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I Forge Iron

Neal the smith

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Everything posted by Neal the smith

  1. I like the simplicity of it, Frosty. But I wouldn’t be able to secure it to the floor so would have real concerns with it tipping when I levered the block from horizontal to vertical, and back again. You’ve doubtless considered this - have you sufficient mass in the base to prevent tipping?
  2. I had a trip up to rural Norfolk, UK at the weekend to pick up an early birthday present from my wife. She scored me this swage block. Also ended up with about 20lb of wrought iron for free and a post anvil for a treadle hammer project. I was looking to build a stand for it, and found this picture of a tilt stand. But can’t find plans or further pics. Is anyone familiar with this design, please?
  3. Success uploading the images of a little hook for the kitchen and a towel ring. Kind of pleased with the forge weld on the ring. I’m also part way through a small dagger, and was thinking about using makume gane for the guard and pommel. So I’ve needed to learn how to make it. Some limited success after initial failures. Unfortunately British coins aren’t constructed in the same way as US, so the “roll of quarters” approach isn’t viable. This one is copper and brass.
  4. Hi Jon - for the arm ring have you thought of doing a coffee etch? Instant coffee and hot (not boiling) water and leave for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Nice work all. JHCC I’ve had the same section of file lying around for about a year. Now I know what to do with it! In the meantime I have a little hook for the kitchen and a towel ring for the bathroom. Quite happy with the forge weld on the towel ring and when I can manage to upload the images I’ll share... Until then, take care and stay safe.
  6. Owen, that is a really beautiful piece. Every patter welded blade of yours makes me want to get even half that good. I especially like the plain band on the transition between your two different billets, without which the blade may have looked a little busy. Something to try when I get a *lot* better.
  7. Just curious, but as an alternative to restricting the airflow, could you set up a rheostat with the blower motor? Would that work? Never mind. Just dawned on me that the motor’s going to be ac. In the words of a great philosopher: “D’oh!”.
  8. Ah, OK. Now, I know I'm going to get something wrong here and someone with more knowledge of the crystalline structures and transition points will correct me, but here goes: In my experience, all heat treatment time is based primarily on the material and its thickness. This applies for quenching, annealing, normalising and tempering. As a result, if made of the same material, the results of tempering a chisel for seconds will not be the same as tempering a knife for hours. When you quench, you change the Austenite to Martensite, trapping the free carbon atoms within a hard and brittle structure. Tempering allows carbon trapped in the Martensite to be released, which has the effect of reducing hardness and increasing ductility. (Don't ask me how!) However that's not to say that either is wrong - could you put your punches in the oven for a few hours? Sure, but they are likely to have more ductility than they need and less hardness. Could you slowly heat the back of your knife and let the colours run and then stop the temper as soon as the blade hit the right colour? Again, sure (a treatment often referred to as blue-backing), but the physical properties won't be the same as the soaked knife.
  9. Hi Jon. Looks awesome for a first attempt. I like the profile a lot. Re tempering, hard to say without knowing how thick the blade is and how quickly you heated it. Of course the only way to tell for sure is to snap it a look at the grain structure. I imagine you took your time though so should be ok.
  10. Hi Daniele, Sorry - forgot to answer the unasked questions: 1. potentially any rented space could be suitable, but look at by-laws, rental contracts and liability insurance. Also, be aware of ventilation needs to stay safe. 2. knives are enjoyable to make but check out the prescribed list in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019. Manufacture and simple possession of any such weapon (swordsticks, push-daggers, throwing stars, etc.) is a criminal offense. N
  11. Metal glass is a (relatively) new product. Instead of having a regular crystalline structure it has a more random composition - like glass. It's also known as amorphous metal, but I'm sure Mr Powers will have more knowledge of their uses than I.
  12. Hi Daniele, I would echo what Jon said - Hereford college is a great place to go for courses according to it's many established alumni. If you want to give it a go, get in front of an anvil and get some basic skills down (drawing basic tapers, upsetting, etc.), I'd also echo Jon's invitation. Jon and I have done a couple of sessions with each other's kit and it would be useful to see what you like best (I use propane, Jon uses coke). We live 15 mins from each other in Essex and I'm sure Jon won't mind me saying that we'd be happy to spend an afternoon or two with someone with an interest in the craft. Feel free to message me and we can set something up if you're interested. N
  13. I’d love to know whether you’re going to make a traditional tsuba for it. I tried watercasting copper and other non-ferrous metals a while ago and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I understand that a traditional tsuba starts life as a water cast disc of copper/brass/silver which is then hand engraved. Great that you’re breathing new life into it.
  14. What’s more important is that they work well and feel good in the hand, and after our session on Sunday I can confirm that they do!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. “...doing what I’m doing and slowly refine the skills”. Amen to that.
  19. Lovely clean lines Zachary. A great pair of tomahawks. I like the classic friction-fit handles too.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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?
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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