Lou L

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About Lou L

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    Metal Mangler Ph.D

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    West Hartford, CT
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    Too numerous to count.

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  1. Love it! I’m glad you had a good time in my “shop”. You picked up little bits of instruction well and had good hammer control. You are on your way. Let’s try to schedule more meet-ups. Nevan was annoyed he missed the best part. Lou
  2. Very cool. I’d love to see the outcome of her grinding and finishing. That’s the real grueling work of bladesmithing.
  3. Sorry, Jennifer, our little hammer-in was missing you. If I invite the young ones over in a couple weeks I’ll be sure to beg your attendance! Seriously, I love watching you teach.
  4. I met a guy who loves post vises and collects them. He has some beauties but this one stood out to me. I want to find out if others have seen this before and if they think it was modified this way. You can see the weld line at the base of the post.
  5. I just find myself impressed when some of you gurus see a picture of a burner someone posts and point out, “..oh, that looks to be running a little rich,” or, “that’s a reducing flame you have right there.” It feels like every gasser here seems to be able to figure it out pretty handily. I know I could put stock in the forge and watch for scale buildup, but that’s the limit of my knowledge. Even then I would be guessing. I guess I’m looking for the fast route toward learning how to tune a burner. If, in the end, it’s just about feel I’m okay with waiting for experience to guide me. Edited to add: after writing this I went ahead and tried some other search terms and found this. https://weldguru.com/OLDSITE/welding-flames.html This is the basic concept I was looking for. I’ll keep reading and I’ll use a picture guide as a reference until my experience surpasses that need. Lou
  6. Well, I believe my new ribbon block is adding a lot of color into the flames at the moment, so I can’t be sure what is going on right now. I’ve run it with a .023 and a .030 mig tip and the difference in output at 7 psi is clear. I get the full swirl in the chamber with the larger jet. But the swirling flames appear to be reddish/orangish. I know I had similar colors the last time the ribbon burner was freshly cast. I’m going to wait until I get some time using the burner and then get some comparison photos. I know the color of the dragon’s death is telling. Could I get a little primer on determining the qualities of the flame by color? Seriously, that would make for a great sticky thread in the section. I’ve looked for it online but no one seems to have consolidated all that info in one place. Lou
  7. That was as much as I needed to hear, thanks! I just wanted to know if my conceptual framework was accurate enough. I'd like to understand how the additional mixing (and I'll assume slight pressure increase) caused by the plenum and ribbon ports affects the air fuel ratio. Unfortunately, being colorblind AND inexperienced, I'm terrible at judging the qualities of a burn. But I shall try Thanks again, Lou
  8. Okay, so today I test fired the new ribbon block and the burner was fitted with a .023 mig tip. It was super quiet and it did have that feedback resonance whistle thing going on. At lower pressures it burns smoothly but the flames are quite short. At 10 psi the flames engine the entire forge chamber. Here's my point for posting:. I'm wondering about efficiency. If I put the .035 mig tip in would the burner consume the same amount of fuel at lower pressures than the .023 at higher? Furthermore, would it run noticably richer with the wider jet or does the Venturi draw increase in a straight line on a graph? I fully intend to experiment with this but it will be hard to gauge fuel consumption. Plus I would like to go into this with some wisdom in my back pocket. Thanks for your continued input, Lou
  9. More reason for me to cut my burner down! I’m glad yours is working well. Perhaps I’ll chop mine down to 1” for the sake of experiment. Would be nice to have multiple functioning burners especially if they serve different purposes.
  10. I’m thinking about sawing an inch or so off of my first problematic one once this new burner is up and running just to test for performance changes. I’m just not so sure if my rotozip with a masonry cutting tool is up for the filthy, filthy task.
  11. Have you been using it or is the backbirning still a problem?
  12. I bumped into this article online and found myself studying the Viking shackles that had been found at dig sites. While the article is mostly an examination of the Viking association with the slave trade, the blacksmithing that serves as the only tangible evidence is intriguing. Plus, now Thomas can make some period “adornments” for his thralls at Pennsic! https://www.history.com/.amp/news/viking-slavery-raids-evidence Lou
  13. You are correct, I was referring to the depth of the cast block. I made this latest one 2” dead on. I’m going to test run it a bit and then decide if the next one could be even narrower. Any chance you intend on making the 3/4” block really really soon so I can learn from your results If you drill your pilot holes at the desired angles you will seriously enjoy using the steel rods. They almost fall out of the holes. It was a satisfying success. This makes sizing the holes in your stock as simple as having various sizes of stock on hand. I admit that it is a bit tedious cutting and then grinding a small bevel on every rod, but then you can make burners for a long time with them. Another aside: I’m liking the ideas of the possible cooling benefits of a thinner block, but I’m concerned that it will be difficult to configure/set up in the standard kaowool and refractory lined forge. You will get great clearance from the inside of the forge but it will almost necessarily have to point straight into the bottom of the forge. It will work fine, I think, for your stacked brick forges, but on round forges it kinda defeats the purpose of the roundness. Lou
  14. It’s beautiful and it’s exactly the type of knife I would like to be able to create one day. I’ll call it an inspiration piece! I’d say the only problem with it is that I can’t see your maker’s mark anywhere. It deserves one.
  15. An update on my progress: I have my first burner running but it backfires unless I turn it up past 12 psi after about an hour. I determined the probable cause of my problem. I thought I followed the original directions implicitly but I did one thing differently. I made the burner head 2.25 inches deep rather than 2”. I believe my thinking at the time was to make it fit my forge perfectly while rationalizing an increase in the potential for heat conduction. This was obviously wrong in all ways. The significant increase in friction was my problem. On another note, I decided to make another burner with 1/8” holes. I cast it yesterday and figured I would share what I did construction wise. I used Azek to make the form since I had scrap of it from building a front step. It was very easy to work with and, best of all, the refractory simply can’t stick to it. I used crisco as a release agent anyway, but mainly for the next part. Instead of wax I used 1/8” round acrylic rods and same sized steel rods slathered in crisco. After about 14 hours the block was hard enough to release from the mould and I pulled the rods out. I knew there was a chance I would have trouble and scrap the whole thing but I wanted to see if it would work. I found that the steel rod was superior in every way. It was rigid and made casting in that area quite easy. It also pulled out almost effortlessly. The acrylic was flexible and made casting tedious. I struggled to keep the pattern of holes and spacing true. Also, some of the acrylic rods were difficult to remove likely because they were slightly canted and their flexibility was again an issue. Point is, steel rods, in my opinion, are superior to crayons or any other medium if you want holes without flares in them. It would have taken me about three minutes to pull all 97 rods if they were all steel and the holes were all perfect. The burner is back in its bag with a wet rag in it and I’ll be testing it out in no time.