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About j.w.s.

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    Junior Curmudgeon

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    Lancaster County, Pa


  • Location
    Lancaster, Pa.

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  1. Like the time I learned about intergranular corrosion and stabilization in steels like S5 and S7 - not something that needs to be done on large pieces, but when getting into detailed shapes it's a plus. Either way, reading is good. -J
  2. The issue with 52100 is the fact that it contains 1.3-1.6% chromium, the oxide produced even in such a small percentage like this is going to create issues similar to forge welding stainless. The less oxygen the better. Just grab yourself a $13 piece of 15N20 flat stock and be done with the scrap metal woes. While we assume your ball bearings are 52100, there's also a chance they could be 440C, ACD34, SV30, 316SS, 4320 or even microplated 1070M - A scrap shoot is a crap shoot and you can't learn metallurgy by making a bunch of guesses and assumptions. By the time you're done throwing money at consumables and fuel, you could have spent less and with a few clicks had the right materials sent to your door - not to mention the fact that with exact details others on here can give you exact answers, something not true with mystery metals. That's my $0.02, now back to the shadows before anyone realizes I'm here. -J
  3. As a person who teaches classes on this, do yourself a favor, learn to crawl before you try running. Learn the in-depth workings of a known monosteel such as 1075 or 1084, get a few dozen blades under your belt and then learn how to forge weld on solid materials. My advice, there is no real cheap way to become a bladesmith and cheap or free scrap material is just that, unknown grades with unknown problems and surprises; $20 spent through Aldo for a new bar of steel will teach you more faster than you can imagine, primarily because you know it's xxxx grade and not "this part should be this but that month this company got a better deal on xxxx so they switched alloys and ht process for a few weeks to save some money". Save that cable for later, like for when your skills catch up to your dreams. -J
  4. I never did. But when people I had looked up to started valuing my opinion on something I knew that I was going somewhere beyond beginner. Doesn't mean I've filled my cranium or ever will, but it's a nice start. 24 years in and I'm still thankful that I'll get to learn something new tomorrow. -J
  5. No, just a flat weld, San Mai. -J
  6. I get drops for $1/lb on tool steels. Best part about A2 is we can harden it here in the shop. Granted, it's almost 2 hours to bring to temp, but after that it's fairly easy. -J And yes, London pattern anvils are overrated. Bick tools can easily be made for and hardies work well in a post vise. -J
  7. $85 in A2 tool steel, 5.5"x6.5"x11". About another $50 for the stand. Doesn't get any simpler or simplisticly useful than this. -J
  8. j.w.s.


    Thank you! Between Crazy Ivan and I it's been a bit busy around Underhill Forge lately. Forging tools, hammers, blades, teaching classes, building power hammers and drinking beer, if it wasn't for the long skinny end we wouldn't how to drink a cold one.. OK, that's a lie, we could be armless and have our mouths sewn shut and still manage to drink a beer. -J
  9. j.w.s.


    Well, Mr Sells was wondering if I was OK since I haven't been active on here for about half a year.. truth is, been very active but not very social. Here's a piece I started last Wednesday and finished up Saturday. 1095/15N20, herringbone pattern seax. 16.5" blade, 200 year old wrought for the fittings, cocobolo, copper and elk antler for the handle. -J
  10. I do the same thing with resin. Permeable materials are better than solids in my experience. When I do something like wood chips or even coffee grounds I have to do it in a vacuum to get the saturation of resin. Other materials like shredded felt and construction paper work fine though with just a few tons of pressure and are easier to achieve an abuse-withstanding bond. -J
  11. Yes, very sad news. Doug was a great guy and always interesting to talk to. He will be missed. -J
  12. Yeah, I do 3 students at a time in my knife making classes and it's a little easier than one on one sometimes. People tend to feed off the input of those around them and it's always cool to see encouragement happening among the group. Takes some of the pressure off and when it comes to one on one instructions the other two often watch and ask questions I don't immediately think of volunteering. - J
  13. Yeah, check out the video of Crazy Ivan and I drifting the holes in the block of S7 for a striking anvil over in his thread. That's my Soderfors under that 65lb block, no babying required. J
  14. That would probably be some of my misc tools and punches floating around in the tray on the anvil stand. J