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About Cavpilot2k

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    South Shore, MA
  • Interests
    Homebrewing, Martial Arts, Medieval History, and now...smithing

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  1. Cavpilot2k

    Third damascus

    Very nice! I am trying to muster the courage to attempt Damascus, but since it would be done by hand, without press or power hammer, I wonder if my forge welding skills are up to the task. I guess there's only one way to find out...
  2. Cavpilot2k

    It followed me home

    No ideas? I'm guessing some sort of spring steel.
  3. Cavpilot2k

    It followed me home

    A friend gave me a few scrap cuttings from a railroad trestle rebuild (legally obtained, FYI). They are square cutoffs about 3"x3"x0.5" of the pre-drilled strip pictured this side of the track sections. It looks like they are additional bracing over the trestle. Does anybody know what that piece is called and what it is normally made of? It spark tested medium-to-high carbon. I don't know what I'll do with it - maybe make axe bits out of it or something.
  4. Cavpilot2k


    NIce! That thing is HUGE!
  5. I plan on using the rest of the non-collared portion of my bits for drifts and warhammers.
  6. I'll second the jackhammer (pavement breaker, really) bits. THat bucket pictured above was indeed mine. I got those for nothing. I stopped by a tool rental place and asked if they had some spent ones. I offered to pay, but the guy said no - he'd rather give them away than bother making the trip to the scrap yard for the pennies he'd get for them. I am going to make him something from one of them and give it as a gift. The only downside is that they are a pain to hammer, but it's a good lesson. If you have a 1" hardy hole, they don't even require that much hammering to square up the shank. he built-in collar is awesome. Here is the hot cut I just finished yesterday from one. I left the shank long so that if it gets stuck, I can tap it from the bottom. It fits snug, but not "tight".
  7. Cavpilot2k

    First Hardy Tool

    Good point! I have a 3 lb sledge that is solely dedicated to striking other tools (punches, drifts) and hot cutting. It never contacts working steel, so if its face gets a little marred, I can live with it. Mod note: there is no need to quote the immediately preceding comment in its entirety when replying. We can all see what you’re responding to.
  8. Hot cut hardy from a pavement breaker bit (I like the collar). I hammered (all by hand - my forge is pretty primitive as far as power tools) the shank square from the original hex shape, then cross-peened the heck out of the thing to rough shape. Finished with grinder. It was originally about 3/4" taller (unnecessary, really), until I burned the edge in the forge in the last heat before treating - GRRRR! So I cut off the burned part and realized I still had plenty material to finish. Oil quenched, tempered to deep straw/gold. Rubbed generously with gun oil to inhibit rust. It cut a horseshoe and some 1/2" mild square stock easily without damage to the edge, so I'm happy with it. Input and suggestions for improvement on the next one welcome!!
  9. Cavpilot2k

    Ball pien hammer - hatchet

    I like it. Planning several similar hatchets. Right now I am refining my hatchet-making technique on some rail spike hawks.
  10. Cavpilot2k

    Ball peen to spike hawk

    Nice work! I've got few old ball peen heads of various sizes destined for similar projects once I get my hatchet technique refined on some railspike hawks.
  11. Steve, First, my apologies for getting a little curmudgeonly/grumpy myself last night - long day. Let me back up. I've seen several places where you refer people to the heat treat stickies about quenching oils, but nowhere can I find them, and I consider myself not dumb or unsavvy when it comes to computers and forums. There are only four stickies under heat treating general discussion and none of them deal with quenchants. Nor are such references under knifemaking classes, etc. SImply put, I can't find them, and if I can't, there a decent chance some other folks may not be able to either. I totally understand that you senior smiths here with your massive amounts of knowledge and experience get tired of saying the same things over and over again, but perhaps a better approach might be to provide a link or two, because again, I'll be xxxxxx if I can find the stickies to which you refer. Of course we novices know that food oils were not made for quenching, they are made But you know probably better than most of us that quenchants manufactured specifically for that purpose are a very recent invention in the timeline of smithing, so there have to be acceptable substitutes for the beginner. Anyway, again my apologies for being a little grumpy with you last night - I just got frustrated at the suggestion to refer to references that should be readily findable (especially if they are fundamental information), but are not. Again, links would be helpful. Cheers!
  12. Unless I read it wrong, the OP is not teaching, but rather taking classes, so being "without some pretty basic knowledge" is understandable. For the purposes of this discussion, I don't think there is any disagreement about which general term is best, but just wondering what Steve means when he says "do it right" and buy "real quench oil", suggesting that anything else (canola, peanut, motor, etc) is doing it wrong. Except instead of providing a clear answer, in good curmudgeon form, he references a pre-existing post or article that is not readily findable (or maybe I'm just dumb or slow, Masters from Harvard notwithstanding). I know I fully expect to be banned for a while for daring to quibble with curmudgeons, but I think Steve's post is about the most un-helpful thing I've read this week. I mean we all expect a degree of grumpiness from the old-timer curmudgeons, but come on... Smiths for centuries and plenty of people today successfully use vegetable oils and a variety of other media that are not commercially produced specifically to be high-performance, specific-purpose quenching oils. Bottom line for the OP: yes, water as a quenchant is probably setting you up for failure, and there are a multitude of inexpensive and "field expedient" options out there that will likely solve the problems you are experiencing. And with that I bid you good day (possibly permanently).
  13. That would be great, but you say that as though it's clearly labeled and easy to find. There is no sticky with any label referring to "real quench oil" under general heat treating info. The only stickies there are about the evils of motor oil, general heat treat information (which does not mention real quench oil, at least in the initial post), one about a tempering oven, and one about a heat treater's guide. Or one could look under the "all stickies here" sticky, which also does not have a sticky relating to "real quench oil". I don't mean to sound like a smartxxx, but when you say things like " oh, just read XYZ" and the article on XYZ is not easily or intuitively located, such guidance is pretty much useless. Can you explain where the reference to real quench oil is? Because if it is under the Heat Treat Information sticky, it isn't easy to find.
  14. My relatively novice two cents: There's nothing wrong with canola oil as a quenching oil - it's cheap by the gallon and food grade, so not toxic. Xxxx, when I was first filling my AMMO CAN quench bucket (a large one that holds a little over 3 gallons of oil), I left it unattended while going into my shed to get another gallon of oil, and came back to my dog lapping it up out of the ammo can! No harm though - it was fresh, unused canola oil. Maybe $30 for an oversized ammo can and a few gallons of oil (yes, canola, etc are perfectly fine - whatever is cheaper) and you're in business. The ammo can will have a handle and should be water-tight, so you can even transport it from home to the forge and back if you don't want to leave it there.
  15. Cavpilot2k

    Ye ol’e slippery Stuff

    I'm not sure what the scale is supposed to add to the mix or if it actually detracts from it, but they use it. But I could probably substitute nose hair clippings and it would do the same thing.