SoCal Dave

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About SoCal Dave

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    Simi Valley, Ca

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  • Location
    Simi Valley, Calif.

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  1. Thanks for the suggestions. A little info on my friends. They are 85 years old and have lived most of their lives on a cattle ranch. So, they use everything as long as possible and then longer. Using their very old knives is just in their blood. I haven't seen all the tools they are going to use but assume they all have wood handles. I will check out Evap-O-Rust.
  2. An old friend has some very old hand made rusty knives for butchering a beef carcass. They also have a couple of cleavers, and a rusted saw. They asked me how to remove the rust so they can butcher a cow that has been cut up and has been hanging. They are concerned about contaminating the meet by using rusted knives. They thought vinegar could be used and then some steel wool. I have not been involved in knife making at all and couldn't advise them. Any suggestion would be appreciated. They told me that the knifes and cleavers and saw have not been used for at least a couple of years and that is why they are rusted. The few knives they showed me appear to be a carbon steel, a low carbon steel and very thin.
  3. I have an old work/welding table that is 3' X 5'. I haven't really cleaned it in 20 years. I would just grind or wire brush a small area to get a ground. I have used it for everything and as a result, it has 20 years of different colored paint. I'm going to clean the entire table now. I'm using an electric angle grinder with a twisted wire wheel and a grinder with a grinding disk that is most likely 36 grit. I was thinking that a solution of some sort may help the process? I was thinking of vinegar since it will help taking off rust. Any other ideas would be appreciated.
  4. I made this leaf yesterday and used my rounding hammer only. I use the rounded or curved side of the hammer to spread the leaf sections. I'm learning to use all the aspects of or sides of a hammer. On to the Gingko leaf.
  5. Off the subject a little but to welding in a gas forge. I've watched Craig Trnka, a top farrier, video and he has one with him welding some steel stock with out much trouble. He used Iron Mountain Flux and didn't smother it in flux. I notice he didn't use a heavy hammer either. Most likely a 2 lb er. He did scarf the two ends. Watching many of his video's he does a lot of horseshoe forge welding in a coal forge. I am not sure of the carbon content of horseshoes. Good luck
  6. I will try to get a photo in the next few days as I ran out of propane yesterday. I agree that the shape is important and found that I was making the point to long. By doing that, I didn't have enough material left to move it around and spread out the leaf.
  7. I stopped working on the cottonwood leaves for a little while. Sometimes it good to step away. I tried another one today with more success. I didn't finish the one below with veins and the entire shape of the leaf wasn't finished but I think I got the stem/leaf transition area near or below where the stem transitions to the leaf. The difference was that I use my rounding hammer and not the cross pein. I use my rounding hammer most of the time and feel more comfortable using it. Jeremy K suggested that idea and when I tried it, I found it worked better than the cross pein. The cross pein seemed like the practical, mechanical, way to go, but I never could get the metal to move the way I wanted. So, I tried the rounding hammer and success.
  8. I don't mean to diverge a little but I've been watching Craig Trnka videos. A farrier with extra ordinary skills. I find it interesting in the hammers farriers use and blacksmiths use. It looks like Trnka uses a 2 lb rounding hammer most of the time and a thin long wood handles. He moves some big thick steel horseshoes with ease using very light hammer heads. But, he strikes the shoes at a much faster pace. Blacksmiths like 3lb hammers and bigger for the most part. I believe the thin handles are much easier to hold in comparison to a large handle Fiskars. Also, blacksmiths I've watched in person or on videos hold the hammers very close to the hammer head which is much different than the farriers. There must be lots of opinion on this subject.
  9. How long were the two rings when they were straight? Did you straighten them by hand with a hammer or did you use a press of some kind? There doesn't appear to have many hammer marks on them.
  10. I have a three burner Mankel forge with a blower. It uses a lot of fuel and I don't need all three burners all the time. If I want to use just two burners, which ones should I use and which one should I turn off? Is there a problem with the heat going up the turned off burner? I have the openings blocked off so the fire comes out of one end like a tube. Do I turn off the one burner nearest the opening or the one farthest back in the tube?
  11. I've used coil springs a lot to make center punches. What comes to mind when I read your text above are these points. Quench in oil, not water. Don't drive the punch at all before quenching. Heat treat the material first, normalize it, then heat treat again to non-magnetic and quench it. Run the colors to a straw gold. But, you probably have tried this. So, Good luck and let us know what you find that solves the problem.
  12. Thanks Jeremy, I will try that tomorrow.
  13. I did two things today. First, I worked in clay and could concentrate on my hammer blows. Second, I didn't flatten the stock as much as before and that did leave me more material to move around. Now, I haven't worked it with steel yet, and I plan on working with the clay a few more times. Photos of clay leaves.
  14. I am working on my blacksmithing leaf phase and ran into a problem with the cottonwood leaf. I've been following the Mark Aspery Vol 2 process of forging a cottonwood leaf. I have not been able to get enough material spread on either side of the stem and down towards the stem area. The leaf is actually supposed to spread out below the stem like the picture. I seem to run out of material to move down to the stem area. Picture the Aspery leaf and my leaf. Any suggestion on how to do this? Sorry about the picture size but I couldn't see how to make them smaller.