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About TwistedCustoms

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    Primative Tools and Skills

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  1. American Legacy Firearms

    They are pretty but you can buy four of the stock model for the same price and those commemorative types are impossible to get your money out of on resale. I went down that road with a Bicentennial Winchester 94 years ago. Too pretty to shoot, too expensive to sell. Still, if I win the lottery.....I'ld rather see that Henry in .45LC though.
  2. Can you tell

    The short answer is no, you can't make that determination after ten minutes. Success or failure in any business is determined by way more than proficiency. I'm assuming we have the same understanding of the meaning of the word "professional". Going pro at anything just means you will be paid for your efforts, it doesn't necessarily mean you will be successful, just that you will be paid. The most successful people I know are the best self promoters. I have had a fair amount of success as a professional Blacksmith for the past five years. The way I define my success is by the fact that I pay my bills with money earned with hammer, fire and anvil. I'm a fair Blacksmith who loves to learn and strives to improve. I know several Blacksmiths who live in my area who have much more technical skill than I do, more experience and a deeper well of knowledge. Some of them have never sold anything they made by choice and some have tried and failed to forge full time. Blacksmithing for money is no different than being a carpenter or plumber or writer for money. Being technically proficient and artistic are part of it, but not the only part.
  3. Matrikote over Kastolite

    I mixed my Metrikote thin, about the consistancy of melted ice cream. Painted it over k wool board and over a hard fire brick in the floor of a Whisper Mamma two burner. After coating the forge will go from a cold start with 5/8" square stock to forging heat in two minutes flat at 6psi. Once the forge warms up, after about 15 min of run time, recovery times are scary fast. I'll burn work pretty easy if I don't back off to 4psi once it warms up. I love!!! Metrikote. Paint it on top! NC Tool says my forge needs 10psi to weld. I never tried to weld in it before I coated it but I'm welding in it now @6-7psi. Manufactured forge and burner so results may vary but that's my experience with Metrikote.
  4. Capital for start-up

    It takes money to make money! Some of the older guys around here used to say, "money is like manure, it doesn't do any good unless you spread it around"
  5. Why is my leaf spring steel cracking?

    I would try any kind of meat smoked with hickory, including camel ;-) Now I'm craving BBQ! Operation Desert Shield/Storm reference....I'm getting old! @Zaphod, I have had some leaf springs that air hardened between thermal cycles. You can never be sure what the alloy is with scrap steel. It took lots of banging my head against the wall to understand this fact but the truth is I can get good, new 5160 spring steel delivered to my shop for about the same money it costs me in gas to go to the scrap yard. Don't get me wrong, I love scrap steel and make lots of things using scrap but If you're set on trying to forge a sword before you even know what can cause fractures to happen at least drop ten dollars on a new hunk of good steel! It will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Free metal isn't always free!
  6. Why is my leaf spring steel cracking?

    I'd fly 10,000 miles to smoke a camel :-)
  7. Perils of joining a blacksmithing group

    Latticino, My snout pounder is currently operating at 72000 bpm and I have enough cherry juice to run it at 144000 so if you need to shift some of your operations to central Ms. to avoid a shutdown you're welcome in my shop anytime. Give em heck....-M-
  8. I Have Had It With This Coke!

    Sell to US Army to use as MRE cookies.
  9. Anatomy and a brief history of simple side blast forges

    Thank you for all your hard work putting this together. I admit to being a "gadget guy". I often use the most complex, over engineered version of whatever tool I can get my hands on when I would be better served with the simplest version of the same tool. It is comforting to know that my forging could continue with minimalist equipment if events made it necessary. If I ever do get round to building one of these I'll post it but I already feel like I've benefited from your work just by having the information.
  10. Baffled by my baffle

    I would raise the baffle to get the fire under it. the way it looks in the photo you have fire on the sides of the baffle. Try building your fire the way you normally do and laying the baffle across the hot spot on top of the fire. I use 2" sch 40 open on both ends on top of a coal fire and have no problem getting crit temp inside the pipe. I actually have to rotate the pipe while building up heat to keep from burning the pipe. You can bank coals up all the way around the pipe for insulation but you need a hot fire under the chamber.
  11. New Mouse Hole

    Nice! I really want one of those 4x4s from old world, I just haven't pulled the trigger on it yet. The Mousehole will be a lot nicer for you to work on for sure! I come across them from time to time and pick them up when I get a good deal to pass along to members of my blacksmithing group. I paid $200USD for a 130lb M&H Moushole with good rebound about a year ago. When you need a good anvil they are hard to find (not really, we think they are because we're used to being able to get what we want instantly :-) Once you have a good one to use anvil magic will kick in and they will start popping up all around you for good prices. Congrats and happy forging!
  12. New Mouse Hole

    If the pritchel was drilled at some point it could be pre-1835. I have had a couple marked M&H etc. just as yours is with no pritchel at all. Both had a well formed heel with no damage and matched the marked hundred weight to within a pound or two. From what I could find online Moushole started putting pritchels in 1835. Someone here will know more about the evolution of the marks over the companys history. How is the rebound? looks like a good score @ $2.00 lb!
  13. Mystery steel

    I have not yet used an automotive coil spring that wouldn't oil harden but the proof is in the results. If it got WAY too hot during forging and burned out too much carbon or it just wasn't hot enough to quench it is possible. As long as you have those bases covered it may just be some alloy that wont work with simple steel/low alloy heat treat methods. Coil springs are usually something 5160 ish, no way to know what alloy they really are but using heat treat data for 5160 is usually a good place to start. I have found coil springs to be very forgiving to work with and easy to temper from Rc 52 to 58 just by watching the colors run. If you want to put a little more time into it you might try cutting out a small section from further into the coil and giving it another go. If you get the same results then toss it and start with new steel. How does it move under the hammer during initial forging compaired to say mild steel, or another known alloy. does it move like butter or do you have to pound it to move it a little? Good luck!
  14. Hand made blacksmith sign. Hehe.

    That is some handy hammer work! Looks great!
  15. 15N20 questions

    For that time period I would be looking at German single blade folders. Great Eastern Cutlery makes some of the prettiest ones as far as production knives go and the Case sodbuster knives are based on the old German farmers knives. Barlow knives predate the American Civil war by almost two hundred years and were popular through the 1960s. All the Civil War pocket knives I see that are well documented fall neatly into two categories, Sheffield made English knives and home made war time production. Of course there were German, Spanish and French knives being imported before the war but based on what has survived up to now there must have been a lot more Sheffield made knives imported before 1860.