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About Meridianfrost

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    Central New York

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  1. Meridianfrost

    My first Pattern Weld!!!

    Thanks very much! As I would heat the steel to welding heat for each weld, I lost a lot of material to scale. It may have been my inexperience with doing multiple forge welds on the same piece of steel, but the volume of steel decreased as I went through the welds. I also did not start out with a huge billet. 6 bars of .120” thick 1084 and 15n20 that we’re only 3” long and 1.5” wide. I knew I would end up with a small piece, but I really thought I’d be able to get another fold in this billet. In the end I opted to just stop, and keep it at 48 layers. I found it. Thanks very much. Great info. I was just at a bladesmith meet where Matt was doing a demo of no-flux Damascus. He’s great. I should have asked him about the ferric chloride when I had the chance darn it. I just didn’t imagine I’d be attempting Damascus so soon. He was the one who Partially inspired me to do it.
  2. Meridianfrost

    My first Pattern Weld!!!

    Thanks very much! Yeah, it would be nice to have a forge press. I will definitely be adding one to my smithy when I can afford it. I think it benefits me to do this by hand to get a thorough understanding of it. That is what I’m telling myself anyway I left it in the instant coffee for 2.5 hours, and while it gave me great contrast, I don’t have any texture differentiation. I’m confused by the ferric chloride part of this process, specifically where to buy it, whether I should buy powder and mix my own, or buy a pre-mixed solution, and what percentage solution to buy, and if I need to dilute a pre-mixed solution. I posted another question in the knife making forum to see if I can get some guidance there.
  3. Meridianfrost

    Pattern Weld Etchant Question

    Hello everyone! i have a question that I can’t seem to find the answer to. I have done my first pattern welded knife, and I am confused by the etchant portion. I’ll attach a picture of the knife that I etched in instant coffee. I know that I need to get some ferric chloride to get the texture that I want, but there doesn’t seem to be specific information about how to mix the ferric chloride solution so I will get a proper etch. As you may know, ferric chloride is available in all sorts of forms. You can buy it dry, and mix your own solution. You can buy it from various places pre-mixed in a number of different ratios. 43%, 60%, etc. Also, I don’t know what ratio of distilled water to use with powdered ferric chloride, or if the pre-mixed solutions available need to be diluted. Any help you could provide would be very much appreciated. If there is a standard that people use with consistent results, or a particular brand of ferric chloride works better than others, I would love to know about it. Thanks very much for all of your responses. The knife in the photo say in an instant coffee solution for about 2.5 hours.
  4. Meridianfrost

    My first Pattern Weld!!!

    Well folks, I am over the moon with my first piece of pattern welded steel. I just pulled it out of the etch (instant coffee), and I could not be more pleased. The knife was forged fron 3 layers of 1084, and three layers of 15n20, all .12” thick and 1.5” wide. I ended up with 48 layers, and a very all billet in the end. I don’t own a press, or a power hammer, so I hammered this one out by hand. What a great learning experience. All done in my little 2-burner diamondback forge. I was exhausted after forging it, but it was definitely worth the time. The reason I didn’t go for another fold is that the steel started to feel realljy thin, and I didn’t think it could take another weld without it thinning out to the point where it wouldn’t have been practical as a knife. The knife is 4.5 inches long and about 1.25 wide. I’m going to start with 8 layers next time, and instead of 3” length, I am going to go 4.5 inches. I should still be able to hand forge that into something usable and get more layers out of it. So there it is! Just thought I would share.
  5. Excellent advice. Thanks very much. That’s two votes for overalls in the shop area. I do grind in a hooded sweatshirt that stays in the shop, but I guess I just wasn’t thinking about my bottoms. I will definitely get some overalls and only grind/wire wheel in those. Looks like dedicated shop shoes are also key. Thanks for the advice.
  6. That’s definitely a good idea, but I worry about cleaning it. Maybe I can cover it with a plastic sheet and just remove the sheet and dump all the metal.
  7. Hello everybodddehhhh! I have a question about shop cleaning and safety. My wife got up last night to have a midnight snack, and wound up with a fragment of a wire cup stuck pretty deep in her heel. There have been a couple other occasions of the kids getting small slivers of metal in their feet. And that is no good! I was wondering what you all use as transition from your shop to your house to make sure the metal stays away from the living area. My shop is directly attached to the house, and I was thinking about a magnetic floor mat, but can’t find anything that doesn’t cost $2k. Do any of you use a different kind of mat to transition from your shop to your house? Thanks a bunch for reading. I appreciate your time and responses. -Josh
  8. Meridianfrost

    Powder Metallurgy Question (properly asked)

    Absolutely. Thanks for taking the time to respond. There is a lot of good information here, and from what you and others have told me, I should probably just not worry at all about messing with PM, and just stick to working commercially made stock, and keep on keeping on with stock removal knives. And you are right on the money with working the anvil. I've only made a few projects, and I have three good sized divots in the anvil face from missing with a cross peen. I've still got a long way to go. I have a bunch of mild steel rod that I thought about just reducing and elongating the size of. Maybe make some simple tongs, or things like that. Not too crazy, just spending time at the anvil. I appreciate you giving this another shot, and your answer was really helpful. I'm sorry that I came off like a jerk. I should have asked a better question, and not assumed so much. On that other mess of a thread you can see my first forged blade. I'm working the handle now and I will post some pictures when it's complete. Thanks again for your input. -Joshua
  9. Meridianfrost

    Question about Powder Metallurgy

    Those are great suggestions. Thank you. I glued up my scales on the knife with gflex yesterday, and when I get off of work today, I'm going to finish it off. I made this one out of a 1.5" ball bearing.
  10. Meridianfrost

    Question about Powder Metallurgy

    Well, this made me smile. It is Friday after all. I posed the question properly in a new thread, with a little more humility. You are the second person to say that forging powder steel in a canister is tough to do. I may take both of our advice and just stick to learning about steel, and using commercially made stock. And yeah, the ignore button. Yet another thing I didn't think of. This in itself has been a pretty valuable learning experience. Thanks for being a part of it.
  11. Hello everyone, Let me start by apologizing for my previous thread. I was having a terrible day, and should have stayed away from all people. Period. I don't have a beef with anyone here, and I'd hate for people to have the wrong impression of me. I don't think I know everything. I'm just starting out, and know very VERY little about metal working. I do love it, and have committed lots of money and time to getting started. I'm still learning, but my level of understanding is currently at an elementary level. Thanks to everyone for their responses in advance. I'll preface my question with saying I have searched out powder steel in powder form, and educated myself about how it is manufactured. I was previously aware that I could buy it from Kelly Cupples, and that K&G sells it as well in 10XX form. I have never used it or purchased it from anywhere. What kinds of powder steel have you used in powder form for a simple home forging operation? I do not own a kiln, nor do I possess the ability to isolate gas in an enclosed environment. I also do not own a power hammer, or hydrolic press. This all has to be pounded out by hand while in a canister. My interest is in making knives mostly. Not too big, as I have a small forge. The types of knives I will make will be a general purpose kind of knife for hunting, and camping. I suppose I will eventually get into fillet knives that will need to have a good deal of flex, but for right now, I just want to make rugged knives. I was thinking 154cpm or A2, but I don't know what steel would be best for this purpose. Have you had success forging powder steel in a canister? What kinds of problems did you encounter along the way? Also, where did you purchase your powder? Were you satisfied with that quality of production? Do you think PM is better left to those who have more experience, or better forging tools? Thanks again for your responses.
  12. Meridianfrost

    Question about Powder Metallurgy

    Thanks very much for your response, Lou. It's quite true that I know very little about steels. I'm learning. For instance, I didn't know that using powder steel in powder form is not suitable for making tools. I was misinformed about that by someone else. Google is surprisingly vacant of options to buy steel in powder form. Jantz apparently used to sell a processed PM steel that they no longer carry, and all the other places you can buy PM steel in powdered form are more for foundries and die factories, and don't seem to be accessible to the general public. So having the ability to spell "metallurgy" doesn't seem to be the asset you may think it is. Unless I am being totally inept in my searching, which is possible. Look, I never claimed to be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to steel, and what is best to use. I'm mostly pounding away at mild steel, and just hardened my first knife yesterday afternoon. I'm a novice. Worse than that, really. I have a basic understanding of steel, and have been thus far only been instructed by youtube, my own experience, and an 8 hour course on the blacksmith trade. I have a small shop with a forge, a couple anvils, and all the hand tools you'd associate with someone who was just starting out. My frustration, especially in this thread, does not stem from hubris. The only thing I am certain of with regard to forging steel, is that I am at about a pre-kindergarten level of knowledge here. Frosty pushed me over the edge. He's previous replies to me have been terse, and the replies that I have read of his were consistent with the treatment I received. I have him a taste of his own medicine. That turned out to be a mistake. i understand that there is a way to do things. That how you ask a question greatly impacts the responses that you get. I was frudtrated, and it came out in my response. The more venom I received from other users, the more it aggravated me. I'm sorry about responding to them. I should have just left it alone. im going to disagree with you about your assertion about over-confidence and ignorance being a weakness though. I am pretty confident that I will be able to sort out my issues, it's true. But I use that confidence to effort an antidote to my ignorance. I will continue to have an insatiable hunger for learning, and try to be a little less combative. Thanks for taking the time to respond. All excellent suggestions. Thank you. I have certainly learned my lesson about asking about steel. I won't make that mistake again. Thanks for your critique.
  13. Meridianfrost

    Question about Powder Metallurgy

    Well, in proving my point, yet again, your answer was, well, not helpful. So In future, I will not expect your "help". You have no basis to propose a single thing about my "understanding", let alone that the "lack"of it ibeing "amazing". I suppose my question could have been more specific. If there was a question of specificity, why not try for a broad answer. If you don't have the time to give a broad answer, why bother with the question at all? I never suggested there was a "magic steel", I simply asked people's opinion on what works best for them. Different manufacturers have different quality standards, and different distributors have higher prices for shipping, and better or worse customer service. It is astounding that you can't extrapolate that from a simple phrase. Like an insolent child" lol. Yes. I looked on google, and found very few options. It's, ya know, why I asked the question here. The only thing I have learned in this thread, from those like you, is that some of you are so fragile that the merest breath of criticism throws you into an irrational tantrum, where you throw down all that you have to offer and stomp out like children. I won't expect your help in future, but if you need mine, I'm here for ya. -That is how an adult behaves.
  14. Meridianfrost

    Question about Powder Metallurgy

    I do, actually. Some people decided to answer the question, and others decided that being antagonistic about their answers was the right way to go. I'm sorry you don't feel better. Perhaps if you attempted to answer my question, you would. I did not make any demand of anyone. Reading comprehension is important. If you read my question as a demand, you'd be entirely wrong. I made a request. No one owes me anything. This site is a collaboration with and by people who are sorting through this magnificent trade on their own. There will be stupid questions, and you get to decide how to handle those. You could be charitable, and just answer, or you could be a jerk, and not do anything but further frustrate people who are genuinely looking for answers. Frosty's comments were of no help whatsoever. This is not a new development. He's often antagonistic, and short/rude in his responses to various people who have posted here. They may be just fine with being kicked around in the dirt. I'm not. If that is a foreign concept to you, perhaps you should analyze how people communicate with one another in a civilized, helpful way. Because if you think his comments were "appropriate" or "correct" you've got a thing or two to learn about how people should behave. I don't like them? Or don't understand? Are we five here? Is everyone with a little seniority beyond criticism or rebuke? I'm not just going to slunk my shoulders and walk away when someone is poking me in the eye. That may be YOUR way, but it isn't mine. Lastly, you have no idea what I am capable of learning, especially when the people teaching are helpful, and provide useful insight. I understand that it is natural to you to come to the defense of your friend, even when he's clearly being unhelpful, and petulant, but it isn't a good look. We all need to look at how we treat each other. Especially when we are all working toward the same goal. Be well.