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About bigfootnampa

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/12/1951

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  • Interests
    Blacksmithing, whitesmithing, woodworking, photography, fly fishing, faux painting, fine finishing.

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  • Location
    Saint Louis, MO
  • Interests
    Woodworking, metalsmithing, photography, fly fishing, carving
  1. Farrier rasp teeth

    I think you’ve got it. The general obsession with stress risers and such is a bit out of proportion IMO. Most knives and such made from these items are significantly overstrength for typical uses. Allowing for quite a bit of artistic leeway in their design and execution.
  2. Just a scrap of 0-1 i had lying around

    Personally I could care less how quality historical work is done! Modern smiths tend much more toward artistry than technical perfection. To my artistic mind that is a very good thing! I have seen some very polished gleaming blades that, to my eyes, lacked beauty and functionality! Really, some nearly perfect looking blades that were duller than my steak knives... yet they glimmered on each mirror polished surface! To me they were repulsive! I will say that I like the more subtle textures achieved by Stormcrow better. This knife is nice though.
  3. Small-ish knives

    I have found that l like the tanto style for general purpose use. The points seem a bit too long on these versions for my preference. I like to use the points as slitters for packages and to do chisel type carving cuts. I often use a wiggle type lever cut. Really cool knives overall though! I like your slightly rustic finishes!
  4. First Things I've Forged

    Your hooks are lovely and reveal artistic talent! As has been noted you do need a countersink and some practice with it. I would suggest that your hall tree hooks be refined in future by working a stronger profile where the hook projects from the post. I would also suggest that you forge the tails of the hall tree hooks into a short hook so that you have a double hook finish. It’s really nice work, but you will get better! Forge ahead!
  5. Magnetic base LEDs

    I have a very small one with a little gooseneck that I use with my belt grinder and my buffer. It “works a treat” as the Brits would say! I also use one with a long gooseneck on my barbecue! I need to get a couple more!
  6. How's Black Walnut For Small Hammer Handles?

    Of course curly maple would be totally unsuitable for a baseball bat! They are making lots of bats out of maple these days... NOT CURLY! This foolish practice has led to a lot of injuries caused by shattered bats! Researchers have recommended that the use of maple be discontinued. Modern players like it because it is pretty hard and has good rebound. Durability is the least of their concerns. Ash bats tend to break into two pieces... when they do break. Maple bats often shatter and create flying shards that are as sharp as spears!
  7. My son works in a shop that does repairs and custom finishes on wheel rims. They have been burning chrome platings off in their ovens! This seems alarmingly hazardous to me! Can anyone suggest a safer method for removing chrome plating? I have been looking around the internet but I’ve yet to find anything that seems definite and authoritative. I’m hoping that some of you skilled smiths can help me.
  8. How's Black Walnut For Small Hammer Handles?

    You could... but it is NOT a good idea. Too soft, too weak, too brittle. Pecan is GREAT! Osage orange, hackberry and other elms!
  9. Whats the benefit of a 2x72 belt grinder

    I use mine for sharpening drill bits. I have the belt direction moving away from my cutting edge. I use VERY light pressure against my 10” contact wheel. I use a fairly stiff belt with a fine grit. It works much better for me than my old wheel grinders! I’m sure that Frosty is more skilled than I at this sort of sharpening but I feel no need to have one of my old grinders set up.
  10. These nails are driving me nuts...

    Okay. Here’s a few of my nails. These are nothing special, just general stock. The longer ones are about 4”. I’m not a highly experienced (or therefore, skilled) nail maker. My nails do amaze me with their performance though! What I am saying is that there is no payoff for me in making many thousands of nails that are as swiftly made as I can do them... I’d still be working for pennies! When I can make nails that are able to function as permanent joinery for softwood furniture that also fit into a rustic design theme... NOW I’m being rewarded for my time! Sorry, I don’t have any of my special use nails at hand... they’ve all been used in the projects that they were custom forged for. I’ve posted some in the past but the files are buried now and I haven’t the time to dig them up.
  11. These nails are driving me nuts...

    So I am a very skilled woodworker in addition to being a decent smith. I have concentrated my efforts on making high quality nails rather than turning out large numbers of them. I find that the holding power of my hand forged nails will exceed that of screws in most applications! For large nails that I will ask to penetrate 150+ year old oak logs. I will use some 4140 or other medium carbon stock... instead of mild steel. I’ll also pre-drill for such applications. The only modern fasteners that rival the holding power of my forged nails are power driven hot-glued ring shank nails! They will hang on but lack the style and versatility of my own nails. I make nails with various lengths and varying head sizes and styles. Sometimes I want a thin short nail with a large decorative or structural head on it! Sometimes a long heavy nail with a very minimal head on it. Whatever my need or wish I can get a pretty good result from my forging work! Salvaged rebar processed into square rod stock on my power hammer makes quite useful nail stock for general use. When I want nails of good size with larger heads, I will start with large stock and taper it and even start the nail shanks on my power hammer. If you want to do 1,000 plus nails per day you’ll never experience the extreme quality that I desire in my nails! You will be too busy rushing onward.
  12. Two newbie questions

    Because of the mass involved many hammer smiths just quench in water with lots of agitation. For a knife cross section that would generally be too quick of a quench, but the hammer heads take so long to cool that it works for them. You have to quench the whole hammer head IMO. Otherwise there is plenty of heat in the hammer body to resoften the faces. For a softer temper at the eye it can be tempered more... but I harden the whole head to begin with. The hot drift tempering that you are trying is intended to soften the eye of the hammer. Try leaving the faces fully hardened, as with 1045 and given the mass that has to be cooled that might just be about right for you.
  13. Another Whippit Knife

    I like the blade... but those studs on the handle look like sore hands to me! Especially if you favor the back-cut techniques that made Bowie knives so formidable.
  14. My first bigger project

    Joel has the right idea! In my own work I strive for what I refer to as "dynamic symmetry"! The more complex the relationships between the parts are, the longer it will hold a viewers interest! Simple, literal symmetry is too sterile to elicit optimal interest from viewers. An example might be rivets headed in tree shapes... or leaf shapes, but with each tree or leaf either slightly different or of a different species. This is symmetry, but with dynamic and lively variations! I like your work!
  15. ox bow pins

    I have found the hay rake tines to be quite brittle material. They are nothing like modern spring steels! A friend had been using them to make long hay hooks that he used to drag bales with. He had broken several and complained that it was dangerous as well as inconvenient. When I spoke with him a few days ago, he said that, on my advice, he had switched to using 3/8" rebar instead and that the hooks are now reliable and last for years! Weldable rebar seems to be of more reliable quality. I've used it for a variety of useful hook style items with great success! For standard duty pins it should be excellent! I usually forge out most of the texture but for some uses it is actually desirable... like tent pegs, for example.