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I Forge Iron


2021 Donor
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Everything posted by DHarris

  1. You will need to put some other type of steel in the middle of the welds. 5160 apparently doesn’t like to weld to itself.
  2. Or come back and let us know you dithered too long and it was already gone. I am the GOAT at that.
  3. If you have pine trees in your area, you can probably find “real” fat wood. I just make my own. I split scrap lumber into thin strips about 1/4” to 3/8” thick. I then soak them in very hot, melted wax outside in a crock pot for a couple of hours. The wax I get from garage sales. There are always a lot of old, ugly looking candles for sale at them. You can get them for almost nothing. Although with COVID kind of shutting them down, last time I bought a block of paraffin wax at Hobby Lobby. If you want something which burns very hot and fast, find old celluloid guitar picks at flea markets and such. Shavings of them burn very hot. I’ve considered adding the shavings to the fat wood as the wax dries, but have yet to do so. Old guitar picks and wax soaked twine can be used as components of a lightweight emergency fire starting kit for use during the future zombie apocalypse.
  4. Finally got up the courage to cut the antlers a neighbor gave me several months ago. I left them about a half inch longer than I expected they would need to be in order to have some extra to play with when getting the angle right. I am not quite sure how far down in the antler the tang needs to be in order to be stable. In the first photo the red mark indicates roughly where I expect to start the cuts for the tangs. The yellow mark on the one on the right indicates about where I expect to remove material all down the length to remove most of the de-lamination and split WI. This one did not quite go as I had hoped it might. Unlike the one on the left, which was made from an old file sandwiched between two strips of WI the same size as the file, the one on the right is a file placed in the middle of a WI “taco”. I did not have the WI hot enough and it cracked and split. The bottom two photos are the top and bottom edges of the “blade” on the left. The photo in the middle shows a spot on the top edge which didn’t quite weld well. It I may try once more to get welded. The photo at the bottom is of what will eventually be the cutting edge. There is much more de-lamination on this side. I am hoping they will grind away when I put an edge on the blade. Attempting to weld them again would likely be a waste of time. I should have ground off the teeth of the file before trying to weld the pieces together. I probably should have tried making a blade from just steel alone first instead of trying to go straight to san mai first.
  5. JLP makes very good instructional videos as well. She doesn’t speak in most of them, which is regrettable, but she has written comments on all of them explaining what she is doing. This is Part 1 of a video of her making “preforms”. She also has a short version for people with short attention spans.
  6. Ductile iron likely suffers from being associated in people's minds with normal cast iron. That and having heard so much talk of cheap Chinese cast iron anvils. Fairly common problem with other things. A good example is the Ford Taurus vs the Ford Tempo. The Taurus was a fairly decent car while the Tempo was awful. People would get the two confused or would think the Taurus was just a bigger Tempo.
  7. You were in the Navy?
  8. Not likely. This will be the first conference I’ve attended. Life always seems to happen on that weekend and I have to miss it. Last year it was COVID. The year before that it was golf with a friend in Dallas. But assuming nothing happens this year, I plan to be there. Hopefully Brent will be doing a class after. If so, I plan to take the class. On the subject of “fire starters”, I fold a small bit of cardboard into a tube. I twist one piece of newspaper and wrap it around the base of the tube. I place coke around the outside of the tube to hold it in place and upright. I then insert a strip of artificial “fat wood” at the inside corners of the tube. I then take another piece of newspaper and tear it into about four pieces. I crumple them into balls. I stuff the balls into the folded cardboard tube with layers of coke between each ball. This is way more complicated than it really needs to be. But it is a fairly reliable way to get a fire started. If I have no coke from a previous fire (or it got soaked from a rain), I squirt a little mineral spirits down the tube.
  9. Beautiful place. Fishing or no.
  10. Do people go bass fishing there I wonder?
  11. Didn’t get to work in the shop/back corner of the yard today. Spent the day watching Godzilla and zombie movies with the grandkids. Closest I got was swimming with them in the pool, but I guess that could count, since I sometimes cool hot iron down in it.
  12. Thanks. Reading about them has almost been like reading a journal article where the authors are using a lot of jargon and acronyms which they assume the reader is already familiar with.
  13. But no tsunami this time at least.
  14. It is hard to say. I was pretty little then. It was almost as long as I was tall, so probably a little longer than a baseball bat. Your guess is the most likely. He had a machete as well, so it was likely something he used for clearing brush. Now I am thinking something like it might prove to be handy in the almost inevitable, future zombie apocalypse.
  15. These are just hinges, but if it were an axe, the left one is asymmetric as it is and would be symmetric if moved over to be inline with the blade?
  16. I like them, although my house is probably a bit small for them. You’ve likely answered this question before, but are those wall lamps painted or are they powder coated?
  17. At the rate I am going, you can show me at the Dallas ABANA conference. I am abandoning the T and going to my first plan, which was just copy what you did in your video. Method one in your post above. I had considered that, John, but hadn’t thought of coil spring. Jeez! I must have at least three different sizes of coil springs, four or five if you count the smaller diameters like those from basketball goals. I would have tried it, but didn’t think I could get a piece of leaf spring to true round. Why it didn’t occur to me to just use a piece of coil is more than a little “doh!!!” On my next one, I may try this method.
  18. What was the wooden thing you posted above, Alexandr?
  19. I’ve read lots of posts online, but all seem to assume the reader knows what they mean by “asymmetric”. I know what a wrapped eye is and I know the meaning of asymmetric. I just don’t know what asymmetric is in regards to a wrapped eye. What would a symmetric wrapped eye be? Likely a silly question.
  20. What would something with a blade similar to #314 above attached to something shaped a lot like an oar be called? My great granddad had one. We used to play with it when I was a kid. He was a blacksmith near Graham, Oklahoma, but like everyone at that time was also a farmer. I have no idea what he would have used it for.
  21. I believe this may have been a mistake. Rather than have the carbon steel shaped like a T, I should have had it angled. With the face down and hammering on the peen to set the weld, everything seems fine. Then when laying the head over to draw the peen out more, the weld fails. The steel actually fell out twice after I thought the weld was good. Would cutting the steel and WI as shown by the red lines below allow me to recover from this? It seems as if the WI pushes against the steel when I try to draw the peen out thinner and pops the steel out.
  22. We never had a swamp cooler. Dad wouldn’t go for it. The doors and window frames in the house would swell, plus mold can be a problem. I sure wanted one though. It wasn’t until sometime between my Freshman and Senior year that Dad finally got the house sealed up enough to buy a window A/C unit.
  23. They are moving to a little town between Houston and Beaumont in about a week. My SIL is a structural welder. His next job is a three year deal. When that one is done, there is sure to be another in the area. I think every third man down there and in the Midland area must be a Sooner. Most of the men in my family and the kids I went to school with have spent at least some time working down there. It is going to be tough seeing them go. My grandkids have been with us since they were babies. Back on point, the rag worked Ok, but I will need to work out how to get it over my eyebrows without it getting over my eyes and being a bother. Whoever above had said I would need to get my eyebrows covered too was certainly right. Didn’t get the hole punched. Worked for an hour or so and then came in to watch a few episode of Z Nation on Netflix. It was bloody hot out. I need to look for a fan or two. Almost forgot. xxxx would come to town if my wife were to learn of it, but I have been using the pool when I want to take a large piece like the hammer from a black heat to cool enough to hold really fast. Works well, and since I am the one who will be sweeping and vacuuming up the slag that pops off, I am fine with doing it.
  24. I will let you know how a cut up t-shirt tied around my head goes. I hope to finish messing around with the peen and at least get started on the hole this evening. It’ll be dark in less than an hour and it is still way hot out.
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