Jon Kerr

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About Jon Kerr

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    - Benfleet, Essex, UK
  • Interests
    Learning more about Blacksmithing!

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  1. This is my favourite video on making tongs. I must have watched it 30 times. 3 different methods- and each time he uses the last set of tongs to make the next ones. The guy has the bare minimum of tools- a simple stake anvil, hammer, punch, and material. Note that he has no tongs to hold the first tongs. You dont need tongs to make tongs. As he does in the video- start making a light-duty set from a long piece of material.... then use the light duty set to draw out the reins on a heavier set.... and so on. I personally love the middle style, "viking style". Less worrying about offsetting the boss etc... and they look cool.
  2. Thanks GuardedDig2.... perhaps once I get my welder working properly my first project should be a guillotine! Welshj, thanks for the kind words! Its great to know people find this thread useful/interesting and hearing that gives me enthusiasm to keep going and keep updating here. I feel like I've made incredible progress so far, from my humble beginnings with a JABOD and hairdryer.... the help and support from this forum has been incredible. Tomorrow is a dedicated forging day! Cant wait.
  3. Thanks very much GuardedDig2! Things have been a little quiet in the forge lately- too many other things going on including decorating most of the house.... I have managed to finish my first little commision. My father in law maintains a very old house for a client. It has shutters and a couple of them had rusted so badly as to fail and drop off. He asked if I could replicate the originals. The piece at the end needed to spin freely and also rest upright, so weight at the bottom. Worked pretty well. Forging a shoulder for a tenon is really difficult. Is this possible to do well withour a guillotine or monkey tool? I made it work in the end.
  4. Thanks everyone! Some great links to follow here. I'm excited to have a go... albeit how "authentic" my methods and results will be will be limited. I'm partially interested from the perspective of..... these "ancient" blacksmiths created incredible items with limited tools and materials, so maybe I can take inspiration from their methods to get things done in my own shop..... particularly given my lack of a london-pattern anvil .... and partially interested just because.... its interesting! JHCC- that book is especially good, thanks.... !
  5. I know some people do rig up controllers.... JHCC did one.... but if I remember rightly the components needed are expensive unless you can find one somewhere. A variac........ whatever that is.
  6. I don't know many (any!) other blacksmiths here except Neal unfortunately. Neal has given me a little forge welding help but on his propane forge which would seem to be a bit different. Maybe Owen / Basher might be able to give me some quick coke forge welding tips during course in April if theres time.
  7. Awesome- thanks for the clarification Frosty, and thanks dickb for the testing method. I'll do exactly as you say. Thanks again!
  8. Thanks all of you! I shouldn't really be attempting a blade yet.... I'm booked onto an Owen Bush (Basher on IFI) course in April which I'm super excited about, during which I'll learn how to do things properly I'm sure. I blame Neal entirely. He gave me the leaf spring, and I couldnt wait to use it for something.
  9. Thanks for the reply Frosty... unfortunately I think I'm being dim so not sure quite what you mean. Wont be tolerant or being restricted? or won't be damaged? I understand both these points but they would seem to contradict each other in terms of what to do- unless I'm misunderstanding? Is overheating the only likely issue that could cause damage? If I compare the temperature of the motor in restricted and air-bleeding setups I might be able to get an idea what effect its having?
  10. Thanks for the offer John! I have a blade course booked with Owen Bush in April so my tuition budget has currently run out.... but if I can scrape some money together for a visit to you in Devon later in the year I will do. In the mean time I'll have to try and bumble through on my own! Cheers,
  11. I'd like to gift it to my brother and sister in law..... They will only use it for general kitchen use- vegetables etc. Neil- it's quite thick-4mm at the spine (its made from your leaf spring!) The colours definitely ran back to blue but I just wonder what the effect of not "soaking" for a longer temper might be? Why is it ok to temper a punch or chisel for a matter of seconds, but a knife needs 3 hrs?
  12. Thanks guys. Wish I could get on one of those courses Shabumi! Thanks for the reassurance that coke will work. I expected as much and it had to be my technique. I will have a go with charcoal though also just as a test! Thanks.
  13. Hi guys, Ive just bought a new blower and its fantastic... way more powerful that my last one and I'm sure its going to solve many of my issues. Question is- how can you tell if a blower is tolerant of being restricted/choked without any bleed off for excess air? If I plumb it in without a T Piece, this blower is almost silent which is percfect, except its so powerful that the valve is only 20% open. How do I know if I'm damaging the blower operating this way? If I fit a T piece it still works great but roars like a jet engine!
  14. Finished my first knife..... first ever handle too. I dont think I've heat treated it properly. I quenched it (in oil) but then questioned my memory regarding tempering (I have done it before in kitchen oven) and ended up trying to do it in the fire by heating the spine (using a kind of residual heat method like for punches and chisels). This actually went too far and the blade turned purple, but a file still seems to skate so I sharped it up. Now that I've come back in and read up again I remember thay knifes are usually tempered for a few hours. Is it likely that my knife is glass hard in the middle? Will it be dangerous? If so I can remove it from the handle and do it again properly. Any tips on steps welcome. (Its leaf spring).