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  1. Thanks, Irondragon, for the links. The tine TP used to make his are clearly thicker and heavier than the ones I saw yesterday, obviously from a BIG lift truck, plus the ones I saw didn't have the round stock at the top, just had simple hooks at the back. Although there's probably no such thing as a "skinny" fork tine, I doubt the ones I saw would be thick enough to be useful to repeat TP's design without stacking and welding together, which I'd kinda like to avoid. PNUT: Thanks - You're right, and following the advice of you and others I've already abandoned the HT idea!
  2. As Richard Boone said to John Wayne: "Ain't it the awful truth!"
  3. I take it PPE is "Personal Protective Equipment", as in hard hat, glasses, and gloves... There is no doubt "new" tool steel prices can cause knees to go weak. The little piece of 4-1/2" D2 round I'm using for this project would have been about $40 per inch or about $400 plus shipping, if ordered online from one of the big guys like Speedy Metals. Off the "drops and cuts rack" locally it was about a fifth of that, including trimming up one end, so I had no complaints at all. But Frosty is correct, free is much better, ha. Yesterday I walked by a couple of discarded forks lying in the dirt at a local scrap/salvage place, didn't ask about price but I'd bet it would have been pretty cheap. Not sure what steel lift forks are made from, but because of the lawyers I'm pretty sure they would have to be good quality, albeit still mystery steel.
  4. Thanks to the Curmudgeon Tag Team for that welcome advice, and believe me, I'll be glad to follow it! A fine application of "if it ain't broke don't fix it". Thanks, Gentlemen. And Chris, I'm keeping a weather eye out. Also, I'll PM you re wood. PS: Thanks, TP for the ideas on the radius, hadn't occurred to me to use two or three different radii around the edge. I think I'll do that.
  5. This little build is about done (with a pair of small non-swivel casters included, thanks to the sage advice of Mr. Thomas and other's advice). But before I start beating on the end of this piece of D2 shafting, I need some advice regarding heat treating D2. I have little experience with high-end tool steels, and non in HT of larger pieces of steel. For tools, I have the usual MIG and O/A torch rigs, a 6-gallon bucket of vermiculite, 2x72 grinder, full set of test files, canola oil, and a toaster oven that regulates fairly well up to about 550. Unfortunately, my personal HT experience and knowledge, especially for large/thick stock like this, would fit in a thimble. So: First, does chunk form D2 need HT at all for my intended use of light forging and knife making? Hoping the answer is no, but if it does, should I attempt to surface HT the working face using tools on hand? If the answer is it requires professional "full" HT, there are a couple of local shops that CAN do it, but not sure they'd be willing to mess with a job this small - and even if they would it might be prohibitively costly. I noticed one shop even advertises it has three large ovens, the largest of which can handle objects the size a pickup truck and up to 40' long. Lastly, would it be of benefit in forging to radius part of the sharp shoulder of the working face? So, before I call this project done, can someone chime in with HT advice? Thanks!
  6. Yeah, like most folks I also have a couple of hand trucks - in line with the KISS principle I probably ought to just use one of those. But then I tend to overthink and overbuild everything. The first 48" x 24" coffee table I made back in the day we still use in the den, mainly because it has a nice big chess board built into the top, but also because I can put my feet on it watching football without attracting incoming fire, heh. But it takes both of us to move it if the wife wants to vacuum.
  7. Thanks, Thomas. It so happens I have a 1/2" axle and a couple of 6" lawnmower-style wheels leftover from another project. I had considered wheels when drawing this up, but was afraid it might end up too top-heavy to safely move on wheels, so was figuring on "walking" it in zig-zag fashion to move it. However, I doubt the whole thing will exceed 120 lb, so maybe that's not as much of a worry as I thought.
  8. Shop room is tight, shared with a tractor and a truck, plus several mowers. As a result, most of my machinery is on casters. I don't have the floor space for a permanent anvil location, at least not inside the shop, so I need a knife work anvil that is sort of "moveable" so I can walk/drag it over to a corner when not in use. I want to make use of a 9" x 4-1/4" chunk of round D2 shafting for the actual anvil, supported on top of a length of 4x4 dropped inside a piece of heavy wall 6" oilfield pipe, with the whole thing held vertical inside the pipe, surrounded with fine sand. Base would be a 12" square 3/8 mild steel plate on 1/8" tabs to create kind of a "tripod" base to avoid wobble, since my shop floor is not perfectly flat in some places. Attached is a sketch of this proposed rig. I'm new at all this, so I'd appreciate any constructive (or even non-constructive) comments before I fire up my cutting torch and start doing things that might be hard to undo.
  9. Well, dang. Just once I'd like to be smarter than this computer. Thanks, Frosty. Nope, you can leave us off the prayer list for now, we got a LOT of rain the past few days (over 12") in the general Oklahoma City area, but we lucked out with only about 7" at our little hideout in the woods. Gonna be a while before I can get the tractor out, though. Everything is really soft. Taking your and others advice about simple beginner anvils, I picked up a 10" piece of round 4-1/4" diameter D2 tool steel today for a fair price. One end wasn't quite square so the dealer took a sliver off to square it up for me. He cut it dry at sloooow speed on a very large band saw, and it took him over 30 minutes to make that one cut. This is some pretty hard stuff, although a file will grab it with a bit of pressure. I have some 1/4" wall 6" oil field pipe lying around, so I plan to devise a simple tripod legged vertical anvil stand, using 6" pipe with the D2 stacked on top of a length of 4x4, with both the 4x4 and the D2 held centered. Once I'm sure the overall height is good I'll pack the whole thing with fine sand. It will be fairly heavy, but I still need to be able to move it around in my shop, which is only 25x40 and is shared with several other things like a truck, a tractor, several mowers, and a lot of other small machinery. Sound reasonable? Slag, if you click on the little reply typing window at the bottom to answer a post, it has it's own menus across the top, and the preview/edit toggle is that last symbol on the right. Thanks to Frosty for the education...
  10. Thanks. I did read that, but had not yet updated my profile, something that's now done. As for location, I'm in a semi-rural area near Oklahoma City. Re editing, most other forums I've used offer the option to "preview" a drafted post prior to actually launching it - I looked for but didn't see that function here, although I might have missed it. At any rate thanks for the info!
  11. Thanks, Frosty. I've read a ton of your stuff on here and it's always interesting and informative. I'll pay particular attention if and when I get around to building a forge. The local small metals store had about a foot of 5 or 6 inch 4140 shafting on their "cutoffs and drops" rack when I was there a couple of days ago. It wasn't marked and I didn't ask about the price on it for fear of interfering with my heart meds. Might make an awfully nice anvil stuck on end in a big stump, though. I do keep an eye on Craigslist and such around here, but even a rusty old chunk of rail or anything called an "anvil" seems to bring $100 or more, many time MUCH more.
  12. Thanks for the welcome and the nice words. There is enough metallurgical info out there these days to choke a horse now that everybody and the ship's cook is making knives, ha. Most of it is advanced calculus to me, I'm still working on algebra 1 where metal science is concerned. So far I've followed mostly an old book of Wayne Goddard's, hence the edge quench thing. Actually, I'm still just working on having my knives not looking like they were made by a fourth grader, ha. Most I've given away to my sons and grandsons. Have never attempted to sell one and don't intend to. As for the handles, Slag, I have a big box of scale material, but if my feeble memory serves, from left to right the first two are leftovers from deer hunts here in Oklahoma with brass guards shaped to follow the front contours of the piece of antler (#2 also uses an antler tine for part of the guard function), the third is Dymondwood (sp?) stuff from Jantz, I think the fourth is Amboyna burl, the fifth is natural box elder burl with a camphor cap, the sixth is camphor, seventh is stained box elder burl, and the fat skinner on the right end is from a chunk of Koa left over from when I lived in Hawaii years ago and built a couple of guitars from Koa. I'm not gonna run out of handle material for a while, I like to collect and stash bits and pieces of exotic woods, most of which has been stabilized. I use a home built 2x72 belt grinder with a 10" contact wheel which does fine, but I haven't yet figured out how to make it track well with the platen I built for it. Still working on that. I do want a small forge one of these days, though. I can make most tools, but it's beginning to look like I might need to sell my truck to buy a good anvil.
  13. First post, newbie on here. I'm an old dude sneaking up on 78, and I've done a few "finish it yourself" and stock removal knives in the past (some depicted below), but I want to get much better at it and eventually get into simple forging. I needed a better small tank for edge-quenching, so I looked hard online for a low cost off-the-shelf "tank", but everything I saw was either too wide, too deep, too short, or too wimpy. The closest I found was heavy duty commercial steel baking pans intended for making big restaurant-size bread loaves, but they were rather thin metal, and were non-stick coated, which I didn't particularly want. To get exactly what you want, sometimes you just have to build it yourself. With that in mind, I picked up five 18" pieces of 4" wide 11 gauge A36 flat bar from the friendly guys at Metal Supermarket for about $30 including nice clean and square band saw cuts. Material cost was less than cost plus shipping for most of the pans I saw online. From these panels, I assembled the 4 x 4 x 18 tank shown in the accompanying photos. It is built like a tank (sorry) and is the cat's butt for what I need in my little knife-making operation. At 11 pounds empty, it's probably overbuilt, but should be very stable in use, has a nice flip lid for fire safety and to help keep the oil clean, and includes stout handles on each end. The lid intentionally only opens down to a 45 degree angle (because of the tab stop), which allows quickly flipping it closed in the event of a flareup. Since my MIG welding skills are probably a three or four on a 10 scale I didn't want to run my ugly beads the entire length of each panel joint, which in addition to possible porosity and leak problems might also have created major warping, so I cheated: I first carefully fitted and clamped the five panels (three long and two end pieces) for minimal gap, and just lightly tacked them together at the corners and a few places along the long edges with a MIG welder. I then ground all the tack welds smooth on the outside of the tank, and applied JB Quik-Weld along the inside seams. After a few hours, I followed up with Quik-Weld on the outside seams. After letting everything set up hard overnight, I used a small orbital sander to smooth off all the outside seam Quik-Weld, did a leak test with water (there were no leaks), added the hinged lid and end handles, and painted the whole thing with heat resistant engine enamel. I used white for the inside, thinking it might make things easier to see during quenching, but it might not make that much difference. Anyway, for less than buying a less-than-satisfactory commercial equivalent, I now have a very heavy duty little knife and small parts quench tank that fits my needs perfectly. Now I'm off to Wally World for a gallon of Canola oil! I might have somehow double-posted two of the photos, if so can't see how to fix that, sorry!