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About bigfootnampa

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    Senior Member

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    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

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  1. Just as a pragmatic point, I have had the best luck making center punches by grinding old star drill bits. There seems to be a good supply at attractive prices and they are pretty durable. I don’t heat treat them at all... just regrind the points, cut to length and profile grind the struck ends. I’ve tried various steels and heat treats... but these are cheap, easy and reliable!
  2. It is very nice! If it were mine I would grind a choil on it though. Otherwise excellent!
  3. Yes. For my own blades I prefer to use the slack belt area of my grinder to make a slightly convex edge grind... thus I don’t really have a secondary bevel... but do enjoy the effects of one. This has the added advantage of creating a very smooth, slick cutting, transition that is easily repeated and good looking. If I do, in some clumsy way, end up with a rough looking transition... I will round it over a wee bit to make it look better and work better too! Mostly we are talking very subtle refinements here, of course, nothing that average users could detect... except for the appearance.
  4. Tungsten carbide is INCREDIBLY DENSE! I once acquired a few pieces of solid rod with intent to use as burnishing rods. Small chunks seemed vastly heavier than lead would! Extremely dense and very brittle... it would be a nightmare to adapt for aircraft uses... generally... I could see it for small specialized parts.
  5. Easier and cheaper than either of those options would be to forge copper nails. Drill or punch through the straps and then pilot drill undersized into the oak. Then hammer the copper nails in! You can put whatever sort of decorative heads on them that strikes your fancy!
  6. This is inaccurate. The anvil’s rebound quality will determine the opposing force to the hammer’s blow. With an anvil that has better rebound more work will be done with each hammer strike. Over thousands of hammer strikes, this will have a big effect on the efficiency of your forging. This is why rebound is such a critical quality in selecting an anvil. It’s not about bouncing the hammer... the force is transferred to the anvil side of the forging blank. When an anvil has less rebound... more of the forces are wasted in heating and deforming the anvil... to no useful end.
  7. Charles is right about this. Ideally you have a tang hole slightly undersized and black heat the tang so that it MELTS (not chars) it’s way in. Then the heated and compressed wood fibers cool to form a very strong socket for the tang while the resins in the wood (which are a natural form of ferrule cement) glue the tang into place. Done this way, the hidden tang is at least the equal of a through tang for security. I generally make a tapered square tang and melt it into a step drilled round socket. For tools that will see rough use, I’ll carefully fill the slight gaps along the flats of my tangs with a thin glue filler (usually some version of cyanoacrylate). If you use the burn in method, IMO, it’s best to use an undersized model of your tang and then follow up with a tang broach or drill/mill bits to create an overly tight tang socket that will melt to a perfect fit during the hot fitting process. This requires a bit of experience to judge as softwoods will compress a lot more than hardwoods while being hot fitted. Each wood species reacts a bit differently. A little practice will get you there though... and the results will be well worth your efforts!
  8. Mostly I work my hook knives with a very powerful pulling wrist twist stroke. You should not use your arms to pull toward yourself! That is too dangerous! The wrist twist is strong and quick and safe. It works best when taking many small bites, quickly. Skill is an underrated factor in using hook knives. They are MUCH more efficient in the hands of experts!
  9. I only use axes in the rough out phase. A drawknife and shaving horse is most efficient once the rough splitting is done... but not as portable as an axe. Sloyd knife and hook knives are generally most effective after the profiles are roughed out. Except for the interior of the bowl, skillful drawknife work can bring a spoon to near completion in an amazingly short time! Axes and sloyd knives can do all the work that a drawknife will... but they are slower. It’s nice to have them for working in the field though! The ambience of working in the forest is hard to beat!
  10. I love the small scale! Personally I prefer my carving hatchets beveled on both sides and worked ambidextrously. They cut curves better that way and the angles give clearance for the hatchet eye. I do like fairly long bevels and I quite often do some splitting with mine. A smaller and lighter version like this is nice for small scale work like carving spoons... which I like to do. I am a big fan of small axes!
  11. They look pretty good to me! You’ve polished them nicely! I don’t see my favorite type there... Hofi type compact or balanced hammer. So maybe you need more? I think I could work with that collection though... you are well hammered!
  12. I am no expert! I do have one in my new shop. It works great and seems very efficient! QUIET, requires no backup system. I like the no freeze setting that keeps it about 52 degrees all winter. I rarely change it till summertime. We put one in our rental cabin and it eliminates worry over unsafe portable heaters and provides efficient, trouble free cooling as well. We are very happy with ours!
  13. Please keep in mind that the cow wearing the bell will have to live with it’s sounds at close range... ALL DAY... EVERYDAY! Excessive loudness and sustain are NOT desirable... from a cow’s point of view!
  14. I use a drawknife with a 12” blade on handles and spoon rough outs quite regularly. That knife looks to be a beauty... but you might like a bigger one even better. You can skew a larger knife more effectively and it sometimes helps. The stiffness and mass of a larger knife can also be useful. I hope you have paired it with a good shaving horse! They are really much more effective in partnership! You can make a pickup load of shavings in an afternoon with a good drawknife and shaving horse!
  15. Bader grinders are top of the line industrial machinery! They have a variety selection of belts that you can buy as a package. I think it runs about $184. I recently bought one that they had donated at the BAM conference auction. Purchasing a kit like this allows you to try various belts and figure out what you like to use. There are some polishing belts in it and different types and sizes of grits. I have a Pheer grinder that I am pretty happy with! The Pheer runs about 1/3 the price of the Bader machines. In no way is it the same level of quality as the Bader units... but it does my work pretty well and I don’t really feel the need for anything more. Bader has sales people that can answer most of your questions. My Pheer is 2 horsepower, variable speed and that is what I’d recommend.