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I Forge Iron

Purple Bullet

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    LaPlace, Louisiana
  • Interests
    General blacksmithing - bladesmithing - casting - motorcycling

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  1. Thomas - Maybe you should post their number and let IFI members call and ask pretty-please on your behalf. Sort of a non-cyber DDoS.
  2. Knives are one of the basic tools that set us apart from the rest of God's creation. From Tarzan's discovery of his father's knife enabling him to defeat a gorilla to Mowgli's "iron tooth" guarded by a white cobra to Tom Sawyer's "Real Barlow" to King Arthur's "Excalibur" the blade is endlessly celebrated in literature. What would the "Lord of the Rings" be without Glamdring, Sting, Orcrist or the shards or Narsil? As a boy, I had a bowie that was rarely not on my side. I used it to cut firewood, sharpen stakes, open cans of soup and stew, dig holes, skin rabbits and squirrels, break trail, make blaze marks and spent countless hours trying to stick it in an old hackberry tree from various distances. I still am rarely without a knife of some kind. The first one I ever made was a bowie made from a leaf spring. It is still unfinished. I had intended to give it to my brother, but he died a few years back. I was 26 when I started that blade. Now I'm 70. I've made (and finished) many since that have gone to friends, sons, a grandson and even my wife. One day I suppose I'll finish that bowie and give it to my nephew. A knife can be just a tool, but it can be more. A hand made knife has a little bit more character, inherited from its maker. I've had tools that I enjoy and appreciate. Since I retired and re-started smithing there are tools I'm downright fond of, but I would give a sizable sum to have that old bowie of mine lost long ago.
  3. The classic New Orleans tourist scam: Scammer on Bourbon street comments on inebriated tourist's shoes, Hey man! Nice shoes! I'm something of a shoe expert and I bet you five dollars I can tell you where you got 'dem shoes. Inebriated tourist figures there is no way this local even knows where he is from so he takes the bet. Scammer says "You got 'dem shoes on your feet on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, now gimme my five dollars.
  4. It was my own fault. I'd bought a generic sheath at Quad State (leather work just not my thing) and told myself I'd add a snap strap keeper to it but never did. Then I took an off-road short cut that I've taken dozens of times on my bike, but this time there was some storm debris. Slow-speed tumble, but then I was more concerned with getting my bike back upright. The worst part is that I neglected to take a picture when the knife was done. I always thought I would add another tweak. Now, like they say "It never happened." Except for the lessons I learned from it. Anyway, what I was talking about was a technique I learned ages ago in a ship yard. Brass props would come in missing several inches of their edges. We would braze a 1/4" brazing rod to it and heat and bend it to the original size of the missing part of the prop, them cut more brazing rod to fill in the gap inside that shape. We would then braze it all together. Perhaps a better term would be acetylene brass welding because brazing is typically where the brass gets liquid, but the base metal does not. If I was set up for brass casting, casting might be easier and quicker, but this method is pretty easy and quick. If you do it before heat treating you can also braze it to the tang which makes the guard very strong and immobile.
  5. I call that my fantasy naval blade. My daughter in law has a father and step-mother that are very well off - multiple mansion AND yachts, but they like to live on the yacht. She asked for a set of "pirate" blades. I really don't like the glamorization of pirates, but there was a sword on the wall on "Forged in Fire" that had a shape that intrigued me. That was the result. She gave them last year before Thanksgiving and they used them to carve the turkey. I didn't make a sheath for them, just a board with hooks to hang on the wall. And yes, the front end is sharpened, but not to the razor edge the blades are.
  6. Have you ever tried brazing? I find it is easier to cut and bend large brazing rods (or copper wire) into the rough shape I want and braze them together, then grind it down. That's how I made these. I don't know if I showed you the knife I was wearing at Quad State with the copper guard made the same way. I lost that one recently due to a minor motorcycle spill.
  7. The hard-surface rods are probably best, I repaired my anvil with them 40 years ago but I had a mild case of sticker shock the last time I priced them.
  8. Nice work. It's kind of backwards from most anvils in material, though. Horns and shelves( if that's the right term for the flat spot between the face of the anvil and the horn) are usually softer and the face is hard. That doesn't mean you won't get great use out of your build, but eventually you will probably want to get a hard layer on top and make sure your horn is annealed. Impressive machine work. I can barely turn on my lathe.
  9. Chad C - I tend to make blades like that. I like them especially for peeling oranges. I can usually get the peel off in one strip. The knife is one I made a couple of years ago for a guy that works at a local arena and horse boarding establishment. The loop in the end is for clearing hooves. The satsumas down here are just starting to ripen, but I don't see any navels this year. Maybe Hurricane Ida blew them off.
  10. Firearm not required. If grinning (a la David Crockett) doesn't work I find that a .22 caliber pneumatic sufficient. Not as quiet as grinning, but quieter than most firearms.
  11. Goods - I feel the same way, but sometimes my curiosity gets the better of my priorities. That's one of the nice things about being retired and refusing to take money for my "work". George - it would be a problem. I wonder if acid etching would show the line? It would only work if the forging was consistent on both sides. I'm not sure my skill level is there but that won't stop me from trying. Right now a church sign is keeping me from trying. After the storm a lot of businesses are having a hard time getting back going and are dealing with backlogs.
  12. Agreed. However, think of the case of the young kid (or not so young for that matter) that never learned how to sharpen. If you have a very thin hard center and soft outer layers, the outer layer would wear, leaving the hard center which would probably chip over time, but then the outer would wear again. I've heard that back in the day when sugar cane was harvested by hand that the cane knives were sometimes hardened on one side with hard surface rods and ground down flat again. Thereafter they would self sharpen by normal use. I haven't verified that, but I guess its possible.
  13. The thread got me thinking; What would happen if you made two identical mild steel blades, applied a case hardening to one side of each using something like Cherry Red and forge welded the two pieces together with the hardened sides in the middle? If the hardenability survived the weld (doubtful?) you might end up with the proverbial self-sharpening knife. It would essentially be the same as a san mai, but with a VERY thin hard center. If you could figure out how to keep track of the hard line while you grind, that is.
  14. ..and I thought it had to do with your magnetic personality!
  15. At least your last trip scored big! Very nice. Risk aversion is ruining us. I'm not saying we should all work without PPE or not use common sense self preservation, but the bureaucratic group think that all risk is bad is stifling. "Land of the fee, home of the risk averse"
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