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About picker77

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    : Central Oklahoma, USA
  • Interests
    Computers, electronics, ham radio, leather work, bluegrass music, old vacuum tube radios, making stuff, fixing stuff

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  1. Going to try a few folded eye hawks, but had no hammer/hawk tongs. So today I made this crude pair from 20" pieces of 1/2" round. Amazing how hard it is (for me) to get the second tong handle to be a nice clean mirror image of the first one. Ha. Also tried another dry weld test project, 1/8" 1084 sandwiched between two pieces of 11 gauge mild sheet. Welding went fine, so I did a "test" flat grind on one side of part of the resulting billet and etched it. Very happy it went so well, I really like the look of a dramatic transition line between MS and HC, I actually like the looks of low-count san mai better than zillion-layer "damascus". Now I'm gonna have to make some knives that way.
  2. Lucky you! That's an ultra sweet find. I have a Baldor 1800 RPM buffer that cost me nearly $400 several years ago (and I had to build my own stand for it!). Baldor makes absolutely top quality stuff.
  3. Well, it was mainly just idle conjecture, not gonna happen for lots of reasons, some of which you mention.
  4. Oh, it can do that all right. But I use it mostly for road maintenance and brush/tree clearing. The rear aux hydraulics are currently hooked up to provide tilt/trim for a 5-1/2' box blade, or (by swapping aux hoses) run a small two-finger grapple on a toothed bucket for grabbing & lifting logs, rocks, stumps, etc. to a max of about 1100 lb. If the pump provided sufficient volume, I suppose I could run a pair of long lines from a press located inside the shop out the door to the tractor, turning the tractor into sort of a very large 4WD mobile power pack. This is not a big farm tractor, just a little JD 3032 compact, and as I recall the pump is only 6 gpm or so at around 2200 psi. Maybe not enough flow there for forging. The tractor is normally parked inside the shop, but of course I'd have to move it outside to power a press to keep it from freaking out my CO detector, not to mention killing the press operator.
  5. Not sure if there would be sufficient gpm, but could the aux hydraulic system of a 30-40hp tractor power a homebrew shop press?
  6. Pnut, here's what I cut up to 4-1/2 x 9 to use for my floor. [Commercial link removed per TOS.] Cuts easily with a 7" diamond circular saw blade (and breathing apparatus, of course). Cordierite is NOT high alumina as Frosty pointed out, but even coated with Matrikote it suffered from flux adherence, which kind of surprised me.BTW, Frosty, I did remove the hard brick floor piece when I put in the kiln shelf. FWIW, overall, I've been very happy with my DB forge, my only mild regret being maybe I should have sprung for the two-burner. But that's a good excuse to build one. Have fun!!
  7. I painted Matrikote on the walls, but not the ceiling, and when I put the kiln shelf floor in I painted that with Matrikote first (too thick, it flaked some later). But the big thing was borax flux immediately ate a shallow crater in the middle of the kiln shelf (actually, I made the 2x3x1/8" crater when I later chipped off the hardened/stuck flux). I put in another 4-1/2 x 9" shelf piece, (uncoated), and that has held up fine since, mainly because I do not use flux any more. When I do pattern welds they are done dry. I've never tried any exotic super-multi-layer folded patterns, only simple non-folded minimal layer count billets. The Matrikote on the walls has held up ok, but has flaked some, I tried to put it on too thick, should have listened to Frosty. The ceramic board is pretty firm to the touch, but if treated roughly it will gouge and pill up some in little mini-rolls of fiber. Coating helps of course but as I said some of my coating flaked off. I just try to stay away from the walls.
  8. Yep, sure did. I can't tell you much about floor longevity because I covered the floor with a piece of 5/8" thick kiln shelf cut to fit. The kiln shelf held up fine so far, although it did get cratered a bit (maybe 1/8" or so in the center) by flux the one time I tried flux welding in it. Since then what welding I've done has been dry. The ceramic board that DB uses is pretty stiff and reasonably solid, but it will still shred up a little if you get rough with it. I've never tried doing castable for a floor, so can't really tell you if the kiln shelf is better than that or not. The big advantage is the KS is (fairly) easy to cut to size, and quickly replaceable by just sliding in a new shelf on top of the ceramic board the DB came with. The downside, of course, is you lose 5/8" of height from an already pretty restricted working space. So far, I'm very happy with this DB forge, although I'm beginning to wish I'd gone with the two burner version, simply for convenience when heat treating longer knife stock (I don't have a heat treat oven). But for 99% of what I do it's perfect. Easy to light, heats quickly, just works as expected. A bonus is it seems to be very frugal on gas usage. I'm using a lot less fuel than I expected to need. The idle circuit helps, but even without that the forge lining seems to hold heat quite well at pretty low gas pressures.
  9. 334 pages, Historical Fiction, but seems to follow closely the story of an actual German immigrant who made his way as a youth to the Cleveland, Ohio area in the mid 1800's to apprentice as a blacksmith in a wagon-building business. Well written and enjoyable read, but the most interesting thing to me was the apparent accuracy of the terminology. The writer (a lady) had a solid handle on the language of blacksmithing during the period, especially where wagon-building and working with wrought iron was concerned. A novel, not a technical treatise, but enough iron-pounding involved to be interesting.
  10. Suspicions confirmed, TP. Yep, not so long ago we had half a dozen little freely distributed "classified ad rags" like the Thrifty Nickle, Penny Trader, etc. in the newspaper rack at convenience stores. A few were pretty thick. Even as recently as the early 2000's I routinely stopped by a 7-11 every Friday AM to get the latest. They were little gold mines if you jumped on an ad soon enough, as you did. Fleabay killed off much of that, and then CL came along and delivered the coup de grace. I miss them, but I suppose time and technology does move on. I use an E-reader for many things now, and if I do pick up a real book I sometimes catch myself tapping the right edge to "turn" the paper page, or trying to zoom a printed image by spreading thumb and finger.
  11. SFC Snuffy, nice solid chunk of work, not likely to fall apart any time soon, ha. I've looked off and on for a while, have never seen a decent swage block for sale in my area. They are much less common than anvils, which are pretty rare themselves. BTW, would that by any chance be Chief Shipfitter Snuffy? If so, thanks for your service!
  12. Dasher, you're right. It's called Northwest Cape for a reason, ha. Technically, I think I would have enjoyed the job (Electronics Maintenance Officer), but boy, it's definitely out in the sticks. Frosty, I've already told my two sons to bring U-Hauls behind their trucks when they come to the funeral.
  13. Sounds like me, I'll be 78 next month, I'll have to leave instructions for the wife to make sure she doesn't yard-sale this grinder for $30. Looks like you have a great setup for slack-belt grinding. I'll bet you will also eventually want to add a removable tool arm holder of some sort, so you can run home brew tool arms with a platen and a contact wheel one of these days. Neither are hard to add, the tool arm/contact wheel was easy, but from my experience I recommend purchasing a professionally fabricated platen/wheel setup from the outset. I initially made a platen using skateboard wheels and it worked OK most of the time, but wheel alignment on a platen needs to be perfect, and my "precision" home shop fabrication/assembly tolerances (add one more washer here or there, lol) resulted in intermittent tracking problems, depending on which side of the belt I put pressure on. After I was making knives more often I finally bit the bullet for the real deal, and it runs smooth as silk. Very well spent $90. BTW, in 1978, when the Navy was scheduling my next duty transfer after three years in Hawaii, they offered to send me on a 3-year assignment to the USN communications facility near Perth. But with two boys in high school at the time I opted to go to the U.S. east coast for my final tour before retirement (I retired the first of three times in 1980). I think I would have enjoyed a down under tour, have always liked Oz folks, they are salt-of-the-earth type people. G'day and enjoy the grinder!
  14. I suppose there is an exception to every general rule, and Pnut is correct that a TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) motor is definitely preferred for longevity. I built the pictured 2x72 grinder in 2006. The motor is a non-enclosed 1.5 HP 120V 3450 RPM capacitor-start fan motor rescued from the attic when we had our central A/C replaced back in 1996. The shaft drive wheel is 4" diameter and rubber covered, the tracking wheel was recently replaced with one from OriginBladeMaker, and my original skateboard wheel platen setup (which never worked well) has been upgraded to OBM's nicely machined platen/wheels, which run smooth and true. Every few months I suck the grinder crap as best I can from inside the motor with a large shop vac, and blow it out with the shop air hose, but that's been it for maintenance for the past 13 years. I used it daily and pretty hard, and it still runs just fine. Because I really would like to have speed control, I'm getting ready to upgrade with a VFD and a new 2HP 3-phase TEFC motor. I also have an accessory tool arm with an 8" rubber covered contact wheel that works really well. I guess my point is don't hesitate to at least temporarily make use of a non-enclosed motor if that's what you have and cost is a factor at the moment. You can always upgrade later as funds permit. That's what worked out best for me.
  15. No problem, Gill. I'll just do a bit more experimenting. There's a WoodCraft store within driving distance from me that carries a lot of different dyes and stains. They also stock some small "turning block" sizes of exotic woods for carving and ink pen turning, although like everywhere else their exotic wood is also exotically priced. From my guitar building days I think probably alcohol-based dye will be the way to go. BTW, for the knife makers among us, a good source for handle finish materials is Stewart-MacDonald's website, it's the cat's butt for almost any wood finishing/staining material you could think of, and is the Amazon of the stringed instrument materials supply world. If they ain't got it, you don't need it.