Dave Budd

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About Dave Budd

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    Senior Member

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  • Website URL
    http://www.davebudd.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Devon, England

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  • Location
    Dartmoor, England
  • Biography
    originally an archaeologist I now earn a living from my hobbies. I live within Dartmoor National par
  • Interests
    sharp things, pointy things, hot things and old things
  • Occupation
    full time knife and tool maker,though I also run courses in Prim Tech

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  1. another mill that is worth looking into, that I also use, is the Logosol mill. It's a chainsaw based mill like the Alaskan, but it is a proper bench that has trestles that raise the log to a bed that has the saw running along it. I have their 'farmers m8' model which is one of the cheaper models and can be set up near to the tree (comes apart into small enough bits to fit in a car/atv) or left at a permanent site. Adding a simple winch to either mill makes the whole process even easier and smoother, giving better finished cuts too. I've never milled anything as soft as spruce or pine, but if I have a 14" birch trunk to mill it's like butter compared to the oak that I'm used to! So the winch is really nice especially with the alaskan.
  2. I have an Alaskan Mill and have used it a fair bit over the last decade or so. Pros: relatively cheap way to get into milling (especially if you only expect to use it once in a blue moon) portable: take it to the tree, so you don;t have to lift/drag a 2 tonne trunk! Simple and easy to set up and use tapered planks, for something like shiplap boarding Cons: your face is in the exhaust the whole time Unless you can raise the trunk, you are on your knees a lot of the time If you first cut (ie with guide rail) is wonky, then every other cut will be. So make sure your guide rail is straight, square and doesn't sag chainsaw finished planks need some cleaning up In addition to the argument about the Alaskan mill, it is a chainsaw mill. I also use a Logosol mill, which is a proper sawmill bench which also takes a chainsaw. Chainsaw mills loose 8-10mm on EVERY cut due to the kerf of the chain, so is a bit wasteful of material. If the Alaskan mill is set up with a support at both ends of the bar, you lose about 5" on your bar length: so a 20" bar will only mill a 15" log. If you set it up with the support only at the engine end, then you get a wonky and tapered board. That said, I've used an 18" bar (on a 45cc engine) to mill 20" wide oak planks before, there was about 1/4" overlap from where I switched from one side to the other. When it comes to the saw you use, the bigger the better. I use a Stihl MS880 (120cc, 18.9bhp), which is as big as they get and I find it too easy to stall on even a 14" hardwood tree;l I know people who use two engines to run a 5' bar. I've no idea what the knock off's are like, but a proper alaskan mill is worth a punt if you have access to the occasional log that should be turned into better planks. Certainly much cheaper than getting the trees hauled out to a mill or getting a mobile miller in with a Lucas or Woodmizer that's for sure! Getting somebody to come and mill for you is worth doing if you've got a lot of wood to mill. A single tree, say 2 cubic meters, takes about an hour with this sort of set up, but half that with a bandsaw mill. So if you hire somebody in, they are there for at least a day, so you've got like 4-6 good trees to make it worth the trip n.b If you can, set up a winch on the mill. It makes the job quicker, easier and smoother
  3. I use the backs of doors and then some cupboard doors for full length blackboards. They are all dead space otherwise
  4. When I'm not using gas for production work or pattern welding, I mostly use charcoal. I make all of my own on account of my workshop being set in 10 acres of woodland so the fuel is all around me! I looked into retorts and they are definitely worth using, especially if your wood supply is limited or you are near other people. They produce higher percentage yield and better quality charcoal than direct methods can. The Hookway retort is one of the few commercially available ones int he UK (and the plans are cheap if you want to build your own without the learning curve of youtube/books). The issue I had with it was that the quantity was too small from an oil drum sized kiln and the larger ones would involve too much effort/time/money on my part. I currently use a 5 foot ring kiln of the type most wood colliers use these days. The drum is 5 feet diameter and 4 feet high and I get about 120 kg of charcoal out of it. It takes a couple of hours to load, couple of hours to unload and the burn is about 10 hours. The quality is a bit more variable, but the browns go into the next burn (or camp firewood) and I've started to use even the fines on the forge so no more than a small amount to get the kiln up to temperature is wasted. ring kilns are commercially available at a fraction of the cost of a retort, in fact the cost of a second hand ring is often less than the materials for a similar sized retort
  5. i must be in the minority. I've had the vice pinch a few times, but not since I was a kid! I just learned not to drop the bar if my hand was still there (just like not putting my finger infront of a moving bandsaw or under a descending hammer).
  6. i've never made an ice saw, but I've made a number of woodworking saws. The easiest way to make a large saw is to start off with some commercially available, pre-heat treated sheet or strip steel of the right thickness I got some sheet that is 1mm thick and at something like 52rc (i think), I cut the shape out with an angle grinder, carefully grind off the heated zone and then file the teeth in.
  7. I use a tyre hammer built by a British smith (Dave Preston) to a similar design as the Clay Spencer. I use it for much smaller things than I ever imagined I would, not because it is quicker but because I can do more of the donkey work on a larger number of items for a given amount of energy. I occasionally make batches of tools that are basically 6mm round spring steel drawn out into spikes over a 2" distance up the shaft. I can draw one out and round it to a fine point in 2 heats by hand, or two heats if the drawing to square is done under the hammer. The difference is that I can knock out a few dozen at a time without fatiguing or breaking a sweat if I use the power hammer. The key is to practice and accept that you'll waste work once in a while, especially as your skill is developing. As long as the wasted work is scrapped quickly and the overall time saved is sufficient, then it's all good
  8. to me that fracture pattern looks like you were forging it too hot. Normally cracks made by cold forging or post hardening are less tress like and more like closed hairlines in my experience
  9. my workshop is on a hillside, in the middle of the woods and the ground is clay. I had a digger in to flatten a platform and tracked back and forth a bit to flatten and compact the ground a bit. Apart from the floor being a bit soft when it's been raining for 6 months (such as now ), it's a really good floor surface.
  10. Hello and welcome What sort of tools are you looking to buy? I tend to buy on Ebay if I'm after anything specific,but farm auctions and carboots are often good sources too. A lot of small tools (swages, jigs, top tools, punches, etc) are more easily made yourself rather than trying to find them to buy. The tools that you need are going to be based on what you are making, so to begin with you won't need many tools
  11. i've made a number of wood cutting saws, but not a bone saw (aside from small saws for making bone combs and things). The wood saws have been made from spring steel and tempered to mid to high 40's RC to allow sharpening with files. Some were cut from a sheet of pre-heat treated steel with the teeth set to create the kerf; others forged into knife like cross section and the teeth cut into the thick side, thus the blade created the kerf. I also made a frame saw and bought a ready made blade for that as it was more cost effective than making one from scratch If I were making a bone saw for a hunter, I would make just the frame and then size it to fit commercially available blades. They are bound to break and you may as well save yourself the hassel!
  12. Both exactly the reasons that I and others squirt oil or other hydrocarbons into a stack when patternwelding I've started doing it for other firewelds too where I want the borax to stick to the metal before it gets to a temperature that the flux will melt
  13. nice tooling and it clearly works well, but I can't help thinking that you could buy an awful lot of 1/2" rivets for the price of the time you spent making it?
  14. i do that when welding edges in. If I don't then there is A) a very good chance that it will slip out whilst heating and turning in the forge and B ) when the weld is struck the first time everything is slippery and the HC piece flies out! It all saves a lot of juggling and hoping things don't slip out of alignment before he weld is made
  15. for gas forges in the UK, there is also Castree Kilns. They are a pottery supplier and I get most of my refractory products from them, as well as having a couple of their burners in my forges. They did make a few forges, but I don't know if they still do