Even the best high alumina refractory is quite prone to thermal shock. Used to take me days to warm up and cool down my glass furnace to avoid cracking the 1 1/2" thick high alumina crucibles. I've not used kiln shelves in my forge as yet (though I have certainly used them to support crucibles in a glass furnace). If you plan on replacing the one you have I would recommend going for a 1/2" thick shelf, keeping it a consistent thickness, and carefully beveling the edges. Other alternatives include just casting in a 1/2" thickness of Mizzou or a top coat of bubble alumina. In any event, try not to have the shelf exposed to rapid temperature change (leading to thermal shock). I use a side mounted burner, so that shortly after the burner gas gets turned off I can shut off the blower. You can also close off your forge doors to allow everything to cool down more slowly. Good luck and keep us posted.
  15. Getting steel to spread out in width is most easily done by a beginner using a 2 - 3 lb. cross peen IMHO. A lot depends on how good you are at hammering. As Frosty says, best if you read up on smithing techniques and learn some of the basics of metal moving before you attempt blades, but if you are driven to making spike knives I think Walter Sorrels has a good video on that. When watching a smith work you will need to pay careful attention not only to which side of the hammer is being used, but how hard they are hitting, what portion of the anvil the stock rests on, how the tong side is being held, what angle the stock is being held at...