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About EnglishDave

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  1. EnglishDave

    Do I need to remove all outer insulation from water tank?

    The ID of the tank is 16" which with 2 inches insulation all the way round would give 12" id. I am not planning on forging anything huge but my current small firebrick pile is becoming restrictive for anything larger than a knife. Even simple scrolls or bends make the work too large to fit. I am not so much looking for length as for diameter/volume. Appreciate I may be limited by burner output but as I said at this stage this is mostly speculative, no cash outlaid yet
  2. EnglishDave

    Do I need to remove all outer insulation from water tank?

    Yeah makes sense about the insulation, thanks, will get to work removing it. I do not intend to use the entire tank only a section, once it is lined with insulation I think it will be a sensible volume to heat up without using ridiculous amounts of gas. Need to do some calculations, have not committed to anything yet apart from a bit of sweat getting it into the truck and sawing the end off
  3. I have come into possession of a discarded domestic water heater. I have removed the outer sheet metal skin and most of the fittings (inlet/outlet pipes and electrical connectors) so am left with the main water tank which is currently covered in a two inch thick layer of rigid foam insulation. My question is this: do I actually need to remove all of this insulation before I can use it as a forge? I see pictures of nicely cleaned up tanks and they look lovely but there are two reasons I ask my question. Firstly it is a huge load of fiddly dirty work to remove all the foam Secondly will it not act as a layer of secondary insulation? I am going to line the inside with kaowool but surely any heat which then leaks through to the metal shell will then be kept inside the forge by this foam layer. I appreciate there may be good reasons for removing it and would certainly need to strip it off around the end where I will be welding doors on and around the burner port. I cannot see any threads which specifically deal with this issue and have looked here and at some YouTube videos and everyone seems to go with the full strip option Looking forward to your input
  4. EnglishDave

    Blademithing series on History channel

    Yeah agree there Frosty, it is the only 'reality' TV I can watch because it is mostly about the work not about the contestants. As you say they may have specified the diameter further off camera or given more detail in writing maybe, but in light of the fact that it had such a major influence on the outcome I would have expected them to make that clear in the final edit. Everybody does indeed make mistakes, even blacksmiths
  5. EnglishDave

    Blademithing series on History channel

    Just watched the episode where they made a zande spear to end the show and the guy was eliminated because his haft was too thick. When they specified the weapon parameters they clearly stated a diameter of at least one and a half inches (I did rewind the DVR and watched that bit again to be 100% sure I had heard it right), unless it was edited out they never mentioned a maximum. It therefore seems very unfair to me for him to get eliminated because his spear was too thick to fit the air cannon they were using for testing, they should surely have specified a range of minimum and maximum diameters if that was going to be important. If I was him i would have complained like heck about that, rules are rules but if they are poorly worded then it is not really the competitors fault if he does not comply with them.
  6. EnglishDave

    Do I NEED rigidizer for Kaowool?

    Oddly enough I have just been thinking about rigidizer again, my first forge is running fine and has worked hard for me for a year or so but I have sourced a (free) second hand water heater and am considering building a larger and longer unit. This will of course need fresh insulation so hope I can find that tub of silica I bought last year The link has been removed but I am pretty sure it is the same product, I got mine form a marine supply store who sell it as a thickener for epoxy I believe.
  7. EnglishDave

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Yes, thanks John, very clear and concise little tutorial.
  8. EnglishDave

    Richard Hanson Knife Making

    Thanks for pointing that out Jeremy, credit where credit is due. I clearly did not read the small print! Thanks Richard, great article
  9. Hi David I feel we may all have prematurely jumped on the borax bandwagon here and missed a fundamental point of your original post. If, as you say, the gap is too large between the pieces then by the time you get them up to heat scale will have had more chance to form than if they are a tight fit, plus the time you then spend hammering them together will let them potentially cool down below forge welding temperature. Can you not forge them to a tight fit before you even think about starting the welding process? Might be all you need to do....
  10. You are not nuts at all, sounds like you were in exactly the right part of town. Borax is used as a laundry additive and is a very common chemical, I would be amazed if nobody in India sold it, though as the guys have said possibly under a completely different name. Keep looking and asking around I am sure you will find some, well worth the effort - not expensive and helps greatly with what you are trying to do. Good luck with the search....
  11. EnglishDave

    What did you do in the shop today?

    All names very familiar to me, I am a native of Birmingham in the British Midlands, Shropshire is the next county over (and a very nice place at that). Can't hand on heart say I have had Ludlow beer but Burton-on-Trent beer is another matter many a pint has been quaffed over the years....
  12. EnglishDave

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Enough meaning at least half a pot... Coffee in the am, tea in the pm
  13. EnglishDave

    What did you do in the shop today?

    That will teach me to post before I have had enough coffee. I think the hot night cooked my brain
  14. EnglishDave

    What did you do in the shop today?

    Well it is 9:30 am so figured I would get some work in before it got too hot, yeah right, fat chance. It is already 90 in the shade and since my backyard forge is open on the west side the sun shines on me early in the day which takes the ambient up to stupid degrees. So after half an hour drawing out my first ever forge welded knife billet I gave in and headed indoors to cool off. It will actually be more comfortable out there later once the sun climbs and I have some shade to work in
  15. EnglishDave

    Forge weld flux

    You will be able to see very easily if it is hot enough, when you remove the billet from the fire and sprinkle some borax onto it if it is hot enough it will fluff up (unless you have prepared an anhydrous batch) and then melt and run into all the gaps between the individual pieces of steel. I did my first simple 3 layer san mai this morning and it was very obvious to see the flux melt and run into the bundle. I did make sure to place a sacrificial piece of firebrick in the bottom so the flux did not dissolve my kaowool. The flux goes black and looks hideous when it has cooled but once ground off I had a really nice seamless weld underneath. Way to go cheap borax flux!