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I Forge Iron

Colorado CJ

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  • Location
    Loveland, CO
  • Interests
    Photography (large format film and digital), hiking, camping, riding, exploring, FPV Drone Racing

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  1. Friday night I finished shooting an interactive galaxy pair, The Whirlpool. These two galaxies are literally running into eachother, feeding off eachother and spewing stellar matter into the universe. This is my first time shooting M51, or the Whirlpool. When the first of the many images started showing up on my screen, I was awestruck. This is the first image completed with my new scope, a Skywatcher MN190 Mak Newt. Mak Newt designs aren't very popular for some reason, but I don't know why. They are a blend of refractor and reflector and are the best of both worlds. Both visually and image wise, mak newts perform as good as the equivalent size APO refractor, but with even less false color. This is a 7.5" mak newt. I bought it on sale for $1350. An equivalent sized APO Refractor costs between $15,000-$20,000. After seeing what this scope can do, I think I am going to really like it! Anyway, here is M51, or the Whirpool, shot for a total of 224 minutes. I am going to eventually shoot even more subs of this since the more information you gather, the sharper, more detailed and less grainy the image gets. Here's the time breakdown per filter Lum: 64 minutes Red: 32 minutes Green: 48 minutes Blue: 45 minutes H-Alpha: 35 minutes And here is a photo of the setup
  2. Well, I did hammer out a few of these today while my computer was stacking astro imags Hammer Forged Leaf Necklace by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr I shot the Flame and Horse Head nebulas the other night. Tonight I finished the image. It isn't the best, but it is my first image of these two (I am pretty new to this). I did shoot over two hours of exposure, but when I uploaded the images, I seen that most have clouds throughout the images. So, this is a 55 image stack (50 seconds each at 1600 ISO). One thing I noticed is what looks like a lot of binary stars in this photo. It seems most of the bright stars are binaries! Man this astrophotography thing is addicting! The Flame and Horsehead - 54 Minutes by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  3. Thanks everyone. I shot the Pleiades (man that is hard to spell ) last night for a total of 54 minutes. 65, 50 second exposures at 1600 ISO. Shot with my Pentax K-1 and Stellarvue SV80 Access. I think I got decent nebulosity for the short total exposure, but I am no expert. This is the first time I shot this object. Pleiades finished by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr Edit: Looks like I am going to have to find a different photo hosting service. Flickr is really making these last photos look grainy. There is no grain on my Photoshop screen.
  4. Yeah, I have a pretty diverse set of hobbies. I also race FPV Drones in MultiGP :). Those globs are actually other galaxies, M32 and M110. There is a fourth galaxy in there, but it is hard to see since it is behind the spiral arm of Andromeda. Yeah, unfortunately, I tend to gravitate towards very expensive hobbies. Luckily (or unluckily) I am unmarried, so I have no one to tell me no ;). I think I am going to LOVE shooting with this scope. This is 75, 1 minute exposures taken with the Stellarvue Access 80 and Pentax K1. This is a work in progress. I still need to shoot lower exposures to get the Trapezium to show up. I'll be sure to post the final version here once I get it finished. It is sooo much nicer to use a real scope compared to just a camera lens. Great Orion Nebula - 75 Minutes by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  5. Another hobby I am getting into is Astrophotography. I've had a 10" DOB for years and my main hobby is photography, so I thought I should try my hand at some astrophotography. I have been using just my camera and 300 mm lens so far, but I had ordered a 80mm APO scope to get better images. I received my new Stellarvue Access 80 ED yesterday. Luckily it was also a clear night! I set the scope up on my AZ-GTI in EQ mode and shot 1 minute subs. I probably could have went a little longer as the mount was tracking GREAT, I only had to reset it for the meridian flip. So far, I am really liking the scope. I am using The Stellarvue SFF3-25-48 field flattener, but I still see pretty bad coma around the edges using a full frame DSLR. with a slight crop they are gone though. Specs for the image are: Scope: Stellarvue Acess 80 with 2.5" focuser, SFF3-25-48 field flattener Focal Length: 560mm Focal Ratio: F7 Camera: Pentax K-1 ISO: 1600 Exposure: 60 sec. Shots: 100 I used Astro Pixel Processor for stacking. I am still learning the ropes with this program, so I am sure I am not doing things 100% correctly yet. I post processed in Photoshop and also in Nik Effects plugin. Here is the photo. Andromeda 100-60 sec 7 Dec 2018 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  6. It was some 5/8" square stock I bought on Amazon. I bead blasted them after I finished forging, then patina'd them with some Liver of Sulfur. I then buffed them a little with steel wool and clear coated them.
  7. That is something I'd like to try. I need to watch a video to see how it's done. Forged more copper leaves yesterday. Copper sure feels different than steel. It actually takes me longer to make a copper leaf than it does a steel leaf for some reason. Hammer Forged Copper by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  8. I'm starting to forge leaves out of copper. Thought I'd make them on my down time (I own a company and I sometimes have a slow week), and selling them on Etsy or somewhere. There are a lot of steel ones being sold and I think copper makes them a little nicer. Not a great photo of them. Forged Copper by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  9. I did a little experimenting today with finishes. I was not happy with the amount of scale I've been getting. I adjusted the propane pressure as well as the air inlet to get as little scale as possible. The silver leaf I had too much air and the scale was thick. The last big leaf, I had the air inlet opening closed more and scale was thinner, giving a smoother appearance. I also wanted to bead blast the pieces to see the effect it would have. The silver leaf was bead blasted and allowed to cool where I could almost hold it before I brushed some wax on it. This gave a silver/gold appearance. The larger leaf I bead blasted, then heated up to a straw color, then brushed wax on. It gave it a greenish hue to the metal. The arrowhead I bead blasted, then heated it up a little hotter than straw, then brushed some wax on. That gave a more slate look. Pretty interesting so far. Forged by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr
  10. I am new to blacksmithing, its been a little over a week since I fired up my forge for the first time. I have been using a couple of 2 lb. hammers that I picked up at my local farrier supply. While reading different threads in this forum I stumbled upon a photo of a nice looking larger hammer. It was just what I was looking for. I contacted littleblacksmith asking about the hammer, turns out he makes them! Well, I had to order one right then and there and a little over a week later, I have an awesome 3.5 lb rounding hammer in my hands. The quality is outstanding, better than I expected. He even included a little leaf he made with my new hammer as a test piece. I used it today, and man, does it move metal! Its a lot faster than using my 2 lb. hammers and exactly what I wanted. Thank you littleblacksmith for making me this great hammer, I am sure to be buying more from you (cross pein next I think).
  11. Thanks. I'm taking some photos of the hammer and will be making a thread on it tonight
  12. Finished my first knife, made from a railroad spike and quenched in Superquench formula. Hardened up nicely. Cocobolo for the handle. That was fun!
  13. Thanks! I haven't finished the knife yet (too busy with work). I still have to sharpen the knife and finish smoothing out, thinning out the handle. It is coming along nicely though, much nicer than I thought it would be for my first knife. Railroad Spike Knife 2 by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr Railroad Spike Knife by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr I'll probably finish it up tomorrow, then on to something else.
  14. Thanks guys. These spikes were advertised as the high carbon type spikes. I know it isn't near as good as specialty steels, but they were very cheap and I figured I might as well learn with cheap materials rather than the expensive stuff. Surprisingly this one turned out much better than I thought it would. I figured I'd go through a few spikes before getting something decent out of one.
  15. I am brand new to forging/blacksmithing having just lighted my forge for the first time 2 days ago. So far I've made a few leaf keyrings, but today I wanted to try something different. I got some railroad spikes off of ebay, so I threw one in the forge and started heating it up. After about an hour and a half I had what I think is a decent start to a small camp knife. First Forged Knife by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr I forged the bevels in as best I could. Next I had to go to harbor freight and pick up a cheap $50.00 1 x 30 belt grinder. I've never had one before, always working with angle grinders when welding. I'd LOVE to get a 2x72 but they are so expensive. I might build one in the future though. Anyway, I got a rough grind done using an 80 grit belt. There weren't any hammer marks to grind out, just scale and some small pockets (I'm guessing from the scale). This is what I got so far. Forged Rail Road Spike Knife by Andrew Marjama, on Flickr My question now is, do I heat treat the blade now? What can I use for cooling when heat treating? I might try to just heat treat the blade edge and leave everything else softer metal. I am also going to have to watch some videos of final grinding to get some pointers. Any youtube videos you might recommend? I think I am going to use some black G10 I have in the shop (leftovers from a CNC project). I might try sandblasting it once I shape the handles to get a good grip surface.
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