Neal the smith

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About Neal the smith

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    Basildon, Essex, UK

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  1. Yes, that's right. Based on the picture, it looks like the rest of the weld could be good. I'd try removing the affected area with an angle grinder and working the piece at a welding heat to see if you get further separation. if you do, then the entire weld is bad - but based on the method you've described I'd be surprised; I do pretty much the same and it works fine. Occasionally I get minor delamination at the end of billets where some scale has crept into the weld - I simply grind these off and forge on.
  2. Hi Matthew, Welcome. Someone with more tech knowledge will doubtless provide a link to the “read this first” article. Based on the pictures, the welds don’t look too bad. Sure, there’s a slight delamination, but I’d suggest grinding it out and continuing to work the piece. It may be that the delamination is not critical and the rest of the weld is good. A couple more heats to welding temperature while working the piece may give you a viable billet. On the face of it, I don’t see anything immediately wrong with your method. But it is Monday morning.
  3. Hi Jon. I’ve just seen where you are based. I’m just round the corner on the Benfleet side of Basildon. We should meet up and beat some metal together.
  4. “...doing what I’m doing and slowly refine the skills”. Amen to that.
  5. Lovely clean lines Zachary. A great pair of tomahawks. I like the classic friction-fit handles too.
  6. Nice tongs. I like using the curved jaws as it gives plenty of room if you have bends or scrolls on the end of your workpiece.
  7. Hi Zig. I’m not sure where you are, but In the UK I have had success with motor breakers getting hold of van and small truck axles. These are invariably medium carbon steel and make good hammers. No pics for you as I’m currently holidaying with the family.
  8. CGL: Looking forward to you having that stand done so we can see your first project with the new anvil. Meanwhile, in the UK, I have a fossil fan friend who wanted a paperweight. I was considering making a “rock” with a negative impression, but didn’t really have the stock (and it’s heavy enough already). Don’t really know how I would have gone about forging the negative either - anyone got any ideas?
  9. CGL: I'm rather jealous of you, though happy for you too of course. The prospect of being the first smith on an anvil is really exciting. I'm very happy using my old, beaten-up anvil for now, but when I take the leap to a shiny new Perun, I'll certainly be stamping my name and the date for prosperity. Congratulations on your purchase.
  10. I was looking to import a grinder from the US (choices are somewhat limited here in the UK) and looked at all manner of grinders from Bader, Grizzly, KMG, etc. I ended up on the phone to one of the owners of Ameribrade grinders Keven Roark, who I was very impressed by. He really knew his product having developed various versions of it. It would have been a good fit for my needs, but in the end the cost of shipping the product proved prohibitive, so I got the welder out and built my own. So what am I saying? Don’t rush into anything, do your research, have *conversations* with people who use and know the products you’re looking at. And if all else fails, get the welder out. NB: this is in no way an endorsement of Amerbrade. It is an endorsement of having conversations with folks who know the products.
  11. Jason, Welcome! Someone with more ability than me will doubtless link you to the “read this first” article. In the meantime it sounds like you have a nice initial setup. Once you have hammer and anvil you can pretty much make other tools you need (punches, drifts, tongs, etc) as you need them. You’ll find it great practice for basic skills. I’ve only found this forum recently but folks are knowledgeable and generous in sharing their experience.
  12. Stunning work Owen. I must get myself on one of your Damascus courses. It was your fault I caught this bug! One knife making course years ago and been hooked ever since.
  13. Thought I’d make a little axe for no reason other than my own amusement. About half of a farrier’s rasp and a stick I picked off the forest floor last summer. Finished with raw linseed oil. I mowed the lawn too - no goats to help.
  14. Well done CP. There's no stopping you now. Feel free to share photos.