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Everything posted by customcutter

  1. Greetings from Tampa, Fl

    Hello All, My name is Ken, I've been making knives since the late 80's by the stock removal process using ATS-34, but nothing in the last 15 years to speak of. I retired the first of July and I've had the blacksmithing bug since helping a friend forge 2 billets of 500+ layer pattern welded damascus back in the early 90's, but work got in the way. I've been trying to find a decent anvil for years and everyone I ever found was beat to pieces or they wanted an arm and a leg, plus my first born for it. So 2 weeks ago I followed the advice I found on this forum and I called all my friends and started putting out the word I was looking for an anvil. Then I called the Florida ABA, one of their member was having a few guys over to do some forging at his house that Friday and he had a Peter Wright he wasn't using anymore. Long story short, I made 2 new friends, I got to forge a knife from a railroad spike, and a Peter Wright anvil followed me home. It's had a repair done on it a long time ago where a small section of the top plate broke out. It goes from the heel up to the hardy hole and over to the side of the anvil. The crack has been welded and filled back in and if you look at the bottom you can see where three 1/2" round rods extend down through the area next to the hardy hole. The top of the anvil rings true, even the section that has been repaired. In my estimation, I think it has a 90% rebound everywhere except the repair area, and that is about 80% just slightly less than the rest of the anvil. Now I'm trying to figure out how I want to build my forge and gathering materials for that. Edit: If anyone knows where to find refractory materials locally, give me a shout. Other wise I'm probably going to order some Mizzou.
  2. Finally starting my forge

    I've been trying to locate a freon bottle so that I could make both forges at the same time. I didn't want to mix up Mizzou and have too much left, if I could use it in a second build, but that hasn't happened so I decided to go ahead with the 30# propane tank build. I started out by marking the semi-circle around the carrying handle and cutting the tack welds off with a 4.5" grinder. Then I used my plasma cutter to cut through the tank around the semi-circle (it was full of water and standing upright, so no fumes could fill the tank). I cut straight across the open end of the semi-circle, thinking I would use that to build a shelf area later. It got interesting when I tried to cut my 1" inswool and insert it through the hole. It didn't fit, so being hard headed, and not cutting the hole out larger and circular, I decided to cut the inswool into 2 pieces. I got that installed and intalled a second layer of 1" inswool for 2" thickness, and off set the gaps. I forgot to rigidize the first layer, so I made up a little over 1/2 gallon of colloidal silica and sprayed the liner real well with my pump up sprayer. Not having a burner built yet I realized I had a turkey fryer with a high pressure valve, turned the tank upside down on it and began to cook it off for several hours, just to make sure that I had driven off all the water and rigidized the silica. Yesterday, I looked several places for a 6" sonic tube (cement form tube) to place in my forge so that I could cast the Mizzou around it into the inswool. No luck there, so I decided to use a 4" dryer vent and wrap it with cardboard until I got up to the 6" desired. I tried fitting that into the forge this morning and it would barely fit if I used a putty knife to hold the inswool back while trying to insert the tube. I decided there was no way I was going to be able to insert the tube and then pour the Mizzou down past the inswool. So I decided to use the plasma cutter to cut another 1/2" out all the way around the forge entrance. Boy what a mess, I used the shop vac to clean a lot of it out of the inswool, and had to pick a lot out by hand. Take it from me, go ahead and cut a nice 8" hole when you start, you will fight a lot less demons along the way. I decided to re-rigidize the liner. Then per Frosty's instructions I covered the outside of my liner tube with aluminum foil, I didn't have any plastic wrap, to keep it from drawing too much moisture off of the Mizzou and affecting it's thermal qualities. I was barely able to squeeze a transmission fluid funnel (long skinny) down between the tube and the inswool. I mixed up approximately half of my 55# bag of mizzou, to peanut butter consistency and place a layer about 1/2" think on the back, with the tank standing up. I then mixed it to a very thick soup and tried to pour it down the funnel using a 1/2" rod trying push it through and it would not go. I cut about 2" off the end of the funnel till I got a 3/4" opening and it still wanted to plug, so I finally added a little more water. Finally it was able to flow as long as I would fill the funnel and ram rod it down the hole with the rod. I know my tube got off center at the back, so I may have to address that issue, as it may only be about 1/4" thick on the bottom. I tried to use the 1/2" rod and an 1/8 rod to poke down through it to release any air bubbles, hopefully I got all of the larger ones out. Now to let it set for at least 24 hours or longer before pulling the tube. I know this is a long post, but I hope it helps someone else. Ken
  3. Finally starting my forge

    Yes, the chokes are 4" at present. I figure I can cut 1 of them down, for the stepped flame nozzles. I want to try tapering the chokes, and see how that goes before cutting any parts shorter though. Today I tried milling the slots in the burner tube. Man is 316 a pain, talk about something work hardening. I started out with a titanium coated 3/8 bit with a mist coolant, and went to a carbide bit dry. I'm not a machinist, but I need to do a little research before trying the second burner. I fried both bits. I patched the forge early this morning, and it came out reasonably well. I put a 100 watt bulb in it and turned it upside down to heat for tonight. We'll see how it looks tomorrow after Chruch. Maybe a real heat lamp tomorrow. I need to get some IR reflector ordered.
  4. Finally starting my forge

    While planning my next steps to take on lining the forge, I decided to get started on my burners. Half a day in the garage with the lathe and some 3/4 & 1" stainless 316 scraps i picked up the other day and this is the results. Lots of machining left to do, but this is a start.
  5. Finally starting my forge

    Thanks for the replies everyone. The mizzou I bought is a gunnable type, The directions for regular mizzou are not to exceed 11% by weight, and recommends 5 pints per 55lb bag. I hope my attempt to pour cast with it is not a total failure. I think it can be saved, but I won't be using this method again. I have complete voids where no mizzou flowed next to the inswool and I have lots of visible air pockets. Despite 15 to 20 minutes of probing with 2 different sized rods. Also the cardboard I inserted to cast around was nice and round when I put it in, but somehow became semicircular, with one very sharp corner. I'm going to mix another 5 to10lbs and try to patch what I have for now. That will still leave about 15 lbs for the freon forge. One other word of caution, don't use Al foil instead of plastic wrap. Most of it came out fine, but now I have to deal with getting the rest out before I can try to patch it.
  6. Forges 101

    Michael, thanks for the response. When I first came to the site, like I said I did a lot of reading before asking questions. I've been on the site long enough to see some of the questions that are asked without any searching, or information that might allow someone to answer. I can certainly understand the frustration that leads to. I try to search for the answers before asking, and all I've found and read about the flame direction said to introduce it on a tangent, directed toward the back of the forge. So that's what I'm trying to do, I know most of the older forges were square, so it's hard to get a flame swirl around inside of a box. Like you say there are a lot of choices to be made. I'm trying to make better ones, so that my forge and burners are as efficient as I can make them.
  7. Finally starting my forge

    Thanks, yes I have 3 friends in the HVAC business. 2 techs and 1 actually owns his own business. I have reached out to them, but they don't have any empties on hand at this time.
  8. Forges 101

    I apologize if I have offended you. I would gladly pony up $20 for a copy. I have actively searched in several used book stores for a copy of your book, but have not found one. Used books on Amazon are still approaching $100 as of this morning. I don't know your health condition, but it sounds as if you are in poor health, I hope and pray that it improves. I will try not to bother you with trivial questions. thanks, Ken
  9. Forges 101

    Sorry, I don't have a copy of the book. The only downloads I've seen require joining a book club, which I am not apt to do. When I first found this site, I read about half of Burners 101, then NARB, back to finish Burners 101, then Forges 101. At almost 63 my memory isn't what it used to be, also trying to learn about something that I have absolutely no knowledge of puts beginners at a great disadvantage when you and Frosty are describing things. When you say to aim the flame approx 1/3 of the way in from the kiln shelf edge, I would assume that you mean on the same side of the forge as the burners are located on based on my background and how hydrosizers and cyclone seperators work. However, every picture I see shows a burner mounted top dead center aimed at the work, or they are mounted slightly off center pointed directly across the forge. Both flames are impacting the floor or wall straight on, no where near what would produce a circular or cyclonic flame IMHO. Maybe I just haven't seen the right picture yet? Here is a link to a diagram of a cyclone seperator. The type we used were for seperating solids from liquids in phosphate mining. thanks, Ken
  10. Finally starting my forge

    Sorry, I'll try to take some using the tablet on the freon bottle build, from the beginning. Just a comedy of errors on this one, starting with too small a hole. Maybe I'll finish up with some pics from here, but it was nasty cutting that tank with the inswool already installed. Definitely changed my mind about cutting my torch holes with the plasma cutter. I'll have to run to Lowes tomorrow to pick up a hole saw. Any problem using a carbide tipped for the metal and cutting through the refractory? I'm thinking 2" or is that too big? thanks, Ken
  11. Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner. Photo heavy.

    Thanks for the reply. I also did a search to see if it was possible to tig weld Ti to SS, not even close. It fractures when cooling. It could be done if you welded to vanadium as an intermediary material between the two supposedly. I used the turkey fryer burner this morning to dry the inswool in the forge I'm building and it was amazing how much I'm starting to understand what's going on with the flame, now that I've been reading on the forum here. Two weeks ago your statement about flame front and velocity wouldn't have made any sense to me. Now after watching and playing with the burner this morning I know that as the burner was warming up I could keep cutting back on the fuel and maintain the flame on the burner. It actually took quite a bit of adjusting before I could get it to lite and stay lit. Way too much fuel and air from when I was last melting lead with it.
  12. Naturally Aspirated Ribbon Burner. Photo heavy.

    This was one of the first threads I read when I found IFI, and I still haven't gotten ribbon burners out of my mind. I'm new to all of this so I'm try to pose a question, that hopefully advances the process of ribbon burners and their construction. All of the ribbon burners are made with refractory materials. I've been wondering if they could be made of pipe. I know that regular black pipe melts at too low of a temperature, stainless steel melts at around 2700*, but I have some titanium 1 1/2" that should be good to about 3000*. Will it burn up anyway? It's only 1 1/2" dia, is that a large enough plenum for a 3/4" NA burner? Any thought on how long to make it and how many or what size holes to put in it? I was thinking 1 row of holes straight down, and 2 other rows off to the side about 30*. What do you think Frosty?
  13. Forges 101

    I guess I will beings you mentioned it. I was planning on starting at 3" from TDC about 1:30-2:00 position and aiming at the center of the floor but toward the rear at about 5-10* trying to start the swirling action to keep the flames in the forge. Is this about right?
  14. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    I know several people that are in the AC business but no one has a freon tank available. I also know a firefighter. He has access to expired tanks that are no longer certifiable. I'm building 2 forges 1 from a 30# propane tank and I want to build a smaller one that will operate on a single burner. I'm thinking the SCBA tank might be a great alternative, very long and skinny. Great for tongs, knives, etc. Just thought I would pass it along. I guess used fire extinguishers might work also. CC
  15. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    I'm using Mizzou for a refractory. Will a bi-metal hole saw cut through the Mizzou if cast about 1/2" thick. I haven't cut through the inswool yet for the burners and would like to cast it without the holes for obvious reasons. Maybe I should try to carve a 1 1/2" dia piece of styrofoam and go ahead and cut the inswool? What have others tried for this procedure, I would rather cast than trowel in 2 or 3 sections due to gravity pulling it off the walls.
  16. Forges 101

    Don't worry Mikey. I intend to cut my holes with a plasma cutter and weld the inserts in place so they will be at a tangent.
  17. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    Thanks Frosty, I'll wrap it with plastic wrap for sure. Should have a few Sunday papers around, don't take it on a daily basis.
  18. Fumed silica questions

    I mentioned in another thread I scored a free 55# bag of fumed silica Monday when purchasing materials. However, it was on the shelf for at least 7 years, management didn't even know they had several bags left over from a job years ago. One of the employees said they had some when I asked about it. When I got home I did an internet search and one website said that it had a shelf life on 2 years in a sealed bag in the warehouse. On a second website, it said it had an indefinite shelf life in a sealed bag, but only 2 years after it was opened. I'm going with option 2, it's got an indefinite shelf life and it's been in a sealed bag. I've looked all over this site and the internet about mixing fumed silica to make colloidal silica. I think colloidal silica actually involves more of a chemical process than just dissolving or suspending fumed silica in water? Anyway that's what I did dissolved all the fumed silica I could in regular tap water and buttered my inswool and then sprayed about 1/2 gal of fumed silica solution into it. I'm going to let it air dry overnight. Tomorrow I will light my turkey fryer burner and see if I can get it dried out and properly hardened. What say ye? Thanks in advance Ken
  19. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    Another thing I keep forgetting about is cutting a back hole in the smaller tank for longer objects. That was one reason I went with a 30# instead of 20# propane tank. Both were easily accessable for me, but I figured I could have the extra length of the 30#, with about the same volume as the 20# tank. Finished ID should be between 6-7" x 18" long, that's 500-700 cubic inches depending on the ID. I just left both HD and Lowes trying to find sonic tube concrete molds, but the smallest they have is 8", way too big for my application. When I got home I found some old dryer vent, so I'm thinking wrap it with some cardboard until I reach 6.5", and call it good. It should work well being reinforced with the wire in the dryer vent.
  20. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    Thanks, I hadn't thought of that aspect of it. Just thinking of overall volume. Thanks for keeping me straight, not to say that 2 1/2" burners isn't off the table. Run 1 for small heated areas, run both for long objects like a knife blade.
  21. Firefighter SCBA tank for forge

    I was just thinking outside the box. In my case, a smaller diameter, longer forge might be a better option. The firefighter has a tank at home available now, the other guys can get me a tank, but it may be a while before they empty one....
  22. GTTS Go To The Source

    I was in the lawncare business for 11 years before retiring. I've got a large stash of blades. Make friends with the local lawn care guys. They will probably be glad to get rid of them. I always bought the more expensive blades, made by Rotary Equipment or Systems IIRC. they were $2-3 more per blade, but held an edge much longer than the bargain blade. I could tell being a knife maker that I was still cutting the grass at the end of the day instead of tearing it.
  23. new forge build

    Steam and pressure. It's how they build those beautiful cedar canoes. Sorry we're way off topic again
  24. Cpl questiones building a new forge

    Well I hope I don't spend that much either, but I'm kind of frugal. Some folks aren't. See this thread here for more input:
  25. new forge build

    While I was at the FABA meeting Saturday the instructor said that his tape measured to 1/16th of an inch, but it wasn't necessary. I proudly proclaimed that my surface grinder could cut to .0001". He said that he had read a quote by another blacksmith that said measurements should be in inches, half inches, half half inches, and half half half inches anything beyond that was senseless.